This page will guide you through the 10 steps to sell a home in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. We are referring to the time-proven method of listing in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which almost always produces the highest net profit to the seller. We have access to other methods as well, such as iBuyers (Opendoor, Offerpad, and other Institutional Buyers) if you'd like to explore and compare all your options.
1. Prepare Property for Sale
First we'll talk with you to understand your reasons for selling and your time frame. We'll also explore your motivation and your goals and expectations of the selling process. This can be done in person or online via a Zoom call. Next we'll tour your home and talk about potential enhancements. This includes repairs, staging, and other factors that could improve your sales price and shorten your time on market. We maintain a list of respected contractors, cleaners, home stagers, inspectors, appraisers, and anything else you might need if you’d like recommendations. This step is best done in person. Finally, we'll explain how we'll prepare, price and market your home to net the highest price the market will bear in the shortest time.
2. Price Property to Sell
Many factors affect the price buyers may be willing to pay for your home. Location, layout, condition, the level of recent updates, features & amenities, and market conditions are all factors. We'll provide an in-depth analysis of market trends in your neighborhood, what similar homes are selling for, and how they compare to yours. Then we'll look at supply & demand and other relevant factors, so you can make an informed decision about pricing your home competitively. Initial list price is critical to maximize buyer activity in the all-important first few weeks on market. We will guide you with the best market data available.
3. Launch to Market & Monitor Results
Most buyers will use the Internet in their home search, so it's important we present a polished product in all the places they're looking. We start with high-quality professional photography that makes your property shine, and 360° room-by-room virtual tours that allow buyers to "tour" your home without physically being there. We couple that with effective descriptions and targeted keywords that buyers looking for a home such as yours are likely to search for.
Our arsenal of marketing tools also includes virtual open houses, single property websites, mobile phone searches, text-for-info, social media advertising, and automatic feeds to over 750 domestic and 80 international real estate search sites. We can also include yard signs, open houses, Realtor tours, and print advertising if desired.
Once on market, we continually monitor MLS, online, and showing activity. We'll get feedback from showing agents, and track the status of nearby listings. We report this back to you every Tuesday so you know exactly how your listing is performing, and we may recommend adjustments to keep activity high.
4. Identify & Negotiate Best Purchase Offer
The key to a successful and stress-free closing is choosing the best offer with the highest chance of success. When we receive an offer we'll look at many factors including:
- the type of financing
- buyer contingencies such as selling their house
- seller contributions toward closing costs
- length of time to close
- any other terms and conditions.
We'll talk with the buyer's agent to understand their situation and motivation, and will discuss the details of the purchase offer. Next we'll interview the buyer's lender to evaluate the strength of their financing and the quality of the lender.
Then we'll put everything into a Seller Net Sheet that shows your estimated proceeds after paying off your mortgage and closing costs. If there are multiple offers, we'll do a Net Sheet for each so you can compare them. The best offer is not always the highest one, and we'll give you our recommendations. You can choose to accept an offer, send a counter offer with different terms, or simply reject them all.
Virtually all resale home purchases will use the state-wide Arizona Association of Realtors purchase contract. This standardized form has the most common protections for buyer and seller already built in. We have the ability to do virtually all contracts electronically, and can set up a Zoom call to walk you through the contract details step-by-step if you'd like.
5. Offer Accepted, Open Escrow
Once we have accepted an offer, all contractual timelines begin and we'll guide you through each step. Arizona doesn't use attorneys for real estate transactions, instead we use an independent 3rd party Title & Escrow Company. They sit between buyer and seller and hold all contracts and monies until the transaction closes, and ensure the contract is executed as written. To open escrow, the buyer deposits their Earnest Money (typically 1% of purchase price) with the Title Company and we deliver all executed contracts. The flow of paperwork begins.
6. Inspection Period
The buyer has 10 days from contract acceptance to do their home inspection and any other due diligence they see fit. At the end of the 10 day inspection period, they will deliver a Buyer's Inspection Notice and Seller's Response (BINSR) to us.
They will either (1) accept the property in its current condition, (2) cancel the contract and get their Earnest Money back, or (3) list repairs they want us to address. If they ask for repairs, we have 5 days to agree to everything (which closes the inspection period) or respond with what we are willing to do instead. The buyer has 5 days to accept our response or cancel the contract and get their Earnest Money back. We'll work with the buyer's agent throughout this process to find equitable solutions to anything that comes up.
If this is a financed purchase, the buyer's lender will order an appraisal. They want to make sure the property is worth at least as much as they've offered to pay for it. This will usually be ordered after the inspection period is complete. If the appraisal comes back lower than what they've offered to pay, the buyer has the right to cancel the contract and get their Earnest Money back. More commonly we will try to negotiate an equitable compromise with them first.
8. Loan Approval and Documents to Title
At least 3 days prior to Close of Escrow we expect to hear the buyer's loan is approved and paperwork is at the Title Company to be signed. This is the final milestone to selling your home. We strive to make sure the buyer's financing is bullet-proof from the start. However, on rare occasions something will be discovered during underwriting that causes a loan to be declined. In the unlikely event this happens, the contract is canceled and the buyer gets their Earnest Money back. We go back on market and start the process again.
9. Document Signing and Final Steps
Once the Title Company receives the lender's documents, they will generate a Settlement Statement. This lists all the debits and credits for buyer & seller, and shows your net profit from the sale. Next we'll set up an appointment to sign all documents at the title company a few days prior to the closing date, and we'll join you for that. If you're out of town or would rather not sign in person, we can arrange for a mobile notary to meet you. Some Title & Escrow Companies also support Remote Online Notarization. Once everyone has signed, documents go back to the buyer's lender and they schedule the wiring of loan funds to arrive on your closing date.
10. Closing & Recording
Even though you've signed everything, the house isn't sold just yet. On closing day, once the Title Company receives the buyer's loan funds they will release the file to the County Recorder's office. When we receive confirmation that the transaction has been recorded, the home is officially closed and we can turn over the keys.
Congratulations, your home is SOLD!