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Weichert Realtors, Lakeshore Partners Real Estate Sellers Guide
Understanding what’s involved.
From setting a price to attracting buyers to negotiating an agreement, it’s much more involved than merely planting a For Sale sign on your lawn. There are a series of choices, each of which can make a distinct difference in the final outcome.
Whether you’re a first-time seller or you have plenty of experience, you’re bound to have questions. Here, we’ve put together some of the most important answers and advice for selling a home. Of course, you can always turn to a knowledgeable and helpful Weichert Sales Associate who specializes in selling homes in your local area.
Start here to get answers about buying a home. Click on any topic to read more.
Generally speaking, under most market conditions, real estate professionals advise listing your present home and shopping for your new home simultaneously. Nonetheless, you should talk to your Sales Associate about your personal situation, so you can consider how fast you need to sell and how long you should expect it to take in current market conditions.
If you have very specific criteria – like location, size, views, age, etc. which could lead to a time-consuming home search – you should consider finding and buying a home first before you sell your existing home. If necessary, your offer to buy a home can be contingent on selling yours. On the other hand, if you sell first, you can make your sale dependent on finding a home to buy.
Seasonality can play a role in deciding when to sell – with spring and fall the most popular seasons to put a home on the market. Your Weichert Sales Associate can help you consider the effect of other factors like interest rates and consumer confidence in the economy.
It’s important to have someone take an unbiased look at your home’s appeal. A knowledgeable Weichert Sales Associate will offer specific suggestions that let you add to its value without spending a lot of money. Here are some everyone should consider.
Make a great first impression
Well-cared-for lawn and landscaping
Seasonal door decoration
Make all necessary repairs.
Remove clutter to make your home more spacious.
Keep things light and bright
Sunny, well-lit rooms look larger
Fresh paint makes them seem new
Highlight your home’s best features
Arrange your furnishings to spotlight a beautiful view
Use colors to draw attention to a charming fireplace
Add special touches to create an inviting atmosphere
Offer a Weichert Home Protection Plan – Beyond the cosmetic, this warranty adds appeal by assuring potential buyers that essential utilities and appliances won’t present unexpected expenses. To learn more of the details, you can ask your Weichert Sales Associate.
Naturally, the location, property size/features, style, age, physical condition, special features, and recent enhancements must all be considered in assessing your home’s value. As a starting point, though, your Weichert Sales Associate will thoroughly research comparable homes in your neighborhood and town. Recent sale prices, the current prices of similar homes, and even homes that didn’t sell and were taken off the market will all be reviewed for you.
To analyze the data, Weichert has developed a unique tool called a Price Trend Analysis*. It goes beyond the capabilities of a typical Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) by projecting local price trends. With our method, your Sales Associate can factor in the many market influences that impact price – including supply of homes versus demand, how the local economy is faring, and home appreciation rates – to determine your home’s Fair Market Value.
An attractive initial listing price, based on Fair Market Value, is especially important. As you can see from the chart, pricing greatly affects the number of buyers your home will attract. And homes almost always gain the most attention when their listings are new to the market.
* This document is not an appraisal and should not be considered to be the equivalent of an appraisal.
The process begins with getting to know you and your home. In an initial meeting, before you ever commit to hiring a Weichert Sales Associate, he or she will take exterior and interior photos, measure each room, and assess your home’s key features. The Associate will also ask about any improvements you may have made over the years and listen to whatever concerns you may have.
Our Sales Associate will then return with a customized marketing plan based on everything learned in that first visit. This will provide you with a clear idea of what will be done to attract the most potential buyers to your home. Your plan will include such features as:
A schedule of marketing activities
A list of advertising vehicles, including websites, that will carry the ad for your home
Promotional materials with photos of your home and its special features to be handed out or mailed
An explanation of how our Open House program can maximize the number of potential buyers who see your home
Once you list with Weichert, your Sales Associate will immediately start putting the marketing plan into action to help you achieve a timely sale at the best possible price.
Consider this startling fact: almost 3 of every 4 homebuyers visit at least one open house*. Although not everyone decides to hold an Open House, our commitment to our industry-leading program has turned it into an especially powerful marketing technique. Weichert Open Houses lead directly to thousands of home sales each year.**
Weichert holds more Open Houses than anyone else because we understand how to make them work so well for our clients. More than just an Open House, in fact, our Open House Program is a 3-step process. We’ve learned that what’s done beforehand and after are just as important to selling your home as the Open House itself.
Step one: Use every means to drive customers to attend.
Online and traditional advertising
Direct mail and phone calling
The familiar Weichert signs
Step two: Don’t just “show” the home, conduct tours.
Explain your home’s benefits using detailed highlight sheets
Emphasize its affordability by presenting several mortgage options
Step three: Follow up
Contact every visitor who signed your guest registry
Usually with a phone call within 24 hours
* Private study conducted by Weichert, Realtors®
** Weichert, Realtors® sales data
When an offer is made on your house, it probably won’t be for your full asking price, so you may want to counter that offer. That’s where the negotiating skills of your Sales Associate will come in. Rest assured that Weichert Sales Associates are well qualified to negotiate on your behalf with your best interests in mind.
If the buyer counters your counteroffer, you’ll need help to frame your next move. Rather than just going back and forth on price, introducing another issue can be a winner for you. For instance, your Weichert Sales Associate may suggest to the buyer that while your price is firm, you will agree to leave behind major appliances that the buyer would otherwise have to purchase out-of-pocket.
Your Weichert Sales Associate can negotiate favorable terms for you as well. A flexible or delayed closing date, for example, can give you the time you need to purchase another home. Conversely, an early closing date can have real financial benefit if you’ve already purchased another home and need to close quickly to avoid carrying two mortgages.
When you receive an offer, and especially if you receive more than one, you should consider how “solid” the offer is. Your Weichert Sales Associate can help you assess offers by weighing such crucial factors as whether the buyer has a mortgage pre-approval, how much they’re putting down, whether they have a home to sell first, and so on.
Sometimes the most emotionally charged negotiating follows the various home inspections that come after the contract is signed. “Who pays for what” is strictly a matter of negotiation, and your Weichert Sales Associate will help you take a balanced stance that’s tough enough to protect the home equity you want to walk away with, yet has enough flexibility to avoid alienating the buyer and jeopardizing the sale itself.
Adjustable Mortgage Loans: Mortgage loans under which the interest rate is periodically adjusted to more closely coincide with current rates. The amounts and times of adjustment are agreed to at the inception of the loan. Also called: Adjustable Rate Loans, Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), Flexible Rate Loans, Variable Rate Loans.
Amortization: Repayment of a debt through monthly installments of principal and interest. The monthly payment is based on a schedule that will allow you to own your home at the end of a specific period (e.g., 15 or 30 years)
Annual Percentage Rate (A.P.R.): The A.P.R. shows the cost of the loan expressed as a yearly interest rate. It includes the interest, points, mortgage insurance, and other fees associated with the loan. The A.P.R. is disclosed as a requirement of the federal Truth in Lending statutes.
Buydown: A payment to the lender from the seller, buyer, or third party, or some combination of these, that causes the lender to reduce the interest rate during the early years of the loan.
Buyer’s Agent: The licensed real estate salesperson who represents the interests of, and negotiates on behalf of, the buyer of a home or property.
Cap: In adjustable rate mortgages, the limit on how much the interest rate or monthly payment can change.
Closing: The final procedure in which documents are executed and/or recorded, and the sale (or loan) is completed.
Closing Statement: The statement which lists the financial settlement between buyer and seller, and also the costs each must pay.
CMA: CMA, or Competitive Market Analysis, is a comparison of homes similar to a seller’s home in terms of size, style, features, and location that have sold recently or are on the market. A CMA is prepared by a real estate agent to help set a home’s listing price; it is not an appraisal.
Contingency: Commonly, a stated event which must occur before a contract is binding. For example, a home sale may be contingent upon the buyer obtaining financing.
Deposit: A portion of the down payment given by the buyer to the seller or escrow agent with a written offer to purchase. Shows good faith.
Down payment: Cash portion of the purchase price paid by a buyer from his own funds as opposed to that portion which is financed.
Dual Agent: A licensed real estate salesperson who represents both the buyer and the seller in a transaction at the same time. Also applies to a buyer’s agent (see above) when the seller’s agent works for the same company. In either case, both parties must provide written informed consent to Dual Agency.
Escrow: A procedure in which a third (neutral) party holds all funds, documents, etc. necessary to the sale, with instructions from both buyer and seller as to their use and disposition.
FHA Loan: A loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA insurance enables lenders to make loans to borrowers who might not qualify for conventional mortgages.
Graduated Payment Mortgage: A mortgage initially offering low monthly payments that increase at fixed intervals and at a predetermined rate
There Really is a Weichert Difference
When you receive your complimentary marketing presentation from a Weichert Sales Associate, it will be customized for your particular home. Wait until you see all we’ll do to attract buyers to your home. Our trusted name and well-known yellow signs are just the beginning. We’ll also reach out through advertising, direct mail and neighborhood calling, not to mention our unique use of the Internet described below.
#2: Online Strategy
When you list with us, we make certain that the right buyers can readily find your listing on the Internet, where 90% of all buyers are searching.* Our unique “Quick Connect” service links buyers who express interest in your home directly with a Sales Associate who can supply more details and quickly set up an appointment to show your home. What’s more, we’ll automatically notify everyone whose search criteria match your home. We’ll even give your home additional exposure on other leading sites, including realtor.com**, yahoo real estate, nytimes.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com.
#3: Strategic Pricing
Unlike other real estate companies that use a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), we’ve invented our own exclusive method called the Weichert Price Trend Analysis***. By projecting local trends, it helps us go beyond the CMA in order to suggest a price that reflects your home’s true market value.
#4: Open House Program
No other real estate company is as committed to Open Houses. Any Weichert Sales Associate will be happy to tell you about everything that goes into making the most of an Open House – from attracting attention beforehand to providing more assistance to everyone who attends to following up with all interested prospects directly afterward.
Every Weichert Sales Associate works closely with a Weichert Gold® Services Manager**** who is a financial expert. He or she makes sure we highlight your home’s affordability, then works to qualify buyers and to provide them with the financing they need to purchase your home.
#6: Neighborhood Specialists
Weichert Sales Associates are the best and most thoroughly trained in the industry. They will use their thorough knowledge of your neighborhood to bring your home to the attention of the people most likely to buy your home.
Take the Tour to find out how easy it is to sell through us. (May not be viewable on Ipads, Iphones and some other phones)