10 Step Guide to Selling Property!!!

 

Introduction

          Welcome to our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property! This guide contains an overview of the services clients receive who select Maryland’s Property Team and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage to represent their best interests. Having a real estate agent with a proven path to success is critical when selling property! When representing a seller, it is our team's job to make sure the property sells quickly, for top dollar and with the least amount of stress as possible! With our 45+ years of local knowledge and experience, we created our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property! From the beginning to the end we share secrets to getting top dollar, make sure our clients show their property at its best, maximize exposure with both innovative & traditional marketing techniques and constantly communicate what is going on throughout the process. After review, we hope that you will contact our team to Schedule a FREE No-Obligation Seller Consultation & Property Evaluation! Always the best!!!

 

The Benefits of Representation with Maryland's Property Team

  • 2 Associate Broker's representing your best interests!
  • 45+ years of local knowledge and experience!
  • Our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property!
  • Coldwell Banker, the #1 broker locally & globally by sales and volume!
  • We provide our services through a Performance Representation Agreement
    • Nothing is due until your property is SOLD!!!
    • No upfront fees!
    • We cover all marketing expenses!
  • If Maryland’s Property Team does not perform as described in our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property, client reserves the right to cancel their agency agreement per the terms of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s representation agreement.
  • Our Team's Vision & Past Client Testimonials!

 

Schedule a FREE No-Obligation Seller Consultation & Property Evaluation!

  • Review our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property!
  • Step 1- Our Initial Seller Interview
    • Discuss your goals and any concerns you may have
    • What are you looking for in a real estate agent?
  • Step 2- Establishing Current Market Value
    • A detailed look at your property's features
    • An analysis of how your property compares to the most recent market data
    • What can you expect to be left with after the sale?
  • Step 3- Getting the Property Ready for the Market
    • How to show your property at its best!
    • Establishing buyer’s expectations of selling standards

 

Outline

  • Step 1- Our Initial Seller Interview
  • Step 2- Establishing Current Market Value
  • Step 3- Getting the Property Ready for the Market
  • Step 4- Marketing Your Property
  • Step 5- What the Market is Saying
  • Step 6- Negotiating the Purchase Agreement
  • Step 7- Planning from Contract to Closing
  • Step 8- Guiding the Sale to Closing
  • Step 9- Closing
  • Step 10- Service After the Sale

 

Step 1- Our Initial Seller Interview

          When deciding to sell a property it is important to choose an agent and brokerage that you feel comfortable with and trust. There can be great differences in the level of service offered to the client not only between different brokerages, but also between agents in the same office. Real estate agents, like many other professional services, true value often comes from years of knowledge and experience. We make it a priority to inform our clients of how we are going to work together to accomplish your goals during the entire transaction at the very beginning. We like to begin by learning a little bit about you and sharing some information about ourselves. Some of the things that we will cover and discuss are:

  • Our Initial Seller Interview
    • Why are you selling?
    • Where are you going?
    • When do you need to sell by?
    • Who will be involved in the sale?
    • What do you think your property is worth?
    • How would you like to see your property marketed?
    • What would you like your real estate agent to help you with?
    • Any specific questions or concerns you would like us to cover?
  • The benefits of representation with Maryland's Property Team
    • 2 Associate Broker's representing your best interests!
    • 45+ years of local knowledge and experience!
    • Our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property!
    • Coldwell Banker, the #1 broker locally & globally by sales and volume!
    • We provide our services through a Performance Representation Agreement
      • Nothing is due until your property is SOLD!!!
      • No upfront fees!
      • We cover all marketing expenses!
    • If Maryland’s Property Team does not perform as described in our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property, client reserves the right to cancel their agency agreement per the terms of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s representation agreement.
    • More About Our Team & Past Client Testimonials!

 

Step 2- Establishing Current Market Value

          Studies conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® and numerous other sources have continually proven that properties that go under contract within the first 2 weeks on the market, sell for the most money. Our team will make sure that your property is introduced to the market to gain maximum interest, appeal and in turn net you top dollar! We will develop a plan to enhance your properties ability to attract buyers. One of the most important factors to attract potential buyers is to be thorough when Establishing Current Market Value. There are many factors to consider and we will go over all of them with you including:

  • A detailed look at your property's features
    • Address
      • Location, location, location
    • Property Type
      • Detached
      • Condo
      • Townhouse
    • Square footage
    • Number of bedrooms
    • Number of baths
    • Lot size
    • Age of home
    • Condition
    • Structural and Mechanical
      • Roof
      • Siding
      • Doors
      • Windows
      • Heating and cooling
      • Electric
      • Plumbing
      • Water
      • Sewage
    • Appliances
      • Stove
      • Fridge
      • Dishwasher
      • Microwave
      • Washer
      • Dryer
      • Water heater
    • Property Features
      • Waterfront
      • Water view
      • Water access
      • Pool
      • Garage
      • Parking
    • Lifestyle features
      • Entertainment
      • Shopping
      • Travel
      • Night life
    • Community amenities
      • Water access
      • Beach
      • Boat launch
      • Piers
      • Pool
      • Golf
      • Common grounds
      • Walking trails
      • Security
      • Age restrictions
      • Snow removal
      • Tot lot
      • Basketball courts
      • Tennis courts
      • Private roads
      • Storage
      • Water & sewer
      • Heating & cooling
      • Maintenance & Insurance
        • All-Inclusive
        • Drywall In
        • Exterior
    • Upgrades in last 5 years
    • Red flags
    • Latent defects
    • Material facts
    • Deferred maintenance
    • Physical deterioration
    • External obsolescence
    • Functional obsolescence
    • Anything specific to your property
  • How is market value determined?
    • Buyers
      • The 2 questions every buyer asks
        • What is the list price?
        • How long has the property been on the market?
      • What is a buyer willing to pay today?
        • The same concept as the stock market
          • Snap shot in time
          • In a cyclical market there will be natural ups and downs
        • Buyers tend to price compare vs negotiate today
          • If buyers see value, they purchase
          • If buyers do not see value, they keep shopping
    • Local conditions & trends
      • Sales prices are generally up year over year
      • Inventory is low
      • Buyer's expectations are high
      • Well priced listings in good condition tend not to last long
      • Many homes need some updating
      • Most buyer’s want turnkey and will pay premium for it!
  • Strategically setting the list price
    • There is no perfect answer for what your property is worth until it has sold
    • No two properties are exactly alike
    • We will research the market data through BrightMLS, the local multiple listing service
      • Properties sold publicly and privately
    • Advantages of action pricing
      • Getting top dollar
      • Selling quickly
      • Leverage during negotiations
      • Favorable terms
    • Disadvantages of overpricing & lukewarm pricing
      • Less traffic
      • Lost buyers
      • Appraisal Issues
        • Most potential offers will include an appraisal contingency
        • Sales comparison approach to value in residential real estate
        • FHA, VA & conventional guidelines appraisers must use
      • The longer it takes to sell, the less you will get
        • Properties don’t sit on the market and sell for top dollar
        • Average sales price to list price ratio in our market is 97%
          • Properties that go under contract in less than 30 days average close to 100%!
          • 30-90 days ~ 95% average
          • 90+ days ~ 90% average or less
        • Ask us to see our most recent monthly 30-60-90-day report!
      • Things that cost sellers money in today's market
        • "Let's leave some room to negotiate"
        • "Let’s try this number and we can always reduce later"
        • "The buyer can do that"
        • "The buyer can pay for that"
  • Making sure the numbers work for you
    • What can you expect to walk away with after the sale?
      • What matters most!
    • Estimated NET Proceeds Sheet
      • Mortgage payoff
      • Transfer taxes
      • Recording fees
      • Settlement costs
    • Recommend speaking with your accountant about tax advice!
    • Is it best to sell or does another option make more sense?

 

Step 3- Getting the Property Ready for the Market

          You never get a second chance at a first impression! If you have not sold a property in the last few years, you may be surprised by the current state of the real estate market. Until relatively recently real estate agents were needed to view a property. Today buyers can view homes for sale 24/7 from anywhere in the world. There are also numerous TV shows and media outlets that feed into buyer’s expectations of selling standards and what their home buying experience will be like. In this step we will begin Getting the Property Ready for the Market by making sure your property shows at its best! 

  • What sellers should know in today's market
    • Buyer’s expectations of selling standards are at an all-time high
    • Hardly any of us live in our homes the way they should be shown for sale
    • Need to show your property at its best to get top dollar
    • Most buyers purchase on emotion
      • Want potential buyers to be excited picturing themselves living in the home
      • Two of the best statements a potential buyer can make are
        • “I can picture us living here!”
        • “We don’t have to do anything!”
    • Almost every buyer today wants ‘their new home’ to be turn key
      • Seller will often pay in sales price if it is not
      • Many buyers purchase at the top of their price limit
        • Do not save cash to make repairs
      • Ask yourself ‘What would you change or fix if you were going to stay’?
        • Small improvements can make a big difference!
        • Buyers don’t repair, they replace
  • Property Improvement Suggestions- Please keep in mind this is a general list of recommendations. Some items may apply and others not at all to your specific situation. For a property specific list contact our team.
    • We recommend a 10-point inspection by a licensed home inspector
      • Deal with any potential discoveries on your own term's vs unreasonable request from buyer or loss of sale
      • We can recommend a professional if needed
    • Structural and mechanical- All systems working properly. Have serviced or repaired if needed.
      • Roof
      • Foundation
      • Grading
      • Gutters
      • Downspouts
      • Heating and cooling
        • Change filter(s)
        • Clean coils
      • Electric
        • GFCI near water sources
        • All outlets working
      • Plumbing
        • No leaking
          • Faucets
          • Fixtures
          • Drains
      • Water heater
      • Appliances
      • Fireplace
      • Well
      • Water treatment systems
      • Septic
    • Exterior- Many buyers still drive by homes. If potential buyers think the outside is well taken care of, they will believe the same of the inside and vice-versa.
      • Cut grass
      • Plant flowers entrance and walkway
      • Selective pruning
        • Trees
        • Bushes
      • Powerwash/Repaint
        • Siding
        • Decks
        • Porches
        • Driveway
        • Walkways
        • Fences
    • Interior
      • Thorough Cleaning
      • Declutter
      • Staging
        • We can recommend a professional if needed
      • Remove dated furniture
      • Personal effects gone
        • Family pictures
        • Religion
        • Politics
      • Fresh Paint
        • Neutral in color
        • Walls
        • Trim
        • Front Door
        • Banisters
        • Cabinets
      • Flooring
        • Show off nice flooring
          • Remove most rugs from wood floors and ceramic tile
        • Refinish wood floors
        • New carpet
          • Neutral in color
          • Don’t skimp on padding
      • Remove/Replace dated fixtures and inclusions
        • Gold is old
        • Doorknobs
        • Hinges
        • Cabinet hardware
        • Window locks
        • Bathroom fixtures
        • Lights
        • Fixtures
        • Trim
        • Fireplace coverings
        • Vents
        • Electric outlets and switches
      • Lighting
        • Hardly any potential buyers will say it’s too bright
        • Light in every room
        • All bulbs working
        • Bright bulbs
          • No CFL's
        • If switch in room should turn on light
      • Doors & Windows
        • Open and close freely
        • Visible and clean
        • Repair or remove screens
        • No wood rot jambs
      • Kitchen
        • Clean appliances
        • Clean sink and no dirty dishes
        • Counters free
        • Hide accessories
        • Show floors (no rugs)
        • Organized & no more than half full- If you don't fit, neither will they
          • Cabinets
          • Drawers
          • Pantry
      • Bathrooms
        • Clean toilets, seats down
        • Nice linens on racks
        • Show floors (no rugs)
        • Nothing on counters not designer
        • No toothbrushes, makeup, etc.
        • No wet towels or wash clothes
        • Cabinets- organized & no more than half full
          • If you don't fit, neither will they
      • Bedrooms
        • Bed
          • Designer sheets and pillows
        • Nightstand
        • Dresser
      • Closets
        • Organized
        • No more than half full & nothing on floor
          • If you don't fit, neither will they 
      • Garage & Storage
        • Organized and no more than half full
        • If you don't fit, neither will they 
  • How to show your property 
    • Showingtime
      • Our 3rd party scheduling service
      • Only agents can schedule
      • Best to allow showings whenever possible
      • Confirming showings
        • Approval required?
        • Who should be contacted?
      • Phone number- 800-746-9464
      • https://www.showingtime.com/login/
    • Sentrilock
      • Electronic lockbox
      • Only agents can access
      • There is an access log
    • How to set up for showings
      • Appeal to all potential buyer’s senses
      • Sight
        • Lights on
        • TV's off
        • Interior doors
          • Open to rooms
          • Bathroom doors open
          • Closet doors closed
        • Pets
          • Less evidence the better
        • Seller gone
      • Be aware of smells
        • Good smells
          • Fresh baked cookies
          • Apple pie
        • Bad smells
          • Basements
          • Trash
          • Smoke
          • Dirty dishes
          • Sinks
          • Garbage disposals
          • Dirty laundry
          • Washing machine
          • Fridge
          • Freezers
          • Bathrooms
          • Pets
          • Diapers
      • No loud sounds
      • Alarm/Security off for showings
        • "Why the need for an alarm?"
        • "Is this not a safe place to live?"
        • Distraction if set off
      • Comfortable temperature
        • Not hot in summer
        • Not freezing in winter
      • Protect valuables
        • Be smart
        • Be safe
      • Put away potential safety hazards
        • Guns
        • Knives
        • Sharp objects
        • Combustible fluids

 

Step 4- Marketing Your Property

          More than ever it is essential to make sure to choose an agent and brokerage that maximize both innovative & traditional marketing for your property! Our team lets our clients review all marketing before going live on the market. Some of the tools and methods our team uses when Marketing Your Property include:

  • Appealing to today's buyer
    • Professional photography
    • Detailed property information
    • Advertising the community and lifestyle
    • Our Team's Prospective Homebuyer Book
      • Features sheet
      • Property disclosures
      • Floor plans
      • Warranties & manuals
      • Seasonal photos
      • Survey
      • Plat
      • Community amenities
      • Local attractions and events
      • Any other important information about the property potential buyers should know
  • The online presence and reach of Coldwell Banker
    • Advertise 24/7 on 725+ high traffic websites in 156+ countries throughout the world
      • Global Luxury properties are featured on additional high-end websites
    • Our featured listings appear at the top of search results 3 times more often than our competitors on the websites where 90% of home buyers start their search including:
      • Realtor.com®, Trulia, Zillow®, Yahoo!® Homes, AOL, MSN®, FrontDoor.com™, Homes.com® and hotpads.com™
    • Strategic partnerships expose our properties to 16+ million potential buyers everyday
    • #1 broker on the internet & #1 in web traffic among all real estate brands
    • #1 broker locally & globally by sales and volume
    • Parent company, NRT LLC, has been ranked as the nation's #1 residential real estate brokerage for the 20th consecutive year with a sales volume larger than the total of our 13 closest competitors combined according to Real Trends
  • Yard sign with custom www.123YourProperty.com rider
  • Targeted social media marketing
  • Open houses
  • Networking local agents
  • And more!!! 

Step 5- What the Market is Saying

          According to the National Association of REALTORS® 'Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers', one of the largest complaints from sellers year after year is a lack of communication about what is happening. With our team this will never be a worry. We pride ourselves on keeping our clients informed of What the Market is Saying! Some of the methods that our team uses to accomplish this include:

  • Feedback responses
    • Potential buyers who have visited your property
    • Showing agents opinions
  • HomeBase Insight report
    • How many potential buyers have viewed your property online?
      • Realtor.com
      • Trulia
      • Zillow
      • Coldwell Banker Homes
    • Almost every report will look like a bell curve
      • Start off with increasing traffic
      • Maximum after about 2 weeks
      • Sharp decline after
  • Open house results
  • Email alerts of properties comparable to yours
    • Recently sold
    • Pending sales
    • New listings
  • Weekly updates
    • Actions we have taken to market your property
    • Changes in market conditions and trends
      • How do changes affect the sale of your property?
    • What the market and our experience tell us needs to be done
      • Can we reasonably overcome potential buyers concerns or objections?
      • Improve price
        • Our team recommends every 21-30 days for most properties
        • Never stay at one price longer than 60 days
        • Price is not always the problem, but it is always a solution
      • Is it best to sell or does another option make more sense?

 

Step 6- Negotiating the Purchase Agreement

          When it comes to negotiating, there are no one size fits all strategies. Our team will provide you with information so that you can make an informed decision. Some of the things our team will help with when Negotiating the Purchase Agreement include:

  • Presenting the purchase offer to you
    • Complex and involves various legal issues
      • We do not offer legal advice. Only attorneys can give legal advice!
    • Summary of most important items
      • Purchase price
      • Seller closing help
      • Escrow deposit
      • Date of closing
      • Financing
        • Proof of funds
        • Preapproval letter
          • Loan type
          • Down payment
      • Inspections
        • Buyer's right to ask for repairs
        • Buyer's right to terminate
    • Explain specific terms and conditions
      • Contract states
        • Property is to be sold in as-is condition per the date of contract ratification
        • Personal belongings are not included in the sale
        • Property to be delivered free of trash & debris and broom clean at settlement
        • Seller is not obligated to change or fix anything unless negotiated in contract
      • Items contract does not address
        • Professional cleaning
        • Steam cleaning
        • Paint
        • Nails in walls
        • Picture hangers
        • Mounted TV’s
        • Fixtures that require tools to remove generally are considered included with the property
        • Items of question should be addressed in the contract as inclusions or exclusions
    • Home sale or rental contingencies
    • Any other specific terms or conditions
  • Negotiation strategies and your options for responding
    • Accept
    • Reject
    • Counter
  • Structuring the offer to your advantage
    • Ways to increase favorable responses from buyers
    • Striking a balance; motivated but not too eager
    • Keeping the big picture in mind
  • Communicating the potential buyer's response to you and if necessary, suggest further negotiating options
  • Reach an agreement that is acceptable to you
  • Signing of appropriate documents to ratify the contract

 

Step 7- Planning from Contract to Closing

          Congratulations if you have successfully negotiated a ratified contract on your property! Before closing can occur, there are generally numerous contingencies and obligations which need to be fulfilled by both parties. Our team will make you aware of what you will be responsible for and develop a plan with you to make sure that everything is taken care of. Typical things our team will help you with include:

  • Distributing paperwork to all necessary parties
  • Informing you of important dates & deadlines
  • Access to our network of real estate professionals & services
    • Visit our Vendor's Page for professionals we have had positive experiences with in the past
  • Scheduling property inspections
  • Appraisal of the property
    • We always meet the appraiser at the property
    • Can take a week or two from property visit to complete report
  • Beginning title work
  • Delivering homeowner's association or condominium documents to buyer
    • Timeline for withdrawal begins from delivery to buyer
      • 5 days for resale HOA
      • 7 days for resale condo
  • Creating a move out plan
  • Switching or cancelling utilities and services
  • The final walk through
  • Settlement
  • Anything else specific to your transaction

 

Step 8- Guiding the Sale to Closing

          It's not over until it's over. When Guiding the Sale to Closing our team will track and inform you of the progress of your transaction. Our experience allows us to rarely be involved in uncharted waters and to navigate even the most difficult circumstances that may arise successfully. Some things that our team will help you with include:

  • Tracking removal of contingencies
  • Property inspection remedies
    • Review the inspection reports with you
    • Suggest specialists if necessary
  • Following through with financing contingencies
    • Appraisal
    • Required inspections
      • Termite
      • Well
      • Septic
    • Lender required repairs
    • Closing disclosure to buyer at least 3 days ahead of settlement
  • What to do if there are clouds on the title
    • Flaws in prior transfers
    • Liens
    • Encumbrances
  • Making sure utilities and services are set to transfer or be cancelled
    • Electric
    • Cable, internet and phone
    • Water filtration
    • Oil, gas and/or propane
    • Home security
    • Landscaping
    • Termite
  • The final walk-through
  • Any other help you may need

 

Step 9- Closing

          The day of closing is a very important day in the selling process. The title company will be conducting the settlement. At the end of closing, your property will be SOLD! For closing to go as smoothly as possible it is best to know what to expect. Our team will assist you with:

  • Notifying you of what to bring
    • Funds forwarding location
      • It is common to have the proceeds wired to your account
    • Photo ID- needed to verify your identity
    • Checkbook- Just in case
    • Receipts for completed work
    • Keys
    • Garage remotes
    • Warranties
    • Manuals
    • Service contracts
    • Anything else that transfers with the sale
  • The settlement company’s responsibilities
    • Prepare all documents to transfer title
      • Deed
      • ALTA settlement statement
    • Witness all parties signing of documents
    • Exchange all necessary funds
    • Release all liens you had on the property
    • Provide all parties with copies of the settlement documentation
    • Ensure that the buyer's title is properly recorded in the local records office
  • When all documents are signed & funds exchanged, the property is SOLD!

 

Step 10- Service After the Sale

          Maryland’s Property Team does not believe that our service to our clients should end at the settlement table! We believe that in our team's effort to stay committed to a high level of service, that service after the sale is equally important. We want you to be our clients for life! Some things our team will be available to help you with long after settlement include:

  • Answering real estate questions you may have
  • Continued access to our network of real estate related services
  • Follow us on social media for
    • Tips on home ownership
    • Local market trends and insights
    • Real estate related updates
  • Being available for any real estate needs that your friends, family or self may have!
  • FREE No-Obligation Seller Consultations & Property Evaluations!

 

In Conclusion

          Thank you for taking the time to review our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property! We hope this resource is of valuable assistance. To schedule your FREE No-Obligation Seller Consultation & Property Evaluation or if there is anything we can help with, Contact a Member of Our Team! Always the best!!!