The Process of Selling

Steps to Selling Your Home

1. Engage a Realtor

a. Get a Referral

If possible use a preferred Realtor. This is also the case when departing an area, as Realtors have contacts throughout the country.

b. Compare and Contrast

If you are planning to interview multiple Realtors, it is highly recommended that you consider choosing the one who listens to you and also takes into account your various requirements. Don’t be seduced by the high-end, smooth operator. You will very likely be passed off to their assistant and will have little to no contact with them moving forward. You and your realtor will be having numerous conversations, and generally spending a significant amount of time in person and/or on the phone, so make sure you genuinely like your realtor!

2. Price Your Home

a. Take into account:

i. Home condition and desirability
ii. Your competition
iii. How busy the market is
iv. Your timeframe

b. Do not take into account:

i. What you paid for the home
ii. What your neighbor received in another timeframe
iii. What your friends/colleagues tell you what the worth is.
iv. What you need to receive to meet your financial requirements.

3. Preparing Your Home For Sale

Staging makes an impact! We'll arrange a staging consultation with our professional stager.  We've found that our staged homes sell faster and for higher prices than non-stages homes. Not every house will require staging, but most of our clients find it helpful. Here are some helpful tips from our photographer:
  1. Make it Sparkle: We can’t stress this one enough! It is imperative that you clean the home from top to bottom before a photoshoot, or hire a cleaning service to get down and dirty for you.

  2. Declutter: When it comes to photos, less is more. This means clearing off countertops, shelves and paper-filled desks need a new home. This includes small kitchen appliances, toys, pet items, and paper materials. Even when organized, too much “stuff” can look messy.

  3. Bye Bye Trash Cans: Indoor and outdoor trash cans must remain hidden!

  4. Toilet Seats Down: We hope this would be a given, but just in case, lids down!

  5. Fix Those Shades: We’re talking window shades and lamp shades. These are two quick fixes that make a world of difference.

    1. Pull up those blinds and show us the light! The more natural lighting the better. Unless you don’t want to show a specific view, then try opening the slats on the blinds to let light in but not the view.

    2. Straighten the lampshades. Nothing makes a picture feel more off-kilter than a crooked lampshade. It's an easy fix that makes a world of difference, so do it!

  6. Feng Shui: If it hasn’t been done already, arrange the furniture in a way that maximizes space and makes it feel easy and natural to move through the room.

  7. Hide Personal Items: As much as your homeowners feel they are a part of the home, you need to allow potential buyers the opportunity to imagine themselves living there. Before a shoot, it’s best to hide away personal pieces like family photos. On this note, places where personal items are stored (ie. Garages, laundry rooms, closets), no matter how tidy, are best seen in person rather than in photos. We recommend leaving these areas out.

  8. The Devil’s in The Details: Look at the rooms through a magnifying lens- now is the time to check for things like cracks, holes in the wall, minor structural damage, or tile grime.

  9. Create a Welcoming Environment: Imagine that you’re setting up to host a party. Tend to the lawn and garden, clean the pool, create a seasonal arrangement at the front door. Add fresh flowers to the kitchen, family room, and other key areas. An inviting space makes for an awesome photoshoot.

  10. Highlight Best Features: Show off the major selling points by making them the focus of a room, whether that means rearranging furniture, doing some extra cleaning, or adding a little something like flowers or a plant to make it pop- it’s up to you!

4. Install a For Sale Sign in Your Yard and Lockbox on Your Door

a. Placement is key

I'll be sure to place your sign in a location which is visible from multiple directions.

b. Easy access

Always be ready to show!

5. Begin Showings

a. Flexibility is of utmost importance

Be flexible and willing to accommodate short notice showings should they arise.

b. Home-owner free zone

Don’t be there for appointments as buyers feel more relaxed and receptive without you hovering to “help”.

c. Stay tidy and clean

Whenever you leave the house, assume someone will show it in your absence. No dirty dishes or laundry left out.

d. Evaluate Feedback

I will provide feedback after each showing so you can react quickly to trends in comments.

e. Provide context to the home

If you are showing in an off-season consider placing photos of the landscaping to provide a more understandable perspective of what the home truly feels like in-season.

6. Negotiating the Offer

a. Be open to negotiation

The best offer may not actually be the highest offer monetarily. Secure financing and a short closing term can often outweigh a small monetary gain.

b. Don’t be put off by a low offer

Some buyers feel obligated to try and get a “deal” but will still end up where you need them to be in pricing. This is just the start of the dialogue.

c. Get the deposit

The buyer will provide a deposit with their offer. This is called “good faith monies.” These monies are held in an escrow account by your Realtor’s office. It will go towards the final purchase price if the negotiations are successful.

7. Engaging an Attorney

a. Get expert help

This is often the largest transaction of a person’s life. Keep in mind that “we don’t know what we don’t know.” You are paying a professional to insure against those rare but costly complications.

8. Conducting a Home Inspection

a. Disagreement?

If you don’t agree with a major finding when presented to you by the buyer’s Realtor, (with the relevant Home Inspection report pages) then get an independent opinion.

b. Be accommodating

If the requests are not unrealistic, try to be accommodating. There may be several small items mentioned (such as leaky faucet, noisy bathroom fan) that could be easily rectified by you. It doesn’t mean you are being taken advantage of, just seeing the big picture.

9. Signing the Purchase and Sale

a. Inspection Findings Declared

This will include any findings from the inspection that are to be dealt with prior to the closing.

b. Deposit Fulfillment

The buyer will put down the remainder of their deposit. It is generally 5% of the purchase price minus the initial “good faith“ offering  that came with the offer. Again, it will be put in the escrow account.

10. Organizing Your Move

a. Get a referral

Again, ask me for a referral. Make sure all quotes are detailed so that you can compare companies based on the services they offer.

11. Informing Utility Companies

a. Inform utility companies

You generally have to inform your utility companies of your leaving before the buyers can engage them to take over your service.

b. Inform buyer

Let the buyers know who you use (as long as you are satisfied with their service) in case they want to carry on the relationship.

c. Fill your tank

If you use oil then get a delivery to fill in the tank prior to leaving so that the buyers can pay you at the closing. Take along the bill that the company left so that the amount is clear.

12. Leaving the House “Broom Clean”

a. Please be sweet and make it neat

This is not a high level to achieve, so to surpass it is a kind thing to do. No one wants to have to clean a home before they feel it is acceptable to unpack.

b. “Pay it forward”

Leave all instruction books and manuals you may have for appliances, etc. They will be no good to you and invaluable to the new homeowner.

c. Don’t forget any personal items

Don’t forget to check the attic and any crawl spaces for remaining personal items.

13. The Closing

a. Take your sets of keys (including mailbox keys) with you when you go to sign your paperwork

b. It’s time to move on …Congratulations!!!

Timeline for Selling Your Home

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With Mathieu Newton Sotheby's International Realty’s exceptional marketing resources, The Hallmark Team is able to offer "million-dollar marketing" for all of their listings. Their goal is to make your home buying or selling experience as pleasant and stress-free as possible.

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