1. Find an Experienced Maui Agent (Ask Maria to help you)
Enlisting the help of an experienced agent who understands your needs to guide you through the process will save you time and a lot of headache—and will of course get your home sold more quickly and for more money than trying to list your home on your own.
2. Consider Repairs and Improvements
Your real estate agent will do a thorough walkthrough of your home and will likely make recommendations on both minor and major repairs or improvements you should consider. Additionally, be proactive about any known maintenance issues to your home, as these will surface during an inspection.
Homes can also gain value if you make improvements such as painting your home (inside or outside), refinishing hardwood floors, fixing or replacing your roof or siding, installing a new garage door or front door, doing some gardening or landscaping, updating or repairing your HVAC system, or even performing minor kitchen and bathroom repairs, such as updating flooring, resurfacing cabinets, installing new hardware and fixtures, and replacing or resurfacing counter tops.
3. Set the Price Right (Always remember that the seller has only one product while the buyer has many to choose from)
Another crucial step to ensuring the highest return on your valuable investment in the shortest amount of time is finding a competitive price. You will want to consider the price of nearby homes that have recently sold, the prices of nearby homes currently on the market, and the condition and location of your specific home. Request a neighborhood sold report and work with your agent to find the right listing price.
4. Prep Your Home
Start by working through your home, removing clutter, junk, and even personal decor. Start deep cleaning your home, targeting the forgotten nooks and crannies.
Then, work with your agent to stage your home so that it is neat, welcoming, and depersonalized which will allow your buyers to picture their own personal touches in their potential new home.
Lastly, take professional photographs that will highlight your home's best features and give buyers a great impression of your home—right from their computer, tablet, or phone.
5. Market Your Home (Ask Maria!)
The key to selling a home is in finding the right buyers, and that requires a lot of marketing and advertising. This is where working with a skilled agent can really pay off. Skilled listing agents are skilled marketers. They know where to find the best buyers for your home, and they have access to a wealth of resources, including online listing services, print advertising distribution, large social media followings, even local agent networks.
6. Show Your Home (Work with an Agent that picks up their phone, Ask Maria!)
In addition to scheduled open houses, your home can be shown at any time, so be prepared. Keep it neat and clean. Don't leave dirty dishes or laundry lying around, be sure to dust and vacuum regularly, and promptly address any potential clutter buildups. Additionally, you should be ready to clear out of the house during showings to avoid making buyers uncomfortable.
7. Negotiate and Accept an Offer
If a buyer wants to buy your home, they will make you a written offer, which usually states how much they'll pay, their mortgage amount, closing and occupancy dates, and any contingencies. You can either accept the offer or negotiate for different terms.
Negotiations can include your own contingencies, such as the first right of refusal if your buyer's offer is contingent on selling their home, making the offer contingent on you buying another home, or adding contingencies for closing and occupancy dates or buyer financing. Working with an experienced and knowledgeable agent will help you find value that is hidden and also help you resolve problems in advance so that one you are in escrow the property doesn't fall out due to a problem that could have easily been solved in advance.
8. Sign a Purchase and Sale Agreement
Once you and the buyer have agreed upon an offer, you will both sign a legal contract called a Purchase and Sale Agreement. This outlines the specific terms, conditions, and contingencies of the home sale.
9. Cooperate with Inspections
Next, the buyer will hire an inspector to ensure that no major repairs will be needed after they buy the house. The inspector will go through every inch of the house, paying particular attention to the roof, basement, heating and cooling systems, structure, plumbing, and electrical. If the inspector finds any needed repairs, the buyer can negotiate for the costs of the repairs.
10. Enter Escrow
Next, you will enter escrow. During this time, you and your agent will work with an escrow company to complete paperwork and ensure that all parts of the contract are complete.