SELLER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Selling a home isn’t a process that is practiced regularly by home owners, thus rules, regulations, and the industry change on a daily basis. So, what are the most frequently asked questions from home sellers? Here are the some frequently asked questions that home sellers ask before listing a home for sale:
Q: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO SELL MY HOME?
The rule of thumb is approximately 6% of the sales price, which is typical total commission; 3% for seller’s agent (us) and 3% for buyer’s agent. Also, there are closing costs which are typically 1-3% of the sales price. In Arizona, sellers closing costs include all loans in Seller’s name, escrow fees, transfer tax & recording fees, title insurance, etc. I can send you a Seller Net Proceeds worksheet for you to give you a better estimate of how much money you will get paid.
Q: HOW DO I GET THE MOST MONEY FOR MY HOME?
The best way to sell your home for the most amount of money and in the least amount of time is to price it well, and make it look as clean and move-in ready as possible. A well-priced listing will receive more traffic and offers than a listing that is priced too high. Appearance on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) determines whether or not brokers will schedule showings for their clients. Good photographs of your property are important, and then once people come to look at your property, it needs to be as inviting as possible. Inexpensive ways to increase curb appeal include washing the exterior, window cleaning, landscaping, and painting the front door. Once potential buyers walk through the front door, the more a home looks ready for them to live in, the easier it is for them to imagine themselves moving in. Read our ‘Home Prep List‘ for more info on making your home stand-out to potential buyers.
Q: WHAT IS A “BUYER’S”/“SELLER’S’ MARKET”?
A “Buyer’s Market” tends to favor the buyer in terms and pricing. Typically in a Buyer’s Market, homes may stay on the market a little longer, there may be more inventory than actual buyers, and you may have to adjust your pricing. A “Seller’s Market” favors the seller. In a Seller’s Market, homes may sell faster, with some competition in offers, and may even sell above the listing price. Interest rates may also affect the marketplace. A lower rate spurs buying, and rising rates may cause some buyers to wait until rates lower. Many times buyers may have qualified to purchase a home based on the lower rate and now find themselves priced out of the marketplace. As the type of marketplace shifts, you re evaluate your position in the sale of your home. You cannot control the marketplace, but you can control how you react to it!
Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE ARE ‘UNDER CONTRACT’?
Escrow periods typically last 30-45 days, but this can vary depending on terms and the property. Here’s an example of the life of a typical 30-day escrow, from a seller’s point of view:
Week 1:Offer is accepted, escrow is opened. You will have several visitors to your house at the beginning of the escrow process: there will be a termite inspection, the buyers will come for a home inspection, and if the buyers are taking out a mortgage to buy the house, there will also be an appraiser coming to complete the home appraisal. All of these appointments are scheduled through me and approved by you. You will sign and the buyer will receive the Seller Disclosure Statement in which you report all material facts about the property. Also, the Insurance Claims History from your insurance company.
Week 2:The escrow officer will process your loan repayment, if you have a mortgage on the house that you are selling. After buyer receives the home inspection report, their agent will submit a Request for Repairs, which we will review with you. If the buyers are taking out a mortgage to buy the house, an appraiser will come to your home as well (typically after the 10 day-inspection period).
Week 3:Confirm status of Buyer’s loan approval. Check status of repair items from home inspection. Seller to provide receipts & proof of repairs once completed.
Week 4:Buyer does a final walk-through of the property about five days before close of escrow. Once buyer signs their loan documents, the loan is funded, and the title company records the deed of trust at the County Assessor’s office, you hand over keys to the buyer, and the escrow company sends you a check or wire for your net proceeds.
Q: WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING THE INSPECTION PERIOD?
When your home is under contract, the buyer has a period of time in which he or she may inspect your home. In Arizona, this is typically the first 10 days. Some inspections are as follows: a home inspection performed by a certified home inspector, a wood destroying organism inspection, and, if applicable, a survey, septic and/or well inspection. Although there are other types of inspections available to buyers, these are most common.
Some of the items that are typically investigated during a home inspection are: appliances, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems, structure, foundation, roof and attic. The buyer may ask the inspector to address concerns regarding indoor air quality, expansive soil conditions, previous fire, pests and mold.
Prior to closing, the buyer will conduct another “inspection”, usually referred to as the final walk-through. This is where they will confirm that any repairs agreed upon have been completed and that the home is in the same condition as when the offer was written.
Q: ZILLOW SAYS MY HOUSE IS WORTH MORE THAN YOU’RE TELLING ME, WHY?
Anyone who has bought a home, sold a home, or just looked at homes, has heard of websites such as Zillow and Trulia. These are also commonly referred to as third party real estate websites. Third party real estate websites are not local to every real estate market.
These third party real estate websites provide estimates of home values for practically any home in the United States. How is it possible that a third party website that is headquartered in California or Florida can provide an accurate home value for a home located in Scottsdale, AZ? It’s not! These third party websites, such as Zillow and Trulia, use computer generated home values based on calculations and formulas.
These websites providing inaccurate estimates (or “Zestimates”) can create a false sense of hope and lead to frustration. A home seller who is told their home is worth $20,000 less than the online estimate is going to be understandably upset. It’s critical that when selling a home, we help you determine the value in your local area, not an internet website!
More questions & answers will be added throughout time. If you have any questions about selling, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
Find out what your home is worth here!