Navigating the Home Selling Process

The Sciarra/Mok Team has the experience, expertise, and local knowledge to help you navigate the selling process in a way that protects your interests. Your home is one of your most important financial assets, and when it comes time to sell, the decisions you make prior to listing your home (timing, pricing, marketing strategy, etc) are critical for a successful outcome.

Give us a call today to schedule your Seller consultation. The selling process is comprised of many steps, but it all starts with a conversation. We’ll walk you through the process, review current market conditions, answer any questions you have, and help you sell your property for the most amount of money in the shortest time.
 
At our initial meeting we will discuss your needs in order to tailor our selling approach to best fit your goals. After a tour of your property, we will explain the home selling process in detail, discuss current market conditions, share our marketing and pricing strategies, establish a listing timeline that you are comfortable with, and give you a plan of action to get your home ready for the market.

You are a key player on the home selling team. We want to you to feel confident in your decisions and encourage you to share your questions and concerns with us.  We will offer you guidance and provide you with information to ensure you make informed decisions every step of the way.
First impressions are everything when it comes to selling your home. Making a great first impression - both in person and online - will help you sell your house for the highest dollar in the shortest timeframe. We will give you low and no-cost tips for bringing your home into show status. This could be as simple as packing a few boxes or rearranging some furniture before your listing goes “live”. Sometimes repairs may be necessary prior to going on the market.  We’ll help you to determine which repairs will give you the best return and which are simply unnecessary. Please see our article on Making a Great First Impression for more information.
Your initial list price is essential to the success of your sale.  During our first meeting, we will review current market conditions and give you a good idea of your price range. Once you have prepared your house for the market and are ready to go active, we will: review this price range, reevaluate market conditions, and help you make the final decision on how to price your property. We will also help you weigh the pros and cons of different pricing strategies. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make and we want you to feel confident about your decision. Please see our articles on Understanding Market Value and The Dangers of Overpricing for more information.
In the State of Connecticut, Buyers and Sellers are both represented by attorneys at the Closing table. While you are not required to select an attorney before you list your property for sale, it’s a nice thing to cross off the list early! The most important thing to consider when selecting a closing attorney is their actual closing experience. Always select an attorney who specializes in Real Estate. We are happy to suggest a few attorneys who have provided our clients with excellent service and rates in the past.
We will arrange a day that works for you to take photos of your home. Please have the home in “show ready” condition! We will also install an electronic lockbox on your door at this time. This lock box will allow other REALTORs ® access to your home for showings. You will be notified of all showing requests in advance and will have the opportunity to confirm or deny any showing. Only agents with a GHAR (Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS) issued electronic tag will be able to open the lockbox and access the key to your home. Every time the box is opened, the identity of the tag holder and the time of day will be recorded for your security. Please have an extra house key available on picture day for us to put into the lockbox. 
When we list your home on the MLS (CT Multiple Listing Service), it will become an active listing. Your listing information will automatically be pulled into third-party websites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.

Showings can start as soon as the home becomes active! We will establish our procedure for confirming showings upfront and you will be given the opportunity to confirm or deny any showing request. Showings can range from 15-45 minutes. The buyers and their licensed agent will be present. We will request feedback immediately following each showing and will share all feedback with you on a regular basis. If someone has interest in your home, they might request a second showing. Second showings are typically quite a bit longer than the first. You are the key player on the home selling team. Please be sure that you are ready for all showings. If you are worried that you might not be ready, it is better to ask the Buyer to reschedule than it is for them to have a negative first impression.
On the first Tuesday after your listing goes active, we will hold a Broker’s Open House. We will invite all of the real estate professionals in the area to preview your property to see if it might be a good fit for one of their clients. This is a great opportunity to market your property and we usually provide food or door prizes to encourage higher attendance. 
The second or third week is a great time for a Public Open House. This is an opportunity for the general public to see your house without an appointment. Don’t worry that some of the visitors may be “nosy neighbors” - they might have a friend or family member who is considering moving to the area.
We will present all offers to you as soon as we receive them. Depending on the situation, it can take anywhere from minutes to days to successfully negotiate a contract with the Buyers. We know that the wait can be agonizing and will keep you informed every step of the way.

Every negotiation is unique and we will tailor our strategy very specifically to the circumstances of each offer. We encourage quick negotiations, but the actual timeline will depend on the parties involved. Our goal is to get you the best terms and conditions possible on your home.  We will provide you with all of the information you need to make reasonable decisions, but ultimately it is up to you to determine whether or not the terms and conditions are acceptable.
Congratulations! It’s time for a happy dance! You’ve worked hard to get here. Now that hard work has paid off, and you are officially under contract to sell your home. The Buyer’s agent will deliver the first deposit check to us, which we will hold in escrow until closing day.

We still have some work to do to successfully close the contract, but The Sciarra/Mok Team is here to help make sure nothing falls through the cracks. As soon as you accept an offer, we will create a password protected Closing Organizer for you which contains all of your contract documents, a summary of important contract milestones, and our task list.
The Buyer typically reserves the right to inspect your property during the first 10-14 days of the contract period to determine if there are any deficiencies they would like for you to resolve prior to the closing. Repair requests are common. We will help you to determine which requests are reasonable and will make every effort to negotiate a positive outcome. Once both parties have reached an agreement, we will help you coordinate your repairs as necessary.
The second deposit is generally due within 10-14 days of the executed contract. The amount and due date for the second deposit is negotiated during the initial contract process. This deposit will be delivered to us and held in escrow by Berkshire Hathaway until the closing.
The Buyer is required to provide a mortgage commitment letter by the date negotiated on the Purchase and Sale Contract (typically within 30 days of the executed contract). If they cannot provide a commitment by that date, they will either request an extension to the commitment date or terminate the contract in order to protect their deposit. Usually when an extension is requested, it is for a legitimate reason and the lender just needs a few more days to get all of the approvals in place.  If we receive an extension request, we will evaluate the circumstances and advise you on your options.
This is music to your ears. The clear-to-close is issued by the Buyer’s lender when all mortgage obligations have been met. At this point, the lender will send the loan package to the Buyer’s attorney who will then contact your attorney to schedule the closing.
As soon as the closing has been scheduled, you should contact the utility companies to terminate your service. Even if you intend to move out earlier, you should schedule the termination for the date of the closing. The Buyer will transfer utilities into their name on the same date.
The Buyer will have the opportunity for a final walk-through prior to the closing. At this time they will confirm that all inspection items have been addressed to their satisfaction and that no issues have developed (for example: new leaks or damage to windows, doors, or drywall during the moving process). If they do find an issue, they will document it with photographs and the attorneys for both sides will negotiate a resolution at the closing table.

**Note: If you discover an issue prior to the walk-through, or if damage occurs during the move-out process, please be sure to alert us right away. It is far better for us to handle the problem on our own terms than to wait for the Buyer to bring the issue to the closing table.
The closing is usually held at the Buyer’s attorney office and is typically about 45 minutes to 1 hour in length. You are not required to attend the closing. Most sellers will pre-sign with their attorneys prior to the closing.  We are happy to attend the closing on your behalf if you decide not to go.
Congratulations! People often have mixed emotions when it comes to selling their home. Regardless of your reason for selling, this is a significant transition in your life. Thank you so much for putting your trust in us. Whether you are moving out of the area or staying local, you are part of The Sciarra/Mok Team family now. Please don’t ever hesitate to contact us if you have real estate questions in the future. We are always happy to help!