1. Working with your Realtor:
Your Realtor will understand the nuances of the market. Pricing your home
right has a huge impact on how quickly it will sell. Your Realtor will be able to
provide a comparable report to show the value of your home. Upgrades and the
location of your property will also play a role in the price point. The longer a
property sits on the market, the more buyers start to think, “what’s wrong with
it?” Your Realtor can help guide you to a list price which will maximize your
profits while selling quickly. You will also want to discuss with your Realtor
how much you owe on your mortgage loan and your Realtor will be able to
conduct a closing estimate for you that will include any potential costs on the
seller side i.e. septic/well inspections, along with your closings costs such as title
& escrow fees and unpaid property taxes.
2. Listing Contract:
Your Realtor will go over the listing contract with you once you have agreed
upon a list price and a list date. You will also discuss how the showings will go –
will there be a lockbox on your property? Will there be a sign in front? How
much notice you might need before a showing? If you have pets, where will they
go during showings? The more you make your property available for showings,
the more buyers you will reach, which could lead to a faster sale.
3. Getting Ready to LIST. Get your property SHOW READY & PHOTO READY!
- Curb Appeal is huge! Many buyers will make a decision based upon driving
by your property. They might not even schedule an appointment to view based
upon curb appeal.
- Declutter and Depersonalize. Buyers want to be able to envision themselves
living in your home.
- Repaint walls. If you have loud or eccentric paint colors, you may want to
consider repainting your walls a neutral color to appeal to the majority of buyers.
- Fix & Clean. Fix any loose handles, change burnt-out light bulbs, clean ceiling
fan blades, scrub off scuffs. Cleanliness is huge when opening your home up to
- California code requires at least one carbon monoxide detector on each floor of
your house and a smoke detector in each bedroom and living area of your home.
Having those items will ensure there will not be any issues while in escrow.
- Hide Valuables. Just to be safe, put any and all valuables in a safe or at least
hidden from plain site.
– Live “show ready.” Remove items off kitchen counters, wipe down counters,
hang clean bath towels, keep toilets clean and closed, turn lights on, open
curtains and make the beds. Keep the house light, bright & clean!
4. Professional Photos:
Once your property is ready, your Realtor will schedule the photo shoot with
their professional photographer.
5. Listing Day!
Depending on the market and your location, you can hopefully expect a heavy
flow of buyers on your first weekend on the market. Your job is to keep your
property Show Ready! Your Realtor’s job is to create a frenzy and get buyers
excited and off their couches to come view your property!
6. Social Media Ads:
Your Realtor will work hard in getting your property in front of as many buyers
as possible. Social media is huge and is a great way to target the buyers who are
looking in your area.
7. Open House:
Your Realtor may wish to schedule an open house in order to better advertise
and get more buyers through the door.
8. Broker Caravan:
Your Realtor may also wish to add your property to the local broker caravan.
This allows all the local Realtors to view your property. Once the local Realtors
view your property, they can better sell it to their buyers and bring them to view.
You have now obtained an offer. Your Realtor will work closely with you in
regards to the terms of the offer. The highest price is not always the best offer.
The terms of the contract are just as important. What type of loan is the buyer
using? Is the buying asking for you to pay for a pest inspection/repairs? What
are the terms of their contingency removal dates? How long is the proposed
escrow? How much are they putting down for their EMD (earned money
deposit/good faith deposit)? Once your Realtor has negotiated on your behalf
and you have accepted an offer, your Realtor will now get escrow opened.
10. Escrow is Opened!
Your Realtor will provide you with the Disclosure Packet. You will have 7 days
to complete and get the disclosures over to the buyer. The name of the game is,
“Disclose, Disclose, Disclose.” Even if something has been fixed, disclose what
had occurred and how/when it was fixed.
11. Escrow Instruction Packet:
Be on the lookout for the escrow instruction packet that will arrive via email or
USPS mail. This packet will review the terms of the contract. In this packet, you
will be letting escrow know how you want to receive your net proceeds (direct
deposit wire or check mailed to you). It will also have the deed to your property
and will need to be notarized while signing. Please review, sign and send back
to escrow. The sooner you send this packet back, the sooner the escrow officer
can order the demand on your mortgage and get the paperwork ready to transfer
12. Contingency Time Frames:
Depending on the terms of the contract, the buyer traditionally has 17 days to
conduct their physical investigations. You will need to allow the buyer access to
your property in order for them to satisfy themselves with the physical aspects of
the property. Usually, they will start with hiring a general Home Inspector.
During this time frame, the buyer may send over a “Request for Repairs.” You
will discuss with your Realtor the best route to take. Depending on the terms of
the offer, you might negotiate to do some or none of the repairs. If there is to be
anything changed in regards to credits or purchase price, this is the time for
those negotiations. Once buyer removes physical contingency, they cannot
change or request anything else in regards to “request for repairs.” Buyer will
traditionally have 21 days to remove loan and appraisal contingencies. An
appraiser will come to your property at a scheduled time to ensure the property
is valued at the purchase price. The buyer will be busy getting extra financial
documents to their loan officer to ensure a successful and complete loan
approval by the 21st day of escrow. Your job is to keep your property in the same
condition it was in when the buyer submitted their offer and to conduct any
agreed upon repairs. Your Realtor’s job is to ensure the buyer’s loan has been
processed so they can have your Full Loan Approval on time. Your Realtor will
also be focusing on the appraisal to ensure the report is ordered on time,
appraisal scheduled and conducted, and is back in hand on time. Once the buyer
removes Full Contingency, you can mentally rest easy and start packing your
13. Last week before closing!
While you are busy packing your house, the buyer is busy signing loan
documents with a notary. They will do this usually around 3-5 days before
closing. They will sign loan documents, wire the rest of their down payment to
escrow, then their lender will fund their loan.
14. Final Walkthrough:
The buyer will also schedule a walkthrough for 3-5 days before closing. During
this time, they are ensuring the property is in the same condition it was in when
they initially wrote their offer. If you agreed to any repairs, now is when they
will ensure the repairs were completed. Sometimes the buyer might request for
you to be present during their walkthrough so you can show them how to work
certain items in the house or on the property if needed.
15. Title Records:
Title for your property will be recorded with the County Recorder’s Office on the
specified closing date. This office is closed weekends and holidays. If your
closing date falls around a holiday, expect delays of recording. Your Realtor will
keep you up to date on all scheduling. Once your Realtor receives Confirmation
of Recording from the title company and escrow company – they will
immediately inform you. You have now officially SOLD your home!
Unless otherwise noted, you will need to have vacated the property by 6pm on
the day title records (closing day). Please ensure the property is left clean and
free from any personal items and debris. Please leave any and all house keys,
mail keys, garage door openers on the kitchen counter.
17. Where’s the Money?
Escrow will balance the account the very next business day. If you selected
direct deposit for net proceeds, you can expect the wire to appear on this next
business day to the bank account you provided on the escrow instruction packet
(or the day after if they submit the wire later in the day). If you selected a check,
then they will mail your check to the address you provided on this day.