Information for Sellers

Denelle Realtors is the Leading Home Sales Real Estate Company in South County

When you list your home with us, you are putting your home immediately in front of the best REALTORS© in the South County area. Why wait 24 hours to have your home in the marketplace when 12 of the best agents will have access to your home in the first hour? We use the full resources available to us through the powerful Denelle advertising and marketing campaign. Marketing your home is just a part of what we, as your agents, offer you. We will be your strong advocates during negotiation and we will provide you with all the advice you need to make a well-informed decision.

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Selling Real Estate: an Overview of the Process

This process generally begins with a determination of a reasonable asking price. Your real estate agent can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms, and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

The next step is a marketing plan. Often, your agent can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of the property. Marketing includes the exposure of your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your agent acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc.

Advertising is part of marketing. The choice of media and frequency of advertising depends a lot on the property and specific market. For example, in some areas, newspaper advertising generates phone calls to the real estate office but statistically has minimum effectiveness in selling a specific property. Overexposure of a property in any media may give a buyer the impression the property is distressed or the seller is desperate. Your real estate agent will know when, where and how to advertise your property.

There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The National Association of REALTORS© studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends and family, and personal contacts. When the property is marketed with the agent help, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Agents will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

The negotiation process deals with much the same issues for both buyers and sellers, as noted above under the buying process. Your agent can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections, and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your agent can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

Monitoring, Renegotiating and Closing
Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your agent is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?
Real estate agents or brokers are generally paid through the sales commission paid by the seller when a transaction closes. Agents have expenses and financial obligations just like you, so it will be to your mutual benefit if you choose a real estate agent and stick with that person. The agent will respect your loyalty and respond with a sincere commitment to you.

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the National Association of REALTORS© are properly called REALTORS©. They proudly display the REALTOR "©" logo on the business card or other marketing ands sales literature. REALTORS© are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS© subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR© again.

Using a REALTOR©
You Be the Judge!
Real Estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR©!

Preparing your home

A Checklist for Home Selling Success
If you're planning to put your house on the market, you'll want your property to look its best. Good housekeeping, repair and spaciousness bring top dollars and fast sales. Use this checklist as your guide to preparing your home to sell. The list is extensive so if you're looking for something in particular, scroll down to that particular item. Happy selling!

Spruce Up the Outside
Paint -- Few things you will enhance the salability of your house quite as much as painting the outside. Before painting, scrape or water-blast any blistered or peeling paint; repair gutters and down spouts; and replace wood showing dry rot. Pay special attention to wood, trim, gutters, and wrought iron.

Front Entry -- Give special care to this area because the front entry is where buyers get their first opportunity to make a close inspection. First impressions do make a difference! All woodwork should be freshly and neatly painted, including the door if necessary. Replace a badly worn or broken doorbell button. Polish any door brass. Paint or replace an unsightly mailbox. Put out a new or clean doormat.

Yard -- Mow and trim the lawn. Weed flower beds; remove or replace dead plants or trees. Water regularly during the growing season. With desert landscaping, make sure that no underlying plastic is exposed, that rocks and sand are tidy, and that weeds and unwanted grass are removed. Driveway, garage/carport -- Clean up grease or oil spots; remove the soil at least, if not the stains. See that the garage door opens freely, and if you have an automatic door opener, make sure it's in good working order.
If possible, bearing on the roof.

Air Conditioners -- Paint or replace any rusted exposed metal. Correct improper draining.

Patio -- A nice spread of outdoor furniture looks very appealing. If necessary, borrow some from a friend to enhance the showability of your property.

Swimming pool -- Adjust chemicals until the pool sparkles. Hose dust and cobwebs from filtration equipment. Store chemicals and tools neatly. Keep the area around pool tidy and secure.

Look at the Basics
Windows -- Repair or replace torn or bent screens. As a last resort, remove them entirely; it's better to have no screens than to have unsightly ones. Replace any cracked or broken panes. Also, notice unsightly foliage near windows. A window framed in ivy can give a warm, homey feeling, but cut it back if the foliage is restricting the light coming into the rooms.
Drapery rods should be affixed firmly to walls and work smoothly; draperies should be reasonably clean and hang properly.

Doors -- Check to see that all doors open and close freely, including closet doors and patio or sliding glass doors. Oil any squeaky doors. Tighten the hardware, particularly doorknobs. And while you're at it, tighten hardware on kitchen and bathroom cabinets, too.

Walls -- As with the exterior, painting indoors will pay dividends out of all proportion to the time and effort spent. Wallpaper should be clean and adhere smoothly to walls.

Floors -- Repair or replace missing or damaged pieces of tile; polish if needed. Repair of a loose stair tread plate or loose carpeting on a stairway is a top priority.

Carpet -- Steam cleaning is the best answer for soiled carpets, especially when shampooing isn't enough. If pet odors are present, clean the carpet some time before your home is placed on the market to be sure the odors have been eliminated.

Check the Mechanicals
Lights -- Every light socket in and around the house should have a good bulb of adequate wattage. Don't overlook those outside and in the garage. Also remember the utility room, halls, closets, over the kitchen sink, and in the oven and exhaust hood.

Switches and fixtures -- Repair or replace wall switches, outlets, and light fixtures that don't work. Replace any broken switch plates. You may need to call in a professional electrician.

Appliances -- Those that will be sold with the home should be in good working condition. If specific equipment doesn't work and you don't intend to repair it, point this out.

Plumbing -- Badly chipped or irreversibly stained sinks and tubs should be re-enameled, patched, or replaced. Leaky or excessively noisy toilets should be fixed, as well as any dripping faucets.

Sprinkler systems -- These should be working properly with no defective heads.

Go for the Spacious Look
One of the best and least expensive ways to improve the showability of your home is to open up as much space as possible. Openness stimulates positive feelings in buyers. Overstuffed rooms or closets give the impression of being smaller than they really are. You can't change the size of what you have, but you can try to present it in a pleasing way.

Closets and storage areas -- One of the most frequently voiced requirements of buyers is for more closet and storage space. Open up your storage areas by getting rid of items you aren't using.

Counters and cabinets -- The same principle used for closets applies here: overcrowding gives the impression of inadequacy. This applies to bathrooms and kitchens with the kitchen being most important. Store infrequently used countertop appliances.

Garage -- Buyers will pay a premium for a garage if they can visualize it being of value to them, but it's hard to sell the virtues of a garage when it's filled to overflowing. If your garage has become a two-car attic, move the excess to a mini-warehouse.

Housekeeping Hints
Bathrooms -- Few places in the home can get so dirty so fast, and yet few things will "unsell" a house as fast as dirty bathrooms. Vanity, sink, faucet hardware, and mirror are the focal points. But don't forget other potential problems: soap residue in a shower, a moldy shower curtain, accumulated dirt in the track of a sliding shower door, soiled or missing grout, soiled toilet bowls, and dirty or battered bath mats.

Kitchen -- Most buyers will inspect the kitchen carefully, so extra time invested here is well spent. Clean the stove inside and out. Replace badly stained or corroded reflector plates under the heating elements on electronic range tops. Don't neglect the kitchen exhaust hood; buyers frequently check this area as a clue to general housekeeping.

Windows -- Clean windows are an absolute necessity if a house is to look its best. Weather permitting, open windows to let in fresh air.

Water heater and softener -- Perhaps because it's so unusual, a sparkling clean water heater or water softener really impresses buyers -- and it takes so little time and effort.

Six Ways to Help You Show Your Home

1. Lighten Up!
Bring on the light! Open all draperies unless there's an objectionable view. Turn on the lights in rooms for a bright, cheerful look. Lamps and indirect lighting are preferable, but use overhead lights if that's all there is.

2. Create Nice Aromas
Make your house smell nice. Open the windows to let fresh air in. Set out fragrant, fresh flowers. Bake cookies or bread, not strong-smelling vegetables like cabbage or cauliflower.

3. Pets are Nice, But...
Not everyone loves them. Pets should be out of the house, if not off the property. Some people don't like dogs, and others don't like cats or object to them because they're allergic.

4. Add Music
Soft background music creates a relaxed mood that prompts buyers to linger and enjoy. But it's better to have no music at all than to have it too loud. And never have the TV on when the house is being shown.

5. Your Presence
Most buyers won't relax and closely inspect a home if the owners are present so try to arrange to turn your house over to the REALTOR for showings. If you must remain at home, refrain from talking unless questions are directed to you. Trust the agent's professional abilities.

6. Your Closets
Keep closet doors closed except for walk-in closets. Have those doors slightly ajar and turn on the lights to draw attention to this special feature.