What Lorene Warren Can Do for You
Selling your house in any one of the wonderful neighborhoods in and surrounding Sacramento is a complex and demanding process. It helps to know you can have the knowledge and expertise of Lorene Warren when you decide to move. You can count on Lorene’s know-how to:
- Educate and guide you through the process
- Listen attentively to your needs, goals and objectives
- Guide you through all of the paperwork
- Resolve any problems that might arise
- Prepare the often complex and confusing forms, contracts and disclosures required by law, and assure that they are legally correct
- Provide sales data comparisons to assure that the optimum price is set for your home
- Guide you regarding any and all repairs that should be made
- Show you new homes effectively and professionally
- Guide you in the selection of competent escrow/closing and title professionals
- Oversee the closing process
- Help you in spotting potential buyers and agents who might be attempting to take advantage of you
- Help you understand the use and limitations of good faith deposits
- Assure the important appraisal process is handled properly and accurately
- Help you understand the escrow/closing and title processes
- Advise you regarding inspections that might be applicable to your property
- Guide you regarding how the escrow/closing instructions should be prepared
- Supervise the walk-through process with you prior to the closing
- Make sure that any repairs or requirements are met in advance of closing
- Advise you regarding courses of action if the buyer refuses to finalize closing
- Negotiate professionally and effectively on your behalf with the buyers, buyer’s
Benefits of Using a Real Estate Agent
The sellers’ real estate agent assumes many difficult tasks and responsibilities that require expertise most sellers don’t have. The owner who tries to assume those responsibilities could very easily find himself or herself wasting time at the very least, and quite possibly in legal jeopardy. Here are a few points to ponder regarding the benefits of using a real estate agent for the sale of your home:
This is perhaps the most difficult facet of the sales transaction. Lorene Warren is known for her negotiation skills and ability to affect win-win transactions. Her expertise will assure optimum return on your investment.
Lorene Warren is connected with the most reputable and competitive lenders and lending institutions in the entire Sacramento region. She can save you time, and possibly money, by sharing her contacts with you.
Preparing Your Home For Sale
One of the great challenges of adult life can be preparing your home for sale. Understandable considering that one of the most important tasks is de-cluttering and clearing space. Keep in mind, however, that the task is very important since space, light and the use of it can make or break a sale. Fortunately, although every home has crowded closets and hidden space, those areas are among the easiest to clean and straighten.
Start with an evaluation of your closets and storage spaces. Go through each one and separate its contents into 3 piles: keep, throw away and donate. Shelves are another place you need to consider, clean, consolidate and otherwise organize. Also, donate or discard old and damaged furniture. You might even want to consider having a yard sale.
Let there be light! Wherever possible, brighten the space and make it “homey.” An alcove might be perfect for a small bookcase and a reading chair. Dark curtains should be replaced with light ones. A window overlooking the backyard will benefit from more color and a view; providing the illusion of greater space. Remember that prospective buyers are usually drawn to homes with a few features their current home is lacking. That might include clutter-free closets, sunny rooms and cozy alcoves.
The final step to preparing your home for sale should be inviting a friend or trained professional such as Lorene Warren and observing their reaction. An honest and observant friend, or a knowledgeable professional will notice any improvements and offer constructive comments. Your reward might just be a successful sale.
Preparing Your Home for Showing
Properly preparing your home for showing might mean the difference between a sale and simply a walk-through. Many potential buyer objections – whether they are conscious or seemingly unimportant – can be eliminated before they occur with just a few repairs and improvements. Following are a few suggestions Lorene Warren has compiled over her many years as a successful Sacramento area Realtor.
__ Gardens and lawn — trim shrubbery and replace dead plants.
__ Patios and decks – sweep, wash down, and make sure outdoor furniture is clean.
__ Front door – The welcome point! Clean or paint it.
__ Front yard, driveway and entryway – The first impression!.
__ Address numbers, mailbox and exterior lighting – should all be in good repair.
__ Fresh paint — as needed.
__ Chimney – inspected for cracks and other damage.
__ Drainpipes and fencing – secure; painted if needed.
__ Windows and screens – clean, secure, painted if necessary.
__ Dispose of clutter; clean, straighten and repair shelves.
__ Wash the floor and remove unnecessary clutter. Remove vehicles.
__ Paint as needed in neutral tones to brighten your interiors.
__ Professionally clean draperies and carpets.
__ Replace burned out light bulbs.
__ Clean fireplaces and remove smoke stains from wall and mantle.
__ De-clutter, clean and polish sinks, appliances and counter tops.
__ Wax the floor.
__ Thoroughly clean oven, range and other appliances.
__ Clean tile and grout; replace if necessary.
__ Clean and polish mirrors, glass, chrome and porcelain surfaces.
__ Replace the shower curtain if necessary.
__ No faucet drips or leaks!
__ Clean tile, grout and caulking; replace if necessary.
__ Doors and drawers should function properly and easily.
__ De-clutter; clean and straighten shelves and racks.
__ Shoes and clothes should be neatly arranged.
__ Take a slow, observant walk-about around your home’s exterior. Notice and remove any debris in the yard and gardens. Remove spider webs from bricks and corners of trim. Do a final check of windows, screens and roof.
__ Walk-about in your interior as well, checking for doors that squeak and handles that work efficiently, spider webs in the high corners, paint chips on doors, window frames and other woodwork.
Challenges of Pricing Your Home
The challenges of pricing your home are something an experienced Realtor such as Lorene Warren is ready to take on. Challenges? There are reasons why some homes languish on the market while others sell quickly. Blaming a finicky or bad market is a common excuse, although a knowledgeable real estate professional knows that often a slow sale can be attributed to the condition of the property or its listing price.
An overpriced home is an albatross. Buyers will stay away in droves. On the other hand, a competitive price in line with the prices of similar homes nearby, combined with a home that shows better than its competition, will have a much better chance of being sold quickly – often over the asking price.
Lorene Warren uses a technique called comparative market analysis (CMA). She will study and evaluate your home’s assets (its “selling points”) such as any unique architectural style or details; accoutrements such as lighting, hardware, flooring, kitchen design and appliances; and amenities such as a swimming pool, fireplace, oversized rooms and views. Then she will begin comparing your home with similar properties that have sold in your neighborhood or area within the last six months or so. The goal is establishing a realistic price that will assure a quick sale while rewarding you with top dollar.
Keep in mind, however, that the amount of time you have to sell your home can affect the price recommendation. For example, if you are facing time constraints because of job re-location, family emergency or other variable, pricing for top-dollar may be imprudent. The following steps will allow you and Lorene to establish the best price for you home.
Concentrate on home sales within the last 45 days rather than 6 months. Using the extended time period could compromise the estimate of your home’s worth due to economy and market factors, for example.
Review the selling prices of homes in your area whose sales have just closed or are closing soon. Lorene usually has access to that information via the Multiple Listing Service.
When possible, use 10 comparisons of home sales within a one-mile radius of your home.
Convey honestly and accurately your home’s strengths and weaknesses. That will help Lorene with an accurate assessment and evaluation, and to market your home in an optimum manner. It’s best to think of your home as if you are the buyer. Listing your home at the correct, fair price will provide you the best chance of selling it quickly and at the best price possible.
Evaluating an Offer
Evaluating an offer requires informed decisions and consideration of details. Utilizing her many years of experience in your market, Lorene Warren will help you assess the offer’s quality, negotiate the best terms of the contract and, overall, ensure a smooth and expeditious transaction. Following are just a few of the ways Lorene will assist you through the process:
- Be with you when the offer is presented
- Request and receive information about the buyer. (Background, qualifications, etc.)
- Make sure the buyer is informed and knowledgeable regarding financing
- Review the contract thoroughly and go through it with you to make sure that you understand all the details.
- Guide you through every key stage of the process, including contingencies, inspections, disclosures, escrow, buyer financing, and any unusual terms and costs
- Negotiate the price and contract terms that are most advantageous to you
- Provide you with any pertinent recent market activity
- Inform you of any local, state and federal requirements that would affect the sale your property. These are requirements such as a Transfer Disclosure Statement, Smoke Detectors Compliance, Environmental Hazards Disclosure; and Federal requirements such as The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) and Lead Paint Hazard Reduction Act..
- Lorene will always present to you all pertinent facts at her disposal and provide her educated opinion. The final decision to accept an offer, or to reject or counter it is yours.
- Lorene will advise you to talk to a tax accountant if you have tax-related questions.
Managing the Details of a Home Sale
Once Lorene Warren has successfully negotiated a contract you are satisfied with, and you have agreed on a sales price, managing the details of a home sale is the next phase. Following is a list of details Lorene will be managing throughout the process.
- Communication with the title company in order to assess the need for any additional information, and to keep on top of any problems that might arise.
- Ensure that you and the buyer receive copies of all documents pertaining to the transaction. The buyer will be required to acknowledge in writing that he/she has received his/her copies.
- Make sure that the buyer meets and removes every contingency within the time limit stipulated, or gets an extension, if necessary, signed by both parties
- Keep you informed of the buyer’s loan application process and the progress of your home’s appraisal
- Coordinate the appraiser’s entry to the property, be on-hand to answer any questions about your home or neighborhood, and provide the most recent comparable sales in the area
- Make sure the buyer’s deposit increases in a timely manner
- Coordinate inspections, be present at as many as possible, and keep you informed of all findings
- Negotiate for you if any problems arise related to the inspections
- Cooperate with the buyer and his or her representatives in order to ensure the timely completion of any corrective work stipulated in the contract
- Ensure that all documents are ordered and drawn, including your loan pay-off and insurance for the buyer.
- Have your closing papers drawn a full week before Close of Escrow (COE), if possible, so that if problems arise they can be resolved within the agreed upon time-frame
- Personally deliver your escrow check if you choose, and coordinate move-in dates if desired
Home Seller Disclosures 101
The following home seller disclosures are items that you must provide to the buyer of your home. Lorene Warren is extremely knowledgeable about these items and will go over them with you.
Seller Property Disclosure
Transfer Disclosure Statement
Earthquake Disclosure and Receipts for Booklets
If your home was built prior to 1978, you have the following obligations:
- Provide buyers with the HUD pamphlet: “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home”
- The buyers must be given a 10-day opportunity to test for lead
According to California law, you are required to provide, via a “Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement” or NHD, any evidence of:
- A flood hazard zone, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
- An area of potential flooding subsequent to a dam failure (also known as an inundation area)
- A very high fire hazard zone
- A wildland fire area, also known as a “state fire responsibility area”
- An earthquake fault zone
- A seismic hazard zone
Government booklets, handouts, and safety guides can be found at:
Home Energy Rating Guide
California Homeowner´s Guide to Earthquake Safety
Department of Health Services Residential Environmental Hazards
Lead in Your Home
Department of Health Services Mold FAQ
If you are selling a home in a newer area (especially, but not necessarily exclusively), your home may be within one of the Mello-Roos tax districts, and you are required to provide to the buyer a “Notice of Special Tax.”
A “Mello-Roos Community Facilities District” is formed by a local government, district, or agency in order to finance public services and facilities. These can include police and fire departments, ambulance and paramedic services, parks, schools, libraries, museums and cultural facilities.
There are additional items you buyer will need to be informed about if your home is a condominium, townhouse or other planned development. Your homeowner’s association, common areas such as recreational areas, clubhouses and so on are a few examples of these things.
In most cases, the buyer will be required pay monthly dues or fees known as“regular assessments” to cover a portion of the cost to maintain common areas, as well as less frequent special assessments to replace a roof or repair the plumbing, as determined by the homeowner’s association (HOA.)
The development also might have regulations regarding things such as architectural requirements, limitations on pets, and age of residents. All of these assessments, restrictions and so on must be formally disclosed to the buyer during escrow. The following documents, if they exist and are available, should be provided to the buyer:
- Declaration of Restrictions: Commonly known as “CC&Rs”, or Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions
- Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Association Bylaws
- Current financial information and related statements, including HOA reserves, estimated revenue and expenses, operating budget, regular and special assessments, and projected life expectancy of major components such as roofs, plumbing, etc.
- Statement outlining the HOA’s policies and procedures with regard to enforcement of lien rights or other legal remedies for default in payment of its assessments
- Summary of the HOA’s insurance policies, including property, general liability, and earthquake and flood insurance
- Statement describing any HOA restrictions on the basis of age, such as authorized senior citizen housing
Note: Smaller HOAs might not have all of these documents, but you are required to provide those that they do have.