Doesn’t it make sense to price our home higher because buyers will negotiate the price down?

If you price a home too high, many buyers will make the decision to not even view your home in person. Your home will then remain on the market for months while you continue to pay your mortgage payment; this erodes any sort of profit you were hoping to make by pricing it higher. The best strategy is to price your home correctly so that prospective buyers searching online believe that their offer will be considered.

If I list my home at or below the market value, won’t buyers think there is something wrong with it?

The short answer is no. A buyer’s agent will know your home is priced realistically, and they will let their buyers know. Moreover, because your home will presumably have an adequate amount of photos showcasing it to prospective buyers, they will be able to see the quality of your home online.

What are methods to determine value?

There are three methods that can help sellers determine market value of their home.

The first method, a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), is prepared by a listing/seller’s agent and is used as a means to provide a fair market price at which a seller may list their home for sale. The CMA typically contains local real estate activity for the last 6 months pertaining to active housing inventory. The best comparable in determining pricing is homes that have already sold. We also look at under-contract housing inventory, which shows us at what price a sufficient offer was made and accepted. CMAs are usually done for you at no charge.

The second method is a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) prepared by a Broker. This method is much like a CMA; however, there is usually a small fee associated with this report.

The third method is an appraisal. Just as in a CMA or BPO, the appraiser makes an onsite visit to the home to see the home’s condition firsthand in order to make an evaluation against similar homes in the area.

When is the best time to list a house for sale?

The simple answer is whenever you are ready to sell your home. Spring is typically when most homes go on the market, but homes also go up for sale all year long. During the spring, sellers will have to compete with many other listings. But Spring also brings more buyers to market because families are often trying to get moved in before the start of the new school year. During the offpeak seasons of fall and winter, we typically see fewer homes go on the market and fewer buyers looking for homes. This is not necessarily a bad thing. For a seller, there is less competition, and for buyers, it can mean not having to contend with other buyers’ interest in the same home.

Should I fix my house up before it goes on the market?

To achieve the highest selling price and the shortest amount of time on the market, you want to make certain that you home shows well. If there is a problem that needs fixing and you can arrange the repair, you absolutely should. The buyer will be doing a home inspection in their due diligence period, and they will find the problem and most likely ask you to fix it anyway. If for whatever reason an issue is not repaired, it may need to be disclosed to potential buyers, which will result in a reduction in asking price to compensate.

If your home is the only one in the neighborhood without upgrades, you will have to look at costs of upgrading compared to return on investment. A home without upgrades in a neighborhood where upgrades are standard will take longer to sell and will most likely have to be listed at a reduced price. Your agent can help you decide what is needed and what you should and should not do.

Should I make any major home improvements?

Certain home improvements are useful to almost everyone and have been proven to add value to homes or speed the sale of houses. These improvements include adding central air conditioning to the heating system, building a deck or patio, finishing the basement, doing some kitchen remodeling (updating colors on cabinets, countertops, appliances, panels, etc.), and adding new floor and/or wall coverings (especially in bathrooms). On the other hand, some improvements appeal to individual personal tastes that not everyone may share and can actually lower the value of a home. These can include adding fireplaces, wet bars, and swimming pools, or converting the garage into an extra room. The challenge that comes with any home improvement designed to help sell your house is recouping your investment. There’s always the risk of over-improving your house — that is, putting more money into it than neighborhood prices will support.

When selling a home what information must be disclosed?

The following examples include details that would qualify as material facts that MUST be revealed by sellers about their homes:

  • Damage from wood boring insects.
  • Mold or mildew in the home.
  • Leaks in the roof or foundation walls.
  • Amount of property taxes paid annually.
  • Problems with sewer or septic systems.
  • Age of shingles and other roof components.
  • A buried oil tank.
  • Details about any individual who claims to have an interest in the property.
  • Information about a structure on the property that overlaps an adjacent property.
  • Homeowner Association/Condominium Dues paid and associated documentation.

What are contingencies?

Sales contracts typically contain several “contingency” clauses, stipulations that the sale is subject to. Typical contingencies include a buyer’s ability to obtain financing, inspections (structural/mechanical, wood destroying insect, radon, chimney, well and septic, etc.); HOA/Condo association document reviews, etc. If any of the contingencies that were stipulated in the contract cannot be removed, the contract is declared null and void and neither the buyer nor the seller has to go through with the purchase/sale of the home.

Once a home is listed, how will prospective buyers gain access to view it?

Potential buyers gain access to a home through the assistance of their agent or Realtor. The buyer’s agent will make an appointment to view the home and receive all of the necessary information to gain access to the home. Buyers are NEVER permitted to view properties unescorted.

Do I have to make all the repairs asked for during the home inspection?

The repairs that you choose to make will depend on what you and your agent think are best. If you choose not to make repairs and the buyer chooses to back out, you may find that you have to make those repairs in the future in order to make the home marketable to sell again. You may also choose to adjust the purchase price or contract terms instead of making the repairs, but the buyer may not be obligated to accept. Major repairs will generally require a renegotiation. Your agent will be able to advise you on a case-by-case basis concerning common practices and negotiation options.

What is the most important marketing tool?

First, your property needs to be added to the MLS. It is still the most reliable and accurate method available.

Your home must be available by push and pull methods of electronic media. If your agent is not talking about DIGITAL MARKETING and social media marketing, then you’ve got the wrong agent. The internet and search engines are driving properties into the hands of buyers today. Most buyers are searching online before ever stepping into a home. Your home needs to be out everywhere digitally.