So, you have decided to sell your property. Before anything else, it is a good idea to sit down and clarify your motivations and draw up a basic time frame for the selling process.
Why do you want to sell your property? Do you intend to simply find a larger or smaller property, or do you plan on moving to another neighborhood, city or state? You might think your reasons are obvious, but it would do well to consider the implications of each option for your lifestyle, opportunities, and finances. Being clear about your intentions for selling will make it easier for us to determine the most appropriate option for your lifestyle, and real estate goals.
When Should I Sell?
You should immediately establish your time frame for selling. If you need to sell quickly, we can speed up the process by giving you a complete market analysis and action plan. If there is no pressing need to sell immediately, we can sit with you to thoroughly review the current market conditions and establish the most favorable timeframe to sell.
What Is the Market Like?
When you work with us, you can be sure that you will have our knowledge, expertise and negotiating skills at work for you to achieve the highest net return from the sale. We will keep you up-to-date on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, terms and conditions of competing properties.
How Do I Optimize My Finances?
There are usually worthwhile improvements that will improve the ultimate selling price and speed the sale. We will work with you to identify and achieve these high value projects as needed. We will also help you identify if capital gains taxes apply that will affect you net return from the sale.
SELECT AN AGENT
Why Should You Choose Us?
We are high service professionals and believe our marketing program is the most comprehensive in the area. Achieving the highest possible net return for you is our ultimate goal. Preparation is the key to a successful sale and we will actively guide you through all of the important processes. Keep in mind that we pay for all of the marketing activities and processes for your sale. We do more than any others in the business.
Also keep in mind that California is a very litigious state that favors the buyers in a transaction. We are broadly experienced in risk management and will take the necessary steps to protect you from a post-closing claim.
What To Look For In An Agent.
The following are a couple of factors to keep in mind when looking for a listing agent:
- Education and Experience. The most important factors in choosing a real estate professional is their education and experience in the real estate industry. We have advanced training and education placing us among the top 1% of agents in Lamorinda. Additionally, we have performed over 1000 transactions over more than 20 years. We are full time agents and have a team such that we are always available. We maximize the use of technology in the sales process.
- Availability and Commitment.We will take prompt and decisive action during the course of selling your property. We will keep in touch with you constantly. We are full time agents and have a team such that we are always available 24/7. We maximize the use of technology in the sales process both for marketing and communications with you.
- Rapport.We believe that good chemistry is vital to good communications and comfort through a transaction. We also recognize that this may well be one of the largest financial activities you undertake during your life and we take particular care that you receive the level of support and communications that you want to be comfortable.
What Is Your Property Worth?
Most independent property sellers tend to optimistically overestimate the market value of their property. We will help you evaluate all of the supporting data in determining the current market value and consequently the offering price.
PREPARE TO SELL
You can do a lot to increase the appeal of your property and to create a lasting impact on potential buyers.
What To Do To Prepare:
We are happy to help prepare your property for sale. The following are a few factors to keep in mind when listing your property for sale:
- Curb Appeal.
Keeping your landscape pristine, and adding creative touches to your yard, such as colorful annuals, will create an immediate impact on passers-by and potential buyers. It is frequently advantageous to cut overgrown bushes and trees away from the home.
- Property Preparation.
Simple upgrades such ascarpet cleaning or replacement, and a fresh coat of paint in the most frequently used rooms will instantly freshen up the property. We are happy to guide you through this process. We are very sensitive to costs and will only recommend things that we feel certain will bring you at least two times the investment at sale. These things will frequently return five times the cost or more.
- Cleanliness and Staging.
Keep your property uncluttered and well-lit from top-to-bottom. Buyers want to envision themselves in the property so removing excess furniture, “tchotchkes”, art, and de-personalizing will make this process easier for them. We have done this hundreds of times and know how to best set-up the home.
- Disclosures and Inspections.
We are very familiar with the legal procedures involved in disclosures and are ready to help you develop a thorough disclosure package beneficial to both you and the buyer. We will recommend what inspections or investigations should be done before placing the property on the market.
Presenting your property to potential buyers is a job that we will take care of for you. Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with the agent, if you are not there. Moreover, we know what information will be most useful in representing your interests when speaking with prospective buyers.
ACCEPTING AN OFFER
The Price Is Not Always Right.
“The higher the price, the better the offer.” Do not let yourself be fooled by this popular misconception. Price is not always the determining factor when accepting an offer for several important reasons: the initial offer is usually not final, and there are a number of terms and conditions that may influence the final outcome of a price. We will help you thoroughly evaluate every proposal without compromising your marketing position.
Negotiating The Right Way.
We take the ethical responsibility of fairly negotiating contractual terms very seriously. It is our job to find an agreement from a qualified buyer that can actually close. We may generate multiple offers for you to review before ratifying the one you judge to be the most suitable for you. We will guarantee a thorough and objective assessment of each offer to help you make the right choice.
The Initial Agreement and Deposit.
A Residential Purchase Agreement is a legal arrangement between a purchaser and the property’s seller. An initial deposit will be required within 3 days of the contract date. The contract may specify that the deposit will be increased up to 3% of the purchase price after the inspections contingency is removed.
ESCROW INSPECTIONS AND APPRAISAL
Inspections and Appraisals
Most buyers will have the property inspected by a licensed property inspector within the time frame that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase. Some buyers will have several different inspectors inspect the property, if they wish to obtain professional opinions from inspectors who specialize in a specific area (eg. roof, HVAC, structure). If the agreement is conditional upon financing, then the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution via third party. This is done so that the lending institution can confirm their investment in your property is accurate.
The Escrow Company.
A title company will be selected as the closing agent, whose job is to examine and insure clear title to real estate. After researching the complete recorded history of your property, they will certify that 1) your title is free and clear of encumbrances (eg. mortgages, leases, or restrictions, liens) by the date of closing; and 2) all new encumbrances are duly included in the title.
A contingency is a condition that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding.Before completing his or her purchase of your property, the buyer goes over every aspect of the property. These include:
- Obtaining financing and insurance;
- Reviewing all pertinent documents, such as preliminary title reports and disclosure documents; and
- Inspecting the property. The buyer has the right to determine the condition of your property by subjecting it to a wide range of inspections, such as roof, termite/pest, chimney/fireplace, property boundary survey, well, septic, pool/spa, arborist, mold, lead based paint, HVAC, etc.
Depending on the outcome of these inspections, one of two things may happen:
- Either each milestone is successfully closed and the contingencies will be removed, bringing you one step closer to the closing; or
- The buyer, after reviewing the property and the papers, requests repairs or price credit.
We will work with you to assess the inspection results and guide you through the process to complete the transaction.
Loan Approval and Appraisal.
As part of the offer process, we will evaluate the financial strength of the buyers. They will bring a pre-approval letter, a pre-underwritten approval, or proof of funds for a cash purchase. We will evaluate and confirm their financial abilities prior to acceptance.
After all contingencies are removed the buyers and sellers will be asked to schedule time to sign the various documents. Sellers can sign at most any time and Buyers will need to wait until loan documents are available which is usually closer to close.
CLOSE OF ESCROW
Final Walk-Through Inspection.
More of a formality than anything else, the final inspection takes place within 5 days before closing. This is an opportunity for the buyers to verify that the property is in the same condition as at the contract date and that any negotiated repairs are complete. It is also a chance for the sellers to show how the home systems work.
Cancel Home Services and Utilities
We will provide a list of useful numbers for the termination of home services and utilities after the closing occurs.
We are ready to assist you should an unforeseen glitch pop up, even at this last stage. If something at the property breaks down or the buyers’ loan does not pull through on time, there is no need to worry. We have encountered these problems before so we know how to handle them efficiently and in a stress-free manner.
The closing agent will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. Funds will be wired by the escrow company upon recording notice. Relax, we have done this hundreds of times and will get you successfully through it all.