Frequently Asked Questions
Thinking about selling your home? Below are some answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Q. When is the best time to sell my home?
Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from community to community. In most cases, the spring markets are the best time to be selling a home. Since every home seller’s situation is different, you should discuss the timing of your home sale with your Realtor.
Q. What steps should I take to prepare my home for sale?
Not properly preparing a home for sale can put a home seller at a huge disadvantage. The expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true when it comes to selling a home. Please see our Preparing your home for sale chapter for a complete breakdown.
Q. Why is the assessed value different than what the CMA says my home is worth?
The assessed value is not the same as the market value or the appraised value. The assessed value of a home is used by your local municipality to determine the yearly property taxes. The assessed value has no impact on how much your home is worth to a potential buyer in the marketplace.
Q. How do you determine how much my home is worth?
There are a number of methods for determining the value of a home. The most common method used by Realtors is by completing a Comparable Market Analysis or (CMA). A professionally completed CMA will take into account many features of not only the home, but also the local area and neighborhood.
Q. Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?
Many sellers believe that they should price their home higher than suggested to leave room for negotiations and low- ball offers. A well priced home will sell quickly and will sell close to the asking price. There is no need to leave room for negotiations, as today’s home buyers are very well educated.
Q. Should I include appliances or leave them as negotiable?
In many cases, the appliances in one home will not fit or look right in another. The decision whether to include appliances or make them negotiable is ultimately up to the seller. One thing to remember when deciding whether to include your appliances, they do not add much value to a home since appliances are considered personal property.
Q. Should I be present during showings?
There are many reasons why a seller should not be present during showings. The primary reason why you should not be present during showings is so potential buyers can feel comfortable to talk open and freely with their agent about your home. The best idea is to leave shortly before the scheduled showing and come back once you are certain the buyer and their agent have left your home.
Q. What is the standard commission?
There is no such thing as a standard commission. Commission is negotiable, period. That being said, the saying “you get what you pay for,” often is true when it comes to real estate. If a Realtor is willing to offer a lower commission to get your business, do you think that they will negotiate aggressively on your behalf when it comes to price? Choosing a Realtor based solely on commission is one of the top mistakes made by home sellers when selecting a Realtor to sell their home.
Q. What happens if I’m not happy and I want to cancel the contract?
The hope when selling a home is for a quick sale and top dollar. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Every state and contract has different terms and conditions. Generally speaking though, should you decide to cancel the listing agreement, you could be responsible for any expenses incurred by the real estate agent and brokerage firm.
Q. What are seller concessions and closing costs?
Depending on what type of financing the potential purchaser is obtaining, the option to receive seller concessions may or may not exist. It’s possible that a potential buyer has good credit and solid employment but lacks the funds necessary to purchase a home. Seller concessions allow a homeowner to contribute a percentage or a dollar amount towards a buyer’s closing costs and/or pre-paid charges. This may be the difference between a buyer being able to afford a home or not, and the seller being able to sell their home.
Q. How do I respond to “Low-Ball” offers?
Unfortunately, you may receive an offer that’s considerably lower than you were hoping for. Try to respond to any offer as a business decision and not an emotional one. If handled properly, a low-ball offer may lead to a successful sale. Some home owners are so upset that they decide not to respond to a low-ball offer, which ultimately ends any potential chance for a deal. A counter offer, even if it’s close to the asking price, is better than letting a potential buyer walk!
Q. How does the Inspection phase work?
Inspections are a common contingency that buyers make their purchase offers subject to. There are many different types of inspections and tests that a buyer has the right to perform. In most cases, inspections are at the expense of the buyer. They have a specified number of days to complete the inspections and also a specified number of days to remove the inspection contingencies or request the seller address the buyers concerns.