If you’ve decided to sell your home, you may have some questions about what to do next. We’ve provided this step-by-step Selling Process section to help guide you through your sale.
Choose a Sales Associate
The highly trained sales associates at Coldwell Banker Burnet provide superior market knowledge and expertise in the home selling process. An effective sales associate will help you prepare your home for sale and guide you through the selling process.
Obtain a Market Analysis
Properties priced appropriately generate optimal exposure and sell in the shortest period of time. To get the most accurate estimate of how much you should list your property for, ask one of our sales associates for a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA takes into account many aspects of your home, including size, features, and overall condition. The sales associate will discuss any aspects of your home that could be modified to enhance its market value.
Setting the Price
Your sales associate will help you determine the best price for your home, considering variables in market value such as general market conditions, buyer activity, and time of year. Incorrect pricing could deprive you of the money and equity your home has earned, while overpricing can result in your home staying on the market longer and selling at a lower sale price.
A Purchase Agreement is a legally binding document whereby the homeowner and buyer agree to terms under which the buyer will acquire the seller’s property.
Who is paying the various expenses of the sale, including closing costs?
Buyers are typically responsible for costs associated with the down payment, loan costs, title fees, home inspections, and any applicable state and county fees. Sellers are generally responsible for expenses associated with transferring clear title, including but not limited to payoffs; title fees; and state and county fees.
What is the closing date?
The closing date is the day when buyers and sellers typically meet to sign pertinent documents authorizing the transfer of title, buyers sign financing documents, and funds are transferred. Prior to the closing date, the lender will have provided the buyer with a “Good Faith Estimate,” giving a close approximation of the buyer’s financial responsibilities at closing.
What is the date of occupancy?
The date of occupancy is agreed to between the buyer and seller during the negotiation process and is included in the purchase agreement.
To enhance the success of selling your home and reduce the chances its new buyer will encounter problems after the sale, you should consider investing in a home warranty. Many times, these problems following the sale are deemed to be the sellers’ responsibility. The Coldwell Banker Home Protection Plan will cover the cost of many repairs or replacement systems to your home while it’s on the market and for a specified time after the close of the sale.
Typically, the buyer will require a home inspection. A professional home inspector will thoroughly search the home for visual defects such as water damage; cracks in the walls, floors or foundation; plumbing leaks; or pest damage. The inspector also will search for hidden flaws such as asbestos insulation, electrical problems, or safety code violations. If the inspection finds areas that need to be repaired, you will negotiate with the buyer how these issues may affect the terms of the agreement.
An appraisal is an estimate of your property’s value on the open market, generally prepared by a lender for their benefit. Appraisers consider a number of factors, including square footage, floor plan, amenities, and energy efficiency, as well as neighborhood quality, a property’s proximity to schools, and landscaping.
The title company prepares legal documents and closing statements; obtains necessary information to transfer clear title to the buyers; and receives and disburses funds. The final stage of the process occurs with the transfer of title from seller to buyer, which has been authorized through the signing of documents at closing.
Documents and Receipts
Once you’ve sold your home, make sure to keep your closing and settlement papers organized. Coldwell Banker Burnet’s new HomeBase system makes it easy and convenient to do just that. HomeBase is a Web-based tool that archives all critical real estate documents in a centralized location. Sales associates, home buyers, home sellers, and vendors including mortgage and title professionals all can access the system from anywhere at any time 24 hours a day to view the transaction documents and communicate and interact with each other.
Also don’t forget to properly store receipts for any home improvements you’ve made in the event that you have to pay capital gains tax.
Releasing the Property to the New Owners
Once the closing has taken place and funds have been dispersed, the buyer has legal ownership of the home. After closing, the title company records pertinent documents to the county. The possession date for the new owner is determined by the terms of the purchase agreement. Prior to possession, you should start contacting the phone, electric, and other utility companies to arrange for the transfer of responsibility for these accounts.
Congratulations! You’ve sold your home!