Selling Your Home: FAQs Part I

Frequently Asked Questions from Home Sellers

Selling a home is bound to cause stress and anxiety, and many common questions come to mind to those ready to enter the process.  

If you’ve recently started to think about the idea of selling a home, or you know you’re ready to sell but haven’t taken the next steps, read the FAQs listed to begin building an understanding of the steps and requirements of selling a home. Your realtor will answer these questions throughout the selling process, however an initial understanding will create a smoother process for all parties involved.

When is the best time to sell my home?

Late spring, early summer is the overall best time to sell for a greater chance of a quicker sale and higher profit margin.  Relocating families with children tend to purchase homes during this time to get settled prior to the start of the next school year. Longer days allow buyers more time to look at potential homes during evening hours.  The time of year is also great for landscaping and gives the seller an opportunity to show off blooming flowers, a lush blanket of grass, and other outdoor features.

Suggestion: What is your ideal date to make your sale?  Once you have that date in mind, work backwards to make a decision on a time to put your house on the market that also works best in your favor.

How is the current real estate market?

The housing market for 2019 is anticipated to be a bit slower than 2018.  Many sellers are finding themselves faced with selling their home and purchasing a new one, therefore gaining a new loan with a different interest rate. Homeowners are finding selling much less attractive, and many are choosing to stay in their current home and build equity.  Zillow anticipates a Housing Market Crash in 2020. That being said, when you’re ready, check with your real estate agent on the specifics and details that directly affect your home selling experience.

How much needs to be done to my home before selling?

Breathe. Quite often, not as much needs to be done to your home than you think it does, prior to selling.  There are many improvements to be made to your home that are cheap, but improve the interior and attractiveness.  

Deep clean

Paint– One of the cheapest, easiest, but also most important things you can do before selling.  A fresh coat of paint makes the home look overall brighter, cleaner, and a neutral color gives the potential buyer options when thinking of furniture to place in the home.

 

Exterior– Trim and neaten up outdoor plants, clean up yard waste, and paint any shutters or doors that you can.  

Kitchen– Don’t prioritize a renovation prior to moving.  If you can do little things, like replace the countertops, or put another coat of paint on the cabinets, do so.  If it is more trouble than it’s worth, do not stress. The kitchen is often most likely to be renovated by the new owner. Leaving it with some wiggle room for the potential buyer to decorate is often wanted, especially with the many beautiful models floating around social media.  

What home improvements can I do to increase my home value?

The following improvements and renovations are some of the best ways to increase home value, however there are many others.

  • Bathroom renovation or remodel, particularly master bath
  • Kitchen renovation (see above-small improvements may be more effective)
  • Deck addition or screen porch addition
  • Garage door replacement
  • Siding replacement
  • Window replacement

Is staging a home important?

Simply put, “Yes”.

Why? Staging a home helps your home to look attractive to a wider audience.  Homes are staged to create an environment that is pleasant to view and where a potential buyer can easily imagine their belongings in.  The goal is for the potential buyer to see themselves at home in the house.

Consider these statistics:

  • The National Association of Realtors states that for every $100 spent on staging, the expected return is up to $400.  
  • A current statistic shows that a staged home sells in six days on average versus the 48 days the average home across the United States takes.
  • In both decreasing and increasing housing markets, a staged home is more likely to sell quicker and turn a larger profit.
  • 6-20% more traffic can be expected when a home is staged, and the time on the market can be reduced by ⅓ to ½.

 

What are the costs of selling a home?

Many home sellers are uninformed about the costs or potential costs of selling a home.  Most homeowners won’t be involved in transactions that are bigger than selling a home. Below is a list of typical costs when selling a home.  Be up front in the beginning with your realtor. Ask for clarification about these and what they will look like, specific to your situation.

  1. Closing costs- Closing costs are typically paid by the buyer, however, the seller may be asked to cover these costs, depending largely on the current market.
  2. Homeowners Association Fees- Does not apply to all, but does if your neighborhood has an HOA.
  3. Property Taxes
  4. Attorney Fees
  5. Transfer Taxes
  6. Title Insurance
  7. Existing mortgage or equity loans
  8. Repairs noted during inspection
  9. Other Possible Costs- escrow fee, brokerage fee, courier fee

Quite often some (or many) of the fees are negotiable. The seller doesn’t typically cover them all.  

Overall, here are a few more topics you should be aware of, prior to selling a home:

  • Social Media Exposure
  • No Clutter
  • Curb Appeal
  • Reasonable Asking Price
  • Current Local Housing Market
  • Current Tax Laws
  • Profits or Loss (potential)

Check back next week for Part II- Frequently Asked Questions from Home Buyers.

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