High-quality, professional photos of your home are perhaps the most important component of marketing your property to prospective buyers. Your Unlocked Agent will work with one of our professional photographer partners to ensure that your home is presented in the best light possible, with high-quality, high-resolution photography. If desired, 3D tours, virtual staging and other multimedia can be incorporated into the listing and the home’s marketing materials.
Staging a listing is optional, though we find that including at least minimal staging while a home is being marketed can increase prospective buyers’ engagement with the property. Should you choose to stage your home prior to listing, your Unlocked Agent will work with one of our professional staging partners to ensure the property is looking its best for photography and showings.
Your Unlocked Agent will work with you to determine whether any repair or maintenance work should be undertaken prior to listing the home, and can engage local contractors or tradespeople to assist with repairs as needed. Approaches to pre-sale repairs will vary, though we typically suggest addressing any existing safety hazards, at a minimum. In addition, your Unlocked Agent will arrange for a professional deep cleaning of your home prior to putting the home on the market.
Home Details & Description
Your Unlocked Agent will work with you to draft a compelling description of the key features and benefits of your home. It will be especially important to ensure that all details included in the listing are true and correct (e.g., square footage and living area, permitting history, knowledge of any condition issues at the home, etc.).
Choosing a list price for your home is one of the most important decisions to be made during the home preparation and listing process. In competitive markets, sellers will often choose a listing price below the anticipated final sale price of a home, in order to drive interest and traffic to the property during the marketing period. Unlocked will prepare a comprehensive, Custom Valuation Report of your property. Your Unlocked Agent will discuss our valuation analysis and work closely with you to identify the optimal listing price for your home.
Undertake Property Inspections
Buyers will almost certainly want to have independent, third-party professional inspections in connection with their offer to purchase your home. Standard inspections Include:
Unlocked will help schedule and facilitate these inspections from quality local inspectors. In the event that any additional specialist inspections are needed (e.g., foundation inspection, pool inspection, sewer lateral inspection, etc.), your Unlocked Agent can assist with those as well.
Order Third Party Disclosure Reports
In California, sellers are required by law to provide buyers with a number of reports and disclosures, such as:
Unlocked will work with third party vendors to order these reports, review them with you, and ensure they are made available to your buyer.
Assist with Completion of Seller Disclosures
Sellers are required to complete a variety of disclosure documents informing buyers of any facts or circumstances that may be material to buyers’ decision to purchase the home. From noisy neighbors to any knowledge of maintenance or repair issues required at the property, a wide variety of forms and disclosures must be completed and made available to prospective buyers.
Your Unlocked Agent will work closely with you to ensure that the numerous seller disclosure requirements are complete and correct.
Open Houses and Private Tours
Your Unlocked Agent will schedule and staff Open House showings of your home. Open House tours are typically scheduled for the first and second weekends immediately following the date on which the home is first listed. Additional Open House showings, such as an evening or weekday showing, may be considered as well. With your consent, prospective buyers will also be able to visit the home for private tours if accompanied at all times by a licensed buyers’ agent.
Your Unlocked Agent will closely monitor the level of interest and engagement among prospective buyers and provide detailed updates to you throughout the marketing period.
Setting an Offer Date & Evaluating Offers Received
If there is strong interest in the home among prospective buyers, it will likely be advisable to set an offer deadline. Your Unlocked Agent will help advise as to an appropriate deadline, and will communicate to all interested parties that offers should be received by that date and time.
Your Unlocked Agent will help you review and evaluate any any offers received. Should you decide to engage with one or more offers, your Unlocked Agent will ensure you receive the absolute best price and terms possible, guiding you through the negotiation and counteroffer process every step of the way.
Accepting an Offer
If and when you decide to accept an offer for your home, your Unlocked Agent will ensure that all necessary offer documentation is complete and correct; this includes both the purchase contract for the transaction and ancillary documentation such as buyers’ proof of financing and mortgage approval documentation. Upon execution of the purchase contract, your Unlocked agent will share a detailed overview and timeline of the escrow and closing process, and will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to get to closing as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Once a contract has been signed for the purchase of your home, the period from signing until the transaction is officially closed is known as “the escrow period”. Your Unlocked Agent will work with a third party escrow and title agent to set up (or “open”) the escrow. The escrow agent will serve as an important partner as the parties work to ensure the sale transaction is completed as quickly and smoothly as possible.
A variety of important tasks must be completed during the escrow period, including:
Working with Buyer’s Lender
Your Unlocked Agent will ensure that the buyers’ lender is working diligently towards a smooth and on-time closing. Lenders will require an independent appraisal of the home, which your Unlocked Agent can help coordinate. Additionally, the lender and buyer will need to work together to ensure all closing conditions for the buyers’ loan are met in a timely manner, such as final verification of financial and employment information, the purchase of homeowners’ insurance, appraisal approval, and title review. Your Unlocked Agent will assist as needed with these important tasks.
Closing Escrow and Recording the Sale
Once the buyers’ loan has been approved and any other closing conditions have been met, final preparations for closing can begin. The escrow officer will arrange for sellers and buyers to sign and notarize the necessary closing documents, including the ‘Grant Deed’, which is official legal document that transfers ownership of the home from you to the buyers. When all conditions are met, the escrow and title company will file the Grant Deed in the county recorder’s office, which will mark the official closing of the transaction. Escrow will “close,” with the proceeds of the sale disbursed as applicable, and all parties will be notified that the transaction is complete!
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