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Date Archives: April 2021

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selling a home

Considering FSBO? Learn the Value of Using a REALTOR®

Your home is one of the biggest investments you'll make in your lifetime. When it comes time to sell, some homeowners will take it upon themselves to sell their own home. This is known as "FSBO" or "for sale by owner." Over half of FSBO sellers (63%) choose to sell their own homes to avoid paying a commission.

Today, with Facebook marketplace, social media, and services like Zillow, many homeowners are under the mistaken idea that it's easy to sell a home. Just check the price trend on Zillow, and create a social media post, and your home is "sure" to sell. However, the fact is that unless you have experience selling homes, a FSBO listing is almost always a bad idea. It just might end up costing you in the long run. 

To properly and legally sell your home is not an easy task. There are nearly 200 typical actions taken when selling a home. They include research steps, processes, and review stages in a successful residential real estate transaction normally provided by a full-service real estate brokerage in return for their commission. Some may take minutes, hours, or even days to complete depending on the transaction, while some steps may not be needed.

More importantly, these actions reflect the level of skill, knowledge, and attention to detail required in today's real estate transaction. This underscores the importance of having help and guidance from someone who completely understands the process – a REALTOR®.

 In this post, we're going to take a general look at the key elements of a transaction that your real estate professional will address when selling your home. In future posts, we'll break down the steps in more depth.

selling a home

Pre-Listing Activities

Your REALTOR will begin working on your sale, even before you've home is listed on the MLS. Before listing your home, a fair amount of research must be done. This includes researching comparable homes in your area, sales records for the previous 18 months, and "average days on the market" for properties similar to your home's style and location. 

  • Your Realtor will also look into your home's public record information, including land use coding and zoning, and verify legal ownership.
  • They then prepare a listing presentation for you using this and additional information, including an exterior "curb appeal assessment" on your property.
  • They also take all of the information they have compiled and create a listing appointment presentation to sit with you and present their plans for listing and selling your home.
  • The agent explains their role in taking calls to screen qualified buyers, present strategic marketing plans, explain different agency relationships, and determine your preferences.

Once Your Home is Under a Listing Agreement

Once you've signed a listing agreement contract with your REALTOR®, they will begin working in earnest to prepare your home's MLS listing.

  • They will review your current title, measure the overall and heated square footage, confirm the lot size, and note any unpaid and unrecorded property lines, agreements, and easements. 
  • Next, they will verify all utilities, including city water/sewer or septic system, electric availability, and natural gas. They will calculate all utility usage for the past 12 months. If there is a rental component, they will verify any rents, deposits, and leases and assist the seller with completing the seller disclosure form 74.
  • Finally, in preparation for listing in the Multiple Listing Service database, they will conduct a Curb Appeal Assessment and Interior Decor Assessment. Upon reviewing the results, they will suggest changes to improve salability and shorten time on the market.

Entering Your Property on the MLS and Marketing Your Listing

As soon as your REALTOR® verifies all of your information, they will prepare your home's MLS listing and implement their marketing strategy to sell your home.

  • They start by preparing an MLS profile sheet. Your agent is responsible for "quality control" and the accuracy of the listing data. 
  • They will then enter your property data from the MLS Profile Sheet in the MLS database and check it for accuracy, including ensuring it is properly placed into the mapping function.
  • Once this process is complete, your agent will provide you with signed copies of the listing agreement and MLS Profile Sheet Data within 48 hours.

When your home's MLS listing has been verified, your REALTOR® will begin implementing their marketing strategy for your home.

  • They will create print and internet ads with your input. Post your listing on their website, social medial account, and prepare mailing and contact lists and prepare mailing pieces and flyers. 
  • Your agent will regularly review comparable MLS listing to ensure that your property remains competitive in price, terms, conditions, and availability throughout the entire process.
  • They will call you weekly to update you and discuss marketing and pricing.

When the Offers Come

This is where the experience of your REALTOR® shines. In today's market, you will likely receive multiple offers. When the offers come in, your agent will receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyer's agents.

  • They will evaluate the offer(s) and prepare a "net sheet" for you for comparison purposes. They will counsel you on all offers, explaining the merits and weaknesses of each component of each offer.
  • Next, they will confirm that the buyer is pre-qualified and negotiate on your behalf, setting the time limit for loan approval and the closing date. They will also prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance, or amendments to the buyer's agent.
  • When the Offer to Purchase is accepted, your agent will record and deposit the buyer's earnest money into an escrow account and begin to track the loan process as they work with the buyer and the buyer's agent to coordinate the home inspection process and schedule the appraisal.

Selling a Home: The Closing

If everything is approved and the home passes inspection, a contract is prepared and signed by all parties. Your agent will coordinate the closing process with the buyer's agent and lender to ensure everyone has all of the necessary documentation needed and schedule a time and place for the closing occurrence. 

  • They will then confirm the date and work with the buyer's agent to schedule and conduct the final walkthrough before closing.
  • Before the actual closing date, your agent will prepare all of the final figures, including tax, HOA, and other prorations, review all of the closing figures and provide the earnest money deposit check from the escrow account closing agent.
  • Upon the closing, they will close out the listing.

Post-Closing Follow-Up

Even after your home is sold, your REALTOR® is working to ensure that the buyer is satisfied. They remain available to answer any questions they might have about filing Home Owner Warranty claims. They also remain available to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if the buyer is not satisfied and respond to any follow-up calls for additional information your buyer might request.

Selling your home is an important milestone. Engaging a REALTOR® to handle all of the details is a smart decision. It's a fact that working with a real estate professional can help you get the best price for your home and make sure that all of the details and legal necessities are taken care of properly. 

Your real estate professional possesses the level of skill, knowledge, and attention to detail that's required when selling a home. They are there to guide you and protect your interests in an often complicated and sometimes complex transaction. And it's important to remember that your REALTOR® has pledged to uphold the stringent, enforceable tenets of the REALTOR Code of Ethics in all of their professional dealings with the public. Not every real estate licensee holds REALTOR® membership. Make sure yours does!


National Parks New England

National parks are beautifully scenic spaces protected by the federal government. They offer multiple acres of natural beauty along with abundant recreational opportunities. It's no wonder people want to live near one! 

National Parks Throughout Our Area

New England is home to several of these protected areas.

History buffs, art lovers, and outdoors enthusiasts will all find something to enjoy at Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, which is the one and only national park in New Hampshire. Previously the home to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a renowned American sculptor, the park features his bronze creations throughout the grounds. 

Further up north, you'll find Maine's stunning Acadia National Park, which is one of the top ten most visited national parks in the country. Or start your journey on the Appalachian Trail, a national scenic trail, at Maine's Mount Katahdin.

If you're lucky enough to live near one of these protected areas, you'll reap many benefits from being close by. Our real estate agents share some of the benefits of living near a national park.

6 Benefits of Living Near a National Park  

  1. Greater Employment Opportunities and Income
    A national park needs employees to operate and also attracts other businesses – who also need employees – that serve visitors to the park. These can include stores, restaurants, and more. The economy of the area around a national park is usually vibrant, with greater employment opportunities that lead to greater incomes.
  2. Improved Environmental Conditions
    With acres of land being protected from development, the area around national parks tends to have less traffic and pollution than many other sites. Instead, you'll be close to acres of natural beauty. As a nearby property owner, you'll know that the park near you is federally protected. When you move into a home, its surroundings may change over the years. The immediate area may become more developed in ways that can change your enjoyment of your property. Since a national park's land is protected by the federal government, you'll have acres of pristine natural beauty nearby for years and years to come.
  3. Increased Recreational Opportunities    
    By living near a national park, you'll have a variety of recreational opportunities within close distance. Activities such as camping, hiking, skiing, and fishing will be readily accessible, offering you and your family or friends the chance to spend time together and be active as you explore the park. For example, living near Acadia National Park will give you access to many trails perfect for exploring by foot or mountain bike. Or, if you are looking for a longer adventure, start your journey on the Appalachian Trail, which stretches 14 states for a total of 2,190 miles.

  4. Health Benefits of Living Near a National Park
    Easy access to national parks and all the recreational opportunities encourages many people who live nearby to get moving. With beautiful trails to explore, it's no wonder this proximity helps foster a healthy lifestyle. In fact, studies do show people living near national parks tend to be healthier.
  5. Improved Property Values
    If you decide to sell your home that's located near a national park, it's likely to be very desirable to potential buyers. The benefits that you've enjoyed may appeal to buyers, and they'll be a significant selling point. The value of your property is also likely to increase over time.

  6. Outstanding Natural Beauty
    Living near a national park means you'll have acres of natural beauty nearby. Each park has its own special characteristics, but you may be living near gorgeous forests, sparkling lakes, or other desirable characteristics common in national parks. They create one-of-a-kind views that are a pleasure to see.

Contact us to see homes for sale in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, including some near national parks and other beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities. The area's natural beauty provides numerous benefits to its residents and makes it a wonderful place to call home.


Items to Toss Spring Cleaning

It's hard to believe spring is already here, and if you're like our real estate agents, you're probably getting ready for your annual spring cleaning routine. Clearing the whole house of clutter takes time, but if you break it down into manageable pieces - start by targeting items that you can throw away or donate right now. It is the perfect time to get rid of unwanted things you've accumulated throughout the year. While it can seem like a hassle, it's definitely worth the effort. After all, few things are as satisfying as a nice clean home.

Here is a quick jumpstart list to get you motivated. If you're getting ready to start your cleaning process, don't forget to throw out these items this year.

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Don't Sell on Your Own Just Because It's a Sellers' Market | MyKCM

In a sellers' market, some homeowners might be tempted to try to sell their house on their own (known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO) instead of working with a trusted real estate professional. When the inventory of homes for sale is as low as it is today, buyers are eager to snatch up virtually any house that comes to market. This makes it even more tempting to FSBO. As a result, some sellers think selling their house will be a breeze and see today's market as an opportunity to FSBO. Let's unpack why that's a big mistake and may actually cost you more in the long run.

According to the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 41% of homeowners who tried to sell their house as a FSBO did so to avoid paying a commission or fee. In reality, even in a sellers' market, selling on your own likely means you'll net a lower profit than when you sell with the help of an agent.

The NAR report explains:

"FSBOs typically sell for less than the selling price of other homes; FSBO homes sold at a median of $217,900 in 2020 (up from $200,000 in 2019), and still far lower than the median selling price of all homes at $242,300. Agent-assisted homes sold for a median of $295,000...Sellers who began as a FSBO, then ended up working with an agent, received 98 percent of the asking price, but had to reduce their price the most before arriving at a final listing price."

When the seller knew the buyer, that amount was even lower, coming in at $176,700 (See graph below):Don't Sell on Your Own Just Because It's a Sellers' Market | MyKCMThat's a lot of money to risk losing when you FSBO – far more than what you'd save on commission or other fees. Despite the advantages sellers have in today's market, it's still crucial to have the support of an expert to guide you through the process. Real estate professionals are trained negotiators with a ton of housing market insights that average homeowners may never have. An agent's expertise can alleviate much of the stress of selling your house and help you close the best possible deal when you do.

Bottom Line

If you're ready to sell your house this year and you're considering doing so on your own, be sure to think through that decision carefully. Odds are, you stand to gain the most by working with a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent. Let's connect to discuss how a trusted advisor can help you, especially in today's market.


Want to learn more?

Contact our expert agents today, or get started by learning what your home is worth in today's market by clicking here:


What It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market

What It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market | MyKCM

If you've given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here's why this season is the ultimate sellers' market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a 'normal' or 'neutral' market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):What It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market | MyKCMWhen the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it's much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.

As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.

Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they're taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in today's sellers' market. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.


Ready to get started?

Start by learning what your home is worth in this market by clicking here:


Masiello Home Improvement

Home improvement shows can be pretty intriguing. With the exquisite finishes, the grand reveals, the hugs, and the grateful smiles, it's easy to get sucked into a five-hour marathon session of entertaining reality TV. Unfortunately, these shows can be misleading. They give viewers unrealistic expectations of what can be accomplished when it comes to remodeling, flipping, buying, and selling a home. Our real estate agents reveal 5 things that home makeover shows never tell you.

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