Home Seller’s Guide

By Nick Krautter | How to Guides

Home Seller’s Guide

January 6, 2017

How to Sell a House

Each house has its own story. Markets are always changing and the process of selling real estate is constantly evolving. Having a realtor with a track record of success is critical to getting the most money with the least amount of hassle. To guide you through the selling process we’ve put together this seller’s guide with some great resources that will help you along the way.

  1. Why are you selling?: This helps us understand your needs: ideal closing date, desired net proceeds, where you want to move and more so we can help you with the entire process of selling you home.
  2. Walk through: we always walk through your home, take notes and learn about your home so we can help maximize the good things and manage any possible liabilities.
  3.  CMA [Comparative Market Analysis]: We take our notes and information from the tax records to compare your home to other homes on the market based on size, beds/baths, finishes, schools, location and more to give you the price range that the market is likely to bring you in your desired time frame.
  4. Contract and disclosures: At this point we sign the listing contract allowing us to represent you in the sale of your home. There are a lot of other forms and disclosures to sign but don’t worry, we’ll walk you through all of these and answer any questions you have.
  5. Pre-sale consulting and referrals: We have relationships with great vendors for any contracting, landscaping, staging or architecture needs that will help your house sell.
  6. HD Video Tour & professional photos: Many of our listings feature full HD video tours + professional photography.
  7. Marketing: We work very hard to give your home as much positing exposure as possible. See attached Marketing section.
  8. Open houses + showings: We’ll put a lock-box on your home so any one of the other 5,000 Realtors in the Portland area can bring their qualified buyers to see your home. If you choose, we also hold open houses and host broker tours as well.
  9. Offer to Purchase: When an offer comes in we present it to you, explaining the pros and cons of the offer. We also reach out to all agents that have shown the property to see if we can get more offers on your house.
  10. Negotiation: In response to an offer you can: accept, counter offer, or reject – we’ll help you through this by
    establishing rapport with the other agent to better understand the buyer they represent.
  11. Acceptance: Once the offer is accepted the buyers will have the property inspected, they might request repairs but you are not required contractually to make any repairs. We negotiate repairs and credits for you to help you keep as much money as possible.
  12.  Appraisal: The lender has the home appraised and then sends the loan documents to title.
  13. Closing: Once you sign the closing documents with the title company, the bank funds the loan and the deed is recorded in the new owners’ name.
  14. Congratulations! You’ve just sold your home!

 

How to Sell A House: Marketing

 

We have come up with this Marketing section to let you know some of the proactive steps we take to sell your home.

  • We get a clear understanding of the home to market to the right audience. Many agents omit zoning and possible future uses – we always make sure every possible benefit of the property is marketed.
  • Create a detailed Market Analysis to find the “Market Price” – Homes in Portland Metro sell between 1-3% of market price. We beat the average agent by 1.6% on our sale price to list price ratio. That means more money in your pocket.
  • Engaging description in the listings remarks.
  • HD video tour + professional photos.
  • Uniquely designed flyers that attract passerby’s.
  • Classic red Keller Williams yard sign with permanent flyer and our cell phone number – callers always get the correct info and we always follow up.
  • Property listed into RMLS online correctly.
  • Personal contact with both in house and other brokers regarding the home.
  • Contact buyers that we represent to try and find a match. We have sold some properties successfully before the market date!
  • Featured on SellPDX.com.
  • Host open houses.
  • Host and cater Brokers open home tour [Tuesdays 11a-1p].
  • Give you updates on showings [which we call on for feedback], and other activity in the neighborhood that affects your home.
  • Communicate with other agents to get you as many offers as possible. This includes contacting all agents that have shown the property once an offer comes in, to try and get multiple offers.
  • Feature your home on RMLS, KWLS, SellPDX.com, Craigslist, and an online listing syndicator that ensures your house is being seen on almost every major website!
  •  Maintain a reputation among other realtors as an honest and hardworking team that communicates well. We are in the top 1% of agents that account for the majority of transactions in Portland.

 

Showings and Open Houses

 

Planned open house appointments will allow you time to prepare. But oftentimes, the window of opportunity to expose your property to a motivated buyer can be small. So every time you leave your home, make sure it is ready for an unexpected showing.

General Preparation

When preparing your home, think about the techniques used to show builders’ model homes or what you might do to prepare for honored guests.

  • Review pointers from “First Impressions” checklist, particularly regarding cleanliness, clutter, and repairs – interior and exterior.
  • Create as light, cheerful and serene as environment as possible.
  • Open drapes and turn on lights or lamps including those in closets, basement or attic.
  • Add a welcoming touch by filling candy dishes and putting out fresh flowers.

Bedrooms

  • Make beds, put clothes and toys away, keep decorator pillows orderly.
  • Turn blinds to slats are uniformly open. Turn on light is room is dark.

Bathrooms

  • Put out clean hand towel, fresh soap and soap dish.
  • Put commode lid down and ensure tissue supply is adequate.
  • Potpourri dish can provide a nice sight and scent.

Kitchen

  • Put away last minute dishes and conceal countertop articles.
  • Simmer a few drops of vanilla on stove.

Dining Room

  • Arrange inviting centerpiece.
  • Consider setting the table with fine china and linen.
  • Turn on chandelier.

Living Room/Family Room/Den

  • Straighten pictures on walls.
  • Adjust couch cushions and throw pillows.
  • Dispose of newspapers and drink containers, and polish tabletops.
  • Light fireplace in winter.

Entryway

  • When exiting the house, just before buyers arrive, turn around at front door and see what the buyer’s first impression will be. What is the first thing you notice from that vantage point? Is it an asset?

Notify your neighbors of scheduled open house days, and assure them they’ll be welcome. Their eagerness to discover decorating ideas for their own homes may actually result in them turning up a buyer among their friends.

 

Maximizing First Impressions

Exterior Curb Appeal

Experts say most buyers make their decision at first sight.

General Exterior

Prospective buyers will react will to signs your home has been meticulously maintained.

  • Manicure landscaping: mow, edge and water lawn, trim hedges, wee and fertilize flowerbeds, and prune trees.
  • Keep driveway clean and free of parked cars, and keep the garage door closed.
  • Repair or replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
  • Minimize cracks or crumbling on walkways, walls, or steps, and keep them clean and free from obstructions like toys or snow.
  • Items from RV’s to waste cans left out can contribute to a cluttered or busy appearance. Make sure that from the street, your property appears clear.
  • Inspect appearance of interior window coverings from the curb.
  • Repair any peeling paint or loose caulking on windows or other areas.
  • Take steps to eliminate insect or rodent pests.
  • Pick up after your pets or neighborhood animals.

Doorway

While agents work the lockbox for a key, buyers have idle time to notice details.

  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and frame.
  • Consider adding pots of flowering plants in the entryway if weather permits.
  • Eliminate cobwebs and groom doorway area windows, porch lights, or decorative glass.

Interior Appeal

Once inside, experts say most buyers are reaffirming their curbside decision.

Clean, Clear, Light and Bright

  • Give every room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all clutter. Hiring a cleaning service may pay for itself by adding to a buyer’s perceived value of your home.
  • For a sleeker, more spacious look, consider placing furniture from crowded rooms in storage.
  • Clear kitchen counters of everything other than perhaps a few very pretty items. Ask yourself: In a model home, would a professional decorator put your choice of items on the counter?
  • Remember: closets will be opened! Keep closets, cupboards, and even your attic orderly and neat. Since you are anticipating a move anyway, consider holding a garage sale or boxing and storing unused belongings.
  • If necessary, repaint or clean/replace dingy, soiled or strongly-colored walls, and window or floor coverings with a light, neutral shade. Bright rooms look bigger, and neutral colors help buyers envision their own furnishings and décor.
  • Repair dripping faucets, burned out light bulbs, or cracked windowpanes.
  • Repair cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, and tiles.

Warm and Homey

  • Subtle scents of potpourri in bedrooms or baths and fresh baked cookies or cinnamon in the kitchen can make your home more inviting.
  • Keep an attractive set of towels in each bathroom to be brought out only for showings.

About the Author

Nick Krautter is the author of The Golden Handoff: How to Buy and Sell a Real Estate Agent’s Business which debuted number one on Amazon for mergers and acquisitions. His goal is to teach real estate agents how to grow their business and to help them later retire and benefit from their years of hard work. For the last decade Nick has been a Realtor in Portland, Oregon, where he leads a team and frequently serves as a real estate expert for the media.