You’re ready to sell your house in the Iowa City area and are wondering where to start. Choosing the right agent is a tough call. More than likely you haven’t had a lot of practice selling homes, you don’t know what to expect from a real estate transaction. The days of putting a sign in the ground and listing a house on the MLS are gone. Agents need to do A LOT more than that to get homes sold in Iowa City these days. This post runs you through an average transaction when I list a home for sale in the Iowa City area and covers everything up to closing. The plan is that it encourages you to have higher expectations of the Realtor you decide to work with. Or even better, that you give me a call!
Getting Your Home Ready for Sale
My best clients call me months before they’re ready to list and ask my input on what needs to be done to get the house ready for sale. I can honestly say that those clients who called ahead of time and followed my advice got their homes listed and sold in a shorter period of time than those who did this step on their own and called me later. (My point being that HGTV is not a good substitute for the advice of a Realtor). Of course talk is cheap. Here are two examples of homes that got offers within the first week of being listed in Spring 2012.
Listing Your Home For Sale in Iowa City
After your home is all set for the beauty contest it’s about to enter we sit down and talk about price. We look at recent sales in the neighborhood, compare upgrades, talk about what is going on in the Iowa City real estate market and what the chances are of a quick sale. Following the market is my specialty as you can tell from the many market reports out there in my name.
Once we’re all in agreement on the price it’s time to get down to signing the listing paperwork. I’m careful with dates on this as I want time to take and process photos before listing your home on the MLS. I see absolutely no point whatsoever of having a listing online without photos.
Marketing Your Home For Sale
Before I leave the listing appointment I put the lock box on the door and the sign in the yard. The sign in the yard is every bit as important as the online marketing. It’s true that Iowa City is a relocation destination, but there are still a lot of folks living here long term who upgrade or downgrade too. And guess what, they will in all likelihood buy a home right around the corner from where they live now. That’s why the sign in the yard is so important!
Processing the gazillion photos I took at the listing appointment is the next order of business. And right after that I get started on entering the listing on the Iowa City MLS. That of course is just the tip of the iceberg. In new world driven by technology it’s important to understand that the Internet is the main source of information for buyers looking for homes. Your home will be found on the more “traditional” platforms like Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow. To enhance that experience I also include social media and blogging into my online marketing plan.
Last, but by no means least, I create a single property website on Realbird.com. This is a great tool that I can then use to give your home more exposure with a sign rider. Buyers driving by the sign can send a text and get information sent directly to their phone.
Just Listed cards will be sent out to homeowners in nearby neighborhoods.
Printed flyers and the MLS Sheet, along with the disclosure documents and other pertinent information will be put in your home for visitors to take with them when they view your home. Sometimes buyers look at too many homes and have trouble keeping them apart. It’s a good idea to give them something to take with them when they leave to remind them later.
Communication, Communication, Communication!
I can’t stress enough how important I think communication is throughout a real estate transaction. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, sellers fire their agents because of a lack of communication. You have to think about that for a second. They don’t fire their Realtors for doing a bad job, they fire them because they don’t know what kind of job they’re doing since they don’t talk to them! Selling a house is a pretty stressful experience. I can’t change that, it’s in the nature of the game. What I can do is to be on top of my game and make sure I do everything possible to minimize the stress for you.
I can start by following up for feedback after every showing and letting you know not only when I get it, but also when I don’t. (A lack of feedback means no interest from the potential buyers and you really don’t need to know more than that).
If you don’t get quick offer, you’ll get regular updates on the market to let you know whether your house is still positioned well on the market or we need to adjust the strategy
If you have any concerns at any time I encourage you to contact me and see what we can do about it.
Working Through an Offer on Your Home
The goal of all the work up to now is to get an offer. This is where the complexities of a real estate transaction become apparent. Negotiating a deal that results in a win/win situation for buyers and sellers is not always easy. That’s the human element in a real estate transaction. One of my strongest suits is that I work well under pressure. When it comes to negotiations I keep my eye on the prize. It’s not unusual for emotions to run high on both sides of the transaction during this part of the process, but I don’t let that phase me. I keep my cool and work through it. This has gotten me many compliments from both buyer and seller clients, one time even from the other agent’s client!
An accepted offer means we take a huge step towards closing. Typically in Iowa City purchase agreements are contingent on inspections and financing. During this phase I’ll be coordinating with the bank, the attorney, the appraiser and the buyer’s agent. It’s also possible I’ll need to meet with inspectors or contractors, depending on what came up in the inspection.
Closing on Your Home & After the Sale
Most of the homes listed and sold by Cardinal Realty this year were for sellers who relocated out of state. Typically if you live here you sign a bunch of documents at closing transferring the property to the buyer. If you live out of state I need to co-ordinate with the attorney to get the documentation to you for you to sign and overnight back to me. There’s obviously no room for error in this scenario. I show up at closing with the documents and an Affidavit that I can sign the settlement statement on you behalf.
After Closing I email a copy of the HUD to you and of course I’ll always let you know that I’m just an email away if you have questions!