Has the time come to sell your home? Maybe it’s time for an upgrade to a larger home, or the kids are out of the house and it’s time to downsize. Or you are heading south for a new job. Whatever the reason may be, the idea of selling can seem intimidating and overwhelming. You may feel that there is an endless list of things that should be done to your home before you feel comfortable with buyers walking through. But what items should take priority? What items should you spend time and money on to achieve top dollar for your home? Are some of the items that you think need to be done really necessary? These are all questions that the Realtors® at Hedgecock Group Real Estate will answer for you. Contact us anytime and we will be happy to meet you at your home and help you make a game plan on what needs to be done before you list your home for sale.
After we determine what, if anything, should be done on your home before hitting the market, we will take an in-depth look at the current market conditions, recent sales of similar properties, and determine the value of your home. Pricing your home correctly is critical. We will make sure you are not leaving money on the table when you sell your home, all while making sure that you are not overpricing your home. Buyers are smart and have access to lots of quality information and more often that not know when a home is overpriced. When a home is priced correctly, it is quite common to sell for at or extremely close to asking price. You do no need to overprice a home to leave room to negotiate. In fact, this can actually end up shooting you in the foot, so to speak. When a home is overpriced, it generally sits on the market for much longer than a home that is priced correctly. And even if over time the price is reduced to what would be considered market value, buyers will wonder what is wrong with the home since it was on the market for so much longer that most other homes in the area and since there were subsequent price reductions. Then often times you end up needing to drop the price to under market value just to pique buyer interest again.
One of the most common questions we receive from folks that want to sell their home has to do with staging. With all of the reality TV shows, it’s easy to think you need to hire a professional stager, or get new furniture, or strategically place fake flowers throughout your home. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The majority of homes that are professionally staged are homes that are being flipped by an investor. This is extremely common in the lower 48, but not in Fairbanks and North Pole Alaska. Staging is simply preparing, or getting your home ready to sell. On occasion, there are homes that do not need any staging done. But most of the time, we will give you a punch list of items that need to be done such as taking items out of closets so they are not overflowing, taking excessive items off of the kitchen counters, a general deep cleaning, replacing light bulbs, removing dog poop from the yard, having the carpets professionally cleaned, taking all of the hanging items off of the fridge door, putting extra shoes from the entry way in the garage, ect. In some instances, we will recommend larger to-do items such as painting or new carpet. But most of the time, the list will require just a little money and time to get done.
After your home is cleaned and staged, we will have our professional photographer come and take pictures of your home. How many times have you seen a home listed for sale that only has 5 pictures? Or the pictures are dark or a terrible angle? You know the saying, “You never get a second change to make a first impression”, this goes for selling a home as well. And that first impression is through the pictures that potential buyers see. Our professional pictures will make your home shine and will make buyers want to come see your home.
Now things get exciting! Hedgecock Group Real Estate will actively be marketing your home for sale through all of our local, national and international resources including networking with other Realtors® in Fairbanks and North Pole. We are available for phone calls, emails and to schedule showings on your home after hours and on the weekends. After all, most buyers like to look at homes when they are not at work. Speaking of buyers, the buyers we schedule showings for will not be just any buyer, but ones that have been pre-qualified from a lender and are truly in a financial position to purchase a home. When we have a showing request, we will contact you to confirm that the day and time works for you. You won’t have random door knocks, or people you don’t know contacting you for a showing. The only person contacting you will be a licensed Realtor® from Hedgecock Group Real Estate.
We will continue marketing and showing your home until we have an offer that is acceptable to you. When we receive an offer, we will promptly present the offer to you and break down all of the financial aspects of the offer, important dates, any contingencies, detailed information about the buyers loan program and lender and how they can affect you and the closing process and so on. There are a lot of details to go over with an offer and we will make sure you understand all of the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.
Depending on the offer, it is common for it to take 30-45 days to close the sale. That sounds like a long time, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done during this time and a large number of people are involved. But don’t worry, we handle everything and will keep you up to speed on what’s happening and when. One of the biggest hurdles in a home sale can be during the Buyers Right and Duty of Inspection, also referred to as the buyers Due Diligence period. This is when a buyer can have inspections done on the home, at their expense, to find out what kind of problems the home may have and to determine if they want to continue with the purchase or not. If they do, there is generally negotiation that occurs between the buyer and seller on needed repairs. We will help you through this process as well! Everything from advising you on what repairs from the home inspection you should realistically be prepared to do, getting bids for needed work, coordination with contractors and general handymen and having the home inspector sign off on the completed repairs.
Another part of the closing process is to have the home appraised. An appraiser will be assigned to the file. When selling a home, as long as the appraisal meets the sales price, everyone is happy. Most of the time, the appraisal does meet value. But on occasion, appraisals come in low or less than the agreed upon sales price. In this situation, there are a number of potential options to keep the sale alive which we will advise you on.
That is a very brief overview of what a simple real estate transaction may look like. Each sale is unique and there are a number of items during the time before closing that may need to be addressed and dealt with, such as septic inspections and replacements, wood burning stoves not meeting EPA standards, arsenic in the water, encroachments, new plot plan, legal but non-conforming property use and grandfather rights applications and so much more.
Closing is the word most people use when they talk about going to the title company to sign papers for their home sale. This event is actually called settlement. Settlement is when you sign the paperwork and closing is when the transaction records and ownership is transferred, generally the next business day. Prior to settlement, the escrow officer we work with from the title company will email a Settlement Statement that has all of the numbers involved in the sale. It is full of debits and credits and shows the final amount that you will receive from your home sale. Your Licensee from Hedgecock Group Real Estate will review the Settlement Statement, confirm that all of the numbers are correct and will then review it with you to make sure you as a seller understand everything and are familiar with the document so when you go to settlement to sign papers, you are not caught off guard. You can choose to have your proceeds wired to your account or you can have the title company cut you a check. Most sellers elect to have their proceeds wired as that is the quickest and most streamlined. Settlement for a seller usually only takes about 30 minutes, but this can certainly vary. Once the sale has officially recorded, we will contact you giving you the good news.
Selling a home is very involved process from start to finish that potentially has a large number of speed bumps along the way. There is a reason that over 90% of sellers are assisted by a real estate professional when selling their home, according to the National Association of REALTORS ® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Hedgecock Group Real Estate will be there to help you every step of the way. We have a large group of experienced Licensees ready to assist you. Please contact us anytime to let us help you begin the process of selling your home in Fairbanks or North Pole.