1. How do I set the selling price for my home?

When selling your home, setting the right price is imperative.  Follow these steps to make sure you’ve set the best price for your home:

  • Review the current real estate market and price your home accordingly.
  • Take into consideration factors like square footage, number of rooms, and location.
  • Real estate prices are constantly on the move.  It’s critical that you base your home price on the most recent comparable sales in your vicinity.
  • Consider employing the use of a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)—a background report that helps you create a reasonable list price for your home.  A CMA is available for you free by clicking here.

2. What are the two standard contingencies found in a purchase offer?

The two standard contingencies found in a purchase offer are:

  • Financing contingency: The home purchase is contingent upon whether or not the buyer can secure a loan from a lender.
  • Inspection contingency: A buyer has the right to have the property inspected for any problems that may have not been disclosed.  If significant issues arise, the purchase offer could be revoked.

In either contingency, the outcomes may vary.  A deposit can be forfeited if the buyers renege on a sale for reasons other than those contained within the contract agreement.    If the seller does not fulfill his or her responsibilities (e.g., clear title not given, agreed-upon repairs not made, substantial changes to the property effected before closing), the purchase again, may be forfeited or other consequences may occur.

3. What types of issues must a seller disclose when selling a home?

When selling your home, you (the seller) and your broker (if you have one) are responsible for disclosing any known issues that could materially affect the value of the property.  More specifically, disclosure must include items which may not be obvious to the casual observer, such as a cracked foundation, of which you, as the homeowner, have knowledge.

When dealing with the sale of homes, the seller is usually required to provide a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement.  This identifies the current condition and history of all physical aspects of the house.

4. Is there a “best” time to sell my house?

Yes, there are better and worse times to sell your home.  The ultimate selling factors are, of course, supply and demand and general economic health.  Another factor is the month in which you list your home, which can actually net you a higher selling price.

On average, the real estate market begins to pick up in February. The strongest selling typically occurs during the spring months from May through June. Interestingly, July is one of the slowest months of the year, mostly because home buyers, seller, and real estate agents alike are on vacation.

5. How can I get my house to sell fast?

There are numerous factors that go into the speed of which a house sells.  Generally, a house sells most quickly when it has been well-maintained and priced similarly to other houses selling in the area in a healthy sales market.  Also, if your home has been remodeled within the past ten years, you’ll find it will not only sell more quickly, but will also top the prices of your competitors in your neighborhood.

6. How much home improvement is too much?

If you plan to remain in your home and you enjoy home improvement, the answer might be, “There is never ‘too much’.”  However, most individuals won’t live in their homes forever, so there is generally a cap to the amount of home improvement that should be done. In other words, there are high-return improvements that will generally recognize a higher sales price, such as kitchen, bathroom and mater suite remodels. But other less-obvious upgrades may not have such     significant returns.

7. Nobody came to my Open House—what’s happening?

It’s rare to have empty Open Houses in today’s market, but it does happen. Why? There are several reasons why you may not be seeing the kinds of interest you were expecting, and the most prevalent is a too-high price tag.  Being a homeowner, you know that homebuyers are a savvy lot.  They are researching, comparing home prices, and knowthe prices of other homes in your neighborhood that are being sold.  Unless you have some hidden gem that you’ve advertised well, buyers won’t spend time looking at an unreasonably priced home.  Compare your list price to comparable homes in the neighborhood and decide if you should adjust your price.  If it’s an issue of an overpriced house, when you bring it down to the appropriate price, you’ll sell your home much faster.

8.What is the MLS?

MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service.  When a real estate agent is a member of theMLS, s/he has the ability to be part of any aspect of a home purchase or sale.  In other words, even if a property is listed with Company I, it maybe be sold by an agent workingat Company II.

If you, as the seller, list your property with a real estate agent who is a member of MLS, you’ll give yourself the added benefit of having more agents aware of your listing and, ultimately, working for you.

9. Should I use a real estate professional?

Yes!  A professional agent will secure the best price for your home.  Negotiating the complex workings of the market is incredibly involved.  Having a professional’s invaluable expertise will make every aspect of the transaction easier, from financing to the purchase contract.

10. What should I do if my neighbor just sold their home for a lot more than I’m asking?

Don’t panic!  It’s not uncommon for houses in the same neighborhood to sell at different prices.  Location is just one of the components that factor into home pricing. Before raising     your asking price, consider other factors, such as age, features, size, style, and any recent additions or remodels you may have made to your home.  You’ll quickly find that the difference in price is reasonable, given the differences you discover with your assessment.  If there is no discernable difference between your home and your neighbor’s, consult your real estate agent about considering an adjustment of your askingprice.


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Bill Zufelt  Realtor®  License #01491164