Tips For Selling Your Home in Gig Harbor

  • Select an Agent

  • Market Your Home

  • Negotiating

  • Contract and Warranty

  • Inspection and Appraisal

  • Closing


Select an Agent

Choose a Realtor Familiar with Your Area

You will want to work with a full time, professional RealtorŪ who can provide superior market knowledge and expertise in the home selling process. An effective agent helps you prepare your home for selling to increase its marketability – all while guiding you through the entire selling process from listing your home to closing.

Obtain a Market Analysis – Understand What Your Home is Worth

Properties priced appropriately generate optimal exposure and sell in the shortest period of time. It’s critical to price your home competitively in relationship to the conditions in your local marketplace. To get the most accurate estimate of how much you should list your property for, ask for a Competitive Market Analysis. A Competitive Market Analysis takes into account many aspects of your home, including size, features, and overall condition.

Setting the Property Price

Setting the listing price of your home is an important step in the sales process. Your realtor will help you determine the optimal price for your home, considering variables in pricing and market value such as general market conditions, buyer activity, market analysis, and time of year. Incorrect pricing could deprive you of the money and equity your home has earned as an investment. Overpricing can result in your home staying on the market longer than it should and selling at a lower sale price than if it had been properly priced from the beginning. It’s essential to price your home appropriately.


Market Your Home

Prepare the Home for Sale

There is no need to spend a great deal of money remodeling your home before selling. However, a few key improvements to ensure your home shows well in relation to your competitors may result in a quicker home sale, and a potentially higher price. Prospective buyers warm to homes they can visualize themselves living in.

The exterior of your home makes the first impression and should always be well-kept so interested buyers passing by will call your agent for a showing.

Curb Appeal

  • Keep your front entrance well maintained, repaint the door, replace old house numbers, and check to make sure the doorbell works.

  • Repaint or replace stair railings, the mailbox, and other exterior features.

  • Repair cracked or crumbling foundation, steps, walkways, walls, and patios.

  • Landscape the yard as needed, make sure garden beds are well defined and freshly mulched, the lawn cut and sufficiently watered, hedges trimmed, and trees pruned.

  • Pick up and properly store garden tools, toys, newspapers, and other potential clutter.

  • Sweep front walkway and clean up after your pets.

  • Inspect exterior surfaces for peeling paint and/or loose attachment to the house and keep the windows free of spider webs and vines.

  • Keep shutters in good condition, freshly painted and hung straight.

  • Clean, align, and secure the gutters and inspect and clean the chimney.

  • Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles as well as loose siding and caulking.

Prior to realtor previews, buyer showings, and open houses, pay close attention to interior details as well.

Walk into Something Wonderful

  • Thoroughly clean each room of your home, washing the windows inside and out, cleaning the carpets, and washing the walls.

  • If the walls and carpet are especially dingy or brightly colored, repaint or re-carpet with a neutral shade, such as off-white or beige.

  • Pick up clutter, toys, shoes, and clothing - make your house appear roomier and more welcoming.

  • Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.

  • Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.

  • Inspect and repair the electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and alarm systems.

  • Spruce up the kitchen and bathrooms, repairing dripping faucets and showerheads, re-caulking showers or tubs if necessary. Decorate the area with new cabinet knobs, curtains, and towels. Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher and empty wastebaskets.

  • Repair any roof leaks or standing water in basement and any area that may show evidence of dry rot.

  • Make sure every electrical outlet and light switch is in working order, replacing all light bulbs with the maximum wattage bulb permissible. Also, open drapes and shades. Light sells!

  • Dust all fixtures and vacuum carpets and floors. Also, straighten rugs and throw pillows, and make all beds.

  • Open windows slightly to freshen rooms, keeping pets out of the way and making sure the house is free of these and other potential odors.

  • Set an ambiance in your home by turning off the TV and playing soft background music, and preparing tables with flowers, place settings or coffee table books.

  • When showing your home, secure jewelry, cash, prescription medications, and other valuables. Also, it’s best to leave while your house is being shown.


Negotiating

What is Negotiable?

There are a wide variety of ways that you and your agent can negotiate in a real estate transaction. By working closely together, you’ll be able to generate the best contract possible. The purchase agreement must clearly outline the seller’s responsibilities, including passing a clear title, maintaining the property in its present condition until closing, and making any agreed-upon repairs to the property.


Contract and Warranty

 Contract preparation – Crossing the T’s, Dotting the I’s

The Contract of Sale, or Purchase and Sale Agreement, is a legally binding document whereby the homeowner and buyer agree to terms under which the buyer will acquire the seller’s property.

Who is paying the various expenses of the sale, including closing costs?
Both buyers and sellers incur expenses during the transaction process. Buyers are typically responsible for costs associated with the down payment placed on their new home, any home inspections, a portion of the escrow fees, a title insurance policy benefiting the lender, and any loan costs. Sellers generally pay for a portion of the escrow fee as well as a standard title insurance policy. The responsibility of the annual expenses of property taxes and homeowner association fees is typically shared equally between buyers and sellers and prorated based on the closing date.

What is the actual closing date?
The closing date of a real estate transaction is the date in which proceeds from the sale are available to the seller and the transfer of the title has been recorded by the county. The lender is responsible for providing the buyer with a good faith estimate, which will provide a close approximation of the buyer’s financial requirement to close the transaction.

What is the date of occupancy?
The date of occupancy is agreed to between the buyer and seller during the negotiation process. If the seller remains in possession after closing, there should be a rent back agreement in place prior to closing. It will be important to clarify the status with your insurance company that you are in possession of the property after closing.

Home Warranty – Why You Should Offer a Warranty

To enhance the success of selling your home and reduce the chances its new buyer will encounter problems after the sale, it’s a prudent idea to invest in a home warranty, which is paid out of escrow at the closing of your real estate transaction. The home warranty will cover the cost of many repairs or replacement systems to your home. From water heaters to septic systems, to central air and heating, the Home Protection Plan covers repairs to a home while it’s on the market and for a specified time after the close of the sale.

A home warranty will lessen the stress of selling a home, and give you additional peace of mind.


Inspection and Appraisal

The Importance of Home Inspections

Typically, the buyer will require a home inspection. A professional home inspector will thoroughly search the home for visual defects such as water damage, cracks in the walls, floors or foundation, plumbing leaks, or pest damage. They will also search for hidden flaws such as asbestos insulation, electrical problems, or building, health/environmental or safety code violations. If the inspection uncovers areas that need repair, you and the buyer will negotiate how these discoveries may affect the terms of the agreement.

Appraisal—Verifying the Value of the Home

An appraisal is an estimate of your property’s value on the open market, generally prepared by a lender for their benefit. Appraisers consider a number of factors, including square footage, floor plan, amenities, and energy efficiency. Other issues appraisers may take into account are neighborhood quality, a property’s proximity to transportation, shopping, and schools as well as lot size, topography, view, and landscaping.


Closing

Title and Escrow

The final stage of the transaction process occurs with the transfer of title from seller to buyer. After closing has occurred, the policy is sent to you by your title and escrow professional, the third party who transfers the money and documents (including title and deed) from the buying and selling parties. The escrow company prepares documents, draws up the closing statements, obtains necessary signatures, records documents, and receives and disburses funds. The proceeds from the sale are released directly to you, the seller, via wire, automatic deposit, or check. Funds can also be deposited into an escrow account opening for the purchase of your next home.

The Exchange of Property and Funds

Once you’ve sold your home, make sure to keep your closing and settlement papers organized in a file. Be sure to include receipts for any home improvements you made while you owned the house in the event that you have to pay capital gains tax. Also, know your rights as a home seller, including one of the benefits of buying a home – the tax breaks you receive from the government. Contact the Internal Revenue Service directly at 800-TAX-FORM and ask for the following free publications, which are designed to assist you in the sale of your home:

521 Moving Expenses
523 Selling Your Home
527 Residential Rental Property
541 Partnerships
551 Basis of Assets
555 Community Property
561 Determining the Value of Donated Property
908 Bankruptcy Tax Guide
936 Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

Releasing the Property to the New Owners

Once the closing papers have been completed and the deed recorded with the county, the buyer can take legal ownership of the home. The possession date for the new owner is determined by the term of the sales contract. Prior to possession, you should start contacting the phone, electric, natural gas, garbage, and other utility companies to close any accounts relating to the home under your name.

 

 
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