Q: What is the difference between a real estate broker and agent?
A: A real estate agent works for a licensed real estate broker. The commission for the sale of your home is paid to the real estate broker, and the broker then pays a split of that commission to the seller’s and buyer’s agents where applicable.
Q: Should I get an appraisal before selling my home?
A: Before you sign your listing contract with me, I offer a competitive market analysis of your home’s value. We will then set a final asking price based on this market value estimate. When a prospective buyer makes an offer on your home, the buyer’s lender will require an official appraisal of your property. The buyer will pay for the house appraisal, though you should know that it may be different from the market analysis based on the timing of the estimate and appraisal.
Q: Should I get an inspection?
A: Interested buyers almost always request a home inspection before final sale. This is to give the buyer an independent analysis of the physical condition of your property. The inspector will check structural items, construction and mechanical systems, including the roof, radon gas, asbestos, pests, windows, HVAC system, water heater and electrical systems. Ordering an inspection of your home before we place it on the market will alert you to any problems that may stall the sale of your home.
Q: What types of costs will I face as a seller?
A: Even though your goal is to make a profit when selling your home, there are some costs you will need to be aware of before we place your home on the market. These costs include the remaining balance on your original home loan, which you must pay off in its entirety once your home is sold, as well as prepayment penalties that your lending institution may assess for paying off your loan early. Now is the time to speak to your lender to ask the penalty amount, or negotiate removing it. Other costs include closing costs, taxes and preparing your home for sale, such as fixing minor problems and increasing your home’s curb appeal. I am ready to help answer any questions you may have regarding managing costs you can expect to face as a seller.
Q: How do I get my house ready for prospective buyers?
A: To get your property into “selling shape,” it’s important to prepare it by following a few simple rules. First, fix anything in your house that is in disrepair, especially the front exterior and most important rooms in the house: master bedroom, kitchen and living room. Clean and declutter as much as possible, and pack away anything that isn’t essential. Keep closets organized as well – potential buyers will look behind all doors and the more organized you are, the better. Lastly, stage your home, using design principles that emphasize space and openness. Minimize furniture in each room, and remove any distracting decor, including family photos or mementos. We want buyers to think of your property as their future home.
Q: Can I remain in my home when an interested buyer is scheduled to see my property?
A: It’s best if you, your family and pets are not on the property when a prospective buyer visits the home. It can be difficult for those considering buying your home to imagine themselves living there when you’re present, and it may make them less likely to express their feelings to their agent. I will work with you and the real estate professional showing your home to ensure the visit is supervised, and will do everything I can to minimize the impact showings will have on your family.
Q: What happens once I receive an offer?
A: Once an interested buyer has submitted an offer, we will review it in its entirety together. The offer will include a price, as well as terms and conditions, such as a proposed closing date and any items that must be included in the sale of the home. We also will look at other offers that are on the table that may be a better fit for you, and will prepare any counter offers together. I will then submit those counter offers to the buyer’s agent and guide you through the negotiations.