Selling with Kelly Kemp
Until you’ve sold a home and known yourself as a Seller, it's nearly impossible to fully explain just how unique the experience is. Unlike the home purchase process, selling involves a completely different series of timelines and client requirements that, if not prepared, can catch you off guard.
Completely planning for everything that will happen during the sale of your home is, unfortunately, highly unrealistic. However, you can be prepared for several possibilities that have the potential to occur by knowing what to expect. Guided by Kelly, you’ll receive invaluable insight and advice regarding these, in conjunction with her plan to sell your home quickly and for the most money possible, culminating in a selling experience that is easy and full of clarity.
As you peruse these resources, remember that communication is key - both ways. If you have something that really needs to be known, be sure and share it. And, rest assured that - even when it’s not the easiest, Kelly will always do the same.
The Selling Process
- Step 1: What's the plan? -
Before you get started, it’s essential to take the time to really consider what your expectations are in anticipation of the selling process. Kind of a no brainer, right? Well, you’d be shocked at the number of Sellers who aren’t prepared for their sale by neglecting to answer a few basic questions. But you’re not one of those!
Plan your work,
work your plan.
One of the biggest, best pieces of advice we can give you as you prepare to sell your home is to remember the following phrase: plan your work, work your plan. Easy, right?
Well, easier said than done, perhaps. There’s no question that selling your home can quickly become one of the most stressful situations imaginable. However, this is usually only the case when there is no plan to follow, or guidance to consider. So, even though it’s impossible to plan for everything, having a general idea of what should occur and when will greatly impact your overall selling experience.
Taking this into consideration, it’s extremely helpful to have a general idea for what your expectations are regarding the following:
When do you want to be in your next place?
While this might seem like a trick question, it really isn’t. Let’s say you’re thinking of selling your home now, but do not want to leave until something has either occurred, or not.
For example: the Spring selling season might be an ideal time to capitalize on increased market activity, but if it’s really important to you that your kids finish out their school year before moving, this can greatly impact the timeline at which you should go about putting your home on the market.
Does this mean that you need to wait or postpone selling? Not exactly. Every situation is unique and different, and consulting with Kelly is sure to provide tons of clarity regarding your specific needs and wants.
Are you ready for your next purchase?
In the event you’ll be selling so that you can immediately purchase your next home, it’s a great idea to start the process of becoming pre-approved with your preferred lender, and begin both considering and potentially even looking for your new property. It’s almost never too early, but it can almost always be too late.
- Step 2: Time to get ready -
Let's sparkle and shine!
Now that you know the timeline that works best for your unique situation, it’s time to begin preparing your property for the market. This is often considered one of the most stressful parts of selling, but with preparation and guidance from your tried-and-true expert, it doesn’t have to be.
Don't overthink it!
Chances are, as you’re thinking about what needs to happen before putting a ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard, a lot is coming to mind. Of course, this is different for every seller, but more often than not, a long to-do list begins to form, and quickly becomes overwhelming.
To avoid this, consider the idea that you’re probably overthinking what needs to happen. Here’s what we mean:
The main objective in preparing your home for the market is to eliminate any potential questions the Buyer might have regarding the use and function of the property. For example: if a Buyer can visibly notice cracks in something, it implies that structural integrity may be an issue. Or, if chipped or peeling paint is noticeable, it might mean that aspects of home maintenance have been neglected.
Does this mean you need to address every single nook and cranny of your home? Absolutely not. But what it does imply is that anything that could be called out most likely will be, resulting in the overall amount Buyers will be willing to pay for your home.
So, do your best to identify these issues should they exist, and consider the following as you go about remedying them:
Carpet & Paint.
Carpet & Paint.
Carpet & Paint.
Without question, the biggest bang for your buck as you prepare your home for the market is to consider the current state of the carpet and paint in your place. More often than not, redoing both of these components will result in a transformation that is far and above nearly anything else you could do to the house.
Replacing these with neutral colors is always the best choice, and will undoubtedly achieve a better first impression than if you do nothing at all. And, as they always say, first impressions are everything (because they are).
Pack it up.
Even though it should go without saying, here’s a piece of news for all potential Sellers: YOU’RE MOVING. That means, it’s time to pack your home.
The common saying, “Less is more,” is really great to keep in mind during this stage. It’s possible that your actual move date won’t be for quite some time, but it does not matter when it comes to cleaning up and decluttering your place as much as possible.
Where can you store all of the things you pack up? Again, don’t overthink it! Buyers are more than aware that a move is inevitable, and will completely understand if the garage or storage shed contains boxes and other various items.
The key is to remember that making your home as presentable and attractive as possible will undeniably help you receive more proceeds in the long run. In other words, more dollars in your pocket. So pack those boxes!
What should you pack up, exactly?
This is a great question, and the answer will almost always vary from case to case. There might be certain furniture pieces that should go, but there might also be others that could greatly benefit the final staging and appearance of the home overall. But most likely, anything that could be considered as personal or “cluttered” should probably be moved to storage.
Most importantly, relying on Kelly and her team of experts - including staging, decluttering, and organizing professionals, is your best bet to ensure you’re packing up everything that you should, and shouldn’t (don’t make more work for yourself than necessary!).
Staged to perfection, and ready to perform.
A common misconception regarding staging in general is the implication that stand-in furniture, otherwise referred to as “staging,” has to be brought in, which means the need to completely empty your house and pack everything away. This is not always the case! And thank goodness, too - it sounds like a lot of work!
More often than not, staging refers to the process of going from room to room within your home to ensure that each space has a clear identity and attractive aesthetic. It’s possible this could include the need to bring in additional furniture or staging items, but usually only involves the sprucing up and/or rearranging of current, existing pieces.
Clean and ready to go.
The final stage in preparing your home for the market is the process of meticulously cleaning everything in sight as thoroughly as possible. As we’ve mentioned repeatedly, it’s best to not overthink this step, and to simply clean your home as best as you can and normally would.
It is highly encouraged, however, to consider hiring professional cleaners so that nothing is missed and everything is polished and shined as much as it can be. After all, you always want to look your best before having your professional photos taken, right? The same is true for your home, and pictures are coming soon.
Picture perfect, and worth a thousand words.
Now that your home is ready to go, final preparations will be made including an appointment with Kelly’s team of professional photographers and/or videographers to capture your home in all its beauty.
Buyers buy with their eyes, every time, and their potential relationship with your home begins the moment they see its picture (commonly seen first online via a variety of home search platforms such as Zillow or Realtor). Therefore making sure the images of your property are as clean, crisp, and pretty as possible is vital to properly marketing your home to the masses.
- Step 3: Let's go live! -
Now that everything is ready to go, it’s time for the real show to start. This means finalizing the asking price of the home, officially going live on the market, initiating an intense marketing strategy, and booking home tours as well as open houses.
It’s often said that time seems to stop the moment the sign goes in the front yard, and it really tends to be true. Essentially, this period of the home selling experience could easily be called “The Waiting Game,” and is by far the most challenging to navigate in terms of overall emotions, including stress.
Luckily, by working with Kelly and her team, the process is made to be as streamlined and easy-to-understand as it can possibly be by way of consistent communication and relentless representation of your specific needs and wants.
As the show begins, here are a few scenes that will take place.
Official List Price Finalization
During the listing prep process, you will of course receive a general idea of how your local market is performing, and what you can expect to sell your home for when it officially hits the market. However, determining the final list price should not ever be determined until the very last minute prior to going live.
Things can change in an instant.
One of the primary reasons for waiting to determine the final list price has to do with the fact that market conditions as well as changes in data can occur in an instant. From the time you receive your first, Comparative Market Analysis to the point at which you’re ready to officially list, comparable homes used in the pricing analysis can be sold, go pending, be taken off the market, or even come up as brand new listings - all in a single day.
Because of this, holding off until the very last moment is tremendously helpful in assuring your home is priced both competitively and strategically based on the most current market conditions available.
Listing Syndication Verification
As soon as your listing is live, its data will begin syndicating from the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to thousands of websites, including major home-search entities such as Zillow and Realtor.com.
Typically, this sync occurs quickly, and your home is publicly visible within only a few hours. However, there are times at which the process can take up to 24 hours based on new listing traffic and other, uncontrollable circumstances.
Regardless, the moment your listing is officially syndicated, Kelly and her team will always send you links to all of the major sites so that you can direct your friends and family there as well.
In the meantime, your home will be immediately visible to Agents within the MLS, and because this information is constantly viewed and instantaneous in nature, you can expect showing requests to begin soon after officially going live.
Can we see??
Depending on the unique nature of your home, including its price point and location, booking requests are likely to begin pouring in. As soon as they do, Kelly and her team will work diligently to schedule them as conveniently around your agenda as they can. Throughout this time, there are several considerations to keep in mind:
As much as is possible, it’s important to maintain the appearance, cleanliness, and overall approachability of your home for every showing appointment. Again, Buyer’s buy with their eyes, so having it picked up, tidy, and ready to go is key to making a great first impression.
- Step 4: It’s offer time! -
Based on a variety of factors, it’s possible your home will receive an offer in no time at all. In other cases, it’s typical for a few weeks to pass by before one is submitted. Either way, it’s now time to negotiate the contract in a way that best suits your needs and wants, and working with Kelly will ensure that you are represented throughout the process in every way.
What matters most to you is ALWAYS paramount!
Contrary to popular belief, there are many attributes which make up an attractive offer besides the purchase price. By taking your entire selling situation into consideration, including your needs, wants, and overall goals, Kelly will always strive to work with the Buyer’s Agent to create a mutually accepted agreement that represents your best interest.
Going back and forth…
It’s likely that the offer acceptance process will include several rounds of revisions. Don’t worry, this is very common, and does not usually indicate anything negative about the Buyer’s ability and/or willingness to purchase.
Signed, sealed, delivered!
Finally, after a mutually accepted agreement has been achieved, commensurate timelines will ensue, providing you with actual dates which will determine the remainder of your Selling process.
- Step 5: Escrow, and beyond! -
Now it’s time to officially pack up the rest of your home, and begin planning for your moving process. Throughout the escrow period, any outstanding contingencies related to the contract will be fulfilled, and your final settlement and commensurate net proceeds will start being both drafted and processed.
What is escrow?
Put simply, escrow means to hold money. That’s it. A little deeper explanation reveals that not only does the escrow process in real estate refer to the activity of holding money, it also encompasses the act of receiving that money in the first place, and disbursing it to the correct parties at the end of the transaction, and in the correct amounts.
For example: the escrow officer (commonly referred to as the Closer or LPO [Licensed Practical Officer]) will review the contract, order payoffs for the home, and begin following the procedures necessary to close the transaction. This includes receiving the downpayment from the Buyer as well as their purchase funds from their lender or financial institution, prorating all necessary taxes and utilities, and cutting checks in the accurate, final amounts for all parties involved - Buyer, Seller, Title company, Real Estate Firms, and any other associated entities.
Because of the scope of responsibility this process demands, a neutral, third party is almost always the entity that oversees Escrow. Sometimes escrow companies are standalone entities, but more often than not, they are part of and/or associated with a Title company.
How long does escrow take?
The escrow timeline is always determined by the dates agreed upon in the contract by Buyer and Seller.
When does the transfer of ownership take place?
On the official day of closing, three distinct things will occur:
1. All documents associated with the transaction will be
(or have been) signed in their entirety by all parties.
2. All funds required for the purchase will
have been received as well as disbursed.
3. The new deed to the property will be recorded
at the County courthouse in conjunction with the
location of the property.
After these three activities have occurred, you are officially no longer the owner of the property.
When do we receive our net proceeds?
Proceeds from your sale will be delivered to you in the form you determine (either paper check or via bank wire), and are disbursed on the day of closing. If you opt for a check, it will be ready same-day. If you prefer a wire, the funds are sent same-day, but usually not received until the following business day.
- Step 6: and... CLOSED! -
Way to go!
Just because your home selling process is officially over, your relationship with Kelly is not and will continue to last for years to come! After you’ve closed, Kelly will make sure your transition from the house is as seamless as can be.
Need to buy? Kelly can help!
Not only is Kelly an amazing listing agent, she’s also a fantastic guide throughout the buying process as well! If selling your home will involve the purchase of another house, Kelly will coordinate the multi-transaction process with clarity and ease.
In conclusion, the Home Selling Process is different for everyone, and the outline listed here is by no means a static method for every transaction. However, each of these points hopefully serves as useful information that will assist you in your next sale.
- Typical Home Sale Timeline -
How long does it take?
While very transaction is different, as well as the overall Selling Process, there are a few timelines that are more or less fairly accurate in defining the anticipated length of each step throughout the experience. (Event —> Typical Timeframe). For example:
Preparing the home for the market
2 to 3 weeks
Again, every transaction is different, and throughout your buying process, Kelly will ensure each timeline is clearly presented and explained as soon as they’ve been identified and defined.
- Case Studies & Typical Home Buying Scenarios -
Not just reviews.
Instead of only providing client testimonials for review, Kelly believes in offering a variety of “what if” scenarios to help her Sellers better understand the Home Selling Process overall, compiled both from past experiences (case studies) and culminated expertise.
Following are a series of case studies to help gain deeper understanding of selling your next home.
Case Study #1
Recently, past clients of Kelly’s received news that they would be required to unexpectedly relocate to the East Coast for work, and would therefore need to sell their home as quickly as possible. With the assistance of her team, Kelly had the home decluttered, staged, cleaned, and photographed within 3 days. It then took 1 day to bring the home on the market, and because it was strategically priced - both in conjunction with relevant data as well as her Seller’s need to sell quickly, received several offers within 3 days. The most attractive offer was selected, and the home closed only 3 weeks later. In all, from the day Kelly received the call to come list their home to the time the Sellers had received their proceeds, the process took less than 28 days total. A true example of just how quickly a home can sell when the need arises.
Case Study #2
Conversely, there are occasions when speed is the opposite of desired. In this case, an elderly Seller knew that the time had come to downsize to something more manageable, but because they had lived in their home for more than 40 years, they did not have even the slightest clue how to begin the process. Relying on Kelly’s expertise and well-connected network of service professionals, a plan was formed that met the needs, wants, and overall goals of the Seller. After several rounds of sorting, organizing, and repurposing items of all shapes and sizes, the home was finally ready for new carpet and paint and commensurate new-listing marketing. Overall, the process took nearly 9 months with dozens of check-ins and appointments throughout. In the end, the Seller was beyond relieved that they had been provided the opportunity to deal with their life transition in a peaceful, productive manner - an experience that is, unfortunately, not the norm when working with other agents.
Case Study #3
It is commonplace to believe that the strongest attribute of any transaction is the purchase price that has been achieved for the sale. This, however, is simply not the case. Because there are endless modifications that can be made to transactions of every type, there is no sure way to define or determine what makes up a ‘strong offer.’ Similarly, you never know what will matter most to the Clients involved in the sale. For example: Kelly once represented a Seller who - due to a highly unique situation - could not vacate their home until 6 months after the sale closed. When offers began flooding in due to the high desirability of the property, the offer price started climbing significantly. Even so, Kelly knew that her client - while intrigued by such attractive prices, needed time in the home (commonly known as a rent back) more than anything. As such, she fiercely negotiated with multiple Buyer’s Agents, making clear that if the needs and wants of her Seller could not be met, their offer would likely not be considered as highly. In the end, even though the highest-priced offer was not chosen, Kelly managed to negotiate both the best price possible as well as the accommodation for her Seller. Negotiation can be tough, but with patience and persistence, desired results can almost always be achieved.
Case Study #4
Sellers frequently wonder how they will be able to buy their next home if they are relying on proceeds from the sale of the home they currently own and are going to sell. Kelly has assisted many clients in this exact situation, and specializes in making the process of dual-transactions both seamless and easy. In one recent scenario, Kelly’s Sellers needed to close on their current home before they’d be able to purchase their next. Utilizing the strategy of negotiating a rent-back from the incoming buyers for their existing place, her Sellers were able to close on their property and use the funds to immediately purchase/close on their new home the very next day. Because of the delayed possession, her clients then had ten days to move, alleviating the hurriedness and stress that often accompanies moves that must occur quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will Kelly provide a discounted commission to sell our home?
In the world of real estate, it has become commonplace to hear of discounted commissions. While they may serve their purpose in specific cases, asking for a discount requires answering the following question: what are you willing to risk by taking a discount?
Contrary to popular belief, the listing agent of nearly every home fronts large amounts of cash in order to properly prepare, market, and advertise the home. Without the ability to be compensated by receiving a full commission, Agents are unable to provide the necessary services to ensure maximum results typically experienced.
Because of this - knowing that she will not be able to achieve the very best for her Sellers, Kelly does not provide commission discounts, except in very specific scenarios which she is happy to discuss on an as needed basis.
How much do we have to do to our home in order to
get it ready to list?
A great analogy to use to illustrate the most appropriate answer for this question is that of trading in your car or preparing it to sell. If you don’t make any effort to spruce it up, clean it out, and polish it as brightly as it can shine, it’s likely you won’t receive as much as if you did. This is completely true of your home, and in the same way that you most likely would not replace certain components in your car, it is not always necessary to redo specific parts of your home, either (except for carpet and paint - don’t forget their power!).
It is, however - in almost every case, assumed by potential buyers (of both the car as well as any home) that all the systems which contribute towards its successful use and function be in decent, acceptable operating order upon the transfer of ownership.
Therefore, should any of the systems in your home be in need of maintenance and/or repair, it is strongly encouraged that they receive the necessary attention required to convey ease and peace of mind to potential Buyers.
How do we buy our next home if we need the proceeds from our current home in order to purchase?
Believe it or not, this is a very common occurrence, and is easily achieved in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most common method is to utilize the ability to negotiate a rent back from the new owners (Buyers), and facilitate a closing date commensurate with receiving net proceeds on the new home being purchased.
If this does not sound like a scenario that would work for your situation, do not worry! As mentioned, there are a variety of methods that can be used to achieve the successful close of multiple transactions, and Kelly is more than happy to guide you in whichever works best for your situation.
Is there a way to guarantee receiving multiple offers, resulting in an escalated purchase price?
While this is almost always the goal when listing any home, the direct answer is, no - there is no official way to guarantee receiving multiple offers for your property once it’s live on the market. However, with strategic pricing and intentional marketing & advertising, the chances of achieving this objective increase exponentially. For more information and further details, be sure to ask Kelly what her specific take is on your property and its unique selling position.
What if we don’t receive an offer within the
first week of being on the market?
Even though receiving multiple offers in record time has become very common in our area, Sellers should not be concerned in the event they do not receive an offer within the first week or so of being on the market. Ensuring that your overall goals and objectives as a Seller are met as fully as possible is much more important than receiving an offer (or many) quickly.
In the event an offer is not received within the first few weeks, it simply means that a price adjustment or home condition correction needs to be addressed, and not necessarily that something is “wrong.”