From our first meeting to moving into your new place, here are the steps you take when selling your home.
Presentation is important.
I'm happy to offer you a complimentary market analysis on your property.
I’ll come to your home- I want to see all the details of your home and what you love most about it. This initial meeting is the best opportunity for you to ask me any questions you may have and for me to learn more about you and your property.
After our initial meeting, I will find properties that have similar characteristics to your home that have sold recently. I will use these properties to create a comparative market analysis (or CMA) for your home to price it appropriately. We will schedule a follow up meeting at my office to discuss pricing and marketing. If you decide to list your home with me, we will go over listing paperwork.
One we have a listing date in mind, it is time to get your home ready to sell (if you haven't done so already). This means decluttering and making the home as show worthy as possible for potential buyers. I will have a professional photographer come to your home and if it is vacant, we can stage it as well.
Once the home is ready, it will be listed on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) where every real estate agent in Gallatin County can view it. It will also be syndicated to Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and many other websites. I will put a sign and a lockbox on the property so other agents can access it for showings. It will be marketed online and in print media. I will contact you on a regular basis (that we have predetermined) to schedule and discuss showings as well as any feedback potential buyers have given.
I will navigate you through any offers and you can choose to accept, counter or reject them.
The buyers will deliver an earnest money check to the Title Company and open escrow. From there, they will schedule a home inspection (and any other inspections they have included in the contract). After the inspection walk-through, they will submit an Inspection Notice to us, stating any concerns or repairs they would like corrected on the property. Just like the offer process, you can choose to agree, negotiate or reject their requests.
Once everyone agrees on the items in the inspection notice, repairs will need to be made prior to closing and proof of repairs provided to the buyers. If the buyer is financing the sale, their lender will order an appraisal for the home. In order to close, all the contingencies in the contract must be released by the dates stated.
You will need to schedule service cancellations with any utility companies you have. Plan on ending service on the day of closing. (Northwestern Energy, Trash Services, Water Company, Cable, etc.)
In most cases, the buyers will be moving into the home after the deed has recorded on the day of closing. Before closing day, your things must be removed from the home so the buyers can do a final walk-through. They will make sure all the agreed upon items have been taken care of and that the property is in the condition that was agreed to. Leave any keys to the property with your agent.
A few days prior to closing, you will receive a Settlement Statement from the Title Company. Review the numbers and make sure it looks correct. If you have any questions, the Title Company can answer them. On the day of closing, be sure to bring your driver’s license with you to the Title Company. After you and the buyers have signed, the deed will be recorded at the courthouse and the transaction is complete.
I'm sure your home means a lot to you- but once you plan on selling it, your home needs to appeal to the future owners. Pack up the things that will distract the potential buyers- extra photos on the walls, the clutter on your kitchen counter, etc.
Sweep the sidewalk to your front door, power wash the driveway and siding if it needs it, mow the lawn.
You want people to feel welcomed before they even step inside. Whether it be a new doormat, flowers on the porch or even just washing the windows, even small improvements can make a big difference.
When it comes to paint colors, neutral is best when trying to sell your home. The common areas are most important- kitchen, living and dining, so start there. If every room in the house is neutral but one of the bedrooms is lime green, it might be a good idea to paint it.
Touch up the paint if it needs it, replace the broken piece of siding, swap out the light bulbs that burnt out, replace the leaky faucet, tighten the loose door handle. If you don't do it now, it is likely to show up on the inspection report anyway, so you might as well do it beforehand.
The cleaner, the better. A clean house is the first sign of a home that has been taken care of. Vacuum and mop the floors, scrub the bathroom, wash the windows, polish the stainless appliances, clean the garage, organize the pantry. Make it spotless.
You don't necessarily have to add good smells, just make sure you get rid of any bad ones. Have an honest third party give you their opinion. Masking the wet dog or kitchen trash smell doesn't make them go away- you can't just light a candle and call it good. Clean your carpets, take out the trash- whatever it takes.
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