— What steps are involved in selling a home?
The steps involved in the home-selling process are very similar to those involved in the home-buying process. Once you have made the decision to sell your home, you will need to establish an asking price for it. While some sellers successfully sell their homes on their own, a for-sale-by-owner arrangement can be complicated and will require a great deal more of your personal time throughout the process. For this reason, most people consider the commission paid to a real estate professional well worth the investment, for the convenience, time savings and overall guidance provided. Real estate professionals will also be able to tell you if your asking price is appropriate for your property or home. In addition, they will manage the marketing of your home-from front-yard sign to MLS listing-while guiding you in preparing the home to be shown to potential buyers. Once a prospect makes you an offer, you can either accept the proposed purchase price or make a counter offer. When both parties agree on a price, your real estate professional will work with a title insurance agent and/or escrow officer to draft all necessary paperwork. He or she will then schedule a date for you and the buyer to meet for the closing, where the transaction is completed and ownership is officially transferred from seller to buyer.
— Can I find out the value of my home through the Internet?
Sort of : you can get some idea of your home’s value by searching the Internet. A number of Web sites have “guestimates” using computer-generated values of home sales to produce the statistics.
— How can I find out what my house is worth?
There are two ways:
A comparative market analysis (CMA) or an appraisal (by a certified appraisal) are the standard methods for determining a home’s value.
A CMA is an informal estimate of value based on comparable sales in the neighborhood and typically performed by a real estate agent or broker. It should include listing prices of current homes on the market as well as pending sales and those that have sold. The search criteria should include recent comparable sales, location, and square footage.
— What is the difference between list price, sales price, and appraised value?
The list price is the advertised price, it is a rough estimate of what the seller wants to get. To judge whether the list price is a fair one, be sure to consult with a real estate agent or broker to pull comparable sales prices in the area. The sales price is the amount of money you as a buyer would pay for a property. The appraised value is a certified appraiser’s estimate of the worth of a property, and is based on comparable sales, the condition of the property and numerous other factors.
— What are closing costs?
They are the fees for services, property taxes or special interest charges that surround the purchase of a home. They include upfront loan points, title insurance, escrow, document fees, prepaid interest and property taxes.
— Who pays the closing costs?
Closing costs can are either paid by the seller or buyer depending on what the buyer or seller negotiates.
— What is important about a title report?
A clear title report ensures there are no liens placed against the prior owners or any documents that will restrict your use of the property.
A preliminary title report provides you with an opportunity to review any impediment that would prevent clear title from passing to you. When reading a preliminary report, it is important to check the extent of your ownership rights or interest; fee simple is the highest type of interest an owner can have in land.
Liens, restrictions and interests of others excluded from title coverage will be listed numerically as exceptions in the report. You also may have to consider interests of any third parties, such as easements granted by prior owners that limit use of the property. Some buyers attempt to clear these unwanted items prior to purchase.
A list of standard exceptions and exclusions not covered by the title insurance policy may be attached. This section includes items the buyer may want to investigate further, such as any laws governing building and zoning.
— What’s a home inspection?
A home inspection is when a buyer hires a professional inspector for their knowledge and expertise to inspect the home for defects or other problems. The inspection typically occurs after a purchase contract between buyer and seller has been signed. The fee of $400 or more is a buyer expense and the inspection can last from 2-4 hours.
— What are contingencies?
The two most standard are a financing contingency and an inspection contingency. The financing addresses the purchase being dependent on the buyers’ ability to obtain a loan. The inspection gives the buyer the opportunity to have professional inspections of the property.
If the buyer is unhappy with any issues that arise from the inspection, the buyer may cancel the purchase or request repairs from the seller. The seller is responsible for a clear title, completing and negotiated repairs and maintaining the property in the same condition as when the buyer made their offer.
— Who should disclose important information about a property?
The seller typically discloses all the information they know about the property. The listing agent should request in writing for the seller to disclose all material facts pertaining to the property.
Some of the typical disclosures include homeowners association CC&R’s including monthly dues, noise violations in the area~ including anything that would affect the desirability of the property, a death on the property within the last 3 to 5 years, any physical defects of the property, etc. Your real estate agent can help you with obtaining all pertinent facts.
— What about the furnishings when a home is sold?
Experience shows that just about anything in a home can be negotiated. Items that are permanently attached typically convey (stay) with the property.
Items that are permanently attached to a house (plantation shutters, curtain rods, built-in bookcases, carpeting or a furnace) automatically stay with the house unless the seller specifically negotiates them out of the sales contract. Personal property items or anything that is not nailed down may be negotiable.
Things like appliances that are not built in (washer, dryer, refrigerator, fire pits, portable spas for example); even furniture, drapery and rugs can be negotiated.
— What should I know about list price, sales price, and appraised value?
The list price is the price that the property is being offered for purchase. It is the advertised price, the price the seller would like to obtain and in many cases close to fair market price.
There are cases where the seller and his agent price the property high, hoping to find a buyer willing to pay above market price. On the other hand, some agents advise their clients to price the property low; the below market value may create an auction environment with buyers bidding against each other. This can cause the property to sell for higher than anticipated. Your agent can help you to determine the fair market value of any property.
Sales price is the negotiated purchase price between a buyer and a seller. And, the appraised value is the worth of a property as determined by a certified appraiser in the current marketplace. The appraiser will consider comparable property sales, the amenities of the properties and other factors.
— How will the list price of my house be determined?
The most important consideration is the current market. Pricing your house based on the comparable sold properties within your area, taking into consideration market conditions.
Conditions to consider are whether the market is a sellers’ market or a buyers’ market. In a sellers’ market, experience shows that limited inventory can drive your list price up. While in a buyers’ market, pricing and condition are important to consider. Overpricing your property in a buyers’ market will lead to lack of interest and frustration.
When considering an agent, keep in mind that you will be working with them for days, weeks and possibly months. You want someone that listens to what is important to you and has the experience, the skills to guide you with accurate information towards pricing your property.
You and your prospective agent should review the current data of sold, pending a sale and your competition, currently active/listed for sale homes. If all the agents pricing recommendation are approximately the same, you should price according to their information.
Be wary of the agent whose pricing opinion of value is considerably higher than the others. Experience shows sellers that chose according to a high list price typically sell for much less and remain on the market much longer than necessary.
— How should a property be prepared prior to making it available to buyers?
Unless choosing to sell a house as-is and pricing as such, experience shows it is in the best interest of the seller (and their bank account) to complete low cost repairs prior to marketing the property.
Buyers can only see what is, not what it can be; a small crack in the wall that you have lived with for the past 5 years, can turn into hundreds of dollars of negotiation. Most buyers hire a certified property inspector to complete a property inspection and if too many items are revealed, they can become concerned, causing them to cancel the contract.
Usually, a listing agent will review a list of must-do’s with the seller and help determine what items need to be addressed.