Sellers Guide pg 1

Seller Guide

Selling your home shouldn’t be a stressful ordeal. There’s a logical sequence of steps and actions that I will guide you through. I want you to focus on your move while I manage your home sale from our initial consultation to the closing deal, and beyond.

Why Should I Choose… Lauree Borup to represent my property and me?

I will always be honest with you. You may not like hearing that your house is overpriced, or the odors are turning buyers off, or that no one has looked at it in a month, but it is my job to tell you. Hopefully I will be calling you to say that the house sold for full price to the first person who sees it, but really, if that happened all the time, what would you need a real estate agent for? I will help you strike a balance between a price that’s too low and takes money out of your pocket…. and a price that keeps buyers away in droves. A balance between getting the house in best showing condition…. but not spending too much money to do it.

I keep up with the market by viewing properties all the time, either on the new listing tours or by showings to prospective buyers. I usually have seen 95% of the current houses available at any time; and, in 16 years as an agent in Groveland I have seen all the vacant lots. This “product knowledge” contributes to a more accurate Comparative Market Analysis of your property.

My photo flyers show your house in the best light, and with the most detailed information. My houses on Realtor.com have the most description and show up as one of four featured photo listings in searches of the 95321 area code. The Certified Residential Specialist designation (CRS) brings me a lot of out-of-town agent referrals. Of the approximately 49 agents now actively selling real estate in the Groveland area, only two of us are CRS.

Finding reliable and reasonably priced service vendors is a big part of my job, whether it is an inspector, an electrician, or a window washer. I’ve been here since 1977 and know the best ones.

My resume and Seller testimonials are available on this website. 

Although my resume lists the top producer awards and the education designations, I am probably most proud of the years I was on the Southern Tuolumne Historical Society Board and worked on getting the Groveland Museum/Library built. ALL the money for the building was donated; none came from government or corporate sources.

I was the (volunteer) building chairman in charge of working with the architect, contractor, and getting all the bills paid. I was involved in all the negotiations with GCSD for the land on which it sits, and with the County who now maintains it.

A close collaborative effort to get something worthwhile accomplished: it is the same process for marketing and selling your home

As Your Agent, I Will:
    * Complete a comparative market analysis that will compare your home’s value to that of your neighbors.
    * Compile a comprehensive plan detailing all the efforts I will employ to sell your home, including Internet and local media.
    * Present your home to as many qualified buyers as possible getting your home maximum exposure.
    * Help you stage your home and generate curb appeal to ensure you get the highest price.
    * Assist with obtaining offers and help you in negotiating the best deal as smoothly as possible.
    * Prepare detailed "Net Proceeds Sheets" showing what amount of cash you will have after closing, at both your asking price and any offer prices.
    * Assist you throughout the escrow.

Why Should I Choose… A RE/MAX company to sell my house?

RE/MAX is the top real estate franchise in the world. There are currently about 96,000 agents working in 5,121 offices in 62 countries. It leads the industry in technology, innovation, and quality of its agents. We here in Groveland have access to an incredible array of tools from RE/MAX International and our region, RE/MAX of California and Hawaii. RE/MAX pioneered the agent-to-agent referral system that allows agents to choose who they want to refer a buyer lead to (without having to go through their broker or franchise). This creates a lot more referral activity, and does lead to more sales.

The most recognized image in the real estate industry is the RE/MAX balloon. Their corporate fleet of nearly 100 balloons is the largest in the world, flying at both large and small events. RE/MAX ranks among the most well-known franchises in the US, along with Hertz and McDonald’s. RE/MAX is a big sponsor in motorsports, Children’s Miracle Network, and golf’s Long Drive Championship. Every day millions of people are reminded of RE/MAX through television advertising.

RE/MAX Associates are free to spend as much as they deem necessary to promote themselves and their listings. And they do! With billboards, radio spots, websites, and print ads. RE/MAX has its own Satellite Network, started in 1994, with constant training for its agents. RE/MAX leads all other franchises by wide margins in the productivity, experience, and professional designations of its agents)

Why Should I Choose… RE/MAX Yosemite Gold in Groveland?

In 2003, with just three agents, RE/MAX Yosemite Gold was #1 in dollar sales volume in Groveland and Pine Mountain Lake. Other offices in town had 12, 8, or 7 agents, but could not compete with our experienced, full-time top producers. One of the reasons RE/MAX agents work harder and smarter is that they get 100% of their commission after paying a fixed office fee. This system attracts more independent agents who are committed to their careers. They aren’t being subsidized by the broker, they don’t have to fight for ad space, and they can’t have a “bad” month. They are focused on getting property sold all the time, and they are well rewarded for their efforts. This creates a high energy atmosphere where we like to work together to sell each other’s listings. But we still work on escrows all the time with agents from other offices. We encourage “co-op” sales with other offices by providing complete and timely information on listings, by responding quickly on offers, following up on the paperwork, being creative in solving problems, and whatever else it takes to encourage them to show and sell our listings.

Our rental department also generates leads and sales for us. We went from the smallest vacation rental program in 1993 to the largest in Groveland, with 60 houses. We have the best website for showcasing our rentals and booking on-line. Check it out at YosemiteGoldVacations.com

Recent Groveland-Pine Mountain Lake Home Sales List

This link takes you to a chart on the RE/MAX Yosemite Gold website that list all the houses recently SOLD. 
 
READY, GET SET…….SELL!
  How to get your home ready to put on the market

PAPERWORK AND RESEARCH

Ask your Realtor to get a Preliminary Title Report if any of the following affect the property:  tax liens, mechanics liens, deceased or divorced spouses still on the deed, driveway or other easements  or paid off loans not properly reconveyed and recorded.

Get a copy of any trust. The title company must review it before they can transfer the property.   

Consult a tax advisor. Understand your capital gains tax liability, how an investment property exchange would work for you, seller financing concerns, what costs of selling are tax deductible, etc.

Pull out of your files any warranties, instruction booklets, propane tank leases, or maintenance agreements that will be useful to the new buyer. If you regularly have a pest control company spray the house or a chimney sweep clean the flue, give the latest invoice to your agent. Same goes for furnace checkups, septic pumping, deck sealing, etc.

Assemble utility bills so you can give a reasonable estimate of annual propane, electricity, water & sewer costs.

House blueprints, photos of the house at different times of year or while under construction, plot plans or surveys can be very useful to the agent if you have them.

Make lists of personal property

List 1: what is included with the house, like a refrigerator or firewood.
List 2: what is for sale to the buyer with asking prices
List 3: what is not for sale at any price, like a favorite piano, pool table, boat, yard statue, potted plant, appliance, area rug, chandelier or portable spa.

Choose which agent you will hire to represent you and market your home.

Review the marketing plan with the agent. Clarify what they will and will not do.

Review the standard purchase contract and discuss customary cost obligations of sellers in your area.

Decide whether you will offer a home warranty.

Determine a realistic price. Get information on houses that are sold and those that are on the market that are similar to yours by reviewing a Price Analysis (also called a Comparative Market Analysis, or CMA) with your agent

Sign the listing agreement and agency disclosure statement.

Sign the California required disclosures:  Water Heater Compliance, Smoke Detector Compliance, Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement, Transfer Disclosure. Fill out the Seller Property Questionnaire and review and sign the Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory.

Sign the disclosure for Pine Mountain Lake  

PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS

Locate your boundary monuments and have them staked. This is the time to find out if any monuments are missing, or an improvement is encroaching over the property line, such as a leach line, parking pad, dock, etc.

Since 1996 state law has required that your water heater be solidly strapped or anchored in case of earthquake before you sell it. Go ahead and do it now.

State law requires that you have smoke detectors on every level where there is a sleeping area. They can be battery operated or wired in. Do it now. In houses built since 1992, smoke detectors must be in every bedroom.

If you have received a notice from PML to comply with the Fire Prevention plan, do the brush clearing, weed eating, or limb trimming required.

Make sure that pets or locked doors don’t prevent access to buyers of areas they want to see, including under the house.

If you asphalt driveway is cracked, patchy or oil stained, have a fresh slurry seal applied.

Provide at least 2 keys to the agent. It is preferable to have all the locks open with the same key.

Be sure your address and unit/lot numbers are prominently displayed.

OUTSIDE Clean the gutters, clear debris off the roof, remove any garbage, weeds, brush piles or dead plants, replace worn out patio furniture with new, put out fresh flowers in pots, replace worn doormats, correct drainage problems, store garden tools and hoses neatly, power wash the house, clean the windows, put fresh sealant on the deck, paint trim and siding if needed, repair faucets and sprinklers, repair or replace broken window screens, PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE FRONT DOOR.

Clean out under the house and in the garage. Put up shelves or racks to get clutter off the floor.

Get the house ready for a structural pest inspection.

Start packing. “De-personalize” the house by packing away family pictures, plaques, posters, books and memorabilia. This allows the buyer to more easily picture THEIR family in the house and also signals to the buyer that you are a motivated seller.

Repair: leaks, holes in walls, difficult door locks, anything broken or hazardous.

Replace: burnt light bulbs, old shower curtains, worn caulking, frayed hand towels.

Clean everything: woodwork, window tracks, light fixtures, appliances, inside cabinets, drapes, blinds, carpets, the birdcage. Don’t leave strong odors of ammonia or cleaning solvents in the air.

PROFESSIONAL INSPECTIONS

Although you can wait and let the buyer pick their own inspectors and pay for the inspections, in many cases it will save you money in the long run to discover any defects or problems before an escrow is opened. Buyers are more skittish about surprises that crop up than if they knew of a repair problem and considered it in their negotiations. The most common inspections in Tuolumne County are:

STRUCTURAL PEST

Covers wood rot, termites, carpenter ants, moisture problems in or under house. Findings are divided into Section 1 – “actual infestation or infection” or Section 2 – “conditions that could lead to an infestation”. Sellers are usually liable to fix all Section 1 items, or adjust the price downward to compensate for selling “AS IS”

ROOF

As our local housing stock ages, many of the roofs need replacing. Even some newer roofs need to be looked at for these problems: defective shingles, improper venting (causing the roof to overheat and age prematurely), bad installation (such as a tile roof with support strips too far apart). Roofs in the shade last longer than roofs exposed to constant sun. A licensed roofing contractor will look in the attic and the ceiling for evidence of leaks. Hi will estimate the remaining life of the roof and recommend needed repairs. If a buyer is going to get a whole new roof, he may be asked to pay for half of it.
 
HOME

Covers most components of the house. The Home Inspector will point out potential defects, code violations, hazardous conditions, deferred maintenance and non-working items. The inspector will not offer a final opinion on what should be fixed or by whom. Experts in electrical plumbing, structural engineering, heating/air conditioning, roofing or fireplace installations may have to be called for a more thorough diagnosis.               

SEPTIC SYSTEM

Usually required by buyer or lender except for new homes or homes that haven’t been occupied since a septic certification. If the owner locates and uncovers the tank openings they can save the cost of the inspector doing it. The inspector must have access to inside the house (to test the toilets). He will run a large quantity of water through the system to test its capacity and distribution. (The seller pays for the water.) He will check the tank for cracks, sludge accumulation, and proper “fall” of the sewage. Roots in any of the lines may have to be removed. He will recommend pumping the tank if necessary. Get a copy of the inspection report and the certification of good operation.

CHIMNEY AND FIREPLACE

Inspectors will look for loose stovepipes, leaky flashing, insufficient clearance in front of firebox, clearance between woodstoves and walls, flues full of creosote and other problems. Buyers are nervous about things that might burn up the house (and their insurer may require an inspection clearance or pictures of the woodstove for the file).