Selling your home? Know the ins and outs of the property selling in the State of Washington with this handy guide.
- Partner with a reliable real estate agent Washington homeowners can opt to “sell by owner” – that is, without representation by a real estate professional. However, sellers gain distinct advantages by seeking assistance from seasoned and knowledgeable agents. These include:
- Experience and expertise in handling real estate negotiations and transactions
- Reliable knowledge of local area highlights, quirks, and up-to-date market trends
- Creative and innovative marketing strategies
- A good reputation and strong connections within the community
- Versatility and flexibility to attend to your inquiries and concerns at the soonest possible time
Agents represent sellers throughout the lengthy and tiresome process. Make sure to set clear goals and maintain consistent communication with yours to maximize the returns for your home.
- Learn the process With an endeavor that can be as painstaking and drawn out as selling a home, it pays to know what steps to expect and how to deal with each stage.
- Staging the home for marketing and showings. Before putting your property on the market, make your home presentable for marketing activities, which may include property photography and personal visits. Make sure to get your cleaning, repairs, and staging done early.
- Pricing the home. Consult a professional appraiser or your real estate agent about the proper price for your home given current market conditions. Getting input from a third party ensures that you avoid overpricing the property based on sentimental biases.
- Signing a listing agreement. A listing agreement authorizes an agent to market your property and manage its sale. The document includes details such as commission terms, list price, the type and duration of the listing, and items included or excluded in the sale.
- Listing the property on the market. Working closely with your agent, create a smart marketing plan that makes your home attractive to buyers in your area. Use a multi-platform strategy – including traditional, digital, and social media – to maximize the exposure of your listing.
- Entertaining and negotiating offers. It’s easy to get excited about early bids, or get antsy if offers come few and far between. Having guidance from a seasoned agent will help you stay calm throughout this tedious stage.
- Going into escrow. During this period, a neutral third party will hold on to the buyer’s earnest money while the seller provides access to the property for final inspections – and resolving any issues that may be found.
- Closing the deal. This is the final step in the transaction, during which the money held in trust during escrow is released to the seller.
- Know your legal obligations When selling in Washington, property owners should take note of the following legal guidelines:
- Real estate disclosures. Section 64.06.020 of the Revised Code of Washington requires sellers to formally disclose property details, such as the presence of any wood-burning appliances, plumbing and other defects, titling (e.g. boundary) disputes, deed restrictions, and homeowners’ association fees.
- The Washington Real Estate Excise Tax. This tax is applied to every real estate property sale in the state. It is generally imposed on the seller, although this can be negotiated between the transacting parties. In Washington, tax rates range from 1.28% to 1.78%, depending on local government jurisdiction.
- Fair Housing Act. Applicable across the United States, this federal law prohibits discrimination of buyers based on race, nationality, sex, religion, familial status, or handicap.
Sell fast and sell high with expert assistance from James Bergstrom. Contact him today at 360-566-2195 or email him at Homes@JBRealtorTeam.com.