Common Questions for Sellers
Selling your house really get you thinking, please Contact Me for any questions you have. I am always here to help make the sale of your home as easy and comfortable as possible.
- Is there a best time to sell my house?
- Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?
- How much is my home worth?
- What should I do to get my house ready?
- Should I make repairs?
- What are my obligations to disclose?
- Are there standard conditions in an offer?
- Should I be flexible in granting conditions?
- What do I do if my house isn't getting activity?
Property sells year round. It is mostly a function of supply and demand, as well as other economic factors. The time of year you choose to sell can make a difference in the amount of time it takes and the final selling price. Weather conditions are often a consideration in some areas than in other parts of the country. Generally the real estate market picks up in the early spring.
During the summer, the market usually slows. The end of June to mid-August are often the slowest months for real estate sales. Many prospective home buyers and REALTORS® take vacations during mid-summer.
After the summer slowdown, sales activity tends to pick up for a second, although less vigorous, season which usually lasts into the end of November. The market then slows again as buyers, sellers and REALTORS® turn their attention to the holidays.
The supply of homes on the market diminish because sellers often wonder whether or not they should take their homes off the market for the holidays. There are still buyers in the market place, but now those buyers have fewer homes to choose from. Those homes on the market at that time have considerably less competition. Generally speaking, you'll have the best results if your house is available to show to prospective buyers continuously until it sells.
The two most important factors are price and condition in selling a home. The first step is to price it properly. Then, go through the house to see if there are any cosmetic defects that can be repaired.
A third factor is exposure. It is also important that the home gets the exposure it deserves through open houses, advertising, good signage and listing on the local Multiple Listing Service®, as well as the internet.
Choose the real estate REALTOR® that you believe will get the job done, not the one that quotes you the highest price – sometimes just to buy your listing.
There are two methods many people use to determine their homes value, an appraisal and comparative market analysis.
Appraisals vary in cost and are defendable in court. They average about $350 – $450 for a single family home and more on multi-family dwellings. Appraisers review numerous factors and base information on recent sales of similar properties, their location, square footage, construction quality, excess land, views, water frontage and amenities such as garages, number of baths, etc.
A comparative market analysis on the other hand is an informal estimate of market value performed by a real estate REALTOR®. It is based on sales and listings that will compete with your property that are similar in size, style and location. A range of values will be determined thus arriving at a probable market value. Many REALTORS® offer a free analysis anticipating they will have a new client.
The analysis or opinion should be in writing and should involve professionally accepted appraisal practices.
The way you live in a home and the way you sell a house are two different things. First and foremost, "de-clutter" counter tops, walls and rooms. Too many "things" make it difficult for the buyer to see their possessions in your rooms or on your walls, however don't strip everything completely or it will appear stark and inhospitable. Then clean and make attractive all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It's especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless. Organize closets. Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work and get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords. Make sure the house smells good: from an apple pie, cookies baking or spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Hide the kitty litter, and possibly put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house. Pleasant background music is also a nice touch.
The second important thing to consider is "curb appeal." People driving by a property will judge it from outside appearances and make a decision then as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. Also make sure that the doorbell works.
Minor repairs before putting the house on the market may lead to a better sales price. Buyers often include a condition for a "home inspection clause" in the purchase contract which allows then to back out if numerous defects are found. Once the problems are noted, buyers can attempt to negotiate repairs or lowering the price with the seller. Any known problems that are not repaired must be revealed as a material defect. You do not have to repair the problem, only reveal it and the house should be appropriately priced for that defect.
Items sellers often disclose include: Homeowner’s association dues: whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes and permits requirements, any restrictions on the use of property, including but not limited to zoning.
In most offers a Buyer will ask for a Seller Property Information Statement. It is a written disclosure from the Seller. I as your REALTOR® will go through the disclosure with you at the time of a listing including the pro’s and con’s.
Sellers do not have to disclose the terms of other offers. However, sellers must disclose the existence of other offers, so that all parties are aware that they should be submitting their best offer.
Yes, usually there are four basic conditions in a purchase contract; financing, home inspection, insurance and request for a Seller Property Information Statement.
That often depends on if you are in a buyer's or a seller's market, the condition of your home, the price you hope to get, how motivated you are to sell, as well as the quality and quantity of the offers you are getting.
Any conditions that are negotiated are written into your contract. Both the buyer and seller can place requirements on the table during the negotiation phase.
A frequently seen condition is regarding the sale and closing of the buyers home before they can purchase yours. Whether this requirement is reasonable, or even achievable, depends on the individuals involved. Financial capabilities usually play a major role in negotiations. Few people can afford to own two homes simultaneously. However, as your REALTOR® prior to accepting such an offer, I would make sure to add an Escape Clause, whereas, we continue to market the property and if another acceptable offer comes in, we would give the first offer 48 hours to remove their condition or we will accept the second offer.
Even in a slow market, price and condition are the two most important factors in selling a home.
If a home is not getting the activity it needs in order to sell it is probably because it is overpriced for the market. The first step is to lower the price. Then go through the house and see if there are cosmetic defects that you missed that can be repaired.
The second step is to make sure that the home is getting the exposure it deserves through open houses, advertising, good signage and a listing on the Multiple Listing Service® and internet.
Finally, frustrated sellers who have no equity and are forced to sell because of a long term illness, divorce or financial considerations should discuss this with their mortgage lender and their REALTOR®.