Seller 101

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You have questions, and we have answers. Learn the basics here so you can prep for your sale and land the best price possible. Let’s get started!

Seller’s Roadmap

The selling process isn’t overwhelming if you know what’s coming and when. Let’s take this step by step…

Roadmap

Planning and prep

  • 1) Interview real estate agents. Bring on the questions! We welcome them! Selling your family home can be a deeply personal and emotional process, so you want the right agent guiding you. When interviewing agents, ask how well they know East Bay property values and trends, how they plan to market your home, whether they use web, mobile and other high-tech marketing tools, and ask about their track record.
  • 2) Set the price. This important decision will determine whether your property attracts multiple offers and achieves the highest return.
  • 3) Prepare the property. First impressions can make or break your sale. Declutter and clean. And we mean deep clean. Some potential buyers look everywhere! (Get our cleaning tips here.) Consider repairs, upgrades and other renovations. Will a kitchen face-lift boost your profit? What about fixing that leaky roof and those scratched wood floors? Ask your agent to help with a cost-benefit analysis.
  • 4) Consider staging. A staged home makes it easy for even the most unimaginative buyer to picture themselves living there. Staging also helps buyers look past defects. In the Bay Area market, a staged home can sell faster and for a higher price. Check with Abio for staging tips and our list of stylish and vetted stagers!
  • 5) Assemble a list of upgrades and legally-required disclosures. We’ll hold your hand through this important part of the process.

Listing and marketing

  • 6) Write a seller’s letter describing why you loved the house and neighborhood. This is optional, but a nice touch—and sometimes the little touches really count!
  • 7) Advertise your home. Now your agent’s expertise kicks into high gear, using his or her communication and creative skills, contacts and relationships. The marketing process includes advertising your property on MLS (multiple listing service) and using photographs, slideshows, videos, web pages, flyers, mailers and more.
  • 8) Show your home. An open house is a staple selling tool, and you should skedaddle while it is happening. We know, it feels weird to no longer have your home as you knew it…and feel like you are living in a hotel!

Negotiating and choosing your buyer

  • 9) You have bids! Review the offers and counter as appropriate. Factors to consider include: the bid price, how the buyer plans to finance the purchase, a request for an inspection (paid for by the potential buyer), and a deadline for accepting the offer. We’re here to advise you.
  • 10) Negotiate. If you don’t ask, you won’t get it—so go for it! Your realtor will take the lead on negotiating on your behalf, so discuss customary costs and terms with them and go from there. This is the time to make a counteroffer to ensure that you are getting the best terms and price possible, including escrow details, cost allocations, deadlines, closing date, seller rent-back
    agreement, etc.

Escrow and closing

  • 11) Enter a contract with your best bidder. You now are legally bound to deal with this buyer, although you still can accept backup offers in case your buyer backs out. You’re in escrow! An average escrow lasts 21-30 days.
  • 12) Inspections. Depending on your market, either the buyer or seller hires inspectors to evaluate the roof, basement, heating and cooling systems, water heater, structure, plumbing and electrical. In the fast-moving Bay Area market, many sellers provide inspections up-front as disclosures and reports. In our competitive multi-offer situations, buyers who want an edge will have inspections done in advance and then agree to take the home “as-is.”
  • 13) Negotiate. Again. You may find yourself discussing a variety of novel issues that have arisen during buyer inspections. The buyer might ask you to make repairs or financial concessions. Be prepared for this eventuality.
  • 14) Close! In the Bay Area, the buyers will sign their loan documents, and the lender will fund them. Then the escrow company will close escrow and officially record the sale. And we get to hand the lucky buyers keys to their happy new home.

Home Selling Tips

What our sellers are saying

Larry & Kress are honest, reasonable, and supportive. Having an agent with their calm and thoughtful personalities, along with their expertise, helped make the process of selling my condo a breeze. From the beautiful brochures to the daily updates, Larry and Kress went above and beyond my expectations.

Leslie

Our mortgage company works with hundreds of real estate agents, and everyone at Abio stands out. They are all tech-savvy, professional, charming and responsive, and they know their stuff. The founders, Cameron and Linnette, often mention how they go out of their way to make sure everyone on the Abio team is both friendly and a great personality fit, and it shows.

Jay V. — Walnut Creek, CA

I’ve worked with Abio twice in the past 2 years. Both experiences went very smoothly and resulted in great outcomes.  They provide sound advice and strategy on how to maximize the value of your property. I will definitely use Abio again when the time comes.

Jim W. — San Francisco, CA

Julianna Haase is not your average realtor. What sets her apart is she connects and builds long-term business and personal relationships with her clients. She sincerely listens to her clients’ concerns with a warm heart and provides professional answers. She is actively involved in her community and leads by example with the support and pride of her family. We look forward to a lifetime relationship with her.

Gloria H.

Mary Anne was so dynamic she took care of every detail – we did not have to worry about anything. Mary Anne has been the best agent I have ever used in any of the 5 moves I have made.

Cleo & Ann

With Brian overseas I was overwhelmed with getting the house ready and you stepped up and handled so much for us. From start to finish you took such great care of the transaction and us. Thank you!

Brian & Alicia

Felicia is awesome. She’s friendly, reliable, dedicated and has amazing work ethic. She’s one of a kind, and a huge breath of fresh air in this real estate market full of sharks. I can’t recommend her enough.

MaryKate R. — El Cerrito, CA

When Mary Anne talks, people listen! Her knowledge and experience are respected by both her clients and the local real estate community. When faced with a problem, I am always amazed at Mary Anne’s ability to look at all sides on an issue to find the best outcome for her clients. If I wanted to build the ideal real estate professional I would just copy Mary Anne!

Bob O’Grady

I worked with Shannon on a transaction recently and she was fantastic. Smart, honest, hard working and clear. I would not hesitate to work with her again.

Seth F. — Berkeley, CA

Marco’s warmth, professionalism, great sense of humor, and attention to details and always going the extra mile for his clients are what really blew me away.  He is wise beyond his years!  If you are in need of an energetic, savvy & hardworking realtor MARCO is your man!

Michele D. — Orinda, CA

What we like best about Abio is their knowledge of the industry and ability to communicate that so you know exactly what is going on and what will occur. We also like the “non-pressure” style, whether purchasing or selling. They truly want you to be happy and not just “close the deal.”

Lloyd

Abio had our best interests at heart and made sure we’d get the best deal we could. In the end we were able to sell the house for far more than we thought we would. We highly recommend Abio. Their level of service is excellent.

Jeff

Vikki is an outstanding agent. She gave me all the information I needed to properly clean up my house, stage my house and then put it on the market. She even recommended getting a home inspection months before it went on the market to fix many of those little things that potential buyers always try to negotiate down on the price.

S.C. — Walnut Creek, CA

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