Locate a Realtor, Determine a Market Price and List Your Home
Selling a home is potentially a stressful and frustrating experience. If you are knowledgeable of and understand the process involved, it is much less stressful an experience.
The first step involved is to locate a Realtor that you have confidence in. Visiting the web site for Service First Realty, Inc. is a good decision. You will find a Real Estate Professional that is knowledgeable and experienced. With a Service First Realtor working for you, you can be assured that every decision in the selling process will be determined by what is best for you, the Seller.
The next step is to schedule a meeting with your Realtor. It is helpful to meet at your home so that the Realtor can get a first hand look at the home’s positive features and note things that might need attention. The Realtor will ask you a few necessary questions to obtain basic information about your home. This information will be used to research similar homes that have sold recently in the area. This information and research is important. It will be used to help determine a fair market price for your home. A home’s heated square footage, age, features and updates are all factors that are considered in determining a Fair Market Price. A Fair Market Price is one that encourages maximum proceeds, or net, to the Seller while maintaining a price that is competitive for the area. Sold properties in the area, as well as homes that are currently For Sale, are evaluated.
Before a Fair Market Price is discussed, your agent will want to tour your home. Please point out all improvements and upgrades you have made. Point out the features of your home that you enjoy and things in the community that you consider assets. This information is helpful when marketing your home to prospective Buyers. The Realtor may take this opportunity to make suggestions that would better prepare your home for market. These may be decorative or cosmetic suggestions, a minor repair or upgrade.
The Realtor will have a Customized Marketing Plan for your home. This plan will be designed to gain maximum online exposure for your home, make use of professional photos and most likely a virtual tour. The target market for your home will influence other possible marketing options.
Together, a Fair Market Price for your home is agreed upon. There are several additional items that will need to be discussed at this time.
- Listing Agreement
- Commission for the Buyer’s Broker
- Commission for the Listing Broker
- Seller’s Property Disclosure*
- Documents such as a Plat or Survey and Home Owner’s Association (HOA) information
The Realtor then schedules a photo session, virtual tour and immediately enters your home as an active listing on the FMLS (First Multiple Listing Service) and GAMLS (Georgia Multiple Listing Service). Realtors and thousands of potential Buyers have access to view your home from these sites.
Sellers are encouraged to have a Supra Lockbox placed on an exterior door to the home. This allows the property to be accessible to potential Buyers. Realtors are asked to phone ahead to schedule a visit to your home. The Lockbox is computerized and keeps an accurate record of all Realtors that enter.
Completing each of these steps, does not guarantee that your home will immediately have showings and/or an offer. Patience is a necessary part of the process and it may be necessary to reevaluate and adjust the market price if a few weeks have passed with little or no activity.
Negotiate an Offer
When a prospective Buyer has visited your home (probably more than once) and potentially asked for additional information such as a Plat or the Home Owner’s Association Covenants, an offer is probably on the way. An offer is presented on a Georgia Association of Realtor’s (GAR) Contract Form. Rarely is a first offer accepted, and it may be quite a bit lower than you would like. You need to remember that this is a business transaction and not consider a low offer a personal affront. A copy of an Ernest Money Check is usually received with this offer. These funds are kept in the Escrow Account of the Buyer’s Broker.
If the offer is low, do not get discouraged. Discuss the offer with your Realtor and determine a Counter Offer that would be acceptable to you. The Counter Offer is submitted to the prospective Buyer’s Broker on a Counter Offer Form. All Offers and Counter Offers are dated and time sensitive. If a response time is ignored, an offer does not have to be honored. The process may go back and forth several times and an agreement may not be reached.
When a Sales Price is agreed upon and an offer signed by both Buyer and Seller, a Binding Agreement has been reached. A Due Diligence Period is specified with the accepted offer. During the Due Diligence Period all Property Inspections are completed, an Amendment to Address Concerns of the Property is submitted to the Seller. This amendment lists specific concerns Buyers may have about safety or structural conditions and possibly repair requests. This is time sensitive and requires a response from the Seller and an agreement as to what will or will not be done.
The concerns regarding the property are negotiated during the Due Diligence Period. All communication is conducted through the Realtors. If for any reason during the Due Diligence Period a Buyer wishes to do so, a Termination Form can be submitted to void the agreement. This is not common and if this does occur it is usually a result of a Buyer’s reluctance to remedy a concern.
There are several Contingencies that are typically part of a Binding Agreement and a part of the Contract. These Contingencies are in the form of Amendments. These usually include:
Finance Contingency Form
This determines a period of time in which the Buyer’s lender has to complete the loan application. If the Buyer for some reason is unable to qualify for the loan, a Termination Form along with a letter from the lender specifying the exact reason the loan was denied is submitted to the Seller to void the Agreement.
This contingency refers to the appraisal value that is obtained through the lender’s appraisal conducted as part of the loan process. If an appraisal is lower than the sales price, an adjusted price is requested. A Seller has a specific time frame to agree to a lower price or the offer/contract becomes void.
After the Amendment to Address the Concerns of the Property has been negotiated and the Finance and Appraisal Contingency periods have lapsed, you can relax until the closing date arrives.
Selling your home is a team effort. The Realtors at Service First Realty, Inc will develop a strong marketing plan for your home and implement this plan. Your role is to work with your Realtor to schedule times for your home to be previewed, have your home in preview condition and remain open minded during negotiations. Working together as a team with your Realtor will eliminate much of the anxiety involved with selling your home and result in an experience that is pleasant and productive for you, the Seller.
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Additional articles and Information on this topic are available under “Free Information”. If you have specific questions and would like to speak with a Realtor please call 770- 945-2501 or contact us using our online contact form here
* This form provides both general and specific information to a prospective Buyer. Examples of information provided on this form are the age of the roof, condition of the mechanical systems & age of appliances.