Theresa Waldo
Agent
Realteam Real Estate Center

Mobile: 208-691-8315
Office: 208-691-8315
Fax: 208-772-7821


Home Seller Guide

When you are ready to sell your house or property, the Experience and Knowledge that a Real Estate Agent can provide, is the most valuable tool you will have. There are some things to consider when you want to sell...

  1. Clean up the Clutter

    Before you call your real estate agent get your house de-cluttered. Some sellers find the word "clutter" used flippantly about their "beloved treasures" to be insulting. However, in order to sell, you need to be able to look at your house through a buyer's eyes. Buyers prefer to see a home with as little of the seller's personality as possible. That way, the buyer can visualize their own clutter in this case beloved treasures in your house, which is soon to be their home.

    As difficult as it sounds, as a seller, you need to get into the mindset that it is not your house any longer, it is just the place you will be staying while it gets sold.

  2. Call a Real Estate Agent and ask for a Comparative Market Analysis

    You may choose to interview a few real estate agents and get a few Comparative Market Analysis' (CMA) based on the most recent sales in your immediate area. You can then compare the results of each analysis and decide which real estate agent you feel would be the best match for you.

    Legal Duties to a Customer
    • Perform necessary and customary acts to assist you in the purchase or sale of real estate;
    • Perform these acts in good faith and with honesty and reasonable care;
    • Properly account for money or other property you place in the licensee’s care;
    • Disclose “adverse material facts” to you which are, or should be, within the licensee's knowledge. These are facts that would significantly affect the desirability or value of the property to a reasonable person and facts that indicate to a reasonable person that on e of the parties cannot, or will not
    Legal Duties to a client
    • All the duties to a customer;
    • Perform the terms of your agency agreement with skill and care;
    • Promote your best interests in good faith, honesty, and fair dealing
    • Maintain the confidentiality of some client information, including bargaining information, even after the representation has ended.
  3. React to the type of Market you are in (right now it is a Buyer's Market
    PRICE IT RIGHT

    A good realtor will only accept your listing if they believe they can sell it. In a buyer's market, it is a BIG mistake to list a property too high. If you are adamant about listing it high to "test the market" keep in mind that the real estate agent(s) that provide you with a CMA used factual data to arrive at the numbers they give to you. CMA can also be translated as Competitive Market Analysis.

    Buyer's are smart - they have their own real estate agent giving them the information about what is available and what price their future home should be. There are so many houses for sale that buyer's weed out the overpriced ones and simply use the Principle of Substitution - that means if there are 5 houses in a neighborhood, and 4 of them are $30,000 more than the last 1 - if they all have the same bedrooms and baths, even if they need painting and carpet, a buyer will substitute a house that is slightly better to save $30,000. They will not just offer $30,000 less on one of the higher priced houses. They just won't look at them. There are too many houses on the Multiple Listing Service MLS.

    If you price the house too high, you end up chasing the market down. You don't have to price with a huge cushion for negotiations. Just don't accept an offer that is unacceptable. It is better to have many showings at the right price to spur interest than to price it out of the buyer pool you are trying to attract.

  4. Staging

    Ask your real estate professional about staging. Your real estate agent can recommend a staging company to get your house ready for selling. Staging can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars for a simple light clean up and re-arranging of furniture to several thousand for thorough cleaning and furniture rental for the term of the listing agreement.

    Staging will not make your house sell for more than the market value - but it will get it sold sooner than homes that are not staged and otherwise the same as yours.

    It is a good idea to pack up the items you won't be needing while in the process of selling your house. Put it in storage. You will be glad you did.

  5. Pre-Sale Home Inspection Certification

    Some Inspection companies will offer a Pre-Sale Home Certification. The seller has a home inspection before listing the property for sale. The inspector goes over the areas of concern. If the seller corrects the issues the inspector pointed out, then the inspector will certify the house. This is a valuable tool in a buyer's market. All else being equal, a buyer is apt to choose the house with the Pre-Sale Home Inspection.

  6. Sign the Listing Paperwork

    Once your house is clean, certified, and staged, the real estate agent you selected will have you sign an Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement and a Seller's Property Condition Disclosure. Make sure you disclose any adverse material defects. It is much better to let people know the issues you know about before they write an offer, than to have to terminate the deal because they found out something that could have been disclosed.

    That will make you a client and your real estate agent will begin the process to get your home sold.

  7. Keep the house clean and free of clutter and ready for showings

    Sometimes an agent will call to show your house right after they have left another house down the street and saw your sign.

    Every morning, make the beds. Pick up clothes and towels that may have fallen on the floor. Put dishes in the dishwasher after every meal so you don't have to do a speed cleaning on a moment's notice.

  8. Leave the house during showings (weather permitting)

    Buyer's are usually pretty polite and would not want to hurt your feelings. But they are there for one purpose. That is to see if your house can be their home. It makes many buyers uncomfortable when the seller is present for the showings. The buyer feels obligated to talk or be friendly. It takes their mind off seeing your house.

    If you are at the house, the buyer will not feel comfortable sharing objections with their real estate agent. A good real estate agent can answer to objections with solutions when the buyer brings them up. No matter how good a real estate agent is, not many of them read minds

    If the weather causes you to stay at the house during a showing, refrain from following the buyer and their agent around. Explain the reason that you will be staying when they enter your house. In the same breath, let them know you will stay out of their way and to take as long as they like. Tell them you have a t.v. show to catch up on, or a quilt to sew. Just keep busy in one place and don't offer to answer questions. If they have a question they will ask.

  9. Once an offer is received

    Your real estate agent will keep in contact with you throughout the listing process, and then when an offer comes in, your agent will notify you and go over the offer with you. Your real estate agent will make sure you understand the contract. If you don't understand the legally binding contract, your real estate agent will suggest you speak with an attorney to understand that you will be bound by the terms of the written contract once you sign.

    Your agent will discuss the terms offered, and your options. You will have the option to either Accept, Not Accept, or Counter Offer (that means accepting the offer subject to a few changes that you stipulate). If you decide to ACCEPT the offer as written with NO changes, then the offer becomes binding upon the parties. If you choose to NOT ACCEPT, then the offer is no longer valid, and the only way to get back with that buyer is if THAT buyer decides they want to write a new offer. If you Counter Offer, then you are Not Accepting the contract the way it was written. However, you are attached a counter offer form that says "all the other terms are o.k., except for..." The buyer then has the option to Accept, Not Accept, or Counter Offer. Until all parties are in total agreement of all terms, there is no contract and the seller may receive and accept other offers from other buyers.

  10. Escrow

    Your agent will make sure that escrow is opened. It will have to be at the location of the buyer's choice. Your real estate agent will be helping to make sure all deadlines are met and the transaction runs smoothly. When slight issues arise, you agent will determine the best to way to handle them without alarming you. Your real estate agent will use their experience and expertise to make sure the transaction comes to a successful close.

    In the event of problems, your real estate agent will do what is in your best interest acting in good faith and fair dealing to accommodate a successful transaction.

  11. Final Walkthrough and Giving Possession to the Buyer

    Anytime between 1 and 5 days before the close of escrow, your buyer will need one last look at the house to make sure it is in substantially condition as when the buyer wrote their offer. The included items from the purchase and sale agreement must remain in place. Basically, if you need a screwdriver to remove something from a wall, the you need to leave that item - it is an attached item that is real property. It is also customary to leave all warranty information and instruction booklets for any appliances remaining with the property.

    After the buyer has completed the walkthrough and signed off, it is time for everyone to sign documents at the title company. The title company (or closing attorney if desired by buyer) will have an accounting of all the costs to the buyer and the seller and will show a settlement statement showing what each party is to bring or receive back at the closing table. Bring your extra keys and garage door remote controls, or leave them on the kitchen counter.

    Some lenders allow for "table funding" which simply means the day the buyer and seller sign the documents is the same day the lender gives money to pay off the old debt. Once all the debt can be paid, the sale can be recorded and all funds will be disbursed. When the sale does record, the title company will let your realtor know it is finished. Your Real Estate Agent will call to let you know the sale is complete and it is time for you to buy a house.

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Realteam Real Estate Center
1620 Northwest Blvd, Suite 101
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814
Office:208-665-5958
Fax: 208-667-0292

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