Q: Is there a "best time" to put my house on the market?
There’s no wrong time to put your house on the market. Typically, the real estate market picks up around February, continues strong through late May and June, and tapers off during July and August. The summer is usually the busiest time for moving since school is out and buyers may be looking to get their children in school before the new school year. September through November generally marks a rally not as strong as late winter and spring, followed by a slowdown from Thanksgiving through and beyond the Christmas and New Year holiday period. You may have less showings during these slower months, but the buyers looking during this time tend to be more serious so it could be a matter of quality over quantity plus there’s fewer listings to compete with overall. There are always buyers looking for homes in any market.
Q: What is MLS?
MLS is the Multiple Listing Service – it’s a computerized listing of the homes for sale in an area listed with a realtor. Licensed Realtors are granted access to the MLS and can use it to find a house in a particular price range or area. All other websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com, etc all pull their information from this MLS.
Q: What happens if I receive another offer on my home?
If you have an accepted offer on your home, you could still consider accepting secondary offers. Secondary offers cannot replace the first primary offer, unless there’s a bump clause due to a home sale contingency written in the offer. If the primary offer to purchase were to cancel due to contingencies in the contract, a secondary offer could then become the primary offer to purchase.
Q: How much are my closing costs?
Closing costs are typically in the $2,000 - $3,000 range and include a transfer tax fee, cost to prepare the deed and title insurance. Title insurance protects the seller and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property. The title search will show if there are any liens, easements or encumbrances on the property. Besides the closing costs, the seller is also responsible for the 6% commission and their portion of the tax proration. I can help you prepare an Estimated Sellers Net Sheet to give you a more accurate estimate of your closing costs and fees to show you how much you could net from the sale of your home.
Q: Where does the 6% commission go?
Well I’m glad you asked. Half of the commission - 3% - is paid to the Buyers’ Agent / The Cooperating Broker. The remaining 3% commission is split between the Stark Company and your agent. Stark’s portion goes towards paying for company advertising including the Stark Homes website, support staff, online systems, office buildings, copy machines, office supplies, etc. The agent’s portion of the commission goes towards additional marketing of your home, which includes having pictures taken by a professional photographer, creating floor plans and flyers, purchasing For Sale signs and having them installed, etc. (See the Customized Marketing Plan for more details.) Realtors also incur licensing expenses and realtor association dues that are mandatory to be able to list and sell homes on the MLS Paragon Service as well as gain access to information on sold homes in order to do a Comparative Marketing Analysis on your home. Realtors are independent contractors and are not paid an hourly wage so the commission also pays for their time and since it is their paycheck, taxes and retirement funds also have to come out of that payment. For every hour an agent spends with a client, he or she will typically spend nine hours on average working on that client’s behalf doing everything from networking to finding potential buyers to filling out paperwork.
Q: What’s the cost if my home doesn’t sell even though the broker and Realtor have spent money marketing my home?
There is no fee if your home doesn’t sell!
Q: What are your home selling stats?
The market is always changing and the stats tend to change with them. My listings take an average of 11 days on the market to receive an offer and sell for 99% of the list price.
Q: Why should I use a real estate agent?
- Statistics show that selling your home with the assistance of a professional real estate agent will garner you a higher profit, enough to cover the commission as well as put more money in your pocket. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average For Sale By Owner sales price is $174,900, while the average price for a home represented by a Realtor is $215,000, a difference of $40,100.
- A Realtor has access to market data about recent sales and other homes on the market that can be used to price your home appropriately. Studies show that homes priced right when they’re first listed sell more quickly and for a higher price than those that linger on the market.
- A Realtor can show your home to qualified buyers, respond to inquiries from potential buyers and their agents, and can get valuable feedback from visitors – all things that save you time.
- A Realtor can look at your home objectively and suggest ways to improve its appearance – by staging and minor repairs – so it appeals to more buyers.
- Realtors have professional marketing expertise, contacts with other Realtors who work with buyers, and the support of a brokerage that can market your home more widely than you can as an individual.
- A Realtor can help you negotiate through all of the possible contingencies put into a contract as well as garner you an appropriate price for your home and meet your needs for a closing date. The process and negotiation doesn’t stop with an accepted offer to purchase – it’s just the beginning. A realtor will guide you through the rest of the process to make sure your home actually makes it to closing on time.
- Most buyers today work with a buyers’ agent to represent their interests. If you choose to sell your home on your own, you’ll be negotiating with a professional and relying on your own skill to finalize a contract. Not only could you end up selling your home for less money, you could leave yourself open to potential legal problems unless you have the contract vetted by an experienced real estate attorney. FSBO transactions can be successful, of course, but 90 percent of homeowners prefer to work with a professional rather than risk an unsatisfactory home selling experience.
- Click here to see 5 more reasons why you should hire a real estate professional when buying or selling a home.
What else should I know now that I’ve listed my home?
- Whenever possible, open all of the blinds and turn on all of the lights for showings. Also, hide your valuables and prescription drugs for showings and open houses (or even better – take them with you).
- Showing appointments will be made and cancelled at the last minute. (Try to have your house show ready before you leave for work.)
- Some showings will last about 5 minutes and some will last an hour!
- The showing will most likely not start at the exact time it is scheduled for. You’ll want to stay away from the house for the entire showing time requested.
- Agents or buyers could knock on your door or even drive by, see you in the yard and ask if they can see your house. For your safety, don’t let strangers in your house. Have them call your Realtor.
- Offers come in all shapes and sizes. Statistically, the first offer is generally the best so try to work with any offers you receive. What will you do if you get a full price offer?
Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions: Tonya Nye firstname.lastname@example.org 608-770-7787