The Home Selling Process

Decision to Sell Your Home

Like the three bears, sometimes our home seems too big (empty nest, to much work to maintain, etc.) or too small (additions to the household, working from home, etc.) and we may start thinking about finding another place that is "just right". There are a lot more reasons to considering a move, but one thing is true no matter what the reason. The decision to purchase to sell youcurrent home should be made with maximum knowledge of the state of the current real estate market conditions.

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Contact Experienced Realtor

You can glean all sorts of facts about hat is happening in the current, local real estate market online, some of them  possibly conflicting, but the best way to get a comprehensive viewpoint is to conatct an experienced Realtor.

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Strategy: Position Your Home for the Maximum Sales Price in the Shortest Time - Pricing, Presentation and Marketing, etc.

At any given time there are two major factors in any real estate market.

The first is how many qualified, motivated homebuyers are currently looking for homes. 

The second is how many homes are currrently on the market for them to choose from.

Pretty simple sounding but fairly complicated when all the factors that contribute to these are added in.

Besides these factors, your Realtor will study the active listings (competition), the pending listings (who "got it right" because they received purchase offers in the current market) the recently closed ( what the appraisers will use to determine value ) and even the expired listings (failed to sell). They will compare "like" properties- homes like yours in square footage, room counts, location and amenities and any special features your home has- and present a Comparative Market Value Analysis to you.

What this, usually called a CMA, does is give you an insight into what the homebuyers in the current, local market are willing to pay for a home as much like yours as possible, based on the "comparables" (active, pending, recently closed) available. 

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List The Property

You have decided on the list price. You have done the things your Realtor suggested to maximize the salability of your home (or are doing them or could offer a credit to the future buyers for them). You are ready to list.

If this is your first home sale, listing is just entering your home into the local Multiple Lising Service and putting it on the market. There are several documents your Realtor will go through with you.

The first is the profile sheet for the type of property it is. For a sample Residential Profile Sheet, click here. This is an inventory list of what your property offers. It is the information that will, along with listing phots, become the MLS entry that describes your property.

Also important is the Exclusive Right to Sell listing contract form. This sets forth all the terms of the listing- how long, how much, etc.

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The Showing Process

Even with the information and photos online and elsewhere about your home, 99% of homebuyers are still going to want to see it before they offer to buy it. Virtual reality is not real reality, at least not yet. So your home will be shown.

How? That is up to you.

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Purchase Offer

The purchase offer is what a buyer is willing to pay for your home under what terms. You can do three things with it. You can accept it as is. You can counter it- in price as well as terms. Or you can reject it outright. 

When everything in the purchase offer is agreed to by both seller and buyer, and they sign it, it becomes an executed contract. "Executed" just means signed by all parties. 

One thing to keep in mind about purcahse contracts in New York State- the attorney's for either party can null and void the contract without giving a reason for doing so during the attorney approval period stipulated in the contract.

The other thing to know is that only written contracts are legal in NYS. Verbal does not count .

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Negotiation, Acceptance and Contract

The form negotia tion should take is always dictated by the circumstances but one thing is almost always true- that win-win negotiations are usually the best way to go for a strong agreement that will reach closing.

Once all the terms are agreed on, the purchase offer is signed and you have a contract.

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Papers to Attorney

Pretty obvious, right?  But there a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, the papers need to get to the attorneys right away beacuse there most likely be a limited period for their examination and approval. 

Second, the quicker the seller's attorney orders documents - like the abstract (history of the title to the property)- the sooner the transaction can close.

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Tests and Inspections

The tests and inspections required or desired are indexed on the type of property it is. 

Most contracts have a contingency for a home inspection.


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Buyer Commitment and Closing Papers

The commitment letter comes from the buyers mortgage institution. This states that the bank will give the buyer the mortgage they applied for. This signals that the transaction is heading down the home stretch.

The letter may have some conditions that jhavet be met. Usually this just providing more information.

Once this is done, the bank will issue a "clear to close". 

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Checklist to Close

For the seller, there are a lot of items on the moving checklist.

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The Closing - Congratulations!

This usually happens at the office of the mortgage bank atorney.

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