Planning to sell your home is a big task. You want to make sure you have all the right information and are working with a qualified real estate agent that will properly guide you through the selling process. Below are 4 things to consider to making your home sale a success.
1. How Do I Choose an Agent?
When you are preparing to sell your property, it is well to interview at least two real estate professionals, although three will give a better overall view of the market place.
Often friends, fellow workers or family will recommend an agent. Look online, read reviews, visit their website and google search their name.
You should meet with them at your home. Walk through the entire property, inside and out. Point out any significant “pluses” and “minuses” as well as general condition. Discuss specific observed matters with each agent interviewed and remember to ask questions!
2. What’s Your Property Worth?
The easy approach is to look online at auto-estimated property values but they are usually incorrect and can vary greatly. It is best to contact a real estate agent that will give the best value using actual sold data from homes around you and their professional expertise on how much you can sell your home for. Here are things to look for when talking to an agent about your home value.
Questions to ask:
- Did the agent obtain a Property Profile from a title company?
- Do the data abstracted from the Profile (square footage; lot size; bed- and bathroom count) reflect the Seller’s property?
- Has the agent determined the number and value of the trust deed loan(s)
- Has the agent prepared a Comparative Market Analysis (“CMA”) using an automated program?
- Has the agent derived truly comparable information? Do they follow these criteria:
- Properties that have closed escrow in the past three months?
- Properties that are listed for sale?
- Properties that were listed but expired during the past three months?
- Finally, with respect to the CMA, did the agent explain its origins and the significance of the findings?
- Chose your real estate agent as you would any other professional: do they appear able to serve your needs?
3. What Documents Will I Need to Sign?
The quick answer is “a whole lot”! There are many and their numbers grow with each year.
Your agent should use documents designed and provided by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.). These forms are available to all agents who are members of C.A.R. and are designed to provide you with the utmost legal and financial protection.
Here are some of the questions that you should ask:
- Did the agent derive the documents from the “ZipForm” platform (thus assuring that they are of the most recent issue)
- Will the agent be providing you with a Forms Checklist so that you may determine which forms you will be signing (not all forms are needed for all listings)
- As you proceed through the document signing process, is the agent explaining the meaning of each of the forms you are being asked to sign?
4. Where Do I go Next?
You are legally and morally entitled to have each item on each page explained and to have a copy of every document that you sign. There can be no oral agreement between you and the agent that is enforceable. Real estate transactions, the listing contract and the purchase contract that arises from it must be in writing and all parties (in the case of a listing, you and the agent) must agree in writing what the terms and conditions are to be. Real estate commissions are fully negotiable, the price at which the property is listed is your decision to make.
It’s your home that’s being sold: ask questions, state your position and work with your agent!