Are you overwhelmed with today's market, pricing, sales process, or legal requirements? The first step is choosing the right agent. With our agents' unrivaled professional experience, exclusive local knowledge, and a world-class approach to service, Long and Foster is the right choice when you're looking to sell. We have the best-trained and best-equipped agents, in a privately-owned business setting where we offer sensible and dependable advice to our clients.
Your agent will guide you through the whole selling process, from start to finish (and even beyond the close of the sale). There are many steps in the process, and we have included an explanation of the essential steps here:
Choosing an Agent- The first critical step is to choose the right Long and Foster REALTOR®. You should seek someone who can not only deliver results, but also suit your schedule, personality, and needs. Just as no two clients are exactly the same, our agents have different personalities, business schedules, and specialized skillsets. As one of the largest offices in the northeastern NC area, we are sure to have an agent with whom you feel connected.
Pre-Listing Appointment- Your agent will schedule a pre-listing appointment to view your home, and to discuss the details of the listing agreement, marketing plan, etc. This is your time to ask plenty of questions to be sure you're comfortable and familiar with the expectations moving forward. During this appointment, your agent will also recommend staging and/or upgrades that could help boost your showing appeal and even possibly your sales price. Try not to take these recommendations personally. A good way to gain the proper prospective is to try and think of your home as a commodity - that's exactly what it will be once a sale sign goes up. Buyers are not viewing it with the same sentiment you do as a seller, and they do not share the memories you've built in the home.
Staging/Preparing Your Home for Listing - Remember that each of us has a unique flair that personalizes our homes, but these things aren't always the same as what a buyer might desire. Since the level of showing appeal can often come down to a personal taste, your agent can help you walk the line between offering some tasteful design elements and offering a completely blank canvas. No matter what, you'll need to clean the home as deeply as possible, and depersonalize the home by removing an over-abundance of family photos. You want the buyer to imagine their own photos on the walls so that they begin to associate your home as their own. There are many other simple ways you can boost the appeal and value of your home, and your agent can provide you a written list.
Listing Appointment - The next step will be to officially list your home. Your agent will review all the official documents, and you'll complete some required disclosures (NC law) about defects in the home. Once you have officially signed your listing agreement, and photos have been taken, your agent will list the home in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If you choose to allow syndication with other real estate websites, your listing will then be sent to 1000+ different syndicate sites as well.
Showings - Once your listing goes "live" on the MLS and the web, you should expect to receive showing requests via your agent and/or the firm. You will discuss expectations for advance notice with your agent prior to listing the property, and the agent will include notes in your listing to inform other agents of your notice preferences. Especially in a hot seller's market, potential buyers and/or agents may even knock on your door when they see the yard sign. Both for your own safety and to prevent any miscommunication in negotiations, do NOT let them into your home without an appointment. If they are not working with an agent, refer them to your listing agent to set up an appointment. It is NOT worth risking your safety or your future potential profit to let someone in without proper supervision and basic pre-screening. Ask your agent for tips about candles, fragrance, lights, etc. to maximize your showing appeal.
Offer to Purchase and Contract - Once a buyer makes an offer on your home, your agent will present any/all offers and discuss the details with you. You may also receive a "net-to-seller" estimate to show your potential estimated profit from the sale. You will have the opportunity to accept or reject the offer outright, or you may make a counter-offer. Counter-offers are rejections of the buyer's original offer; however, counter-offers include terms you'd find favorable should the buyer choose to accept. Once all negotiations are finished, and all parties have signed/initialed the final terms, the ratified contract is formed. Note: At the time of contract formation, a settlement date is negotiated; however, the contract allows for a grace period of up to 14 days, if needed, beyond the agreed date. During the later phases of the contract-to-close process, a more exact settlement date will be confirmed.
Due Diligence Period - The Due Diligence Period is buyer's negotiated window of time to perform inspections, appraisals, title searches, loan approvals, etc. This is also the period in which any repair negotiations should be finalized. The buyer may cancel the contract, for any reason or no reason, anytime before the expiration of the Due Diligence Period without penalty. As long as the buyer terminates the contract prior to the expiration of the Due Diligence Period, the buyer is entitled to receive an earnest money refund.
Deed Preparation - Your (the seller's) attorney prepares the seller documents for signatures. These documents include the deed, satisfaction of any deeds of trust, etc. The attorney will request a payoff quote for any existing mortgages, equity lines, or other liens that must be paid at closing. During this time, the scheduling of an exact settlement date should be drawing near.
Settlement - Settlement consists of the review and signing of the closing statement, as well as the collection of any monies owed from the buyer and/or seller. This is the final step before the deed is recorded at the Register of Deeds office.
Recordation/Closing - Closing occurs when the deed is recorded, and funds are disbursed to the appropriate parties (seller proceeds, mortgage payoff, real estate commissions, taxes, etc.)
Congratulations! Once closing is complete, you officially turn over ownership of the home and you may cancel any hazard or flood insurance policies. (Make sure to wait for official notification that the closing is complete before doing so, or you could risk being uninsured if something delays the recording of the deed.)
As you can see, there are many places where things can get complicated along the way...that's why it is so important to have a trusted real estate advisor on your side.