The 10 most important things to consider when Selling Real Estate by gabyion


									The 10 most important things to consider when...

                                 Selling Real Estate

  1. Determine when you want to sell. Do you have to be someplace by a certain
  2.    Determine how long the process will take.
  3.    Decide where you will be moving after the sale. Do you need assistance
        finding an Agent in another area?
  4.    What do you need to do to prepare the property prior to putting it on the
  5.    Be sure you have a basic understanding of the entire selling process: putting
        the property on the market, showing the property to Agents/Buyers,
        negotiating and accepting an offer (from a qualified Buyer!), the Buyer's
        inspection, the time between accepting an offer and closing, and moving out.
  6.    Find a top quality Real Estate Agent. This might be the most important thing
        you do. We recommend that you do not make this choice casually. Get
        referrals from people you know, note Agents that are active in your area,
        "interview" Agents, visit open houses.
  7.    Determine what things your Agent is responsible for and the things that you
        are responsible for. Sharing your expectations is very important. If you are
        buying a home as well as selling, be sure you discuss how that will work with
        the selling process. If you are moving in the same area, your Agent can
        probably help you with both the sale and the purchase.
  8.    Be sure to put your property on the market at a fair price - one that will net
        you top dollar, but be competitive so you avoid a long market time.
        (Properties get "stale" after time passes.)
  9.    Make sure your property is easily accessible for Agents and their Buyers. If
        they can't get in at their convenience (during reasonable hours), you will find
        it very difficult to get a sale.
  10.   If you have chosen a good Agent, understand the process, and communicate
        extensively with your Agent, this can be a fairly smooth and painless project.
        Did I mention COMMUNICATING extensively with your Agent?

Exclusive Services Provided

       Pricing Positioning Analysis – Helps you understand the market and area
        to position your property competitively.
       MLS Services – Internet based connecting you to buyers and REALTORS
        world-wide. Only Company Member of 3 City MLS Boards!
       Relocation Department – We service more than 10 relocation companies
       Showing Department – Computerized showing department open 7 days a
       Internet Advertising – All 1st Schoneman listings are sent to nearly 10 web
     Mortgage Assistance – On-site GMAC Mortgage to assist financing, offering
      buyers extremely competitive loan terms.
     Home Warranties – Several to choose from based on your needs.
     Home Marketing System. – A proven marketing systems, plans and
     E-mail Communications – Each of our agents is equipped with e-mail
      capabilities to stay in touch at your convenience.
     Elegant Homes Division – A unique marketing strategy for selected homes.
     Education – Extensive training is given to each agent to insure that they are
      equipped with the tools to properly represent you in this transaction.
     Internet –Company web-site with extensive
      area information available.

Our Showing Center

No Home Will Sell Until it is Shown.

Maximizing Your Showings is the Key to a Faster Sale!

     One Phone Call. Your home is listed in our computerized system. With one
      call, over 500 agents can schedule an appointment to see your home.
     Easy for Agents. Our exclusive system links our offices together allowing
      agents all over North Iowa to call our number for all 1st Schoneman listings.
      Cooperating agents love this system, making our listings the preferable
      listings to show.
     Efficiency. Operators set up showings more accurately and efficiently than
      our competitors. You will always find out who has shown your home and
     Feedback. Our system generates a complete record of everyone who has
      shown your home, making follow-up easier.
Information Tips for the Seller

When I list your home, we will go through your home together and show you some
simple tricks to capture that model home look. Meanwhile, here are some tips for
you to think about.

      Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen countertops. If it hasn't been
       used for three months, put it away. Clear refrigerator fronts of messages,
       pictures, etc.
      Clear all necessary objects from furniture throughout the house. Keep
       decorative displays restricted to groups of 1, 3, or 5 items.
      In the bathroom, remove any unnecessary items from countertops, tubs,
       shower, stalls, and commode tops. Keep only your most needed cosmetics,
       brushes, perfumes, etc., in one small group on the counter. Coordinate towels
       with one or two colors only.
      Rearrange or move furniture if necessary. As owners, many times we have
       too much furniture in a room. This is wonderful for our own personal
       enjoyment, but when it comes to selling, we need to thin out as much as
       possible to make rooms appear larger.
      Take down or rearrange pictures or objects on walls. Patch and paint if
      Review the house inside room by room and: paint any room needing paint,
       clean carpets or drapes as needed, clean windows.
      Don't worry about closets or garages in regard to being "too full". People
       expect that.
      Leave on certain lights during the day. (I'll show you which ones). During
       "showings", turn on all lights and lamps.
      Have stereo FM on during the day for all viewing.

On the outside -

      Go around the perimeter of the house and move all garbage cans, discarded
       wood scraps, extra building materials, etc., into the garage.
      Check gutters and roof for dry rot. Make sure they are swept and cleaned.
      Look at all plants, bushes and trees. Keep plants from blocking windows.
       Weed and then bark all planting areas. Keep lawn freshly cut and fertilized.
       Remove and dead plants or shrubs.
      Clear patios or decks of all small items, such as small planters, flower pots,
       charcoal, barbecues, toys, etc., and put them in the garage.
      Check paint condition of the house - especially the front door and trim.

In General, try to look at your house "through the buyers eyes" as though you've
never seen it or been there before. Any time or money spent on these items will
bring you back more money in return, and hopefully a faster sale. Working together,
we make a great team!
Answers to Sellers Most Asked Questions

Q- Do we have to leave when the house is being shown?
A- It is best to be away when the house is shown. Sometimes, however, it is
impossible. Bitter cold weather or a sick child are examples. If you are at home, go
wherever the prospective buyer is not. If they are in the den, go to the kitchen.
When in the kitchen, go to the den. Your presence inhibits them from making
comments, looking in closets, etc. Remember, we want them to feel like it is
ALREADY their home.

Q- How do I answer questions from an agent or his customer?
A- I prefer you refer all questions to me. Simply give them my card. I have seen
many owners unsell their own home by answering questions. So be very careful not
to comment on the value or desirability of a feature. What you love, another person
may not. Any comment regarding your financial need to sell will be used AGAINST
you! Also, discuss this issue with your children.

Q- How much advance notice will I get before a showing?
A- As much notice as I get. I (or my office) will call you as soon as an appointment is
requested. Whenever you leave, be sure the house is showable. If you are gone, the
showing agent may check out the key from any office or use the MLS lock.

Q- What should I do if an unexpected Realtor knocks on the door,
requesting to show the house?
A- First, ask for a business card. It is your house and it is your right to ask that they
set up an appointment through your office. Since you are serious about selling your
house, try to accommodate their request. If you need a few minutes to straighten
up, ask that they return in 15-20 minutes.

Q- What should we do if and unexpected buyer knocks?
A- If a buyer comes alone, do not let them in! This is for your protection. Slip them a
business card or a brochure through the door, and tell them to contact me.

Q- We have a pet. What about the pet during the showing?
A- The dog or cat, like all family members should be out of the house for showings.
Pets are a big distraction (either a positive or a negative one). Please do not ask us
to be responsible for keeping them inside. They will variably make a run for freedom.
Also, we all want to avoid a situation where a buyer or a child is injured.

Q- What about advertising my home?
A- Only 7% or real estate sales come from advertising. Twice that (15%) come from
yard signs. I write ads targeting a particular kind of buyer (i.e. first time, move up,
executive, empty nester). I also write new ads each time, highlighting a new and
different feature. Most buyers use ads to call for information only. By far the greatest
source of buyers is through MLS. You can help me by listing the features of your
home that sold you on it. Very likely, those same features will sell the new owners
Q- Do I get feedback after a showing?
A- It is very important for us to know why buyers do not like your home, as well as
why they do. Feedback is crucial because we use it to make adjustments in our
marketing plan. I try very hard to provide feedback within 24 hours of every
showing. Please help me do this by keeping cards of the Realtors that show your

Q- What happens when a buyer makes an offer?
A- Most real estate sales involve 2 agents. The Realtor working with the buyer will
write up a sales contract, and contact me. We discuss the offer and it's terms, and I
will contact you to present it in person. Please do not ask me to tell you the price
over the phone. We will sit down and review all the terms of the offer. We will
probably review an updated Market Analysis to decide on a counter offer, if
necessary. All changes will be made in writing, with your initials, and I will then
return the contract to the other agent. The process could be completed in a few
hours, but will probably extend several days. We will continue to show the house
until final agreement has been reached.

Preparing For a Home Inspection

      Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding. Six (6) or more inches of
       clearance is preferred.
      Clean out dirty gutters or debris from roof.
      Divert all water away from the house; I.e. downspouts, sump pump,
       condensation drains and the like. Grade should slope away from the
       structure. Clean out basement entry drains.
      Trim trees, roots and bushed back from the foundation, roof, siding and
      Paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around the trim, chimney,
       windows and doors.
      Seal asphalt driveways, if cracking.
      Seal or point up masonry chimney caps. Install metal flue cap.
      Clean or replace HVAC filter. Clean dirty air returns and plenum.
      Point up any failing mortar joints in brick or block.
      Test all smoke detectors to ensure they are in safe working condition.
      Update attic ventilation if none is present.
      Have the chimney, fireplace or wood stove cleaned and provide the buyer
       with a copy of the cleaning record.
      Seal masonry walls in the basement.
      Don’t do quick cheap repairs. You may raise questions that will unfairly cause
       great concern to buyers and inspectors.
      Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition, including
       repairing or replacing any cracked windowpanes.
      Ensure that all plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub, shower, and sinks) are in proper
       working conditions. Check for and fix any leaks. Caulk around fixtures if
Inspection Preparation

     Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources. Test all present GFCI
      receptacles for proper operation.
     Check sump pump for proper operation.
     Replace any burned out light bulbs.
     Remove rotting wood and/or firewood from contact with the house.
     Ensure that proper grading is followed under a deck.
     Install proper vapor barrier in crawl spaces.
     Caulk all exterior wall penetrations.
     Check to ensure that the crawl space is dry and install a proper vapor barrier
      if necessary. Remove any visible moisture from a crawl space. Moisture levels
      in wood should be below 18% to deter rot and mildew.
     Check that bath vents are properly vented and in working condition.
     Remove paints, solvents, gas, and similar materials from crawl space,
      basement, attic, porch, and so forth.
     If windows are at or below grade, install window wells and covers.
     Have clear access to attic, crawl space, heating system, garage and other
      areas that will need to be inspected.
     If the house is vacant, make sure that all utilities are turned on, including
      water, electric, water heater, furnace, air conditioning and breaks in the main


                           Mason City - (641)423-0500
                           Clear Lake - (641)357-0500
                           Garner -     (641)923-2813


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