Sellers FAQ

Q – Why should I hire a Realtor?

A – There’s a reason nearly 90% of sellers use a listing agent: Selling a home takes time, knowledge of neighborhood trends, and negotiating skills. The agent’s chief tasks are to help set the right price and then get buyers in the door. Agents have access to the most up-to-date information about recent sales of comparable homes (“comps”) and competing listings in your neighborhood. A good agent will market your home aggressively. That means recommending staging techniques to make the place look great, maximizing the listing with professional-quality photographs, and showing the house to prospective buyers. Most important, the agent will vet potential buyers so you can deal only with serious prospects. Once you’ve found a buyer, the agent will negotiate counter-offers, track the paperwork, and generally hand-hold through the most nerve-racking part of the process.

Q – How much is my home worth?

A – There are two methods people use to determine what their home is worth. A comparative market analysis (CMA) or an appraisal (by a certified appraisal).
Appraisals vary in cost and are defendable in court. Appraisers review numerous factors and base information on recent sales of similar properties, their location, square footage, construction quality, excess land, views, water frontage and amenities such as garages, number of baths, etc.
A comparative market analysis on the other hand is an informal estimate of market value performed by a real estate REALTOR® or broker. It is based on sales and listings that will compete with your property that are similar in size, style and location. A range of values will be determined thus arriving at a probable market value.

Q – How long will it take to sell my home?

A – There are many factors that could impact how long it may take to sell your home. Price is number one. The condition of your home and the emotional appeal are also important. Market demand, economic conditions and the time of year may also influence how long it takes. Our market research will report the average days on market (DOM) for homes in your area which will help give you an idea of what to expect.

Q – What fees are involved in selling my home?

A -Fees vary depending on the type of property as well as what is negotiated in the sale.
Your Realtor can provide you with an estimated closing statement to give you an estimate of what is to be paid as part of the sale. Some costs include: Broker fees, Escrow fees, Title fees, home disclosures, loan pay off fees, Home warranty, HOA fees, Transfer fees.

Q – What should I do to get my home ready before making it available to buyers?

A – The way you live in a home and the way you sell a house are two different things. First and foremost, “declutter” counter tops, walls and rooms. Too many “things” make it difficult for the buyer to see their possessions in your rooms or on your walls, however don’t strip everything completely or it will appear stark and inhospitable. Then clean and make attractive all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It’s especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless. Organize closets. Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work and get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords. Make sure the house smells good, and be sure to take out all garbge before showings. Hide the kitty litter, and possibly put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house.
The second important thing to consider is “curb appeal.” People driving by a property will judge it from the outside appearance and make a decision then as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. Also make sure that the doorbell works.

Q – What is the best approach to pricing my home?

A – The best approach is to price your home just within the market value range provided by your Realtor. This allows room for negotiation, without sacrificing exposure.
Your Realtor wasnts you to get the best possible price for your home. However, when a home is priced too high for the market, this may: Attract lookers, not qualified buyers, imply you aren’t motivated to sell, reduce the number of showings, help competitive listings look more attractive, cause financing issues for the buyer if the property doesn’t appraise at the higher price, and ultimately force you to drop the price below market value in order to sell.

Q – What are the dangers if I over price my home?

A – When a property is overpriced, windows of opportunity are missed. Broker and buyer interest is at its highest when a property is initially placed on the market. But if the property is priced above realistic market value, the excitement and number of showings are greatly reduced. Later, it may be necessary to adjust the price below market value to compete with new, competitively priced listings.

Q – What information should I disclose about the property?

A – The seller must disclose all pertinent facts about the home that are not easily seen. A good rule of thumb: if you are compelled to ask “should I disclose this?” – the answer is yes. The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement must be filled out honestly and completely to help protect you.

Q – What is the difference between sales price and appraised value?

A – 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 review numerous factors and base information on recent sales of similar properties, their location, square footage, construction quality, excess land, views, water frontage and amenities such as garages, number of baths, etc.

Q – What is a home inspection?

A – 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 is a buyer expense and the inspection can last for multiple hours.

Q – What are closing costs?

A – Closing costs 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.

Q – Who pays closing costs?

A – Closing costs are either paid by the seller and/or buyer depending on what the buyer or seller negotiates. Typically, buyer and seller each pay their own.

Q – What are the standard contigencies in an offer?

A – 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.
The timeline for the buyer’s contingencies is defaulted on the California Residential Purchase Agreement to 17 days.

Q – What is the difference between list price and sale price?

A – The list price is a seller’s advertised price, or asking price, for a home. It is a rough estimate of what the seller wants to sell the home for. A seller can price high, low – which does not happen very often – or very close to what they hope to get. A good way to determine if the list price is a fair one is to look at the sales prices of similar homes that have recently sold in the area. The sales price is the actual amount a home sells for.

Q – What is the difference between appraised value and market value?

A – A certified appraiser who is trained to provide the estimated value of a home determines its appraised value. The appraised value is based on comparable sales, the condition of the property, and several other factors. Market value is the price the house will bring at a given point in time, once the buyer and seller establish a “meeting of the minds” on price.

Q – What are closing costs?

A – Closing, or settlement, costs are expenses over and above the price of the property. Both the buyer and seller incur some of these expenses when transferring ownership of a property. Who actually pays, however, often depends on local custom and what the buyer or seller negotiates. Closing costs normally include title insurance, loan points, escrow or closing day charges, property taxes, and document fees. The lender provides an estimate of closing costs for prospective homebuyers.

Q – Who pays for closing costs?

A – Who pays closing costs depends on the negotiations between the buyer and seller. In most cases, they each pay their own.