#1 LISTING YOUR HOME
Listing your home with ZW Group is the first step on the path to a successful closing. We possess a wealth of knowledge about our local neighborhoods and are prepared to assist you from beginning to end. Our goal is to ensure you feel at ease throughout the whole selling process.
To begin, we’ll suggest specific improvements and modifications to enhance your home’s salability, create a customized marketing plan that best highlights your property’s features in the current market and present you with a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA), which helps determine the best listing price and probable sales price.
#2 YOUR CUSTOMIZED MARKETING PLAN
Marketing real estate has evolved over the last several years. At ZW Group, we go above an beyond when it comes to marketing your home, making sure to get your listing in front of the most appropriate potential buyers. We use traditional marketing methods as well as our own unique marketing plan, setting your home apart from the others in our market.
#3 PRICING YOUR HOME TO SELL
The great part about pricing a home is that across most of the United States, the real estate market is pretty clear — you can get great information about what comparable properties have sold for and what competitive properties are selling for. It’s not like purchasing a car, for example, where they have no idea of the prices others paid for their respective vehicles.
Sounds simple, right? Well, not exactly. Even in hot markets, lots of home sellers find themselves sitting on
the market for months, often because they made bad pricing decisions. Most of the time, it’s because they made some basic mistakes when pricing their home or one major misstep afterward.
The biggest mistake most sellers make is pricing their home based on what’s currently for sale, not the comparable sales that have sold. All comparative market analysis are based on an analysis of two types of properties: the ones that have actually sold and the ones currently for sale. You need to look at both when you’re pricing your home, but not for the same reasons.
We look at the sold comparables to get an idea of what the home’s value is, and we look at the unsold homes for sale to get an idea of the pricing you need to beat. We will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis by analyzing the prices of homes that have recently sold and that are similar to yours in size, features and location. Our knowledge of current trends in the market is the final determinant of your home’s listing price. Make sure to ask us about any issues or situations unique to your home that could help it sell.
Several factors go into establishing the selling price of your home including location, condition,
amenities, price per sq ft, and a home warranty.
#4 PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR THE MARKET
The next step in selling your home is to prepare it for showings. First impressions count. You want to
allow potential buyers the opportunity to envision themselves living in your home
Cleanliness. A clean home will impress. Aside from the obvious—making sure that your home, including the yard, is orderly and clean—remove all clutter and unneeded items that take away from your home’s best features.
Paint. Freshly painted walls and décor in a neutral shade can go a long way to enhance the overall appearance of your home.
Curb Appeal. Take an objective look at your home’s curb appeal and make adjustments as needed.
Odors. If you have pets, make sure to eliminate damage or odor associated with them.
Sellers often have emotional attachments to their homes. It where they’ve lived for many years, or raised their families, or created memorable vacation getaways in. Though you may feel that you are the most qualified to show a buyer your home, we recommend that our sellers not be in their homes while they’re being shown to potential buyers. To ensure the best showing possible, make your home inviting and welcoming by creating mood lighting, adjusting the temperature and adding decorative touches.
#6 NEGOTIATING THE PURCHASE PRICE
Once you receive an offer on your home, our expertise will again be utilized in the art of negotiation. We will will guide you toward arriving at a price that both you and your buyer agree upon. A formal contract—written by the buyer’s agent and signed by the buyer—will be submitted to you for review and
As the seller, you can help facilitate moving the offer to a final sales agreement. Remove any emotion on your side from the negotiating table. If you are truly motivated to sell, allow us to negotiate on your behalf and move things in the right direction, which often means one or more counteroffers. Compromise is vital. You want to arrive at a fair price where all parties are happy.
#7 THE HOME INSPECTION
Once you and the buyer have agreed upon price, you are ready for a formal inspection of your home to detect defects or problems. Typically, a clause in the sales contract states that the offer is contingent upon a home inspection. A home inspection typically takes between 2-4 hours depending upon the size of the home and the number of rooms, features and amenities. Your home will be evaluated from the foundation to the rooftop and will include the functionality of the heating and air conditioning systems, electrical, plumbing and all appliances. The inspector will look at the home’s structure including the foundation, basement, roof, chimney, walls, doors and windows.
A thorough home inspection can also be an excellent pre-sale tool, giving you the opportunity to resolve issues prior to listing your home. A professional home inspection report available to buyers could expedite the receipt of offers as well as decrease the timing of the sale from offer to closing. Known factors made available that relate to the home’s condition could help to make a buyer more comfortable. Because your agent is able to explain how the listing price takes into consideration the estimated cost of any needed repairs or improvements, the negotiation time is typically abbreviated. And finally, since state real estate laws require that homeowners and their agents comply with full disclosure, liability for any defect or withheld facts is less likely to occur.
Inspection companies encourage and welcome your presence at the home inspection. This is the time to ask and share any issues that are of concern to you. In-person explanations will help you to understand the report, which can be fairly complex and lengthy—a thorough home inspection may cover as many as 1000-plus items.
#8 THE CLOSING
The day has arrived for the final step in selling your home—the closing. The closing, also known as the settlement or escrow, in simplest terms is when money is taken in from the buyer and paid out to the seller. The closing can take place in person or by mail and is handled by the real estate company or a title company.
The buyer’s title and mortgage liens are legally recorded in local municipalities. The paperwork, which by this time has been formally reviewed by all involved parties—the buyers and sellers, agents, lenders, attorneys and title companies—details specifics of the sales agreement. In addition the paperwork enables all parties to verify their interests in the transaction.
The sales agreement details the payments and credits that are due to the seller and the payments and dollar amounts due from the buyer. Details include transaction costs such as title and tax searches, and adjustments, if applicable, such as prepaid taxes.
Closing Documents. Your agent will help you with the final documentation needed at the closing of your home.
Mortgage. The mortgage loan is a legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of the debt. The mortgage loan is recorded in public records.
Deed. This legal document conveys title of a property and is recorded in public records. Homeowners’ Insurance Policy. Lenders require a homeowner’s insurance policy, which is a type of property insurance that covers the home. It protects against losses occurring to one’s home and its contents, loss of use or loss of the homeowner’s personal possessions. In addition, it covers liability for accidents that may happen at the home or may be caused by the homeowner at the home. Typically a seller must keep the property insured prior to the closing so that the buyer’s interests are protected. Title Insurance Policy and Certificate of Title. The title search process ensures that the title is clear and stands without judgments, liens or attachments. Once the title is deemed clear and any unpaid taxes, assessments or other issues have been resolved, a title insurance policy will be issued by the title company. The policy insures that the buyer is protected against potential losses that could result from property ownership disputes. A certificate of title will be issued to the lender and to the buyer. Property Tax Bill. A copy of the property tax bill is typically provided to the buyer by the seller. Or, a copy of the tax bill can be requested from the municipality’s government. State or local transfer taxes are payable when title passes from the seller to the buyer.
Water and Sewer Bills. If your home uses municipal water and sewer, proof of payment is often required for the closing.
Utilities Records. Check with your gas, electric or other service provider to find out how they handle requests for final readings and changeovers for the new owners. Each utility provider has different procedures.
Warranties, Service Records and Referrals. Any information that you are able to supply to the buyer about your home will be helpful and appreciated. Copies of home maintenance records or names of people and companies that provided service will assist the buyer immensely should problems arise
down the road. The referral of such service people as a plumber or electrician that is familiar with your home can be helpful, especially if your buyer is new to the area. Surveys and Plot Plans. You will need to provide an up-to-date survey for the closing. Typically a current plot plan is available at the town or city hall for a small fee.
#9 THE MOVE
You will begin to prepare for moving day prior to the closing. The date of possession will be in your sales contract. Make sure to coordinate the date and time of your move with the buyer if the move falls on the same day.
No matter how many times you have done it, moving is never easy, so make sure to plan accordingly. No that you’re familiar with the selling process, review our Recommended Contractors and Vendors to find inspectors, movers, painters, and other professionals that can help you throughout the process of selling your home.