Orchestrating the Sale of Your House


Honolulu Symphona Orchestra

Conduct Your Own Orchestra – photo credit hawaiisymphonyorchestra.org

Selling your house can be one of the most difficult transactions you’ll ever be a part of. It sure would be nice if selling your house was like selling your car, your couch or your prized baseball card collection. The truth, though, is that selling your house is no easy feat. It requires orchestrating a multitude of moving parts, legal and non-legal in nature, technical and non-technical, financial and non-financial, personal and impersonal, strategic and reactionary.

It’s this diverse array of moving parts that makes the buying and selling of real estate its own robust and regulated industry. It’s also what makes the selling of your house akin to a conductor and his orchestra. My wife is a classically-trained pianist and teacher here in Honolulu and I find the metaphor rather appropriate. :)

The Orchestra of Selling Your House

An orchestra can only create beautiful music with excellent violins, cellos, clarinets, trumpets, percussion and other instruments. Just the same, a successful home sale can only be accomplished with its own excellent performances of the individual parts. Let’s look at each “musician” in our example of a home sale:

The Home Seller. The one selling a home is ultimately the most important person involved. While they may not have all the knowledge necessary regarding property value, staging and paperwork, they will make the final decision on which offer to accept and which to reject. No sale is complete without the willingness and cooperation of the homeowner.

The Home Buyer. Every sale has both a seller and buyer, whether it’s a single family house in Hawaii or a gallon of milk. The buyer needs to be on board with the terms of the contract. A good home buyer will do the required due diligence, such as a home inspection and loan application (unless buying with cash), but will also view themselves as a partner in the successful closing of the transaction.

Title and Escrow Officer — The title/escrow officer performs many important duties in the selling of a house. They’ll make sure all liens are discovered and paid off as appropriate, handle the financial deposits made by the buyer and make sure all required paperwork is in order and properly recorded. It’s critical that you work with a title/escrow officer who has experience in your type of real estate transaction. They are perhaps the percussion of the transaction, keeping the pace for everyone else.

Mortgage Broker. If your home buyer is getting a loan, then their mortgage broker will also play a critical part in successfully closing the sale. They need to get the loan processed and approved so that it can close and record on time. Otherwise, delays will occur and the transaction may fall apart due to missed deadlines or denied loan applications.

Real Estate Agent. If you choose to use a real estate agent to sell your house, then they will also be a critical part of the transaction. They will be responsible for marketing the house, preparing it for public and broker open houses, and helping you decide on a reasonable asking price. They’ll also help you through some of the contract papers that may be difficult to those not in the housing industry.

Real Estate Investor. Of course, if you choose to sell your house directly or privately to a real estate investor (like us!), then the investor will help you through all the steps required of the seller to complete the sale. They’ll be working with an experienced escrow officer to make sure all the paperwork is in order, have their cash ready to close and be otherwise prepared to make sure the sale happens on time and as described in the contract. If you’re in a foreclosure, probate, divorce, bankruptcy, tax lien or other distressed scenario, this may be a great solution for you.

Selling your house requires orchestrating people in different yet related roles. If any one is not up to par or hits any roadblocks, then the whole transaction is at risk of delay or falling apart altogether. That’s why it’s important to make sure every person on your real estate team is top notch. If you want to make beautiful music, then you must be the conductor of your own orchestra and lead your musicians to a successful performance.

Quick footage of my wife Nanae :)

  • Jessica Sala

    Great post! All of these people are necessary to the sale and you’ve done a wonderful job explaining all the roles :)

  • Kerry Adams

    Nice article, interesting reading ;-) Very well explained and elaborated and roles of each one are very much important and interdependent. If all these notes play well, only then it sounds like a melody.