Q: What home
improvements yield the greatest value?
that enhance curb appeal, fresh paint and landscaping will attract
potential buyers and help secure more showings. Once inside, home
buyers are looking for function, durability and convenience. Minor
kitchen remodels and additional bathrooms give the greatest return,
followed by family room additions and bathroom remodeling. Additions
and remodeling should be done by professional contractors and should
be consistent with the rest of the house. The existing structure must
be able to accommodate changes. Give special consideration to mechanicals.
Take advantage of new technologies that will update lifestyle as well
as the home.
Q: When is the
best time to sell?
A: There is no
"best" time. Generally the market is most active in the spring, but
inventory tends to be greater. Home sales tend to slow down from November
through the winter, but buyers are serious and motivated. Dropping
interest rates, stock market fluctuations, weather, and politics may
impact home sale activity. Local economies strongly influence home
sales. Employment growth and stability will affect consumer optimism
and spending. Homeowners that need to relocate
because of corporate moves or job changes have special concerns.
To determine the best time to sell, evaluate your marketplace and
your personal situation. Remember there are always buyers who need
Q: What is the
best way to sell for top dollar?
A: You only get
one chance for a first impression, be sure to make the right impression!
Your home should be in premium condition. Homes placed on the market
prematurely usually sell for less and take longer to sell. Prospective
buyers remember a home the way they see it. Buyers are attracted to
a home by the way it makes them feel. Few buyers have the ability
to visualize how a home might look. Make all the necessary repairs.
Clean, paint, organize, and neutralize. Hire professional contractors
if needed. It can be hard to get a buyer to come back for a second
look after the work is completed. Price it
right the first time. The theory price high you can always come
down is costly. It is a known fact that the longer a property is on
the market the lower the offers tend to be. Price and condition are
the two most important factors in selling a home.
Q: How will I
find a buyer for my home?
to the National Association of Realtors 82% of home buyers surveyed
responded that they relied on a real estate broker/sales associate
as a source of information during their home search. Print advertising
media was cited as being used about 50% of the time, followed by for sale signs.
Recent research indicates over 3/4 of home buyers will use the internet
as a source of information. It is critical to have a marketing
strategy with comprehensive repetitive exposure to potential buyers
and real estate sales associates in order to reach potential buyers
Q: Should I use
a Real Estate Associate?
A: Yes. Selling
a home is a complicated process. Your associate can assist you in developing
a pricing strategy that is consistent with
the market. A real estate associate will have a network of professionals
including lenders, appraisers, accountants, inspectors, attorneys,
title companies, insurance agents, and contractors to assist you in
a smooth transaction. A real estate associate will provide a marketing
program that will give you consistent exposure to capture more
showings. A real estate associate will provide you information, feedback
and guidance that will assist you in finding the buyer for your home.
A real estate associate will help you negotiate
a purchase contract and will manage the transaction from contract
to closing. Select an associate with expertise in your area. Select
an associate that demonstrates knowledge, and integrity. Ultimately an
associate will save you time, energy and money.
Q: How is the
asking price determined?
A: Value can
be determined in several ways. A real estate associate can suggest a pricing
strategy based on comparable sales and competitive homes on the
market. This strategy will attempt to identify the most likely price
a home will bring at a given time. A professional appraisal is an
opinion of the worth of a home based on the homes size, condition,
amenities, and comparable sales. Beware that pricing is not distorted
by an appraisal that is done for purposes other than selling the home
and a pricing strategy that is proposed by an associate trying to "buy"
a listing with an inflated asking price. Only the market can determine
what a home will sell for.
Q: If I sell
For Sale By Owner will I save the commission?
A: Not necessarily.
A buyer will assume that the price will be reduced by the commission.
A real estate transaction is a complicated process. Many do-it-yourself
buyers and sellers have found the cost of a poorly managed transaction
to be far greater than the perceived commission savings.
Q: Should I find
a new home before I sell the one I own now?
A: If you do
not sell your present home first, you must qualify to carry the debt
of both properties. Budget conservatively in the event you have to
make double payments for an extended period of time. Weigh the pros
and cons. If you buy first you will know where you are going and how
much it will cost. If you find a buyer first you may have more negotiating
power on both your current home and the one you want to buy, and you
will not have the pressure of double payments.
Q: Should I have
an appraisal, inspection and home warranty when I put my home on the
A: A fee appraisal
for the purpose of selling can reinforce pricing strategy or help
determine value. It may give additional leverage in negotiating if
it supports the asking price. Pre-sale home inspections can uncover
potential problems. The seller has control of the remedy and the buyer
will have prior knowledge of any defect prior to negotiation. This
may eliminate the need to renegotiate accepted contracts. Buyers should
view the pre-inspection as an opinion not a guarantee. Encourage buyers
to get an independent inspection report. Sellers who obtain a home
warranty when they list the property will have the advantage of
coverage for unexpected repairs to items included in the warranty
while the property is listed. The warranty will provide value to the
buyer and serves as a marketing tool. Not all warranties are alike.
Compare the cost, deductible, items covered and effective dates.
Q: What should
I do if my home is not selling?
A: In most cases
homes do not sell because they are priced too high. Starting at a
high price thinking you can always come down is a mistake. The assumption
is that the buyer will make an offer. First, the wrong buyer is looking
at the home. Second, motivated buyers do not waste time, they move
on to what they perceive to be the best value. The property may require
improvement. Make all necessary repairs and cosmetic enhancements.
Realign your marketing strategies based on feedback and updated market
information. Evaluate factors that may be affecting home sales and