I am a owner of JackRabbit Realty and I am offering sellers great savings without sacrificing service. Most traditional firms charge sellers 6% of the sale price. They take 3.6% and give the rest to the buyer agent. I cap my fee at $5,000 and let you decide what to offer buyer agents. Depending on the sale price you can save $5,000, $10,000 or more.
I perform a complete market assessment, discuss the pros and cons of pricing strategies, provide advice regarding preparation for selling, hire a professional to take photos, post a comprehensive listing description on MLS and public websites like Zillow.com and Realtor.com.
I will guide you to prepare, price, and present your home for the quickest and most successful sale. I’ll let you know what can be done to make your home look its best without bullying you to do things you don’t want to do. I’ve managed major renovations and I’ll coordinate whatever work you want done. I’ll always be straight with you about options and possible outcomes. I’m your guide. Together, we’ll make this experience work for you. It is really valuable to have an agent you connect with, who is looking out for your interests and well being, who you can trust.
Below is an overview of the home sale process. If you don’t want to sift through all the details, and would rather skip straight to my personalized review of how to get your home ready for sale, call me, 414.335.1718. I’ll provide an in-depth consultation and let you know exactly what needs to happen to sell your home.
There’s a process to selling your home and getting top dollar for it. I’ll step you through that process. Every property is unique, and you as a seller are unique – together, we’ll make this process work for you. You decide how much you want to know and how much you want to be engaged in the process. I’ll always be straight with you about options and possible outcomes. I’m your guide.
Here is an overview in six phases.
1. THE DECISION – YOUR MOTIVATION, OBJECTIVES, AND COMMITMENT
Well, of course the first step is deciding to sell.
The next step is letting me know your motivation. People put their home on the market for different reasons: relocation, retirement, downsize, upsize, divorce, or just ready for an adventure.
Your motivation for selling can dramatically influence the process. How quickly you want to sell has a significant impact on pricing strategy and affects all phases of the process. It also helps to decide early on how much you are willing to put into the process, both in terms of time and money.
2. THE PRICE – FITTING INTO THE MARKET
Setting a price involves reviewing what has sold, what is on sale, how your home compares, and how quickly you need to sell.
This is where I come in. I crunch the numbers and provide the less quantifiable, but essential pulse of the market.
Setting your price isn’t a magic formula because it isn’t just about the numbers.
People buy homes and people have emotions. This is the wildcard of pricing.
That said, you absolutely need to be in the right price range to get people in the door. That’s the first critical step.
Picking the right price in a range depends on timing, style, condition, and of course, location, location, location. Ultimately, you and a buyer decide what price works for both of you.
You can prep and price aggressively to get the most visibility and sell quickly. If you need to make a set amount of money and that price is in the higher end of the range, then you may need to do more comprehensive property preparation to make your house shine and sell quickly.
You might feel like you have the luxury of time and can wait for the right buyer who will pay more than others. This can be true to an extent but can also backfire on you. Homes spending a long time on the market make buyers suspicious about the condition, they wonder why it hasn’t sold. Overcoming buyer suspicions then requires lowering the price even more than initially, or taking the property off the market for a while.
3. THE PREPARATION – FIXES, FINE TUNING, AND PHOTOS
The first stage of preparation is simply to spruce up the place.
Start with decluttering and a deep clean.
Next, fix things that may turn away buyers, or make changes that may attract more buyers. Even buyers who are excited at first can turn away if they collect a long list of things that need to be fixed.
Sometimes a home needs major work to get top dollar. Deciding whether to take on that work or reduce the price can be a tough call. I can help you understand your options.
In addition to a buyer’s general criteria, how it looks in photos is a big part of why a potential buyer chooses your home to visit. High quality photos make a huge difference and reflect how much you care about your home.
In addition, some amount of staging/decorating is necessary to have your home look it’s best. It’s like dressing your house for a date with a buyer. You want to make a great first impression.
4. THE PRESENTATION – CLEAN & EASY
To maximize showings it should be as easy as possible to make an appointment. That means allowing visits most times during the day and weekends, and with short notice.
You’ll also need to keep the place clean, tidy, and smelling fresh. Many buyers just feel when a place is right for them. Presenting your home at it’s best allows the buyer to get the full experience.
5. THE OFFER – NEGOTIATION
You get an offer!
When we review your offers, I’ll coach you through all the variables in what makes a strong offer. Price is not the only factor.
We’ll look at: earnest money amount, inspection contingencies and the ‘right to cure’ problems, loan pre-approval, financing terms, closing date, included items, any special contingencies, and how well the offer is prepared overall. This is what makes having a savvy real estate working for you supercritical.
Negotiation starts when you get an offer. You can accept and move to the next step, reject, or make a counter-offer asking for a higher price or different terms. The give and take depends on the state of the market, the time of year, the motivation of you and the buyer, the amount of time the property has been on the market, the condition, general desirability, and uniqueness of your property. As your agent, I’ll advise you, but the decision of how to proceed is always yours.
6. THE CLOSE – ROAD TO THE FINISH
Your house won’t technically be off the market until closing.
You decide if you want to continue showing other buyers for a possible secondary offer. Properties with an accepted offer tend to get less attention because the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) updates to show the status.
Inspection and finance contingencies are common on an offer. Inspection usually happens within 10 days. If the buyer finds a ‘defect’ they can decide whether they want to void the offer depending on how the contingency is written. You might also have a chance to fix the issue (‘right to cure’), or provide compensation for the fix.
The finance contingency generally takes the longest to complete. The buyer and lender have a lot of paperwork to process. The lender’s underwriter (person with the magic wand) evaluates whether the buyer can afford the loan payments, and whether they can sell the house to get their money back if the buyer is unable to pay the loan.
It is a good idea to start packing before your home is even on the market to declutter and make your home look spacious and inviting.
When you reach The Closing Phase you should pack as much of your remaining stuff as possible, even if you’re still living in it. You’ll need to be out of the house and have it ‘broom swept’ clean before closing.
The buyer will walk through a few days before closing to check that nothing has been damaged and everything included is there.
The actual closing can take from 1 to 2 hours and happens at a location selected by the buyer. You can choose to ‘pre-sign’ your closing documents, leave your key with your agent and not attend the closing. Proceeds from the sale can be wired directly into your bank account.
And with that you’re on to a new life and a new home!
To get started with this process, or even just discuss what might be involved if you decide to sell sometime in the future, give me a call, 414.335.1718.