Seller Frequently Asked Questions
Thinking of selling? Here are some frequently asked questions and things to consider when you are planning to sell your home or condo.
When is a good time to sell?
An easy answer is when it’s best for you! Obviously, if you are closing on a home purchase, moving for work, or want to get settled before the new school year, you have a timeline you need to work with. But, if you have the luxury of choosing when to sell, there are a few considerations. Spring is traditionally a time when there are more buyers looking, but you may also have more competition. Fall, and closer to the holidays, is a good time to get a higher price from buyers that need to move before the new year. Watching the market is always smart. A seller’s market, meaning there are more buyers than sellers, is always a good time to list. The current market is a seller’s market and inventory of available homes and condos for sale is low.
What is my home worth?
Determining your home’s value is one very important reason to use a real estate agent. We will do a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help you set the correct listing price. We look at recent sales of comparable homes, similar homes that are under contract, and homes that are listed in the same price range of your home. Then we compare features of the homes including the size, style, number of rooms, age of the home, amenities, condition, lot size and placement, and the location or neighborhood. (Note: the tax appraiser’s assessed value of your home has nothing to do with the most likely selling price.)
How do I determine the right listing price?
What your home is worth and what you should list it at are not the same. You always want to have room to negotiate with buyers, so setting a “firm” price to avoid the negotiation process is not usually a good strategy. Neither is setting a very high price to “see what we get.” Setting an unreasonably high price usually results in longer time on the market, which does not look good to buyers and will frustrate you. Many sellers ask about the price that Zillow or other real estate websites give for their home. These are often not accurate because these sites are only taking into consideration very general demographics.
How long will it take to sell my home?
The length of time on market will depend upon the market in your area at the time of listing and whether the home is priced realistically. We are always working to get you the highest price in the shortest time possible. If you need to sell fast, that should be reflected in the list price.
How much will I pay in commissions?
Real estate commissions are a percentage of the sale price. Commissions are not paid directly to real estate agents, but to the listing broker. The listing broker then typically shares a percentage of the commission to the broker representing the buyer. Each broker then shares a percentage of their commission to the agents involved in the transaction. As your broker, Advisra will work very hard to represent you, with your best interests always the priority. If you have any questions about the business of real estate and the commission process, we would be happy to talk with you further.
What do I need to do to get my home ready to sell?
We recommend that you give the home a thorough cleaning– get rid of anything you aren’t taking with you, declutter surfaces, take care of repairs, make sure the major mechanical systems are in good operation, have the exterior pressure cleaned and the landscaping spruced up. You may also consider repainting if it is overdue or if the home is painted in dark or bold colors.
How will the showing process work?
We will decide together on how to handle showings. We can set parameters as to the hours and days that showings are allowed, and how to notify you in advance. Homes show best when the homeowner is not present, but if this is not possible, we will work together to create the best experience for the buyer that also fits your lifestyle. Usually we use an electronic lockbox that allows buyers’ agents to access your housekey. These boxes also notify us any time they are opened, so no one is accessing your home without our knowledge. If you have pets in the home that need to be tended to during showings, we will work out the best way to handle them. Furthermore, we will try to get feedback from each showing and pass that information back to you.
Should I consider FSBO or a flat fee listing service?
We strongly discourage those routes, not only because we want to help you sell your home, but also because they can be a huge burden and don’t get you the best price. Buyers know that when a home is sold FSBO or on a flat fee service, that the seller is paying little or no commissions, so they will offer less. Consider that when you sell your home by yourself, you will have to be present for all showings, and you won’t have someone to advocate for you through all the steps of the contract and closing process. If something goes wrong, you’ll want us in your corner to prevent problems or save the deal, so you don’t have to start over.
What marketing will you do to help sell my home?
Hands down, our best marketing tool is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) This is the database all real estate agents use when searching for properties for buyers. And buyers are using websites like Realtor.com, which is why all our listings automatically show up on these websites. We will list your home on our company website, and we may also use additional avenues such as open houses, brokers’ opens, and social media, depending on your home and the market.
What do I need to disclose?
It’s smart to disclose any issues right up front. Your buyers will have the right to inspect the home, so it’s best they are not hit with bad news after going under contract. If you know of problems with the appliances, plumbing, electric, HVAC, roof, foundation, property lines, or deed, these need to be listed on the Seller’s Disclosure. If there are repairs that you can have done before listing, go ahead and take care of those. Anything that cannot be remedied before listing should be considered when setting your list price.
What happens if my home doesn’t appraise above the contract price?
It sometimes happens that a home does not appraise at or above the contract price. When this happens, we go back to negotiations to determine if we can save the deal by adjusting both the sales price and the terms of the contract to the satisfaction of both buyer and seller. Usually we are able to work it out and keep the deal together. You always have the right to refuse to lower the price to meet the appraisal, but it’s usually in your best interest to try to work with the buyer to resolve the issue as the next appraisal could result in the same valuation. If you are concerned about the appraisal value, go ahead and have your home appraised before setting the listing price.
How do you negotiate multiple offers?
A multiple-offer scenario is a good position to be in as a seller. We will help you through the negotiation process to select the right buyer– and that is not always the one with the highest offer. We need to consider how strong the offer is, whether they are offering cash or financing, how much they are financing and what type of loan they are using. How much they are offering to put in escrow and the terms of the inspection process are indications of their commitment to the deal. You may also draw on sentiment: are they buying your home as an investment or a place to raise their family?
Thinking of selling? Contact Advisra today and let’s discuss!