Seller's Guide

A Step-by-Step First Time Seller's Guide

Putting your home on the market can be a stressful process, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced agent and this easy to follow guide, you can smoothly complete the process. Following these steps will help you prepare so you can get organized and sell your home for the best price possible.​​​​​​​

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Step 1: Understand Why You're Selling

What do you want to accomplish with the sale of your home? Do you want to make a certain amount of money that you can put toward a larger or nicer home? Do you need to sell it as soon as possible to facilitate a move to a new city or area? Once you understand your needs, you can better craft your offer. For example, if you need to sell quickly, you might want to price your home lower than if your goal is to make a certain profit margin. Make sure you convey these needs to your realtor once you choose one so he or she can adjust your selling price accordingly.

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Step 2: Determine Selling Price

Knowing how to price your home is one of the most important parts of the selling process. When you set a fair price in the beginning, you’ll get the most interest from other real estate agents and prospective buyers. Overpricing your home could lead to reduced interest, and underpricing leads to receiving less than what your home is worth. Working with a real estate agent is the best way to determine the right selling price for your home. An agent with experience can determine what other comparable homes are selling for, evaluate the current market, and may even suggest a home appraisal.

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Step 3: Start Preparations

If you’ve kept your home in showroom condition since you’ve lived in it, you’re in the minority of homeowners. Once you price your home, it’s time to start getting it ready to be shown to potential buyers. This includes getting rid of clutter, depersonalizing the space so that buyers can envision themselves in the space, making any small repairs, and doing a deep clean to make sure your home is in pristine condition.

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Step 4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

I will develop a marketing strategy that is perfect for advertising your home. This involves listing the home and then driving the right people to that listing through social media campaigns, agent-to-agent referrals, traditional media, or SEO advertising. My team creates a marketing campaign that aims to get the most possible traffic to your listing in the first three weeks after becoming a client.

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Step 5: Evaluate Offers

Receiving an offer is an exciting part of the process, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. We will evaluate each offer and make sure the party making the offer is prequalified or pre-approved by a mortgage lender and that their offer is acceptable to you. If the offer is too low, you can make a counter-offer or offer other ways to bridge the gap, such as covering some or all of the closing costs, making repairs, adjusting the move-in date, or leaving some appliances or fixtures for the new buyer.

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Step 6: Accept an Offer

Once we deem the offer is acceptable, we will review the proposed contract to make sure it’s all in order and includes the necessary components such as deposit amount, down payment, financing, inspection rights and repair allowances, contingencies, settlement date, and a list of fees and who will pay them. When both parties have agreed to the term, a final contract will be prepared by your agent.

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Step 7: Get Ready to Close

You have accepted an offer and are now very close to the end of your selling journey. But first, you and the buyer must make a list of what needs to be done before closing. In some cases, your home may need to be formally inspected, surveyed, and appraised. In other cases, major or minor repairs will need to be made before the house can close. I will head up efforts to develop and execute this list, get each action item paid for by the correct party, and make sure everything is in order by the closing date. A few days before the closing date, we will call the company closing the transaction to make sure everything is ready to go. If you haven’t done so already, you also need to make arrangements to move out of the home so the new buyer can take possession.

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Step 8: Close

You’ve reached the last step in the seller’s process. When you close on a home you are selling, you are legally transferring ownership of the property to the new buyer. We will meet with the company closing the transaction to sign the final paperwork and go over any issues that have not yet been taken care of. During this time, you can also make plans with your realtor to handle final details such as canceling utilities, cable, and lawn or trash services, changing the name on accounts that the new owner is retaining and ensuring the new owner has instructions for all appliances that will remain in the home.

Congratulations!

Once you have sold your home, you’re free to take the next step on your journey. Whether this is relocating to a new city, moving into a larger home, or downsizing and enjoying your life as empty-nesters, knowing all your selling responsibilities have been taken care of will help you achieve peace of mind for your new path.

Testimonials

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Buyer

I was new to buying real estate and had only vague expectations of what a real estate agent should do. Cassie fulfilled all those and many more needs I wasn’t even aware of. She paid close attention to what I wanted. She steere...
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Steve L.

Cassie did a fabulous job finding a home that met all my requirements for the size and condition of the home, the area, and the cost. It turned out to be a short sale property and I found her to be an expert with this type of p...
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Casey F.

Cassie is, without a doubt, a subject-matter expert when it comes to local real estate. That makes her great, but doesn't set her apart from the other top agents. What does set her apart is her creativity, intelligence, and per...
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Jerry

After interviewing three very qualified Realtors®, we hired Cassie Maas to sell our home in the Santa Cruz mountains. We had owned the home for over forty years, and it had been completely rebuilt over time. This raised some co...
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Seller

Cassie represented my property for sale in Los Gatos CA in the latter part of 2014. The property had been marketed on and off for several years with different agents. I am a State resident, and although available by phone and e...
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Buyer

Hey there, just bought a house with Cassie Maas as my agent. The house I picked had been foreclosed on and was a bank-owned property. Right up front, Cassie warned me that these properties could take two to three months to clos...
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Seller

I highly recommend Cassie Maas as a real estate agent. She recently handled the sale of our home in the Santa Cruz mountains and did an excellent job. She knows the area and the differences with mountain homes (septic tanks, we...
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Donna B.

A mortgage broker I know recommended Cassie and I have already recommended her to a friend in a similar situation of needing to sell the home of a deceased parent. I found her extremely helpful in guiding us through the steps t...
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Kenneth W.

Cassie and I discussed the strategy of how best to purchase our new home. After listening to my ideas, Cassie suggested another approach. Her ideas made a huge difference and I am happy to say that Cassie's negotiation skills h...
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Seller

A big reason Cassie became one of two Realtors® that sold our Scotts Valley home is why I recommend her services: She sells a lot of mountain properties. And mountain properties have unique characteristics - both physically and...
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Buyer

Cassie helped us find our house 3 years ago when we had a baby on the way so she knows how to work under a deadline. She provided excellent service in identifying our tastes and preferences to pick out houses that were right in...
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Bryan

I received a recommendation from a friend to contact Cassie, and I always view friend recommendations very highly. This was another good recommendation. Finding houses in this market with low inventory wasn't particularly easy,...
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Dave

I never personally met Cassie. She was recommended by a long-time mortgage broker friend of the family. My sister and I selling our parent's home agreed with every recommendation she made. She handled everything since we did no...
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John L.

Cassie and her crew of professional staffers, including photography, videography, staging, and aerial videography created a story-book view of my home and made it possible for me to sell my home for $200k more than anyone would...
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Tristan Y.

Buying a home in the bay area is a very daunting task. Cassie was the ray of light in what otherwise was a very stressful transition from Wisconsin to the Bay Area. She reviewed our priorities for home and utilized remote showi...
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Jeff

Cassie Maas uses an automated email alert system to notify prospective buyers of changes in property listings, and I used this system to make a highly advantageous real estate purchase. During the purchase process, Cassie was a...
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Buyer

Total real estate pro. Cassie has an incredible network to assist as needed with all aspects to close real estate transactions. Represented us as Buyers and the transaction was thorough and handled details quickly. Look no furt...
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Beda H.

Cassie listed our home in a challenging area of the Santa Cruz mountains and there were already two homes for sale on the street. Cassie also listed another home on our street. She arranged for all four homes to be open at the ...
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Cliff M.

Cassie took much time to market the property using many methods. Most importantly she showed up to numerous open houses. Her efforts made all the difference in this being a successful transaction. I believe she will make the sa...
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Grethe

Cassie was very helpful and efficient. Her local market knowledge was very good and she gave me good and reliable advice. She was a very pleasant person to work with. I can highly recommend Cassie Maas as a real estate professi...
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