Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the agent's commission?
Typically commissions are 6% of a home's sale price and is usually shared with the buyer's agent. But commissions are completely negotiable.
- Should I present when buyers view my house?
No. Having the owner in the house makes the buyers feel uncomfortable. It makes buyers feel like they can't make comments or ask questions that could be seen as offensive. I mean the owner has a history and attachment to the house and this leads to the tendency to argue if a potential buyer makes a comment that would be a little negative. So again, NO it's just a bad idea and can turn off buyers and lose you offers.
- Is staging really important?
The short answer is yes. On average, a staged home sells 88% faster, and for 20% more money than a home that's left as it. The reason for this is because when a home is staged a buyers can more easily envision themselves living in your home. When staging a home you want to choose neutral paint colors and remove any family photos and overall create a blank canvass that allows them to mentally fill with their loved once and themselves.
- How long will it take to sell my home?
Nationally homes spend about 100 days on the market before they sell, but the time varies based on your area and price. So, make sure to price your home competitively and make sure that you and your Realtor are getting the place in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Some of the ways you can help get your home sold faster is to spread the word through your own social networks and tell your friends and family. You never know how sharing the listing of your home could lead to the eventual sale of your home.
- How much is my house worth?
The exact price of your own home will depend on its size, neighborhood, and many other factors. Now one thing that the majority of us are guilty of is mentally inflating the positives of our home and downplaying the flaws which are much more apparent to the eyes of buyers. Before getting mentally set on a price for your home contact a Realtor to get a more realistic number.
- How much needs to be done to my house before putting it on the market?
In most cases, there is very little that you would need to do in order to get your home market-ready. Before thinking that you need to spread a large amount of money on upgrades and months of your time get in touch with a Realtor first. You might be surprised by your current sales prospects.
- When can I back out if I change my mind?
You can always back out of a deal, but doing so without good reason may forfeit your earnest money (which is the money you put down to secure the offer, typically around 1-2% of the home's price).
- Should I get a home inspection?
Yes, Yes, YES! By getting a home inspection you're further ensuring that you don't have critical issues with your future home which can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs or worse jeopardize you and your family's safety. If there are some things that aren't up to par, you can always negotiate with the seller to get those fixed before you sign the paperwork.
- How quickly can I close?
Typically escrow periods are 30 to 45 days.
- How do I know if the property is a good deal?
Unfortunately, there is no crystal ball of whether a certain home is a bargain and will appreciate, but as long as you or your Realtor researches you can keep the surprises to a minimum. By far, the best method is to check out similar properties that have sold in your area (other wide called "comps") and check if those prices have been going up or down in the recent past.
- What do you think the seller will accept as a fair price?
Generally speaking, knocking 5% off the list price won't ruffle any feathers. But if a home has been sitting on the market for months, you can venture below that because at the end of the day, you don't know how low a seller will go, as there are a million different motivations for selling a property. If the sellers are eager to get out of a property, you might just score a sweet deal.
- How many homes should I see before making an offer?
That is completely up to you. Some home shoppers can look at hundreds of homes online but then view 10 homes in person before putting in an offer. Now keep in mind this varies for different people. Some people are able to find their next homes within hours of starting their search and for others it takes months. If you really want to streamline the process, consider focusing in on a particular neighborhood or two that you're keen on. But on the other hand, if you're feeling limited by your options, you may want to expend to surrounding areas.
- Can I buy a home and sell my current one at the same time?
Yes. But it's tricky because on one hand, if you sell your home before finding your next home then you might need to rent for a while until you find that home and it closes but on the other hand if you find the perfect home but don't sell your home yet, it can overextend you financially. Now, one workaround to void this scenario is to add a "sales contingency" in your contract. This means that you will only buy the home if you can sell the one you're in. There are downsides to this which is it could turn off some home buyers.
- What home can I afford?
It really depends on your income and other financial obligations. I recommend you contact a local mortgage company to get pre-approved so you know what you can realistically afford and do it before you start shopping around. I mean it really stinks if you see houses that you fall in love with just to find out that they are outside of your price range.
Also, a little side note. Getting pre-approved makes you much more attractive to sellers. If you're not sure where to get started with the pre-approval process give Jake Yeaton a call at 207-907-9861 and he will point you in the right direction.