When preparing to sell your home, first impressions are crucial. A Home Sellers Guide can help. Homebuyers judge your home the moment they walk in. The buyer prefers a home that is well-maintained, clean, and clutter-free. Minor upgrades and repairs can improve the overall impression of a home.
Home Sellers Guide for Improvements and Repairs
- Fix or replace anything damaged such as floor tiles, molding, gutters, caulking, grout, windows, screens, light fixtures, doorbells, and fences.
- Make sure all the major appliances are in good working order.
- Organize your kitchen countertops and remove some appliances if necessary, to make it look spacious.
- Thoroughly clean everything in and out of sight.
- Shampoo your carpets and rugs, professionally if needed. Remove all odors and add an air freshener for scent.
- Touch up the interior and/or exterior paint if needed in a neutral color.
- Closet shelving makes closets more functional and spacious.
- Clean your water heater, air conditioner, and change your furnace filter.
- Mow your lawn and trim hedges and shrubs.
- Place potted plants beside the front door.
- Remove unnecessary items from the exterior of the house.
- Powerwash the deck/patio and clean off your patio furniture.
- Clear out the garage of everything but your cars.
Get a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) From Your Realtor
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a document from a local Multiple Listings Service (MLS) database. It shows pricing, property details, and photos of homes similar to yours that recently sold in your area.
Price your Home to Sell
How you price your home will directly impact how many buyers, showings and offers you attract. It seldom works to overprice your home. Sellers who overprice their homes often end up getting less than they would have from the start.
Marketing the Home
Successful marketing of a home is a multifaceted process. Wenzel Select Properties offers our clients a comprehensive marketing plan to sell their home.
- Listed on Wenzel Select Properties website
- Listed on Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
- Listed on realtor.com
- Listed on multiple social media sites
- Listed on the Wenzel Select Properties Homesnap app
- Email marketing to our database of potential home buyers
- Your choice of 2 different virtual tours
- Professional photos of your home
- Open House for potential buyers
- Local real estate agent tours
- Community networking
- Home staging if applicable (paid by client)
- Home Sellers Guide Glossary
Negotiating with Buyer’s Agent
Negotiating the transaction is the most complex part of selling a home. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced real estate broker who has successfully worked through many different transaction scenarios. It is Wenzel Select Properties agent’s responsibility to represent your best interests every step of the way. Your success is our success.
Home Sellers Guide Glossary
Affidavit of Title – This is a written statement essentially certifying that the recipient of this document possesses the property by title. Everything from marital status to relevant dates is included.
Agent – An agent would represent you in any negotiation, deal or transaction regarding the sale or purchase of a home.
Appraisal – The appraisal is the estimated market value as currently stipulated for any piece of property. Typically an “appraiser” determines this value through comparables around the community.
Assessed Value – Assessors can also detail a particular value of real estate property, and that’s what this applies to. Assessors typically work for the county in which the property is located.
“As-is” – This is important to know as a seller, given that it grants you the right to say that you will not have to make any repairs or correct any problems with your property upon sale.
Back on Market (BOM) – Sometimes, properties are removed from the market but can be placed back in due to a price change or reduction. As a home seller, you would want to make sure to stipulate that on a listing.
Backup offer: In the intense world of offers and price negotiations, sometimes a home seller may have multiple offers. A “back-up” offer is when you have a second offer as a back-up in case your first offer happens to fall through for some reason.
Bidding War – Any home seller would love this situation, as it typically involves two or more buyers competing for your property by offering higher bids, as in an auction.
Brokerage – An agency managing both the buying and selling of property for clients. Typically, in this case, a brokerage firm would represent you in the sale of your property.
Broker’s Tour – It’s important that you know that a “broker’s tour” is what a real estate sales agent would participate in for the purpose of viewing multiple listings on the market. Think of it as an open house for realtors.
Buyer’s Agent – This would be the real estate agent representing the “buyer” of your property, negotiating contracts straight through closing.
Buyer’s Market – Don’t hope for this stage in the real estate industry, benefitting the buyer in terms of low prices and a high supply of homes in the market for competition.
Capital Gain – If you have a high “capital gain,” you can celebrate; it means you’ve received a certain percentage of “profit” from the sale of your home because the sale was above the initial purchase price plus any fees.
Chain of Title – Part of what’s important in the real estate industry is knowing the “timeline” of any piece of property so that there’s no confusion of who owns what and when. The “chain of title” is basically that timeline, showing all previous owners and conveyances from the very beginning of construction of the home.
Closing – When you’re in the “closing,” that means the transaction is almost complete. The deed is delivered, documents are signed, and payment has been sent.
Closing Costs – Pay close attention to “closing costs” because those are the expenses beyond that of the actual price of the home. They can include agent fees, taxes, and other expenditures, and both the buyer and seller can contribute to those costs to ensure the completion of the sale.
Closing Disclosure – A final statement of loan terms and closing costs. The buyer must receive it within 3 business days before closing. This replaced the old HUD-1 form.
Closing Statement – There’s a verifiable document detailing all charges, credits and cash deposits for the transaction. That document is called the “closing statement.”
Commission – This is what is paid to a broker or agent upon the sale of the house.
Commission Split – Oftentimes, a seller will agree on a “split” between both the buyer’s agent/broker and the seller’s agent/broker as far as the commission is concerned.
Comparable – When evaluating the value of your property, looking at other similar homes and seeing how they’ve been priced on the market would determine how you’re going to price yours. The similar homes out there are considered “comparables.”
Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) – You’re a real estate rockstar if you can do this, as this is a very detailed evaluation of specific homes listed or sold on the market based on location, style, and amenities similar to your own property. You complete this analysis to come up with an accurate price point.
Contingency – If there are certain requirements you expect from a buyer before a transaction is completed and a contract is bound, that would result in what’s called a “contingency” offer. It can go both-ways, buyer or seller.
Contract for Deed – This can be considered something like a retail “layaway,” as the buyer takes possession of the property, but you, as the home seller, hold onto the legal title until the loan is paid in full. It’s also known as an “installment sales contract.”
Cost Approach – You’ll need math skills for this, as you assess the value of your property by adding the appraiser’s estimate of a building to the actual land value, minus any depreciation. This is usually a good idea if a new house is built on your land.
Counteroffer – If a buyer makes an offer on your house and you respond with your own offer that would be considered a “counteroffer.”
Curb Appeal – Essentially, how your home looks from the outside — everything from your front door to your front lawn — would be considered your “curb appeal.”
Days on Market – If your home has been on the market for 30 days, typically the listing would say “30 days on market.” Sometimes, it’s referred to as “DOM” on a listing.
Depreciation – Pay close attention to this term, as the value of your home can drop due to physical or functional deficiency. That’s what “depreciation” is.
Disclosures – Be sure to let any buyer know of all federal, state, county and local requirements of buying, owning, renting, or improving on a home, or anything else of relevance in the industry. It’s simply called “disclosure.”
Down Payment – When a buyer puts money upfront to the purchase of the home, that’s typically referred to as a “down payment.”
Dual Agent – When a real estate agent represents both the buyer and seller in a transaction.
Earnest Money – When a buyer offers money in “good faith” the moment an offer is made, it’s held in a trust account until closing commences.
Escrow Account – Remember what I said about that “trust account” in the previous definition? That’s what that is.
Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing – Your agent would be designated as the only one allowed to sell your property.
Expired Listing – Typically, any piece of property for sale on the market will have an “expiration date.”
Fiduciary Relationship – Understand that a represented buyer or seller has what’s called a “fiduciary relationship” with his or her agent, trusting that agent to act in his or her best interests in the prospect of buying your property.
Flat Fee – This is a common term in multiple industries, standing for a static amount of money paid for a specific service, whatever it may be. An example of that would be, perhaps, a home inspection for a one-time cost, no hourly rate or commission percentage. This fee is usually determined before the service begins.
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) – A way to sell real estate without using an agent. FSBO sellers do this so they don’t have to pay an agent commission.
Inclusions – To “sweeten the deal,” perhaps, you, as the seller, can include anything from the washing machine to the above-ground swimming pool. Such additions to a contract would be considered “inclusions.”
Lease Option – This is also kind of known as a “rent-to-own” option. If you’re renting out your property to a tenant, you may give the buyer the option to purchase the property, transferring title, deed and mortgage over.
List Date – Whenever you officially list your property on the market.
List Price – Whatever price you list for the property.
Listing Agreement – This involves a broker finding a buyer for your property. You would pay a commission with the listing agreement just for the broker to find a buyer as well.
Listing Appointment – This is what an agent would schedule with you to determine if you want that listing agreement to help find a buyer possibly interested in your property.
Lockbox – If you don’t feel too keen on holding onto the keys of your property (especially when you’re no longer living there), you can get a “lockbox” typically hanging from the doorknob with the keys in it. Usually, though, it’s used for agents to enter your property for the purpose of showing and selling the home during open houses.
Market Value – The “assessed” value, which is a determination by the local authority, and the “appraised” value, which is a determination based on comparables in the market, are different from the market value, as this value applies to what the property would actually cost under “normal market conditions.” Some may consider it the ‘fair value’.
Multiple-Listing Service (MLS) – When multiple brokers “share” a listing, that’s what the MLS is.
National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) – It speaks for itself. If you find a real estate agent from here, you’re golden.
Net Listing – A listing contract between the seller and the seller’s broker which sets a baseline price for a property; the broker nets any funds above that price when it sells. This type of listing is illegal in some states.
Open Listing – When a broker makes an agreement with a seller to find a buyer, that broker won’t get paid until a buyer is found and purchases the property through closing. Such an agreement for the property would be considered an “open listing.”
Parcel identification number (PIN) – A county or city tracking number for a property.
Pending – When a contract has been agreed upon and completed (but the transaction has not taken place, yet), the deal is considered “pending.”
Preview Appointment – Sometimes a buyer’s agent will check out your property before a buyer actually sees the house. That’s what a “preview appointment” is.
Quit-Claim Deed – Your prospective buyer might request for this and you might be okay with it. It simply means that you, the seller, relinquishes any interest you may have on the property, even before closing.
Real Estate Agent – The hired person representing the buyer or seller in the purchase or sale of a property.
Realtor – A real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. These agents abide by a code of ethics set by the NAR.
Re-List – If you’re a broker (which chances are you’re not) and you’ve listed a property but taken it down and then another broker nabbed the property to list it to his/her credit, it’s typically considered a “re-list.”
Severalty – If you’re the sole owner of the property, you have what’s called “severalty.”
Staging – This applies to re-painting your home in neutral colors, placing your furniture and accessories in appealing ways to feature the home without clutter, allowing prospective buyers to see the features that matter the most.
Survey – You could ask for the county to do this, as it typically involves measurement of lot lines, dimensions, and positioning, just to determine how much property you actually have, even outside the actual structure. Encroachments and easements are also determined, such as pathways and additions outside the lot lines.
Temporarily Off Market (TOM) – Perhaps you want to take your property off the market only for a short while. You’d stipulate that on a listing this way.
Title Search – If you’re not terribly certain that you actually own your property, you can, in fact, do an examination like this to investigate who actually owns it.
Transaction – When you have an interested buyer who makes an offer and you either counteroffer (and the buyer accepts) or you just accept, leading to closing or escrow, that sums up everything involved in a real estate “transaction.”
TRID-TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule – This rule is designed to help improve consumer clarity and promote industry compliance regarding initial and final disclosures, loan estimates, and closing disclosure.
Under Contract – When you stipulate this in a listing, you ensure that a buyer has the exclusive dibs on a contract for the purchase of the house. No buyer can make a better offer in the hopes of stealing the bid. A buyer may ask that you stipulate this on a contract.
Walk-Through – Your buyer may want to do a final tour of the property just to check for any defects or problems that were missed in an initial showing. That’s what the “walk-through” is.