Selling Your Home For The Highest Possible Price

By KFP LLC (8 months ago)

How To Sell Your Home For The Highest Possible Price:

When selling your home, there are many aspects to take into account, and the San Diego Home Company has categorized every one for you.  If you are looking to do a For Sale By Owner (FSBO), or just want a great resource for finding out the best vendors and marketing for your home, we've categorized everything right here, just for you.  Please read through our expert analysis, and utilize the tools and vendors to make the home selling process as lucrative as possible.  If you have any questions, or need anything, we're always here to help, and our Facebook Page has additional insights and Live Video on what we do to sell homes for record setting values! www.Facebook.com/SanDiegoHomeCo

A great article from The Washington Post on Getting Top Dollar For Your Home:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/where-we-live/wp/2016/06/21/how-to-get-top-dollar-for-your-home/


Fixer Up First:

The way a home looks to potential buyers is by far the biggest factor in how quickly, and at what price, a home sells for.  We've all seen the "Fixer-Upper" that languishes on the market for months, and receives offers for far below market value, even if the fixes are minor (paint and carpet).  The difference between how much a home sells for, and thousands (or tens of thousands) in lost value may be as easy as a few minor fixups.

Typically all homes need some type of fixup.  There may be the minor touch-up painting and clutter removal, but there also may be major fixups that are needed, such as termite, plumbing, electrical, roof, and foundation work.  These repairs can be hundreds of dollars, or hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The best way to determine if a home needs major repairs is by ordering a Professional Home Inspection.  Home inspections reveal minor issues, and major repairs, and it's always better to know what is needed prior to putting your home on the market.  At San Diego Home Company, we always provide a thorough inspection included with every home that we list for sale, and we know exactly what is needed, and how to handle it prior to receiving any offers, only to find out that major costs must be incurred.  San Diego Home Company also employs licensed contractors that can fix anything, and it doesn't cost the homeowner any out-of-pocket expense, as the cost can be paid at the close of the sale.

A great list of Professional Home Inspectors: http://www.creia.org/find-an-inspector_

 

Staging:

There's never a second chance to make a first impression, and Staging is what creates the ideal first impression. There's a reason why NY City Homeowners pay upwards of $10,000 to stage their apartments in preparation for a multi-million-dollar sale: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/24/realestate/home-staging-new-york.html

When looking for great advice, the folks at Houzz have prepared a 21 Staging Tips advice for the average home seller: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2661221/list/sell-your-home-fast-21-staging-tips

Staging Companies in San Diego: https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=homestaging&find_loc=San+Diego%2C+CA

 

Landscaping:

Great landscaping makes you want to see what's inside the house. Known to many as "Curb Appeal", the best front yard and entry can make the difference between a potential home buyer getting excited to see your home, or wondering how much yardwork is going to be needed to make the lawn green and trim back the shrubs.  As HGTV reports, here are 10 Landscaping Tips That Can Sell Your Home: http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/landscaping-tips-that-can-help-sell-your-home

Landscaping Companies in San Diego: http://www.homeadvisor.com/c.Landscaping.San_Diego.CA.-12046.html

 

Professional Photos:

Everyone with an iPhone is a photographer, but only trained professionals understand the angles and lighting that make a home look it's best. Tricks of the pros include filters to create a sunny environment, even on a cloudy day, so that a more desirable feeling is conveyed to a potential buyer.  A wide-angle lens gives the appearance of spaciousness, and shows off more of a room in a single shot.  Aerial photos utilizing drones have become the norm, and really attract the attention of buyers who want to see the entire home, neighborhood, and community.

 

HD Video Tours:

All real estate websites and portals showcase those homes with spectacular HD Video. Some search engines give top rankings only to homes that provide a video tour.  When planning, shooting, editing, and releasing video content to the world, it better make your home look incredible, and hide all of the potential problems that buyers do not want to see.  There should be a neighborhood portion that provides an overview of the community and the reasons why a buyer would want to live in that area.  If there is a view, pool, school, or shopping area, a professional video tour will capture those elements and highlight them.  HD Video Tours allow out-of-town buyers to walk-through your home and potentially make an offer without ever having to see the home in person.  The right video can become a beautiful marketing piece and be seen by thousands of potential buyers all over the world.

 

3D Virtual Tour:

As virtual realty become more mainstream, companies such as https://matterport.com create immersive environments that buyers can visualize before ever stepping into the home.  This feature has gained huge momentum over the past several years, and now has become expected as a tool to let buyers walk-through and preview a home while sitting in the privacy of their own living room.  If you have not seen this technology yet, take a look at what you are missing... https://matterport.com/3d-space/1886-cafe-bakery-driskill/

 

Marketing:

How do you get the most potential buyers to see your home, know who to contact to setup an appointment, and how to put in an offer?  Getting your home on all of the real estate portals is a must, as you never know which website will yield the right buyer for your home.  Portals such as Zillow, Realtor.com, and many others get 50+ million users each month.  Showcasing your home digitally creates the most buyer engagement, and ultimately the most offers.

But, you should not neglect the traditional channels such as friends, neighbors, and the community who many times provide word-of-mouth referrals to buyers looking in the area.  Churches, schools, and hubs of employment also can be great sources of buyers.  Creating signs, flyers, and other forms of marketing can increase engagement and buyer activity.

Here are 50 ways to market your home to potential buyers: http://fitsmallbusiness.com/real-estate-marketing-ideas/

 

Facebook:

By far and away the largest social media site available, Facebook is the best choice to get your home in front of a targeted audience of home buyers that are looking to purchase in a particular neighborhood.  Facebook marketing and advertising is the key feature that San Diego Home Company uses to get in front of 10,000+ home buyers: https://www.facebook.com/sandiegohomeco/

https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-advertise-on-facebook/

 

Instagram:

Why is Instagram such a successful source of marketing for real estate?  It's all about the photos and video!  If you have amazing photos, HD video, and a 3D tour, then Instagram can get them in front of millions of people, including those looking to buy a home in your neighborhood.  Facebook now owns Instagram, so the marketing and advertising are all based on the same platform.  Why not target potential home buyers and show them your home through this great marketing platform.

https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1649590841944352

 

Craigslist:

One of the highest volume websites in the world, Craigslist gets millions of unique visitors each day, and they are almost all looking to buy something... It's free to post ads, and many pieces of real estate have been sold with a simple ad, some photos, and a phone number.

http://sandiego.craigslist.org

 

Neighborhood Open House:

Is there any doubt that people who live in your neighborhood are the best resource to find other people that may want to live in your neighborhood.  Have all of your neighbors over to privately preview your home, and they may know that special someone who has been looking to buy a home in the area.  At San Diego Home Company, we always door knock your 200 closest neighbors, invite them over for a private event, provide catering and beverages to increase the turn out, and discuss potential buyers.  It's a great idea to include your neighbors, as it's in their best interest to see your home sold for the highest possible price, and thus increase their home's value.

http://fitsmallbusiness.com/open-house-ideas/

 

Mega Open House:

There is only one type of Open House you should do, and that's the kind that yields the most potential buyers and agents to see your home – a Mega Open House.  While some people put out a few yard signs and hopefully get a few lookie-loos into the house, the proper way to drive people is through targeted advertising, craigslist, evite, meetup, and social media, and of course a few hundred directional signs that point buyers directly to the front door, with flags and balloons to mark the spot.  When you get 200+ potential home buyers to the door, the chances of receiving multiple offers is very high.

http://fitsmallbusiness.com/open-house-ideas/

 

Multiple Listings Service (MLS):

The main source of properties for sale in any area of the United States, the MLS is the go-to resource for all Realtors.  There are both public and private portions to all listings, and you don't need to be a real estate agent in order to get your home into the MLS.  There are some good listings, and a lot of sub-par listings.  Having a professional create, review, and submit your home's information into the MLS is a necessity if you want the correct information presented, as almost all MLS information is syndicated to search portals throughout the world.  By having incorrect or incomplete data, including misspelled words or grammar errors, your property to be missed or not even seen by potential buyers who search on key criteria.  Also, you must determine if you are going to offer a commission to real estate agents that present an offer on your home, and how much to offer in order to set yourself apart from the competition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_listing_service

 

Follow Up:

How do potential buyers contact you – email, text, call, open house?  How do you pre-qualify potential buyers to find out if they qualify to purchase your home?  When someone does show interest, how do you contact them to request that they submit an offer?  These are some of the questions to answer before listing your home for sale.  The devil is in the details when it comes to following up with buyers and real estate agents, and you don't want to lose a potential buyer because you had no way to contact them.  Whatever system you choose to follow up with potential buyers, make sure that you can contact all interested parties.

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/29444/4-Essential-Steps-to-Sales-Lead-Follow-Up.aspx#sm.001nx4dqq168sfgqr2e14y0qrqoky

 

Showing Suite:

Scheduling showings for your home is essential, as real estate agents and buyers will want to know when they can see the home.  In order to cater to the widest audience of potential buyers, you will want to have your home available most days and weekends.  There are tools to help with scheduling, and http://www.showingsuite.com is one of the top choices.  You will need to have a way for potential buyers to access the house, such as a lockbox, or a person that can open the house for real estate agents and buyers.  Make sure that you account for your personal security whenever a stranger asks to view your home by requiring their real estate license number and a copy of their state issued identification.  Buyers are often only available at specific times or days, and it's sometimes difficult to schedule viewings that work for all parties involved.

 

Contract Negotiations:

When a buyer submits a purchase agreement on your home, how do you respond?  Most states have a standard residential real estate contract that is comprised of 8-12 pages.  The price, terms, and closing costs are all negotiated after the initial offer is received.  It is essential to understand the terms of the contract and be advised by an attorney or broker on how to best respond.  You can accept the offer and proceed to escrow, or you can counter the offer and attempt to increase the price or terms or both.  Become familiar with the purchase agreement and the terms: http://www.car.org/3550/pdf/283726/396788/809175/RPA_11-14_Draft11(Web_Post).pdf

Counter Offer: http://start2finishtransactions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Seller_Counter_Offer.pdf

 

Broker / Attorney Review:

Reviewing the purchase agreement and responding to it can make or break a sale.  At San Diego Home Company we have access to our licensed real estate broker and our attorney.  We always review the contract prior to responding, and create a binding agreement that leads to an escrow and then we need to perform according to the contract to close the sale.  Find the best real estate broker and attorney to represent you.

https://www.avvo.com/real-estate-lawyer/ca.html

 

Inspections:

The buyer will want to inspect the home to make sure that everything is in good working order.  There are many inspections that a buyer can perform, and the main inspections will deal with an overall Home Inspection, Termite Inspection, Roof Inspection, Foundation Inspection, and other types of inspections as needed.  When a buyer find a problem or issue, then a request for repairs is typically submitted to the seller, and a response needs to be submitted in writing on how the issue will be addressed, or the sale will be cancelled.

https://www.yelp.com/c/san-diego/home_inspectors

 

Title Report:

In order to transfer any property in the United States, the seller must prove that they are the rightful owner of the property.  A Title Company is typically employed to issue an insurance policy to the buyer and/or lender that the property is being sold free-and-clear of any liens or encumbrances.  There are several title companies that can provide title insurance, and with the largest being First American, Fidelity, and Stewart.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_insurance

 

Escrow Services:

When a purchase agreement is accepted between a buyer and a seller, then the property typically enters into escrow, which is a neutral 3rd party that executes the terms of the contract and provides their services for a fee.  Attorneys can also act on behalf of the buyer and seller and perform the same duties as escrow.  All contracts are provided to the escrow service, and the buyer's earnest money deposit is kept in escrow during the transaction.  The escrow company is named in the purchase agreement, and is agreed upon by both the buyer and seller.  An escrow officer provides both parties to the transaction with the documents and items needed to complete the sale.  The escrow officer completes their duties by getting all documents signed by the appropriate parties, receiving the buyers funds to purchase the property, and paying off any liens on the property.  Any proceeds from the sale are then sent to the seller.  Escrow completes a closing disclosure statement, and provides the buyer with the amount needed to close, and the seller with a net proceeds estimate. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/1983/what-is-a-closing-disclosure.html

https://www.amitree.com/articles/125/california-homebuying-and-escrow-process

 

Lender Pre-Approval / Underwriting:

The most difficult portion of any real estate transaction is the lending process.  A lender typically issues a pre-approval letter to potential home buyers based on their income and debts, and notifies the buyer how much of a purchase price they can afford to pay. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/basics/07/prequalified-approved.asp

Once a home is in escrow, then all loan paperwork and documentation is submitted to the lender, and the lender will package all of the items needed to obtain the loan and send them to an underwriter to verify that all of the information is correct, and that there are no errors. Along with all of the buyer documentation, a home appraisal must be completed and sent to the underwriter to verify that the home is worth the purchase price.  Once the underwriter has approved the buyer, then a complete title report will be submitted to the underwriter to make sure that all liens will be paid prior to the new loan on the property.  When the underwriter confirms that the documents are correct, all liens will be paid, and everything can proceed, the lender will issue loan documents, typically a Note and Deed of Trust, to escrow.  The buyer will sign all of the closing documents and the loan documents, and then the loan will be funded to escrow.  Many times a pre-approved buyer is unable to obtain a loan due to issues that only arise once an underwriter reviews the loan documents. https://www.midwestequity.com/blog/2016/03/07/underwriting-denied

 

Repair Negotiations:

When buyers complete inspections of a property, there are usually items of concern that must be addressed prior to competing the sale.  The repairs to the property may be minor, or they may drastically affect the value of the property.  In any case, the buyer may request from the seller that repairs be completed or credits given to the buyer to cover any expenses that were uncovered by inspections.  If the cost is to great, or the buyer and seller cannot agree on a mutually acceptable solution, then the sale will be cancelled.  If the seller agrees to the buyers requests, then the sale proceeds to closing.

http://realtechre.com/forms/Request%20for%20Repair.pdf

 

Removal of Contingencies:

Most buyers will need a certain timeframe (typically 10-17 days) after a purchase agreement is agreed upon to complete inspections and an appraisal of the property.  Various contingencies are stated in the purchase agreement to allow for a suitable timeframe to complete tasks prior to the close of the sale.

http://www.car.org/media/pdf/CR(4_09)draft.pdf

 

Closing Scheduled:

When escrow has received all documents needed to close the sale of the property, then a closing day is adhered to in accordance with the real estate purchase agreement and escrow instructions.  Many times escrow is delayed for any number of reasons, and a close date is based upon when all documents and funds are presented to escrow.  Escrow will notify all parties when title to the property has been transferred to the buyer, and the Deed has been recorded with the county recorder.

http://www.escrowofthewest.com/b2b/642/page/understanding-the-escrow-closing-process

 

Moving Services:

The seller is to vacate the property and move any personal items not affixed to the property.  Prior to the close of escrow, the seller should remove all items from the property, and give the buyer notice to perform a walk-through to indicate that the property is vacant, and move-in ready for the buyer.  It is strongly suggested that the seller vacate the property at least 72 hours prior to the close of escrow, or state in the purchase agreement that a specified time be given to vacate the property after the close of escrow.  At San Diego Home Company, we provide relocation and moving services to ensure that all of the seller's needs are met.

https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=movers&find_loc=San+Diego%2C+CA

 

Cleaning Services:

After vacating the home, a thorough cleaning should be performed in order to ensure that the home is move-in ready, as most appliances, carpets and bathrooms should be professionally cleaned.  Most sellers neglect to schedule cleaning services prior to the close of escrow, and if such service is required, there are many reputable companies that provide move-out deep cleaning.

http://www.maids.com/services/move-in-move-out-cleaning/

 

Final Walk Through:

Prior to Close of Escrow, the buyer and any agents involved perform a final walk through of the property, and will note any items that need to be corrected prior to escrow closing.  Some sales can get delayed until the property is cleaned or left in move-in condition.

http://www.firsttuesday.us/course/Downloads/270.pdf

 

County Recorder / Transfer Title:

When escrow receives all documents and funds from the buyer, the next step is to setup recording of the Deed (typically a Grant Deed) with the county recorder.  Usually the title company that provides title insurance on the property will deliver the deed to the recorder and notify escrow that title has been transferred.  After the new deed is recorded, the sale has officially been concluded, although it may take several days to receive final escrow statements and closing funds.

http://www.firstam.com/assets/homebuilder/homebuyer/vesting-ways-to-take-title.pdf

 

Coordinating...:

Once escrow is closed, there is still some work to be completed.  Keys need to change hands, locks should be changed, and specific items about the property should be communicated, namely the mailbox, any common areas, and how to access anything locked on the property. It makes the closing much easier if the seller takes photos or video of anything specific that would assist the new buyer in transitioning into the property.  At San Diego Home Company, we provide a comprehensive closing checklist of every item the buyer would need.

https://www.firstteam.com/blog/closing-process-buyers-in-depth-guide.html

 

Turn Off Utilities:

Another often overlooked item are the utilities, and coordinating the transfer.  When selling, you do not want to get stuck with having the utilities in your name when the new buyer moves in.  Coordinating the turn off date for all utilities companies (electricity, gas, water, trash, cable, phone, etc), and providing the buyer with which companies to use, should be coordinated prior to the close of escrow.

https://www.thebalance.com/utilities-and-selling-a-home-1799073

 

Receive Proceeds of Sale:

This is it, the final piece of the sale of your home... Show me the money, but how do you want to receive it?  Make sure that you choose to have funds wired, or pick up a cashier's check.  The best option is to have escrow wire the funds directly to your bank account, as there is no hold on the funds, and they can be used right away.  Often a large deposit, even via cashier's check, will create a hold on your funds until they can be verified by your bank.  Also, if you are using a portion or all of the proceeds of the sale to purchase another property, then have the funds wired directly to the new escrow, so that everything is available.

You did it; you completed the sale of your home!

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