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Planning on selling your home in Greater Houston? You’re probably feeling a little nervous, which is normal especially if you’ve never done this before.While there’s no denying the fact that a home sale is rarely ever just a walk in the park, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle course either – a little planning goes a long way. Read on for tips on how to successfully navigate the process.
Establishing a time frame
Maybe you have a job waiting for you and you need to relocate as soon as possible. Or you just want to move up or down and you’re in no particular hurry. You need to come up with a calendar so you can get a clear idea about where in the process you’ll need to be at a particular date. This will also inform your marketing strategy – if you have a tight schedule, for example, then you’re going to need to speed things up right from the get-go.
Getting your finances ready
Do you have an existing mortgage? How much is the outstanding amount?Is there a pre-payment penalty? These are questions you want to know the answers to as early in the process as possible, especially if you’re planning on buying a home at the same time as well.Also, bear in mind that while the goal of a home sale is to put money in your pocket, you will need to spend a bit first before that can happen.
Choosing the right agent
You’re going to be entrusting your agent with what is probably the most important piece of property you own. You will want to make sure that you’re putting that trust in the right person. Vet your agent as carefully and as thoroughly as you would anyone you plan on doing business with.
Determining your home’s value
Essentially, your home is worth what a buyer will pay for it and there are several factors that your potential buyers will be considering. These include:
Pricing your home
Once you have an idea of the prices in your area as well as what the current market trends are, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision about how much you should be asking for your home.
Prepping for the sale
First impressions are everything. Buyers are going to be deciding whether or not they like your house within the first few seconds – you will want to make sure that they like what they see.
A good marketing strategy is one that’s comprehensive, but also targeted at the same time. Your home should be advertised on all relevant platforms and brought to the attention of the right buyers.
If you’ve gotten multiple offers, good for you. Be prepared to negotiate – and endeavor to keep a cool head throughout. Your agent is required to show you all offers, even those that you’d consider laughably low, and you can reject, counter or accept an offer. Expect to compromise somewhat and know that it’s not always the price that both parties have some trouble agreeing on. There are other considerations such as the closing date, the specifics of what’s included in the sale, the earnest money deposit, and so on.
Going into escrow
After you’ve signed the contract of sale, you’re officially in the escrow process. The contract will detail the various terms and conditions, from the price to the contingencies that you will need to meet to whether or not you or the buyer will be paying the closing costs. In Texas, escrow is typically handled by the title company. You will need to:
This is when you sign the papers transferring ownership of your property to the buyer and when the funds will in turn be released to you. Note that the buyer’s lender may sometimes take anything from a few hours to a few days before they release the funds to the title company. Also note that payments brought to the closing which exceed $1,500 need to be electronically wired or in the form of a certified check or a cashier’s check.