Knowing why you are selling your home in Marin county is the first mental step towards actually selling your home. If you have and understanding of why you are selling, then it is easier for you to set the right plan of action to get what it is that you want. The reason for selling is the most important factor in developing a strategy to market your home. Many homeowners think the sales price is the biggest factor to consider when selling a home, however it is only one piece of the puzzle. The terms of the contract are actually more important than price as there are more moving parts to consider which could cause the most amount of turbulence.
Although it is not required, some homeowners find it helpful to obtain an appraisal for their home prior to placing it on the market. There are times when a realtor may suggest an appraisal due to the limited number of homes sold within the last three to six months, as not all homes are created equal, especially in Marin where your home is not in a cookie cutter community. An appraisal will assist us in establishing a price to ensure it is not over or under priced, it will also provide insight if there are any repairs that would be necessary or that could be issues with an underwriter and lastly, but more importantly it could aid in the negotiating process as if an low offer were to be submitted. The cost of an appraisal is between $450 and $600, typically dependent on age and type of home. If you are interested in obtaining a pre-market appraisal, please contact me and we will provide you with a name of a reputable appraiser.
A home inspection requested by the seller is completely optional, however it highly recommended and is becoming more popular. A professional home inspection allows you, the seller, to understand potential repairs that could be requested by the buyer and provides you the opportunity to repair or have a professional repair any items before placing your home on the market. By being one step ahead of the buyer, it will give the buyer less to pick on when they are ready to negotiate repairs. Additionally, it always seems, that homes that have been pre-inspected sell faster than homes that haven’t been inspected.
City Resale Inspections
If you are a homeowner who lives in one of Marin county’s cities, then a mandatory Resale Inspection must be performed by that city. If you are in the county, you do not need a resale inspection. That could change in the future. Resale inspections are performed prior to the home going on the market. Each city has it’s own process and time frame. Overall, a city inspector will come to the property and look for any safety issues in regards to electrical, plumbing, and unwarranted work. Unwarranted work consists of repairs, remodeling, etc that have been performed and yet no permit is on record. If substantial, the city will place requirements on the homeowner prior to selling.
Setting the Price
The price is the first thing buyers will notice about your property in Marin county. Setting the price too high can alienate buyers from the beginning. The asking price you offer reflects how serious you are about selling your home. The key factor in selling your home is finding just the right price. It seems when you homes are overpriced, buyers see all of your homes defects and if you’re priced at or below market, buyers see the homes attributes and feel comfortable making a reasonable offer.
Here are a few factors to take into account when determining the list price
- Recent, comparable sales in your area (more specifically your subdivision). The market has been shifting so often lately that it is important to look at the last three months in order to get a true sense of what the market is doing.
- Location, condition and presentation of your home
- Number of competitive properties currently for sale in your area
- Days on market and price reductions of comparable homes
- Price difference ratios between original asking price and the sale price
- Comparable withdrawn and expired listings and why they didn’t sell
- Under contract sales and their days on the market
Once a list price has been established, several formal documents are required to be signed to place your home on the market.
- Disclosure of Agency Relationship – This document should be signed at the first face-to-face meeting with your agent. It explains the relationship between you and your realtor and the differences between a client and a customer and your agents fiduciary responsibility to you.
- Listing Agreement – This agreement establishes the price, the listing period, marketing efforts, etc.
- Sellers Disclosure – It will inform the buyer of any known defects that the seller is aware of. It must be completed to the best of your ability. We have many in California.
When reviewing an offer made on your home, keep in mind that you are out to the best price AND the best terms for you. If you focus solely on price, you may overlook terms. Here is how we will accomplish this:
- Review and interpret offer price AND terms
- Verify buyers pre-approval
- Review both the pros and cons of the offer
- Provide you with negotiation techniques and suggestions on countering, if necessary
Once we have an official contract, our job is far from over. The buyer still has their inspection/option period to inspect the property and they have a right to negotiate repairs. As a seller, you have a right to review and respond to the request in one of three ways:
- Agree to everything the buyer requests
- Agree to some of the buyer requests
- Agree to none of the buyers requests
We will discuss pros and cons of each as it relates to your transaction and situation, including if any of their request is out of the ordinary. One thing we will guarantee you, we’ll never allow a buyer or a buyers agent to try to make your home new again. It’s not new.
This is critical – We will have consistent communication with the buyer’s agent, the lender and the title company to ensure all deadlines are met in order to ensure a flawless closing. Keep in mind; there are times when it is necessary to extend the closing date to a future date. We will review these circumstances on a case-by-case basis, if they should come up.
Prior to listing your home, we will:
- Put a electronic lockbox on the front door with a key inside only Realtors, Inspectors and; Appraisers are able to access.
- Place a sign in your yard.
- Help you stage your home to sell, NOT to live in – there is a difference between the two.
- Take professional photos for the virtual tour and marketing pieces
- Create the virtual tour and marketing pieces
- Input the listing, including the photographs and save until we are ready to go live.
- Alert local REALTORS® and your neighbors your home will be soon be up for sale.
The first day on the market, we will:
- Make the listing LIVE in MLS
- Promote your home to potential buyers via various marketing outlets (MLS, Online Real Estate Aggregators, Social Media, our Sphere of Influence, etc)
On an ongoing basis, we will:
- Provide market and marketing updates, not less than once every two weeks
- We will up a search for your neighborhood so you can check out our competition. This allows you to view the list price, time on market and price reductions as they occur. It is quite important for us to be aware of your competition.
- Provide feedback from all showings at the very minimum once per week. Any crucial information that is important to know immediately will be delivered immediately. Please note, we will provide you exact comments made by each REALTOR® and/or buyer as you need to hear exactly what others are saying about your home.
- We realize you’ve taken pride in your home and it may be hard to hear anything negative about what you’ve created, however listening and positively reacting to buyer feedback will aid in getting your home sold quickly and for the highest dollar possible.
- Field all inquires from prospective buyers who inquire about your home from the various advertising methods.