Selling residential real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area is a complicated financial transaction involving many important issues: home preparation, pricing and fair market value, comprehensive marketing across a wide variety of media, buyer profile and buyer qualifying, contract negotiation, showing the property, statutory disclosure of the property’s condition and circumstances, buyer due diligence, appraisal and financing and liability management. Doing these things well can make a huge difference in time and money.
The Home-Selling Process – in Detail
Agent reviews Seller’s needs, preferences, priorities, timeline and special requirements
Agent collects detailed information on the property’s condition and circumstance
Agent prepares comparative market analysis assessing current market conditions and comparable sales, pending sales and competitive properties
Agent develops marketing plan to maximize buyer and broker response
Agent and Seller review the listing, marketing and sales process; how to prepare the property to show to its best advantage; Seller’s relocation needs; and Agency
Agent and Seller calculate estimated costs and proceeds of sale
Agent and Seller review and sign state Agency Disclosure and listing contract
Agent and Seller discuss timeline for preparing, marketing and showing property, protocol for offer presentation and Seller’s preferences for close of escrow
Agent and Seller prepare property disclosure package of statutory disclosures, and other pertinent reports and documents
Preparation & Marketing
Agent collects keys, genies, alarm codes, showing instructions; HOA, building manager, condo or tenant information (as applicable)
Agent coordinates staging and/or landscaping consultation
Agent and Seller develop the property-preparation to-do list
Agent begins development of marketing materials: flyers, brochures, direct mail and email pieces, newspaper and magazine advertising, open house advertising, sign, professional photography, Internet marketing, broker to broker marketing, etc.
Agent schedules professional photo shoot of the property
Agent coordinates pre-sale inspections of property: structural pest control, contractor, energy/water compliance, as appropriate
Agent orders statutory 3rd party reports: city/county, natural hazard, etc.
Property posted as featured home on Paragon and agent websites
Property description, photos, brokers’ tour and Sunday open house entered into MLS
Property posted to hundreds of real estate listing websites with multiple photos, extended description and showing information
Agent creates property-showcase website with description, photos, slideshow, neighborhood information, financing options, etc.
Property is posted to Craig’s List with photos, description and open house dates
Agent orders property-purchase loan scenario sheets
Agent arranges for catering of first Brokers’ tour and Open House, as appropriate
“Just Listed” or Open House invitation cards mailed to surrounding area
Agent alerts area brokerages via email announcements of new listing, showcase-website address, broker tour and open house dates
Agent finalizes disclosure package of disclosures, reports and other pertinent documents
Agent and Seller review market updates—new competitive properties, recent sales, changes in economic conditions—and revise marketing/pricing strategy as appropriate
Property preparation to show is completed
Property Showing & Offer Review
First brokers’ tour; agent solicits feedback and reports to Seller
First open houses; agent solicits feedback and reports to Seller
Showings by appointment
MLS, websites and advertising revised to reflect next brokers’ tour and open houses
Offer(s) received. Agent and Seller review offer(s)—price, terms, contingencies, close of escrow—negotiating strategies and possible counter-offers. Agent negotiates, on Seller’s behalf and instruction, to achieve best possible price and terms
Offer Acceptance, Contingencies of Sale & Close of Escrow
Offer is ratified; back-up offer is also ratified, if possible
Agent confirms that escrow is opened and Buyer’s initial deposit received
Agent prepares Timeline for the Removal of Contingencies and Close of Escrow
Agent provides Seller’s loan payoff information to Escrow Agent
Property marketing continues until all Buyer contingencies are removed
Agent coordinates the delivery of all outstanding statutory disclosures and documents to buyer
Agent and Seller review Preliminary Title Report
Agent coordinates and attends Buyer property inspections, and supplies Seller with inspection report copies
Agent coordinates financing appraisal and monitors Buyer’s loan approval process
Agent monitors Buyer’s removal of contingencies item by item as contractually specified: approval of RETDS, other disclosures and reports, inspection contingencies, loan and appraisal contingencies, approval of Preliminary Title Report, etc.
As appropriate, Agent counsels Seller and facilitates Seller collection of additional information—contractor quotes, title and permit data, legal advice, etc.—necessary for Seller to understand, quantify and resolve contingency removal or renegotiation issues
As necessary, Agent coordinates any statutory compliance or repair work necessary: energy and water conservation compliance, smoke detectors, water heater strapping, etc.
Agent represents Seller should Buyer attempt to renegotiate purchase price or terms; Agent coordinates delivery of Seller’s Notice to Perform to Buyer, as necessary
Buyer contingencies of sale are removed
Agent confirms Buyer’s increase of deposit into escrow, and Receipt for Increased Deposit under Liquidated Damages is completed, if and as contractually required
Agent coordinates final Buyer walk-through
Agent provides final escrow instructions, and schedules appointment for Seller to sign closing documents; Agent and Seller review Seller’s Estimated Closing Statement
Agent and Seller meet at Title company for signing of closing documents
Agent confirms with Escrow Agent everything is done for close of escrow: final Buyer monies deposited, funding of Buyer’s loan
CLOSE OF ESCROW
Seller receives proceeds of sale; Agent coordinates delivery of keys, genies, alarm codes to Buyer’s Agent
The quality of the agent working on your behalf, his or her competence, integrity, work ethic
Below is a simple graphic that outlines the process, followed by a detailed step by step description from the first consideration of market conditions to having the proceeds of sale wired into your bank account. It's relatively self-explanatory, but will make even more sense when reviewed with your agent, who can explain the decision points along the way and the strategies and options you will have at each step.
and commitment to your interests can make an enormous difference in the outcome of your
home sale—often to the tune of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.