Margie Granitz, Realtor® e-PRO
REO Specialist!

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Seller’s Info

Whether you’re planning to sell your home in the next few months or just studying up for that eventuality, there’s no time like now to prepare. If buying a home seems complicated, selling involves even more responsibilities and expenses.

Here are some common steps to selling your home:

1. Prepare Your Home for Sale

Well before you’re ready to plant that “For Sale” sign in your front yard, there is work to be done to prepare your home for sale.

Remember how keen your eye was to every small detail and defect in the houses you saw as a buyer? Now that door to your bedroom that never quite closed properly, or that leaky faucet that you never got around to fixing will be seen by a potential buyer with that same keen eye.

Start making the obvious repairs today – even if you don’t plan to sell until a year from now. These repairs can cost money and take time. Plus fixing it now will allow you to enjoy the results before it’s time to move out.

If you plan on doing some improvements before the sale, the best place to start is where the buyers start: at your curb. Potential buyers base a large part of their decision on a property’s “curb appeal,” so make yours say something positive. That means a tidy front yard and driveway, a house with well-painted trim, and a clear, welcoming entryway.

Inside, the biggest return on your investment continues to be improvements to the kitchen, followed closely by improvements to the master bedroom and bathrooms. If you’re making these improvements shortly before selling the house, consider painting and decorating the rooms in neutral colors, the most appealing choice to the greatest number of potential buyers.

Inside and outside, start reducing the clutter. When it comes time to show your home, less will mean more. Potential buyers don’t want to see how your closets overflow with clothes, how every room feels cramped with furniture, or how the yard is difficult to maneuver with that rusty swing set in the way. So downsize now; it not only will make the preparation for showing your home easier, it also will make packing for your move faster.

2. Find a Real Estate Professional

If you’ve been through the home-buying process, you already know how complicated the real estate business can be. While you can opt to sell your home yourself, it can be time-consuming and often not worth the possible money saved on commissions, especially when the small percent of buyers that look at houses for sale by owners, take into consideration that the owner is not paying a commission and that will usually reflect in any offers that are made, thereby defeating the purpose of not using a realtor.  The paperwork and liability do not warrant the possibility of making a few more dollars when you also have to take into account the money you will have to spend on advertising, obtaining the proper documents, etc.  

When interviewing me or another candidate, ask him or her to prepare a “comparative marketing analysis” for your house. 

If you’ve chosen me or another real estate professional to help sell your home, you’ll have to sign a contract stating that you’ll work solely with me (or them) for a designated number of months. 

So put some thought into the professional you choose and if you decide to choose me, I will help you sell your home to a qualified buyer for the highest market price in the quickest, most convienent time frame with the least amount of drama.

3. Get Your Paperwork Together

After you sign the Listing Agreement you will need a number of documents to prepare your home for sale. Some may be:

• Pay-off Notice: A letter to the lender stating intention to payoff the mortgage.
• Assessments or Easements: If there’s a tax assessment or easement on the property, documents stating such will have to be included in the purchase contract.
• Property Taxes: Proof of property taxes paid.
You’ll want to make it clear now which items in the home you want to take with you – the heirloom chandelier in the dining room, the washer and dryer set you just bought last month – or maybe you want to use these personal items to negotiate with.  I can help show you which items you should put away or replace before your house goes on the market. 

4. Price Your Home

There are a number of factors that will affect the success of your home sale. They include: location of the home, interest rates, economic conditions, condition of the home, marketing the home, terms of the sale and accessibility to the home.

Some of these are not within your or my control – location of the home, interest rates, economic conditions. The other factors are items you should discuss with me to determine what would benefit the sale of this property most. For example, marketing your property in more innovative ways, such as on Internet sites like this one, will broaden the pool of potential buyers. I like to offer a property website which is clearly becoming an important part of any marketing plan. 

The single most important thing is setting the price.  Pricing the home properly can make a huge difference in whether a house is snapped up within the first several weeks of listing or sits on the market for months. 

To price a home properly, you and I will have to study the local market, research comparable properties and consider current market conditions. This is where the “comparative marketing analysis” you requested when interviewing for a listing agent will come in handy as a place to start.

Now check around your neighborhood, your newspaper and the Property Search on my Internet site for:
• Your competition: Are there many properties just like yours for sale in your area right now?
• Listing prices: What are other properties like yours listing for?
• Selling prices: What are other properties like yours selling for?

Based on these findings, I have the experience to help you price your property at the right price for a sale that benefits you.

5. Market Your Home

Products that sell well usually have a good marketing strategy. The same can be said for your home. How aggressive your agent is in marketing WILL make a difference on how long your house is listed. Work with me to decide on the advertising. I will prepare a Preliminary 30 day Marketing Plan and we will discuss all of my ideas and implement them as we see fit.  As a Prudential California Realty client, your home will be exposed to over 1800 agents directly through our "smartmail" system.  Ask me to explain our "Online Seller Advantage" program and you will also benefit from our affiliation. Do you want your house listed for sale not only in newspapers, but also on Internet sites like this one,,,,, Craigslist, Prudential's website, its own property website, a 24 hour call hotline? These are just some of the ways I can market your home.  Is a professional photographer used to take pictures of your home for a property brochure and for the Multiple Listing Service and websites?  I use one.  When can you make your house available for an “open house” showing?  As most homes are sold through the Multiple Listing Service, if I am not your agent, make sure that your realtor has plans for advising other agents of your home's availability, whether that be through flyers or e-mail.  Have you discussed lockboxes?  Signs on the property?   Ask me or anyone you are interviewing for a comprehensive written marketing plan. Anyone can say they are going to do certain things, but is the agent willing to attach the marketing plan and incorprate it into the listing agreement?  I am. 

When a potential buyer arrives for an “open house” or drives by and sees the For Sale sign, you’ll want to make sure your realtor provides a home profile handout that they can take with them. Decide what information should be included in the description of your home that will make it a must-see – and hopefully, a must-buy. Help remind potential buyers of what they saw as they visit home after home.  You and I will what the features and benefits of your property are.

6. Prepare Your Home for Showing (Your Job!)

Now that you've decided with me on the market price and how you want your home marketed, there’s little time left to get your house ready for visitors.

Now is the time to put on the finishing touches, just like that quick housecleaning you do before company comes over for dinner.

Outside: Keep your lawn trimmed, the rose bushes pruned, the weeds tamed. Put away the garden hose and the tools. Make sure the bulbs in your home’s exterior lighting fixtures are all in working order. Be vigilant about removing flyers, handouts and newspapers left on your front doorstep or driveway.

Inside: Brighten the rooms by opening the drapes, turning on the lights, cleaning the windows. Clear the clutter on the kitchen counter, bathroom sink, coffee table and couches. Make all the beds. Clean all your bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Do a quick vacuuming of the entire house, being sure to catch any cobwebs in the corners along the ceiling. Finally, take out the garbage.

If you have pets, find a safe place to keep them during a house showing: in the garage, in the basement or at a friend’s house.

Now leave the work to me. Try to be away from home during a showing, but if you happen to be home when the potential buyers arrive, greet them at the door then politely and excuse yourself. Make yourself scarce or go take a walk. It’s easier for a buyer to picture himself or herself living in the house when you’re not there. This is your home’s time to shine.

7. Respond to an Offer

Depending on market conditions, you may receive one or more offers for your property from interested buyers. Each offer will include the proposed offer price, proposed closing date, proposed move-in date, financing, and contingencies that may include an appraisal or sale of the buyers’ current home. Let me help you sort through the variables to determine whether you should accept, counter-offer or reject the offer.

If there are multiple offers, each offer will be presented to you in the order received. You don’t need to decide anything until after you’ve seen all the offers. If you do accept or counter more than one offer, we are required to establish an order of precedence noting which is the primary offer, followed by the backups in order. 

8. Complete the Settlement

Once you have accepted an offer to buy your house, expect to make your house available to a housing inspector, a termite inspector, an appraiser and other inspectors. After seeing the results of the inspections, the buyer may request additional work be completed before purchase, such as repairing a damaged roof or fixing a leaky faucet. The termite inspection may require you to take care of pests and we should discuss doing the termite work even before an offer.  You should consult with me to so we can determine whether to comply with the buyer’s requests or risk losing the offer.

During this flurry of activity, try to keep your home in show condition. The deal has not closed and still may fall through, which may mean showing your home to more potential buyers.

In the meantime, the buyer (who we will require to provide a pre-approval letter with the offer) is working with a lender to secure the loan for the purchase. When the buyer has written loan approval, a closing date can be set.

There will be a final walk-through before all signatures are collected and the deal considered done. The buyer will go room by room to check that everything is in working condition and, if you had agreed to do so, any additional work requested after inspection is completed.

Now you can prepare for your own move, notify your utility companies of the date to transfer your account to a new address and start packing. Congratulations, you’ve sold your home!


Contact Me with ANY Questions You May Have!



16810 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 216-5061 cell
(818) 501-4800 ofc

CalBRE# 01512929

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