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Selling a property is a big decision and one that requires time, energy, and a vast knowledge of the real estate market, especially the niche market of high-end luxury real estate. You may be tempted to sell your property yourself, but what you may not realize, is that there?s a lot of work involved! In order to find the right buyer at the right price, you need a solid marketing strategy, a variety of resources, and persistence ? qualities found in an accomplished real estate agent. Not only will they market your property, they will guide you through the process, starting with the check lists below. Here?s what you should know?

Research the current market and property laws in your area. Know and understand your comp-set, as well as the terms of sales at similar properties. Are there property disclosure laws that apply and need to be taken into consideration?

Get the facts about your property. Before you sell, you should know important details about your property such as property taxes, zoning, lot size, square footage, as well as the terms of your existing loan.

Set the price. After all factors have been considered, it is time to set the price. A realistic price.

Walk your own property. To make sure your property is market ready, you should always do a walk through, and see it through eyes of both a buyer and an inspector. Look for the following:

The Exterior:

  • Does your home have curb appeal (the overall appearance that makes it more appealing to a buyer)?
  • Is your home in need of a new paint job due to the paint condition or unappealing color?
  • Is your lawn well-maintained or does it need an update?
  • Are your windows, doors, gutters, and roof in good condition?
  • Are all the toys put away, and does the property look tidy?

The Interior:

  • Is the paint on the interior walls in good condition or an appealing color? Painting your home a neutral color is one of the least expensive and easiest ways to freshen up your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. It?s also worth spending the extra money to hire a professional painter. It can make all the difference.
  • Is your carpet, hard wood, or tile clean and in good condition and an appealing color? Just like paint, floor coverings can make or break a first impression. New floors may be a worthy investment.
  • Are the appliances up-to-date and in good working condition?
  • Are the plumbing and electrical systems fully functional and in good condition?
  • Are the sealants in the sink, shower, tub, and windows in good condition?
  • Do all of your light fixtures work properly? An important tip ? By having each room well lit, prospective buyers will not think you are hiding something and will also highlight your room in a positive way.

Know your neighborhood. Get the facts on local schools, shopping, parks, transportation, restaurants, and other points of interests. This is important information that most prospective buyers will want to know.

Know how much you are willing to spend to sell your property. An experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent will provide you with estimated closing costs that typically include commission for a real estate agent, advertising costs, attorney fees, closing agent fees, excise tax for the sale, pro-rated costs for your share of the annual expenses (i.e. property taxes, HOA fees, etc.), miscellaneous fees paid by the seller (i.e. surveys, inspections, etc.).

Establish a marketing plan. Again, an experienced real estate agent is going to know the best way to market your property and use all available resources that are most often limited to real estate professionals. Marketing strategies may include online and print advertising, open houses, a ?For Sale? sign, a list of prospective buyers for follow up, and a fact sheet that includes a description of the features of your property.

Get ready to negotiate. Once you have an offer, it?s go time. Make sure to leave your emotions at the door when you enter negotiations as you never want to get angry or show that you are overly eager. There are several forms required for the legal sale of your property, and each one needs to be reviewed carefully. Be sure to note when the forms are due, and learn what the buyer?s rights are once the contracts are signed. Most of the content on these documents is prescribed by state or federal law and must be adhered to in its entirety. The proper forms can be found at your local Board of Realtors or provided by your real estate agent.

Establish the final terms of sale. This is a critical part of a real estate transaction and should always be reviewed by an attorney prior to finalizing. In order to establish the final terms of sales, buyers and sellers must come to an agreement (in writing) for the following:

  • Price
  • Inspection contingencies
  • Financing Terms
  • Closing date
  • Date of possession

Schedule a final walk-through. Both the buyer(s) and a witness must be present when the final walk through is scheduled. This final step will determine that the property meets the expectations of all parties involved. All disputes should be resolved before the transfer of title.

Make moving arrangements. More than likely, if you are selling a home, you are moving into a new one. An ideal situation is to schedule both the buying and selling transactions at the same time. If this is not possible, close your purchase shortly before closing your sale. Unless otherwise agreed upon, buyers must be moved out before new owners take possession.