Is there a best time to sell my house?
During the summer, the market usually slows. The end of July and August are often the slowest months for real estate sales. The strong spring market often places upward pressure on interest rates, many prospective home buyers and REALTORS® take vacations during mid-summer.
After the summer slowdown, sales activity tends to pick up for a second, although less vigorous, season which usually lasts into November. The market then slows again as buyers, sellers and REALTORS® turn their attention to the holidays.
The supply of homes on the market diminishes because sellers often wonder whether or not they should take their homes off the market for the holidays. There are still buyers in the market place, but now those buyers have fewer homes to choose from. Those homes on the market at that time have considerably less competition. Generally speaking, you’ll have the best results if your house is available to show to prospective buyers continuously until it sells.
Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?
A third factor is exposure. It is also important that the home gets the exposure it deserves through open houses, broker open houses, advertising, good signage and listing on the local multiple listing service, as well as the internet.
Choose the REALTOR® that you believe will get the job done, not the one that quotes you the highest price – sometimes just to buy your listing.
How much is my home worth?
Appraisals vary in cost and are defendable in court. They average about $300 for a single family home and more on multi-family dwellings. 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 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. Many REALTORS® offer a free analysis anticipating they will have a new client.
The analysis or opinion should be in writing and should involve professionally accepted appraisal techniques.
What should I do to get my house ready?
The second important thing to consider is “curb appeal.” People driving by a property will judge it from outside appearances and make a decision then as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Sweep the sidewalk, 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.
Should I make repairs?
What are my obligations to disclose?
It is wise to review the seller’s written disclosure prior to a home purchase and ask questions if it does not satisfy you entirely.
Are there standard contingencies in an offer?
Should I be flexible in granting contingencies?
Any contingencies that are negotiated are written into your contract. Both the buyer and seller can place requirements on the table during the negotiation phase.
A frequently seen contingency is regarding the sale and closing of the buyer’s home before they can purchase yours. Whether this requirement is reasonable, or even achievable, depends on the individuals involved. Financial capabilities usually play a major role in negotiations. Few people can afford to own two homes simultaneously, except for some all-cash buyers.
What do I do if my house isn’t getting activity?
If a home is not getting the activity it needs in order to sell, it is probably because it is overpriced for the market. The first step is to lower the price. Then go through the house and see if there are cosmetic defects that you missed that can be repaired.
The second step is to make sure that the home is getting the exposure it deserves through open houses, broker open houses, advertising, good signage and a listing on the multiple listing service and internet.
A third option is to remove the home from the market and wait for overall housing conditions to improve and catch up to the price you’re asking.
Finally, frustrated sellers who have no equity and are forced to sell because of a long term illness, divorce or financial considerations should discuss a short sale with their mortgage lender and their REALTOR®.
A short sale is when the seller finds a buyer for a price that is below the mortgage amount and negotiates the difference with the lender.