Thinking about Selling?

How to get started

The information included in our Seller Guide is based on our years of experience working with home sellers and buyers. It's presented here so you'll know what to expect as you prepare to enter the real estate market.


Step One:  Invite us to visit your home

There a several good reasons for inviting us to visit your home. 

Answer your questions
you probably have a number of questions about selling. We’ll gladly walk you through the whole process, answering every question you can think of.

Market value of your home
Naturally, you'll want to know how much your home can be sold for. The best way to determine your home's value is by creating a market analysis after we've seen what features your home has to offer. 

We work with buyers every day
We know what today’s discerning buyers are looking for and can provide suggestions and staging advice that will maximize your home’s appeal.

Selling a home requires preparation
We don't want to see you spending time, money and effort in the wrong places. We can spot the details that need attention and together we'll help you create "to-do" list arranged by priority.


Step Two:  Preparing your home for sell

Once you've decided to sell, you should start thinking like a buyer. That means detaching yourself from the the home and begin seeing it as a ‘product’ to be sold on the open market. By looking at it this way, you’ll begin noticing the maintenance you may have deferred and realize that the last thing a buyer wants is a "to-do" list. Making the home move-in ready as possible will go a long way toward persuading a buyer to make an offer.

In most cases, you’ll have some work to do to sell your home. We'll give you ideas for home improvements to consider. This could be as minor as moving things into storage or as major as painting or carpet replacement. See Preparing you home for sell for more details


Step Three:  Setting the Price

Most homeowners have a relatively good idea of their home’s value but there are a lot of factors that go into determining your home’s market value. These include the sales price of nearby homes that have recently sold, the listing price of similar homes that are currently on the market (your competition), and the condition and location of your home.

At our second meeting, we'll present you with the results of our Comparative Market Analysis and assist you in arriving at an asking price that will be competitive in the the real estate market. See our Guide to Setting the Price for more details.


Step Four:   Listing Agreement

When your ready to "list" your home, you’ll sign an agreement. This legally binding contract will describe the property, specify the brokerage fee, state the asking sale price and duration of the agreement. This agreement will give us and Tomie Raines Inc the authority to place your home on the market publishing your address and photos of your home.


Step Five:   Photographing Your Home

While proper pricing may attract buyer interest, buyers pay more attention to homes marketed with strong visual images. The first image in your home's online presentation is the new "curb appeal", so a poor presentation can loose those prospects forever.

Because almost all buyers use the internet in their home search, the largest part of our marketing is focused on presenting your home with a good number of clear, well-lit, professional-quality pictures that show your house at its best.

Why are we fussy about our photos? Dark, fuzzy, distorted and out-of-season pictures weaken your property's appeal and only serve to create a negative impression in the mind of the prospective buyer. Remember, the buyer is planning to make a major purchase. Buyers wants to be impressed with what you have to offer.


Step Six:  Showings and Open House

Showings are an inconvenient, yet necessary part of the home selling process. When your home is on the market it has the potential to be shown at any time, so it's important to maintain a certain level of proper staging. Clear dishes from the sink, make beds, put away dirty laundry, and vacuum and dust regularly.

It's also important leave during the showing. Buyers are uncomfortable touring a home when the owners are present. They can't talk freely and feel they're intruding. They rush through to be polite but end up remembering more about how awkward they felt then anything about the home.

Open House

If you choose, we will be happy to hold your home "open" for pubic showings. Open houses are traditionally held on Sunday between Noon and 5pm, usually for a two hour period. Attendance can vary according to weather and/or what other social or athletic distractions are happening at the same time.

Because your open house will be posted on the various real estate websites, those attending will likely have already seen the online photos and are there for a good reason.


Step Seven:  Purchase Offer and Negotiation

Offer's are presented to us by a Buyer's agent. If it's "clean" offer matching the price and terms you are hoping for, it can be accepted "as writen". At this point you have entered into legally binding contract to sell to this buyer.
More frequently we become Negotiators because the offer isn't totally acceptable "as written". Negotiation can involve everything from settling on a sales price, occupancy dates, to concessions and financing. We are expert negotiators who know how to carefully bring a deal together to the satisfaction of each party.


Step Eight:   Inspections

Once a buyer and seller reach mutual agreement and signed the contract, a home inspector is hired to determine if the home is in need of any repairs. An inspector will check items, such as the roof, basement, heating system, water heater, air-conditioning system, structure, plumbing, and electrical. Afterwards, buyers will have a chance to negotiate with the sellers to cover the costs of certain repairs, ask for concessions, or give written notice that inspection results give cause for termination of the contract. If the buyer is satisfied with the inspection report, or the outcome of possible negotiation, he will sign an addendum removing his inspection and agree to proceed to closing.


Step Nine:  Closing

At closing, all the paperwork is signed by the buyer and seller, both parties pay any settlement fees and the documents are officially recorded. Prior to closing, you'll receive a settlement statement outlining any fees which may apply to you.

The timeline between completing the contract, upon removal of the inspection contingency, and setting a closing date can be as little as ten day in a cash deal or as much as sixty days with a conventional mortgage.