Close
For Sellers

Select a Qualified Real Estate Agent

Selling your home is serious business. You need an agent who understands this and possesses the expertise and competence to successfully sell your home. In selecting a real estate professional to list your home for sale, you want to make sure that this agent

  • Represents your interests
  • Possesses an in-depth knowledge of current market conditions in order to provide you with the most up-to-date and meaningful advise when you are determining the listing price and evaluating offers to purchase your property
  • Utilizes a proven sales approach that covers everything from getting the property ready for sale and marketing the property to negotiating the terms of the purchase contract and successfully closing escrow
  • Keeps you informed of changing market conditions
  • Possesses outstanding listening and negotiating skills
  • Keeps you fully informed about the people who view your property and the feedback they give
  • Is attentive to the details of taking your transaction from offer acceptance to the close of escrow
  • Is easy to contact and promptly follows up with you on any questions

Sales Approach

Your real estate agent should present you with a complete, well thought out, proven plan to sell your property. This plan should begin with identifying the steps necessary to get your property ready for sale to actually marketing the property to closing escrow. A well thought out plan is an important step towards selling your home for the best possible price in the least amount of time and with the least amount of stress. A good sales plan should include

  • Comparative market analysis and review of current market conditions to determine a reasonable listing price
  • Steps to take that can increase the marketability of your home, both from a price and time perspective
  • Steps the agent will take to “get the word out” that your home is for sale, such as listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), placing a for sale sign on the property and advertisement
  • When and how many times your home will be shown to other agents and the public in general
  • Process for showing the home by appointment
  • Process for reviewing offers with you
  • Steps the agent will take to ensure a smooth, successful close of escrow

Prepare Your Home

How your home shows is nearly as important as where it is located when it comes to selling it. You want to take every step possible to maximize what you can get out of selling your home.

  • Create the best first impression possible with prospective buyers
  • Make people comfortable as they view your home and excited about the prospect of buying your home

There are many steps you can take to achieve these goals. Before you show your home

  • Clean up the exterior. This will attract people to your home as they approach it for a viewing or if they are simply driving by and see a for sale sign
    • Keep lawn cut and in good condition
    • Keep hedges and shrubs trimmed
    • Clear driveway and clean up oil spills
    • Touch up paint
    • Make minor repairs
  • Create space. This allows the spaciousness of your home to show through, so that prospective buyers can more easily imagine how their possessions would look in your home
    • Clear hallways and closets
    • Clear closets of unnecessary clothing
    • Remove any empty boxes and containers
    • Clear counter tops
    • Store excess furniture
  • Clean up the interior. This conveys your pride of ownership and allows people to focus on the amenities of your home
    • Clean all rooms thoroughly (bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room)
    • Clean all appliances (refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, furnace vents and filters)
    • Clean carpets
    • Clean windows, including drapes and blinds
  • Perform maintenance. This also conveys your pride of ownership and allows people to focus on the amenities of your home
    • Touch up paint
    • Replace light bulbs
    • Repair seals around tubs, sinks and counter tops
    • Repair cracked plaster
    • Repair leaking faucets and toilets
    • Tighten door knobs and latches
  • Consider performing inspections to include in your seller’s disclosure package to prospective buyers. In a fast moving market, having inspections performed prior to offer acceptance can expedite the sale process
    • Pest inspection
    • General contractor inspection
    • Underground storage tank inspection
    • Other inspections
  • When your home is shown, you want prospective buyers to be excited about making an offer to purchase your home. While buying a home is a major financial decision that involves a lot of thought, it is usually an emotional decision to actually write an offer on a specific property. To create the proper mood when your home is shown
    • Turn on lights
    • Open drapes or blinds
    • Light the fireplace
    • Open windows or turn on the heater
    • Place flowers and plants throughout your home
    • Make sure every room is clean, neat and orderly

Offer Acceptance and Close of Escrow

Once you have received one or more offers, you must decide whether to accept one of these offers or make a counter-offer to one or a number of them. The counter-offer process continues until either you or the buyer accepts the latest counter-offer, in writing. At this point, you have what is called a “ratified deal” and are ready to begin the escrow process.

During the escrow process, you and the buyer will be performing all the requirements under the purchase contract. For example, the buyer’s responsibilities would include arranging the actual loan for the purchase, getting a pest inspection and a contractors inspection (if these have not already been completed), reviewing disclosure documents and releasing contingencies, among other things. As seller, you would be responsible for preparing and presenting various disclosures to the buyer and making your home available for inspections and appraisal, among other things. Your real estate professional should help you navigate through this involved process, making sure all parties meet all critical deadlines and explaining each step of the process to you.

The escrow process ends when all conditions to closing, as specified in the purchase contracts and through joint instructions of the buyer and seller, have been successfully completed. This includes loan funding and payment of any balance the buyer has outstanding towards the down payment and closing costs and payment of any balances you have outstanding to close escrow. Escrow closes when money is successfully transferred to you from the buyer and the title officer records the sale in county records.

Moving Checklist

As you prepare to purchase your new home, you need to remember all the details involved in moving. Making a detailed checklist is the best way to ensure that your move into your new home is happy experience. Some of the things that you should include on your list are:

  1. Cancel existing home owners or renters insurance and arrange for new home owners insurance policy. If you have not had home insurance before, your real estate agent should be able to provide some references. Check with at least two or three providers before choosing a specific one, in order to make sure you are getting the best coverage for the best price.
  2. Arrange for a mover. You should get quotes from a few moving companies and make arrangements as early as possible to make sure you get the time slot you want.
  3. Contact utility companies to cancel existing accounts and arrange for new service
    • Water
    • Telephone
    • Gas & electric
    • Cable or satellite TV
    • Internet access
    • Garbage
  4. Change address for all subscriptions
    • Newspapers
    • Magazines
    • Newsletters
  5. Change address for financial and other accounts
    • Bank accounts
    • Investment accounts, including direct investments in mutual funds
    • Retirement accounts
    • Credit card accounts
    • Frequent flyer programs
  6. Send change of address cards to
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Neighbors
    • Doctors
    • Dentist
    • Pharmacist
    • Gym
  7. Professional associations
  8. Fill out change of address information with the US Postal Service
  9. Change you address with government offices and documents

Relocation

We offer a full range of relocation services and have developed respected relationships with many corporate relocation agents and companies over the years. Whether you are a buyer relocating to San Francisco or the Bay Area for the first time, or a long term resident who has decided to move to a nearby county or out of state, we can assist you with all your real estate related needs. Contact us anytime to discuss your relocation. We look forward to hearing from you.