When you think about selling your home, you sometimes think about the basic stuff. You think about how your house will show to future buyers and also what the process is after you get an accepted offer. As I continue to grow in my real estate career, I have gathered several questions from sellers that come up during the process of selling their home.
Here are some things that will more than likely come up during the sales process. Pre-Listing your house:
Your agent may give you some feedback about your house that maybe you don’t want to hear. They may say that your curb appeal could be better or that maybe you should paint that pink bedroom before listing it. Those things usually will make a big difference in the sales process.
Be ready to for a photographer to come out and take photos/videos of your house.
It probably isn’t a bad thing to notify your neighbors (if you would like) before the sign goes in the yard. That will save you some door knocks down the road.
Be ready to sign several contracts/disclosures/ etc. before you go live.
Make sure you set up a showing plan with your agent. If there are days or times through the week you really don’t want your house to be shown, it’s best to figure that out in the beginning.
Expect to be inconvenienced a lot with people in your house for hours at a time during showings.
People will show up late for showings or stay later than the are supposed to. It happens. Maybe they got stuck in traffic, or just love the house so much they need more time looking through your home.
Showings will cancel on you. Don’t take it personally. Maybe they drove through the neighborhood and didn’t like it, or it was further than they thought. This happens all of the time.
Someone may schedule a showing, but never show up. How frustrating can that be? You take the time to clean it, find a pet sitter and they don’t even show up! This can happen. Maybe they ran out of time and couldn’t make it, or wrote an offer on another house that just got accepted.
People may forget to turn off lights, etc. I normally tell owners if there is a certain thing you don’t want them touching, to leave a post-it note on the front door or somewhere where they can find it to remind them to shut of lights and lock doors. Last thing you want is to have someone leave your doors unlocked and lights on when they leave
People may use the bathroom when they are there. Mostly children are the ones who will ask to go. Again, you could kindly post notes saying please not to use the restroom.
You should always leave your house for all showings. It makes showing your house much easier for everyone.
Some showings may overlap, meaning there may be 2 showings at 1 time.
All things within an offer will have a time to respond by. So you will need to be reachable almost at all times if needed. Most agents should be able to send you docs that you can e-sign to speed up this process.
In the event that you get multiple offers, your agent should be able to guide you as to what you should do here.
Again, this is another step in the process where the buyer will have to schedule an inspection and where you will more than likely need to be out of the house. Inspections take about 2-3 hours depending on how big your house is.
Inspectors will find things that you think aren’t a big deal, but turns out to be not up to code. Just be prepared to see new things pop up on the report that you weren’t expecting to see.
I would say on average, most inspection repairs can cost between $1,000-$2,000. Of course, sometimes they are less and more. I have seen new roofs have to go on, new septic system replaced, etc. from the inspection. These repairs typically need to be paid before closing. Sometimes you may be able to find a vendor who will allow you to pay them at the closing out of your proceeds.
Once you are done with the negotiating with the inspection response, that is usually the last part of the transaction that you will be negotiating on (unless the appraisal goes south....)
For the appraisal, the actual walk through only takes about 30 minutes. To get the results can be anywhere from a few days to a week. You can probably be home during the appraisal. I don’t think it really matters.
The appraiser is hired by the lender. So Your agent really should only be dealing with the lender once the appraisal has been done.
That appraisal report belongs to the buyer as they are the one who paid for it. You probably won't see a copy of this unless your house appraiser for less that what you are selling it for.
Sometimes with an FHA or VA loan, the appraisal may pass the value, but it could be contingent upon certain repairs that may need done. Example would be peeling paint on the exterior trim. FHA and VA both don’t like to see any exterior paint peeling so you would have to correct it. They would come back out at some point to verity it is done. From there, they can pass your appraisal.
If the appraised value comes in less than the agreed upon sales price, you will want to talk with your agent as to what your strategy should be here.
Be ready to sign a lot of documents. Not as many as you did when you purchased it!
It’s okay to be emotional at the closing. This could have been your first house you raised your kids in, or maybe its your childhood house you grew up in. Whatever the case, it’s okay to let your emotions go. My favorite part of the closing is hearing all of the stories told from the seller to the buyer about how much the loved the house. Gets me every time.
Anyone who is on the title will have to sign the closing.
Make sure to bring a valid ID to the closing.
If you can’t make the closing because you are out of state or out of town during the closing, normally this isn’t a problem. You can always assign someone (even your agent) as POA (Limited Power of Attorney). They would sign the docs for you at the closing. And of course, they will go over the docs with you (settlement statement) before the actual closing.
You will get a large file after the closing. Hang onto this for tax purposes. Your agent more than likely will have to keep their files for several years (In Indiana, we keep them for 5 years).
As you can see, there are several things that come up when selling your house. If you have specific questions about the process, please shoot me a message and I will get back with you asap.