Frequently Asked Questions – Sellers
Here is a collection of frequently asked questions that I have put together to help you in buying or selling a home. If you have any other questions, not listed here, feel free to contact me.
Can I back out of my contract with one buyer and accept a new, higher offer from a second buyer?
It would be very unwise to try to back out of the contract because a purchase offer that’s accepted is a legal contract that the buyer can seek legal remedies to enforce.
Do I have to sell to the person with the highest offer?
No. If you prefer a lower-priced offer, perhaps with a better-qualified buyer and/or more attractive terms, you can accept that offer instead. Or you can give counteroffers to one or more of the buyers.
Beware, however, that if you turn down a full-priced offer, you may owe your agent a full commission even if you decide not to sell your home.
How should I price my home?
You must take into account the prevailing state of the real estate market and especially local market conditions. The real estate market continually changes, and market fluctuations affect property values. So it is critical to determine your listing price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.
It would be a good idea to get a Home Value Request, or CMA, also known as Comparable Market Analysis.
Is there a “best time” to put my house on the market?
Along with economic factors such as supply and demand, the time of year you choose to sell can impact both the length of time it takes to sell your home and its ultimate selling price.
Typically, the real estate market picks up around February, continues strong through late May and June, and tapers off during July and August. The summer is usually the busiest time for moving since school is out and buyers may be looking to get their children in school before the new school year. September through November generally marks a rally not as strong as late winter and spring, followed by a slowdown from Thanksgiving through and beyond the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
What are comparables or comps?
These are referred to as recently sold properties that are similar in size, location, and amenities to the home for sale. These properties help an appraiser determine the fair market value of a property.
What are the disadvantages of pricing my home on the high end?
Well, several factors may come into play:
- You might help sell similar homes that are priced lower.
- Your home may be on the market longer.
- You could lose market interest and qualified buyers.
- You might create a negative impression of the property.
- You could lose money as a result of making extra mortgage payments while incurring taxes, insurance and unplanned maintenance costs.
- You may have to accept less money.
- A potential buyer may face appraisal and financing problems resulting from the inflated price.
It is not recommended to sell your home any higher than the appraised value unless demand is high in your area. Ask you real estate agent which price would be right for your home. Also make sure you get a Home Value Request to assist in determining the best sales price for your home.
What does an appraisal mean?
A report made by a qualified person setting forth an opinion or estimate of value. The term also refers to the process by which this estimate is obtained.
In conventional mortgages and in the HUD-FHA Direct Endorsement Program, the lender receives a copy of the complete report, showing the basis for the appraiser’s estimate.
In VA cases and in HUD applications processed by HUD, the lender receives only a statement of the estimate of value, without any detailed supporting data.
What is a counteroffer?
A counteroffer is an offer made by one party that makes changes to the original or latest offer of the other party.
What is an “Exclusive Right to Sell” listing?
This type of listing is the most commonly used and is the most effective. With this type of listing the agent does the most work to sell your home they will usually advertise your home, place it into the MLS, market your home to other agents and even hold open houses for your home. Only with this type of listing does an agent expect to earn money back on their investments on selling your home.
What is an “Exclusive Agency Listing”?
An Exclusive Agency listing allows your agent to market your home and enter it into the MLS. The agent will receive a commission if your home sells through any real estate company or by another agent. He will NOT receive a commission if you, the seller, find a buyer on your own. Because a commission is not guaranteed, your agent may not be highly motivated to market your property. Thus, this type of listing is not common and should be avoided.
Who is responsible for making repairs, if any, as a result of home inspection reports conducted for the buyer?
Because the buyer orders one or more home inspections doesn’t obligate the seller to make repairs or modifications as a result of those inspections. Typically, however, inspection reports are used to negotiate repairs of major problems, or environmental or safety hazards that may be noted. The purchase contract should provide guidance for these negotiations.
Why should I use a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is more than just a sales person. A real estate agent may act on your behalf, providing you with advice and guidance when buying or selling a home. Due to the constant changing of the market, the information available on listings is not always 100% accurate. There are times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is for sale, and the only way to get that is with a real estate agent.
You don’t need to use a commissioned real estate agent to sell your home, but you may want to consider the benefits of having a real estate agent versus not using a real estate agent.
In addition, many people would rather use an Agent due to the complexities of modern Real Estate transactions since they usually incorporate legal and financial attributes, which takes them well beyond more simple transactions, such as the sale of an automobile.
There are several advantages when using a real estate agent to sell your home, such as – your listing will be added to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so that large numbers of buyers will have access to the seller’s property. In addition, your real estate agent absorbs all of the cost of advertising and marketing, and the screening that will be done of potential buyers by Agents. The Agent will also handle the details of negotiation.
Deciding whether to use an Agent or not depends on if you feel fully confident that you can handle all of the details, then you may well want to attempt selling your house on your own. If not, you most likely will want to use a real estate agent and leave the details to them.