Buying Timeline

Timeline

Sellers Guide

Decision & Timing

Two questions sellers often have are "How Much?" and "How Fast?". Much of it depends on market conditions, condition of your home, correct pricing, a good agent, and the right buyer. Some secondary factors can determine your decisions and outcomes as well such as the reason you are selling like; a job transfer, health, finances, closer to family (grandchildren), need more/less space, lifestyle change and loan payoff amount.

Luckily, Right now we are in the situation of having tight inventory. Mortgage rates are low, buyers are looking, and sellers are not selling, mostly because they won't like their return on their investment, or they are simply waiting for the market to improve. Home sellers who price their property well are seeing multiple offer situations and often the home selling over asking.


Choose Agent

A good agent will make this process quick and easy. They should listen to your needs and understand your market in which you home is located. They are to be experts in marketing, negotiation, transaction forms, and finance options, as well as have an execution of technology and fully how it can enhance the marketing of your home. Your agent will provide you with a detailed outline of his marketing strategy in writing and go over strategy so you know what to expect. The job of a full-service real estate agent is to represent your best interests through every step of the sales process in the most ethical and professional manner. Lastly a great agent will keep you directly in the loop of all developments and updates all while being fully reachable during normal business hours.


Pricing

Pricing is the most important part of achieving the highest return in the least amount of time. Even though, it is a sellers' market overpriced homes typically stay on the market a long time and end up selling for less than the house priced at or below its value. Homes sitting on the market are perceived as having problems instead of being overpriced. Houses priced attractively are now receiving multiple offers and selling for over the asking price.

Other factors go into determining a home's market value, such as the sales price of nearby homes known as that have recently sold known as "comps", the listing price of similar homes (substitutions) that are currently on the market, as well as the condition and location of a home.

It's hard and I know, but don't be swayed by how much you love your home and think it is the best on the block because a buyers opinion maybe different. An agent who knows what has sold in your area and the condition of the properties sold is your best resource for correct pricing. Unless the offer is unreasonably low be prepared to counter and negotiate a mutual agreement.


Prepare

First impressions are key when selling a home, so before "listing" the property, make sure it's in desirable condition. Clean walls, organized and neat homes show much better. You will be surprised how much cheery flowers and pleasant aromas can affect the buyer's perspective about your home. There is a lot you can do to make even the most humble of abodes look like a million dollars. Check out our Pre-Sale checklist for a list of low cost tips and ideas.

Remodeling your home to encourage a higher price is not advisable. Your taste may not be a buyer's taste at all. Simply presenting an uncluttered, clean home, maybe fresh paint, and nice landscaping to provide a good first impression is all that maybe needed. Check with your agent for his expert opinion and ask your agent for a pre-sale home inspection - It's FREE!


Listing

Be ready for those open houses. You should not be home during open houses for your own sake and for the ease of buyer viewing and discussion. It is also advisable to accommodate buyers as much as possible for private showings with your agent. One missed opportunity could be costly. Make sure you leave the home the way you would want a buyer to see it. The more neutral the better your home will show. A buyer needs to be able to envision the home as theirs, not yours. Removing personal effects such as photos and memorabilia is strongly recommended.

If you do everything right, the offers will come in. Offers are usually time-sensitive so being available is most beneficial to you. Your agent will qualify each buyer with evidence that they are financially able to purchase the property. The main considerations that are important in the Sales Contract are:

Here is a list of traditional responsibilities for sellers required by Los Angeles.

  • Title
  • Seller's portion of escrow fee.
  • Home warranty for the Buyer.
  • City Report (9A Report).
  • Natural Hazard Report.
  • Retrofitting inspection and if any corrections required after inspection. (ex. smoke detectors, low flow toilets, and braced water heaters).
  • Retrofitting inspection and if any corrections required after inspection. (ex. smoke detectors, low flow toilets, and braced water heaters).
  • Carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Sellers Disclosure of any known defects or problems.

Escrow

Now that you and the buyer have agreed to enter contract, we are almost done. During the course of the buyer's inspection period a Request for Repairs may be submitted. This can be negotiated, however you do not wish to repair and the buyer does not wish to pay for repairs then the contract can be cancelled. But keep in mind, most repairs are not that costly and are considered only minor details that need to be squared away for your own protection.

Once all the contingencies are addressed and removed, the property is in solid escrow and the Buyer is basically committed to purchase the property. In order to close the deal the seller needs to vacate the home by day of close, usually 5:00 p.m. Here are some items to address:

Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, cable and other scheduled services. Gather owner's manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances. Congratulation! You have finally made it! The property is sold and you now have cash in your pocket!