When you’re selling your home, you don’t want to wait for buyers to knock on your door – you want to bring your home to the buyers! That’s why you need the effective, proven marketing services of a professional Realtor. With the right exposure, your home will attract a ready buyer in no time.

Remember that when you’re selling your home, you’re also selling your lifestyle. You want buyers to want to live where you live, and how you live. It’s important to ensure that the appearance of your home is as perfect and inviting as it can be, because buyer’s first impression is the one that they’ll carry with them. Also, remember that your neighborhood is a significant factor when it comes to pricing your home; sale prices in your area will affect the listing price of your home almost as much as the condition of the property itself.


Cindy Jasper and her HummerHomes Team have helped hundreds of people sell their homes in the Nashville area. In fact, we have over $125 million in closed sales so far! Our homes consistently sell at or above listing price, in all Middle Tennessee neighborhoods. That’s because we have a comprehensive print and internet marketing plan in place to help you sell your home fast, and a dedicated team of real estate professionals who make customer service their first priority. We utilize a professional home stager and a professional home photographer, so the first exposure buyers have to your home will be magazine-perfect.

If you’re selling a home in the greater Nashville area, you deserve to work with Nashville’s premier real estate agents – Cindy Jasper and the HummerHomes Team! For more information about listing your property with us, please call (615) 300-4695, or email [email protected].

In most cities, homeowners are required to obtain a building permit before making structural, electrical, plumbing, or other major modifications to their residence. The exact guidelines regarding these modifications will vary by location. Some cities’ regulations are more stringent than others, especially in areas prone to severe natural occurrences like earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes or hurricanes.

If a homeowner wishes to obtain a permit for renovations or repairs, he or she must file architectural plans with the city government, and pay the attendant fees. Also, the renovations are analyzed to see if they will increase the value of the property; substantial improvements to a home may result in a property tax increase. You may be required to have your property inspected prior to beginning your improvement project, and completed work may have to be approved by an inspector as well.

As the inspection and permitting process can often move rather slowly – and can be rather expensive –some homeowners opt not to obtain permits for their home improvement projects. This is never a good idea. First, if your municipal government learns that you failed to obtain a permit, you will be required to obtain a retroactive permit, which requires inspections of the completed work in addition to hefty fines and fees. If the inspector isn’t able to determine that the completed work is compliant with municipal regulations, you may be required to rip up floors, knock out walls, or tear out cupboards so the inspector can complete his survey. Second, sellers are required to disclose any improvements made without a permit. This may affect the sale price of your home – or result in your having to redo some or all of the work in order to prove it to code.

If you’re selling your home, chances are you’re also buying a new one. If that’s the case, it’s important to research the improvement history of your prospective home. You can check on permits, non-compliance issues, and code violations by visiting the Building and Safety office in the municipality. You can also hire a “permit puller” to research a property or properties for you.

While there are certainly advantages to working with an experienced Realtor when selling a home, some homeowners choose to sell their properties independently. If you decide to take this route, realize that there is a substantial amount of preparation, research, time, and investment involved. If you are already pressed for time, or if you need to sell your home quickly, you may benefit from the services offered by a professional Realtor.

If you do decide to go it alone, there are certain things with which you will need to familiarize yourself before you set your listing price.

  • Your Property.

    • Know all the facts about your property, including lot size, exact square footage, property tax rates and historic amounts, zoning, and repair history (including permitting issues and code violations).
    • Consider your neighborhood. Positive amenities include nearby parks, schools, shopping areas, and restaurants. Negative aspects include noisy streets and run-down areas; be honest about these, even if you think it will hurt your sale. Buyers will appreciate your full disclosure. If you live in a master-planned community, secure brochures or make a list of neighborhood amenities, and compile information about your homeowner’s association, dues and fees, and other items which will affect your buyer.
    • Objectively assess the condition of your property; any obvious defects will either need to be repaired or disclosed to potential buyers. Whether it will be more cost effective to discount the list price of the home or make the repairs yourself will depend on the nature of the repair and your personal situation.
    • If you’re unsure about certain aspects of your property, or if you’re concerned about structural issues, it may be a good idea to hire a home inspector for a pre-sale inspection. A pre-sale inspection report is always a positive from a buyer’s perspective, and may alleviate your liability if additional defects are found in your property by the buyer’s inspector.

  • Current market value. Research home sale prices in your area for the last 12 months. What are properties comparable to yours selling for?

  • Real estate laws. Homeowners are required to disclose any defects in their home (like a leaky roof or rotten shingles), as well as past damages which required repairs (like termite damage or a flooded basement). Make sure that you have copies of all permits obtained for repairs, and warranty information for any new installations like windows, doors, or appliances. Familiarize yourself with the process of selling a home; understand the purchase contract, inspections, escrow, and the closing process.

  • Financing. If you choose not to hire a Realtor to act as liaison between you and your buyers, you should have at least a rudimentary knowledge of how the financing process works. Buyers will not feel comfortable working with a seller who’s not well versed in the financial processes involved in a home sale. Contact mortgage brokers in your area, and ask about possible financing options your buyers might be offered. Also, determine whether you are willing to take on financing yourself, in the event that your buyer cannot qualify for the full mortgage amount. In most cases this is not a good idea, but some sellers choose to act as a lender for a small portion of the loan (20% or less) if they are confident in the buyer. Your attorney can provide details on these types of transactions.

  • Marketing. This is the hardest part for many homeowners trying to sell on their own. Start by establishing a marketing budget. Then, decide how and where you want to advertise your home. The local newspaper may be a good place to start, especially if they offer online access. Some homeowners list their properties on or other classified sites. Investigate real estate publications in your area. Depending on your area, you may be able to advertise your home on a special channel on cable television. When you design your ad, make sure to include a flattering photo of your home, as well as the square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and all of your contact information. It may be worth the money to run one or two larger, color ads in whichever publications you choose, in order to catch the eyes of readers. If you’re computer-savvy, consider setting up a web page with photos of your home and property info; direct buyers to this page in your ads.

Now it’s time to perform a walk-through of your house. Take a pad and pen, and try to see the property from a buyer’s perspective. Make note of anything that needs neatening up or fixing.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you perform your walk-through.

  • Does your home have “curb appeal?” When viewed from the street, is the home attractive and eye-catching, or does it look too lived in?
  • Is the landscaping in the front of the house neat and attractive?
  • Is the paint or siding of an appealing color and in good condition? Bright or unusual colors are great for clothing and furniture, not for selling your home.
  • Are the windows and front porch (or steps) clean?
  • Is the roof in good repair?
  • Are the gutters clean?
  • Is the porch/deck/staircase in sound condition?
  • Are your interior walls good condition? Walls that are freshly painted in a neutral color are eye-catching. Very bright colors or sloppy paint jobs can be a big turn-off.
  • Are your floors in good condition? Wood floors especially can be a big selling point: make sure they’re gleaming and smooth. Carpet should be shampooed or spot-cleaned in high-traffic areas.
  • Are bathroom fixtures like tubs, toilets, showers, and sinks well-sealed and in good working order?
  • Are bathroom fixtures clean and attractive? If you have hard water, or if your fixtures are old and stained, you may consider replacing them. Nothing turns off buyers faster than a dirty-looking bathroom.
  • Are all plumbing, electrical, and natural gas systems in good working order?
  • Are the boiler, oil tank, hot water heater, and other major appliances in good working order? If you have warrantee information or receipts for these items you should keep them available to share with potential buyers.
  • Are all light fixtures clean and in good working order? Now is the time to dust your track lighting and ceiling fans.
  • Is there adequate lighting available in each room? Buyers should see every room in its most flattering light. Try to soften harsh shadows and illuminate dark corners with the proper placement of lamps.
  • Are kitchen appliances clean and in good working order? Again, if you have warrantee or repair information, compile it to share with buyers. If your appliances are older, you may consider the cost of replacing them when you set your listing price – unless they’re antiques, in which case some buyers may find added value in them.

Consider your notes, and decide how all these items affect the appeal – and therefore the value – of your property. Make a list of improvements you can make for a small investment, such as fresh paint, carpet shampooing, and improved lighting.

Now that you have a better idea of the positive (and negative) aspects of your home, it’s time to choose your listing price. Again, try to be objective, and base your price on current market value, the condition and location of your property, and your location – not on what you think you deserve, or what you feel you need to earn to break even. Homes that are listed at unreasonable prices don’t sell, period.

Once you’ve chosen your starting price, begin placing ads according to your research and marketing budget. Purchase a For Sale sign for the front of your home, and install it in a clearly visible location. Clear your schedule to ensure that you have time for showings at least 2 days during the week and on weekends: a quick showing makes a good impression on buyers. If you choose to host an Open House, include this information in your signage and in your ads, and purchase additional signage to hang in high-traffic areas. If you live off the beaten path, directional arrows are helpful to buyers who may be unfamiliar with the neighborhood.

Prepare a fact sheet to give to prospective buyers at showings and open houses. Included on this sheet should be the following details.

  • The full address of your home, including postal code

  • Neighborhood details, including names of nearby schools, restaurants, shopping malls or retail areas, and (if applicable) community amenities.

  • Details about the home, including square footage, lot size, interior and exterior amenities, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, flooring types, and any other attractive amenities. New appliances or fixtures should also be noted.

  • Your full contact information including phone numbers and email address.

  • Photos of your home (or, if you’ve set up a web page with photos, the appropriate web address)

Once you start showing, keep a list of prospective buyers: their names, their phone numbers and/or email addresses, and their level of interest. A guest book by the front door during open houses is a great way to keep track of who’s looked at your property. Don’t pester buyers, but do follow up with any who seem genuinely interested. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Don’t consider verbal offers. They’re very hard to prove, and can be unreliable. Also, don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment when you enter negotiations. You never want prospective buyers to think that you’re overeager, or that you’re hesitant to sell.

Before responding to any offers, make sure you have your paperwork in order. You will need a number of legal forms to sell your home. Aside from the actual purchase contract, there are about 20 additional forms that you will be required to provide to the buyer to make the sale legal and binding. Many of these documents are required by state and/or federal law. Check with your municipal government for details. Forms can be obtained from your local Board of Realtors. You may also consider hiring a real estate attorney to handle the paperwork.

If you’re lucky enough to receive more than one offer on your home, you’ll need to decide which to accept or counter, and which (if any) to decline outright. Here are some criteria that may make the process easier.

  • Is the buyer pre-approved for a mortgage? If their financing is guaranteed, you’ll avoid problems later on.

  • Is the buyer waiting on the sale of their own home? If your contract is contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home, you may have a long time to wait, depending on the market. This can pose a problem if you want to buy – or have already purchased – another home.

Always respond to offers in writing. Keep records of all correspondence between you and the buyer.

One you and the buyer agree on a price, you will also need to come to a formal agreement on the following items.

  • Inspection contingencies. If your home has any defects, you may be required to fix them. Or, you may come to an agreement with the buyer over a discount in the home price to reflect the cost of necessary repairs.

  • Financing terms. This includes deposits and down payments. Make sure to establish clear due dates for deposits. You may consider hiring an escrow company or real estate attorney to record and hold these deposits.

  • Closing date

  • Transfer date. Many times, this will be the closing date. But if you need to remain in the house after the closing date, or if the buyer will not be moving in immediately, set a date for the exchange of keys, warrantee and repair information, and other items not included in the closing.

In the interest of accuracy and legality, it’s always a good idea to have a real estate attorney review all contracts prior to signing. It’s courteous (and required in some states) to allow the buyer a 3-5 business day review period.

Before the closing date, schedule a final walk-through so that the buyer can be assured that you have complied with all contract contingencies. Ask that the witnesses for yourself and the buyer be present at this time. The buyer may also wish to schedule a second home inspection.

Make sure that all aspects of your move are arranged, so you don’t inconvenience the buyer with a delay in vacating your property. Confirm reservations with your moving company, and ensure that your new property is ready to receive you. If you are buying another home, close on that property at least 1-2 weeks before you close your sale.

Selling your own home is a laborious undertaking, but if you are confident in the process and organized about the details, it can also be a rewarding one. If at any time you decide that you are not comfortable performing the details of the transaction, you may choose to hire a Realtor to assist you.

If you're diligent about getting your home ready to sell, you will not only have a lot of happy buyers, you may have a fatter wallet. However, even when you think you've covered all the bases, you might get a nasty surprise when the home inspector comes to call. But that's not always the case.

A pre-sale home inspection is your best line of defense against unexpected home improvement projects. But if you do find your home in need of major repairs after you've already accept an offer, consider how best to deal with the problem.

Work with your buyer. For certain repairs, the buyer might prefer to handle these by themselves. You may be able to reach a settlement if you're willing to adjust the sale price of the home.

  • Get multiple estimates. If you have an issue with your roof, it might cost $6,000 to replace the roof outright, but $800 worth of repairs could help the roof last another 3-4 years. Working with your buyer, you may be able to negotiate a settlement that falls somewhere between the two extremes. Also, invite the buyer to bring in his or her own professionals to do an estimate.
  • Often, it's a good idea to call in professionals who have nothing to do with the inspection or repair process. For example, a representative of the gas company can help determine whether a hot water heater or furnace is fit.

Above all, realize that the condition of your home is ultimately your responsibility. Being flexible and professional is key to negotiating a successful sale.

CMA is an acronym for “Comparative Market Analysis.” A CMA report is generated for you by your Realtor in order to compare your home to similar properties in your area.

To begin the process of compiling a CMA, your Realtor will inspect your property. This is not a home inspection, merely an analysis of your home's features and attractive qualities, which will help determine your home's worth in the current marketplace. When your Realtor arrives for the inspection, your home doesn't need to be in showing condition, only neat and clean enough for the Realtor to make an accurate determination of its condition. Please inform your Realtor if you plan to make any changes or improvements before you sell; you may discover that your changes will end up “overvaluing” your home in the context of your neighborhood.

Next, your Realtor will obtain data on comparable homes in your area, usually through the Multiple Listing System (MLS). An experienced agent will also know of properties that have sold without being listed on the MLS, such as 'For Sale by Owner' properties. Comparing your property to those that have recently sold will help your Realtor determine what you can expect to receive for your property in the current market. Please remember that a CMA is not an appraisal, and will not constitute a legal valuation of the home.

If you're buying a home, you may also consider requesting a CMA report for properties that interest you. This will help you determine if the prices owners are asking are fair and reasonable based on current market conditions. This report may also be a useful bargaining tool for you if you decide to place an offer on an overpriced property.

Sometimes, unexpected issues come up just when you're ready to close the sale on your home. Most of the time, problems can be dealt with, and the sale can proceed. However, this is not always the way it turns out.

If your buyers balk at the results of the home inspection, try to be flexible. Chances are, you didn't know the issue was there until now, either. Start by getting several professional opinions about the problem, and compare repair quotes. Offer to work with the buyers in whatever way you can. Perhaps you can deduct the repair costs from the sale price, or conduct the repairs yourself. The trick is to stay calm, and consider all possibilities. Remember, the condition of your home is ultimately your responsibility: no matter how frustrated you get, remember than the buyers deserve to buy a home in a condition that's acceptable to them, just as you deserve to do when you buy your next home. In some cases, the best solution for all involved is to call the deal off; you can always find another buyer willing to accept your house “as is,” and the buyer can always find another home.

An experienced Realtor is a wonderful asset to both buyers and sellers when unforeseen issues come up in a sale. Realtors can act as liaisons between buyers and sellers, keeping the negotiations calm, professional, and objective. Many problems at closing can be avoided by making sure that the purchase contract is free of loopholes, and that all contingencies are addressed in a timely manner.

Work With Cindy

Cindy has carved a niche in serving high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals in Brentwood, Franklin, and Nashville. With a deep understanding of these upscale markets, she brings invaluable insights and recommendations tailored to each client's unique needs. Upholding the strictest confidentiality for her clients, she consistently delivers an unparalleled level of service and expertise. As a trusted real estate professional in Brentwood, Franklin, and Nashville, Cindy ensures every transaction is smooth, discreet, and tailored to perfection. Choose Cindy to navigate the luxury property landscape with confidence and finesse.

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