If you are contemplating a move, knowing what to do and when to do it, can be the difference in a fast smooth sale for the best price, or one exactly the opposite. Following is a brief overview of the steps involved in the selling process. They are discussed in more detail later in the handbook, or in-depth with your listing agent.
THE DECISION TO SELL AND SELECTING YOUR AGENT
Once you have made the decision to sell, here’s what you do first:
Find the right real estate agent to market and sell your property. To do this you should not be misled into thinking that all agents are alike, and that the only important criteria for agent selection is the price they agree to place on your property, and the amount of commission charged. You have the right to much more, and you should expect the best from your agent. To get this kind of service, you can’t be afraid to establish criteria. There are 18 essential questions you should ask, and a list of agent responsibilities that you should know about. These should form the basis of your decision. The decisive factor should be the feeling that your priorities and your interests will become the agent’s own.
Once you have decided on your listing agent and your property is on the market, the next item on the agenda is getting assistance on your new move.
If yours is an out of town or out of state move, request that your agent provide you with assistance in your destination city. Have him/her notify their Relocation Department, who will locate a prominent company in that city. With information obtained from you, they will find an agent who works in that area and give them the referral.
If you are moving within the same area, the agent who helps you in the sale of this home can also show you homes in the area you want. There is an advantage here because that agent knows what you will net from this home and also knows more about what your needs are.
WHAT YOU CAN DO BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT AND WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
Before the agent arrives at your home to review the marketing of your home, be prepared. Gather together the warranty deed, warranties on appliances, mortgage payment book, tax bills, assessments, community fees, restrictive covenants, or any other guarantee or legal document about the home. It not only saves you time, but also makes you aware beforehand of the different charges and obligations which are now on the home. Warranties and guarantees on recent work repaired or completed on the home may also raise the home’s value in the eyes of the buyer.
After the agent arrives, take him/her on a tour. Show the agent the special features that you have enjoyed about the home, and benefits, which originally attracted you to the home. Features, which helped you to make a decision to originally buy the home, will probably be similar to the ones, which may attract the next buyer. The agent can use all of this information, not only under remarks in the multiple listing computer print out to cooperating realtors, but also in any written ads on the home. Tell the agent about the neighborhood, the ages of children around the area, the closest shopping, schools and other features that may not be readily visible. This neighborhood information might be the important factor which sells the home. Since the right location is always at the top of a buyer’s list of wants, you want to tell the agent the lists of reasons why this location is a good one.
PROTECTING YOURSELF THROUGH PROPER DISCLOSURE
There are 2 areas where proper disclosure is paramount in protecting your interest in the sale of your property. One involves the agency relationship between you and the company, and agent you engage. The second involves the disclosures you and your agent are required to make, regarding the condition of your property.
Agency Relationships. BRRETA requires that real estate companies disclose to a seller (and to buyers).