Home Sellers FAQ

Home with for sale sign in yard

Frequently Asked Questions by Home Sellers

Selling your home can be a difficult process; especially if you are a first-time home seller or selling your home without a Realtor. We’ve answered frequently asked questions about home selling below. And we intend to add more. So check back every so often for new information!

1. How long does it take to sell a house?

How long it takes to sell your home really boils down to two things:

  • Pricing – is your home accurately priced for the current market conditions?
  • Marketing – getting your home/listing in front of more people will help you find the right buyer (the one with the highest offer) faster.

If your listing is properly priced and effectively advertised, your home will be sold much faster.

2. Should I sell my home myself or use a Realtor?

Going the for sale by owner route often takes longer. Selling your home yourself will mean pricing your home, marketing your home, and managing the sale of your home all by yourself. If you have the time and money to do this properly, then For Sale by Owner may be a viable option for you. You should use a real estate attorney if you’re selling a home yourself to ensure all of the legal details are in order.

Local Realtors keep a close eye on the real estate market. They can tell you if it’s a good time to sell and they’ll help you accurately price your home too. On top of that, Realtors have better tools for marketing homes and easier access to a large network of buyers. Most importantly, they’ll manage every aspect of your sale including negotiations.

3. Should I sell this home before buying my next one?

Whether you should sell before you buy comes down to finances.

Does the equity of your current home play into the purchase of your new home? If it’s being used as part of the down payment, you’ll need to sell before buying.

If you’ve talked to a lender and you can juggle two mortgage payments a month (and more importantly are willing to), then you can buy before selling if you’d like.

4. Is it easier to sell a vacant home?

A vacant home often implies a need to sell; which can weaken negotiations. If you have poorly maintained furnishings or an overly cluttered home, then displaying it vacant may be a better option. If you have to vacate due to relocation, discuss your staging options with a real estate agent.

5. What basic improvements can I make to help my home sell?

Homes in good and poor condition sell everyday. However, you can sell faster and for a higher price when you make necessary improvements.

First and foremost, clean everything – inside and out. If you don’t want to put in the time or work, consider hiring a cleaning service. Focus on decluttering every space as well.

Give special attention to your landscaping and entryway – the first impression buyers have of your home will be these areas.

Make any necessary repairs. Fix leaky plumbing and address any water damage, have your HVAC system serviced; fix any faulty hardware on doors, cabinets & windows; regrout bathroom tile, fix broken toilet parts, and replace the mirror if necessary; fix holes in the wall and freshen up paint; etc.

Your Realtor and a home inspection will help you address any other improvements that need to be made.

6. What is a “seller’s market”?

A “seller’s market” is when both home demand and home prices increase. Some of the factors that cause an increase in home demand and price include:

Areas experiencing a large rise in labor/employment often get an inflow of residents before new homes can be built; increasing the prices of homes currently on the market.

Interest rates play a large role in the demand for homes too. Lower interest rates make buying a new home more affordable; which is why there is a higher demand for homes when interest rates are trending downward. However, a buyer already interested in a listing may be compelled to make a swift purchase if they fear a trend in rising interest rates. So in some cases, a short-term spike in interest rates may increase home demand as well.

Finally, low inventory can increase home prices. When there is a high demand for homes but fewer homes on the market, home prices will go up until developers can increase the inventory with new construction.

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