Selling is relatively straightforward. Here are the 12 basic steps.
1. We will go over the details of selling a vacation home with you in detail.
This includes providing you with a CMA (comparative market analysis) to give you an idea of what similar properties have been selling for and how much we can expect to realize from a sale. We also provide a “Sellers net sheet” which breaks down the cost of selling.
2. If you are comfortable with what the net proceeds are likely to be then we will visit the property and give you additional feedback on any items we feel will help the sale or will need addressed prior to sale. Many of the properties we work with might not had their owner visit in sometime and the owner may not know of any issues with the property so it is important we address any issues that may have come prior to listing. Generally, items that come up during the sale may cost you money so it’s much better to be proactive with any issues.
Some items may not surface until the property is inspected by the buyer but every precaution should be taken to ensure your investment shows it’s best.
3. If all is satisfactory we will write up a “listing agreement” which outlines the parameters of the sale and allows me to list your property on the MLS (Multiple listing service) where all buyers and listing agents can find your property for sale. We also post it on my website in the appropriate resort page. If the community allows we will put signage outside your property to attract visiting buyers. There may also be several other means that we use to help sell your property including my network of agents and affiliates, magazine and internet advertising and open house days.
4. You will have to fill out a “Sellers disclosure“, it’s Florida law that the owner must disclose any items which he knows about that may materially effect the value of the property.
This basic fact sheet gives you the opportunity to note any items you are aware of.
5. We will visit the property and take professional quality pictures and a walk through video tour. We’ll also take notes of items which distinguish your property from the competition so we can highlight the reasons a buyer should chose our home.
6. We then list the property on the MLS for sale, we add it as one of my featured properties on the resort page of my website, load the video on youtube.com and send it out to my network of clients, agents and publications worldwide including popular real estate websites like trulia.com.
7. If we have planned the sale well we should receive offers and we can discuss each offer on it’s merits. Hopefully we can come to an agreement with an offer and we can enter the “under contract stage”. If we don’t receive offers then you may have to consider dropping the price to attract offers. We like to discuss this prior to listing so we have a plan in place to sell your property. Each situation is different and in many cases we can adapt to market conditions as they occur.
8. Once under contract we hand the file over to the title company who acts as the intermediary between the buyer and seller. The title company we prefer to use is also our real estate attorney and his legal services are provided as an important complimentary benefit if we use his title company to handle the sale.
You can chose any title company of your liking if there is one you have used before that you prefer. We highly recommend we use a title company that is familiar with FIRPTA compliance.
If you do not specify a title company we will send the documents directly to a preferred title company.
9. The buyer has to perform usually by immediately making a deposit to our title company to the amount agreed in the contract and then ordering a home inspection.
During this phase the buyer has the right to do a full inspection and come back to us with the findings. If there are issues we may need to negotiate but unless there is a major item these small items generally do not surpass 1% of the sales price and in many cases the buyer is willing to meet those costs half way.
10. If all works out well then we proceed to the closing phase where you will be asked to sign closing documents which include a final settlement statement. You do not have to be in Florida to do this. You will be sent the documents by email
You will most likely require the services of a notary on several of the documents so please make arrangements prior to receiving the final documents to meet with one in advance. A lawyer or attorney will not suffice unless they are also a notary. You then send a scanned copy of the closing documents to the title company and mail the originals. The title company will require the originals to fund but may close on scanned copies.
12. Proceeds from the sale are sent to the monetary location of your choice usually within 24 hours following delivery of the original documents to title. It will be your responsibility to ensure expedient delivery of the originals to the title company so having that set up in advance may expedite your funds.
15% of the proceeds will be withheld until cleared by FIRPTA so take that into account – especially if you have a mortgage. You may have to bring cash to close if the proceeds are less than the payoff plus the 15% withholding.
The offer cycle is dependent of the market and the price, my marketing is as aggressive as any in the Orlando vacation home market so the only thing that may stop your property from selling quickly is the asking price.
The general sales cycle from offer to close is about 5 weeks, maybe a little more if the sale is financed, less if cash.