If you have ever bought or sold a home, you have likely experienced a sense of confusion about what feels like an endless list of tasks and paperwork. It’s not as though having to move and manage all of the logistics associated with finding a new home isn’t already tough enough, but buying or selling a home is also filled with a mountain-sized load of paperwork and an accompanying mile-long list of things to do. If you’ve ever felt like this, then we want to help. Instead of getting frustrated with the overly-complicated process of buying and selling a home, here are some tools to make your life easier.
If you are at the beginning of the home sales process, you should start by looking at sites like HomeLight.com, AgentFinder.com, or HomeByHome.com. These sites can help you find a qualified real estate agent to help you with the process of buying and selling a home.
Also, to the extent you aren’t already, you will want to become acquainted with sites like Trulia and Zillow, which make it easy to see what homes are currently available in your area and even provide information from third parties like GreatSchools.org to tell you about neighborhood features like schools and walkability of the area you are searching.
We also recommend checking out Offer To Close. The company is a transaction coordinator service (don’t worry if you don’t know what that is), and they have built some tools to make the process of buying and selling a home less stressful and more transparent. You’ll want to check out a new feature they recently launched called Transaction Timeline.
Transaction Timeline won’t solve all of the frustrations associated with buying or selling a home, but Timeline gives you a single place to see the most important dates, deadlines, and milestones that must be reached to get the transaction from accepted offer to the close of the transaction. An example of some of the key milestones you can track with this tool include when the home inspection needs to be completed or when the buyer needs to waive their loan contingency, which is a date that often gets ignored but is crucial to a home getting sold successfully (and on time).
Also, unlike almost everything else in a real estate transaction, the transaction timeline is really simple to use. To compile the timeline, which can be shared with multiple people via link or email, you just need to simply enter the date the contract was officially accepted. The timeline includes the default period for each of the key dates, but if you or your client have agreed to non-standard terms, you can change the number of days from acceptance or select specific dates to have the timeline updated to reflect the terms of the residential purchase agreement.
When asked about using Transaction Timeline, Samuel Pawlitzki, a REALTOR® at Beach Cities Real Estate, said, “I love how easy it is to make a custom timeline for my transactions. My clients love the fact that they have a clear picture of what’s ahead of them.”
If you are buying a home, Offer To Close has also created Offer Assistant, which is an online tool where real estate agents (or buyers doing it themselves) provide key information allowing the Offer To Close team of licensed real-estate agents to write a full offer. Offer Assistant is a free service for any agent using an Offer To Close transaction coordinator in their transaction.
These sites and tools will help get you started on the right foot so you can get through the process quickly and with less stress.