Photo by  Fox & Otter  on  Unsplash

Photo by Fox & Otter on Unsplash

Step 1 - Meet with a real estate professional

There’s no commitment required on your part for the initial meeting. It will be educational and help you identify your next steps; Timeline, Potential upgrades, Maintenance checks.

It’s important to know where you’re moving-Will you be living in your home while it’s for sale, or moving out? Will you need the proceeds from your home sale to purchase your next home or will you be renting?

 
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Step 2 - establish a price & prepare your home

A comparative market analysis (CMA), will help you set an asking price. It is the bottom line so getting it right from the start is important.

How you prepare your home will influence the CMA and your recommended price range. To fetch the highest price, improve your home’s condition with a little clean-up and home improvement. As a service to my clients, I include professional photography and staging, when appropriate. Location is hugely important, but your home is where it is. Be sure to perfect the other 3 factors important to buyers.

 
Photo by  Taylor Simpson  on  Unsplash

step 3 - List Home for sale

Now that you’ve come up with a plan. You’ll sign a listing contract, give a copy of the keys to your agent, and execute the plan.

When everything is in place your home will go on the MLS (open market). It’s critical you make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to view your home. Some buyers may request to view your home on short notice, 1-2 hours is typical for out of town buyers.

 
Photo by  Jakob Owens  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

step 4 - Accept An Offer

Whether you get one or multiple offers, your agent will present all offers and advise you on counteroffers and the negotiation process.

Once you’ve reached mutual acceptance, meaning both you and the buyer accept all terms of the purchase and sale agreement, you are under contract and move on to working through the contingencies of the agreement. As the contingencies, such as inspection, title documents, appraisals, etc. get done you move towards closing. Finally the sale is done on closing day when the title gets recorded to the buyer and funds are transferred to you, the seller.

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Meet & Choose a Realtor

Choose a Realtor you feel comfortable working with. Discuss the type of home you’re looking for, including style, price, and location.

As the home buyer, your agent’s commission is paid by the seller of the home in almost all circumstances.

 
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Get Pre-Approved

Knowing what you can afford is critical to a good home shopping experience. The lender will let you know what paperwork they’ll need; pay stubs, W2’s, bank statements, etc. Additionally, if you have any credit score issues a good lender can provide guidance to help repair your situation and make sure you’ll be approved for a loan. A lender will also be a sounding board on your decision to sell an existing home and how to use the sales proceeds to achieve your goal.

In a competitive market a pre-approval letter adds strength to your offer.

 
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Create a home wish list & Search

Come up with your “musts” and “wants” so you know what you’d ultimately be willing to compromise on, if you had to. When you begin touring homes that are on your list pay attention to your thoughts as you approach each home. Can you imagine yourself living there?

 
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Make an offer / negotiate / mutual acceptance

Your agent will put together an offer with your best interest. On Bainbridge Island, that could include a septic inspection and a water well inspection in addition to the home inspection. Also, be ready for the earnest money (similar to a deposit/down payment) of around 3% of the offer price.

Once both you, the buyer, and the seller agree to the purchase and sale agreement (psa) terms mutual acceptance is reached and the timeline to take care of all the steps according to the PSA; Title review, Inspections, Apply for loan, Lender’s appraisal.

 
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Closing day

Closing is the date chosen on the PSA for when title/deed is recorded in the buyers name and sale funds are given to the seller. Five days prior to closing buyers have the opportunity to walk-through the property before closing the sale. Buyers and sellers sign all closing documents to close the loan, transfer title, and take ownership prior to closing day.

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU ARE A HOME OWNER!

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