The Selling Process

Sometimes, the idea of selling your home can be daunting. But this usually is because you feel like you are moving forward into the unknown without being aware of what is going to come next! Let’s break this process down together – outlining it from start to finish. Eliminate the questions of what comes next and give you a clear picture of how we are going to get you past the finish line and to CLOSING.

– Amanda Hicks

 

Getting Listed

 

Walk-Thru of Property. Our first appointment together will last for right about one hour for an average size home. We will discuss your goals and concerns about selling as well as tour your property together. I will take notes, ask questions, photos (not for marketing, but for reference) and several measurements. Any other significant neighborhood features are important to note at this time as well.

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). Having had the opportunity to thoroughly view your home – I will use this information in preparing a CMA that includes recently sold, active, and market rejected listings. We will look at local market conditions and statistics on surrounding neighborhoods so we know what homes are selling for and how long it is taking them to reach closing.

Pricing. Together, we will create a pricing strategy based upon on the CMA, statistical information as well as your goals – selecting the price that best fits your situation and time frame. Ultimately, the pricing decision is yours.

Listing Paperwork. In order to list and sell your home, we will complete an Exclusive-Right-To-Sell listing contract. This is a contract created by the Colorado Real Estate Commission that is required to be completed when hiring a real estate agent. This form gives them authorization to market your home for sale and to represent you throughout the transaction as your broker. We will walk through this paperwork together at it outlines the job of your realtor, the marketing that will be completed for your property, the compensation agreed to and the duration of the agreement. We will also quickly complete the state required disclosure forms so the paperwork is out of the way. We will also discuss arrangements for how to arrange showings to suite you and your family.

Pre-Title Commitment and O&E Report (Owner’s & Encumbrances Report). I will order these immediately to reduce the chance of any surprise arising after going under contract dealing with Title problems.

 

Pre-Market Preparations

 

Staging. First step towards properly marketing your home will be to arrange for a staging consultation (for occupied homes). We will arrange a time that is convenient for you to meet with a professional stager and this appointment will last up to two hours. Now, it is your choice to have a stager come to your home and provide practical advice. I strongly encourage you to utilize this time to learn what is going to make your home the most appealing and desirable property around as I’ve seen staging alone be the difference of thousands and thousands of dollars. Start with the things you can do that cost no money – then move on to completing anything the stager recommends that provides the biggest bang for your buck within your budget. We can discuss which items would be most important to providing eye appeal to buyers. Finish everything that you can do within the timeframe that you have before photos. Don’t stress or worry about the rest.

Professional Measurements. A licensed appraiser is hired to professionally measure your home. The floor plan will be used for marketing materials and will be available to buyers and Realtors®. This can be done as soon as we complete listing paperwork and your home doesn’t even have to be clean for it!

Professional Photographer. We will hire a professional photographer who specializes in real estate photography to come to your home. If available within our timeframe – we will book a twilight shoot that makes your property stand out amongst the competition when buyers are shopping online. Photos will be what attracts buyers initially to your home, driving more showings which lead to your highest sales price. Your home should be staged and ready as though a buyer is walking through it. Prior to photos, walk through your home and yard and locate things within your vision that take away from the charm your home has to offer and remove them. You can even temporarily hide items for photos such as countertop appliances, bathroom toiletries, trash bins and garden hoses – returning them after the photos are completed. Photos typically take 48 business hours to be edited and returned to us for marketing.

 

Create & Order Marketing Materials.

 

By getting all your marketing prepared prior to listing – we ensure that you home packs a heavy punch when it hits the market and gains great exposure. If necessary, it is possible to go live immediately after getting the photos back and then ordering the additional marketing. However – it will take about 1 week for the below to be prepared and ready.

  • Custom Brochures. Your brochures are custom designed by my graphic designer utilizing the photography, floorplan and listing information. Once approved, it is sent off to be printed. These will be placed in a brochure box on the yard sign and will be filled at all times.
  • Just Listed Postcards. Another piece wonderfully put together by the graphic designer, these postcards are prepared specifically to target a potential buyer. This is done by identifying what kind of buyer will be attracted to your home specifically and sending the postcards to them instead of blindly sending out to your neighborhood.
  • Counter Display. We will prepare an informational notebook featuring your property containing most things a buyer will want to know: survey, school information, utilities, homeowners association, pre-inspection information, etc.
  • Offer Packets. These make it easy for potential buyers and their real estate agents to submit an offer. This includes offer writing instructions (basic information necessary for preparing a contract on your specific home) as well as all required disclosures for the sale of your property. Available both at your home for them to take after a showing and also online for agents to download from the MLS to prepare the offer.
  • Property Website & Virtual Tour. Your photos, virtual tour and listing information will be used to create a webpage specific to your home! Check this out – it really is not your standard marketing and I only use the best!
  • Sign Riders. Custom sign riders are ordered (these are attached to the sign in your front yard). This includes a sign rider for your property website as well as important information buyer’s driving by wouldn’t know at first glance (Tandem 3 Car Garage, Finished Basement, etc.) and are used to incite interest.
“A lot of marketing and the best of quality. All cost and time associated with the marketing of your home is covered by me, your real estate professional. Remember, I don’t get paid until your home sells!”

 

Going Live on MLS & Continued Marketing Efforts

 

‘For Sale’ Sign & Lockbox Installed. The sign with attached sign riders and brochure box will be placed in your front yard and a lockbox installed for agents to gain access to the home during approved showings.

On-Site Marketing. The custom brochures are placed in the brochure box. Counter Display and Offer Packets left inside the home.

Entered into MLS (Multiple Listing Service). I will enter your home’s information into the MLS, giving you exposure to thousands of agents and buyers.

Information Exchanges. Your listing is also submitted to what is called an information exchange; allowing your home to gain exposure on thousands of websites including Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo Real Estate, Realtor.com and more! There are many places that buyers can view your home online – but this is only possible through utilizing information exchanges which has to be selected when in-putting the listing.

Enhance Realtor.com Listing. I will submit your home for an enhanced advertising with up to 25 photos and a customized page on Realtor.com

Just Listed Postcards. The completed postcards are mailed to our target audience. We also have the option to mail these two days prior to your scheduled list date so that that the arrival of the post cards coordinates as closely as possible with your listing date.

Newspaper Marketing. Your home is submitted for a New Listing advertisement in the local paper. Open houses, price changes or listing status changes will be placed in the paper as well.

Open House. Open houses will be hosted at your property when it is convenient for you. This allows your home to gain more exposure to potential buyers that can utilize the convenience of a scheduled time to view your property. Open houses will be marketed online and with signage and occasionally in the newspaper.

Homes & Land Magazine. A full-color ad in the award-winning Homes & Land Magazine is placed for every cycle that your home is for sale and not yet under contract. Magazines are issued monthly. Your home will also be seen on www.homesandlands.com and over 20 other major websites that pull data from their website.

E-Brochure to Top Realtors®. Our focus is to market and expose your home to as many potential buyers as possible which means marketing to agents working with potential buyers for your home. I email your home’s e-brochure to over 500 Realtors in our local marketplace. Updates on your listings are sent to these Realtors with listing status changes such as price adjustments or ‘back on the market’.

Listing on E-Signatures. A link to your property will be located on the E-Signature to my email. In this line of work, I live and breathe in my inbox because my main communication is to brokers, lenders and buyers. This enables your home to be advertised with every email I send.

 

Let the Showings Begin

 

Showings. Our office is open 7 days a week to ensure no opportunity is lost when an agent needs to schedule a showing on your property. Real Estate Agents will contact the C3 office and make a showing request. Showings will then be approved or denied based upon the requirements we established together when listing your home. Examples of showing arrangements are as follows:

  • Showing Approval Required: If approval is required for a showing to take place, the office will contact you either by phone call or text message to inform you of the request to show your home, typically in a 1 hour time block. You can then accept or reject the showing.
  • Curtesy Call: The office will notify you via phone, email or text (your preference) to a showing request. Usually a curtesy call showing arrangement will be set up to require so much advance notice. Such as automatic showing approval with 3 hour notice. If for any reason a showing is scheduled and the appointment will not work for you – just call the office to ask that the showing be cancelled or moved.
  • Go & Show: Showing requests are automatically approved and agents provided lockbox and showing instructions. Typically this arrangement is used for homes that are vacant. Notification of appointments are sent by email is desired.
“Remember, without showings there are no potential buyers! Approve as many showings as possible to ensure that numerous buyers have the opportunity to view your home. More buyers in your home leads to the highest and best sale price possible.”

Buyer/Realtor Survey. Feedback surveys are sent to the agents and their buyers who have seen your home and document their thoughts on price, condition, and whether there is a buyer interest.

Weekly Contact. I will contact you weekly at a minimum to give you an update on the marketing of your home, discuss showings and the feedback we have received as well as answer any questions you may have. Consistent and clear communication is the backbone of good business.

 

Negotiations & Under Contract

 

Contract Negotiation. When an offer is received on your property I will notify you of the good news. We will arrange for a time to meet up; ideally in person to review the contract and to discuss the offer pros and cons. At this time, if the offer is not what we would like it to be – we will discuss options (either reject or counter) and how we negotiate to create an agreement that is favorable to you.

Under Contract. Once coming to an agreement with a buyer and the contract documents are signed – this paperwork is going to be submitted to the title company, the buyer’s lender, to my real estate office and to the buyer’s broker as well. Every party begins processing the contract to prepare for the journey towards closing.

Earnest Money. The buyer will be submitting an earnest money check (typically around 1% of sales price) to the Title Company to be held in escrow. These funds are applied towards the buyer’s down payment at closing. IF the buyer terminates the contract within one of the contract deadlines – the earnest money is refunded in full to the buyer. If the buyer terminates the contract after the contract deadlines – the earnest money is dispersed to the seller. Keep in mind, the Colorado purchase contract is very protective of the Buyer. Most commonly – a buyer’s earnest money is only at risk of loss after the Loan Objection Deadline. If the buyer has a home to sell (a contingency), then their earnest money is protected till they sell their home per the Conditional Sale Deadline. No action is required from you.

Property Insurance. This contract item is solely the buyer’s responsibility. The buyer will obtain Property Insurance for the home that begins on the day of Closing. No action from you is required.

Home Inspection. The home inspection is typically scheduled within the first week or two under contract. This appointment typically lasts between 3 and 4 hours. I want to encourage you to take a moment to make any repairs you know are needed prior to the inspection. Switching out the furnace filter, making sure gutters are down/extended and window screens are installed – it is little things like this will prove one less thing on the inspection report! The home inspector and buyer will be at your home during this time. This is their opportunity to ‘get to know’ the house better. Expect the buyer to ask us to correct several items on the home – it is very rare that a buyer will ask for nothing. This will be in the form of an Inspection Objection. Upon receiving an Inspection Objection we will review this document together and discuss. On the rare occasion, a buyer may terminate the contract because of the inspection, but typically we have three options:

  1.  You, the seller can agree to fix all the items the buyer has asked to have corrected. This agreement will be on an Inspection Resolution and all parties proceed towards closing.
  2. You may decide you agree to fix several of the items but not all of them. In this case, we go back to the buyer and propose the changes. If they accept or we can negotiate agreeable terms – we state the agreement on the Inspection Resolution and then everyone moves along with the contract. If an agreement cannot be reached the Buyer may terminate the contract.
  3. If you don’t agree to do any of the items on the Inspection Objection we inform the buyer of that decision. The buyer can then either agree to proceed without any repairs and such OR they have the ability to terminate the contract.

Title Commitment. The Title Company has been working on processing your contract and will provide to us a Title Commitment. If there were any special title requirements – the bank or title company would inform us of those. However, because I pulled a pre-commitment and O&E Report previous to listing – I expect these Title Deadlines to come and go without you even noticing!

Association Documents. Upon signing listing documents – I will have reached out to any Association that your home is included in to obtain those association documents and information. These will be provided to the buyer for their review. Upon their acceptance of association information and documentation – we complete these deadlines. Typically, nothing is needed from you. On the rare occasion, an HOA will require the homeowner to obtain these documents and not release them directly to me, but it is seldom.

Due Diligence Documents. This applies only if the buyer has requested some sort of special documentation very specific to your property. For instance, a septic system cleaning receipt or well water testing results, or perhaps a structural engineers report. Whatever it is, if something is requested – we will discuss when reviewing their offer and provide to the buyer as agreed upon.

ILC or Survey. If an ILC or Survey is required (typically this is only done ever when asked for by the lender or Title Company), it will be ordered and completed as agreed upon. Depending on the contract terms – this may be paid either by the seller or buyer, but will be discussed when reviewing any offer initially.

Appraisal. The buyer will order and pay for an appraisal of your property. If a home is being financed, the appraisal typically needs to come in at list price for the buyer to obtain their loan. The appraiser will schedule a time to view your home. Treat this appointment as a showing. While an appraiser should be able to look past ‘stuff’ to view your home for what it is – we want your property to show well and appraise for the highest amount possible to try and avoid any appraisal issues. If the appraisal were to come in below purchase price we will discuss together what options there are. Often, it will take about a week to get the appraisal back from the time they view your home. You will be notified once it is received and we are clear of this hurdle!

Loan Objection. Commonly, the last deadline prior to closing is Loan Objection. This is the buyer’s ‘last out’ of sorts from the purchase of your home in order to keep their earnest money (with the exception to the Conditional Sale Deadline, if applicable). By this time, it is expected that the buyer has finalized their loan. No action from you is required.

Conditional Sale Deadline. Only applies if the buyer required their home to sell in order to purchase yours. This is the deadline that the buyer can exit the contract for their home not being sold. Often this will fall on the Closing Date because the buyer will sell their home in the morning, and using the proceeds from that sale – purchase yours. Even if they have the funds to buy yours without closing on their home – they may still be required to sell so that they can qualify to purchase (debt-to-income ratios).

Closing. The finish line! About 2 weeks prior to closing, we will schedule the time of closing. 1 week prior to closing you will receive all the closing information including location, settlement statement and a reminder to reach out to your utility companies.

READY TO GET STARTED?
Call me today at 970.581.0384 or reach out by email to AHicks@C3-RE.com