There is a lot
to think about when you are considering selling your home. The
first part of the plan is where you will go, the second is when.
When you have made up your mind to move, the rest falls into place.
Here are some things to consider:
I find an Agent?
If you are moving out of the area and need help in locating an agent
in your new city, let me know. I network with agents all over the United
States, agents who are Certified Residential Specialists and agents who
are familiar with working with Seniors. I can put you in touch with a
qualified, experienced agent who can inform you of market conditions
in your new area and help with your moving plans.
What's my first step?
Choosing an agent should be your first step. You should choose a professional
Realtor who has a strong marketing plan, who you feel will skillfully negotiate
in your best interest, and who will manage the transaction from start to finish.
This is a business transaction so I don't recommend hiring a friend. As the saying
goes, you can't fire a friend. In addition, don't select a Realtor based on his
or her estimate of the value of your home.
What changes should I make to my house?
Your Realtor can help you decide what changes or improvements should be made
to your property before it goes on the market. Curb appeal is important so the
landscaping should be spruced up. Inside, look at your property as if you are
the buyer, with a critical eye. Go from there. Do what you can within your budget.
The goal is to get the most for your home and its condition is one of the components
of a high price.
How do I set the price of my home?
The answer to this question is complex. Your agent has to be in tune with the
market to know how to price your home. Our market can change from day to day
so be sure your agent is on top of the current trends for your area. You should
be aware of competing properties and properties that were sold within the last
6 months. The number of days on the market, overbidding and circumstances of
the past sales are all relevant information to help establish your price. Honest
but truthful - what doesn't affect the value of your home is 1) what you paid
for it, 2) the amount of money you need from the sale, 3) what you want from
the sale, and 4) what an appraiser says your home is worth. Keep in mind, bottom
line, value is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay in today's market,
based on comparing your home to others currently on the market.
can I communicate with my agent?
is the key to a successful transaction. You should be comfortable
asking your agent plenty of questions. Discuss your goals,
timing and wish list at the beginning of your transaction. Most agents
are connected with email, to the Internet and have voice mail and cell
phones so you can easily keep in touch.
Along with economic
factors such as supply and demand, the time of year you choose
to sell can impact both the length of time it takes to sell
your home and its ultimate selling price. Weather conditions
are more or less of a consideration depending upon where you live. Typically,
however, the real estate market picks up around February, continues strong
through late June, and tapers off during July and August.
September through November generally marks a rally not as strong as
late winter and spring, followed by a slowdown from Thanksgiving through
and beyond the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
should I price my home?
You must take into
account the prevailing state of the real estate market and
especially local market conditions. The real estate market
continually changes, and market fluctuations affect property values.
So it is critical to determine your listing price based on the most recent
comparable sales in your neighborhood.
A comparative market analysis
provides the background information on which to determine your listing
price. Review the comparable sales data provided to you by the
different agents you've interviewed. If all agree on a specific
price range, you're wise to go with this consensus. And be wary
of an agent whose opinion of value is much higher than the others.
the downside, if any, of pricing my home on the high side?
Several factors may come into play:
might help sell similar homes that are priced lower
Your home may be on the market longer
You could lose market interest and qualified
You might create a negative impression of
You could lose money as a result of making
extra mortgage payments while incurring taxes, insurance
and unplanned maintenance costs
You may have to accept less money
A potential buyer may face appraisal and
financing problems resulting from the inflated price
long should it take to sell my home?
it depends upon market conditions. But if your home is priced
right and in good condition, you should be able to expect
the minimum market time in your area. On the other hand,
if your home is overpriced and needs work, the opposite likely
will be true.
As a seller, what
are my disclosure obligations?
to disclose information about a property vary from state
to state. The focus on disclosing defects has become more
intensive in recent years, often including locally mandated
disclosure forms for revealing any material defects. Typically,
you must disclose all the facts affecting the value or desirability
of your property that are known or accessible only to you.
For example, you are required to indicate any significant
defects of which you are aware about the home's major systems,
the presence of environmental hazards, room additions or
repairs made without the necessary permits or not in compliance
with building codes, zoning violations and much more.
What should I do to prepare my house for sale?
are many things you can do to make your home show better
without spending a lot of money. Following are some things
you can do to make sure would-be buyers are impressed when
they arrive, also known as "curb appeal."
- Paint your front
door, shutters, trim and any other outside features showing
signs of wear
- Wash windows inside
and out, replace screens or glass as needed
- Replace faded wallpaper
and/or glue areas that have come loose
- Repair worn woodwork
- Repaint scarred
or dirty walls in a neutral color
- Steam clean carpeting
or replace it, if necessary
- Repair loose knobs,
sticking doors and windows, warped cabinet draws, broken
light switches and other minor flaws
- Check and repair
caulking in bathtubs and showers
- Open draperies and
curtains to let the light in during the showing
- Keep fresh, clean
towels in the bathroom
- Use candles or air
freshener to give rooms a pleasant scent
light your home, even during daytime showings, to create
a cozy mood and highlight positive attributes of each
all discount real estate brokers do is to put homes in
the multiple listing service. They won't guide
you through the sales process, market or show
your home, qualify your prospective buyers,
handle the often-delicate negotiations with
buyers or do many other vitally important things
that a full-service real estate professional
will do on your behalf and best interest.
another valuable service your listing agent will provide.
An agent representing you as seller should communicate
with the lender in advance and have some assurance
that the buyer is pre-approved for a loan at the onset
of the contract negotiations. Ideally, the buyer is
a non-contingent buyer and a pre-approved buyer.
No. If you
prefer a lower-priced offer, perhaps with a better-qualified
buyer and/or more attractive terms, you can accept that
offer instead. Or you can give counteroffers to one
or more of the buyers. Beware, however, that if you
turn down a full-priced offer, you may owe your agent
a full commission even if you decide not to sell your
It is very
unwise to try to back out of the contract because a purchase
offer that's accepted is a legal contract that the buyer
can seek legal remedies to enforce.
the buyer orders one or more home inspections doesn't
obligate the seller to make repairs or modifications
as a result of those inspections. Typically, however,
inspection reports are used to negotiate repairs of
major problems, or environmental or safety hazards
that may be noted. The purchase contract should provide
guidance for these negotiations.
proposed purchase price you typically subtract:
- Balance on your
- Other liens, if
any, such as equity loans and judgments
- Broker's commission
- Legal costs of selling,
such as escrow agent's and attorney's fees
- Transfer taxes
- Unpaid property
taxes and water bills
- If required by the
contract, items such as the cost of survey, termite and
other inspections, necessary repairs, buyer's closing
costs and more