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Selling Your Home on Cape Cod

What are the steps for selling your property? Obviously, choosing ERA Cape Real Estate is your first positive move! Once you have committed to selling, you need to think in terms of a buyer. What does the buyer see when he views my property? What is he touring in the area that compares with my property? What are the most recent solds? Your ERA agent may even take you on a “buyers’ tour” to see your competition, and they will provide you with all of the most recent statistics from CCIMLS and MLSPIN. Those answers will dictate how long your home is on the market and what it will most likely sell for.

How do you prepare your home for sale? There are several things you can do and our ERA Prepare Your Home for Sale brochure outlines them. The main objective is to “depersonalize” the home, unclutter all rooms, brighten and lighten the whole house. Curb appeal is crucial. We need to get the buyer INTO the home to appreciate all of its’ attributes.

Consider having a pre-listing or “sellers’” home inspection. Your ERA agent can give you names of home inspectors that will conduct a general inspection, not one of the same magnitude or expense that they would conduct for a buyer, but one that will give you an indication of what a buyer might find and object to. One important part of a pre -sale inspection concerns oil tanks. All oil tanks in Mass. should be inspected and some must be replaced. Your ERA agent can provide you with all of the information and local regulations.

Have your septic inspected!! The state of Mass. Title V Law dictates that all properties must have a licensed Mass. Septic inspector pass, fail, or conditionally pass every system within a two year window of a transfer of title.

Why should you have your septic inspected prior to putting your house on the market and definitely prior to obtaining an offer? You will lose money if you wait! Yes, you will lose money and bargaining power. If you do not inspect your septic and you place your home on the market and you obtain an offer, the buyer makes the offer contingent upon a passed title 5 inspection 99.9% of the time. You agree to a price and sign the contract. Then you inspect your septic and find that it fails or needs a repair. You have NO choice because you have signed a legally binding contract that states you WILL repair or replace. So, whatever the costs are, you are committed. If you had your septic inspected PRIOR to putting the house on the market and you found out that it failed, you could CONTROL the price you set and accept by having your quotes to fix or replace the system before a buyer ever views the property! Your ERA agent can help you set up an appointment and even attend the inspection for you.

Offer a Home Warranty on your home. Your ERA agent can explain all of the benefits of a home warranty. It will benefit you while the house is for sale, and it will bring you a higher sales price in less time!

Now, let’s talk about the process of the sale. YOU GET AN OFFER! Be open minded. In today’s market buyers’ are being told by other Realtors, by the media, and by their friends, to make a “low” offer. It doesn’t mean they won’t come up. Your ERA agent will go over all the details with you and make sure you take every contingency into account. You may want to “counter offer” the buyers’ offer. There may be several counter offers, from you and the buyers. Sometimes it takes a few hours or days before both parties agree, or decide to end negotiations. These counter offers are typically done verbally- or via email. Once there is a meeting of the minds, the buyers’ agent will retype the offer to reflect the agreed to price, terms, and dates. The buyer will sign it and then you will sign it. If you have an attorney that you would like to review it, no problem, we can get it to him/her first.

Once the offer is fully executed the buyer can order their home inspection and begin their financing application. As your listing company, we may draw the Purchase and Sale agreement, or you may want your attorney to do this. We then give it to both attorneys, for their additions or corrections. Often, attorneys will add a sellers’ addendum or buyers’ addendum. Once you have approved of the P&S, it is given to the buyers for their signatures.We will then keep you current on the financing contingency or any other contingencies of the sale.

The buyer may request an extension to a date on the offer or P&S to protect their deposit monies. If so, you have the choice of granting the request or voiding the sale. If any dates are extended, or any other contingencies are created, both parties must sign an extension or additional documentation.

Once a closing time and place is set, you will hear from the buyers’ attorney and they will send you a letter outlining what they need from you to close. We can order a deed to be drawn for you and we will order the smoke and CO2 detector certificates. If you have oil heat we suggest having your oil tank filled and we will submit the bill the bill to the closing attorney for reimbursement at the closing table for you.

We arrange a walk through with the buyers, usually the day before or morning of the closing. It is CRITICAL that YOU comply with all the conditions of the sale PRIOR to the walk through. The property typically must be empty and broom clean. You should make all of your moving arrangements and final cleaning to coincide with the walk through date so that the buyers’ can give their go ahead to the closing attorney. Last minute objections and postponements are difficult for everyone to deal with, so complying with the walk through date assures you of a smooth transition. At the closing the buyer will receive the keys and recorded deed and you receive your money and all closing documents.

It is not necessary that you physically attend the closing. You can sign all the documents prior to the closing for the closing attorney and you can give your attorney or your ERA agent power of attorney for the transaction. Monies can be overnighted or wired.

Please remember, your ERA agent is Always There for You! Contact us to get started selling your Cape Cod property today.