I have decided to sell my Sacramento home. What is the next step?
First and foremost, be certain that the people you select to represent you are professionals who will excel in their representation of your best interests. Select a Realtor. Notice that I say Realtor as opposed to real estate agent. Realtors have a Code of Ethics and are held to a higher standard than a real estate agent. Sellers, pay attention to the lender your buyer uses. When dealing with a lender, buyers should work with a local reputable lender. A local lender will have much more invested in keeping their reputation within the community.
Lenders will ask buyers some elementary questions and run a credit report. With this basic information, buyers will learn what loan amount they can qualify for. This is also all that is needed for a prequalification letter.
Is now a good time to sell?
This is truly a market driven question. A “seller’s market” is a wonderful time to sell your Sacramento home. You will generally get more for your home and fewer requests for repairs from buyers. In a “buyer’s market”, you will probably need to be more flexible regarding price and requested repairs.
If you are considering selling your present home and purchasing a new home, then simply remember you are selling in the same market as the one your are purchasing – you should be fine.
If you are purchasing strictly to remodel and sell, you should exercise caution. In any type of market, strongly consider the location and condition of the property. You cannot change location. You do not want all of your investment capital going into such items as pest work, electrical or plumbing – items from which you will probably not get a return on your investment. In a “buyers market”, your profit margin will shrink, sometimes substantially. Be sure your improvements are prudent.
The buyer has fallen in love with your home – now what?
The buyers will sit down with their Realtor and write an offer. They will talk about a reasonable offering price. They will also decide when they want to record and take possession of the property. Average escrows take 30-60 days. They will also decide such things as how much money they want to put down for a deposit and down payment. Who will pay for such items as a pest report and pest work, the Natural Hazard Disclosure Report, escrow and title fees, city and/or county transfer taxes and a home warranty. Your Realtor should know what is traditional in your county for many of these charges.
The buyer’s Realtor has brought your Realtor an offer. Now what?
You will talk with your Realtor regarding the offering price. Is it acceptable? Is there some necessary negotiating? What fees are the buyers asking you to pay? Are they reasonable? Again, your Realtor should know what is traditional in your county. If the offer is well written, the offer will be accepted as written; if not, it will be countered or rejected.
We have an accepted offer! Now what?
Congratulations! You have successfully negotiated an acceptable offer for all parties! There will, in all likelihood be several inspections including but not limited to a home inspection and pest inspection. Other possible inspections could be a pool inspection, chimney inspection, lead-based paint inspection, sewer line inspection and mold inspection.
Buyers should immediately contact their lender with the good news – there will be a lot of work to do for the buyers and the lender in order to secure a loan in a timely manner. You will want to give the escrow company information on your existing loan so the escrow company can issue a payoff demand to your lender to payoff your loan at recording.
Buyers should also contact their insurance agent. Any loan will require a hazard insurance policy be in place prior to close of escrow. The earlier this process is begun, the less expensive the policy can be. This is because the insurance agent will have time to shop the loan for all of the available discounts and policies available.
Start thinking about moving. Do you wish to recruit the aid of family and friends, or do you want to hire a moving company? Remember, your recording date is an approximation! Know that you might move earlier or later than the date on the contract. Be sure to make flexible plans.
We are recording in approximately 10 days. What should we be doing?
Contact the appropriate Sacramento utilities (post office, pool and garden service, electric and gas companies, telephone, cable or satellite services and any technology services). Give them the approximate move date and line up as much as you can ahead of time. Buyers should be certain that any cash they need to bring to escrow is available. You should decide where you want your net proceeds to go. If there are young children or pets, find a place for them to stay during the day of the move. It will be easier on them and you. Leave any garage door remotes and spare keys in a kitchen drawer along with any appliance instructions and/or warranties.
You should get a call to sign your seller’s documents a few days prior to closing. Bring your drivers license for identification. If you are planning to have the net funds wired into an account, bring the account information. This signing should only take about 1/2 hour.
On the date of recording, you should receive a call from your Realtor or escrow officer (usually in late afternoon or early evening) informing you that your property has now transferred ownership.
YOUR SALE IS NOW COMPLETE!