Answers to the 5 Most Common Questions of Sellers

Selling a home.  For most people, it’s a little like being on trial:  They’re faced with more questions than they could imagine, and one wrong answer could cost them dearly.  For first-timers, the decision and implications of selling their most important investment can seem overwhelming.  Even for experienced home sellers, keeping up to date with the changes in the real estate market – or perhaps finding ways to overcome the problems they ran into last time – can be daunting.  That’s why information and an experts assistance becomes such an invaluable commodity for anyone selling a home today. 

So in an effort to help with the confussion I’ve compiled a list of answers to the five most common questions sellers face.

1.  Is Now A Good Time? You hear it all the time “Now is a great time to BUY”…but tides are turning and it's been a sweet, sweet sound to hear the answer shift to, “now is a great time to sell” here in Coastal VA!  

So, there is a lot that goes into trying to decide if someone is ready to sell.  One of the most important first steps any potential seller can take is to decide exactly what his or her own personal motivations are. For some homeowners, the decision to sell at a particular time is necessitated due to job relocation or some other factor that makes the answers to this question an easy one.  However, for the majority of sellers, moving is a more subjective matter.   The next step is to evaluate the market value of your home and your potential profit.  For those sellers who have purchased in the last 6–9 years, there may not be much room for profit considering the market conditions during their ownership.  Therefore selling right now, may be financially difficult.  For owners who have lots of equity built up, today’s market wouldn’t be such a big obstacle.  Either way, evaluating your profit and your motivations should help you determine if this is a good time.

2. Do I Need A Realtor?  Initially the idea of not having to pay a commission to an agent may be tempting to some sellers. However, any veteran do-it-yourself-ers should also be aware of exactly what’s involved in selling a home and make sure they have what it takes to follow through with every step. They also should be aware that the commission they would pay to have it listed with a professional doesn’t go completely to their agent.  Most agents offer a portion to other agents as payment for bringing a buyer to the house. The majority of home owners choose to let a professional real estate agent handle all the legwork and paperwork for them – as well as any potential problems that may arise in even the seemingly simplest of transactions.  In addition, by listing with a Realtor®, the property will be listed in the Multiple Listing Service, the marketing tool that accounts for the vast majority of home sales. Our market plan far exceeds anything that a seller, let alone most agents, could do on their own including professional grade photos, a 360 degree virtual model, and much more! Even if sellers choose to go it alone, they should still talk with an agent they know and trust in order to better understand what they are getting into.  

3. How Much Should I Sell It For? Price is a big question right now.  For the most part, pricing will depend on how much similar homes in the area have sold for.  But don't discount the importance of not only looking at solds but also considering your competition currently on the market! We can help with providing a comparable market analysis which will take the price of previously sold homes (within the last 6 months) and all of the property’s advantages and disadvantages into account when providing you with an estimated sales price.  That price combined with the goals of the seller will help determine the listing price.  For instance, if the sellers absolutely must sell within a given time frame, they may need to set a slightly lower price. 

4. Do I Need To Prepare My Home? In most cases, selling your home in Coastal VA involves more than simply putting a sign in the front yard.  To maximize your home’s appeal to potential buyers, you may need to be willing to make some minor cosmetic changes or repair major problems.  We provide a complete list of cleaning and makeover strategies, as well as other details which can add to the curb appeal and ultimately may make your home worthy of a higher price.  Important:  There are items that will add value and items that will add appeal.  Be sure to understand the difference so that you know where your money is best spent.  For example, replacing hardware on your cabinets in the kitchen does not give reason to upping the price, but rather, it makes the kitchen more appealing to buyers, which in turn will put your house higher on their list.

5. How Can I Tell A Good Offer From A Bad One? Each seller should know in advance what his or her “bottom line” is, what contingencies or terms would be acceptable and what would not.  In addition, the seller should find out whether the buyer has been prequalified for financing – something most real estate agents will quickly determine right from the start – before seriously counting on any offer. Beyond that, each offer should be reviewed for a deposit, price offered, terms involved, and any other details. There is no such thing as a bad offer. Sellers should look at all offers as a starting point. Buyers are aggressive and to some extent, based on the last decade, they feel like they can get away with it.  With the variety of cities in Coastal VA, each locality has it's own market dynamics!  Some have low inventory and some have high inventory.  Some have a rising demand and some are dropping.  You should understand the way that effects your offer and start with a stragey based on the numbers and not emotion!

There are so many more questions that go into understanding how to sell your home in today’s market, and unfortunately this only touches on a few of the most popular.  The important thing is to get informed. Call us to walk you through this important decision and make the process as stress free as possible.