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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I price my house?

Always price your property sensibly.

It is important to be realistic about your home’s value and price it accordingly. To determine the fair market value, a real estate professional can supply information on comparable homes that have sold or gone under contract in your area.

2. What is “fair market value,” and how do I determine mine?

Simply put, the fair market value of a house is the highest price an informed buyer will pay, assuming there is no unusual pressure to complete the purchase.

To get an estimate of fair market value, contact our Team and ask for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of your house. The analysis will give you a realistic figure based on the most salient features of the local real estate market. It should provide information about recent sales of similar houses, including how much they sold for and how long it took. The real estate professional’s price opinion is very helpful in determining the right asking price.

3.  Why shouldn’t I price my house a little high, since I can always drop the price later?

That’s a strategy that sounds good – but, in fact, is more likely to result in a lower price. Here’s why. The first few weeks a house is on the market is when it will have the most activity. If a house is overpriced, it has to compete with houses at that higher price level, which are almost certainly larger or have newer/more luxurious features.

So the overpriced home is unlikely to attract an offer. Worse yet, those first weeks are when real estate agents preview the house. If it’s overpriced, they may not even bother to show it to their buyers. Eventually, the seller will have to drop the price – and may end up with an even lower price because buyers will wonder why the house has been on the market so long and may factor that into their offer.

4. What is the greatest danger of overpricing?

The house sits and doesn’t sell. Then it starts to be considered shopworn, you get only lowball offers and you end up taking a lower price than you might have if you priced it correctly to begin with.

5. If my house sells in the first month, doesn’t this mean we underpriced it?

No, this shows it was priced perfectly. If it were underpriced, you would have multiple offers in the first several weeks, possibly leading to an above market sale.

6. If I list my home at or below the market, won’t buyers think there is something wrong with it?

No, quite the contrary. Other Realtors will know it is priced realistically and they will tell their clients. Experienced buyers will also know it is well priced. Their questions will not be what is wrong, but what do I need to offer to be sure to get it before multiple offers come in and it goes to sealed bids.

7. Does it really matter to the Realtor if my house sells for the right price? After all, their commission is not dramatically affected if my house sells for less than it is worth.

It is true that the commission change is not great, but this misses the point. A Realtor’s business comes from happy customers and their referrals. No one can stay in business if they do not have Clients who feel that they always had their best interests at heart and worked hard to get them the best price possible.

8. What is “curb appeal,” and how do I create it?

“Curb appeal” is a common real estate term for everything prospective buyers can see from the street that might make them want to turn in and take a look. Improving curb appeal is critical to generating traffic. While it does take time, it needn’t be difficult or expensive, provided you keep two key words in mind: neat and neutral.

Neatness sells. New paint, an immaculate lawn, picture-perfect shrubbery, a newly sealed driveway, potted plants at the front door — put them all together, and drive-by shoppers will probably want to see the rest of the house.

Then, for both the inside and outside of your house, if you’re going to repaint, choose neutral colors, and keep clutter and personal knick-knacks, photos, etc. to a minimum. Remember, when a family looks at a house, they’re trying to paint a picture of what it would be like as their home. You want to give them as clean a canvas as possible.

9. What should I do to make the house show better?

First, make your house look as clean and spacious as possible. Remember, people may look behind your doors — closet and crawlspace doors, as well as those to the bedrooms and bathrooms. So get rid of all the clutter; rent a storage space if you need to, hold a garage sale or call a local charity.

After you’ve cleaned, try to correct any cosmetic flaws you’ve noticed. Paint rooms that need it, re-grout tile walls and floors, remove or replace any worn-out carpets. Replace dated faucets, light fixtures, and the handles and knobs on your kitchen drawers and cabinets if needed.

Finally, as with the outside of your house, try to make it easy for prospective buyers to imagine your house as their home. Clear as much from your walls, shelves, and countertops as you can. Give your prospects plenty of room to dream.

10. What is meant by the term “contingency” in a sales contract?

 Sales contracts typically contain several “contingency” clauses, or stipulations that the sale is subject to. For example, with a mortgage contingency, if the buyer is unable to obtain financing within the specified timeframe, neither the buyer nor the seller is required to complete the purchase. Among other common provisions in the “subject to” section are termite and other inspection issues and the purchaser’s need to sell a current home first.

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