Mark Galante's Blog
Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should! However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.
Contingencies on the purchase contract
A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.
There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.
The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.
Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.
This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.
The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.
If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.
Walkthrough and closing
Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.
Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.
While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.
For those who want to sell a house as quickly as possible, it often helps to think about what will happen after you list your residence. That way, you can plan ahead for the home selling journey and minimize the risk of potential roadblocks that otherwise may prevent you from achieving your property selling goals.
Ultimately, there are many questions for a seller to consider before listing a house. These include:
1. What makes my home unique?
No two houses are exactly alike, yet differentiating one home from another in a competitive real estate market may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, a seller who understands a residence's strengths and weaknesses can determine what makes his or her house unique. This seller then can develop a strategy to promote his or her residence to the right groups of prospective buyers.
Sometimes, it is beneficial to conduct a home inspection prior to listing a residence. With an inspection report in hand, a seller can analyze a house's strengths and weaknesses. This seller next can use the inspection report to prioritize home upgrades and find innovative ways to differentiate his or her residence from the competition.
2. How much is my home worth?
What you originally paid for your home is unlikely to match your residence's current value, regardless of when you bought your house. Thankfully, you can conduct a home appraisal to receive an accurate property valuation.
A home appraisal frequently helps a seller establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her house. After a home appraisal, it takes only a few days for a seller to receive an appraisal report. And once this report becomes available, a seller can use it to set an aggressive price for his or her house – something that may help this residence generate lots of interest from potential buyers.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
Hiring a real estate agent may be crucial, particularly for a seller who is uncertain about how to navigate the property selling journey. A real estate agent will help a seller develop a plan to quickly sell his or her house. Plus, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help a seller optimize his or her home sale earnings.
In addition, a real estate agent wants to help a home seller make informed decisions. He or she will educate a seller about the local housing market and ensure this individual understands all aspects of the home selling journey. And if a seller ever has concerns or questions during the home selling process, a real estate agent can provide immediate responses.
When it comes to selling a house, it is beneficial for a seller to prepare for the property selling journey. If a seller knows what to expect after he or she lists a residence, this individual can plan accordingly. Perhaps most important, a seller can map out the home selling journey and take the necessary steps to ensure a quick, seamless and profitable property selling experience.
Bolstering your house's curb appeal is paramount if you want to achieve the best-possible results during the property selling journey. In fact, there are many reasons why you may want to dedicate time and energy to enhance your home's curb appeal, and these include:
1. You can differentiate your home from the competition.
Your home only gets one chance to make a great first impression on potential buyers. If your home stands out to buyers, it may lead to many property showings. Meanwhile, these showings ultimately may result in one or several offers to purchase your residence in the near future.
If you are searching for ways to promote your residence to buyers, it often is beneficial to upgrade your house's curb appeal. Because if your home has a pristine front lawn and other amazing home exterior features, it may stand out to many buyers. And as a result, you may be able to distinguish your residence from comparable properties in your area.
2. You can speed up the house selling process.
The home selling process may prove to be long and difficult, particularly for a seller who is unsure about how to showcase his or her residence to the right groups of buyers. Fortunately, a home that has outstanding curb appeal may make it easy for a seller to speed up the house selling cycle.
Remember, a home's curb appeal enables a seller to make his or her residence an attractive option for potential buyers. And if a buyer falls in love with a home as soon as he or she sees it, this individual soon may be ready to purchase this residence.
3. You can maximize your home sale earnings.
The goal of a home seller is to generate lots of interest in his or her residence. That way, a seller can boost the likelihood of receiving multiple offers to purchase that are at or above his or her initial home asking price.
If you spend some time enhancing your house's curb appeal, you could make your residence an appealing option for buyers. Therefore, as buyers compete for your home, you may be able to reap the benefits of a profitable house selling experience.
As you prepare to sell your home and explore ways to upgrade your house's curb appeal, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you list your home and promote it to prospective buyers. Plus, he or she will help you establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence, set up home showings and open house events and much more.
Devote time and energy to upgrade your home's curb appeal – you will be glad you did. It generally won't take long to improve a residence's curb appeal. And if you focus on your home's curb appeal, you likely won't need to wait long to generate interest in your house and receive a competitive offer to purchase your residence.
Virtual reality (VR) may not be in every household in the country, but it's becoming more mainstream by the day. And contrary to popular belief, it's not just video game experts who want to get their hands on the latest technology. See how VR can inspire better offers from motivated buyers, leading to a bidding war that ends in your favor
The Case for VR Over Video
From drone shots to interior tours, there's no doubt that video has proved effective at showcasing the size of the home. However, VR has the edge because it helps people feel as though they're already living in the home. Instead of having to watch other people at Open Houses parade around, the buyers feel as though the home is already theirs.
VR can also streamline the sale process because buyers can get answers to their questions upfront. Videos have limitations when it comes to showing the scope and details of certain parts of the home, but VR gives buyers the true experience of being there.
Convenient & Memorable
Homebuyers are inundated with properties when they're on the hunt. Eventually, one house can start to blend in with the next. Instead of scrolling through countless photos online or attending their fifth Open House of the day, VR gives buyers time to inspect the home without having to leave the comfort of the agent's office.
Considering this technology is still not widely being used, buyers are virtually guaranteed to remember your home from the rest of the pack. Plus, if your home is attracting interest from outside the state (or even country), VR is the next best thing if they can't attend in-person. If out-of-state buyers are inspired to make the trip, it's almost certainly to make an offer.
More Than a Tour
VR technology for luxury homes can do much more than just give the home buyer a tour. Some programs allow the buyer to decorate rooms, allowing them to see how they're preferred color scheme and furniture placement would look.
VR can also show the details of the neighborhood, such as the ratings of the school systems, nearby shopping, etc. Finally, VR can help people calculate their future mortgage and property taxes, so they understand the financial side before making an offer.
This technology is still largely being used for luxury homes only, though it should be noted that the technology is becoming more widely available (and affordable) with every passing year. It's an effective and fun way to get people interested in your property.
A home showing may play a key role in your ability to sell your house. If a showing is successful, a buyer may submit an offer in the hours or days that follow. On the other hand, if a home fails to impress during a showing, a buyer likely will continue to search for the perfect residence.
It can be easy to ensure that a home showing is successful. Now, let's take a look at three steps that home sellers can follow to increase the likelihood of a successful showing.
1. Clean Your Home
A neat, tidy home is likely to make a positive first impression on potential buyers. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your home from top to bottom prior to a showing.
Mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and perform assorted home exterior maintenance. That way, you can instantly boost your house's curb appeal.
Also, wipe down countertops, vacuum carpets and complete various home interior maintenance. By doing so, you can guarantee that potential buyers will like what they see as soon as they walk through your home's front door.
2. Remove Personal Belongings
The goal of a home showing is to help a potential buyer envision what life would be like if he or she purchases your house. As such, you'll want to take down artwork, photographs and any other personal belongings before a home showing. Because if you keep these items on display, it may be tough for a buyer to picture himself or herself as the owner of your home.
Don't forget to eliminate as much clutter from your home as possible too. If you put excess items in storage or sell or donate these items, you can cut down on clutter and show off the true size of your residence.
3. Be Flexible
After you perform extensive home interior and exterior cleaning and remove myriad personal belongings from your residence, it may be only a matter of time before a home showing is scheduled. If you remain flexible, you can boost your chances of hosting as many home showings as possible.
There is no telling when a prospective buyer will want to check out your residence. Thus, if you maintain your flexibility, you'll be ready to leave your house at a moment's notice to accommodate a buyer's request for a showing.
After a home showing, you may receive buyer feedback as well. If a buyer leaves negative feedback about your residence, there is no need to worry. Use this feedback to identify and address problem areas in your house, and you can guarantee that future home showings hit the mark with buyers.
Lastly, if often helps to work with an expert real estate agent when you sell your house. This housing market professional is happy to help you get ready for a home showing and will offer honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you get the best possible results throughout the home selling process.