Thinking about selling home, what should be our first step?

  • June 04 2014 - San Antonio
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Answers (11)

Profile picture for LystHouse
Good point SoCal.

This goes hand in hand with the market desirability assessment that you should make.  When you figure out the reasons for selling your home, you will price your home according to your needs and achieve maximum desirability. 
  • August 31 2014
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
I would caveat all of the information provided by others with...

"Know why you want to sell your home."

Though this may seem rather obvious, "the why" is something I believe many lose sight of (in many more things other than selling homes).

Strangely (and I admit I have no data to back this up, and am simply shooting-from-the-hip based on my own personal experience), "money" is rarely a primary motivation for buying/selling properties, but it often seems to take center stage.

So? Figure out the bottom line "why", and stay focused on that (even though $$$ often affects our ability to accomplish the "why"). My personal experience is that this helps bring some objectivity to the many emotional decisions that may come up when buying/selling real estate (i.e., is "the why" worth "the $$$"?).
  • August 31 2014
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You should talk to some agents!

The most common problem in real estate is communication, so be sure to pick someone who is enthusiastic about selling your home, knowledgeable and experienced in selling homes like yours, and somebody that you communicate well with. Walking away from a conversation with unanswered questions is a red flag.

All the best,
  • August 31 2014
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Profile picture for LystHouse
I am a flat fee broker in Texas and agree with most of the other comments on here.  I can't stress enough, however, how important it is to find a broker who understands your market, has the ability to negotiate, and that can leverage technology to help market and communicate with you and your buyers. 


1. Understanding your market desirability.
You need a broker who can price your home correctly.  We have heard all from sellers who were able to sell their homes quickly, but only did so because they were WAY lower than the market would bear, and took the first few offers they got.  On the other side, you don't want to price yourself out of the market.  Pricing is critical to desirability.


2.  The Need to Negotiate and counter.  
Its inevitable, and 88% of people are apprehensive about negotiations. An agent sitting on the other side of the table, with many years under their belt, can work the deal to your disadvantage.  A good broker is essential to making sure your not giving up thousands of dollars, or even worse, rights to something you never intended on giving up.


3.  Technology as the Difference Maker. 
Don't even waste your time with a flat free broker who is not utilizing the latest in technology - and that doesn't mean they have a website.  You want a broker who is able to navigate the technology available with ease so that your home is on the market quicker, in more places, and sells faster and at the highest price possible.  This is the BEST way to maximize and retain your equity.  Some companies are leveraging technology to offer amazing service at a very reasonable cost.  We have actually closed deals with a digital signature on a phone during a showing. That's the kind of technology you want working for you.
In the end, your main goal is to get on the MLS, get the tools you need, either in one package or a la carte, and sell your home as quick as possible with no issues. 
Having said all this, I feel that Flat Fee MLS listings are the way to go for sellers.  Buyers need agents to drive them around and show them houses, sellers don't.  A selling agent should be there to guide you by pricing your home right (CMA), marketing your home, and answering questions when you need them.  To me, 3% is a hefty fee for that end of the transaction.Hope this helps.
Review as many websites and third parties as possible, and then talk with your short list of broker options to find the one that's right for you.
Hope this helps.
  • August 31 2014
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Good evening...! Regarding your question...  I would recommend that you look through trusted sites like Zillow and look for Real Estate Agents that have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that it takes to sell a home in today's market.  

As we wind down from the Summer Surge....  The aggressive sellers market that we experienced in May - July will wind down a tad...  This may pertain to you or it may not...  totally depends what area that you are in.  

I will give you some advice that I give to all my clients when we begin to prepare to sell a home...
 
Bottom line, Schools drive real estate decisions in San Antonio...  specifically high schools...  More people are looking for schools than any on factor in my opinion... so if you are feeding into one of the high demand high schools into the area....  you will more than likely be good to go throughout the year provided that the other controllable factors to the sale are in good order as well.  

In any market and in any real estate situation....  the seller and listing agent only control three factors to the sale, everything else falls outside their control...   So, I always focus my clients and my teams marketing efforts towards those three things...  I will give them to you right here:

1. Price: ( Must be priced right... good CMA )  Market value does not always equal appraised value...   Bottom line, a home is only worth what the highest bidder is willing to pay for it...  Period...!
 
2. Condition: Home condition, updates, dated?., market condition, exterior, interior, maintenance, Energy Efficiency (big one in South Texas), etc etc...  HUGE List can follow..
 
3. Marketing:  Don't just place in MLS and pray...   Zillow syndication, Craigslist, local print publications, open houses etc...   how big the Real Estate Groups Network is etc....  All factors.  Photo Quality etc etc...

Again those are the three factors that we can CONTROL in a sale... so we focus on them and only them...   Although we consider the factors outside our control such as market conditions, interest rates etc...  we can't do much about what the VA rate is or what the family down the road sold their home for...  and so, so much more...

You can never start to plan too early, the earlier that you coordinate your efforts with a local real estate professional, the better...  as they can start getting you up to speed and gaining situational awareness on your local market and how it may positively or adversely affect you and how you can overcome any obstacles that may keep you from selling your home for a high price, the most favorable terms, and as fast as possible...!

I wish you the absolute best and best of luck.....!

 
  • August 18 2014
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Congratulations on this decision!  I would start with contacting a Realtor who specializes in your area.  I would look for a full-time agent, one with lots of experience, education, and references.  They will be able to run a good market analysis on your home, and to inform you of general market conditions. 

Next, I would address any repairs or updates that you know you want to do, in addition to any that your Realtor advises. 

Your Realtor will advise you on all of the next steps!  I live in the area and can help if you need anything.

Camille
  • July 10 2014
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I would suggest calling a local Realtor to discuss the market in your area. We will be happy to have an agent contact you to discuss further. We have offices in TX. I am sure I could find an agent that would be a good fit for you and your family. 

Hope this helps! 

Wallace Team
  • June 04 2014
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Profile picture for Debra Lorier
If you're only thinking about selling, your first step should be to explore the micro and macro market trends so you can have all the information before selling. Know WHY you are selling, then analyze the datat from that stand point. Then:

Step 1: Get a REALTOR
Step 2: Plan and Prepare to Sell Your House
Step 3: Set the Price
Step 4: Market the Homes
Step 5: Sell the Home
Step 6: Closing
Step 7: Moving

Hope this helps!
  • June 04 2014
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Clean like crazy.....pack, box, sell, donate, etc all your extras....clothes, household items, etc.  Coffee tables and counters should be nearly clear.   Have a stager help you if needed.   Make sure the yard is in order...best on the block....fix anything that needs fixed...

Then bring in your realtor.....get prices, determine a strategy, get it on the market.

Show it then sell it.
  • June 04 2014
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
My opinion

#1...Know your options
This is a Business Transaction and costs/expenses as the Seller are important to understand and the options you have may have a huge impact on the Price you need or the amount you consider equity/profit
Your take from the deal ;)
The DOJ has excellent info on the options of Service/Costs from the Service Providers (Agents/Agencies)
Competing models of real estate brokerage

Competition in real estate: Questions and answers

I would suggest that to assist you in being an informed seller you take a look at the National Association of Realtor yearly surveys actually say/suggest rather than what Agents may say or suggest they mean or suggest...often a big difference between the two ;)
2013 NAR Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers

NAR 2014 Homebuyer and Seller Generational Trends

I'd give this a look to get a tad of understanding about the process and decisions that as a seller you should be aware of

Elizabeth Weintraub is a Realtor & Zillow Forum contributor from California who has written a good article for FSBO's or anyone about the Selling Process for About.com that begins with...

"Whether you are selling For Sale by Owner as a FSBO or hiring a listing agent, the home selling process is identical. It may vary slightly from state to state, but since California tends to set the standard for much of the country, this format will address how homes are sold in California.

The main differences for you may be whether you hire a real estate lawyer and whether buyers submit intent offers prior to executing a purchase contract, but the basic procedures remain the same."

Home Selling Path A to Z...The Complete Home Selling Process

Worth checking out imo..nice general outline of the process and things you need to consider in order to be successful

Much more but these all are in that #1 package (know your options) you should be aware of and consider before selecting a Service Provider...Price is absolutely important but perhaps an argument can be made that what you get out of that price is just as important

Anyway I'm makin the argument ;)

Best of luck whatever road you decide to take

  • June 04 2014
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Profile picture for Mary Baldwin
Your first step should be to find out what your home is worth.  Get professional advice and make sure you have your eyes open about what it's really worth; not what you hope it is.  Go through your house with a very objective eye and evaluate where you can make improvements - maybe not major renovations.  Can you repaint the rooms? Update the baths & kitchen?  Seriously declutter and then declutter again.  Curb appeal?  Look at your landscaping, front porch, windows - think of first impressions! Look at the systems - is it time to get a new AC or roof?  You don't have to renovate your house, but you should maximize its appeal to get the highest possible price for it.

Thanks for such a great question.  
  • June 04 2014
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