Skip to main content

Real Estate Seller’s Guide

Seller’s timeline from start to finish
  • Choose
    an agent
  • prepare
    to sell
  • market
    the property
  • negotiate
  • accept
    an offer
  • authorize
  • prepare
    to close
Deciding to sell

Before making the decision to sell a property, it is important to clarify your motivations and draw up a basic time frame for the selling process. Consider the following questions below.

  • Why do you want to sell your property? Do you intend to simply find a larger property, or do you plan on moving to another neighborhood, school district, city or state? Being clear about your intentions for selling will make it easier for us to determine the most appropriate option for your specified financial, lifestyle, and real estate goals.
  • When do want to sell your property? If you need to sell quickly, we can speed up the process by giving you a complete market analysis and action plan to obtain all of your goals. If your timeline is more flexible, our team can help you analyze market conditions to determine the most favorable time to sell. 
  • How will this impact your financial picture? With the help of our qualified agents, you will be able to effectively assess the cumulative impact of the sale, estimate potential proceeds, and plan effective tax savings and estate planning strategies. We will ensure that you not only take control of your finances, but use them to their fullest potential.
Choosing an agent

Our team at Parker Real Estate will ensure that you maximize your opportunities in the current real estate market. With our extensive contact networks of current and past clients and professional organizations, we will employ the most effective marketing and advertising strategies for your property. We will also guide you through the complicated paperwork involved, from the initial agreement to the final documents.

Preparing to sell

We can help you determine a baseline for what your property is worth, and there are many things you can do to enhance the appeal of your property, create a lasting impact on potential buyers, and likely increase the number and amounts of offers you receive. Take the following tips into consideration.

  • Improve your curb appeal by keeping the landscape pristine and adding creative touches such as colorful annual flowers and plants to create an immediate positive first impression on passers-by and potential buyers. 
  • Your agent will scan the property and suggest ways you can improve staging, and here are a few easy tips you can attend to right away. Make simple home repairs and upgrades such as window repairs, polishing the doorknobs, cleaning carpets, and adding a fresh coat of paint in the most frequently used rooms. Remove clutter and ensure your spaces are well-lit from top to bottom. Attend to details like putting away the kitty litter, placing a vase of cut flowers near the entryway, and freshening the air. 
  • Develop a thorough disclosure statement that will benefit you and the buyer. We can help you create the statement as well as suggest home improvement measures before placing your property on the market, such as ordering termite and pest inspections.
  • Presenting your property to potential buyers is a job that we will take care of for you. Buyers feel more comfortable discussing the property with the agent without the property owner present, and your agent will know what information is most useful in representing your interests when speaking with prospective buyers.
Accepting an offer

Do not let yourself be fooled by the popular misconception of “the higher the price, the better the offer.” Price is not always the determining factor when accepting an offer because an initial offer is usually not final, and there are several terms and conditions that may influence the final outcome of a price. You can trust our professionals to help you thoroughly evaluate every proposal without compromising your marketing position. Below are important considerations.

  • We take the ethical responsibility of fairly negotiating contractual terms very seriously and finding a win-win-agreement that is beneficial to all parties involved. We will guarantee a thorough and objective assessment of each offer to help you make the right choice.
  • An effective agreement is a legal arrangement between a potential purchaser and the property’s seller. Laws vary from state to state, but in order to be a legally, binding agreement, the agreement may require consideration. This consideration (initial and additional deposit) is held in the closing agent’s escrow account pending the fulfillment of conditions or contingencies in the effective agreement.
  • We will assist you in keeping written records of all agreements, including drafting transcriptions of any verbal agreements including counter-offers and addendums, to be signed by both parties.
  • Once you have chosen your offer, it is critical that you and the buyer adhere to the timeline provided to mark every stage of closing the contract. We will keep you constantly updated throughout the process, so you will always be prepared for the next step.
Navigating inspections & appraisals

Most buyers will have the property inspected by a licensed property inspector within the time frame that was agreed upon in the effective contract to purchase. Some buyers will have several different inspectors inspect the property for professional opinions about specific areas, such as the roof, HVAC, structure, etc. If the agreement is conditional upon financing, the property will be appraised by a licensed appraiser to determine the value for the lending institution via third party. A buyer of a commercial property may also have a complete environmental audit performed and/or soil test, if required by the lending institution.

Either a title company or an attorney will be selected as the closing agent, who will research the complete recorded history of your property to certify that your title is free of encumbrances like mortgages, leases, restrictions, or liens by the date of closing. The agent will add any encumbrances found to the title.

Any contingencies, or conditions that must be met before a contract becomes legally binding, must be met for the sale to proceed. For instance, a buyer will usually include a contingency stating that their contract is binding only when there is a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified inspector or inspectors.

Depending on the outcome of these inspections, a buyer may request a renegotiation of the terms of contract – usually the price. This is when a professional listing agent can make a real difference in the outcome of the transaction, leveraging expertise and commitment to help you respond objectively and fairly.

We suggest that you accept buyers who have a lender’s pre-approval, approval letter, or written loan commitment, which is a better guarantee of loan approval than a pre-qualification or no documentation from a lending institute. Expect an appraiser from the lender’s company to review your property and verify that the sales price is appropriate.

Preparing to Close

If you have come this far, this means that it is almost time for a congratulations, but not yet. Do not forget to tie up these loose ends.

  • Ensure the property is ready for the final inspection, which takes place the day before or day of the closing. The buyer will visit the property to verify that all is in working order and no extra items have been left behind. 
  • Cancel utilities and any other home services effective after closing.
  • Arrange to have all property keys and any other important information for the new purchaser at closing.
  • At closing, the closing agent will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. The buyer(s) will sign this statement and then you will sign as well as the closing agent, certifying its accuracy. If you are unable to attend the scheduled closing, then arrangements can be made depending on the circumstances and the notice that we receive. 
  • If you are receiving funds from the transaction, you can elect to either have the funds wired electronically to an account at your financial institution or have a check issued to you at the closing.
Sign up for our newsletter
Sign up for our eNewsletter where we share information about local real estate and valuable information for people looking for homes or commercial property in North Alabama.