Choosing Your Realtor
Lisa Smith specializes in helping sellers of luxury homes in Lake Tahoe. When you are considering selling you home, it is important to work with a realtor who is knowledgeable about the current market conditions so they can negotiate the best possible price for the sale of your home. You will be making many important decisions during the home selling process and there is none more important than choosing the right realtor to represent you. The reason I have so many referrals from past clients is because I am knowledgeable about market conditions and will showcase your home in a way that will get you the best possible exposure, bringing the highest price in the least amount of time. I will act as your advocate at every step of the transaction, helping you understand the disclosure and contingency removal process, and will walk you through the entire transaction until the sale is closed.
Pricing Your Home
I have represented many luxury home sales in North Lake Tahoe, Truckee and Incline Village, Nevada. I will explain the steps we will take to market your home and will familiarize you with current market sales data. Together we will determine the list price of your home. I will explain the disclosure documents and procedures that will come up throughout the transaction. It is important that your realtor is resourceful in attracting the largest possible pool of buyers. Not only do I have a wide access to a network of agents, I utilize cutting edge technology to connect with buyers who are searching in this area.
The first few weeks a home is on the market is the most important because it will receive the highest amount of exposure to buyers. This is why pricing is important. If we over price your home and then reduce it, we will never have the same chance to make a good impression. Advertising by saying a property is ‘reduced’ can stigmatize your home. I believe the greatest value a realtor brings to the transaction is helping the seller to understand pricing. It will be my job to help you prepare, price and market your home in a way that meets your priorities.
Things to Consider in Marketing Your Home
Before we get started, here are some questions to consider that will help me understand your goals:
Is there existing equity in your current home?
Check your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out how much you’ve paid down. Usually you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest. But if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains. We will prepare a net sheet based on the asking price to determine if you will have capital gains.
Has your income or financial situation changed?
If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving. If your income has decreased, you may want to consider downsizing. Have you considered where you will move if your home sells?
Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on?
Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.
Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market?
If the market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy will also be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home. These are things to consider as you think about moving.
Is your home ready for sale on the market?
Do we need to do any updates or upgrades to enhance curb appeal and remove existing clutter? Buyers like to imagine the home with their personal belongings inside so it is important to prepare the home for showing condition that provides this imaginative canvas.
After looking at the comps, what is the value range we should work within to position your home competitively?
Once we determine a strategic sale price, we will work with the closing costs to determine your net proceeds.
Other Items to Consider:
Where to put the For Sale Sign
Where to put the Lock Box
Submitting your home to the Multiple Listing Service to expose your home to other agents and buyers.
How listings show up on the internet.
Getting the best possible photographs.
Arranging a sales tour, luncheon or open house to introduce your home to local agents.
Developing a flyer/brochure which will highlight the features and benefits of your home.
Promoting your home to the Association of Realtor’s which serve this area to get maximum cooperating broker exposure.
Holding open houses when appropriate.
Contacting your neighbors to promote the property to their sphere.
Newspaper, internet and print advertising.
Featured property or creating a website for your property.
Managing the Transaction
Once your home is on the market, I will be presenting and explaining all offers to you. The purchase price along with the terms of sale will help us determine the best offer. Sometimes better terms can make a lower price more appealing. For example, you may prefer a shorter contingency period, and escrow period or one buyer may purchase with all cash or ‘as is.’ I will be explaining the terms as I present the offers to you.
You may want to accept, reject or counter any offers presented. During the negotiation process, I will leverage my skills and expertise to ensure we negotiate the best possible sales price.
I will be reviewing the purchase contract with you so that you understand your obligations and what needs to be accomplished within the determined time periods before you sign. In addition, I will:
Explain how contingencies and release clauses work
Protect you from contractually signing a ‘blank check’ for unknown problems and repairs.
Help you understand the legal disclosure requirements and help you execute the appropriate documents.
Orchestrate counter offers and help you identify the best offer.
I will be providing a professional and objective point of view, but the final decision to accept an offer is always your decision.
You will be notified of acceptance with the buyer’s signature on the agreed upon contract. A copy of the contract and earnest money deposit will be forwarded to escrow. In escrow all terms of the contract will be itemized in seller and buyer responsibilities. Once inspections are done and contingencies are removed, the contract will specify the closing date.
After the Offer is Accepted
Once the contract has been signed and escrow has been opened, I will walk you through the entire process to ensure that both you and the buyer are meeting your contractual deadlines and requirements. This includes:
Staying in contact with the buyer’s agent to work through any contingencies or questions.
Following up on the progress of the buyer’s loan.
Meeting the buyer or buyer’s agent at the property for any inspections.
Monitoring the contingency removal deadlines that affect you.
Providing assistance should any conflict with the buyer arise.
The closing process, which is sometimes called settlement or escrow, has become automated and documents can now be processed online with an electronic signature. During closing, all parties to the transaction are brought together under the guidance of an unbiased intermediary, called the escrow officer. The escrow officer ensures that the contract items are performed and executed. After the loan documents have been signed, they are returned to the lender. If all forms are properly executed and once all conditions are met, the loan is funded by a wire transfer.
A number of inspections are common in residential realty transactions. They include sewer, checks for termites, surveys to determine boundaries, appraisals to determine value for lenders, title reviews and structural inspections. There are also local requirements such as BMPs and woodstove emissions, so it is important to work with an agent who understands the local ordinances.
Structural inspections are particularly important. During these examinations, an inspector comes to the property to determine if there are material physical defects and whether expensive repairs and replacements are likely to be required in the next few years. Such inspections for a single-family home often require two or three hours, and both buyer and seller should attend. This is an opportunity to examine the property’s mechanics and structure, ask questions and learn far more about the property than is possible with an informal walk-through. If you are unable to attend, I will present all reports to you.
Finalizing and Closing
There will be many documents that we will review and finalize prior to close and I will ensure all parties have the appropriate copies.
I will also assist with any further negotiations related to inspections.
Along with the escrow officer, I will also help with any questions you may have about the closing documents.
Once the loan has funded or the check has been received, we will deliver the keys to the buyer.
I will walk you through every aspect of the transaction and guide you along the way.