Selling a home in Columbus, Ohio can be stressful and confusing. But it can, and should, also be an exciting and memorable experience. Here at the Columbus Team, we believe we are the best fit for you. We are determined to build a lifetime relationship with each new client and exceed their real estate expectations. Our team has many years of experience selling homes in Columbus, Ohio. This is why we have put together this simple guide to lead you through the process.
This guide can answer most, if not all, of the questions you may have. It has a lot of valuable information. Of course, our team is always here for you every step of the way for whatever else you may need. We know how stressful selling a home can be and that’s why we are here to make your experience as smooth and simple as possible.
Putting Your House On the Market
Before we can sell your home and stick that “SOLD” sign on your lawn, we need to lay the groundwork for a successful sale. On average, our listings sell within 17 days at 97% of the asking price.
Here are the first steps to putting your house on the market.
Planning your House Sale with your REALTOR
Visit #1 (30-60 minutes)
The first visit, when selling your home in Columbus, includes a walkthrough with you to gather details for a comprehensive profile of your home. This profile includes information about your house, comparable homes in your area that are currently for sale, under contract, or recently sold, and a market analysis based on current market conditions.
Visit #2 (1-2 hours)
Your agent will provide you with information so you can make an informed decision about the pricing of your home. You should receive a market analysis as well as a seller’s net sheet that includes information about:
- Costs of sales
- Title fees
- Inspection fees
Visit #3 (2 hours)
When you list your home with The Columbus Team, our House Coach will help you showcase your home in the best possible light, to maximize its appeal to homebuyers and give you pointers for improvements before showing your house.
4 key factors determine how quickly a property will sell.
- Location: This will play a factor in your property’s desirability value. Even though you can’t change your home’s location, the price will always overcome location.
- Pricing: A house sells faster when it is priced correctly from the start. A well-researched market evaluation is your best bet for determining the right price for your home. Our team has many years of experience selling homes in Columbus, Ohio and many sellers trust us with the information they need to price their homes for a quick sale at the best possible price.
- Repairs: Regardless of how many properties are on the market, available buyers will always seek the best-priced property that’s in the best condition. Cleaning, painting, and fixing up your home can go a long way to attracting a qualified buyer.
- Real Estate Agent: Your choice of an agent can dramatically affect the sale of your home. Luckily, all of The Columbus Team real estate agents are dedicated, experienced, and know the Columbus real estate market well.
Successful real estate agents always:
- Study trends that impact marketability.
- Have a lot of buyer contact and know the market well.
- Have a good reputation with other agents.
- Are proactive in marketing, not reactive to the market.
- Have strong track records in customer satisfaction.
Pricing Your Home
A well-priced home is the key to a quick sale. Keep in mind the following information when deciding on your sale price.
What Doesn’t Matter when pricing your home:
- Original purchase price: The market has likely changed since you bought your home. Regardless of original purchase price homes sell based on current market value
- Over improvement: Home improvements should be made for the owner’s enjoyment, not for resale. You can’t expect a home buyer to pay for changes you made to the home while you were living in it and that reflect your tastes and style.
- Seller’s need for money: Just because a seller is purchasing a home in a more expensive area doesn’t mean the added cost can be passed along to the buyer of their old home.
- The cost of building it today: Regardless of what it would cost to replace or build your home today, your home will sell based on market value.
- Seller’s attachment to property: Selling your home can be an emotional experience, but your attachment has no economic value to buyers.
- Repairs and certain types of improvements: Maintenance preserves a home’s value but does not create value. If a home repair is considered required maintenance, it can’t be added to the market price of your home.
Overpricing is a bad strategy because:
- You lose the excitement generated from a new listing
- You lose qualified prospects
- You help other, more competitively priced homes sell first
- Your home may become stale on the market
- You lose your strong negotiation position
- Appraisals protect buyers from overpricing
Take a comprehensive approach to marketing your home
A search for prospective home buyers should include many avenues:
- Marketing and social media
- Searching buyer profiles to match your home to qualified buyers.
- Notification of potential matches within two days of placing your home on the market.
- Full-color brochures for in-home use during showings and tours.
- Virtual tours, websites, and other online strategies to bring more qualified buyers to your home.
- Relationship marketing
- Advertise your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
- Place your home on the REALTORS Open House Tour.
- Direct market to REALTORS.
- Texts, calls, and emails to other REALTORS.
- Use of networking functions, both locally and nationally.
Here’s a quick snapshot of other items The Columbus Team will also accomplish for you:
- Put up your FOR SALE sign
- Make an appointment to photograph your home
- Make copies of your keys
- Install a lock box
- Load your information into MLS (effectively marketing to 7,000 area REALTORS®)
- Create a virtual tour
- Create a property brochure
- Run a prospect match
- Send prospect matches to REALTORS®
- Write ad copy
- Order your home warranty and gas line warranty
- Add your property to the REALTORS® tour
- Optimize your home’s web presence by listing by marketing it to over 350 popular web sites and mobile apps via the Keller Williams Listing Service (KWLS)
- Weekly calls & reports
Showing Your Home to Buyers
Once your home is listed, you should be ready to show it. A House Coach will help you appeal to buyers and sell your home at top dollar in less time. If things get off to a slow start, it may be due to the time of year, other available homes, and other market conditions that can affect the timing of your first showings.
- Read your property description and clarify any errors with your agent.
- Review your home showing checklist to ensure you are fully prepared!
- Ensure you have enough brochures and request more from your agent when running low.
- Private showings to members of the local REALTOR association are no different and you should ready your home with the same attention to details as you would for a buyer.
- Plan extra time for showings to account for unexpected delays.
- Sometimes buyers decide to look in different areas after they’ve scheduled a showing. Unfortunately, not all agents call when their client changes plans. No-shows are uncommon, but let your agent know if no one shows up to view your property.
Receiving Feedback on your Home Showings
Your agent should proactively follow up with buyers’ agents to ensure they are doing everything possible to get your home sold quickly. Following a showing, your agent should reach out to the showing agents.
Your agent should be keeping track of the level of traffic to help him/her know when adjustments need to be made. Making changes doesn’t mean anything is wrong, they are just doing more to help sell your home.
The Columbus Team tried to get feedback on showings in three different ways: via text, phone, and email. We share what we learn with you as part of our Marketing Activity and Showing Reports.
Getting Offers on your House
Once a buyer decides to make an offer, they will write a contract. The contract outlines exactly what the buyers are willing to offer, including price, time frames, and deposits, as well as financing, inclusions, and other details. If you accept the offer, the contract becomes a binding and legal document.
Your real estate agent will review the terms and conditions of the offer with you. They will show you what factors to consider including price, conditions, earnest money, and timing. Your agent will answer your questions, help you determine which offers to consider, and which to offer to choose to meet your needs.
Going into Contract on your House
After you accept the offer, preparations begin for closing. Your agent contacts the buyers agent and lender to ensure the funds for purchase are available. Your REALTOR will coordinate all necessary activities and documents, such as inspection reports, appraisal, underwriting buyer loans, and conditions. Once both parties accept the offer, the buyer will give a check for their earnest money to the buyer agent. Usually, that check will need to be deposited with the buyer’s broker within 48 hours of acceptance.
Protect Your Investment
Although we are Real Estate professionals with decades of collective experience selling homes in Columbus, Ohio, we enlist attorneys when we are selling or buying our own homes, and we suggest you do the same. When possible, you should find an attorney who specializes in Real Estate. A Real Estate attorney will review all documents and the title on your behalf.
Your Real Estate Closing
Twenty-four to forty-eight hours before closing there will be a final walk-through inspection of your home to ensure repairs are complete and that no unexpected changes have been made. During this time, utility transfer is also arranged.
At the closing you (along with your agent and attorney), the buyer (along with their agent and attorney), and a representative from the title company all meet to sign the papers. At this time, the title is transferred from one owner to the next. Before you leave the closing table, you will have made arrangements to deliver keys, garage door openers, relinquish possession of the home, and transfer any other documents. Once this meeting ends, the sale is complete!
Things you need on-hand for your closing:
- Photo ID
- Keys and garage door openers
- Any papers that should be passed on to new owner, such as warranties that pertain to the home
Packing up their home can be a stressful event for most people, even if they’re ready to move. Here are a few things you can do to help things go smoothly, reducing that last-minute pressure.
- Decide what to move and what not to move. Possibly plan a garage sale.
- Get estimates from several moving companies. If you are moving yourself be sure to use a hand truck (appliance dolly).
- Draw up a floor plan of where your furniture is to be placed in your new home to help avoid confusion for you and your movers.
- Arrange transfer of children’s school and immunization records, if applicable.
- Arrange any special movers that might be required for items such as an expensive piano, pool table, etc.
Tips for Out-of-Town Moves
- Plan your travel itinerary and make transportation and lodging reservations in advance (leave a copy with a friend).
- Transfer your bank accounts. Contact banks about opening up new accounts by mail.
- Request records from doctors, dentists, and optometrists.
- Pay existing bills and close out local charge accounts.
- Record expenses incurred during your house-hunting trips. You should also save your moving expense receipts (if the move is employment-related) for tax deductions.
Below are a few additional things to think about or take care of before moving:
- Cancel or transfer deliveries, newspapers, garbage collection, etc.
- Coordinate the transfer of gas, electric, and water & sewer with the next occupant of your old home, as well as with the previous owner of your next home.
- Check on personal items that might be at the bank safe deposit box, a neighbor’s house, on lay-a-way, or in the repair shop.
- Make arrangements for transporting your plants and pets.
- Transfer insurance policies or arrange for new policies.
- Gather all valuable jewelry, important papers (birth certificates, deeds, documents) to take with you personally.
- Have the car serviced for your trip.
- Pack an arrival kit of necessities just in case you arrive before the mover.
- Get refunds from your present utility and phone companies and arrange for service at your new home.
- Purchase moving insurance. Your mover’s liability for lost or damaged goods will not equal their replacement cost.
- Appraise valuable items, such as antiques, art pieces, etc.
- Check with your attorney about your will if crossing state lines.
- Ask for professional referrals if available (i.e. doctor, accountant, etc.)
- Change these addresses:
- Post Office
- Charge accounts
- Subscriptions (at least 4 weeks in advance)
- Relatives and friends, national and alumni organizations
- Mail order clubs
- Firms with which you have time payments
- Past employer in order to receive you W-2 forms
The Columbus Team –We’re Here to Help!
Having the right real estate agent is so important when selling a home in Columbus, Ohio. We are here to help you through every step of the procedure. With our years of experience, we will help make the process as smooth as possible. Everything from pricing your home, to showings, to closing – we will be there.
When you work with The Columbus Team selling a home in central Ohio, know that you have people who care here to watch your back. Our clients are our most valuable resource and we strive to provide the highest quality of service possible.
Our job is to make selling a home in Columbus, Ohio the easiest and most enjoyable experience possible. We want you to sell your home quickly at a price that meets your needs. You can always count on us to be there for you through the whole selling process!