The Smart Sell: Closing the Contract

contractAs experienced home sellers can attest, getting a contract is one thing; CLOSING on that deal can be entirely different. You can do your best to improve your home’s curb appeal, de-personalize and stage you space, but if a buyer doesn’t sign on the dotted line, it does not matter. Below are a few tips to increase your chances on going from contract to close with (relative) ease!

Not all real estate agents are created equal, yet two-thirds of homeowners interview only one broker before they agree to list.  It is critical to vet at least two different agents and ask the right questions.  It’s best to find an agent who frequently works with residential sellers.  Also, he or she should know your neighborhood and be up to speed on market trends. Find out how many homes the agent has sold over the past two years, and at what price-points. The real estate agent should come to your meeting prepared with comps and a plan, yet ask how he or she intends to specifically advertise your home.  Once you get an offer, experienced agents are critical, as they know how to expertly negotiate.

Once you sign with an agent, he or she can guide you when fielding offers. That said, it is a good idea to let your broker know, up front, you are interested in requesting the financial details of potential buyers. This can come in the form of a simple “pre-approval” letter from the buyer’s lender.   While it may seem obvious, details can be overlooked during the stress and excitement of selling a home. Pre-approval confirms a preliminary financial analysis has been conducted, including background, credit and employment checks.

Many buyers insist on doing a home inspection of their own, but this doesn’t happen until after an offer has been accepted. This should not be the stage where you discover your property needs major repairs.  You don’t want to be in the position to allow a buyer to re-negotiate, or worse, walk away entirely.  This puts your sale back to square one, and potentially on pause, as you fix what is broken. It’s best to have your own inspection done prior to listing so no surprises pop up later. Plus, it gives you something to compare if a buyer’s inspection indicates a problem. Ensure you find a reputable inspector who will review both the interior and exterior of your home, including the roof, fireplace/chimney, decking and foundation.

While not all consumers are lucky to entertain multiple offers on their home, it is best to avoid “challenging” buyers.  Difficult buyers can be flagged early on during a walk-through.  If possible, try to have a representative from your side attend the buyer’s home tour.  He or she can listen for comments and gauge what types of concerns may arise during negotiations.  If a buyer seems demanding at the onset, chances are they will make the entire process lengthy and arduous.

McCleary Group has over 20 years of real estate experience, including working with luxury listings looking to close quickly. If you have any questions or would like to request a meeting, you can contact McCleary Group here.

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