Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to list my home for sale?
The best time to sell your home is when there is the most competition for homes in our area. For us, that is the spring market. This means putting your home up for sale in March, April, or May. But the summer months following are also just fine. If your timing cannot allow for this, know that ALL homes will sell. It just might take a little longer in the late fall and winter months, or you might end up with a little lower sales price. But it'll sell regardless of the time of year.
How is the real estate market right now?
Our standard metric for gauging the market is "Months Supply of Inventory." This metric shows a balanced market when we have 6 months supply of inventory. This means that it would take existing buyers 6 months to buy up the existing inventory.
Right now in 2018, the market is extremely a sellers market, with a 1.3 months supply of inventory.
What should I disclose to potential buyers?
In real estate the famous phrase "location, location, location" should come second to "disclose, disclose, disclose." As a seller, the more you disclose, the less liability you'll have. As much as you can disclose, the better. I've had sellers attach additional pages to the standard disclosure statement to allow room for more detail.
What Do I Need To Disclose
How much is my home worth?
A home is going to sell for exactly how much a buyer is willing to pay for it. We can determine the price range of where the house should sell by doing a Comparable Market Analysis, and pricing the home within that analysis.
Why is the assessed value different than the market value?
Assessed market value (usually done by the city assessor's office) is the value they are using to calculate the property tax. It is based on values of homes in your immediate area, but is done only once in a while. Each city varies, but oftentimes it isn't updated over decades. When a house sells, oftentimes the assessor's office will update the tax value to reflect the recent sale. So tax value can vary significantly from the actual market value by tens of thousands, especially if the home hasn't sold in several years, or even a decade or more.
Why should I pay for the buyer's closing costs?
On the seller's side, it really doesn't matter if you pay for the buyer's closing costs or not. If you are willing to accept a $300,000 offer, you'd probably also accept a $309,000 with $9,000 of buyer's closing costs because to you they should be the same thing.
Shouldn't I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?
No. The house is going to sell at market value no matter what. First step is understanding that market value decreases over time. The longer a house is on the market, the lower the final market value. So pricing a home to leave room for negotiations generally means that the house will be on the market longer, which generally means a lower final sale price.
How do I respond to low-ball offers?
There are several strategies to respond to low-ball offers, with the most common one being countering at full list price. That signals to the buyer that you don't like their offer price, and they should come back with something more realistic.
What happens if the appraisal comes in low?
In the case of a low appraisal, there are a few options:
- The buyer can come up with more cash to cover the difference
- We can negotiate the purchase price down and come up with something in-between.
- We can try to appeal the appraisal, which is usually not very successful.
- We can walk away and get a new buyer.
- We can have the buyer start over with a new mortgage company.
Why isn't anyone looking at my home?
Most likely there are things that are not catching the buyer's attention. This could be related to staging, or appeal, or price. Usually it boils down to price. When a home is priced right, or even a little low, you'll get lots of showings which usually means the house will sell right away.
What should I do to prepare for showings?
Clean up and put dishes and laundry away. If you have time to turn on the lights, it's always a nice touch. When you leave the home in the morning, leave it in show-ready condition.
Should I be present at showings?
No. Buyers will most likely feel uncomfortable being in houses with the sellers because it doesn't allow them the freedom to talk with their agent about the house. It is much better to give them their time and space.