Helping You Find Clarity In The Real Estate Process
What You Should Know As A Seller Or Buyer
Since 1973, agents at Trower Realtors, Inc. have provided remarkable real estate services to buyers and sellers across Odessa, TX, and the surrounding areas. We provide real estate information and assistance to those in the residential, commercial, land, and property management fields of real estate. With years of experience combined with local knowledge, our team is more than capable of assisting you through your real estate journey and even after closing.
The Selling Process
When listing your home, you need an agent who is knowledgeable in navigating the market, advertising techniques, and negotiating. These are critical to achieving the best and quickest results for you.
Why is it important to discuss the local market and value of my home?
You must understand the climate of the local market and determine how much your home is worth in the current market in order to market and sell your home in an efficient manner. Our team offers a free market analysis and has a wide array of experience in effective advertising strategies.
You may also want to start preparing your current residence to be placed on the market. Start cleaning out attics and basements of any unwanted or unused items. By cleaning or adding improvements and repairs, you not only raise your home’s value but save time for later on when preparing to move.
How do I market and advertise my home?
Once you have an understanding of the local market and how homes are selling in your area, you can begin the marketing process. Our team has extensive knowledge on the local market and what advertising techniques are successful. Remember, when you hire a reputable real estate agent, they will coordinate and incur the costs of the majority of your home’s marketing needs. In addition, they have access to a network of other real estate offices and agents within their Multiple Listing Service. We can sell your home in an ideal time frame and at the most effective price point.
Some ideas to ensure greater market exposure for your home are:
- Spotlight the unique and special features of your home
- For Sale signs, Directional signs
- Open houses
- Social Media posting (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, etc.)
- Virtual Tours
How does closing work?
If you are selling property, be sure to stay in communication with your agent and the closing attorney. Up until closing and the buyer takes possession, you are responsible for maintaining the home. Make sure the home is available for any inspections and the appraisal.
If there are repairs agreed to be made, you must have those completed by the final walk-through. You must schedule an appointment with the escrow or closing agent to sign the final documents prior to closing. They will help walk you through the process. If you want to be proactive, ask the closing officer to give you a copy of the documents you’ll be signing a few days before the closing meeting to have time to carefully review or correct them if needed.
Here are some things you will have to bring to closing:
- The deed
- Valid, state issued photo identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
- Certified check, if required, in the amount requested by the escrow officer
- Keys and security codes for the house
How do I prepare my home for the market?
To prepare your home for the market, you must have a decent understanding of the local market. The value of your home depends strongly on location and the readiness of your home to be listed for sale. Our agents will walk you through the entire process to ensure your home is ready for the market.
Remember, you want your home to make a great first impression to a potential buyer. Spend some time prior to placing your home on the market cleaning out storage spaces, closets, and cabinets. Remove any excess clutter from your home as well. The potential buyer needs to be able to envision their furnishings in your home.
Some things you can do to increase the value of your home are:
- Maintain your curb appeal (landscaping, painting, planting, exterior repairs, etc.)
- Clean and declutter garages, sheds, or carports
- Replace worn carpets, add area rugs
- Paint interior walls
- Make sure doors open/close easily
- Replace light bulbs or fixtures
- Clean floors
- Make sure electrical outlets work
- Deep clean showers, toilets, etc.
- Put out fresh linens, light candles, put out fresh flowers
Can you negotiate for me?
Once your home is marketed, the offers will start coming in. We will negotiate on your behalf in order to
get you the best deal possible. The seller’s agent solely represents the seller. If there is an agent involved in a sales transaction, by default, that agent will represent the home seller unless there is a signed Buyer’s Agency Agreement with the buyer.
Below is a list of questions that may help you in deciding on which agent will best meet your needs:
- How long have you been in the Real Estate Business?
- How familiar are you with the area? How long have you lived in the area? How long have you sold houses in this area?
- How many clients are you currently working with?
- Do you work with more sellers or buyers?
- How many homes did you sell last year?
- What is your typical commission?
- How do you plan on marketing or promoting my home?
- Can you provide me with names and phone numbers of some of your most recent clients who would be willing to give me a reference (if this agent has not already been referred to you by a friend or family member)?
Be aware, this is probably the biggest sales transaction you will have in your life, so it is important to work with someone that you are sure will get you the best offer!
The Buying Process
How do I choose an agent?
When looking for a home and embarking on one of the biggest investments of your life, you need someone you can trust. Ask friends and family for referrals and be sure to interview several prospects before making a final decision. If you choose to use an agent, make sure you enter into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement. This ensures that the agent will represent you, as the buyer, in the selling process, and not represent the interests of the sellers.
Your agent will research property listings for potential matches to your criteria and schedule showings for you at a convenient time. In addition, they will provide guidance to you during the contract negotiation phase of the selling process. Many times, they will also coordinate and schedule the home inspection, appraisal, and closing for you, as well as connect you with mortgage lenders.
How do i find the right home?
We are extremely familiar with the local Northwestern, Texas real estate market and buying process. We will thoroughly discuss criteria and specific aspects you desire in a home to find you the perfect one. You can find our current listings on our website. Even if every home you visit has all of the main criteria you are looking for, each will have different characteristics. Bring an Amenities Checklist so you can determine which criteria you absolutely cannot live without and which ones you are willing to budge on.
Some typical criteria may include:
- Price range
- Neighborhood or subdivision
- School districts
- Proximity to work
- Proximity to shopping, restaurants, hospitals, etc.
- Number of Bedrooms
- Number of Bathrooms
- Storage space
- Lot sizes
- Cost of upkeep & utilities
- Amount of maintenance required
- Cost of updated or decorating
- Homeowner’s dues
- Traffic patterns in neighborhood
What happens once my offer is accepted?
Once the seller accepts your offer, there are standard procedures that you must take before officially closing on the house. You will need an inspection, appraisal, and homeowner’s insurance. Our team at Trower Realtors, Inc can advise you through each of these items. Arrange to have a professional come out to inspect your home. They are able to spot electrical, plumbing, and structural problems that may not be noticeable to you at first glance.
The home inspection is not required, but it is in your best interest to have one done on the home so that you do not receive any surprises once you move in. This is an expense incurred by the buyer and is included in your closing costs.
What happens at closing?
After your offer is accepted or once you have a commitment from your lender, a date and time will be arranged for closing. Closing procedures are handled by an attorney of your choosing. We will make sure all paperwork is organized and finalized to make your closing day stress-free. You will be told the total dollar amount you will need to bring to closing by the closing attorney. They will also provide you with any additional information you may need to prepare yourself for the proceedings.
On the day of closing, remember to bring:
- A certified check for the total amount of your closing costs
- A picture ID, such as a driver’s license
- Your personal checkbook
- Evidence of mortgage insurance (if this information has not already been requested)
During the closing, details of the sales contract will be explained to you. If everything meets your approval, you will sign the contracts to finalize the deal.
Can you help me with financing?
Getting pre-qualified for a loan also increases your chances of your offer being accepted by a seller. Prior to getting pre-qualified, you should obtain a copy of your credit report so that there are not any negative surprises when you are ready to apply for your loan. Correct any errors that you may discover on your credit report. By going through the pre-qualification process, your mortgage specialist can provide you with an estimate of how much cash you will need for the sales transaction. Cash is needed for the down payment, earnest money, and closing costs of the transaction.
What happens after I find the perfect home?
Once you have found the home of your dreams, it is time to make an offer. We will go through your options and discuss what is right for you. We have the experience and knowledge that can benefit you in creating a competitive offer the seller can’t refuse.
In addition to the selling price, the other items to include in the terms of the Offer to Purchase include:
- The amount of earnest money (deposit) to offer
- Concessions that you want the seller to make, such as a carpet or paint allowance, or payment towards the closing costs
- Home inspection contingencies
- Financing contingencies
- A clear definition as to what is to be included with the home, such as appliances or window treatments
- A closing date.
Why do i need to do a final walk-through?
Prior to closing, you should be given access to the house so that you can walk-through and give it a final inspection. This should be done as close to the closing date as possible, preferably on the morning of the closing proceedings. When you go to do your final walkthrough, your home inspector will not be with you. It is your responsibility to inspect the home and ensure that everything meets your approval.
Things to look for during your walk-through:
- If the seller has repaired items included on the purchase agreement
- The house is in “as-was” condition (everything is in the same condition as it was when you signed the purchase agreement)
- The house is vacant and clean with no remaining trash or junk left behind in the house or in the yard
- Tenants have moved out prior to your closing unless you have agreed for them to stay
How Do I Pack For This Big Move?
Now that you have found your dream home, it is time to begin to think about the packing process and what all is involved. Give yourself time to sort through all that you have accumulated throughout the years. The less you have to transport, the easier the moving process will be.
How do I know what to pack first?
You should pack items that are used least in your household first. Try to pack one room at a time, and label each box indicating its contents and room name so movers are well aware of what goes where. Use smaller boxes for heavier items and ensure all boxes are well-secured. Place heavier items on the bottom and lighter items on top.
What materials do I need for packing?
When packing your belongings up, you will need materials to keep them protected throughout the move.
Some tips you may not know that will be extremely helpful in the long run are:
- Use packing paper instead of newspaper where the ink can rub off on your items
- Make sure cartons and boxes are in good condition and will not fall apart
- Wrap delicate and fragile items with bubble wrap or tissue
- Use packing tape instead of masking tape
- Label boxes with room name or content category
- Cutting blades or scissors to open/repackage
For items that are more susceptible to damage, here are a few more tips:
- Computers: Use plenty of padding to protect cords, cables, monitors, etc. Make sure ink cartridges are removed from printers.
- Glassware & Dishware: Create a protective lining with packing paper for each glass and tape it down securely. Pack stemware separately and make sure the box is labeled as fragile. Add extra padding with packing paper if needed.
- Lampshades: Place packing paper between each shade and then nest together into a single stack. Pack exclusively in their boxes without any other items.
- Pictures/Paintings: Wrap small pictures individually with bubble wrap and place upright in the packing carton. Fill the cartons with towels and/or bedding for extra padding. Larger items, including mirrors, should be specially packed by your movers. Fill the box with extra packing paper and seal it.
What should I not pack?
There are certain items that movers will not transport because they are classified as dangerous or hazardous. These items will need to be disposed of properly prior to your move, or you will need to make alternate transport plans for these items.
Included in the items that cannot be moved by your movers are:
- Paints and Paint Thinner
- Aerosol Cans, Bleach, and Cleaning Supplies
- Pressurized Tanks
- Loaded Firearms and Ammunition
- Gasoline or Kerosene or Other Flammable Chemicals
- Perishable Foods in Glass Jars
- Any items of great value should remain in your possession during the move such as cash, legal documents, stock or bond certificates, jewelry, family heirlooms.