Provided below are answers to common questions about listing your home with Crossland Real Estate. If you have any questions that are not addressed here, we invite you to call us at (512) 327-3900 or contact us through our contact page.
What do you do to get my home sold?
We start by having a conversation with you and becoming aware of the circumstances surrounding your decision to sell. It’s important that you impart to us your primary motivation. Is it top dollar? A fast sale? Selling “as-is” with no repairs or prep work? Timing a move-up to a new home? Relocating out of Austin? Disposing of rental property? Sellers have many reasons for selling.
By listening to your reasons for selling and understanding your future plans, we can better advise you and make recommendations that are specific to your situation.
Once we know why you want to sell your property, and what the sale will allow you to accomplish, we will start discussing market activity and how it will affect the marketing of your property.
How is the Market Value determined?
You will receive a comparative market analysis showing the market activity for properties similar to yours and in the same area. This gives us a starting point, identifying a range of pricing that your home is most likely to be sold within, based on other sales as well as the current availability and demand for homes like yours.
What sort of repairs or prep work should I be prepared to do before selling?
As much as you can afford. The CMA will be affected largely by what you are and are not willing to do with regard to preparing your property for sale. You will receive from us a checklist of suggested repairs and/or improvements that will benefit the sales effort. Of course we will already have an idea of your budget based on our initial conversation, so the recommendations you receive from us will be as limited or broad as your needs allow, and we know that some sellers are unfortunately not able to spend anything at all preparing the home for sale.
Some of these checklist items will affect the potential asking price, other will simply affect the ability of your home to show well and thereby sell quicker. We will explain these nuances to you during the process of helping you arrive at the best asking price, and in discussing how “curb appeal” and general condition affect the value of your property.
What if I live out of state or don’t have the time or don’t know the right people to handle pre-sale repairs and/or prep work?
We will help you out with it. We personally know the owners of many service companies. We know how much repairs should cost and which repairs and improvements will benefit a sales efforts the most. We can easily coordinate obtaining bids and facilitating any needed repairs or work on your property when you list with us.
Once the asking price is set, and repairs and prep work completed, what’s next?
Once your home is “market ready”, we take it to market for you. This will include taking photos of your home, listing it in the Austin MLS, placing it on our website, placing it on dozens of other 3rd party websites via ListHub, preparing property information flyers, placing a sign, mailing announcements to neighbors (where appropriate), promoting directly other Realtors we know, and generally providing a great deal of exposure for your listing. We will go into the details of our marketing plan during our initial conversation, but needless to say, you will have the full weight of our powerful online marketing at work promoting your listing.
By the way, the first week or two on the market is when your up front preparation efforts will really pay off – by insuring that the property will show it’s very best from day one. Other Realtors will preview your home and be impressed with what they see – which is a home that shows great and is priced right. They will bring buyers to see it and you will be off to a great start. We help you avoid the natural urge and tendency that Sellers often have to hurry up and get the property on the market, even before it’s ready. Often, agents are guilty of this also, wanting to hurry up and get their new listing on the market. Our opinion is that it’s never a good idea to rush the listing onto the market before it’s completely ready for showing.
Once my home is on the market, what happens then? Do you just wait around for a buyer?
No, we don’t just wait around. We have a very detailed weekly plan we will provide to you that lets you know what is happening at every stage of the marketing process. This plan will let you know what we are doing to promote and market your home, and also what we need you to be doing as well, such as making sure (if you are occupying the home) that the showing condition of your home doesn’t slip from its initial great start. We will have a pre arranged weekly “check in” day and time where we talk about the activity and progress of the sales effort and decide whether or not things are going as expected.
Once an offer is received, what happens?
When an offer is received, it will be presented to you and we will review its merits or lack thereof. You will then either accept it outright, reject it outright, or propose a counter-offer. We’ll work hard to keep your sights set on the outcome you want and act as an effective buffer to the emotional issues that so often arise during counter-offers and, later on, during repair negotiations with the buyer.
Once we accept and sign an offer, what do you do then?
The next phase is what we call the “Option Period”. Unless your buyer submitted an “as-is” offer and waived their right to inspect, there will be a period of time, usually 5 to 10 days, during which the buyer completes an inspection and any other related due diligence in order to determine whether or not he still wants to buy your house. It is during this period that your sale has the greatest chance of falling apart, as the buyer had paid you for the unrestricted right to walk away.
So the Buyer can ask for more than was agreed to in the initial offer?
Essentially, yes. The buyer has three choices prior to the end of the option period. 1) He can cancel the deal and forfeit the option fee to you – in which case we put your property back on the market immediately. 2) He can report that everything checks out fine and ask for nothing further – in which case the deal moves forward. 3) He can ask to renegotiate additional terms and conditions. The buyer’s inspection will always reveal minor and/or major property issues that the buyer may want to use as basis for further negotiation or price reduction.
What if I don’t agree to Buyer repair requests?
If, during the option period, the buyer asks for repair allowances, you can choose to grant some or all of the requests, or refuse to grant any at all. The buyer, in turn, will have to decide whether to cancel the deal or continue.
Do you help us decide how to respond to Buyer repair requests?
Yes. Every deal is different, as are all buyers and sellers. Our role at this juncture will be to negotiate on your behalf so that you give away only that amount in repair concessions, if any, that is needed to keep the deal alive. This is where it helps to have perspective. If you have received a full price offer on your home and are more than pleased with the offer price, you may be more willing to grant some repair allowances during the option period, even if you personally don’t feel the requests are valid or important. On the other hand, if the buyer beat you down to your bottom dollar during the initial offer negotiations, you may feel less inclined to accommodate requests for additional discounts or repairs, even if you DO feel the requests are reasonable.
We help make sure you keep your decision making process focused on the outcome you desire, and not the personality of the buyers or whether or not their requests seem reasonable.
Once the Option Period passes, is it smooth sailing until closing?
Somewhat, but not completely. We still have to get past the appraisal and the buyer’s loan approval. Having priced your home correctly from the start, we don’t expect the appraiser to have trouble finding the comps he needs to satisfy the lender. With regard to buyer loan approval, we will already have received a letter from the lender saying that the buyer is approved. We have to assume that the buyers are indeed working in good faith to get the loan approval completed, and in fact it’s very rare that a buyer is not doing just that. We will be in contact with the buyer’s agent checking on the loan status as the process moves forward.
So, once my deal survives the option period, the appraisal, and loan approval, it’s smooth sailing to the closing, right?
Usually. But our job is to remain on top of things and not simply sit back and assume that everything is ok. We will be following up with you, the buyer’s agent and the Title Company, and making sure that all tasks are being completed as necessary for the successful completion of the sale.
Do you attend the closing with me?
Absolutely. Our role at this point is to review the settlement statement with you and look for any errors or mistakes that affect your bottom line. We find mistakes more often that you would think. We also help coordinate your exit from the property and make sure the buyer’s agent has everything needed for a smooth move-in for the new owners. We’ll have a checklist for you to help make sure you don’t forget to handle your utility cutoffs, phone and cable, mail forwarding, etc.
What happens after closing?
Our sincere hope is that your experience working with us will be such that we remain in contact and hear from you from time to time. If you ever have any questions about real estate, need our services again, or have friends or family who need help, we will always be a resource available to you.
The above is an overview of the sales process. Of course there are many details to attend to and items to keep up with during the sales process. Many of these activities happen behind the scenes and sellers are not always fully aware of how hard we really do work for you. What we want you to know most of all is that when you list with us, we have a specific set of steps that are followed, both visible and not, that will result in the successful sale of your home. Please call (512) 327-3900 or use our contact page if you have questions or would like to get started.