Sell Your Home with Stefani REG

Stefani Real Estate Group exists to give you the best real estate experience. We are assisting clients around the Chicago area buy, sell, invest in and rent properties every day — and love what we do. Our teamwork, experience and humble commitment to serving our clients is the reason why our referral business continues to grow. We strive to make the search, valuation and transaction processes simple, making you feel right at home, even before we locate the perfect property and/or prep yours for sale.

"Chris has sold two properties for me. He sold one home while dealing with basement flooding and subsequent contractor issues. He managed the whole process. He went above and beyond, as I am an out of town client."

- Mike B. - West Town & Lakeview

The Selling Process: 9 Steps to a More Profitable Sale

It is a new age in real estate sales, so Stefani REG implemented a new approach.  Understanding the market is key.  However, the integration of social media efforts along with traditional print and website marketing differentiates Stefani REG.  Below is the process Stefani REG will implement take to sell your property.

Market Analysis

Stefani REG provides a comprehensive pricing study of similar properties in the area.  Based on these results and current marketing trends, Chris and his clients determine the optimal listing price to compel buyers to tour and consider the property.

Marketing Meeting

Chris meets with sellers to review each property.  He and his clients identify the property’s key promotional highlights.  Promoting a property’s strengths is essential to marketing each individual property correctly.

Listing on the MLS

Stefani REG submits an organized and professionally photographed property listing to the Northern Illinois MLS database.  Listings reach all Chicago area Realtors and consumer search websites.  However, Stefani REG utilizes its own dedicated marketing group along with the marketing power of with Dream Town to differentiate itself when marketing properties.

Professional Photography

The days of the old front-of-the-house snapshot are long gone. Stefani REG holds a professional photo shoot to generate a library of high-quality interior and exterior property pictures.  These are utilized to produce MLS/consumer websites listings, print brochures, social media impressions and much more.

Print Materials

Stefani REG’s marketing process will always be web-focused.  Stefani REG is also adept at employing traditional, professional marketing tools: brochures, yard/street signage, open house notices and targeted mailers.  Stefani REG employs all available means possible to sell properties quickly and efficiently.

Online Marketing & Social Media

Utilizing both its own dedicated and Dream Town’s marketing groups, Stefani REG offers unmatched marketing power and reach for clients.  Stefani REG’s online presence begins the marketing process with a custom-built listing page, receiving tremendous exposure on both StefaniREG.com and Dreamtown.com.  Listings will reach 5,000 prospects every day, and is readily accessible to Dream Town’s entire database of over 1,000,000 registered users. Further, this is multiplied by premium placement on 20+ other major sites, including ChicagoTribune.com, Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Trulia.com.

Property Tours

Stefani REG personally shows its listings.  Whether it is Chris or a Stefani REG team member, a dedicated/knowledgeable professional will be scheduled to show for tour requests.  Chris believes in the personal touch of showings.  Stefani REG does not lean on lockboxes to do its job.  Clients hire Chris and the team, not a lockbox.

Purchase Offers & Contingencies

All offers are reviewed and the buyer’s financial qualifications are verified prior to presenting offers to clients.  Stefani REG negotiates offers to reach an agreement that satisfies clients’ goals.  Contingencies and sale conditions are scrutinized by Stefani REG to protect a seller’s interest and assist in achieving the absolute best deal.

Sale and Closing

Everything leading up to the final closing is monitored by Stefani REG to ensure a smooth, problem-free process, including the contract review, property inspection, appraisal, financing, satisfaction of contingencies and closing paperwork.

What Stefani REG Provides

Social Media Marketing Differentiation

Stefani REG provides sellers with a dedicated social media marketing expert to goes above and beyond the industry standard. Listing with the Stefani REG provides sellers the confidence their property is marketed without any promotional stone unturned.

Traditional Marketing

Great marketing goes a long way.  Stefani REG works closing with both Dream Town’s in-house marketing agency to provide the listings with intelligent and effective marketing exposure.  

  • Professional photography
  • Print advertising
  • Expertly designed brochures and signage
  • Maximum exposure through Northern Illinois’ Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database
  • Premium placement on Dream Town’s top-ranked website and StefaniREG.com
  • Exposure on all major home selling websites
  • Weekend open houses

Customized Branding

Customized brochures that showcase your home with professional photos, copy and design.

Mobile site with a custom URL so that people can quickly reach your property.

Seller Communication & Reports

Sellers receive bi-weekly seller reports, providing insight on how listings are performing and marketed online.  Stefani REG seller reports include online views from:

  • Social Media
  • Dreamtown.com
  • Realtor.com
  • Zillow.com
  • The MLS
  • Dream Town weekly buyer touches

After the buyer and seller have agreed to terms, both parties have tasks to perform and options to protect both sets of interests. In Chicago area, the three standard contingencies are:

Inspection Contingency

Buyers are allowed to procure a licensed home inspector at their own cost. The final sale may depend on either the property conditions meeting the buyer’s satisfaction as-is, or with certain additional credits or agreements based on the results of the inspection.

Attorney Review Contingency

Once the buyer and seller’s brokers have organized the terms of the contract offer, both parties are permitted to have the document examined by their separate attorneys, who may then advise their clients to either accept the deal, reject the deal, or suggest altered terms.

Mortgage Contingency

Before the sale is considered final, the buyer must provide proof that they have secured a loan towards the purchase. This contingency allows the buyer to rescind their offer if financing does not materialize, and the property will be placed back on the market.

Important Seller Milestones:

Several milestones exist post-purchase agreement and prior to closing.  Below are the milestones sellers should be mindful of throughout the selling process.  Lengths of time below are estimates and are often extended by mutual agreement of both the parties.

Initial Earnest Money (EM) Due:

Initial Earnest Money (EM) Due:

1-2 Days Post-Purchase Agreement

More info

Within in a few days, buyers are expected to deliver an initial earnest money check (generally) to the property’s listing brokerage.  There is not standard amount due.  However, most of the time initial earnest money ranges from $1,000-$5,000 (often depending on the property’s purchase price and mutual agreement by both parties).  Submitting initial earnest money essentially takes the home “off” the market and allows for the attorney review/inspection period.  Initial earnest money is generally refundable based on the findings and further negotiations during the attorney review/inspection period.

Mortgage Contingency Period:

Mortgage Contingency Period:

30-35 Days Post-Purchase Agreement

More info

This time is allotted for the formal lender evaluation of the borrower’s credit worthiness and the property’s appropriate value, which entails an appraisal scheduled by the lender (paid for by the buyer).  A mortgage commitment is different from a pre-approval.  The pre-approval is a preliminary approval for a loan amount based on initial information the buyer provided to the lender. Once a purchase price has been agreed upon, lenders call for a formal loan application.  This begins the lender’s process of reviewing the buyer’s financial information and determining if the subject property is warrantable (e.g., worthy of the purchase price, meets lender loan requirements).  It is important to note that once the lender has approved the loan, the total earnest money delivered is “almost” non-refundable (depending on the specifics of the deal).

Attorney Review/Inspection Period:

Attorney Review/Inspection Period:

5-10 Days Post-Purchase Agreement

More info

The buyer and seller attorneys will review and modify the purchase agreement.  Modification occurs for several reasons, including tweaking of contract language and the negotiation of inspection and/or tax credits.  The inspection period generally runs concurrently with attorney review period.  This allotted inspection window allows the buyer to have subject property inspected to review its condition for any noteworthy issues not noted during the property tour.  Chris recommends his buyers always conduct the property inspection.  Inspections findings are different per property, so buyers and sellers will negotiate either fixes and/or a credit due to the buyer for any issues that are exposed during the inspection.  Stefani REG highly encourages the use of an experienced real estate attorney and professional property inspector to assist in the buying process.

Walk-Through:

Walk-Through:

58-60 Days Post-Purchase Agreement

More info

A walk-thru by the buyer and both agents is usually scheduled within 24 hours prior to closing to verify the subject property is in good condition and that all (if any) agreed to inspection repairs were completed.

Earnest Money Balance Due:

Earnest Money Balance Due:

10-12 Days Post-Purchase Agreement

More info

Once the parties agree to the terms negotiated during the attorney review/inspection period, the earnest money balance check is due (generally) to the property’s listing brokerage.  At this point, there are only a few ways to get the earnest money refunded (e.g., the buyer is not approved for a loan).

Closing:

Closing:

60 Days

More info

Both parties’ representatives meet (usually at a designated title company) to transfer the possession of the traded property.  Buyers generally are in attendance.  Sellers are not.

Stefani REG’s Network of Industry Resources

Several professionals will assist in the selling process.  Below are a few that clients are recommended to retain.  Stefani REG’s resources include a network of highly qualified professionals.  Clients are always encouraged to utilize their own real estate professional network if preferred.

Real Estate Attorneys

Although Stefani REG will manage the selling process throughout, an attorney will handle the deal’s legal aspects upon purchase agreement.  An attorney examines appropriate documentation, negotiates any possible sticking points with the seller’s attorney and provides important guidance at the closing.

Staging Services

Utilizing a professional staging service can certainly assist in showcasing a property.  Whether a home is empty or currently populated with furniture, inexpensive yet professional staging can (depending on the property) make the difference whether a property sells quickly.

Handyman Services

Properties routinely need minor work done prior to listing.  A good handyman service can efficiently correct minor issues in and around the home (i.e. paint, electrical issues, appliance installation, HVAC maintenance).

Contractors

It may be necessary to call on a professional contractor if an issue calls for a more than a handyman fix.  Generally, it is best to correct any such problems prior to listing.
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