Seller's Resource Center
Frequent Seller Questions
1. I’ve Decided to Sell. Now What?
When selling your home, setting the correct asking price is the all important first step because it means more (or less!) money in your pocket.
Review the current market and price accordingly. Asking too much or too little will keep buyers from even viewing your home let alone from purchasing it. Be sure to take into account specifics like square footage, number of rooms, age and especially location. Because home prices are always rising and falling, it's very important that you base your asking price on the most recent comparable sales in your area and not on the most impressive numbers.
Consider employing the use of a Free Home Evlauation (CMA). These background reports will help you create a reasonable list price for your home. If you ask for CMAs from multiple real estate agents, choose a list price that reflects an overall consensus of the results. Request your Free Home Evaluation.
2. What Does MLS Mean?
MLS simply stands for "Multiple Listing Service." When real estate agents are members of the MLS, they can be a part of any aspect of a home purchase or sale. In other words, even if a property is listed with Company A, it may be sold by an agent working at Company B. So if you, as the seller, list your property with a real estate agent who is a member of MLS, you'll give yourself the extra benefit of having more agents aware of your listing.
3. Should I Use A Real Estate Professional?
Absolutely. Designations such as GRI (Graduate of Realtors Institute), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and ePro show additional commitment and knowledge from an agent. Negotiating the complex workings of the market becomes even more involved in the current market. Having a professional's knowledge of the market to help you through every aspect of the transaction-from financing to the purchase contract-is invaluable. A professional agent can assure you’ll sell as quickly as possible, and that you’ll get the best price for your home.
4. Is There A Best Time to Sell My House?
On average, the real estate market begins to pick up in February, with the strongest selling typically occuring during the spring months of May through June. Interestingly, July is one of the slowest months of the year as home buyers, sellers, and real estate agents alike head out for summer vacations. Of course, the ultimate selling factors are supply and demand and general economic health, but the month in which you list your home can actually net you a higher selling price. Read our Seasonal Selling Article.
5. How Can I Get My House to Sell Quickly?
Generally a house sells more quickly when it has been well maintained and is priced similarly to other houses for sale in the area. Fixing those little things you just haven’t gotten around to, like those sticky doors or squeaky floorboards, can make the difference between a fast sale and a long wait.
6. How Much Home Improvement Is Worthwhile?
If you don’t ever plan on moving, or if you simply enjoy the work and the results, the answer to this question might be "there’s no such thing as too much home improvement." However, most folks won’t live in the same house forever, so there is generally a limit to the amount of improvements that should be made, especially if you intend to own to sell.
There are some high-return improvements, like kitchen, bathroom, and master suite remodels, that often will bring a higher sale price, but large investments generally don’t pay for themselves. Instead consider small projects that enhance curb appeal, like planting flowers or having your house powerwashed.
7. What Information Must I Share With Potential Buyers?
When selling your home, you as the seller, as well as 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 you as the homeowner have personal knowledge but might not be obvious to the casual observer. A cracked foundation would be one example.
When dealing with the sale of your home, you will usually be required to provide a Seller Disclosure Statement. This statement identifies the current condition and history of all physical aspects of your house.
8. My Neighbor Just Sold For Much More Than I'm Asking. Why?
First off, don't panic. It is not uncommon for houses in the same neighborhood to sell for differing prices. Location is just one of the components that factor into home price. Be sure to take into account other factors such as age, size, style, features and recent additions or remodels that have been made. You may quickly realize that the variance in price is reasonable given the differences between the houses you discover with your assessment. If there is no discernible difference in your two homes, consult your real estate agent to get a clearer idea of whether you should consider adjusting your asking price.
9. What Are Purchase Offer Contingencies, and What Do They Mean To Me?
The are two standard types: Financing and Inspection.
- Financing Contingency: In this case, the home purchase is dependant upon whether or not a buyer can secure a loan.
- Inspection Contingency: In this case, a buyer has the right to have the property inspected for any issues. If significant issues arise, the purchase offer could possibly be revoked.
- Contingent on sale/Closing of Buyers Property
In either case, outcomes can vary. For example, if the buyers back out of a sale for reasons other than those contained within the contract agreement, their deposit could be forfeited over to you. On the other hand, if you don’t fulfill your end of the deal as the seller (for example by not making agreed upon repairs, or by making substantial changes to the property before the closing), there could be ramifications to the purchase as well.