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Selling your Home

Getting Ready to Sell

Selling can be a a very simple choice or a tedious decision with an array of emotions. If you have decided to sell, planning and preparation are key to a sale. Review the article Planning To Move, before you decide to sell.

The longer a home is on the market, the less attractive the home becomes to buyers. The best home selling strategy is to prepare it for sale and price it right

Preparing for a sale

The best salesperson for your home is the home. Your home needs to be prepared to sell itself.

Document preparation

You may be asked for documentation/information before, during or at the closing of a sale. In addition some documentation may help you prepare and understand your negotiating thresholds.
  • Deed helps establish the legal ownership of the home
  • In terms of ownership, understand the implied/regulatory legal obligations like ownerships interest of a spouse, partner or child.
  • Financial obligations where the home is a collateral, like mortgage, equity homes, student loan guarantees, etc.
  • If you expect to sell for less than what you owe, then document how you expect to makeup the shortfall.
  • Most recent utility bills (water, gas, electric, etc.). If your water/gas/electric bills do not show historical usage, request copies for the past year from your utility company.
  • Insurance claims that may have been filed for property damage
  • Updates/improvements you have done since your purchased the home.
  • Warranties that may be transferable to buyers

Sellers Disclosures

A sellers disclosure identifies several physical aspects of your home and gives a buyer an overview about the condition of the house. Almost every home buyer will get a home inspection before committing to buying because there maybe some of issues or defects that cannot be seen just by looking at a home.

Repair and Fix

Repair and fix all that possible things. It gives impression that the home is taken care off buyers want to buy a home that is ready to move into. Overall, buyers want to buy a home that has no deferred maintenance.


Consider your home like that TV or Dress in the window display. It needs to be appealing for someone to walk into the store and consider a purchase.

Buyers are generally strapped for cash after a home purchase and financiers may be reluctant to provide mortgages above the selling price. This translates into buyers looking for homes in move-in condition with newer appliance, updated kitchen and bath, appealing decor like painting, hardwood floors, etc.

  • The buyers should be able to see themselves in the new space.
  • Paint - Nothing says freshness like new paint, and it's the most cost effective improvement. Remember that your are painting to attract buyers. Use neutral colors.
  • De-clutter, depersonalize and decorate all rooms and hallway and stairways.


Pricing is key to a smooth and quick sale. You do not want to overprice your home or try to "test the market." . Today's buyers are very savvy. They know their market well. They surf the internet look at homes in your neighborhood and keep a track of what was sold in your neighborhood. They know every detail of the homes in the area. They know the square footage, the taxes, how many days the home was in the market and how much it was sold for. So overpricing will never help you. Buyer may not even want to see your home and if they do they will look at your home just to compare before they put in an offer on an similar home but have no intention of put in an offer on your home. By overpricing you will be doing your competition a favor and make them look like a better deal and sell their home faster.

Marketing and Showing


Effective marketing is more than sticking a sign in the yard and printing fancy fliers and waiting for buyers to turn up. How you reach out to prospective make a difference. E-marketing is most effective way to sell. The buyers have information about your home 24/7 and how your home is marketed on the internet makes a great difference.


While showing your home to a prospective buyer

  • Try to understand the buyer and prepare the home for showing from a buyers perspective
  • Make a list of the major features about the house and what you like most about the house.
  • Have a Realtor show the home so the buy can feel comfortable at looking through the home without your presence.

Transaction process

Your transaction process starts with you receiving and accepting an offer to purchase and ends with closing. Throughout this process, you will need to closely monitor the progress of all contingencies to make certain that all deadlines are met.


You need to understand that the both parties need to feel that they have got the best possible deal. Sellers and buyers are often polar opposites. Buyers want to pay as little as possible and sellers want the best possible price. Somewhere in between those two sellers and buyers find middle ground or the deal doesn't happen. One aspect of negotiations that needs close monitoring is emotion. As much as it is your home currently, it will be the buyers home for the foreseeable future - Do not let it become personal.


In tough markets, buyers may ask sellers to help finance properties. Owner financing attracts more buyers, and sellers have a variety of financing instruments to choose from.

Seller Responsibility

The seller has the responsibility to keep the home in 'as-seen' condition, unless otherwise negotiated, throughout the transaction process. A walk-through is done at closing to validate this. Unseen defects, like a hole in the floor under where the bed was, can be deal breakers and result in financial/legal repercussions.


This is day you have been waiting for. The buyer will have a walk-through to make certain that the house is left in broom-clean condition. You will hopefully are already be in your next home.

Closing is a formal process where all parties sign all of the necessary paperwork needed to complete the transaction. Title to the property is transferred from you to the buyer. The buyer receives the house-keys and you receive payment for the house. From the amount credited to you, the title representative subtracts the funds to pay off the existing mortgage and other transaction costs. Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared, signed and ultimately filed with local property record office.

Nancy Castelino

Nancy Castelino
Real Estate Broker
Ph: (609) 466-2716