Selling Your Home is more than just putting in on the MLS and hopping for the best. It is a complex process from start to finish which I have summarized as follows:
So now you are ready to list your home. What next?
First is that you need to select a Realtor who is experienced in and knows the Naples’ market. One who has a detailed marketing program to sell your home and has developed a Comprehensive Market Analysis that determines what it is worth and where it should be priced.
Selling Your Home – The Listing:
Once you have selected your Realtor, it is time to start the selling process. This varies from state to state and Naples may be a little different than what you are used to. The first step is to complete, sign and date the listing contract. The most important item is the listing price. When determining this, make sure that you leave room to negotiate. You will also need to determine if you will selling it unfurnished, furnished or turnkey (furnished with linens, cookware, T.V.’s, etc.) Note that is normal to exclude personal items, art work, decorative pieces, etc. The last major decision is will you be selling it subject to inspection or “As Is With the Right to Inspect”. If it is subject to an inspection you are responsible for fixing anything mechanical or structural. If you’re selling it as is, the buyers have the opportunity to walk away if the inspection finds anything they do not like.
Other items in the contract include:
• Your name and address
• The Broker’s name
• If applicable the convenience of Parking Spaces, Garage(s), Cabana(s), Storage Locker(s) and or Boat Dock(s) or Slips(s)
• Legal Description
• Property Address
• Property Tax Identification Number
• If being sold furnished or turnkey, a list of items to be included and excluded
• If a lock box should be installed
• The amount or % to be paid to the broker on a successful sale of the property
• The amount or percentage the broker is to pay to the selling broker (agent)
• Whether a seller’s disclosure is included
• Whether the seller is a foreign person or entity
• Whether there have been any past insurance claims on the property
Along with the listing contract you will need to complete a number of other forms of which the three most important are:
• The Sellers’s Real Property Disclosure disclosing the condition of your home including structural, mechanical equipment and appliances, etc.
• The Lead-based Paint disclosure if built in 1977 or before
• The Homeowner’s Association Disclosure if a single family home.
Selling Your Home – Negotiating the Offer:
Once you have an offer you have the option of accepting, negotiating, or declining the offer. If you decide to negotiate you can counter asking for a higher selling price, an earlier or later closing date or a change in any other terms the prospective buyer may have decided to include. Note that the offer specifies a response time and date and should be accompanied with a preapproval letter from the financial institution if there is a mortgage contingency or proof of funds if a cash offer.
The buyer then may decide to accept your counter, counter back or decline. Once negotiated and accepted, a number of things must take place as follows:
• Your agent needs to receive the escrow deposit receipt from the escrow agent verifying that the initial deposit has been made.
• If he or she has not done so already, your agent needs to provide your buyer with all of the appropriate disclosures, i.e. Sellers Real Property Disclosure, Lead Based Paint and Home Owners Association. The buyer should then sign and their agent should provide a signed copy to yours.
• If a condo or association, your agent needs to supply the buyer’s agent the condo docs, rules and regs, FAQ’s and financials. The buyer then has three days to review and acknowledge their receipt.
• The buyer has 15 days after the effective date (the last date on the accepted contract) to have an inspection. Aside from the standard inspection the buyer may elect to have a radon, mold, lead based paint, termite inspection as well as determine if there are any open permits. The buyer than has five days to notify you of any items that need to be corrected and furnish a copy of the inspection report(s). The buyer may request remedial action, an allowance at closing or a combination of the two. If you refuse to correct the identified problems, the buyer may cancel the contract.
• If the buyer is purchasing via a mortgage the buyer has to complete a “Financing Contingency Waiver” waiving the mortgage contingency. The time can vary depending on the contract but is normally due 45 days after the effective date. If the buyer is unable to obtain financing he or she is able to void with the appropriate documentation from the lender.
Selling Your Home – Closing:
Once all the contingencies are satisfied you are clear to close. This will generally take place at a title company and you do not need to be present. If you have a net gain the Title Company or attorney will wire the funds directly to your account.
The above is a general outline for a typical sale. However if you live in a Community Development District, are a foreign seller, are including furniture, etc., or there are any complications, there are a number of other forms that may have to be completed. In fact in total there are 77 forms to cover any and all contingencies.
I hope the above is helpful and gives you a general idea of the selling process.