For most home sellers, the prospect of putting their home on the market for sale is a scary one. For first time sellers, it can cause a great deal of anxiety. Here are five of the most common questions (and answers) to the top five burning questions home sellers want to know.
Q: How do I find a great agent?
Great agents aren’t born, they are crafted through fire and adversity, and experience. The best place to begin your search is the same place that potential buyers for your home begin theirs: online. Ask your social network for referrals. Then, Google each one. Great agents produce helpful, informative content and publish that across the web. If the agent you search hasn’t done that, be wary. Then, narrow the field by adding those agents to your social media connections, and evaluate their personalities for a good match.
Q: How much should I list my house for?
Whatever you do, do not rely on estimates from websites like Zillow or Trulia, as they are commonly misleading. Start by looking up your property address on a website like Eppraisal. While this is no substitute for a good market analysis given to you by a professional real estate professional, it is a good jumping off point when figuring out what your house is worth.
Q: What are the first things I should do?
Take a walk through your house as if it was the first time you saw it. Notice items in disrepair and start decluttering now. Experts recommend taking at least 30 percent of the items in your home and putting them in storage before listing your house for sale. After that, contact your selected agent for a list of other things you need to do to help your home sell quickly and for the highest price the market will allow.
Q: What can I expect?
The best answer to this question is to expect the unexpected. Great agents will help guide you along the process and educate you on how things usually happen in your marketplace, but not even they have a crystal ball. Expect to spend a good amount of time cleaning and preparing your home for sale, and think on a strategy for negotiating offers. Ask your agent to explain the buyer contract to you, so you know what to expect when you receive an offer on your home, what to look at, and (most importantly) what to look for.
Q: Why don’t my agent and I agree on a price?
It is a rare occurrence that sellers and real estate agents agree on a price right out of the gate. And you should be wary of any agent who agrees to list your property on the first price that you select. They are the professional, remember? Great agents can justify the price they propose using market data and information, so it’s important to lean on their expert opinion. Agents don’t list properties for less than what a seller would like because it benefits them, it doesn’t. They list properties lower than what the seller would like to see, because that is what the market will allow. Overpricing a property often leads to hassles and results in a home not selling at all; a lose for you, and a lose for your agent.
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