Top Ten Seller FAQ’s Answered
When is a good time to sell?
My best answer is always when it’s best for you! Other factors clearly make that decision easier like if you need to move for work, your closing on another house, or have a specific deadline. If you do have the luxury to choose there are a few things to consider. Spring is traditionally when there are more buyers actively looking. Fall, before the holidays can sometimes get a better price because buyers are looking to get into your home before the new year. It’s a good practice to watch the market and stay educated on what houses are selling for in your area. I can help with that. The current seller’s market we are in now can be a great opportunity to sell your home. I will always discuss your plans after you sell. Once you sell in a seller’s market, you will know become another active buyer and it can be tricky if you don’t have another house or rental lined up.
What is my home worth?
Finding out your home’s market value is an important reason to reach out to a real estate agent. I will provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help you determine an appropriate listing price. In a CMA that I create for you, it will outline recent sales, comparable homes that are active, under contract and sold in the same price range of your home. I will discuss your homes features such as size, style, age, bedrooms, bathrooms, neighbourhood, lot etc and compare them against the homes we found in the original CMA to come to a more accurate price.
NOTE: the tax appraiser’s assessed value of your home has nothing to do with the market price
How do I determine the right listing price?
What your home is worth and what you should list it at are not the same. I always like to advise having room to negotiate. Setting a firm price to avoid the process of negotiation isn’t something I usually recommend. Pricing your home too high can also steer away potential buyers and possibly leave your house on the market longer. If a property sits on the market for a long time it can create a bad stigma and buyers will start to wonder what is wrong with it.
Some sellers ask about the price that some 3rd party or brokerage websites provide for their home. These are not reliable because these sites are only taking very general demographics into consideration.
How long will it take to sell my home?
The length your home will sit on the market will depend on the market in your area and whether the home is priced realistically. I will always do everything in my power to get your home sold for the highest price in the shortest time possible. On average a home that is priced right goes under contract in two to three months. In this seller’s market, some homes are selling in less then a week. If you do need to sell fast, you should reflect that in the listed price to drive buyers in right away.
How much will I pay in commissions?
The standard real estate commission in the area is 4-6% of the sales price. This is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent (co-operating agent). Commissions are not paid directly to the agents, but to our brokerages. They collect fees for marketing your home on MLS and other websites, administrative costs, insurance fees, and required fees for storing your transaction records as required by law. My brokerage then pays me for representing you in the transaction. Commission is always negotiable and open to discussion. If you have any questions about the commissions, I’d be happy to discuss with you further HERE.
What do I need to do to get my home ready to sell?
My best advise is for me to come do a home visit with you. We can discuss how the process will go and I will also ask you how I can make this process easier for you and your family. Sellers will be left with a full checklist of what to do so you will never be left in the dark of what’s next in my Seller’s Guide. My first recommendation is usually giving the home a thorough cleaning. Pack up whatever you don’t need and declutter any and every surface possible. You will also want to take care of any repairs and make sure the major mechanicals are in good working order. Pressure washing the exterior is a great way to enhance your curb appeal. Sprucing up your landscaping is a great idea too. If your home overdue for a fresh coat of paint that is one way to help attract buyers to your home. Right now, light neutral colours are in.
How will the showing process work?
I will discuss any times and dates that don’t work with your schedule. I will notify you in advance of showings as well. You home will have a lockbox with your house key placed inside and only buyers with an agent will have access to showing your home. Homes show the best when the homeowner is not present, but if this isn’t possible, we will create the best experience for the buyer that also fits your lifestyle. If you have pets we will discuss how to handle them that works best for you. I will do my best to provide you with feedback from the showings, but just be aware that sometimes agents don’t give feedback even if I bug them several times. I go into more depth on this topic in my Seller’s Guide.
Should I consider FSBO (For Sale by Owner) or a flat fee listing service?
I strongly discourage those routes, not only because I want to help you sell your home, but also because they can be a huge burden and don’t get you the best price.
Buyers can often offer less to the homeowner because they know they are not paying a commission fee. Also consider that when you FSBO or flat fee that you have to do everything yourself, be present for all showings, no negotiation advice, have to deal with many tire kickers etc. My job is to be in your corner to prevent problems, or solve them if something arises.
What do I need to disclose?
It’s smart to disclose any issues right up front. Your buyers will have the right to inspect the home, so it’s best they not be hit with bad news after going under contract. Buyers also like when they see that a seller seems genuine in their efforts to disclose the small things. They get reassurance that they are dealing with an honest seller and feel more at ease to come in with a firm offer in markets such as the seller’s market we are in. If you know of problems with the appliances, plumbing, electric, HVAC, roof, foundation, property lines, or deed, these need to be listed on the Seller’s Disclosure. If there is something you can’t or choose not to remediate before listing, make sure it is reflected in the list price. I go into more depth on this topic in my Seller’s Guide.
Can I take my favourite home feature with me? (Ex. Light fixture)
Anything that is attached to the house is something that is left behind for the buyer. This would include built in shelving, door hardware, light fixtures, sometimes bathroom mirrors etc. If there is something specific you don’t want included in that sale, just let me know and we will add that to a list of exclusions that will be documented on the listing sheet.