Even if you’ve bought or sold a home before, this process can still be daunting. Let’s look at the many steps involved in selling a home and see how a real estate professional works to tie them all together.
Step 1: List your property with a real estate professional. Select someone who’s knowledgeable, listens carefully to identify your needs, and with whom you feel comfortable.
Step 2: Discuss how the real estate professional can assist you in finding your new home. If you have not identified a property to purchase, you’ll want to work with someone with an in-depth knowledge of the area to guide you.
Step 3: Establish price and time frame. Your listing agent will prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA), which compares your home with similar homes in the area that are currently listed, in contract or have sold within the last six months. Supply and demand, craftsmanship, amenities, condition and any special circumstances can also impact price. For instance, a relocation might necessitate a quick sale.
Step 4: Develop and implement a marketing strategy. It’s important to develop a plan that will expose your home to as many buyers as possible. This usually includes scheduling open houses, advertising in local newspapers and magazines and on the Internet, preparing property brochures, registering with a multiple listing service, exposing the listing to brokers’ and referral networks and installing a lawn sign.
Step 5: An offer is submitted. A buyer will make an offer through his agent. The buyer’s agent will present the offer to your representative, who will promptly relay it to you and help you evaluate it.
Step 6: The negotiation process begins and eventually an offer is accepted. The process of offer and counter-offer may go on until parties arrive at an acceptable contract. This step can go very quickly or take days, even weeks.
Step 7: Buyers submit a loan application and home inspections are scheduled. Most often, the loan approval is contingent upon a satisfactory appraisal and various inspections.
Step 8: The loan is approved. All parties breathe a sigh of relief and begin preparations for moving.
Step 9: The listing agent coordinates all activities required for closing. Your agent will funnel all the closing documents to the escrow agent. Papers include the deed, mortgage, numerous tax receipts, a Certificate of Occupancy and other documents. A final walk-through will also be scheduled.
Step 10: Finalize and close transaction. What you call this final real estate transaction depends on where you live and if the parties gather for the proceedings. The term settlement applies when a meeting takes place. In colloquial terms, many people refer to this as the closing. On the other hand, closing of escrow occurs without a meeting. When the escrow agent receives the paperwork and the funds pertaining to the sale of the property, the escrow is closed.