Our Team’s 10 Step Guide to Selling Property!!!

 

Introduction

          Hello and welcome to our team's 10 Step Guide to Property Selling! Before we begin, we realize that you may only be in the information gathering stage at this point and not ready for the help of a real estate agent. If you are considering interviewing agents who can successfully get your property SOLD, we would love the privilege of meeting with you! This page contains an overview of the services clients receive who select Maryland’s Property Team and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage to represent their best interests. After review, we hope that you will consider contacting our team to Schedule Your FREE No-Obligation Seller Consultation & Property Evaluation!

          Having a real estate agent with a proven path to success is critical when selling your property! With our 45+ years of local knowledge and experience, we created our team's 10 Step Guide to Selling Property! When representing a seller, it is our job to make sure the property sells for the most money with the least amount of stress as possible! From the beginning to the end we make sure our clients show their property at its best, share secrets to pricing competitively, maximize exposure with both innovative and traditional marketing techniques and constantly communicate what is going on throughout the process. If you have any questions or there is anything that we can help with please Contact a Member of Our Team. Always the best!!!

We offer FREE No-Obligation Seller Consultations & Property Evaluations:

  • 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
    • Establishing buyers expectations of selling standards
    • How to show your property at its best!
  • Have a decision to make about representation
    • If you like what we have to say we would love the opportunity to represent your best interests and get your property SOLD!!!
    • If you would like to go in another direction, we wish you the best and if anything changes in the future we will always be here to help!

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 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!

 

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

 

10 Step Guide to Selling Property

*Page Under Construction*

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. 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. Some of the things that we will cover and discuss at 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 Exclusive Representation with Our Team
    • 2 Associate Broker's representing your best interests!
    • 45+ years of local knowledge and experience
    • Our team's 10 Step Guide to Property Selling!
    • 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 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 sell for the most money within the first 2 weeks on the market. When you choose to work with Maryland’s Property Team, we 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. The most important factor 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
    • Property type
      • Detached
      • Condo
      • Townhouse
    • Square footage
    • Number of bedrooms
    • Number of baths
    • Lot size
    • Age of home
    • Condition
    • Utilities
      • Sewer or septic
      • Public water or well
      • Water heater
    • Appliances
    • Mechanics
      • Roof
      • Siding
      • Doors
      • Windows
      • Heating and cooling
      • Electric
      • Plumbing
    • Lifestyle features
    • Community amenities
      • Water access
      • Pool
      • Golf
      • Common grounds
      • Walking trails
      • Security
      • Snow removal
      • Tot lot
      • Basketball Courts
      • Tennis Courts
      • Private roads
      • Water & sewer
      • Heating & cooling
      • Maintenance & Insurance
        • All-Inclusive
        • Drywall In
        • Roof
        • Exterior
        • Windows
    • Upgrades in last 5 years
    • Red flags
    • Latent defects
    • Material facts
    • Deferred maintenance
    • Physical deterioration
    • External obsolescence
    • Functional obsolescence
    • How is market value determined?
      • Economics of supply and demand in relation to the selling of residential real estate
      • 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
          • In a cyclical market, there will be natural ups and downs
          • Buyers tend to price compare vs negotiate today
            • When buyers see value they purchase
          • In our local market out of all properties that sell
            • 97% is the average sales price to list price ratio
              • Properties that go under contract in less than 30 days are often higher than that
          • Buyer’s don’t often negotiate to 90% value
            • They will price shop and find value elsewhere
      • Appraisers
        • Most potential offers will include an appraisal contingency
        • How do appraisals work
        • FHA, VA, conventional guidelines
        • Sales comparison approach to value in residential
      • What is going on in the market?
        • We will research the market data through MRIS the local multiple listing service
          • Properties sold publicly and privately
        • Local conditions & trends
          • Yes, you can sell!
          • 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 for it!
      • Strategically setting list price
        • There is no perfect answer for what your property is worth until it goes contract
          • In economics any commodity is essentially worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it
          • Selling a property has the unique characteristic that no two properties are exactly alike
        • Advantages of action pricing
          • Selling high
          • Selling fast
            • Buyers are ready to buy
        • Disadvantages of overpricing & lukewarm pricing
          • The longer it takes to sell the less you will get later
            • Properties don’t sit on the market for 6 months and sell for top dollar.
          • How much money do you lose if you don’t sell in 30, 60, 90 days or more?
          • Things that cost sellers money in today's market
            • Leaving room to negotiate
            • Let’s try this number and we can always reduce later.
      • 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. It used to be that real estate agents were needed to view a property. Now buyers can view your property 24/7 from anywhere in the world. There are also numerous media outlets and TV shows that are feeding into buyer’s expectations of what properties should look like and what their buying experience will be like. In this step we will begin “Getting the Property and Yourself Ready for the Market” by making sure your property is introduced to the market at its best! Some methods we use to accomplish this include:

  • Establishing buyer’s expectations of selling standards
    • Need to show property at it’s best
    • Condition is huge
    • Property should not be dated
    • Clean and staged in order to get top dollar
    • We understand that many sellers can feel that real estate agents are just trying to get the seller to spend money and ask for price reductions.
    • A good agent will know about buyer’s expectations of what investments have a good return.
    • Often buyers are focused on cosmetics more than mechanics and small improvements can make a big difference.  
    • Most buyer’s purchase on emotion and want them to be excited picturing themselves living in the home.
  • General Property Improvement Suggestions
    • Small improvements can make a big difference!
    • Cleaning and Decluttering
      • Hardly any of us live in our homes the way they should be shown for sale
    • If you were going to stay what would you change or fix?
    • The buyer can do that, but the seller will pay for it.
      • 10-point inspection by licensed home inspector- How do property inspections work
        • Deal with any potential discoveries on your own terms vs unreasonable request from buyer or loss of sale
      • Buyers don't repair, they replace! - Turnkey vs buyer can do that
    • Staging
  • General Property Improvement Suggestions

     

    Please keep in mind this is a general list of recommendations. For a property specific list contact our team. Some items may apply and others not at all to your specific situation. Hardly any of us live in our homes the way they should be shown for sale and buyer’s expectations of selling standards are at an all-time high. Our team created this list with the intent to help sellers show their property at it’s best and to avoid costly mistakes. Two of the best statements a potential buyer can make are “I can picture us living here” & “We don’t have to do anything and can just move in”! Almost every buyer today wants ‘their new home’ to be turn key or a significant concession in sales price as compensation. Sweat equity is mostly gone and no seller is a monopoly who can control the market. “The buyer can do that” or “The buyer can pay for that” are true statements but ultimately the seller will pay more in sales price. Many buyer’s purchase at the top of their limit and do not have extra cash to purchase & make costly repairs. Ask yourself ‘What would you change or fix if you were going to stay’? Buyer’s don’t repair they replace & small improvements can make a big difference! If you have any questions or there is anything we can help with, please contact our team!

     

  • Structural and mechanical- All systems working properly. Have serviced if needed. Better to deal with on own terms then to have property inspector discover something and buyer want unreasonable concession.
    • Roof
    • Foundation
    • Grading, gutters & downspouts
    • Heating and cooling
      • Change filter(s)
    • Electric
      • GFCI near water sources
    • Plumbing
      • No leaking faucets, fixtures, drains
    • Water heater
    • Appliances
    • Fireplace
    • Well and 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- trim trees and bushes
      • Powerwash/Repaint- Siding, decks, porches, driveway, walkways, fences, etc.
    • Interior
      • Thorough Cleaning
      • Declutter
      • Staging
      • Remove dated furniture
      • Personal effects gone- family pictures, religion, politics, etc.
    • Be aware of smells- basements, trash, dirty dishes, sinks, garbage disposals, dirty laundry, washing machine, fridge, freezers, bathrooms, pets, children, etc.
    • Put away potential safety hazards- guns, knives, sharp objects, etc.
    • Alarm/Security off for showings
      • Why the need for alarm? Is this not a safe place to live?
    • Interior doors open to rooms, bathroom doors open, closet doors closed
    • Comfortable temperature- Not sweating in summer or freezing in winter
    • Pets- Less evidence the better
    • Remove/Replace dated fixtures
      • Gold is old- Replace or paint
        • doorknobs, hinges, cabinet hardware, window locks, bathroom fixtures, lights, fixtures, trim, fireplace coverings, vents
      • Lighting- Hardly any buyers will say it’s too bright. Potential buyers will think too dark is unfixable or costly.
        • Bright bulbs
        • No CFL lightbulbs
        • Light in every room even if lamp
          • If switch in room should turn on light
        • All bulbs working
        • Lights on for showings
      • Update old electric outlets and switches
      • Doors & Windows
        • Open and close freely
        • Visible and clean
          • Shades, curtains, blinds, drapes pulled back for showings
          • Screens in good shape and clean
        • 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
          • Kitchen
            • Clean appliances
            • Clean sink and no dirty dishes
            • Counters free
            • Hide accessories
            • Show floors (no rugs)
            • Cabinets, drawers and pantry organized & no more than half full
          • Bedrooms
            • Bed- made with designer sheets and pillows
            • Nightstand
            • Dresser
          • 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
          • Closets
            • Organized
            • No more than half full and nothing on floor
            • Makes look bigger. If you don’t fit neither will they.
          • Garage & Storage
            • Organized and no more than half full
  • How to show your property
    • Showingtime- Phone number for showings? https://www.showingtime.com/login/
    • Sentrilock- only agents can access and there is log
    • How to set up for showings
      • Appealing to all of potential buyer’s senses
        • Sight
          • Seller gone
          • Lights on
          • Doors open
          • No pets
        • Smell- fresh baked cookies
      • Protecting valuables- be smart, be safe

 

Step 4- Marketing Your Property

          More than ever it is essential to make sure to choose an agent and brokerage that maximize both innovative and traditional marketing for your property! When you list with Maryland’s Property Team and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage some of the methods we use when “Marketing Your Property” include:

  • Appealing to today's buyer
    • Best Pictures
    • Detailed property information
    • Advertising the community and lifestyle
    • Virtual tours
    • Let seller review all marketing before introducing to the market
  • The power and support of Coldwell Banker
    • #1 Broker locally and globally by sales and volume
    • Advertise 24/7 on 725+ high traffic websites in 156+ countries throughout the world
    • The largest full-service brokerage in the world
    • #1 brokerage on the Internet and #1 in web traffic among all real estate brands
    • Strategic partnerships expose our properties to 16+ million potential buyers everyday
    • 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™
    • 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
  • Homebuyer Book
    • Details on property
    • Survey
    • Plat
    • Community amenities
    • Local attractions and events
  • Yard sign with custom www.123YourProperty.com rider
  • Social media marketing
  • HomeBase InTouch
    • Our rapid response system for dealing with buyer inquiries
    • When an online buyer shows interest in your property that lead comes directly to our cell phones and emails for an immediate response!
  • 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 seller’s year after year is a lack of communication about what is happening. With us this will never be a worry. We pride ourselves on keeping our clients informed of exactly “What the Market is Saying”. Some of the methods that we use to accomplish this include:

  • Feedback responses
    • Potential buyers who have viewed home
    • Showing agents opinions
  • HomeBase Insight report
    • How you are performing on the top websites
    • Almost every report will start off with increasing traffic to a maximum and then a sharp decline after about 2 weeks
    • Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, etc...
  • Open house results and expectations
    • Pretty much 3 groups of people who visit open houses
      • Motivated buyers when the property first hits the market
        • Why we feel important to hold open first weekends as part of marketing program
      • Sometimes a passive buyer will attend an open house and turn into a real buyer
      • Neighbors and people who just like looking at houses.
    • Rare come home to offer
      • Many potential buyers will visit open houses even if they have an agent
      • Most people will come back for second showings
      • Average buyer takes over 24 hours from seeing property to writing offer.
    • Please keep in mind that if large turnout at open house may result in lower showings by agents.
    Weekly updates
    • What is going on in the market?
      • New listings, pending sales and recently sold properties similar to yours
      • Changes in market conditions and trends
      • How do changes affect the sale of your property?
    • Actions we have taken to market your property
    • What the market and our experience tells us needs to be done
      • Price or condition
    • Suggest improvements if needed
      • No showings- The buyer pool is going elsewhere
      • No offers- The buyer pool is buying elsewhere
    • Price is not always the problem, but it is always a solution

 

Step 6- Negotiating the Purchase Agreement

          There are no one size fits all ways when it comes to negotiating. We will make sure you are informed about your options so that you may make an informed decision. Some of the things that we will help with when “Negotiating the Purchase Agreement” include:

  • Exchanging information with buyer's agent to support value
  • Mandatory seller disclosures to buyer's agent
  • Presenting the purchase offer to you
    • Explain specific terms and conditions
    • 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
    • Choice of settlement company
    • Type of financing
      • Pre-approval for loan type & offer amount
    • Homeowners association or condominium disclosures
    • Contract states property is to be sold in as-is condition per the date of contract ratification
      • Seller is not obligated to change or fix anything unless negotiated in contract
      • Contract states property will be delivered free of trash and debris & broom clean at settlement
      • Regardless of type of property inspections
        • Point of inspections is to discover unknown defects in property
          • Items not in proper working order
          • Should not be punch list or future renegotiation of the contract
          • Should not address cosmetics
      • 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
    • As-is inspections with right to terminate
    • Property inspections with right to ask the seller to consider repairs upon discovery of defects
      • Structural/Mechanical
      • Mold
      • Environmental
      • Radon
      • Chimney
      • Termite
      • Lead Paint
      • Well
        • Yield
        • Bacteria
        • Chemical
        • Lead
        • Radium
      • Septic
      • Other
    • Home sale or rental contingencies
  • 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 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! 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. We 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 we will help you with include:

  • Distributing paperwork to all necessary parties
  • Informing you of important dates & deadlines
    • Date of contract ratification is the day of delivery of the last signed signature
    • Count of days includes weekends and holidays
  • Visit our Vendor's Page for real estate related professionals we have had positive experiences with in the past
  • Scheduling Property Inspections
  • Home sale or rental contingencies
  • Survey
  • Feasibility studies
  • Appraisal of the property by an independent certified appraiser
    • We always meet the appraiser at the property
    • Can take a week or two from property visit to complete report
  • Title search
    • Seller information sheet
    • Power of attorney if applicable
  • Delivering homeowner's association or condominium documents to buyer
  • Creating a move out plan
  • Switching 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” we 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 we will be available to help you with are:

  • Track removal of contingencies
  • Property inspection remedies
    • Review the inspection reports with you
    • Suggest specialists if necessary
    • Licensed contractors
  • Home sale or rental contingencies
  • Delivering the homeowner's association or condominium documents to the buyer
    • Timeline for withdrawal begins from delivery
      • 5 days for resale HOA
      • 7 days for resale condo
  • Following through with financing contingencies
    • Appraisal
    • Required inspections
      • Termite, well, septic, etc...
    • Lender required repairs
    • Closing disclosure
  • What to do if during title review there are clouds on the title
    • Flaws in prior transfers
    • Liens
    • Encumbrances
  • Making sure utilities and services are set to transfer
    • Electric
    • Cable, internet and phone
    • Water filtration
    • Oil, gas and/or propane
    • Home security
    • Landscaping
    • Termite
  • The final walk-through
    • Making sure property is in same condition as date of contract acceptance
    • Receipts for completed work
  • Any other help you may need

 

Step 9- Closing

          The day of settlement is a very important day in the selling process. The settlement company will be conducting the closing. At the end of closing you will have sold your property! In order for the settlement to go as smoothly as possibly it is best to know what to expect. Here are a few things that we 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
    • 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 and 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 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 we can and will be available to help you with long after settlement include:

  • Answering any real estate related questions that you may have
  • Continued access to our network of real estate related services
  • Subscription to our Newsletter
    • Tips on home ownership
    • Local news & events
    • What is going on in the market
  • 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 when selling. To schedule your FREE No-Obligation Seller Consultation & Property Evaluation or if there is anything we can help with please Contact a Member of Our Team! Always the best!!!