San Antonio City-View - Paris Realty Group


Real Estate Sales Guide
Home Listing Process

Home Listing Process

The majority of us believe the same thing: listing a real estate sales process is a simple and easy task. It does, however, involve various stages, complexity, uncertainties, and much more.

Real estate sales are a complex and difficult field to master. You cannot expect everything to go as smoothly as you wish. It consists of critical steps, each of which necessitates a great deal of effort and patience.

We wrote this guide to help you master the world of real estate sales by following each step from listing to closing.

Step 1: Choosing a Real Estate Professional

Real estate licenses are held by over 2 million people in the United States. However, because real estate is a difficult business with a high dropout rate, only a small percentage of those with licenses are professional and capable of actively assisting buyers and sellers.

Why do I Need a Realtor?

Buying and selling real estate is a complicated process. There are very few subdivisions and nearly all homes are architecturally unique, so no two homes are alike. Contract terms, marketing options, inspection requirements, and closing costs all have distinctive characteristics. And, in this maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing, and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who have experience creating safe and viable transactions and are familiar with San Antonio’s market conditions.

How Do I Choose A Realtor?

There are hundreds of real estate agents in San Antonio, and the competition can be intimidating. When interviewing agents, consider the following factors: experience in the business as measured by the number of years working full time, track record as measured by the number of homes sold, current inventory and homes in escrow, support staff versus a “one person show,” professional designations and testimonials, knowledge and experience in specific neighborhoods, marketing methods – active versus passive, networking, and top agent affiliations. Sellers should use all of their resources to find a realtor, including referrals, the internet, testimonials, and local knowledge.

Step 2: Establishing a Price

The most important aspect of pricing is to be realistic. This is where the agent’s experience comes into play. You want an honest, well-thought-out evaluation in which the agent tells you the truth about what the home will sell for rather than just a number they think you’ll like. If you overpay, the house will sit and you will end up chasing the market down. A well-prepared comparative market analysis (CMA) and an experienced agent with a proven track record are the most effective tools for determining a reasonable asking price. Professional appraisals and reliance on programs such as Zillow are untrustworthy and do not reflect current market conditions or competing properties currently on the market.

Net Proceeds: Your Bottom Line

Once you and your realtor have agreed on a price, have them create a “net sheet” that shows you what expenses to expect and how much money you will have left over to buy your next home. An experienced agent can give you a realistic idea of what to expect, and any tax consequences should be discussed with your own tax accountant.

Step 3: Signing a Listing Agreement

After you’ve decided on an experienced real estate agent, you’ll need to sign a listing agreement, which is a contract in which you agree to allow your Realtor to sell your home during a specified time period and pay the Realtor a fee if your home sells.

The listing agreement will include the agreed-upon commission structure. Before signing, make sure you understand how the fee will be paid, as this will be the monetary motivation for your real estate agent. Also, before deciding on a commission, make sure your agent can explain the benefits and drawbacks of paying a higher commission than competing properties, especially if there are many competing homes.

Exclusive listing

Agents will request a listing with “exclusive right to sell.” This means that regardless of who finds a buyer during the listing period, you will owe the broker a commission. In other words, even if you sell the house to your cousin, your broker will still receive a commission.

It’s possible that another company’s local Realtor will find a buyer for your home. Your broker is the listing broker in that case, and the second agent is the buyer’s agent or broker. In San Antonio, the commission is usually split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent.

Length of listing

The listing agreement will specify how long you agree to list your home with a particular company and agent. You want a time frame that is long enough to encourage your Realtor to advertise your home and respond to buyers, but short enough to allow you to switch to a different agent or brokerage if you are dissatisfied with the Realtor’s service.

Step 4: Marketing Your Property

Preparing your home

Every home is unique, and your contracted real estate professional can offer you advice and recommendations when it comes to preparing your home for sale. It is critical to remember that people buy based on their emotions, and your home must feel right or buyers will look elsewhere. An experienced agent can advise you on whether or not to stage the home. For a buyer, staging “paints the picture.” It paints a picture of what could be, which appeals to their emotions.

Attracting and screening buyers

As part of the overall marketing strategy, your Realtor may arrange a tour of your home for local agents as well as a public open house. Your realtor may also place advertisements in local newspapers, Web sites, and other publications that are relevant to the type of home you are selling. Remember that there is a significant difference between active and passive marketing. You want your agent to explain the distinction and how they will be proactive in bringing buyers through your doors.

Step 5: Review Offers

You have three options when reviewing the offer: accept, reject, or make a counteroffer. A counteroffer is a simultaneous offer from you to the buyer in response to a buyer’s offer. Examine the figures you compiled earlier to determine your net proceeds–closing costs may differ significantly from earlier calculations. Discuss your options with your real estate agent.

Key Takeaways

  • A counteroffer is the response given to an offer, meaning the original offer was rejected and replaced with another one.
  • Counteroffers give the original offerer three options: accept it, reject it, or make another offer and continue negotiations.
  • Parties are not obligated by a contract until one accepts the other's offer.
  • Counteroffers are common in business negotiations and transactions, such as real estate deals, car sales, and employment contracts.

Step 6: Sign / Close

In practice, closings bring together a wide range of parties involved in the “transaction” process. Buyers and sellers visit the local title office to sign separate paperwork at closing. The buyer’s signing process is significantly longer than the seller’s. All fees, transfer taxes, and documentation must be confirmed, and any outstanding claims must be resolved (including closing costs, legal fees and adjustments). As a buyer, you will have to do very little because your Realtor will handle much of the “legwork.”

What are the seller’s responsibilities during closing?

Both parties have obligations to fulfill under the sales contract. During the closing process, you’ll typically be required to:

  • Remove all your possessions from the property, unless they’re specified to stay under the contract. Major appliances, for instance, are sometimes negotiated into a deal.
  • Make any repairs you have agreed to make.
  • Clean the home right before the closing date. A good rule of thumb is to leave it as clean as you’d like to find it if you were the buyer. (Typically required unless the home is sold in as-is condition.)

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