The Selling Process – Step by Step Guide
Your home is more than an architectural structure. Through the years, it has become an extension of who you are, representing your personality, style and values. That's why selling it can be both an emotional and intimidating experience. But it can also be an exciting, rewarding time as you look forward to new experiences.
BuySell in association with the best real estate professionals (chartered surveyors, estate agents) will help you transition from the emotional decision to the objective planning phase by providing you with key information about the home selling process. The BuySell Sellers Guide is designed to help you understand the selling process beforehand. This inside know-how will help you make smart decisions every step of the way — and set aside any worries you may have from the beginning.
Of course, this guide cannot answer all your questions. For specific answers to your specific situation, we encourage you to consult a listing’s executive at any one of our offices island wide.
Step 1 – Meet with a listings executive
The first step toward putting your house up for sale is to meet with a BuySell listings executive who can discuss the current market conditions, explain thoroughly the advertising process for successfully selling your property in Cyprus and answer your questions.
You’ll need to have a copy of the title deeds or original contract of, the plans of the property and an accurate description of where the property is located.
Step 2 - Setting the right price
Setting the list price for your home involves evaluating various market conditions and financial factors.
During this phase of the home selling process, BuySell supported by real estate professionals (chartered surveyors, estate agents ) will help you set your list price which you will decide based on:
- Pricing considerations
- Market value
- Comparable sales
- Market conditions
- Offering incentives
- Estimating net proceeds
When deciding the list price for your home, you should be aware of a buyer’s frame of mind. Consider the following pricing factors: If you decide to set the price too high, your house won’t be picked for viewing, even though it may be much nicer than other homes on the street. Compared to other houses for sale, your home simply looks too expensive to be considered. If you price too low, you'll short-change yourself. Your house will sell promptly, yes, but you may make less on the sale than if you had decided set a higher price and waited for a buyer who was willing to pay for it.
TIP: Never say "asking" price, which implies you don't expect to get it.
A common definition of market value is: "What a ready, willing and able buyer will pay, at a price a seller will accept." Bear in mind that potential buyers have already been shopping around, and when they see your home they'll be comparing features and financing.
The "right" price is a balance between the maximum amount the current housing market will allow, similar properties for sale in the same area (your “competition”) and your own time limits in selling.
Although you with the support of real estate professionals will decide where set the price, the buyer’s will determine the value. They will compare your home and your listing price to similar homes on the marketplace. If your price is not competitive, they'll quickly reject it and move on to the next listing.
There's a rule of thumb that says a house priced more than 10% over market value discourages offers and limits the number of potential buyers up to 60%. Buyers who can afford the price can get "more house" for their money elsewhere. Buyers who cannot afford the price simply won’t look. This is why real estate professionals say, 'A house priced right is half sold." A fair market value will be determined by comparing the property with similar properties which have recently sold and (in some cases) with similar properties currently on the market. Experience in the industry has proven this "market analysis" approach is the most accurate of all approaches.
Using comparable sales
No matter how attractive and polished your house, buyers will be comparing its price with everything else on the market. Real experts agree that the best guide is a record of what the buying public has been willing to pay in the past few months for property in your neighborhood like yours. BuySell can furnish data on sales figures for those "comps" through its advertising databank, which you can analyze to determine listing price. The decision about how much to ask, is always yours.
The list of comparable sales BuySell brings to you, along with data about other houses in your neighborhood presently on the market, may be used for a comparison. To help in estimating a possible sales price for your house, the analysis will also include data on nearby houses that failed to sell in the past few months, along with their list prices. This report differs from a formal appraisal in several ways. One major difference is that an appraisal will be based only on past sales. In addition, an appraisal is done for a fee while this report is provided FREE by BuySell and may include properties currently listed for sale and those currently pending sale.
A formal written appraisal (which may cost a few hundred pounds) can be useful if you have unique property, if there hasn't been much activity in your area recently, if co-owners disagree about price, or if there is any other circumstance that makes it difficult to put a value on your home.
Consider market conditions
When real estate is booming and prices are rising, houses may sell in a few days. Conversely, when the market slows down, average DOM (Days on Market) can run into many months. BuySell can tell you whether your area is currently a buyer's market or a seller's market. In a seller's market, you can price a bit beyond what you really expect, just to see what the reaction will be. In a buyer's market, if you really need to sell promptly, offer an attractive bargain price.
Studies show that the longer a property sits on the market the lower the price at which it is finally sold. Although the greatest amount of buyer activity typically occurs during the first three to four weeks after putting your property on the market, a reasonable time frame for selling a house may be between 30 and 90 days. If a house is on the market too long, potential buyers may avoid the house, wondering if something is wrong with it.
Some sellers list at the rock-bottom price they'd really take, because they hate bargaining. Others add on thousands to the estimated market value "just to see what happens." If you want to try that, and if you have the luxury of enough time to feel out the market, sit down and work out a schedule in advance. If there haven't been many prospects viewing your home after three weeks, you may need to lower your list price. If that doesn't bring any prospective buyers, you may need to lower your list price again. Plan on doing that regularly until you find a level that attracts buyers. Make a written schedule in advance, before emotion takes over and you're tempted to dig your heels in.
Estimating net proceeds
Once you’ve estimated a market value, you can get a rough idea of how much cash you might walk away with when the sale is completed. This can be particularly useful as you start looking for another home to buy. From the estimated sales price, subtract:
- Payoff figure on your present loan(s)
- Any prepayment penalty on your mortgage
- Attorney's fees, if any
- Unpaid property taxes
- Cancellation fees (if any)
- Capital Gains Tax
As far as closing costs are concerned, you and your eventual buyer may agree on any arrangement that suits you, no matter what local practice dictates.
When you are ready to put the house on the market, the listing agreement is filled out indicating a specific period of time the agreement is in effect ("advertising period") and the terms and conditions.
The Listing Agreement
A listing agreement is a personal service agreement between you and BuySell describing the property to be marketed and the terms under which it is to be marketed. You are appointing BuySell to advertise the property and the advertising fee along with the responsibilities of each party is agreed.
Step 3 – Advertising your property
BuySell uses a unique multichannel promotion that includes advanced communication technology, printed media and the internet to advertise your property to hundreds of thousands of potential buyers every week.
Our listings executives enter the full details of your property on our website, www.buysellcyprus.com. This profile includes everything from the location and price of your home, to multiple internal and external pictures, floor plans, virtual tours and any special features it may have.
More than 50,000 unique visitors access our website monthly.
BuySell WEEKLY Magazine
BuySell weekly magazine is a full property listing publication. More than 5000 properties are listed and more than 20,000 copies are sold each WEEK through our offices, supermarkets and kiosks.
Have your property listed with a picture and details in our 20 page property supplements that are distributed with the 6 most popular English, Greek and Russian Newspapers: Cyprus Mail, Cyprus Weekly, Daily Mail in Cyprus and UK, Simerini, Fileleftheros and Betchnik Kipra reaching 400,000 readers every week!
Email and SMS Alerts
As soon as your property is listed with BuySell, it will instantly reach tens of thousands of prospective buyers in our database that have inquired about similar properties to yours.
BuySell works with hundreds of reputable international companies including financial services corporations and real estate organizations which introduce thousands of qualified enquiries from potential buyers to BuySell every month.
BuySell operates the most advanced contact centre in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. It is a world class, 50-seat contact centre that uses the latest communication technology to service customers around the globe by telephone, email and live chat.
Specially trained staff will advertise your property around the clock to thousands of prospective buyers every week.
For Sale Signs
The ‘For Sale Sign’ we place on your property provides additional exposure to the neighbourhood and prospects touring the area. Signs often create high quality inquiries because prospects like the area and the house and want to get a closer look inside.
Direct and other means of Marketing
BuySell is present at international property exhibitions and allocates a significant amount of money to advertise in local and international property magazines and newspapers.
Step 4 – Home Staging
Today a home that stands out among similarly priced, competitively financed houses is the home that sells. Why? Because it makes a good first impression that lasts right through to when the agreements are signed.
You may not be able to improve the market value of your house (finish basement, remodel kitchen, etc), but you can improve its marketability. The key is to put yourself in the buyer's shoes.
First impressions are hard to break, and the way your home looks from the street is the first impression a prospective buyer will get. This can make or break the sale. Does it look a little dingy or dull? Give it a face-lift with a good old-fashioned paint job or power wash. Keep the grass mowed and the weeds pulled. Trim trees and bushes. Plant flowers to add a touch of colour. Replace a weather-beaten mailbox, and add visual interest by positioning rocks and potted plants around it!
Once you get the potential buyer out of the car, continue the allure them with a friendly front door. Restore its lustre with a few coats of varnish or spiff it up with a rich, new accent colour. In other words, make your house a showpiece from the curb to the front door. Here are a few pointers:
- Trim your lawn,
- Make sure your shrubs are well-proportioned.
- Remove garden hoses, lawn tools, dog house, and toys from the yard.
- Clear windows that give a glimpse of something nice inside.
- Clean, or even paint the front door.
- Keep walks and steps free of any dry leaves etc
They're ready to open the door. Is your home in order? Start by getting rid of the clutter (don't forget the garage), leaving a blank canvas for buyers to fill in with their own ideas.
Clear out closets and cupboards. Remove knickknacks from tables, countertops and bookshelves. Remove all unnecessary furniture to make your rooms seem more spacious. Brighten rooms with a fresh coat of paint. Choose neutral shades of white, off-white, beige or light pastels that will coordinate with most decors.
Here are some general pointers:
- Give your home an open, airy feel by opening the curtains and pulling up the blinds.
- Turn on as many lights as possible.
- Kitchens should be absolutely spotless. Pack up all excess kitchen appliances.
- Clean the oven inside and out.
- Run a lemon through the garbage disposal for a fresh smell.
- Bathrooms are just as important. Remove stains from bathroom fixtures, repair dripping faucets and polish mirrors.
- Add sanitizers to toilet bowls and keep lids down.
- Potpourris and scented soaps add a nice fragrance to the air.
- And as a final touch, appeal to the home buyer's senses by playing soft background music while people tour your home.
Many buyers judge the house keeping by the oven and stove. Appliances must be spotless and make sure everything works perfectly. Replace or repair anything that sticks, squeaks or drips. The counters and cabinets should be kept open and uncluttered without countertop appliances.
The master bedroom
The second-most appealing room to a buyer is the master bedroom. Furnishings should be uncluttered. Try to define sleeping, dressing and sitting areas with furniture arrangements. Show the true size of closets by removing or packing items that can be stored elsewhere like off-season clothes.
Sinks, toilets, bathtubs, tiles, and even shower curtain must be immaculate (no soap film). Fix leaky faucets. If there are rust stains, it indicates faulty plumbing. Lighting must be soft (no harsh fluorescent).
The recreation room
The recreation room should give the ‘feel’ of an open space that accommodates an assortment of activities. Fireplace or wood stove with fresh logs is an ideal extra for this room.
The perfect garage holds only cars. Make sure that the garage is uncluttered. Sell, giveaway or toss unnecessary articles. Clean oily cement floor. If you do use the garage as storage area, make sure it is orderly and tidy.
Organize the basement by hanging tools on pegboards, and putting things on shelves. Cure any damp smell by placing a bag of limestone in the damp area. Try brightening the basement by painting the walls.
The following conditions may require a work order:
- Broken windows.
- Debris in crawl space.
- Dry rotting or deteriorated wood.
- Earth-wood contact.
- Overgrown shrubbery.
- Electrical not in working condition.
- Gutters and downspouts blocked or missing.
- Inadequate foundation ventilation.
- Inadequate attic ventilation.
- Peeling or missing paint.
- Plumbing not in working condition.
- Single oil or gas space heaters to heat entire house.
- Water damage inside the home.
Step 5 – Showing
BuySell advertising strategy will generate enquiries which will document and forward to you. Potential buyers using our online tools will contact you in order to book an appointment to see your house. Before the appointment take your time to tidy up, make beds, light dark areas, perhaps pop something in the oven, like a spicy cake, pie, bread, or even a pan of cinnamon. Make every effort to accept all appointments -you never know when your buyer will walk through the front door.
If you’re Home
If you're home, greet the prospects at the door and politely!
Buying a home may be the largest single purchase a family will make in a lifetime. It is a serious matter for them; therefore, too many distractions could spoil the sale. Real experts recognize through their experience over the years that a number of pointers make things a little easier between sellers and the buyers.
- Too many people present during inspection may make the potential buyer feel like an intruder, which makes it difficult for the buyers to be at ease.
- It's better that you and the kids busy yourselves in one part of the house or outside, rather than tagging along. Leave the buyers to explore your home at their own ease so that they can better emphasize your home's features.
- Noise is distracting, so don't have the radio or TV going. ‘Quiet’ is the ideal condition in this situation.
- It is better to keep pets out of the house. Buyers may be timid around an unfamiliar animal. If asked a question, respond honestly.
- The lived-in appearance makes it a home. There's no need to apologize for its appearance.
If you’re Not Home
Have the house neat and tidy and readily accessible for your estateagent or sales representative.
- Remember, potential buyers usually feel more comfortable when the owners are not present!
Step 6 – The Closing
Your homework and patience has paid off. The offers are now rolling in. When someone prepares an offer, they may contact you directly or put their offer through BuySellCyprus.com non-human automated computerised system which will be automatically dispatched to you.
Review every offer, comparing the financial qualifications and readiness of each buyer. You may accept an offer as it is, reject it or make changes and present it back to the purchaser to see if they are willing to accept your changes. In turn, the buyer may then accept your changes, reject it or come back with a counter offer. This process continues until a deal between you and the buyer is agreed or negotiations are terminated.
BuySell does not in any way suggest, propose or advises the purchase of all and/or any particular properties or property in question.