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Jennifer Andrews

Sales Associate

Home Sellers Handbook

The following information and ideas will help you view your property as buyers will see it. Your RE/MAX By The Bay agent is prepared to answer all of your questions and show how effectively he or she can help market your home.

Preparing to Sell

Clean Up, Fix Up & Clear Out
Remember that the actual cash value of your property is the price that someone will pay for it in today’s real estate economy.

Start by asking your RE/MAX By The Bay agent to walk through your entire property with you. Ask for guidance concerning improvements that could be made prior to showing your home to potential buyers. Examine the exterior carefully to ensure that lawns, trees and shrubs are well manicured and look healthy. Add blooming flowers here and there for that little extra color. Keep in mind that buyers will register their first impression as they drive up to your property.

Mentally place yourself in the buyer’s shoes as you enter your home. Do the walls need painting? Are the windows and window coverings clean and bright? Does your carpet need cleaning or replacement? Do all of your kitchen appliances operate properly?

And what about the “unseen” items that a buyer’s inspector may find such as plumbing leaks or drips, slow flowing toilets or sinks, and electrical outlets that don’t work?

Remove everything possible from your closets and storage spaces, even if you have to pack them for moving. Spacious and tidy closets and cupboards are attractive to prospective buyers.

The same is true for each room in the house. Is there too much furniture? Too many personal treasures sitting around? Too many large plants? These items tend to decrease the size of your rooms.

With a little preparation, you may very well increase the value of your property!

Establishing The Asking Price

The Pricing Pyramid
The higher you price your property, the fewer the people who will come to see it. After reviewing sale prices of comparable homes in your area, you’re ready to set a fair asking price for your property. Remember that the money spent upgrading the kitchen and the custom shutters in the den do not necessarily equal a higher asking price than what the market currently entertains.
Buyers can be more sophisticated in comparing properties than sellers because they have no emotional attachments to the properties. After all, it wasn’t their hard-earned dollars that installed the lovely spa in your yard. To a buyer, it’s just a spa.

The bottom lines is, set a higher price and play the waiting game; or set a realistic price and prepare to move!

Estimating Net Proceeds

Based upon the asking price, your RE/MAX By The Bay agent may prepare a “net sheet” for you. This worksheet itemizes costs associated with selling your property and subtracts them from the sale price, thus providing a good estimate of your actual proceeds at the time of closing.

Marketing Your Property 

The Listing Agreement
When you have set your price and are ready to sell, your RE/MAX By The Bay agent will help you complete a Listing Agreement. This agreement authorizes the listing broker to market your property under certain conditions, including but not limited to terms, price, commission and time period of the listing.
When signed by both parties, this Listing Agreement becomes a contract between you and the broker.

The Marketing Process
Your RE/MAX By The Bay agent will now start the wheels in motion to show your home to as many real estate agents and prospective buyers as possible. The single most important place to promote the sale of your property is through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Information about your property will be entered into the MLS computer data bank for immediate access by other agents.
Approximately 60 percent of all buyers come from referrals between brokers and agents. A “For Sale” sign will be displayed upon your property and your RE/MAX By The Bay agent will probably create a listing flier for agents and buyers. At least 20 percent of all buyers come from advertising, signs and other promotional efforts made by your agent. Your RE/MAX By The Bay Professional may ask to hold “open house” at your property in an effort to attract extra attention to your home. Additionally, your property may be promoted in online, on websites, social media networks, and via e-mail newsletters.

Showing Your Home To Buyers

While Your Property is on The Market Keep it neat!
A clean, neat home allows buyers to see the “home” itself when previewing your property. Clutter tends to divert attention away from the most salable features of your home. Dirty dishes and unkempt rooms leave buyers with a negative impression of your property.

Be sure that all pets are securely closed within their cages or pet yards since some buyers have an aversion to animals.

Whether or not you are there when your home is previewed, the sales agent will leave a business card so that your RE/MAX By The Bay agent will be able to make an inquiry about the showing.

When Buyers Come
Avoid participating in the conversation between the agent and the buyer. When real estate professionals arrive with buyers, graciously greet them and excuse yourself. If asked a specific question about your home, answer as briefly as possible and let the agent continue the conversation. Buyers appreciate the comfort of being able to compliment features or verbalize objections without being overheard by the owner. Also, when an open house is scheduled, arrange to be away during that time.

When You Receive An Offer

Presentation, Qualifications & Acceptance
When a buyer signs an offer to purchase your home, your RE/MAX By The Bay agent will present the offer to you in person or via phone, depending upon custom and your availability.

The Written Offer to purchase should include detailed information about the buyer’s offer. Together with your
RE/MAX By The Bay agent , you will review the price, the amount of earnest money deposit, the proposed closing and occupancy date, any contingencies, and the buyer’s ability to qualify for a loan.
If possible, your decision should be made following the presentation. You have three options in responding to the offer:
1. Accept the offer as written
2. Make a “counter offer”
3. Reject the offer

When you and the buyer have agreed to all terms and conditions of the offer, you have both signed the document, and the buyer has been notified of your acceptance, the document becomes a valid sales contract.

Closing The Contract
At the closing or settlement, you and the buyer will each have completed the conditions and met the terms pursuant to your contractual agreement and title to the property will be conveyed to the buyer.
Your RE/MAX By The Bay agent, escrow company, attorney or other settlement assistant will have helped you through the myriad steps of closing, including handling of the many details.

Following the closing, you will receive a final settlement statement for your records that clearly illustrates all fees paid by you to close the contract.