What Sellers Can Expect During the Home Selling Process in Olympia, WA
What can you expect when you are selling your house in Olympia, WA?
This is a two-part article that will go over what to expect when you have your house listed and what to expect once an offer is received.
An experienced Realtor working for you can mitigate many problems before they occur. Communicate with your Realtor and discuss the plan for your house sale and expectations so that you are prepared to handle any bumps along the way.
1. Agents will call you to set up a showing appointment. If you miss their call, please call them back to confirm the showing appointment. Let the agent know if there are any showing instructions or what they should know, such as the dogs are in the garage or if someone will be home during the showing, etc.
2. Turn on the lights and leave. Set up an inviting and welcoming home for buyers. Turn on the lights, freshen up the home and leave so the buyers can take their time to view the house.
3. Agents will leave their business card letting you know they were there. Sometime agents do forget to leave their business card behind, but usually you will find their business card on an entry table or the kitchen counter.
4. Sometimes agents don’t show up. This can happen. Sometimes the clients decide at the last minute they don’t want to see the house or other issues come up preventing them from keeping the appointment, however most agents will call to let you know.
5. Agents are usually showing multiple homes. If they say they will show the house at a specific time or if they give you a 30-minute window, for example, understand they are showing multiple homes and they may not be able to stick to that time exactly. If they say they will be there at 11 AM, you may want to be out of the house by 10:45 AM.
6. Use the lockbox as a security feature. This is a rare occurrence, but if someone says they are an agent and knocks on your door to see the house without an appointment, it is up to you if you want to let them in. If you do decide to let them in, ask them to open the lockbox. If they refuse or they say they forgot their key, I would advise you not to let them in. I also advise you not to let in anyone who is not accompanied by an agent. When the lockbox is opened, I get an email stating who opened it and when.
7. Put away any valuable items. Don’t leave out cash or small, valuable items that easily can be picked up by people touring your home. An agent will ALWAYS be with the clients. Children may also be house-hunting with their parents and may be tempted to touch fragile items.
7a. Clutter eats equity. Declutter, depersonalize and deep clean your home so it shows its best!
8. Shoes-off policy? If you have a shoes-off policy, please let me know. You can also add runners and area rugs to help minimize dirt being tracked in.
9. If a buyer’s agent contacts you with questions, please refer them to me. Sometimes buyer’s agents will call you directly to ask you questions about the property. The standard protocol is for that agent to contact me. Sometimes agents may want to try to get additional information from you that could potentially harm you in negotiations. This is rare but sometimes happens.
10. If you have any questions or if any problems arise, please let me know immediately so I can help. Having your home listed and shown can be stressful, and both I and the buyer’s agents strive to be respectful of your home and your time.
1. The buyer’s agent contacts me with the offer. The buyer’s agent will deliver the offer to me; then I will contact you so we can review the terms and discuss the response to the buyer.
2. Offer may not be full price. Don’t be offended if the buyer’s offer is not full price and if they ask for you to pay their closing costs. Both sides need to be willing to negotiate.
3. Multiple negotiation stages. Negotiations don’t just happen at the beginning of the offer. There will be other times during the transaction where buyer and seller can negotiate the terms. You potentially can negotiate:
- after the buyer’s home inspection;
- after the appraisal;
- and even (although extremely uncommon) negotiate just before the closing date.
4. Buyer’s list of contingencies. Buyers will have a list of contingencies that they need to satisfy as part of their process in purchasing the home. If a buyer is not satisfied with a contingency, then they can back out of the transaction and get their earnest money returned to them. Most contingencies are satisfied within the first 10 days of mutual acceptance. Common contingencies for buyers are:
- Home inspection
- Obtaining financing
- Neighborhood review
- Title report review
- Obtaining homeowner’s insurance
- Buyer’s home for sale
5. Special note about home inspections. As a seller, you agree to allow the buyer to have a home inspection. This home inspection is at the buyer’s cost. The buyer’s agent will schedule the appointment with you and you should be gone from the home. A home inspection can take about 3 hours. After the home inspection, the buyer’s will respond with four choices:
- the buyers will not ask you for any repairs;
- the buyers will ask you to repair specific items;
- the buyers will ask for more time to have additional inspections;
- the buyers are dissatisfied with the inspection and are rescinding their offer.
6. Earnest money. The buyer will offer earnest money, but this money goes into a third-party trust account, which in many cases is the escrow company. It does not go to you unless the buyer terminates AND breaches the contract.
7. The appraisal. The buyer’s lender will hire an appraiser to come out and view the house, measure the house and take photos. The appraiser will contact you to set up an appointment. Most appraisers have lockbox keys, so you do not need to be at the house.
8. Signing closing documents. Prior to the close date, you will need to be available to sign your closing papers with the escrow company. You will not be at the signing table with the buyers. In fact, you may never meet the buyers.
9. What to leave behind. Please give me or leave behind all house keys, mailbox keys, garage door openers, etc. Also leave behind any instruction manuals or warranty information for appliances, etc. and any household receipts and invoices for completed repair work.
10. What to take with you. Remove trash. You can leave behind extra paint but not other hazardous materials such as gasoline, paint thinner, pesticides, etc. Leave the home as clean as you can.
Keep in mind that all offers and transactions are unique; this list represents some common elements of an offer.
If you’d like to learn more about how your home fits into this market and would like a personalized home evaluation, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call me today at (360) 359-0689. With no obligation, I can give you straight-forward, fact-based information so you can decide if the time is right to make your next real estate move. Or start by researching your neighborhood for recent sales on my website at www.FrancineViola.com.
Written and originally posted by Francine Viola on her blog www.InTuneRealEstate.com.