When is the best time to sell my house?

Every real estate market is different, in most cases the spring and early summer months are the best time to sell your home.

In some cases, selling a home during fall and winter months actual might be better than waiting until spring. This is due to a combination of factors including lower competition and serious buyers are always looking for a home.

How does the market look right now?

Market knowledge is the biggest reason you hire a real estate broker. Real Estate market is changing weekly and is different from neighborhood to neighborhood. Please give us a call and we will provide detailed info for your zip code, including average days on the market, listing price vs. sale price, market absorption rate, average sale price, and much more.

How much is my home worth?

A real estate agent and an appraiser can help you with the estimating market value of your home. Agents and appraisers do it a bit differently, but both are using comps (comparable sales) to determine fair market value. The report includes:

  • Presently sold homes near your house (Solds)
  • Similar homes that are currently under contract (Pendings)
  • Competing properties that are currently for sale (Actives)

Real estate agents will compare your property to the homes sold, based on many points: home size, year build, bedrooms, bathrooms, upgrades, location, the lot size, schools, proximity to parks, transit, etc.

Should I list my home at a higher price to leave room to negotiate?

Leaving room to negotiate is one of the biggest real estate myths. There is a lot of risks that come from pricing a home too high. The high price is most likely to drive off potential buyers. The longer the property is on the market, the more of a stigma the home develops. If you don’t get offers, you will be forced to lower the price, and buyers might view your home as a problem home.

How long does the listing agreement last?

Most real estate contracts are for six months. Homes at a higher price point sell longer and have more extended contract periods.

How do you handle offers?

The goal is to get multiple-offers for your home. In a strong real estate market is not uncommon to have a bidding war. Every offer will be presented to the seller and we will advise on how to choose the best offer.

Sometimes the highest offer is not the best offer, for example the offer may include a home sale contingency.

The best offer is usually a combination of good price, less contingencies and fast close.

How do I respond to low-ball offers?

Sellers get usually offended by low-ball offers, however buyers just might be testing the waters and it doesn’t mean that the buyer won’t go higher in price.

Sellers have three options to respond to any offers:

  • Accept it
  • Reject it
  • Counter-offer

We never suggest to reject an offer, it’s much better to counter back at a price that is acceptable to the seller. Buyers will have the same options to accept, reject or counter the counter-offer.

What are the sellers concessions?

Seller concessions is a specified amount the seller is willing to pay on behalf of the buyers to assist the buyers with their closing costs and pre-paid items.

This will make the home more affordable to the buyer and help close the deal.

To attract buyers, many builders offer concessions to buyers on new construction homes.

What happens if the appraisal value comes low?

This is a common issue if you receive multiple offers and the price is higher than the sale price. The appraiser couldn’t justify the price based on previous comparable sales data.

We usually negotiate with the buyer and a few scenarios can happen:

  • Challenged the Evaluation – the seller hires an appraiser to evaluate the house again, make sure the buyer’s lender will accept the appraisal report and will adjust the value.
  • Buyer makes up the difference in cash
  • Lower the Sale Price – you lower the price to the appraised value, this is the worst case for the seller
  • Compromise – you lower the price and the buyer brings some additional cash to closing.

What’s a Sale Contingency?

A home sale contingency is a type of contingency clause, the buyers can include in a real estate contract. With a Home Sale Contingency in place the contract is dependent (contingent) upon the sale of buyer’s home. Buyers can avoid owning both homes at the same time.

In other words, if the buyers can’t sell their home, they won’t be able to purchase and close on the seller’s home.

What other contingencies does a real estate contract includes?

A Buyer can include many contingencies in a contract, however most common are inspection contingency, financing contingency, title contingency, appraisal contingency, HOA contingency, etc.

What are the common expenses for home sellers?

Common closing costs for a home seller include, but are not limited to:

  • Mortgage Pay Off
  • Real Estate Brokers Commissions – it is common to pay commissions for both agents, Selling Agent and Listing Agent.
  • Escrow Fee
  • Owner’s Title Policy Fee – seller also pays Owner’s Title Policy, it protects the new home buyer against unexpected ownership claims that may arise against the title of the property.
  • Prorated Property Taxes
  • Excise Tax — see Real Estate Excise Tax (REET)
  • Notary Fee
  • Recording Fee
  • Judgments – if there are any outstanding judgements against the property, they must be paid at closing to be able to transfer title to the new owner.

Should I leave the appliances?

It is common practice that appliances stay with the home. If you want to take the appliances with you, you must specify (exclude them) in the contract, that way the buyers won’t be surprised at closing.

How are you going to market my home?

Every real estate agent has a broad range of services they offer. We pride ourselves on exceptional and extensive marketing and advertising plan designed to sell homes quickly and for the most money. Please give us a call and we can share with you our comprehensive marketing plan.

Why is my home not selling?

Your real estate agent should update and let you know why your home is not selling. What can be done to get your home sold. Here are some of the most common issues:

  • Price – if the price is too high for the condition of the home, buyers won’t make offers
  • Showings – if buyers have difficulty arranging home showings, they won’t make offers without seeing it; or maybe you are present at showings and intimidate the buyers.
  • Condition – if the home is dated and the price doesn’t reflect that; or the house needs to be professionally cleaned; or your home is too cluttered.
  • Not enough natural light – the home is too dark, this is very important in Seattle area where we have many gloomy days.
  • You are too attached – you refuse to negotiate even a penny on the house.
  • You haven’t staged your home – empty houses make it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it.
  • You chose the wrong real estate agent – the agent must be able to tell you the truth about why your home is not selling.

All these things can be addressed once you realize your mistake; however the longer the property is on the market the less likely it will sell at list price.

How frequently and which method do you use to communicate with your clients?

We ask our clients their preferred method of communication (email, text, phone calls) and accommodate everyone based of their request.

If our clients don’t have a preference, on Tuesdays we usually give weekly updates on market changes, competition, showing feedback, any changes needed, etc.

Should I be present at the home showings?

It’s advisable for you and your listing agent to not be present at showings. Buyers and their agents want to have privacy and speak freely during the showing. They don’t want anyone hovering around.

Does the assessed value have anything to do with market value?

No! Assessed value has nothing to do with the market value. The assessed value is used by local municipalities to assess and collect property taxes.

When will you be doing an open house?

First week on the market we hold three open houses, on Friday night (5-7 pm) Saturday Morning and Sunday afternoon. We schedule the open houses around major sporting events (not during the event).

Then one open house every weekend while the house is on the market. if our team is busy, we hire other great agents to hold open houses for our listings.

Will you be only representing me in a real estate transaction?

In Washington state, our licensing law allows us to represent both parties (buyer and seller) in the same transaction, it’s called Dual Agency.

Dual Agency has been banned in some states.

We don’t practice Dual Agency, an agent is a neutral party in that transaction and does not represent any party well.

Do you have contractors to recommend for work needed on the house?

Yes, we have a list of contractors that can help prepare your home for sale. We have painters, handymen, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, home stagers, roofers, etc.

What Steps should I take to prepare my home for sale?

See Prepare Your Home For Sale.

What should I disclose to potential Buyers?

See What You Should Know About Disclosures.

What is the difference between List Price and Sale Price?

The List Price is the price the property is currently listed for sale at. The sale price is the price a home is sold at. Your Realtor should suggest a List Price that is close to the Final Sale Price.