Step 7: Today It Is Your Home Tomorrow It Is Your Asset

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7 Steps to a Successful Property Sale

The most exciting part of the process is the phone call I make saying “Let’s get together to discuss the offer”.   Now we are talking about the part that stirs up the adrenaline – negotiating the contract – the payoff.

  1.  understand current market conditions
  2.  assess the current value of your home
  3.  set the right price
  4.  calculate the bottom line
  5.  prepare the home for sale
  6.  create an advertising and marketing strategy
  7.  review contracts and common sales practices for your marketplace

In step 4 – calculating your bottom line – we discussed the costs associated with selling a home in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. When you receive an offer on your home it is a good practice to review this net sheet.

The St. Louis Association of Realtors has standard contracts and riders that are used by all member agents. When you decide to sell your home it is advantageous to know the basics of these forms so that you are prepared when the offer comes in.

The first important step for effectively negotiating the contract is to remember that today it’s your home – tomorrow it’s your asset (remove the emotion). The second step is to remember your reasons for selling and your ideal time frame. The third step is to treat every offer seriously.

After reviewing your offer, it is good advice to go through each term that has been proposed by the buyer and decide the significance this term has on your ultimate goal for an ideal move. Decide which terms you can live with and the ones that need to be countered. With your first counter you will be ferreting out the most important needs of the buyer and even yourself.

Understanding the market conditions at this stage is key. Be sure to review the current number of homes on the market, homes under contract and those that have sold since you have listed your home. It is important at this point to make your counter attractive enough for the buyer to remain in negotiations.

If it is at all possible I recommend keeping the negotiations cooperative rather than combative. It usually ends up more favorably for both the buyer and seller. Listening to the needs of the buyer and trying to meet some of these needs can produce a “win-win” contract. Some of the issues that are of importance to the buyer, closing costs for example, can be instrumental in helping you come to a price agreed contract.

Once you are in a price agreed contract, the time has come to really pay attention to keeping your house in top notch condition. The buyers will be coming through again during the building inspection (you don’t want to have buyers remorse set in because the house is a mess), a lot of times the buyers will want to bring their family through to brag about their new purchase, and most importantly the appraiser still needs to take a look. Even though appraisers are trained to look at the intrinsic amenities of a home, believe me, they are influenced by first impressions also.

Good piece of advice now: make sure the front door knob doesn’t fall off in anyone’s hand, etc etc etc. Happy Selling!

This is the last in our series of 7 Steps to a Successful Property Sale

Tips for sellers when negotiating the sale
Inman News: The art of real estate negotiation

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