It's time to research the market and make a few important decisions about your home sale. Most importantly, you’ll want to determine the right list price.
The list price represents the amount you as the seller want a buyer to pay for your home. An effective asking price considers several factors in the final sum, such as the state of the market in your area, the condition of the property and seasonality. For the most part, the comparative analysis your agent conducts will help you understand how much similar homes in the area are going for, and what you can reasonably expect to sell.
Your real estate agent can guide you to a number, but the final call rests in your hands.
Similar to buying a house, the home selling process doesn’t happen overnight. However, knowing how long it takes to sell a house can help you set the right expectations and keep the sale moving as quickly as possible. Here are some of the most important factors at play:
Although the timeline for selling a house is partly outside of your control, there are some tactics you can use to make your home more attractive to buyers. That begins with making the home as presentable as possible.
One of the most common questions first-time home sellers have is, "Should I renovate before I sell?" The answer to this depends on a few factors.
Renovations not only make a home look more enticing to potential buyers, but the right improvements can also increase your home value. Not all renovation projects are worth the cost, time and effort they’ll take to complete, however. Your real estate agent should be able to advise you on the top areas of focus that will help your property attract the best bid.
Once you’ve completed repairs, you’re ready to stage the house. Start with a top-to-bottom cleaning and spend time on both the interior and exterior. As you scrub down appliances and declutter each room, you should also depersonalize the space as much as possible. Removing unique decorations, painting over any rooms with loud wall colors and stowing away family portraits can all help the buyer imagine the home as their own.
Now that your home is in good shape, you’re ready to list the home and attract buyers. The real estate firm or agent who represents you is responsible for this step. Once they’ve shared your home on the multiple listing service – which is a database of every home currently for sale in the area – buyer’s agents will be able to view your property and some basic property details.
Advertising your home for sale helps your listing reach the right buyers and put you in the best position when it comes time to accept an offer. Even if you haven’t sold a house before, you’re likely familiar with open houses, “For Sale” signs in the front yard and other traditional marketing tactics. Our team will also ensure you are on multiple online platforms such as HAR and all social media platforms. Showcase with professional photography and feature all the main highlights of the home. Advertise on HAR, Facebook (business page, multiple local real estate groups, Facebook ads), Instagram, TikTok, Local Networking Groups, company database (around 10k). and open houses.
With the right marketing strategy in place, you should begin to see offers roll in. Next, you’ll have to choose the right buyer and offer.
For many sellers, choosing which offer to accept is pretty simple, with the home usually going to the highest bidder. But there are a few other factors you should weigh beyond price. Are there any cash offers on the table? Or, is the buyer applying for a loan, and do they have a pre-approval or just a pre-qualification? Is the buyer’s offer attached to any contingencies and what contingencies are they willing to waive? Do the buyer’s proposed negotiations align with what you need from the deal?
With these questions in mind, you’re better prepared to accept the best offer all-around and move toward closing.
Selling comes with a number of expenses that you’re responsible for paying. Your realtor can give you a rough breakdown and the title company will give you a full breakdown a minimum of 3 days before you go to the closing table. Some examples are lender’s and owner’s title policy, an appraisal, recording and settlement fees, a survey cost and transfer tax.
Although buyers and sellers pay different fees at closing, both parties are responsible for closing costs as they finalize the transaction. Closing costs for the seller usually include attorney fees, escrow fees, outstanding HOA fees and property taxes up to the official closing date. You may also end up covering some additional closing costs on behalf of the buyer. Sellers often pay the real estate commissions for both the buyer’s and seller’s agents, which is around 5% – 6% of the total loan amount. As part of the offer negotiations, the buyer might ask you to pay some of their closing costs; this is called seller concessions.
Capital Gains Tax
If your home has increased in value more than $250,000 from the time you purchased the home to the time of your home sale, you should also keep the capital gains tax on your radar. Essentially, a capital gains tax is an expense you would pay on any asset that has appreciated in value. Many sellers will be exempt from paying a capital gains tax, though this does depend on your unique situation.
Even if you plan to recruit friends and family to help move you out, there’s a good chance that moving out of your home will cost you something. If the timing’s right and you can buy and sell at the same time, you can have your movers move everything in one fell swoop. But if there’s time between when you buy and when you sell, you’ll also need to budget in the costs of storing and relocating your belongings.
Closing on the sale comes with its fair share of paperwork, and it’s never a bad idea to begin preparing the documents that you’ll need to provide or sign.
With the rest of the process checked off, you’re ready for the final step – closing on the home. For home buyers, closing means attending the closing date. Sellers, on the other hand, are not always required to attend their closings. If you’ve already signed the necessary paperwork, certain states allow your attorney to represent your side of the transaction in your absence.
For sellers who have the opportunity, skipping out on the table closing presents both pros and cons. Sellers who don’t attend can avoid the risk of any final conflicts with the buyer, but some attorneys or agents may prefer for you to attend regardless. In the event that you do not attend, your attorney or agent should be granted power of attorney to sign any remaining documents on your behalf. Keep in mind that you may be required to attend closing if you’re planning on renting the house from the buyer through a lease-back agreement.
With closing completed on both the buyer’s and seller’s ends, you’ve successfully sold your home to its new owner.
The Bottom Line
Selling a home may seem stressful, but many sellers are rewarded with a new place to call home once they’ve handed their keys over to the new owners.
This frequently asked question cannot be answered with a simple or general answer. Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from real estate community to real estate community. In most cases, the spring months are the best time to be selling a home.
Since every home sellers situation is different, you should discuss the timing of your home sale with your Realtor. In some cases selling during fall and winter actually maybe better than waiting until the spring real estate market. This is due to a combination of many factors including lower competition and that serious buyer’s are always looking for a home, just to mention a couple factors.
There are many market indicators that we are able to share with you to help explain the condition of the local real estate market. One of the most important indicators on market conditions is average days on the market. The average days on market can indicate to a seller how quickly homes are selling when listed for sale.
There are several things you need to know before you place your home for sale! A frequently asked question from home sellers before listing is what steps should be taken before listing their home. Not properly preparing a home for sale can put a home owner at a huge disadvantage.
The expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true when it comes to selling a home. When selling a home you must be sure that your home presents itself in the best possible light. Making sure clutter is at a minimum, freshly painting rooms, installing new carpeting, or ensuring odors are non-existent are just a handful of things that should be done before listing your home for sale.
Most home owners want to know how much their home is worth. This frequently asked question is another one that cannot be answered with a generalized answer. One of the best perks to owning a home is the ability to make it your own and improve it how you’d like. Finding out how much your home is worth is not something that should be done without asking a top local Realtor.
There are a handful of methods that Realtors use to determine the value of a home. The most common method to determining the value of a home is by completing a comparative market analysis. A comparative market analysisis an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes in the past 6-12 months. A comparative market analysis, also known as a “CMA,” isn’t a crystal ball that determines what a home will sell for, however, if performed by a top Realtor, it should greatly narrow the sale price range.
A professionally completed “CMA” will take into account many features of not only a home, but also the local area and neighborhood. Considerations that a professionally completed “CMA” include, but is not limited too:
The answer to this frequently asked question is NO! 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 Rochester, NY? It’s not! These third party websites, such as Zillow and Trulia, use computer generated home values based on calculations and formulas.
Easy question to answer – no! There are many reasons why sellers should not be present during showings. The primary reason why you should not be present at showings of your home is potential buyer’s can feel uncomfortable to talk open and freely with their Realtor about your home. They do not want to say something that could offend you, the seller. The best idea is to leave shortly before the scheduled showing and come back once you are certain the buyer and their Realtor have left your home.