Many homeowners initially determine the value of their home online using websites like Zillow or Trulia. What they don’t know is that the home assessments from these sites are often inaccurate. It’s best to pick a trustworthy and professional REALTOR®.
- Ask for referrals. Your friends and family can be a great resource to finding a reliable, savvy REALTOR®. Lean on your trusted advocates.
- Interview your REALTOR®. Of the referrals you get, interview them and make sure you hire the right REALTOR® so you will feel comfortable with him or her and what they have to offer as an agent.
- Meet in person. A good REALTOR® will walk through your home in person before suggesting a competitive list price.
- A Jacobsen Group agent will request a personal tour of your home. At this meeting, you will go over the marketing plan and then schedule a time for the second meeting. At the second meeting, your Jacobsen Group agent will share the results of their Comparable Market Analysis (CMA). Their visits, combined with the results of the CMA, will serve as the basis of their recommended list price.
- Social Networking Sites. change your privacy settings on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to the highest security settings possible, while still allowing people to “friend” you. Buyers are known to research you online for personal info that could give them an edge during negotiations.
- Upon choosing The Jacobsen Group, we will work together to determine when to put your home on the market.
Staging a home will help you sell your home quicker and for more money. We will schedule a complimentary one-hour consultation with home stagers who tour your home with you, talk about options, and then leave you with a list of staging suggestions.
You need to declutter! Your goal is to make all the rooms look and feel as open as possible. Pack up any unused items or knickknacks throughout the home, and be sure to clean out and reorganize closets and cabinets in order to showcase space. Remove and store furniture that blocks walkways.
NOTE: Don’t throw everything in the garage; it needs to look as decluttered as possible as well.
Depersonalizing will help potential buyers visualize their personal belongings in your home. Remove and pack up family photos or heirlooms and remove most, if not all, wall art.
The home staging and decluttering process can be overwhelming, but remember the way we present the home to a potential buyer is very important in getting the home sold.
If it’s broken, fix it! A list of common repairs to consider include:
- Patch holes or cracks in walls or ceilings.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Fix doors that don’t close properly.
- Fix ripped window screens and replacing cracked or broken window panes.
- Replace defective thermal window seals where windows “fog” between the panes of glass.
- Make sure all windows open and close.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs.
- Replace any rotten boards on a deck or siding.
- Tighten all hand railings.
- Mud jacking the driveway or sidewalks where a trip hazard is larger than 1 inch.
- Replace cracked tile.
- Add backfill along the foundation of your home.
- Clean out gutters and adding extensions to your downspouts.
- Repair damaged roof shingles.
- Touch up exterior/interior paint.
- Paint walls neutral colors and removing wallpaper.
- Complete all work associated with past insurance claims.
- Service your furnace(s) or A/C unit(s) by a licensed HVAC contractor (if you haven’t done so in the last 12 months).
Buyers like clean, maintained homes. In addition to thoroughly cleaning every corner of your home, to give it a nice finish, consider doing the following:
- Store small kitchen appliances in the pantry or closet.
- Clear off the counter tops.
- Replace worn or old shower curtains and hanging fresh towels.
- If you smoke, have drapes, carpets, and furniture professionally cleaned or replaced.
- If you have pets:
- Have your carpets professionally cleaned.
- Scrub and sanitize pet bowls and pet areas.
- Wash all pet pillows and blankets.
- Remove any evidence of the pets such as pet toys, pillows, cages, towers, etc.
Take it to the next level and make your home really shine by completing the following:
- Clean all windows inside and out.
- Clean carpets and wax or polish the floors.
- Clean and polish any woodwork.
- Rent a pressure washer to spray down sidewalks, home exterior, patios, and decks.
- Re-caulk tubs, showers, and sinks.
- Vacuum daily.
- Open all blinds or drapes, and turn on all the lights (for showings).
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades, light fixtures, and knock down any cobwebs.
- Replace worn rugs.
- Put out fresh flowers or plants.
The Jacobsen Group will hire a local production company to take professional photographs of your home as a complimentary service. Upon completion, pictures of your home will go on the market within 48 hours.
When you work with The Jacobsen Group, your home will be marketed on multiple platforms, generating the most exposure possible. We will market your home on:
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is a city-wide database where all local real estate companies share information about their listings.
- NPDodge.com and KWJacobsen.com
- Social Media, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- 3rd Party Websites. NPDodge.com is a syndicated website, so your home will also appear on Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, and many more.
Once everything is live, your agent will send you an email with links to the web pages marketing your home. Please review everything very carefully and let your agent know of any errors.
Your home will receive the most showings within the first three weeks on the market so be sure to keep your home “show ready.” All the showing requests will come from the Centralized Showing Service (CSS) and they will give you at least a 2-hour notice that a buyer has requested to see your home. Showings typically take one hour; you will need to leave the home about 15 minutes prior to the appointment.
The Jacobsen Group monitors all client lockboxes electronically, so they will receive an email notification when a buyer’s agent accesses your lockbox indicating the showing has taken place.
As you’re getting ready for the showings please do a quick run-through of your home and check the following:
- Turn on all the lights and lamps.
- Make sure all the beds are made.
- Open all the blinds and drapes.
- Close all the toilet lids.
- Put away all toys and other personal items.
- Take out the trash.
- Fold and put away all the laundry.
- Clean and put away any dishes or pots and pans.
- Do a quick vacuum and dust the floors.
- Put out fresh towels in the bathrooms.
- Wipe down all counter tops and sinks.
- Remove your pet(s) from the home.
TIP: to create a “homey” scent before a showing, boil a pot of water and add the following:
- A couple slices of grapefruit
- A pinch of whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. As it simmers, your home will be filled with a beautiful aroma.
Prior to the showing, remove the pot from the heat and turn off the stovetop.
Two-way communication is critical. Your Jacobsen Group agent will make sure you are informed on the activity for your home, providing you with a bi-weekly report that includes:
- An updated CMA Summary report showing you market activity in your neighborhood.
- The number of online “hits” or “views” of your home.
- Statistics from your showing feedback.
The Jacobsen Group will always give their sellers the option to host an open house. If desired, the first open houses will be scheduled on the second or third Sunday after your home hits the market. Prepare for open houses just as you would a showing.
Upon receiving an offer, your Jacobsen Group agent will provide you with a copy and you will review it together. Your agent will review all details, its terms, and what it means for you.
We recommend you pay close attention to the following:
- Offer price. Does the offer price work for your situation?
- Personal Property. Be aware of any personal property the buyer is asking to be included in the sale (such as an appliance, piece of furniture, swing set, etc.) If the buyer asks for personal property that isn’t marked available for sale in the MLS, you may be able to use it as a negotiation piece.
- Earnest Deposit. Typically, the earnest deposit will be 1% of the purchase price.
- Type of Financing and Down Payment. The buyer’s down payment is typically a good indication of the buyer’s financial strength. As a general rule: the more money down the better.
- Seller Paid Closing Costs. Buyers will occasionally ask the buyer to pay for all or a portion of their closing costs. It is not uncommon for buyers to ask the seller to pay 3%-6% of the purchase price towards their closing costs.
- Closing date. In Omaha, closings typically happen 45-60 days after the purchase agreement is executed.
- Contingencies. There can be many contingencies, such as selling the buyers’ home before they can purchase your home or requiring your home to meet certain inspection criteria including repairs.
- Home Warranty. Buyers commonly ask the seller to pay for at least a one-year home warranty.
Good deals either happen or they don’t. They can’t be forced. When you aren’t comfortable with the terms of an offer, it’s best to move on quickly.
Upon accepting an offer, all closing-related activities must be completed in compliance with the Purchase Agreement’s terms and conditions. Following is the sequence of events that will come after acceptance.
- Inspections. Whole home inspections occur promptly after an offer is accepted (within 48 hours). The inspector will coordinate his visit through your agent, requiring 3-4 hours to review your home, and then roughly one more hour to review the results of the inspection with the buyer and buyer’s agent.
- Appraisals. The buyer’s lender will order an appraisal early in the mortgage process. During the appraisal, the appraiser values the property to ensure it’s in line with the agreed-upon purchase price.
- Written Mortgage Commitment. The buyer will receive a commitment letter from their lender with various conditions that must be cleared prior to scheduling a closing date.
- Meeting with the title company. The title company will request information to be gathered from you in order to prepare the loan documents. Once the documents are prepared, the title company will arrange to meet with you and sign what’s called your “deed set”. The deed set is your portion of the closing, so you will not need to physically attend the actual closing.
Prior to closing, the title company will let you know either how much money you will receive from the sale of your home, or how much money is required to pay towards the net loss. If you are in a negative equity situation, your certified funds must be paid to the title company prior to closing.
Roughly two weeks from closing, in addition to doing all the moving prep work, schedule the following:
- Call all utility companies (gas, electric, water, sewer and phone) to let them know you are selling the home, and that the new buyer will be calling to set up service.
- If you live in an SID (Sanitary Improvement District), let your trash service provider know you need to cancel service.
- Call the cable/satellite company to cancel your service or transfer it to your new home.
- Update your mailing address with the United States Post Office.
This is a crucial step for a successful closing; however, sellers don’t need to do anything during this step. This step happens behind the scenes, when the buyer’s lender is ready for closing and the underwriter is given the “clear to close.”
Buyers perform their final walk through 24-72 hours prior to closing, ensuring the overall condition of the property is acceptable.
As you are leaving the house for the last time, put all keys and garage door openers on the kitchen counter along with a written note containing the garage code (if there is a key pad). It would be helpful to leave any instruction manuals you may have for the home or any information regarding its mechanicals.
Your Jacobsen Group agent will give you a call upon confirming the closing is complete. After closing, the title company will provide you with a “Seller’s Packet” containing copies of all signed closing documents for your records and your proceeds check (if applicable).