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Your home may be your single biggest investment and one of the largest financial transactions you’ll ever make. So when you sell, you want to get the best price and the most favorable terms, in the shortest amount of time. There are many marketing options, legalities, and details that go into the sale. The role of your agent is to represent you in every aspect of the transaction, from the time you set the price to the final closing.
- We know the market and will help you set the right price.
- We are members of the NorthWest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), which enables us to provide detailed information about your home to the thousands of other agents assisting buyers.
- We interact and trade information with other agents on a daily basis to match buyers with the right homes.
- We have tools available to on Windermere.com in order to attract the maximum number of potential buyers to your home.
Preparing To List Your Home – Repair & Cleaning Checklist
- Clean all floors, carpets, walls and trim.
- Replace burned-out light bulbs.
- Empty trash.
- Remove family photos, valuables, and prescription drugs.
- Remove peeling and chipped paint; replace with a fresh coat.
- Fix loose trim and fencing.
- Clean, clear and repair gutters, downspouts, and roof as needed
- Make sure there is good exterior lighting with lightbulbs that work
- Clear garage of clutter and tidy shelves.
- Mow and trim grass; re-seed and fertilize where necessary.
- Prune all overgrown trees and shrubs.
- Weed flower beds. Remove or replace dead or diseased plants, shrubs and trees.
- Paint or stain worn areas on wood decks.
- Remove grass growing in concrete cracks and sweep off debris from shrubs and trees.
- Clean deck rails and make sure they’re secure; replace missing slats or posts.
Front Door & Entry
- Polish or replace the door hardware.
- Add a fresh coat of paint to get rid of nicks.
- Clean entryway floors and area rugs.
- Double-check entry lighting to make sure it works.
- Clean all windows inside and out; make sure all windows open and close easily
- Replace cracked windowpanes and those with broken seals.
- Make sure window screens are clean and secure; replace any screens with holes or tears.
- Make sure countertops, grout, and sinks are clean and stain-free.
- Fix dripping faucets.
- Clean the oven and cook-top thoroughly.
- Give rooms a fresh coat of paint as needed.
- Repair cracks and holes in ceiling and walls.
- Clean draperies and blinds; open them to maximize light.
- Steam-clean carpets. Clean rugs and flooring, and remove any stains or odors.
- Reduce clutter on tables, floors and shelves.
- Make sure sinks, tubs, showers and countertops are clean and free of stains.
- Repair leaky faucets.
- Replace or restore any missing or cracked tiles, grout and caulking.
- Make sure all fixtures, including heat lamps and exhaust fans, are operating.
- Store all supplies, such as toilet paper, shampoo bottles and cleansers, out of sight.
- Apply a fresh coat of paint if necessary.
- Clean draperies and blinds; open them to maximize light.
- Put away toys, clothes, and clutter.
- Make up beds.
- Check for water penetration or dampness; call for professional repairs if necessary.
- Get rid of musty odors.
- Arrange storage area in a neat and organized manner.
- Use air fresheners or bake treats to make the house smell good.
- Remove any indoor houseplants that are brown or losing their leaves.
- Remove all “fixer” cars, campers and boats from the property.
- Remove clutter on coffee and end tables.
- Store pet supplies.
- At night, turn on the porch light and outdoor lighting. Buyers often drive by homes they are considering at various times of day.
Once your home is ready to show, your agent will begin marketing it to potential buyers and other sales associates. If possible, leave the home when buyers are present so they feel comfortable asking their agent candid questions.
Other helpful tips include:
- Remove pets. Take them with you or keep them penned in the yard or garage.
- Open shades and curtains to let in light.
- Turn on lights so the home is well-lit
- Remove clutter from tables and bookshelves.
- Put away items in the yard such as garden tools, bicycles and toys.
- Turn on gas fireplaces to create a cozy atmosphere.
- Grind up part of a lemon in the disposal to add a fresh smell to the kitchen.
- Keep radios and TVs off, or on low volume.
- Keep money and other valuables, as well as prescription drugs, locked up.
Contract: The Purchase & Sale Agreement
Once you have an offer from a buyer for your home, your Broker will work with you through the purchase and sale agreement. This is the contract in which you and the buyer outline the details of your property transfer. The purchase and sale agreement usually consists of the following pages:
- Earnest Money Receipt
- Financing Addendum
- Inspection Addendum
- Contingency Addendum, when appropriate
- Addenda detailing special conditions
- Seller Disclosure completed by You, the seller
- Once a buyer has decided to make an offer on your home, it will usually be contingent upon a home inspection. A home inspector will make report on the condition of the home and look for small and large repairs or observe general functionality around the home.
- A standard home inspector report will review the conditions of the home’s heating and cooling systems, interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; foundation, basement or crawl space. The inspector will look for signs of water leaks, wood rot, cracks but will also direct you on how to maintain the property to keep it in good shape.
- As the seller, you can also elect to hire an inspector to evaluate your home prior to putting it on the market. Many times an inspector can point out major or minor issues with your home that you may be unaware of and that may affect its value. Remember, no home is perfect. If major problems are found, your broker will represent you in negotiating through the process.
Settlement & Closing
- During the negotiation stage of the transaction, a closing date is mutually agreed-upon. The day of Closing is when you and the Seller have signed and completed the paperwork, paid for your share of the settlement fees and the documents are recorded.
- During the negotiation stage of the transaction, a mutually agreed-upon date for closing is determined. “Closing” is when you and the Buyer have signed and completed the paperwork, paid for your share of the settlement fees and documents are recorded.
- Prior to closing, the closing agent (usually an escrow or title company or attorney) will complete a detailed settlement statement for both Buyer and Seller.
- Utility deposits held by gas, electric, cable, telephone and other companies
- Prorated portion of pre-paid property taxes
- Prorated mortgage interest from payments made during the current month
- Net proceeds after seller’s share of expenses is paid
- Brokerage commission (the sum or percentage of the sale price previously agreed upon by the seller and listing agent)
- Half of escrow or legal fees to the escrow company or attorney for preparing the closing.
- Document preparation fees (if applicable)
- Recording and notary fees (if applicable)
- Title search and title insurance (paid by either the seller or the buyer)
- Local transfer taxes
- State taxes
- Repairs or inspections, if any, seller has agreed to pay for
Packing & Moving
- The process of moving can be long and complex but being organized can help your move significantly less stressful. Here’s a checklist to keep you on task and help make your move successful.
- Get estimates from professional movers or truck rental companies and discuss insurance, packing, loading and delivery, and the claims procedure
- Sort your possessions by what you want to keep, what you want to sell, and what you want to donate.
- Create an inventory list by taking photos or video of your belongings.
- Change your utilities from your old address to your new address.
- Complete a change of address form from the post office.
- Make reservations with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies, if needed.
- Determine how many boxes you will need and begin packing nonessential items
- Arrange for storage if needed.
- Get car license, registration and insurance in order
- Transfer bank accounts to new branch locations and cancel any direct deposit or automatic payments if transferring banks.
- Make arrangements to move pets.
- Empty and defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
- Label each box with contents from each room you want it delivered
- Arrange payment for the moving company
- Set aside legal documents and valuables you do not want packed
- Pack extra clothing and toiletries in case the moving company is delayed.
- Give your travel itinerary to a close friend or relative so they can reach you as needed.
- Make a list of every item and box loaded on the moving truck
- Let the mover know how to reach you
- Double-check closets, drawers, attic, basement, and garage for any left-behind items.
- Check off boxes and items as they come off the truck
- Install new locks
- Confirm utilities have been turned on
- Examine your good for damage
- Furniture pads
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap, packing paper, newspapers or packing “peanuts”
- Scissors or utility knife
- Felt-Tip Markers
- Trash bags
- Toilet paper
- Children’s toys and books