Local Selling Tips | CENTURY 21

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List my property

Thought about selling your home? Or just curious about how much your home is worth? Get started now by contacting a Century 21 agent

Why?

Only a professional can help you build a comprehensive analysis of your individual circumstances. Let a Century 21 agent show you the way.

About listing agreements

The common top three listing agreement choices are:

  1. Open Listing
  2. Exclusive Agency Listing
  3. Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing

The best choice for you will depend on your willingness and ability to tackle some of the home selling duties and the local real estate market climate.

  • Open Listing

An open listing lets an owner sell her home by herself. It is a non-exclusive agreement, meaning the owner may execute open listings with more than one real estate broker and pay only the broker who brings an able buyer whose offer the owner accepts.

  • Exclusive Agency Listing

An exclusive agency listing is similar to an open listing except the major difference is the agent will represent the owner. The owner still reserves the right to sell the property herself and not pay a commission. The broker is free to cooperate with another brokerage, meaning the second brokerage could bring an able buyer whose offer the owner accepts. Typically, the broker is paid a listing commission that is shared with the selling broker, so the owner pays both fees.

  • Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing

An exclusive right-to-sell listing is the most commonly utilized instrument. It gives the broker the exclusive right to earn a commission by representing the owner and bringing a buyer, either through another brokerage or directly. The owner pays both the listing and selling broker fees. The owner cannot sell the property herself without paying a commission, unless an exception is noted in the contract.

Create a Marketing Plan

Selling can entail a variety of marketing strategies. Once listed, it's likely that the home will be quickly entered into the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and placed on Century21.com. Much of an agent's work will be quiet and unseen - yet important. The quiet telephone calls, the work with contacts, arranging for and marketing open houses, the follow-ups with open-house visitors, conversations with ad respondents, web postings and other outreach efforts are all part of the process required to sell homes.

Your agent will create a marketing plan for your home that will help distinguish it in your local marketplace and attract buyers to your property. This may include posting your listing on the Internet, holding an open house and more. Your CENTURY 21 Sales Professionals often use the CENTURY 21 Customized Marketing System to create a personalized selling program for clients. Its purpose is to sell a home at the best price possible in the shortest amount of time.

Setting the price

A key part of the marketing plan is setting the list price. If a home is priced too low, you won't benefit from the optimal profit. If a home is priced too high, potential buyers may be scared away. To determine the best asking price review the cost of recently sold homes, evaluate the competition and study marketplace trends. CENTURY 21 Sales Associates are trained to use this information to help you reach the right asking price. It is also helpful to discuss other terms and conditions, such as timing and items that can be included with the sale of the home. Both of these can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

  1. Location:You can't get away from this one. If your house is located in a desirable area that is in demand, you will be able to get a higher price than you can for the same house in a less desirable area.
  2. Condition:A house that has been better maintained and shows better will always sell for more than one that has had deferred (neglected) maintenance and needs work.
  3. Desirable amenities:If a house has amenities that are currently popular in the marketplace, it will bring a higher price.
  4. Calculate the price per square foot:The average price per square foot for homes in your neighborhood shouldn't be the sole determinant of the asking price for your home, but it can be a useful starting point. Keep in mind that various methodologies can be used to calculate square footage.

A formal written appraisal can be useful if you have unique property, if there hasn't been much activity in your area recently, if co-owners disagree about price, or if there is any other circumstance that makes it difficult to put a value on your home. Appraisers consider the location of the home, its proximity to desirable schools and other public facilities, the size of the lot, the size and condition of the home itself and recent sales prices of comparable properties, among other factors.

Showing your home

Although the buyer is a guest in your home, you want the buyer to imagine owning the home. You don't want to make the buyer feel like an intruder.

Now it's time to get your home ready for the spotlight. Start with a good cleaning, then eliminate any clutter, add a fresh coat of paint and tidy up the yard. Talk to your real estate professional about other tips that can help boost a home's curb appeal and impress potential buyers once they're in the door. One way to make a home more attractive is to purchase a Home Protection Plan. This insurance protects you, the seller, from paying repair or replacement costs of major items during the listing period. It also protects the buyer during their first year of homeownership.

  • Check the Temperature
    If weather permits, open the windows -- if there is too much noise outside, close them. And if it's cold enough to wear a sweater to stay warm, turn on the heat. You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give the buyer more of a reason to linger, especially on hot or cold days!
  • Create a Mood Light
    A fire in the fireplace, and if you have water fountains, turn them on. They are especially useful for drowning out traffic noise.
  • Play Up the Visual
    Open all the window coverings to let in light. Keep blinds partially closed that otherwise show undesirable outdoor scenery such as a dilapidated fence or a nearby structure that obstructs views. If you have seasonal photographs showcasing flower gardens, leaves bursting in color or a snow-covered lawn twinkling from street lights, then display them in a prominent position. Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights. Brighten dark rooms with few windows by placing spot lights on the floor behind furniture.

Seller financing

If a seller helps to finance a real estate transaction by taking back a second note or even financing the entire purchase if the seller owns the home free and clear it is called seller financing. Usually sellers do this when a buyer has difficulty qualifying for a conventional loan or meeting the purchase price.

Seller financing differs from a traditional loan because the seller does not give the buyer cash to complete the purchase, as does a lender. Instead, it involves extending a credit against the purchase price of the home while the buyer executes a promissory note and trust deed in the seller's favor. These special circumstances must be acceptable to the lender who makes the first mortgage on the property.

The necessary paperwork is prepared by the title or escrow company after the terms are worked out between the buyer and seller. If you are a seller considering such an arrangement, it is critical to thoroughly evaluate the creditworthiness of the buyer first. You should consult with legal counsel and your accountant regarding the potential consequences of this type of arrangement. Fear of default makes many sellers reluctant to take back a second. But seller financing can bring a higher price plus complete the sale sooner in some situations.

Seller financing offers tax breaks for sellers and alternative financing for buyers who can't qualify for conventional loans. If you are a seller, the risks you face are the same as those facing any lender: Is the borrower a good credit risk? Will the property hold enough value over time to allow for the repayment of all loans made against it? You should run a full credit check on the borrower, require hazard insurance on the property and include a due-on-sale clause. There also are financing, disclosure and repayment-term requirements that need to be met. Again, it is wise to consult a lawyer when putting together this kind of transaction.

The interest rate on an owner-carried loan is negotiable. Ask your agent to check with a lender or mortgage broker to determine the current rate on institutional first (or second) loans. Seller financing typically costs less than conventional financing because sellers don't charge loan fees (points). Interest rates on an owner-carried loan will also be influenced by current Treasury bill and certificate of deposit rates. Sellers usually aren't willing to carry a loan for a lower return than they would earn if their money was invested elsewhere.

Home inspection

Your home is in escrow, and the buyer has scheduled a home inspection. A home inspection is a thorough visual examination of the home and property. The process usually takes two to three hours, during which time the house is examined from the ground up. The inspection includes observation and, when appropriate, operation of the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical, and appliance systems, as well as structural components: roof, foundation, basement, exterior and interior walls, chimney, doors, and windows.

It's important to remember that a home inspection does not detect every conceivable flaw. It is an inspection of those areas and items that can be seen. Home inspectors cannot see through foundations, floors or walls, and cannot inspect areas or items that are inaccessible.

A pre-sale inspection enables you to attend to problems before the house is put on the market, it also removes any questions about the condition of your home for you and a potential home buyer. Buyers are positively influenced by a professionally produced home inspection report, which improves the speed, price, and likelihood of a sale.

Some home sellers elect not to correct every defect reflected in the inspection report. Instead, they acknowledge the defects to buyers and explain that the asking price has been adjusted to reflect the estimated cost of repairs. Such candor tends to shorten negotiation time because buyers have fewer objections that could thwart a sale. In addition to facilitating the sale of a home, an inspection helps the homeowner comply with full-disclosure real estate laws, governed by state laws. By focusing on the condition of your property, you are less likely to overlook a defect or material fact for which you later could be held liable.

Qualified inspection companies will provide a sample report to substantiate that they abide by industry standards. One of the key standards is that ethical inspectors neither perform repairs nor refer clients to repair companies (thus avoiding a conflict of interest). Obviously, inspectors who make repairs on homes they inspect are more likely to "find" defects.

Once you have arranged for a home inspection, plan to accompany the inspector for the entire procedure. You have the right to be there, and leading home inspection companies will encourage your presence. It helps you to better understand the findings in the report, and will reduce post-closing hassles. Don't forget your list of questions and items of concern. A thorough home inspection covers more than 1,000 items, everything from the foundation to roof and takes two to three hours depending on the size of the property. The report should reflect the condition of about 400 items.

 

 


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Urbandale, IA   -  515.224.4002