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Selling FAQ's
Your home is likely your most expensive asset. That is why when you sell your home you should make sure you understand all the terms and conditions involved to ensure you end up on top. These Frequently Asked Questions can help answer some of the common questions for selling your property.  These questions were compiled to help sellers like yourself understand the key points to watch over and to help you better understand the selling process.

What if the Buyer wants to change some conditions on the Contract?
If the buyer tries to change the terms of the contract or bend the rules, say no and tell them that you have been advised against it. It is better to not to take any chances with the deal falling through.

When should I get an Appraisal?
Sometimes a good appraisal can give you a good indication of how to price. An appraisal is also a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed. Although appraisal does cost money, has a limited life, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like the value given to you, it gives you a perspective on what your expectations should be while selling your property and also gives you negotiating power.

Is it a good idea to shop the market?
Shopping the market is an important step in learning how to make your home look better.  You can visit other homes on sale and see what you like and don’t like. Chances are other buyers will feel the same way and this can help you identify the Do’s and Don’ts for your home. A particularly important thing to note is not just the asking prices but the selling prices as well. You don’t want to price higher than your neighbors as it could end up delaying the selling time.

Should I Counter Submitted Offers?
Absolutely!  Even if an offer is ridiculously lower than you were asking, always counter it. You never know how flexible a buyer may be, or how high they may actually be willing to go. If you walk away from a low offer, you may be walking away from a sale.  Some people like to start really low so that they can retain some negotiating power.

How do I Select the right Realtor for me?
Selecting the right realtor is a huge part of being successful in the buying and selling process.  According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly two-thirds of the people surveyed who sell their own homes say they wouldn't do it again themselves. Most people find it hard to choose a price and market their property. In addition, it can be difficult to understand the liability involved and can add stresses to an already stressful time. When selecting an agent, always check out your options before making your decision. Make sure you see multiple Realtors® before making your final decision. A professional Realtor® knows the market and your area and can provide you with information on past sales, current listings and can develop a marketing plan for your home. Always make sure to evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience, qualifications, enthusiasm and personality. Always choose somebody you can trust and somebody that you have confidence in. If you choose to sell on your own, you can still talk to a Realtor®. They can often help with paperwork, contracts, etc. By being in touch with a Realtor® if problems arise, you will have an experienced individual that you can readily call upon.

How do I set the right price for my property?
When determining the price to set, make sure you set the price above what you want. Remember if you set your price at a certain value that will likely be the maximum you can get for your home so don’t set it too low! If you set your price higher than what you actually want, you leave room for inevitable bargaining.

Does the Tax Assessments of my property indicate its accurate value?
Many consider tax assessments as a way to determine the value of a home. Unfortunately, they do not always serve that purpose. Tax assessments are based on criteria that may not be related to the value of your property and thus may not indicate the real value of your home.

Is it a good idea to get a second opinion?
A second opinion can never hurt. Sometimes something you may not notice in your own home, someone else may be able to point out. Never be shy to ask for another opinion. Remember, if someone else notices a problem with your home, buyers will too! Fortunately, your Realtor® will be honest about what you need to do to make your home marketable.

Do first impressions matter?
The look and feel of a home can be the difference between a bidding war and an offer-less home. When people come to see your home, the first impression they get will determine whether or not they believe it is worth pursuing. The look and feel of your home will generate an emotional response from buyers and help them feel at home. Prospective buyers react to what they see, hear, feel, and smell even though you may have priced your home to sell.

I am a pet owner. Any tips?
Pets, smoke and food smells can be deal killers in real estate. Even the tiniest odor can make buyers uncomfortable. It is your job as the seller to hide these odors and make sure signs of smoking and pets are not visible. Buyers assume that homes owned by smokers or homes that have pets will not be in the best of conditions.

Should I divulge the reason for selling my property?
Why you are selling your home can affect the way you negotiate and market it. Keeping these reasons to yourself gives you the upper hand in negotiations with potential buyers. If you are asked, simply say that you need something different from what you currently have.

How much communication should I have with potential buyers?
Be open with your buyers. Answer questions and volunteer information. Buyers will feel more comfortable purchasing a house from someone they can trust. This can also reduce liability and prevent lawsuits later on.

How should I present my property to potential buyers?
Let buyers envision themselves living in your home.  You want to avoid making potential buyers feel like they cannot see themselves living in your home. It is important to make the home look welcoming yet neutral so that the buyer is not forced to think of the home in a particular way. They can use their imagination to arrange items in the home and make it comfortable for them. Remember, if a buyer can’t see themselves living in your home, why would they even consider buying it?

I have spent so many wonderful years in the home. Will the new owner treat this house well?
Do not let emotions get in the way.  Do not let emotions get in the way.  Do not let emotions get in the way.  Approach selling your home as a business deal. Even though you may have years and years of memories in the home, if you want to successfully sell the home, you will have to detach yourself and focus on the business aspects. You'll definitely have an advantage over those who get caught up emotionally in the situation.

Is price the most important factor in selling a property?
These factors are different for each person.  Make sure you have a clear understanding of why you want to sell your house and what are the key things you are looking for in return. Some people put price above all else, while others are more concerned about dates and conditions. Be sure you know what is important to you so that you can define your approach and stick to it. Depending on your goals, your approach can become very different.

How do I get multiple offers for my property?
The better you are able to market your home, the more buyers you can attract. If you have multiple interested buyers this can give you the luxury of choosing the price and terms that fit what you want. You will have control over the sale and may even be able to create a bidding war to increase the price of your home.

How do I price my property correctly?
Price is the key factor in selling your home. Pricing can indicate to potential buyers that your house is over- priced or under-valued. In either case, this can have a negative impact and can reduce the number of potential interested buyers. You also want to see what other homes have gone for in your area and the prices of homes you would be competing against. If you start out by pricing too high you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and their agents. If you are pricing too low it can result in selling for much less than you were hoping for. In subdivision neighborhoods, typically you find homes that have similar floor plans. You can select your price by looking at recent sales in your neighborhood to give you a good idea of the value of your home. In older neighborhoods, homes can change over time as owners replace or upgrade various aspects of their home. This can cause homes that were initially the same to have very different values. In this case you should consider consulting a realtor to help you with determining your price. Another good way to determine the price in your neighborhood is to pay a visit to the City Hall as they can provide you with public records that include home sale information.

Is it better to move before or after selling the property?
It is more difficult to sell a home when it is empty. Buyers see the home as forgotten, unwanted and unwelcoming. Try to sell your home before you move to make your home more marketable to potential buyers.

What should I do to prepare my house for selling?
Make your house look brand new.  Wash, wax, dust, clean up, repair and do whatever else you need to do to make your home look like the day you bought it. Even the smallest mistake can be costly in attracting a discriminating buyer. Remember, you're competing with brand-new homes as well.

Should I go ahead and buy a new house even though the present one hasn't sold yet?
Beware of closing on your new home while you're still making payments on the old one. This could land you in a sticky situation and may force you to sell quickly and not get the value you deserve for your home.

What are some of the things to be included in the Contract?
Be sure your contract is secure.  To avoid problems, ensure that all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out clearly in the contract. By having a good Realtor® by your side, they can help you through these details. Make sure it includes items such as the date it was made, names of parties involved, address of property being sold, purchase price, where deposit monies will be held, date for loan approval, date and place of closing, type of deed, including any contingencies that remain to be settled and what personal property is included (or not) in the sale.
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