Here is a list of Common Home Seller Questions we’ve encountered over the years.
Selling Your Home
Equity grows if the property value goes up or if the amount owed goes down. The key thing to remember, simple as it sounds, is that you “own” any increases in value. Equity in a home can be used as collateral for loans, such as a cash-out refinance to do home improvements. But a house is not a piggy bank. Home equity can become a key financial asset over time. Treat it wisely.
- Market conditions and recent area sales
- Condition of your home
- Repairs or improvements
- Time frame needed for your sale
In real estate terms, market value is the price at which a particular house, in its current condition, will sell within 30 to 90 days.
- Limits buyers – Potential buyers may not view your home because it would be out of their price range.
- Limits showings – Realtors may be more reluctant to show your home.
- Used as leverage – Other realtors may use your home as a reason to look at homes that are realistically priced.
- Extended time on the market – When a home is on the market too long it may be perceived as defective. Buyers may wonder, “what’s wrong,” or “why hasn’t this sold?”
- Lower eventual price – An overpriced home, still on the market beyond the average selling time, will lead to a lower selling price anyway. To sell it, eventually you will have to reduce the price, sometimes even several times. In the end, you’ll probably get less than if it had been properly priced at the start.
- Wasted time and energy – A bank appraisal is required to finance a home. You can list as high as you want but your home has to appraise. A low appraisal will force you to reduce the price. Pricing to high will cause you to make additional mortgage payments, cause stress, and waste time.
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
- How many homes have you personally sold (not team sales)?
- Can I see reviews from your past clients?
- How involved will you personally be with my sale (not team members)?
- What kind of communication can I expect during the selling process?
- When will you be available to answer Common Home Seller Questions?
- Do you have any experience with home staging and presentation?
- How will you prepare to sell my home?
- How do you decide the selling price?
- What are your terms and fees?
- Prepare and Review pre-appointment questions specific to property/area
- Discuss Goals With Seller To Market Effectively
- Give seller an overview of current market conditions and projections
- Provide Educational Materials to Consumers
- Perform exterior “Curb Appeal Assessment” and “interior assessment” of subject property
- Review results of Curb Appeal & Interior Décor Assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability
- Prepare detailed list of property amenities and assess market impact
- Help Stage & Present Properties
- Research all comparable and currently listed properties and all sales activity for past 6-12 months from MLS and public records databases
- Research “Average Days on Market” for this property of this type, price range and location
- Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions
- Review and explain all clauses in Listing Contract & Addendum and obtain seller’s signature
- Arrange for professional photos for upload into MLS
- Prepare MLS Profile Sheet — Agent is responsible for “quality control” and accuracy of listing data
- Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS Listing Database
- Arrange for property sign
- Install “safe” Realtor keybox
- Schedule Showings
- Feedback e-mails/faxes sent to buyers’ agents after showings
- Receive and review all Offer to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ agents.
- Contact buyers’ loan officer to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer
- Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a “net sheet” on each for the owner for comparison purposes
- Counsel seller on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer
- Negotiate and prepare all offers/counter offers on seller’s behalf
- Get All Disclosures Delivered & Signed
- Coordinate Property Inspections
- Meet the Inspector(s) at Property
- Coordinate With Vendors
- Negotiate Repairs
- Provide Comps for the Appraiser
- Meet the Appraiser at Property
- Dispute Low Appraisals
- Verify Delivery of Title Commitment
- Make Sure There is a Clear Title
- Keep The Transaction On Track
- Keep Up With Mortgage Company Progress
- Keep Clients Updated With Each Step
- Keep MLS Listing Data Current
- Keep Up With Changing Laws
- Keep client calm when the pressure’s on
- Smooth bumps in the road
- Verify Completion of Repairs
- Coordinate Home Warranty Company
- Coordinate Closing
- Review Settlement Statement for Errors
- Schedule & Attend the Walkthrough
- Remind Clients to Schedule Utilities
- Remove “safe” Realtor keybox and any staging materials
- Attend Closings
One agent represents the sellers and another represents the buyers. The commission is typically split between them. In the US, real estate commissions are commonly 6% of the transaction, usually 3% and 3% when split. No government or industry body sets commission rates. Legally, commission rates are negotiable. However, remember that agents only earn their commission on successful sales. Consider the results you expect as you evaluate the value you should put on the commission they earn.
The official figure is the one in tax records – typically the county tax records. Any other figure must be documented by a builder’s floor plan, an appraisal, or an official floor plan prepared by a company for a fee. If your house has been remodeled and you’re planning to sell, you may want to confirm that the official record matches your actual house – and update if required. This is especially true if have have an addition that was not legally permitted and cleared by city inspection. Some cities may let you legally permit an addition after the fact if you have all the proper documents, including blue prints or detailed building plans.
#1 Make your bed – Seriously. No one wants to see your crumpled sheets or your jammie pants on the floor next to bed, for that matter.
#2 Keep your home clean – Keep clutter off counters and shelves. No visible dirty dishes or clothes. You may not have much time to prepare when a Realtor is on the way to show your house to a prospective buyer. Save yourself the stress and keep everything in it’s proper place. Teach your kids the importance keeping up with their rooms.
#3 Warm it up – Baking bread or cookies, adding fresh flowers and colorful pillows and throws, and having soothing music in the background are touches used by professional stagers to make a place warm and inviting.
#4 Light it up – Light sells homes. Clean windows, inside and out. Light bulbs should all be working and curtains open.
#5 Go Away – Don’t hover. Be prepared to leave within 30 minutes if a prospective buyer wants to see your house. Buyers wont envision themselves buying if you’re around.
- Bring your driver’s license to verify your identity
- Review the settlement statement for seller charges and credits to insure accuracy
- Sign your deed, giving the buyer title to the house upon successful closing
After your signing appointment:
- Wait for the buyer to sign and for the lender to wire the buyer’s mortgage money to the closing agent
- Title is recorded at the county making the buyers the legal owner
- Your sales proceeds will be wired to your bank account after everything is official
Questions about Buying a Home.