When trying to decide who to list your home with - consider the following:
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Placing the Wrong Price on Your Property.
Every seller obviously wants to get the most money for his or her product. Ironically, the best way to do this is NOT to list your product at an excessively high price! A high listing price will cause some prospective buyers to lose interest before even seeing your property. Also, it may lead other buyers to expect more than what you have to offer. As a result, overpriced properties tend to take an unusually long time to sell, and they end up being sold at a lower price.
When you're selling your home, the price you set is a critical factor in the return you'll receive. That's why you need a professional evaluation from an experienced realtor. This person can provide you with an honest assessment of your home, based on several factors including: Market conditions, Condition of your home, Repairs or improvements. Time frame - In real estate terms, market value is the price at which a particular house, in its current condition, will sell within 30 to 90 days. If the price of your home is too high, several things could happen: Limits buyers. Potential buyers may not view your home, because it would be out of their buying range. Limits showings. Other salespeople may be less reluctant to view your home. Used as leverage. Other realtors may use this home to sell against homes that are better priced. Extended stay on the market. When a home is on the market too long, it may be perceived as defective. Buyers may wonder, "what's wrong," or "why hasn't this sold?" Lower price. An overpriced home, still on the market beyond the average selling time, could lead a lower selling price. To sell it, you will have to reduce the price, sometimes, several times. In the end, you'll probably get less than if it had been properly priced at the start. Wasted time and energy. A bank appraisal is most often required to finance a home. Realtors have known it for years - Well-kept homes, properly priced in the beginning always get you the fast sale for the best price! And that's why you need a professional to assist you in the selling of your home.
Remember what first attracted you to your house when you bought it? What excited you about its most appealing features? Now that you're selling your home, you'll need to look at it as if you were buying it all over again. A spruced up house makes a great first impression on potential buyers. An attractive property grabs their attention and makes them excited about finding a house that looks and feels well-cared for. Because buyers know they will encounter fewer problems if they buy it, your house becomes more appealing and stands out from the competition. So if you prepare your home correctly, you will save time selling it when it is on the market. A good first impression makes an impact on a number of levels. It is not just the way your house looks to potential buyers, but how it feels and smells to them, how their friends and family will react, how they imagine it would be to live there. With simple improvements throughout your house, you can grab the attention of potential buyers and help them see why your house is right for them.
Lawns and yards
Stove, refrigerator, sink should be spotless, all work space clear.
Neat, spotless and fresh. Repair broken putty around tub.
Untidy or over crowded closets suggest inadequate storage space.
What is the best thing you can do during showings of your house? Make yourself scarce. Ever shopped in a store where the employees clearly work on commission and almost seem to lurk in the background, watching your every move, while you shop? This doesn't really put you in the buying mood, does it? It can be uncomfortable exploring a home when you also feel like you're being watched. Buyers feel comfort when looking for a home is absolutely essential. Buyers tend to have little interest in asking you questions about your property because the answers you provide will certainly be biased in some way. This is why you have hired a real estate agent to represent you and your home. Who is better than a qualified professional to be the spokesperson for your home. Now is the time to step back and let him or her do just that.
The sense of smell is powerful. When prospective buyers walk into a house, it is better for them to smell freshly baking oatmeal cookies rather than kitty litter. You may not notice odors that others may pick up as soon as they walk in the door. If your house is for sale, ask a friend or neighbor to give it a "sniff test". If there are offensive smells, how do you get rid of them? Sometimes there are obvious and simple solutions - a good scrubbing, the old vanilla-on-the-light-bulb trick or throwing out the dog's special chair. You can temporarily declare your home a "no smoking" zone. You may need professional help for cleaning carpets and drapes or deodorizing wall and wood floors. Your Realtor® will be able to provide you with a list of cleaning services which can assist you in making you home smell clean and fresh.
The beginning of negotiations is usually the end of many months of hard work for the buyer or seller. The work ahead requires skill in order to maintain a strong position. Sellers can lose their advantage if they do not counter an offer that a buyer has made. Even if the opening offer is beneath what the seller feels is reasonable, it is advisable for the seller to respond with a slight reduction from the asking price. The most important component in negotiating is good communication. The best way to handle a low offer is to counter it with definite terms that are favorable to the seller. A counter offer has two advantages: 1) it keeps the buyer interested, and 2) it moves the negotiation forward and gives the buyer the opportunity to submit another offer that the seller is more likely to prefer.
Buyers walk into your home and fall in love with it. There is one problem - they will have to sell their home before they can buy yours. Their offer contains a contingency clause which makes the purchase dependent upon selling their present home. Should you accept such an offer? Your decision should be based on several factors. Is their home being professionally marketed at this time, or are they trying to sell it themselves (a risky proposition!)? How long has it been on the market? Is it overpriced? If the house doesn't sell, can the buyers take out a bridge loan or make other arrangements to get to the closing table? How important is timing for you? Will the buyers agree to let you continue marketing your home and accept a non-contingent contract (and void theirs) if their house does not sell? Contingent contracts often work out well, but you need the help of a professional to weigh the pros and cons.
When you purchase a property, it usually includes the land and everything attached to it, such as buildings, trees, shrubs, etc. Most buyers are only interested in purchasing the real estate, not the owner's personal property. What happens when personal property has become a part of the real estate - is it actually a "fixture" which now passes with the real estate? There are three tests which usually need to be satisfied. Has the personal property been permanently annexed to the real estate? Is it intended to become part of the real estate? What is the local custom? Fixtures may include: shades, heaters, ranges, screens, storm windows, lighting fixtures, etc. To save misunderstanding at the closing - and perhaps the sale - it is important that the seller spell out specifically in the sales agreement what will go to the buyer as part of the real estate.
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 allows married taxpayers to exclude from capital gains taxes up to $500,000 in gains from selling a home (singles could exclude $250,000). This change exempts over 99 percent of homes sales from capital gains taxes and dramatically simplifies taxes and record-keeping for over 60 million homeowners. Taxpayers can use this exclusion every two years. Homeowners can now consider several new options. Many people find themselves at an empty-nester stage (no children at home) in a four or five bedroom home with a large equity. For many of these people, their home has been their major investment and this new law will allow them to unlock the equity. They may help their children buy a first home, purchase that vacation dream-home or make other investments for retirement. Consult your tax advisor for your particular circumstance.
In most real estate transactions there are a few responsibilities that the sellers have to handle before the closing, such as repairs. The deadline for completing these obligations usually coincides with the actual closing. Many sellers barely make that deadline. Those who wait until the last minute to handle these matters may miss the deadline altogether or pay high rates in order to get a plumber, roofer or electrician on an emergency basis. Your buyers will probably get a structural inspection done after the contract is ratified. Within 10 days of the contract's acceptance by all parties, the inspections should be scheduled. Even though sellers usually know well in advance what is needed, they sometimes put things off until the buyers have finalized the loan approval process. Since these repairs will have to be made anyway, it is a good idea to get them done promptly.
Most purchase agreements contain language that requires a home to be free of trash and debris and "broom clean" at the closing. While this language is not precise, the general idea is that you should convey a clean house to your buyers, in the same condition that you hope to find your new home. When the movers leave with your furniture, you may even want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service to thoroughly clean the home. It is crucial to leave your house as clean as possible for the new owners. This includes getting rid of any leftover junk in the storage spaces. When the buyers show up for their final walk-through, they will feel much better about finalizing the sale if everything sparkles. This will set up a positive mood for completing the transaction and help to minimize any disputes at the closing.
When you consider what price you should accept for your home, there are two important factors that will influence your decision. The first factor is the basic sales price. The second and more important is the amount you will actually receive from the proceeds at the closing. It can be a little confusing, but you Realtor® will prepare a seller's "net sheet" showing what your expenses will be. This will aid you in determining who pays what and when and can help you to focus on the details of the sale. A seller's expenses will include brokerage fees, real estate settlement fees, title insurance fees, special assessments and in some cases the buyer may ask you to pay some of the loan fees. Local real estate taxes will be pro-rated for you and the buyer, and you may be asked to place funds in escrow for payment of your final water bill. Subtract you mortgage balance any home improvement loans and other liens against the property that will be paid at the closing to come up with your final figures. Your Realtor® will help make sense of the confusion by going over all these factors with you when you list your home for sale and again as offers come in.
Your house is under contract and scheduled to close in a few weeks. What can you do to make the transfer of ownership as easy as possible for you and your buyers? Keep in close contact with your Realtor® so that you will know if there are any changes in the closing schedule. On the day the property changes hands, your house should be empty, clean and ready for the buyer. Contact all of the utility companies to let them know that you are moving and give the service company the buyer's name (the buyer must follow up with call to confirm). Don't turn off the gas or electricity because the buyers need to confirm that the appliances are in working order. Let your insurance company know ahead of time that you are selling the house and arrange for your coverage to be transferred to your new home. The most important thing is to start the process well in advance in order to avoid any last minute complications.