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Spring season is usually when the better weather comes; plants start to bloom, trees get their leaves back, etc., so people typically talk about Spring as the best time to sell. However, every home seller's situation is unique. Sometimes selling your home in the fall or winter months is better than waiting for the Spring real estate market. There is lower competition, and serious buyers are always searching for homes. Your home could sell just as well, or even better than during the Spring and Summer months.
We can show you just what the market is doing and which months have been stronger in previous years through updated statistics. Click here to check out the trends on this website.
Third-party websites like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and others use computer-generated home values based on formulas and calculations called algorithms. These estimates are sometimes relatively close but can be way off. Understandably, a home seller will be upset if the CMA, or comparative market analysis, comes in tens of thousands less than an online estimate. There is just no way that an algorithm can account for all of the nuances affecting an individual home. The home's value needs to be determined by an experienced local broker, not an online website.
This question is a widespread pricing error that sellers tend to make. Sellers sometimes believe that their home should be priced higher than what a top broker recommends. By pricing it higher than recommended, homes will typically sit on the market, ultimately selling for less than they would have if priced correctly at the beginning. A house priced correctly will sell quickly and close to its listing price. In a seller's market, a home priced correctly will often create a bidding war. Today's homebuyers are highly educated; there is no need for you to make concessions if your home is priced right.
The list price is the price asked for the home, and the sales price is the price a buyer paid.
While this is negotiable, some multiple listing services require a minimum listing period of 30-days to enter the listing into the system. The most common listing period is 90 to 120 days. However, if the home is unusual or in an upper price range, six to 12 month listing periods are not uncommon. Real estate brokers can end up spending thousands of dollars marketing higher-end homes and would like to recoup their expenses with a sale!
In addition to brokerage fees and loan payoffs, the most common costs sellers face are escrow fees, title fees, recording fees, property tax prorations, HOA dues if applicable, utility payoffs, and excise tax. Depending on the terms of the agreement, there could also be buyer closing costs. While usually nominal, once in a while, we will see a miscellaneous fee or two, such as a document preparation fee. Unless the Seller is paying part or all of the buyer closing costs, a rough estimate of seller costs, in addition to the brokerage fee, is three percent of the sales price.
While marketing is just one of many factors sellers should be looking at, it is second only to proper pricing in importance. Unless marketed heavily and professionally, not all prospective buyers may become aware of how great your home is. At the WEBREALTY Team, in addition to counseling sellers on price, condition, staging, accessibility, terms, and optimum brokerage fees, our primary focus is providing our sellers with an exemplary marketing system. As it is very comprehensive, you can get more details on our marketing by clicking here.
As with many answers to these frequently asked questions, communication methods and frequency will differ from one broker to the next. Your listing broker should contact you at least once per week when you are selling your home. However, we have had owners who only wanted contact if we had something significant to convey and others who wished to have daily updates. Your broker should consult with you about your communication frequency and preferences, whether email, text, or phone.
It is important to tell potential buyers everything you know about your home when you sell it. No one likes to "get the raw end" of a deal when buying a house, car, or anything else for that matter. It's always better, to be honest about any defects in your home. It's also best to fix defects as soon as possible if you know about them to avoid potential lawsuits or other issues once your home goes under contract.
In the State of Washington, there's a law regarding disclosures, and it requires most sellers to fill out a form, commonly known as Form 17, regarding all aspects of their home or property.
Before you list your home for sale, there are many things that you should know! The most common question that home sellers ask before listing their house is, "What steps should I take before listing my home?" A homeowner who does not adequately prepare their home for sale could be in serious trouble.
When it comes to selling your home, the expression "You never get another chance to make an impression" is very true. You must ensure that your home is presented in its best light when selling it. At a minimum, your home should be clean, bright, tidy, and free of foul odors. We recommend you watch The Importance of Condition and Staging on our Real Estate Seller School page. In addition, we have a checklist of general things you should do before putting your home on the market. You can access Preparing Your Home For Marketing from the Checklists and Tools drop down
Being flexible and making your home easy to show is one of the critical elements in getting your home sold quickly and for top dollar. In the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, we have an app called ShowingTime. The showing broker clicks on the ShowingTime icon, which takes them to a calendar for showings on your home. They select a suitable open time block, and the app will automatically approve the showing or contact the listing broker for approval, depending on the setup. The listing broker can then either grant the showing or run it by the homeowner before approving the showing. The showing broker gets notified when the showing is approved or denied. When the showing broker gets to the home, they will obtain the key from the lockbox on the door handle, chained to a post, or whatever is secure. They access the key through the ShowingTime app, which records their code. That way, the lockbox will record the showing of who it was and when they accessed the home. The app will also notify your listing broker whenever someone accesses the box if set up in the app.
When you know you have a showing coming up on your home, here's a quick and easy checklist for getting it ready.
Bedrooms, Living Room and Dining Areas
• Turn on lights
• Open curtains and blinds
• Make the beds
• Remove random items from tables and floors
• Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher
• Empty the trash
• Clear and wipe down counters
• Flush toilets
• Wipe down counters and fixtures
• Hang towels neatly
• Empty the trash
• Close garage door
• Pick up yard debris and trash
Easy answer: NO! Sellers shouldn't be present at showings for many reasons. Potential buyers will feel uncomfortable talking openly with their broker about your house at showings, and this is the main reason you shouldn't be present. It is best to leave your home before the scheduled viewing and return once the Buyer and their broker are gone.
The answer to this is multi-faceted. If the purchase is not all cash, your home will need to meet guidelines set forth by lending institutions. We discuss this under another question about appraiser-required repairs. In addition, most buyers conduct a thorough inspection. Virtually all homes have deficiencies of some sort, which is true even for many new construction homes. It is up to the buyer and seller to agree on who will handle needed repairs. You will find more information under the question about inspections.
With rare exceptions, the bank will perform an appraisal if a home buyer wants to obtain financing. The appraiser will be looking for safety concerns or hazards when performing their examination. Banks often require repairs such as missing handrails and broken windows. Appraisals are not home inspections, and a typical home inspection will reveal many more deficiencies than an appraisal will.
Most commonly, buyers have an inspection contingency in their offer. Buyers have the right to conduct many types of inspections or tests, usually at the Buyer's expense. There is a time limit for these inspections, usually 3 to 10 days. The Buyer needs to either remove the contingency or request modifications to the purchase and sale agreement within that period. The Seller then has the opportunity to accept the request, modify the request, or refuse the request. Changes to the transaction could include Seller repairs, monetary concessions, or a combination thereof to compensate the Buyer for the repairs.
The answer to this is not straightforward. Technically, if the offer does not involve a lender, an appraisal isn't required. While unusual, that doesn't mean the purchaser won't want it appraised. If the purchase requires financing, which most do, the answer is almost always yes. The lender wants to make sure they aren't lending too much against the house and needs to know what an appraiser says the value is. If the home and buyer both meet strict criteria calculated through an algorithm, some lenders will waive the appraisal requirement.
Many appliances will not look or fit right in another home. It is up to the Seller to decide whether or not to include them in their listing. Also, the Buyer could ask for one or more in their purchase offer. Remember that appliances do not increase the home's value as they are considered personal property.
Each municipality is different, but a certificate or permit is required to improve or alter property or land. Potential buyers have the right to request certificates of compliance when selling a house. Some buyers may not need permits, while others may. Technically, there is no need to provide receipts or certificates, but lacking a fence permit could be enough to lose a buyer.
The buyer may be eligible for seller concessions depending on the type of financing they are obtaining. Many home buyers are short on available funds to purchase a home, and they have excellent credit and work hard but lack the funds for a down payment plus closing costs. A seller concession allows a homeowner to pay a percentage or dollar amount toward the closing costs and pre-paid items. A buyer eligible for an FHA mortgage, as an example, may receive up to 6 percent of the purchase price toward their closing costs. A contribution like this could make the difference between a buyer being financially able to buy a home or the Seller selling it. It is not uncommon for buyers to pay more for the property to compensate wholly or partly for the concession amount, thus netting the Seller approximately the same as they would have received from someone not needing the concession.
Buyers may decide that they want to purchase a property before selling their current home. Under these scenarios, sellers often see a sale contingency in their purchase offers. A sale contingency means that the potential buyers of a house will need to sell their current home before closing the purchase of the "new" one.