Many people wait until well into the process to find the right agent and employ their services. A qualified agent should be selected at the very beginning of your search to get the most value from their knowledge about the process. From advice on the home inspection process and what repairs and upgrades to make, to marketing strategies and negotiating a contract, an experienced and qualified broker will be invaluable.
There are few things worse than getting a buyer for your home only to have it fall apart because of the cost or shock of repairs both sides did not expect! Getting a home inspection early can minimize most of that concern and leave the due diligence process much smoother once you do find a buyer. It can also be a marketing tool to be able to advertise a clean home inspection report. Remember one thing though, once you get this report you are obligated to either repair the deficient items or disclose them to all who see your home!
Once you have the home inspection report you and your broker should sit down and decide how to address these items as well as what options you should consider to upgrade your home and increase the likelihood of a faster sale for more money. Obviously the repairs should always be made when possible, but many times the home also needs maintenance, painting and upgrades to give it the best chance to sell for a price that will be MORE than the cost of said repairs! Staging the home is like un-decorating! You want the home to be open, bright, uncluttered and appeal to the most possible number of buyers. Time to pack up the roosters, fake plants and rose speckled window coverings and work with your broker to professionally stage the home!
Whether you will be finding a new home locally or somewhere else, the time to make an exit plan is BEFORE you get an offer. You may not be able to secure a home to purchase in the time allowed between offer and closing of you current home. Do not let this be a reason to keep you from making that sale happen! Have a plan “just in case” for a short term move to accomplish your goal of selling. Though an inconvenience to move twice, having your current home sold is the best insurance that you will be able to find your next home. Your broker will be able to help you identify the many options there are for short term moves!
Once all of the previous have been accomplished, it is time to list your current home with its best foot forward! Remember it is not easy to keep the home spotless and staged, but it is the best way to insure you get the most for your largest asset!
Once an offer comes in, it is time to get to work. Sometimes this means considering an offer well below asking price to suit your situation. Other times, the situation may get you an offer above asking price. Each contract negotiation is unique to the situation of the buyer, the seller and the market.
Finally you have made it! Time to sign documents and move out. There are many last minute details such as arranging movers, turning off utilities that were in your name, getting money to and from the attorney and so much more. Your broker will help guide you patiently through this complex process!