Common Home Seller Questions
Selling a home is a big step, and quite a project. Your home is normally your most valuable asset, and you want the job done right. Our sellers have many of the same questions.
- Should I sell my home now? – This may seem like a funny question to ask, but if you don’t have to relocate for a job or some other reason, then selling a home is a choice. And, when you have a choice, you may want to make a decision based on the economics of the situation. We can help you to evaluate the local real estate market, where your home sits in relation to the current listed competition, and whether it’s a good time to sell if you don’t have to.
- I hear that you do a CMA, what’s that? – When we’re working with a home seller to come up with the right listing price, we do two CMAs (Comparative Market Analysis). One gathers data from recently sold similar homes in the area, and the other uses the listing prices of current listings to determine competitive pressure. Between the two, we can help our sellers to set the right price for the market.
- How do I compete with foreclosures? – A lot of the pressure you’re feeling is brought about by the media and coverage of foreclosures. The fact is that the vast majority of foreclosure properties are in need of extensive repairs and replacement of appliances, heating and cooling systems and other structural components. New lenders will not grant a mortgage on these homes unless the work is done, and the banks aren’t selling them that way. So, foreclosures make great bargains for cash buyers who want to rehab them. However, for the buyers you’ll be marketing to, they will be seeing yours as a home that’s ready to move into and in good condition. It’s worth more to them.
- Can I help a buyer financially to get my home sold? – In most cases you can. Their lender will set the rules for this usually. However, it’s common for sellers to pay some of the closing costs for buyers. Ask your agent, and when you have a buyer, their mortgage broker.
- How long will my home stay on the market? – This is both a complicated and an easy question to answer. The easy answer is not long if it’s priced right, too long if it’s over-priced. Work with your agent to determine the best listing price for your current market.
- Will I have to make repairs before closing? – Usually, after inspections, a buyer can request some or all of the deficiencies in your home be repaired before closing. However, it’s a negotiation, just like the selling price. Sometimes the lender will require some repairs, but you can still negotiate who pays for them.
- How do real estate brokerages market their listings? – Real estate brokers use some or all of the following marketing methods and media:
- Homes magazines
- Brokerage website
- Agent’s website
- Syndication to websites all over the Web
- Direct mail
- The MLS
- What if I get a better offer after I’ve accepted another one? – Generally, if you’ve signed a purchase contract accepting the first offer, you’re bound by its terms. You can’t just dump it for a better deal. If for some reason the buyer doesn’t follow through properly, there are ways in which the contract can be legally cancelled and you can then accept a backup offer.
- How long before I should consider reducing my home’s price? – Work with your real estate listing agent on this. They will be monitoring the market, and how it’s changing. It could be that there are fewer comparable homes on the market due to recent sales, and you can hold the line on price. Or, if the market numbers prove it, your agent can recommend a price adjustment.