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Decision to Sell

For homeowners, motivations to sell your home property typically fall in these categories:

  • You want to relocate within the same town.
  • You plan to relocate to another state due to change of stage and mode of life.
  • You want to downsize or upsize your home property.
  • You have some life-changing event in your life which is compelling you to sell your home you have been living in and resolve predicaments you have run into.
  • You have run into financial situation that selling your home may substantially help you for betterment in your life.
  • You have emotional reasons to sell your home move on elsewhere.
  • You have grown richer or are earning much more and you want to live is more prestigious locality and neighborhood to enhance your social standing.
  • You just want change in life.
  • You have rental property or properties that you want to turn over for profit or roll over for other properties.

Whatever your reason maybe, you want top dollars for sale of your property and move those dollars elsewhere for more enjoyable purpose.

You probably have vague Zillow idea what your property may sell for, but you do need a Comparative Market Analysis of your property to price it accurately and appropriately to attract interest of the buyers. We’ll be glad to do this for you when you have set your mind to sell.

In the meantime, get to know what will the selling costs be, and what you are likely to walk away with. Download Home Seller’s Guide and an Excel spreadsheet below and enter approximate numbers to figure out your tentative expenses to sell.  

First-rime homebuyers Guide - steps to buying home

Why List with a Realtor

A property on sale carries with it its reputation in the market. You have the choice to either sell the property yourself, or engage a real estate professional to interface between you and the marketplace. Here are some reasons why should be engaging a real estate professional to sell your property for its best competitive price the market will bear:

  • The agent is licensed professional, educated and trained to represent you the in relationship of legal agency.
  • The agent, who is licensed by State, and is a REALTOR, a designation coming from membership of powerful national association: National Association of Realtors and its local chapters, is bound by Code of Ethics of Conduct while interacting with customers, clients, and with fellow REALTORS for the common purpose of sale and purchase of properties in the best interest of the public they serve. You have assurance from these organizations that you will be served well professionally, legally, and ethically that you demand and expect. And, in the event of your dissatisfaction, you have these entities to go to for redressal besides courts.
  • The REALTOR will take over all paperwork and interaction with a number of players to place a qualified buyer for your property for contract and take it to the closing of deal.
  • Your property remains secure under lock-and-key with the agent.
  • Your agent is your limited adviser every step of the process.  

You should be interviewing real estate agents who are REALTORS to enable you to make selection of one you’d entrust to go with a Listing Agreement. Concurrently you are preparing to showcase your property to sell.

Here is Home Sellers Guide for you to download and get to know more about the selling process.

Preparing Property to Sell

The REALTOR you engage to sell your property will always urge you to prepare your property at high showroom standards to move your property in the marketplace in shortest possible time and bring you top dollars. If it is your home where you have lived for a few years, you’ll have to detach yourself from emotional attachment to it to move on with life for betterment that you planned for. If the property is your rental property, you have your motivations to sell. Selling residential real estate property is always exciting experience. Here is suggested ‘To Do’ list:


  • Ask you REALTOR to prepare marketing plan for you to follow. Make sure that it is realistic and practicable.
  • Declutter your home and work towards its showroom condition.
  • You may walk by some ‘Open Houses’ in neighborhood to see how properties are being presented for sale on weekends.
  • Get repairs, repainting, carpet stretching and deep cleaning, professional yard cleanup and getup, pressure washing, electric repairs and some nominal replacements.
  • If you are vacating property, it will give best and quicker results. If you plan to live in the property till sold, treat yourself on vacation having camping space in your own home that you will clear on the day of closing before going to settlement.
  • Your agent will draw traffic of potential buyers and curious onlookers in an ‘open house’ on weekends.
  • Have your agent create excitement in Multiple Listing Service in status of ‘For Sale Coming Soon.’
  • Public storage will come handy for you to park your household stuff that you need not have to display during sale process.
  • Your property should be picture perfect to be put out in the marketplace. Engage a professional photographer through your agent to capture still pictures and video clips.
  • A Matterport virtual tour video of the property will attract attention. If the property is large, adding drone aerial photography will enhance the listing.
  • Understand the Listing Agreement and Disclosures you will sign. Keep copy of all records for future reference.

Accepting an Offer to Contract

You and your agent have been going through showing of the property to potential buyers. Your agent will keep you informed when an offer comes and pass on that offer to you. If there is lot of interest in the property, you may expect multiple offers to come especially when economically it is sellers’ market. The offers that come are on standard legal contract form which is recognized or put out by the local Association of REALTORS.

The Sale-Purchase Contract and other standard forms are very lawyerly and non-alterable standard forms crafted and drafted by attorneys having many “fill-in-the-blanks and check-boxes” for the real estate agents fill in with full understanding of the clauses that the agents are obligated to explain to their clients. Expect purchase offers to be presented to you from your agent for contract to the sell your property. You can accept or reject any offer. Understand the offer before you fix your signatures to turn it into a contract.

In these days of digital signatures and transmission, it is legal to have the Seller and the Buyer sign the documents by digital signatures and initials which carry full force of legal documents.

Oftentimes, the offers come with some conditions and contingencies. Your agent will advise you on the importance and significance of these provisions as part of the Buyer’s offer to the Seller to contract. Your agent is expected to clarify and point out the effect of conditional offer to contract; it is up to you to decide and give instructions to your agent. The offer may involve some negotiation by way of counter offers. This negotiation is common to happen till both Seller and Buyer agree to final version, called ratification of contract and sign on document as final.

It is important that any formal or informal exchange of emails, texts, or phone conversation between all players in the contract or associated with the contract are reduced in writing every step of the way, since such exchanges have monetary effect and timeline on completion of the contract. There are no promises to make to have implied effect or meaning in the conduct of contract, but addendums to the contract to be signed by parties for implementation. A simple plain English language of intent is the best in the addendums that the parties to the contract will understand without ambiguities of legalese. You do need your agent to be experienced and educated enough to draft these addendums during negotiations prior to entering into contract, and during concurrency of the post-contract implementation.  

As a seller, when having contract to sell, can legally compel the buyer to buy if buyer tries to wriggle out of contract. Even the legal assigns of the parities to the contract are obligated to bring the contract to its completion. So, be aware and beware of legal boobytraps.  

And now this is very important!

  • Remember you the seller(s) are giving Warranty Deed to the buyer for transfer of title of the property. Make sure you are passing on clean title and the property in good livable condition unless otherwise specified in the contract. Hidden or not-obvious defects in the property including encroachments if known to you must be disclosed.
  • Give full access to the buyer’s home inspector to prepare inspection report and receive it well for carrying out repairs pointed out within specified timeframe to remove contingency. Monetary negotiation to get past this hurdle to remove contingency will move the contract forward.
  • If you ever got additions and alterations done to the property, you must have copies of permits by the county, copies of contracts with licensed construction contractors, payment receipts and inspection sign offs from the county inspector. Even if your buyer misses to ask you for it, give its copies through your agent.
  • Do transfer your contract with the Appliances Warranty Company, or offer to buy for the buyer for one year in support of your assertions that all appliances are in good conditions and you expect them to work well.
  • Disclosures! Goodwill! Move on timeline! These are keywords for you as you sell property to the new owner.

Title & Escrow Agent and other players at closing

Escrow agent is selected by the buyer and defined in the purchase offer. An Earnest Money Deposit [EMD], or simply Deposit accompanies the purchase offer. If seller accepts the offer turning it to contract, the check must be delivered to the Escrow company by the listing agent and its receipt is sent to the buyer’s agent within three business days. Escrow Deposit may be made electronically. ‘Copy of the contract is sent to Escrow Agent to start the process of collecting documents and coordination with other players of the contract. 

Due to digital transmission of purchase offer and acceptance of offer, proof of transmission of Earnest Money Deposit, either physical delivery or electronic delivery to the Escrow Agent and its receipt activates the contract.

In this era of digital movement of documents carrying digital signatures independently authenticated by third party, Escrow Agent is the neutral party relied on by all parties to the contract. This is the virtual meeting place where money is taken from the buyer and distributed to all involved parties as per contract. Transfer of property is filed with County office. Escrow agent pays or retains fees and taxes for the county government, the state government, and the IRS on behalf of the parties to the transaction for distribution. Escrow Agent also sends report of the transaction to the IRS, the State and the Homeowners Association.

Escrow company is in close contact with the lender for the loan, and gets final version of the settlement statement prepared from lender. This is to ensure that the lender charges it fees, applies the interest rate applicable, and funds loan for the buyer on the day of closing.

Make sure that the buyer and his/her agent do take final walk through on the morning of closing day, and that your agent is preferably present. It is good idea to document the walk through right on the spot and have the buyer sign off to take transfer of the property without reservations.

Nothing should ever be promised or committed to be done after the closing and settlement on transfer of the property even by erroneous insinuation of a wink.

Do plain honest transfer of property with handshakes at the closing in exchange for cashier’s check preferably. In these days of digital transfers, the property can be transferred without seller and buyer coming on the physical settlement table, and so is money transferred electronically.

It is the role of Title and Escrow company that contract between two parties closes smoothly.


  • Utility companies for transfer accounts.
  • Post office to re-direct your mail to your new address.
  • Management company of Homeowners Association regarding sale of property to new owner.
  • Address change to your friends, relatives, office, bank, credit cards, DMV, insurance companies, post office, etc.