Home Selling advice by Stamford real estate agent Lena Getman. Stamford Real Estate Property Values, Free online 24-hours home evaluation. Just Sold Homes Prices. Sellers "Easy-Exit Guarantee".

Stamford Home Selling in Ten Easy Steps.

The key to avoiding the problems and stress that concern many home sellers is to have a system for handling all of the details. When you have a step-by-step system, when you are armed with the proper information, all of the complicated pieces of the home selling puzzle will fall into place. An organized, planned approach to selling your home will eliminate the guesswork, insure that you avoid the costly pitfalls, and enjoy a successful, low stress transaction.

To put the odds of achieving your goals strongly in your favor, you need to know and understand the six-step home selling process. It has been tested and proven over many years and multiple of successful transactions.

Here are some common steps to selling your home:

  1. Understanding Market Conditions
  2. Prepare Your Home for Sale
  3. Find a Real Estate Professional
  4. Prepare The Paperwork
  5. Price Your Home
  6. Market Your Home
  7. ShowTime
  8. Respond to an Offer And Negotiate the Contract
  9. Complete the Settlement
  10. Closing and Moving

Taking the time to learn and going one step at a time will pay off big in the end when you achieve your goal - a fast, smooth sale at top dollar!

So Where Do You Start?

Step 1. Understanding Market Conditions

The first step is also the most important. The one critical error that causes more sellers to foul up their sale and lose thousands of dollars is failing to understand market conditions.

You need to know exactly what is going on in your real estate market. Not just your neighborhood, either… your whole area.

Research available, under contract properties, and closed sales to determine vital statistics of your area such as:

  • Average list price
  • Average sales price
  • Percentage of listed homes that actually sell
  • List to sales price ratio
  • Average days on market

You need answers to some very important questions:

  • What is happening in Stamford area?
  • Are home sales fast, or a bit on the slow side?
  • Are there factors such as economy trend, interest rates levels, new businesses openings or closings that are affecting our local market?
  • Is selling the right thing for us to do?
  • Is now a good time to sell?
  • What if it doesn't sell?
  • How much will we put in our pocket at closing?

The value of anything, including houses, is determined by the supply and demand. If there are lots of sellers and few buyers, prices tend to go down and houses take longer to sell. This is referred to as a "Buyers market".

On the other hand, if there are many eager buyers, but few homes for sale, prices will rise and houses will sell very quickly. This is a "Seller's market".

Your area may be at one extreme or the other, but most likely is somewhere in between.

Next, take a look at your neighborhood. Compare your home to others based on criteria such as style, size, number of bedrooms and baths, garage, basement, pool, view, lot size, etc.

You should soon get a good feel for what price your home should bring given the current market conditions.

Remember: Keep your emotions in check and just look at the facts!

But where do you get all of this information?

All of the information about closed sales is public record, so you could obtain it from your local city or county records. Or you can get a variety of facts about Stamford's market delivered to your e-mail box Free without obligation when you sign for my information services.

Waiting for a good time to sell your home - spring or fall if you can wait, may help it sell faster.

Step 2 . Prepare Your Home for Sale

Getting a home ready to sell usually takes time. Buyers are typically ready to pay a premium for homes that are in good condition. And for homes in good condition sell faster. Plan to clean, de-clutter and make repairs to your home before you put it on the market. First impressions are very important. Do not expose your home until you have completed all your fix-up-for sale projects.

I have prepared for you a list of the projects that will not cost you a fortune and will make you a good return on your short-term investment. You can use an equity in your home and get banks money to pay for making your home more salable. Before you're ready to put that "For Sale" sign, there is work to be done to prepare your home for sale.

You would think that this is obvious, but an amazing number of people put their home on the market without cleaning it up first. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.

Your home should be clean, but that's just the beginning. Odors from smoking and pets will scare buyers away fast. Now is also the time to fix all of those little items that you've been meaning to get to.

If you plan on doing some improvements before the sale, the best place to start is where the buyers make first impression about the property - at your curb. It is not easy to change the buyer's first impression, so try to make the "curb appeal" very positive. That means a neat front yard, driveway, and a clear, welcoming entrance.

Freshly painted is a Big Plus.

Inside, first consider painting and decorating the rooms in neutral colors, the most appealing choice to the greatest number of potential buyers. The biggest return on your investment would be improvements to the kitchen, followed closely by improvements to the master bedroom.

No matter how keen you are to get your home on the market, don't start the marketing process until your home is in showing condition.


Eliminate it everywhere: closets, garage, attic, each room, yard, etc.
Inside and outside, start reducing the clutter. When it comes time to show your home, less will mean more.
Arrange the furniture and discard unused items so each room appears as spacious as
Check all closets to be sure clothes are neatly arranged. Keep as few items as possible
stored in overhead shelves and on floors.
Keep kitchen countertops clean & free of clutter. Organize kitchen cabinets and cupboards.

So reduce the clutter now and it not only will make the preparation for showing your home easier, it also will make packing for your move faster.

Step 3. Find a Real Estate Professional

While you can be tempted to sell your home yourself, it can be time-consuming and often not worth the money saved on commissions.

For most people, their home is their biggest financial asset. But it is often much more. It is HOME!

  • It's where family gathers for holidays.
  • It's backyard barbecues.
  • It's where your child first rode down the driveway without training wheels.
  • It's where you eat, where you sleep, it's where you LIVE!
  • It's memories, good and bad.

Yes, most people get mighty emotional about their homes. The thought of selling your home may bring on deep feelings of sadness, joy, fear, uncertainty, and excitement - all at the same time!

This brings us to the first thing you're going to have to do in order to successfully sell your home:

Realize that selling your home is a dollars and cents business transaction, and you need to put your emotional attachments to your home aside.

This is sometimes easier said than done. Just try to keep in mind that potential buyers are not looking to buy your home, they want a house that they can make into their home!

You need to understand that the buyer is not interested in nor affected by your own personal memories of your home. It's natural to feel like your home is worth more than others just because it's yours, but DON'T FALL INTO THIS TRAP.

It will affect your judgment and cause you to make poor decisions… decisions that may end up costing you plenty!

Here Are the Six Reasons Why You Need a Real Estate Agent

  1. A real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes.
  2. Realtors provide objectivity. Since a home often symbolizes family, rest, and security, not just four walls and roof, home selling or buying is often a very emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they'll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you keep focused on both the business and emotional issues most important to you.
  3. Realtors have all information, tools, and methods to bring more potential buyers to your house.
  4. Third party negotiation can get you much better price and terms.
  5. Realtors have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you've done it before, laws and regulations change. That's why having an expert on your side is critical.
  6. Selling or buying a home is time consuming. Even in a strong market, homes in our area stay on the market for an average of 45 days. And it usually takes another 60 days or so for the transaction to close after an offer is accepted. So choose a Realtor you feel comfortable with.

Once you've chosen a real estate professional to help sell your home, you'll have to sign a contract stating that you'll work solely with this professional for a six to nine months period. This means no other real estate professional will be allowed to sell your home on your behalf during this time. Does this agent provide you a risk reversal? Check my Sellers Gaurantee.

So put some thought into the professional you choose. The right agent will help you sell your home in a timely manner and at a price that benefits you.

Step 4. Don't Forget The Paperwork

There are lots of forms and contracts used in the selling of real estate, and you need to be very familiar with them. This includes purchase agreements, addendums, cost breakdowns, title reports, disclosure forms, counter offers, and more.

We also have MANDATORY disclosure forms for property condition and lead-based paint in Stamford. Failure to complete these disclosures can result in stiff financial penalties!

Among the things your need to prepare are:

  • Property Taxes: Proof of property taxes paid.
  • Utilities: Provide a record of the past 12 months' utility bills.
  • 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.

You'll want to make it clear in your selling contract which items in the home you want to take with you and which can stay behind as part of the home sale. As your listing agent I can help show you which items you should put away or replace before your house goes on the market.

Step 5. Price Your Home

There are a number of reasons why buyers pick the house they buy. They include: price, location of the property, condition of the property, marketing the home, terms of the sale, interest rates, economic conditions, time of year, Neighborhood, schools, and proximity to work, shopping.

Of the above mentioned reasons, you as a seller have control over only PRICE, terms and conditions of your home. So price it right from the start while it is fresh to the market

Contrary to what many people think your agent does no control the price. We also can not change location of the home, interest rates, economic conditions.

Six Truths About Pricing Your That Every Home Seller Needs To Know

Truth #1: Buyers buy after "shopping around". In their search for the best buy they are comparing your property to the others currently on the market.

Truth #2: Sellers control the Listing price and salability of their homes but buyers control VALUE -- the Selling prices . A property is worth what the market (buyers) will pay.

Truth #3: If a property sits on the market for more than a few weeks it gets shop worn (stale... like an old donut). Price it right in the beginning while it is fresh and buyer interest is at its peak.

Truth #4: Most properties must be sold three (3) times...

  • First...to the real estate agents who have the buyers. If they don't see it as a decent value, they may not show it and they will take their buyers elsewhere.
  • Second... to the buyers. If they don't see it as an attractive offering, they'll look elsewhere.
  • Third... to the lender who will make the loan and the lender's appraiser. If this group doesn't see the value... no loan.

Truth #5: What it means if...

  • No showings: Agents don't see your offering as worthy of showing to their buyers. Or, buyers themselves aren't interested enough to look.
  • No Offers: Buyers don't see enough value to even negotiate or try to buy.

Truth #6: Overpriced properties actually help well-priced properties sell.

Pricing the home properly can make a huge difference in whether a house is purchased within the first several weeks of listing or sits on the market for more than a year.

What happened when you overprice the property?…Nothing!

To price a home properly, you and your listing agent will have to study the local market, research comparable properties and consider current market conditions. The "comparative marketing analysis" (CMA) that I prepare for you is based on:

  • 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 the current market data, CMA, your goals, timetable I have the experience to help price your property at the right price for a sale that benefits you.

Step 6. Market Your Home

Now that your home is ready, it's time to find some interested buyers to show it to. The effort required to attract potential purchasers depends on the current market conditions in your area.

Remember, you are competing with all of the other homes for sale, and the competition is often fierce.

The key to avoiding the problems and stress that plague many home sellers is to have a system for handling all of the details. When you have a step-by-step system that you can sit down and implement, one step at a time, the entire task of selling your home becomes much clearer and more manageable.

Your listing agent's major role in the transaction is to create, execute, and control the marketing plan that benefits the sale of your property most. Creative marketing plan for your property may brings a larger pool of potential buyers and generates a lot of interest in your home. Please check out my marketing plan as example of services you should expect.

You may even want to include a few lines about benefits of moving to this property, such as good schools, convenience to mass transit and other desirable community features.

Step 7. ShowTime

Once you have attracted interested buyers, it's time to show your home. This is where all your time and effort in preparing your home will really pay off!

OK, it's ShowTime!

To get the most out of every showing, there are certain procedures you should follow, both prior to the buyers arrival and after they come in.

Shortly before the appointment, open all of the drapes and blinds and turn on all the lights, … even in the daytime. Turn off the TV and put some soft music on low volume. Set the thermostats so that it is not too hot or cold. 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.

Outside: Keep your lawn trimmed, the rose bushes pruned, the weeds under control. Put away the garden hose and the tools. Make sure the bulbs in your home's exterior lighting fixtures are all in working order.
If you still have pets in the house, get them out and freshen the air. Make sure all of the beds are made and do a quick pick-up throughout.

Now leave the work to your real estate professional. 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 excuse yourself. Be careful, knowing what to say and what to do when potential buyers arrive to look at your home can make a big difference. Always greet them courteously, and hand them a home information brochure. If they are with a real estate agent, try to stay out of the way.

If you are selling your home yourself, casually guide them through your home, starting with your homes most outstanding features. Stay with them, but give them room to breathe, or you may make them uncomfortable.

Also, a few words of caution. People are not always who they seem, and you can never be to careful. Stash all small valuables out of sight.

Step 8. Respond to an Offer And Negotiate the Contract

If you followed all preparation steps and set up asking price close to "Market Price" you should receive one or more offers for your property from interested buyers. Each offer will include the sale price, proposed closing date, proposed move-in date, financing, and contingencies that may include an appraisal or sale of the buyers' current home. Together we'll consider all the terms and conditions to determine whether it is in your best interest to accept, counter-offer or reject the offer.

If there are multiple offers, 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, you are required to establish an order of precedence noting which is the primary offer, followed by the backups in order.

Being familiar with the market conditions and knowing your personal motivation to sell will guide you in the negotiations.

You really don't need to worry about a bunch of fancy tricks. Realistically, if you keep your goals and purpose in mind, they will guide you to making the right decisions during your negotiations with a buyer.

You will have three basic options when you are presented with an offer:

  1. Accept the offer.
  2. Reject the offer.
  3. Make a counter offer.

The price is always the focal point of the offer, but there are lots of other areas that you need to address and pay close attention to also. When reviewing an offer, make sure that every aspect of the transaction is spelled out specifically. Details that are not clear or are left out can lead to big problems down the road.
Some of the items that you want to be sure to spell out in detail when considering an offer include:

  • Price
  • Down Payment
  • Earnest Money Deposit
  • Is The Buyer Pre-Approved
  • Interest Rate
  • Closing/Possession Dates
  • Loan Costs - Who Pays
  • Closing Costs - Who Pays What
  • Prorations
  • Appraisal - Who Pays
  • Home Protection Plan
  • Inspections - What Type And Who Pays
  • Items Included (Washer/Dryer, Refrigerator, Etc)
  • Title/Escrow Company/Attorney
  • Contingencies - What And How Long

The highest priced offer is not always the best offer. Before jumping to a conclusion based on price, be sure to review all the terms of the contract.

The offer from well-qualified buyers who didn't have a home to sell real estate agents refer to as a "clean offer." A clean offer is one that is relatively free of complicated terms and conditions.

Contingencies may seem like a minor issue, but they can be a major stumbling block. A contingency means that something else must happen in order for the deal to go through.

A purchase may be contingent on the buyer getting approved for financing, selling the home that they already own, getting a favorable inspection report, or any number of other things.

For example, the purchase may be contingent upon the buyer getting approved for their financing, on getting a favorable inspection report, or many other things. We'll make sure that the contingency clearly explained, as well as what specifically will happen if the contingency is or isn't met.

Seven Terms to Watch for in a Purchase Contract

  1. The closing date. See if the date the buyer wants to take title is reasonable for you.
  2. Date of possession. See if the date the buyer wants to move in is reasonable for you.
  3. The earnest money. Look for the largest earnest money deposit possible; since it is forfeited if the buyer backs out, a large deposit is usually a good indication of a sincere buyer.
  4. Fixtures and personal property. Check the list of items that the buyer expects to remain with the property and be sure it's acceptable.
  5. Repairs. Determine what the requested repairs will cost and whether you're willing to do the work or would rather lower the price by that amount.
  6. Contingencies. See what other factors the buyer wants met before the contract is final-inspections, selling a home, obtaining a mortgage, review of the contract by an attorney. Set time limits on contingencies so that they won't drag on and keep your sale from becoming final.
  7. The contract expiration date. See how long you have to make a decision on the offer.

Step9. 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 and an appraiser. After seeing the results of the inspections, the buyer may request additional work is completed before purchase, such as repairing a damaged roof or fixing a leaky faucet. You should consult with your listing agent to determine whether to comply with the buyer's request or risk losing this offer.

In the meantime, the buyer is working with a lender to secure a 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.

Step 10. Close and Move

Closing I is a meeting at buyer lawyer's office in which you sign all the documents, and receive a check! This is when the ownership is actually transferred from your name to the buyer's.

Congratulations, you've sold your home!

Click here to check out the Moving Checklist.

What You'll Net at Closing
To find out how much money you'll net from your house, add up your closing costs and subtract them from the sale price of the house.
Closing Costs for Sellers
Mortgage payoff and outstanding interest
Prorations for real estate taxes
Prorations for utility bills, condo dues, and other items paid in arrears.
Closing fees charged by closing specialist.
Title policy fees
Home inspections
Attorney's fees
Survey charge
Transfer tax or other government registration fees
Brokerage commission



This site features Stamford Connecticut Real Estate, Stamford CT home, condo, and other real estate property values Just Sold Stamford Home prices. Thinking about selling your home in Stamford? Find here a home selling and other real estate tips and information from local Stamford real estate agent Lena Getman. We offer a free online evaluation of your Stamford home market value by email or phone. Get your Stamford home market value evaluation in 24-hours by e-mail without having to speak to real estate agents.

This site is not intended to solicit Stamford home sellers and homes for sale that are currently under contract with another Connecticut Real Estate Agent, Realtor, or Brokerage. The real estate listings, homes for sale in Stamford and other related information are deemed reliable, but are not guaranteed and should be independently verified