Thursday, September 25, 2014

Real Estate 101: Ways to Shorten the Selling Process

Since my job is helping people buy and sell real estate, I thought it would be fun to do a Real Estate 101 for people who maybe don't have a lot of knowledge about the buying and selling process. I will probably post something once a month, or about that, that covers some basics to the home buying and selling process. 

Five Ways to Shorten the Selling Process

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, your top priorities should be developing a selling strategy that attracts offers and a plan for overcoming the hurdles that can delay your sale.

Here are five tips to smooth out potential bumps in the road before you even hit them and to make sure your transaction finishes as fast as possible.

1. Trust Your Agent
Hiring an experienced real estate agent will make the selling process a lot smoother. Your agent is your best source of advice to position your home favorable against the competition because they get nothing until your house is sold.
Tap into their insight on:
  • Showing prep tips for attracting potential buyers
  • Contractor referrals for sprucing up your property without breaking your budget
  • Common expectations and restrictions to save time and energy during negotiation

2. Outwit the competition with incentives
With other houses nearby or in the same price range for sale, it helps to sweeten the pot for a buyer who’s on the fence.

Throw in those floor to ceiling bookcases, custom window coverings or a flat panel TV. Talk with your agent about the best incentives to offer in your area and come up with a way to publicize then on all of your home’s marketing materials.

3. Resist the temptation to hover
Resist the temptation to hang around and “help” potential buyers during their visit.

This interferes with an agent’s job and makes it harder for buyers to imagine owning and living in the house.

4. Expect to negotiate
Offers and counter-offers keep your potential sale alive. Negotiations are less stressful when you decide in advance how low you’re willing to go early.

Ultimately, you decide what to accept, but talk to your agent early about your expectations and stay open to his or her advice on what price is best in today’s market.

5. Cement the deal with back up offers and research
Your house is yours until you give a buyer the keys. So, do the research and prep with a plan “B” in case something goes awry with your primary offer.

Step 1: Let your agent know you want to accept backup offers and make sure your sales contract has provisions for buyer’s remorse.

Step 2: As your closing approaches, keep track of the buyer’s progress with mortgage funding.

Step 3: Double check things that can delay or stall your closing—the title search, major systems breakdowns, inspections and missing documents

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