10-Step Home Selling Process
Selling something so personal to you and that holds so many memories makes selling a home a unique and emotional process. On top of that, you want the comfort of knowing your home is being marketed, presented, and negotiated at an ELITE level. The difference between the Pros and the Joe’s is not the “plays they run”, it lies in the execution. The professional executes at the highest level EVERY time. Not once in a while. Every single time. They have a system and process that they and their team execute with laser-like precision. Whether you have never sold a home before or it has been a while…this video series is the first step in re-educating yourself on how the process works so you aren’t feeling all of that angst of the unknown.
So the big thing, the first thing is a consultation if we haven’t done that already, we get that scheduled or we complete that. That takes 30 to 60 minutes. We’re doing the paperwork or walk around the house, kind of seeing what’s going on, what needs to be cleaned up, what needs to be fixed or how we’re going to price the home, how are we going to market the home, how we’re going to sell the home for top dollar. Once we do that, then we usually take anywhere from two to seven days depending on the time frame that you have and the timeframe of the photographers.
What happens is we have a professional photographer come out and take photos of your home. We are not the expert photographers so we’re not going to whip out our iPhone and start taking pictures. So we’re to have an expert come over professional, take photos of your home. That might take a few days to get scheduled. And then it might take a few more days to get those pictures edited from the photographer and then back to us and we pick out ones which we might not totally like. So it goes through two different rounds of proofing before it goes on there. Then the other thing is writing remarks on the home. That’s again the paragraph that is kind of selling the home in a way on the MLR, the little blurb at the bottom and you see stuff. So that’s something that you could possibly do if you would like, we can just do it, we can collaborate on it and a couple different ways that we go about doing that. But that’s kind of the process right in the beginning. So that is what’s going to happen right there. The next video we’re gonna talk about just some little odds and ends and things were wrapping up.
Lockbox – pictures are getting done. We’re going to put a sign in the yard, we’re going to do some stuff that’s getting the house ready to list. If it’s not already listed yet, these things are gonna happen and they’re going to get going. So what happens is the sign company comes and puts a sign in the yard. It might be before the property goes live. That’s not a big deal. That’s just more time to market your home and you really technically don’t have to do showings yet. So it’s getting some marketing. The marketing is starting to get out there. So, we’re gonna put a lockbox on the door. If we didn’t put a lockbox on the first time we came over, then the lockbox will be going on your door and maybe the photographer will be bringing it over and putting a lockbox on there. You need a spare key to put in there for the showings. So those are the big things that are going to be your next steps and what’s gonna be happening basically there. So make sure you stay tuned here. We’re going to be showing you in the next video. What’s gonna be happening after the marketing starts going live after you put the lockbox and the pictures up and the remarks and the listing, everything.
So the property’s live. Stuff’s going on. Hopefully, here we’re getting some traction. We get some action. We got to keep the house picture ready so the way you had it for a picture, you want that always for showing. You want to put your best foot forward. Remember, first impressions are huge and so same thing with the buyers. Think of yourself going around the house. What would you want to see in a home? We got the seller checklists that we gave you in our packet when we did the consultation or you might’ve received before digitally, but that checklist is huge because you really want to stay with that throughout the duration of the showings. What’s actually going to be going on is the buyer is going to be going through the house and have that mental checklist. That mental checklist is based with that seller checklist we gave you and you really want to stick to that. You really want to focus on that. Make sure it’s picture ready at all times. That way it can be shown best foot forward and you’re giving yourself the best chance. You don’t want people nickeling and diming you off of little things.
So that’s the best advice I can give you. Please, please, please stick to that checklist. Keep it picture ready, that’s going to give you the very best chance to sell the home and make people feel comfortable putting an offer on your home. So stick with that checklist. Showings are to gonna be going on. We’re going to be giving you updates week to week, throughout the weeks, and you’re gonna be getting updated emails as to what’s going on in the process. You’re going to be getting action items that people are competing for your listing and the marketing that we’re doing. You’re going to be getting emails from that and you’re going to start getting feedback. Hopefully, once there are showings, what we do is we have the agents themselves and our admin try to follow up with the agents that do show your property and we try to get feedback for you. We want feedback for the house and see, “Hey, where do we need to adjust? What’s going on? What are the buyers thinking? What’s the market saying right now?”
So once we get that for you back, once we get those showings, we can really start to tweak what we’re doing and find that sweet spot and make sure we get that home so quick and for top dollar. So again, stick to that checklist and then also be open to feedback. So it’s all constructive criticism. We really have to see what the market is telling us. That’s the number one thing. I can say whatever I want, a seller can say whatever they want, an appraiser can say whatever they want. Ultimately it comes down to the market, what is the market telling us? So those are the huge things to keep in mind as these showings are rolling and going on.
4. FEEDBACK/PRICE DROPS
So you’re getting some showings, you’re getting feedback but it might not be coming in great. Or maybe it is coming back great. Maybe we’re gonna get offers soon because we’re getting great feedback. If we’re not getting great feedback then what we really want to start possibly looking at is some price drops and what happens here in the first two to four, maybe that fifth week is really like a big curve. I mean it’s almost like a bell curve and what happens is the peak time is really that second, third week and maybe the fourth week and then it starts kind of coming back down again. That interest drops off. So the second, third and fourth week is massive and making sure the home is priced properly. So I always thought when I want one variable and that variable to be the price. So we’re going to be executing the marketing plan flawlessly. Doing our Facebook ads, doing digital marketing and doing everything we can. Have the signs out there and all over every website out there online. And really we want one variable and what that one variable to be the price. We want to make sure we’re doing everything possible to get that home sold and if it’s not being sold and we’re getting feedback that its price is too high for them or maybe we need to be ready for some price drops possibly. Bring it back down into that range of where buyers are looking. So that’s something to be wary of when we’re getting feedback. We’re getting that feedback, but now we have to assess that feedback and say, “Okay, what’s going on here? What’s the deal?” So that’s the video. Now we’re going to the offer phase. So hope that gives you a little insight into feedback, what happens there. But now we’re going to the offer.
We got an offer.
So this is the great part whether we have an offer or not yet. What we’re supposed to do is kind of help you through the offer process. So eventually we’ll get there if we’re not there yet. Hopefully, we’re already there, but the offer, what’s going to happen is an agent will call, they’ll send us an offer and we’ll check it over, see what’s going on. We try to get it to you as soon as possible that way you can review it. Ultimately you have to review it, the seller has to review it and we’re there to advise obviously. But it’s not our home so you have to be the one reading it. You have to be the one to kind of checking it out and see what’s going on. Obviously, ask us questions if you ever have questions about the offer in every offer we do. I go through it, my agents go through the offers and we try to see if we can find anything but don’t rely on us because we are the ones selling the home actually. It’s not our money technically. So you ultimately have to make sure that you’re reading the contract and not just assuming you know what’s in it. Just skimming things. Please read the contract. It is very, very important because none of us are attorneys obviously. So you have to take that seriously. It is an important thing. So read those contracts, make sure you know what’s in there. If you have some questions, feel free to reach out. We can help you. That’s why we have many people at our disposal, brokers, attorneys, everything in order to get questions answered that may arise. So get that contract. This is an exciting time. Whether it’s a really low offer or it’s a great offer, it’s higher above asking price, whatever it is. It’s still a great time, it still means someone is interested in your property and someone likes what you’re putting out there and it’s hopefully something that we can work with and try to figure something out.
So always stay positive no matter what the offer is, stay positive. It’s a good thing. Take everything with a grain of salt and take it as a positive. Things don’t happen to your life, they happen to you. So if you keep that mindset always, things are gonna turn out well, I promise. So offer time. We’re going to have a lot of fun with it obviously. Get this home sold. Next video we’re going to talk about the pending process because once we do accept that offer, we’re going to talk about that process. So make sure you stay tuned for that. And really quick, all the offers will be through DocuSign, obviously e-signature. So that’s going to be a little bit different than in person signing when we do the initial listing consultation. So it’s all gonna be over DocuSign. It’s gonna be easy and email back and forth. Just click through things e-signature, so stay tuned. Next video, we’re gonna start to talk about the offer process and we’re going to start talking about that pending process to the closing table.
So we’ve accepted an offer. Awesome.
This is wonderful news. Accepted an offer, we’re moving on down the line here. We have the pending process now and this is where one of our awesome transaction coordinators, one of our admin take over. They become your point of contact. It’s their responsibility to give you 100% attention and helping you get this closing to take place and fast as possible and as smooth as possible. So they’re there obviously all day, every day to take care of this process for you. And this is really probably about a three to four sometimes five-week process, so this takes a little while. We’re gonna have to go through a couple of steps, a couple of phases, but the seller side, it’s a little different in the buyer side. The seller side, you’re kind of sitting back a little bit more. The buyer side, a lot more active, a lot more things to do. That seller side, they’re doing those things and then they’re coming to you or reporting, “Hey, this is what’s going on.” Then you have to make decisions on what’s going on.
So what we have first is we have the inspection process, so we’ve got an accepted offer, great. They’re going to have an inspection and it’s probably going to be within anywhere from 3 to 10 days. That’s usually somewhere in that range, usually 5 to 10 days, usually 7 to 10 days. They might not have an inspection, but it’s pretty rare. They’ll probably have an inspection. So what will happen is they’re going to an inspector come over to your property and they’re going to do a two to three-hour inspection on your property. It’s probably gonna be right around, there. Could be two, could be a little over three hours depending on the size of the home. So they’re gonna take their time going through everything, coming through, they’re going to give the report to the buyers are going to walk them through everything and then they’re going to go back and reconvene with their agent and kind of talk about stuff. Then what will happen is depending on how that goes, they might come back and say, “Hey, we found X, Y, and Z wrong with the home. We found some issues.” As a seller, you really want to take things with a grain of salt. The inspector is there, they’re paying them anywhere from probably $200 to $600 or more. They’re paying them a bunch of money to do a job. It’s really to get the pulse of the home, people will need to see what they’re getting into before they get into it obviously.
So take it with a grain of salt, don’t really take it to heart. You have to really think of it as a business transaction a lot of times and try to get the emotion away from it. I know it’s so hard, it’s very tough, but try to get away from that as much as possible. Think of it as a business transaction and then just see what they’re saying and then take a step back. “Okay. Okay, great. I understand.” Then we can kind of get into stuff, “Hey, you know what, do we need someone else to come and look at this?” Because an inspector is a generalist. They are the broad scope of work. They’re not specialists. So even in most inspection reports, we’ll say, “Recommend having so-and-so specialists come over and look at this a little bit further. So is this something we need to look into a little bit more? What are the buyer’s asking them?” Are they asking us to fix it? Are they asking for some money off the price of the home? Are they asking for a credit? Whatever it may be. So those are a couple possibilities. Or the fourth possibility is they could just back out of the deal altogether right away, but hopefully, it’s not the case. Most of the time we can work something out. We can negotiate something and get something so that everyone’s happy and it’s a win-win for everybody and we’re moving towards closing. So that’s the inspection process. It’s a tricky process at times, but it’s also something you just have to kind of try to detach as much as possible. Take with a grain of salt, don’t take it to heart too much and know that someone’s being paid a bunch of money to try to do something and really nitpick the home, so for lack of a better term.
So keep that in mind and it will be as enjoyable as possible. The inspection process, even though all these little bumps can be very stressful, just again, remember: things happen for you, not to you. So just take it with a grain of salt and we’ll negotiate if we have to and try to figure out a win-win for everybody. Hopefully, everything will be fine and we can move on, but just be prepared for.
We’ve got through the inspection period, but now we have the appraisal. So the appraisal process is the lender – again, if there is an appraisal, if it’s cash offer, then you’re probably not gonna have an appraisal. Most offers do have an appraisal because most of them are mortgage loans and they need an appraisal. So what it is the lender coming, sending out an appraiser to check on the value of the property, make sure what they’re lending on is worthwhile and it adds up. So what happens is probably about anywhere from 10 to 25 days in the process, usually,y about the second or third week an appraiser comes out, the lender sends him out and they’re drawn at random. They have a pool of people that they use usually if they like, but then they have to pick randomly. People got into trouble before is that they would handpick people and people just drive by and say, “Hey, the house looks fine. It’s great. It’s at value.” Well,l that got us into trouble. So they’ve regulated a lot of that, but what happens now is they pick randomly from a pool of people that they like and then they have him go out there and they go do the appraisal process, which is not as intense as the inspection process. But they are looking into the property similarly to the inspection, just not as much. So the inspector did a two or three-hour assessment. The appraiser is probably going to be there from anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and they’re going to be doing comps on the property. They’re not going to be climbing in and out of everything, but they’re going to be taking pictures of everything, looking at the property, just like a buyer would in a way too.
So make sure when they have the appraisal, we got to make sure that the house is in tip-top shape. It’s clean and gives no reason for the appraiser to be blocking a thing. The appraiser is going to come out. He’s gonna give his values, his assessment and it could take anywhere after he’s done. It could take anywhere from two to seven days or more, possibly even 10 days we’ve seen to get the appraisal report back to the lender. And then once we have the report, we see what happens. It could come in high, could come in above and then we’re moving on and that’s good. It could come at a value. That’s good too. We’re moving forward and again, we don’t really see many coming in high right now because it’s just not that market.
A few years ago we used to see them coming in high which is good for the buyer. It doesn’t happen that often right now but it could come in at value. If it comes in low, that’s when we have to renegotiate. That’s when the issues start to arise because the lender won’t lend on the property unless the appraisal amount matches the purchase price. So say the house’s purchase price was $300,000 and the appraisal came in at $290,000. Well, we have a $10,000 difference there that we have to negotiate somehow. So that could be done one of a couple of different ways. So you could have the buyer bring the entire difference to the closing. You can say “Hey buyer, this is something we want you to bring the whole thing.” They might be their dream house and they want it more than anything in the world. And they’re like, “Yes, we’ll bring that extra 10 grand. So our closing costs were 50 grand before this, we’ll bring us through 10, they’re going to be 60 grand now closing because we’re going to bring that $10,000 difference and makeup that.
So that’s one way the seller could come all the way down and drop their price $10,000. So they would be netting last, you would net $10,000 less. So instead of getting $300,000, you’d be getting $290,000. So you could come down to that value. What happens a lot of times is negotiated somewhere in between, some type of give and take some type of 50-50, 60-40, it’s the seller comes down five, the buyer brings an extra five, that type of thing. So that’s one of the more common ways that things get done. It’s either that or you see them fall apart. So the majority of the time we negotiate some type of in between. And then the other chunk of the time they fall apart because people just can’t get past that the negotiation of a few thousand dollars. If it’s a huge gap for some reason, then that’s understandable. But I’ve seen a lot of people over the years, not take the other person’s offer. I’ve seen homes fall apart with a couple thousand dollars apart or a thousand, $2,000 apart, all because someone didn’t want to take the other offer. It was the last offer made and the other person didn’t want to take it. And I would hate to see that happen. I tried everything I can to have that not happened just because it’s very painful to see people spend their time and money all to just fall apart for a couple of thousand dollars. So hopefully you don’t get to that point.
The other possibility is either party could walk away. If the appraisal doesn’t come in at a value, one of the parties could walk away right away. So those again are the four different options that you have when, uh, when people are dealing with that. So you have seller could come all the way down and the buyer could come all the way up, you can negotiate some in-between or the parties could walk away from each other. So those are your four different ways that you handle the appraisal. Next video is a with the homestretch basically. So we’re doing a insurance and preparing for closing and all that good stuff. So getting ready for the homestretch.
So we got through the inspection, the appraisal, got through all that stuff. Now we’re kind of headed towards the latter half of the transaction. This is the kind of the homestretch basically. So there’s housekeeping things, a number of different things we’ve got to take care of. Title work is going to be done here and what’s going to happen is the title company is going through stuff and making sure there’s no cloud on title and clouds on title or defects, making sure there are not random people on the title of the home and things of that nature. So they’re clearing all that and going over that and preparing things for closing title company obviously prepares all the documents through the lender and with both sides, get everything ready for closing.
Then what you want to do here before closing if you’re going to do a shut-off utility. So you’re gonna shut stuff off and schedule stuff for the end of the day of closing. If it’s immediate occupancy or if it’s something that you’re going to be staying in there, then you don’t have to worry about it right away, but that will be something when you do move out to the end of your occupancy period, then you’ll have to schedule the transfer of utilities, etc. and make sure that all that stuff is out of your name. So important things to remember again, title work is going to be done. We’re in the homestretch here, so that’s going to be happening and you really don’t want to do much with that at all. We’re going to be handling all that with a title company and in coordinating that and then you transfer of utilities. So you’re going to have to make sure that those things are being transferred appropriate times, whether it’s at closing or if there’s occupancy, you’re going to have to do it because this had to do a little bit after closing, obviously when you move out.
9. FINAL WALKTHROUGH/CLOSING
Okay, we’re almost there. So final walkthrough and closing are the last two real things that we have to deal with before we close. So a final walkthrough with the buyers is the last time they were in the house before the closing table and what they’re looking for and what they’re doing there is making sure that the home is how they left it in. What I mean by that is most times buyers are in the home for a few weeks from the time they had the inspection to the closing table. So they’re just making sure that it still looks like the way it does when, excluding moving out and things like that, but they want to make sure that there are no holes in the walls, there are no broken windows. They want to make sure that if there were repair items that needed to be done with the inspection, the appraisal, they’re making sure that got done and confirming that.
Then we’re going and heading to the closing. That’s usually done the final walkthrough is usually done the hour or two before closing. It could be done that morning. Sometimes it’s done the day before or day or so out, but usually, it’s done right before closing. They go over there, the agent gets the lockbox and the key and then meet us over at closing and we close. The closing, it’s usually done Monday through Friday, nine to five. That’s generally the times that closers are working and that closers closed. So just be prepared for that mentally with your schedule. They are going to take about an hour. The closers will take about an hour to close the house and help everyone signed the documents and the buyer’s going to have a lot more to sign. The sellers don’t have nearly as much to sign and the packets probably half, not even half. You’re signing very little compared to the buyers. The buyers have the mortgage through a mortgage offer and they have a lot of those documents to sign. So you’re deciding the real estate end of it and title and stuff like that. So that’s what to expect. That’s a final walkthrough, that’s the closing and the transfer of key. So if it is immediate occupancy and you’re giving them the keys at close and they get the keys and everyone’s on their way. If there is occupancy, then what’s going to happen is you’re going to be waiting until obviously a certain date, say it’s a week or a couple of weeks afterward, and then there’s gonna be one form that you’re going to have to sign after when the title company will probably hold it. But you got to sign that one form saying, “Hey, I’m relinquishing the keys. I’m outta here.” And then the buyer will sign it and then they’ll take over and take everything and that at that time, that’s when we’ll do the transfer of utilities, make sure that it’s done for that day. So, the title company holds that transfer if that’s the case, and then they’ll release the money appropriately, prorated for how many days you stayed there and give that appropriate amount of money to the buyer and then give the appropriate amount of money back to you.
So I hope that helps kind of clarify the end of the transaction there. That’s all that happens. The next video, what we’re going to talk about is kind of closing the loop and then opening the loop again. It’s going to be talking about things we can help you with, going forward whether you’re buying or leasing or down selling, whatever it is. We’re gonna go through that next.
10. REFERRALS/HOME SEARCH
Okay, we’re almost done.
The last thing we have talked about is the referral process. If you guys need anything at all, we obviously have tons of contractors, tons of vendors at our disposal and we have great relationships with so many of them. We want to not only give them business and help them out but we want to help you guys out with awesome people. So that’s really the biggest thing. Hopefully, you guys wrapped up with everything and everything is good and smooth, but that’s really the biggest thing. Also, if you are transitioning into another home, we probably already talked about it. We haven’t gone to be doing home search emails, getting you on the home search and getting that process rolling at getting you guys a new home. If it’s new lease, same thing, then we’re going and we’re just going to be putting you on a search and that we’re going to be looking for homes and sending you those homes that are available for lease. And then really that’s the long and short of it and the process is wrapped up from your side and the seller end. If you are getting transferred out of the state or the country or you’re just moving there, we also have referral partners all over the world, all over the country that we can refer to you as well and that are great partners of ours. So there’s many different routes you can take and the different avenues we can help you with. We ‘re excited to do that and we are so appreciative that you chose to work with us and went through the process with us and we know it’s a tricky process. It’s an up and down process and we’re just so glad, humbled and honored that you were here to trust us and work with us.
So look forward to doing again in the future. Obviously, if there’s anyone else that we can help and give this awesome service to and treat them just like we did you. We truly appreciate anyone that you send our way and there will be different giveaways and stuff like that we’re gonna be doing throughout the year, client appreciation events where we obviously will be recognizing and trying to give back to the people that have helped us out. So refer people to us. So we thank you so much again. We really loved the experience we have with all of our clients, but we look forward to helping you guys again, and if we’re not already in that process of buying something else or leasing or referring you out to somebody else, we look forward to talking to you soon and wish you well and we’ll see you soon.