McInnis & Associates Ltd.
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Sellers


Selling your home can have a mixture of feelings.  You may have been in this home for many years with fond memories.  You may be downsizing or looking for bigger. What ever the reason, it can be just as stressful as buying your first home.  

No doubt your first thoughts will be what is my home worth?  It is only natural that you will want to get the best possible price from your investment.

Below are some tips that you might find useful in the home selling process. Please feel free to click on one of the links below to read more. 

  • Why consider a Sole Listing?
  • Advice for Sellers
  • How to Negotiate with Buyers
  • Surviving Escrow

"Sole Listing" means the owner has given an exclusive right to a sole agent to market his/her property. Other agents with potential buyer have to work with a sole agent in order to close the deal. Sole agent will then share his commission with the co-broke agent who brings the buyer in.

Pros

A Sole Agent will put in every effort, spending time & money into marketing the property because he/she knows the effort will not go unrewarded.

  1. He/she has a commitment to the seller, and is committed to getting the property sold within the shortest possible time & at the highest possible market value.
  2. Price are in controlled, with no undercutting of advertised price.
  3. Sole agent will often negotiate with buyer for their best offer before putting up for seller's consideration.
  4. No conflict of interest.
  5. Always sold at fair market value, or at the highest possible price that the market can support.
  6. Sole listing will be sold faster, due to maximum market exposure created by the sole agent.

Myths:

1. Only 1 agent marketing the property will slow down the selling opportunities

  • Fact:-  Sole agent has an incentive to aggressively market the property, hence result in faster sale.
2. Will not reach most buyers who are represented by other agents 
  • Fact:-   Buyers follow good listing, not agents, & a sole agent will make sure he/she captures all potential buyers through various marketing channels.
3. At least 3 months time will be wasted if sole right to market has been granted to non-performing agent 
  • Fact: Most reputable Real Estate Agencies will allow pre-mature termination of exclusive contract if their agent is non-performing, seller just has to write in with proof

Cons:

  • If property was sold to seller's own relatives or friends, seller still needs to pay commission to sole agent. (Actually the Agent should be paid, considering that he/she has put in all his/her effort, time & money into marketing it, but often seller can request some discount from him/her if it happens within the first month of marketing).


Advice for Sellers

  • Prepare your home:  First impressions are so important.  This starts before the prospective buyer even enters the home.  Make sure the garden and front entrance is free of clutter.  Trim hedges, tidy up flower beds and cut the grass.  Once inside the prospective buyer will want to see an appealing interior.  Pack away any excess items that you can do without during the selling process.  De-personalize the home but keep generic decorating items that complement each room.  Too much furniture?  Remove some and make the home look bigger.  You may have outgrown the home and this being the reason you are selling but a overfilled house can put off prospective buyers.  Address any maintenance issues as this will put off prospective buyers or even hold up on the closing of the sale with stipulations in the sales/purchase agreement.
  • Price it right:  Many sellers over price their homes in the anticipation that they will either sell it for that or be negotiated down to a lower price.  The fact is that over pricing will only discourage enquiries.  The most sensible route to take is to arrange for a Current Market Analysis.  This is done by comparing comparable properties to yours that have actually sold.  Remember that along the selling process the buyer will arrange for an appraisal of the property which is a requirement when applying for a mortgage.  This is when you may find that your home is overpriced and the lender will not approve the buyer?s loan for the asking price.
  • Pre-Qualified Buyer:  Ask any prospective buyers if they are pre-qualified.  Whilst they may not give you their approved value you will know that they are serious in their search to buy.
  • Pre-Approval:  With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually has applied for a mortgage and received a commitment in writing from a lender.  It is acceptable for you or your Agent to ask for a copy of this pre-approval.  The mortgage application process can be a lengthy one and a pre-approved buyer may help in your decision to work with them on the purchase of your property.
  • Working with a Professional:  Working with a Real Estate Agent can help guide you through the selling process.  Your Agent has your best interest at hear and is an ideal go between you and the prospective purchaser and is used to negotiating the best price on your behalf.. 


How to Negotiate with Buyers

  • Be prepared:  You or your Agent will be asked a lot of questions about your property.  Try to think of the questions you would ask if you were buying or may have asked when you first bought the property.  There may be a lot of land adjacent to your property.  Is it designated as Woodlands.  When was your house built, size of your tank and so on.  Have your answers ready.
  • Be impartial:  This is where having an Agent acting on your behalf comes in handy.  When showing your home, it is important that you do not give the impression that you are desperate to sell.  This information will give the prospective buyer an advantage over you when negotiating the sale price.
  • Establish a Timeline:  Your prospective buyer may need to apply for a mortgage, or an alien license if buying with a non-Bermudian spouse.  Establish an anticipated time period.  You may have another prospective buyer who can move ahead quicker, should that be what you are looking for.  You may be purchasing another property and have a closing date on that one to allow for.


You've Opened Escrow, Now What?

From here on its pretty much down to your attorney with preparing the Sales & Purchase agreement and so on.  He will then send it over to the Buyers attorney to read through.  There may be revisions required and when complete both parties sign and the Buyer will put forward their deposit.  It is usual for the Vendor?s attorney to hold the deposit but this is negotiable.

The period that you are "in escrow" is often 60 days, but may be longer or shorter. During this time, each item specified in the contract must be completed satisfactorily. By the time you have opened escrow, you have come to an agreement with the vendor on the closing date and the contingencies. Each contract is different, but most include the following: 

During the escrow period the Buyer may exercise their right to have an inspection on the property.  This is why it is important to have addressed any maintenance issues as they will be brought up at this time and may hold up the Sale closing.

Contact local utility companies to schedule to have service turned off when you close escrow.

Co-ordinate with your insurance provider the termination date of our home insurance, ensuring that it is cover up to the date of closing.  If there is a delay in closing make sure this is extended to avoid and lapse of the property not being insured.

A final walk-through inspection may also be requested by the buyer. At this time, you should make sure that the property is exactly as the contract says it should be. If you have marketed the property with the kitchen appliances, then they must be left for the new owners.

You've made it! Once the sale has closed, you're the proud owner of a new home. Congratulations!



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