The Real Estate Transaction
Any real estate transaction can be broken down into a few basic phases.
During each part, your selling REALTOR will be busy working for you to ensure that the whole process is streamlined and that you get the most value from your home.
When you contact your REALTOR, they will make an appointment with you for a listing presentation. Before that appointment, they will review any and all questions they need to have answered about the property and perform all necessary research on comparable houses for sale in the area, market trends over the past 18 months, tax information, zoning, and all of the other details necessary to list the property.
The Listing Appointment
When you meet with your agent to list your property, they'll give you an overview of the research they conducted on the market conditions and projections in your area. They should then review their credentials and accomplishments with you to give you an idea of their experience and track record.
During this meeting , you'll discuss your goals for the property, and your agent will discuss how you can achieve them and what you can expect from the current market. They will also discuss the benefits of listing with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the power of marketing and social media to sell your house faster, and at a better market price.
They'll then explain the behind-the-scenes work that they and their team will do and will explain your agent's role in screening qualified buyers and protecting you from curiosity seekers wasting your time. They'll review all of the terms and clauses in the Listing Contract & Addendum, and then you'll sign and list your house.
Once Your Home is Listed
Once your REALTOR, has your house under a listing agreement, they'll review and confirm all of the details of the listing, including your home's overall square footage, the size of interior rooms, the lot size, etc. Then they'll prepare instructions for any and all buyers' agents showing your house. Showing time windows will be determined based on an agreement with you.
During this phase, your REALTOR will also verify the current mortgage loan(s) on the property and check the asumability of the loan(s), along with any special restrictions. Details concerning utilities, amenities, and curb appeal will also be assessed at this time, along with the complete list of any repairs and/or maintenance that need to be completed. An extra key will be obtained to be placed in a lockbox for purposes of showing the property, and all other details required for listing the property will be taken care of. !At that point, your agent will load the listing into their transaction management program and load the listing into the MLS. They’ll then need to visit the property (or have a photographer visit the property) to take any additional pictures for the listing, as well.
Getting an Offer and Contract
When you get offers on your home, they will go through your agent, who will review and evaluate them. They’ll then prepare a net sheet for each one for you to compare offers, and they’ll counsel you on your offers, explaining the different strengths and weaknesses of each. They’ll then contact the buyers’ agents to further discuss the offers and to research the buyers’ qualifications.
After they’ve called the buyer’s loan officer to determine that the buyer is pre-qualified, they’ll obtain a pre-qualification letter, and you may begin negotiating the price of your home based on your needs and the offers on the table.
Once you’ve received an offer that works for you, you’ll accept it, and a contract will be drawn up for you and the buyer to sign, which will also be copied and sent to the escrow company, as well. At this point, your property’s status on the MLS will be updated to “Sale Pending”, and your agent will handle the details leading up to the home inspection.
Home Inspection and Appraisal
The buyer will then hire a professional home inspector and coordinate a home inspection with you. Your agent will review the inspector’s report, make you aware of any necessary repairs or improvements before the sale of the house and assist you with identifying and working with trusted contractors if need be.
Your agent will then schedule an appraisal and provide the appraiser with information about comparable sales in the area. After the appraisal, they will follow up and assist you in ensuring that the appraisal report is completed promptly and accurately.
Preparation for Closing
At this point, your agent will ensure that the contract has been signed by all parties and will prepare for closing by coordinating with the buyer’s agent. All closing forms and files will be updated, and any title issues will be resolved, along with any details concerning taxes, HOAs, etc. Your agent’s job at this point is to ensure that your closing goes smoothly and that there are no surprises waiting for you at the closing table. After closing, they will then change your home’s MLS listing to “SOLD”.
Following Up After Closing
Finally, your agent will follow up with you after you’ve closed and will ensure that all of your questions are answered and any conflicts are resolved. They’ll also be available to you for further follow-up calls and concerns.