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7 Steps to Sell Your Existing Home Faster!


More often than not, our customers will have an existing house they need to sell in order to comfortably upgrade to their new Cogdill home. To those who find themselves in this situation, we explain that fear of the unknown is the #1 factor that prevents potential homebuyers from purchasing a new home. Your challenge as a homeseller is to remove this fear a potential homebuyer may have regarding your home. The best way to do this is to become an informed and prepared seller by doing the following:

Step 1 – Price to Sell
Step 2 – Inspect It
Step 3 – Provide a Home Warranty
Step 4 – Prepare to Showcase
Step 5 – Create a Facts & Figures Sheet
Step 6 – Assemble Essential Documents
Step 7 – Sell My Home Myself (FSBO) or Use a Realtor®?

Step 1:

Price to Sell:The only truly accurate way to establish the value of your home in today’s market is to rely upon an appraisal done by a professional appraiser. Other sources such as well-meaning friends, real estate agents, lenders or other sources simply do not have the same level of expertise and access to the latest sales data for your area. Such sales data is essential to help you ask for and receive the top dollar purchase price you deserve.

Step 2:

Inspect it: Find a reputable home inspector with practical building experience (not someone who was bagging groceries the week before he received his home inspectors certification) and have your home inspected. Review his findings, correct any deficiencies, note any repairs in the report, and include a copy of any receipts for repairs made. Now you have a bound report in hand showing any potential problems and the repairs made to fix those problems. Keep in mind, buyers may try to negotiate a lower price for unrepaired items, so you are wise to make all repairs before negotiations begin.

Step 3:

Provide a Home Warranty: Yes, home warranties can be provided on homes that are not new construction. A home warranty can be transferred to the new owner and usually cost about $400-$500. A small price to pay to give your potential homebuyer significant piece of mind.

Step 4:

You want your home to be fresh and clean to provide the “curb appeal” potential homebuyers are looking for. Start on the outside of your home:

o Pull plants away from the house
o Weed the flower beds
o Add fresh mulch and sod if needed
o Repair the fence
o Empty the gutters
o Blow leaves and debris off the roof
o Trim trees and large bushes
o Pressure wash the building exterior and driveway

Next move inside your home and:

o Professionally clean the carpets
o Box up and remove clutter
o Clear out closets and especially the garage
o Remove old furnishings
o Clean light fixture globes and replace dead or low wattage light bulbs
o Rent short term self-storage, hold a garage sale a few months in advance or donate to Goodwill to help remove all unnecessary items.
o Determine if you should paint.

Remember, you want the home your showcasing to have an uncluttered, clean look. Present a pleasant and clean environment the buyer can easily imagine themselves living in.

Step 5:

Prepare a Facts & Features Sheet: Create your own facts and figures sheet highlighting everything of interest in your home: Make sure to include:

Interior Features:
o Tile or wood floors
o Living room, Home office, Game room, or Bonus Room
o Garden tub, structured wiring, added insulation
o Appliances, ceiling fans, garage door openers

Exterior Features:
o Fences
o Irrigation system
o Special trees and plants
o Swimming pools and hot tubs

Essential Information:
o Square footages of living/heated areas, garage, porches
o Number of bedrooms, bathrooms, year your home was built
o What items are staying with the home and what is not
o Proximity to shopping centers, schools, fire and police station
o What do you like about the property
o Why you bought it
o Why you are moving
o Your contact information – telephone # and email address

Step 6:

Assemble Essential Documents: the following documents in a binder ready for inspection by your potential homebuyers. Include:

o Your Appraisal
o Home Inspection Report
o Home Warranty Certification
o Latest Property Survey
o Warranty Deed or property deed
o Current Title Policy
o Current Property Tax Statement
o Past utility bills
o Copy of any (HOA) Homeowners Association documents and community deed restrictions
o Pest or termite policies
o Permits for any past remodeling or room additions
o Your Facts & Features sheet

Step 7:

How to Sell - Realtor® or FSBO: : FSBO is an acronym and stands for “For Sale By Owner”. The term "REALTOR®" is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abides by its strict Code of Ethics.

Whether you choose to use the services of a Realtor® or choose to sell your home yourself is a determination you must make on your own. Regardless of whether a Realtor® is used or not, performing steps 1 through 6 above are essential. If you sell without using a realtor, you can hire a closing attorney or closing agent from a title company to complete the transaction once a buyer is found and significantly reduce your cost of sale. However, realtors provide many benefits unobtainable elsewhere. Realtors are trained to locate property, keep up with marketing trends, know the market value of property, know which areas are growing or declining, and how to obtain financing and home mortgages. For many people, scheduling appointments and meeting with a steady stream of potential buyers presents a daunting time management issue. Therefore, they find it is much more convenient to have someone experienced in showing homes perform this task. Also, many people are apprehensive about haggling directly with buyers over sale price. Having a Realtor® positioned between you and your homebuyer to manage negotiations can maintain a comfort zone in a potentially emotionally charged situation.

Follow the above steps, and your home will stand out from the others in the market!


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