Selling Your Home
By Marcella Lambert
Thinking of selling your home in Arizona but don’t know where to start? Well you’re in luck as Marcella Lambert and her team at Sonoran Sky Real Estate are here and ready to provide you with excellent service and guidance.
Typically, an owner lives in their home for 7 years before putting a house up for sale, and they spend an average of 8 months thinking about listing a home before they actually make a move. People sell a home for all sorts of reasons: too much space, not enough space, relocating for schools or work, life changes that require a move… whatever the reason, it is important to mentally and physically prepare for the home selling process.
After years of living in a home you undoubtedly have a strong emotional connection making selling a home emotionally and physically stressful. Plus, your home is a huge investment and you do not want to make any financial mistakes! This is where Marcella Lambert and her team at Sonoran Sky Real Estate can help you! Our vast market knowledge and superior selling experience will help you destress and sell your home with calm confidence. We will walk you through the home prep and selling process, negotiate deals, explain the financial outcome of various offer, close your buyer, and get you the most amount of money for your home in the shortest amount of time.
So what are the steps to selling a home? Let’s go through them.
1.) Know your motivation to sell your home
Getting a home sold can be a long and expensive process, so examine your reasons for selling and make sure you are certain this is the right move for you.
Consider Finances: Call your current mortgage servicer to discuss your payoff amount and costs. The payoff number, a good market analysis, and estimated closing costs will help you calculate the amount left in your pocket. This will give you a good idea of what to budget to get your home prepped for sale.
Make a list of non-negotiables: Know your time limit to sale, your bottom-line price, and exactly how much you are willing to spend selling your home. Never share your bottom-line number.
2.) What is the best time to sell your home?
You’ve heard plenty of people talk about a Buyer’s Market vs a Seller’s Market, but what does that mean to you and your home’s value? And are there really better months to sell? Well, it means a LOT and yes, there are better times to sell. Like most things in life, the housing market is ever changing and although no one can predict what’s to happen next, your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Team has years of experience that will be of great benefit you. They will help you understand the current housing market, trends, sales in your local area, and your best selling window.
3.) Commit to a Sales Strategy
There are numerous proven strategies to selling a home, and Marcella Lambert atSonoran Sky Real Estate will help you develop one that is just right for you. She’ll walk you through the financial pros and cons of home prep, staging, choosing the right price, showing schedules, the benefits of open houses and so much more. Marcella well obtain insightful feedback to tweak and adjust the strategy when necessary, while keeping tabs on prospective buyers – ready to move in and close a deal.
4.) Preparing Your Home for Sale
Preparing to sell your home typically takes time and energy, but where do you start? And what projects will get you the most bang for your buck? Rest easy, you don’t have to navigate this on your own. Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Agent will personally come out and give you a free home evaluation and a “Critical Buyer’s Perspective” of your home’s current condition. You’ll discuss repairs and improvements based on your homes condition and the current local market. You’ll get suggestions on changes to make, estimated costs, and the expected difference they’ll make to your homes value.
Sometimes it’s best to make improvements, and sometimes it is not. Don’t get stuck up-side-down with your ROI by making the wrong ones!
Every home should have these basics done to prepare for a sale:
- Have the house professionally cleaned
- Hire a landscaper to make the yard and curb appeal top notch
- Wash and/or paint inside and out
- Clean the windows, window coverings, and flooring
- Pay extra attention to the front door
- Replace air return filters and clean vents/duct work
- Make sure plumbing, electrical, and structural items are in good working order
Depending on your level of home repair knowledge, another good idea when getting ready for market can be a pre-listing professional home inspection. Our AAR Real Estate Purchase Contract says all Arizona home sales are “As Is”, yet to close a sale the seller often agrees to make some of the buyers desired repairs. Doing a pre-inspection gives you knowledge of what a buyer might ask you to fix. You can choose to repair items before listing or get bids on repairs so you can price the home accordingly. The less items on a buyer’s inspection after an offer is made the better your chance of closing the deal.
Be sure to keep all your receipts for any improvements and repairs you made on your home.
5.) Seller Disclosures
Honestly disclosing what you know about your property, area, and HOA will help protect you from legal problems down the road. Seller Disclosures allow the buyer to make an informed decision about the purchase. When a buyer moves in and finds issues that were not disclosed, they can sue the seller for repairs and/or damages. Additionally, your real estate agent is legally required to disclose items they are aware of with the property.
Disclosure Statements are to be updated during your sale with new information.
6.) Price Your Home Right!
In today’s market a well-priced home generally sells within two weeks of being listed on the MLS.
So how do you price your home correctly? Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Agent will compare every aspect of your home to similar, recently sold homes in your area. We will adjust the comps up or down depending on condition, upgrades, and special features so you can rest assured the target price set is the right price to sell your home for the most money in the shortest amount of time.
7.) To Stage or Not to Stage?
Small changes in the arrangement of furniture and furnishings can make a huge impact. Ideally you want to declutter, clean, organize and decorate in a way that appeals to the widest group of buyers in your area while making your space feel open. Another option is full or partial professional staging. Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Agent can help you create the best look with your own belonging or provide highly qualified professional referrals.
In general, a well-staged home sells faster and for more money than an empty or overly cluttered home. The idea is to allow the buyer room to imagine themselves in the home, not see all the life you have going on.
Do these steps to stage your home:
- Declutter inside and out
- Remove personal items
- Stow away extra kid’s toys, pet paraphernalia, and hobby supplies
- Clean, clean, and then clean some more
- Use air freshener
- Pack items you do not need and store then out of the house
- Arrange furniture to make the rooms look spacious with free-flowing pathways
8.) Market Effectively
Once prep, paperwork, and staging is done the next steps is to go live and drive qualified buyers to your door! This is where Marcella Lambert and your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Team really shine! We’ll craft an enticing listing description that highlights your home’s best features and local amenities buyers will love, making your listing stands out above all others.
You’ll get professional photos and video that will be used to advertise your home across hundreds of quality online websites and magazines geared to showcase your home and drive buyers to your door.
Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Team will setup a web presence just for your home and give you links you can ask your co-workers, friends and family to share for even more exposer. We will create social media ads that deliver proven results.
You’ll get high quality, sharply designed brochures or flyers to entice visitors to buy and remind them what they liked best about your home. Your agent will discuss the benefits of holding open houses and a showing schedule that works for you and gets your home SOLD!
9.) Closing Hoops and Hurdles
No Offers: If for some reason your home has sat on the market with not solid offers, your agent will use feedback and Realtor tours to help you identify potential issues to set straight. Often these have to do with the current market or the listing price compared to condition.
Offers and Contract Negotiations: When you get an offer your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Agent will help you evaluate the offer’s terms, price and strength of buyer funding so you can make a wise choice of whether you take the offer, counter it, or tell the buyer to pound sand.
The Inspection Period: Once you accept an offer, the buyer’s inspection period begins. The buyer has a set number of days to inspect the home and area to determine if they want to proceed with the sale, ask for repairs, or cancel altogether. Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Agent will walk you through this process and guide you in answering buyer requests.
The Appraisal: If the buyer is getting a loan on the home, or sometimes even on cash deals, an appraiser will be called out to give their professional opinion of the homes value. This is a very important time in the selling process as the home has to appraise in order for the buyer to get the loan they chose. Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Agent will put together a pre-appraisal package to ensure the appraiser sees the same values we used to price the home.
The Buyer’s Financing: During the escrow process your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Agent will make sure the buyer is diligently working to line up their lending so there are no surprises at closing. Even so, every once in a while a buyer’s funding does not come through and the buyer is forced to cancel the deal.
The Contract Terms, Conditions, and Time Lines: Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Agent will be behind the scenes making sure you meet every deadline and condition of the contract to keep you out of breech and move the transaction to a smooth close. When issues do arise, your agent will proactively deal with them or send a Cure to the other side to get things back on track.
10.) The Big Move
If you are moving locally or anywhere in the State of Arizona, your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Team will be able to help you find a new home. Depending on the timing of the transaction, you might be able to move from your old house directly into your new one, saving you the hassle and expense of a double move. Your Sonoran Sky Real Estate Team has a Rolodex of quality movers you can trust to get the job done right.
11.) Closing Obligations
When it comes time to close the seller is responsible for reviewing and signing legal documents in a timely manner, removing all personal items & debris, leaving the home clean and in the same shape the buyers saw when they made the offer.
Move Utilities Out of Your Name: About a week before closing be sure to contact your utility, cable, internet, and alarm companies to tell them your closing date and where to forward your service or send the final billing.
Do not have the utilities shut off as they have to be on for the buyer’s final walk-through!
Call or go online to schedule the utility services be discontinued in your name on the contracted closing date. If disconnecting your washing machine, refrigerator, gas dryer, or other appliance, make sure you leave water and gas valves in the OFF position. If they are leaking, call a plumber and get them fixed so the house does not get damaged.
Transfer of Warranties: If your roof, HVAC unit, solar system, pool equipment, appliances or other items are under warranty at the time of sale it will be your job to transfer those warranties to the buyer.
Complete Repairs and Obtain Certifications: The seller is to make any repairs or changes they agreed to make after the inspection. Your agent will collect your receipts and warranties for the buyer.
Review Closing Documents and Costs: Before signing anything, you’ll want to review all the costs and your expected net to make sure the numbers are on track with what you had been told. The title company will pay off any amount you still owe on your home, plus cover other fees out of your proceeds.
Wire Fraud is REAL
BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WITH ANY WIRING INSTRUCTIONS YOU GIVE OUT! THERE ARE NUMEROUS SCAMMERS OUT THERE TRYING TO STEAL YOUR MONEY!!
It is best to physically go to the title agency to supply wiring instructions rather than trust emails, texts or phone calls. If you cannot go to the title agency, be sure you verify any and all communications about funds. Match email addresses and phone numbers with the ones provided in the contract.
Hand Over the Keys: Leave your house keys, garage opener, codes, mailbox keys, gatekeys and code, clubhouse and other pertinent keys in a kitchen drawer. It is always nice if you label the keys for the buyer and indicate the location of a community mailbox and which box belongs to the home.
Recording: Once all the papers are signed and the buyer’s money has been received by the title company the escrow officer will send the deed to be recorded at the County Recorder’s Office. After that, your house is SOLD and the funds are on their way!
And we hope you thoroughly enjoy your next home!
- Evaluate your reasons for selling your home
- Commit to the process
- Know the best time to sell a home in your area
- Develop and commit to a solid strategy
- Prepare your home to sell
- Make honest disclosures
- Price your home to sell
- Beautifying your home to appeal to a wide range of buyers
- Do effective, quality marketing
- Know the pit-falls to avoid while selling a home
- DO NOT get taken by a wire fraud scam
- Move out and enjoy life in your new home
Marcella Lambert and the Sonoran Sky Real Estate Team are here and ready to help you with your home sale! Give use a call today and discuss are flexible rates! 480-577-3489
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