STEPS TO SELLING YOUR HOME
THE VALUE OF HIRING AN EXPERIENCED REALTOR
Selling a home you have lived in for 40 or more years can feel daunting and a tad overwhelming. An experienced realtor can make the process easier.
Ryan Godshall, a Bucks and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania-based realtor with 20 years of experience, recommends that you connect with a realtor up to 12 months before you want to sell your home. During that first consultation, the realtor can offer insight on the current market, make recommendations for preparing your home for sale and offer suggestions for qualified contractors who can help you accomplish those recommendations.
If you live outside of the Bucks and Montgomery County market and would like assistance connecting to a realtor, Ryan offers a service that will help you connect to an experienced realtor in your community.
Following that initial consult, moving the selling process forward is fairly simple. The steps include:
Sign Listing Paperwork with the Realtor of Your Choice. When it’s time to list your home, you will sign listing paperwork with a realtor.
Home listed on Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This online listing is accessed by realtors and buyers around the country; includes photos of your home.
Showings. During this stage in the selling process, your home is open to prospective buyers for in-person tours and showings.
Accept an Offer. You will review offers made on your home and determine which one best meets your financial and personal interests.
Pending Process. This part of the process generally takes 45 to 60 days while you await settlement with your buyers.
Settlement. This one-day event is the time when you sign the papers, accept payment and hand over the keys to the new homeowners. Each step in this process runs more smoothly with an experienced professional working for you.
To find a realtor near you, visit www.realtor.com.
TIPS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELLING
• SOFT LISTING/POCKET LISTING. If you are not sure when you want to list your home, but have a unique property or want to begin to explore the market informally, ask your realtor about a soft or pocket listing. In these situations, your home does not have any online MLS exposure, but realtors share the opportunity by word of mouth. As realtors work with buyers who may be interested in a property similar to yours, they can offer it. Often those clients may be flexible with closing and moving dates. This type of listing can be very helpful in situations where you do not want a lot of people to come through your home, but want the right buyers to be aware of your home.
• HOME INSPECTIONS. As a seller, you are legally required to disclose any and all issues you know about your home. Acquiring a home inspection prior to listing your property can help eliminate “buyer’s remorse” and any re-negotiations that may occur after the buyer pays for a home inspection. When you provide the home inspection to interested buyers, they can make an offer without worrying about any surprises. Ryan shares that many buyers are waiving a second home inspection when a recent home inspection is provided.
• APPRAISED VALUE VS MARKET VALUE VS YOUR VALUE. Each of these values are important and may vary. A certified appraiser provides the appraised value of your home, which will be provided to the buyer’s lender for mortgage reasons. The market value is the value the market will currently bear for your property. Last, your value may be the amount you hope to get out of your home to make your next move. A blend of all three values will help to determine the listing price for your home.
• PHOTOGRAPHY. If you have the flexibility to take photos in the season when your home looks the best, take advantage! For example, outside photos taken in late-April or late-September showcase homes in Bucks and Montgomery Counties better than photos taken in mid-February with snow on the ground.
SELLING YOUR HOME
AUCTIONEER VS REALTOR
Ryan Godshall, a trusted Bucks and Montgomery County realtor with Remax action, says, “When it’s time to sell your home, you have several options. Before making a decision, it is important to seek the guidance of a professional to determine the best case scenario for your personal situation.”
Public Auction Not every home fits the portfolio for a public sale. Some people decide to use an auctioneer because they think it will cost less and be a clean sale, with no inspections (sold as-is). Some people also prefer the definitive timing of the auction and subsequent closing dates. Ryan says, “Depending on the location of the home, however, you may be leaving some money on the table.”
In some specific rural areas, selling your home with an auctioneer may be the best option. For example, if you have a custom home with several acres in a rural location, an auction may offer a strong solution. In this case, a local family will most likely purchase the home. In addition, interested buyers establish the price of the property by competing openly to purchase the property.
In contrast, Ryan cautions, “if you plan to sell a house on a smaller lot in North Wales Borough, because of auction requirements (10% down at the time of sale), a buyer who qualifies for an FHA loan or other government subsidized mortgage may not be able to purchase the home. Often, buyers who qualify for these programs do not have a lot of liquid cash. They qualify for a higher mortgage payment, but may only be able to put three, five or ten percent down. In this case, you are eliminating potential buyers by selling your property through auction.”
Real Estate Listing The real estate market in Bucks and Montgomery Counties remains incredibly strong. Additional inventory has slowed the pace of sales slightly, but sellers continue to receive offers above asking price. Many buyers continue to forego home inspections and place cash offers, which help you move through settlement quickly. It appears the market will most likely be strong for the foreseeable future.
If you choose to list your home with a realtor, the sooner you connect with a realtor the better. Pre-planning can help the listing process go quickly. A real estate professional can help you determine if there are any upgrades or renovations you need to make to your home before listing it. In addition, they can help to determine the appropriate time to list your home and offer staging guidance so prospective buyers can appreciate the amount of space available in your home.
Ryan says, “At Remax Action Realty, we are moving help. We can offer you a traditional real estate sale or a public auction. We can also offer recommendations for people who can help you with upgrades, renovations, staging, moving or downsizing. Before you make a decision, please contact us or another trusted real estate professional for a free consultation.”
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