Seller FAQ

Pricing: How is the price set?

It’s critical to price your home right in relationship to the current real estate market and to the conditions prevailing in your local marketplace. Since the real estate market is continually changing, and market fluctuations have an effect on property values, it’s imperative to select your list price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood. A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) provides the background data on which to base your list price decision. Study the comparable sales material presented to you by the different agents you interviewed initially. If the CMAs are over two or three months old, have your agent update the report for you. If all agents agreed on a price range for your home, go with the consensus. Experts recommend that more than one agent come and do the analysis. Watch for an agent whose opinion of value is considerably higher than the others.

Purchase Offer: What are the contingencies in a purchase offer?

There are two standard contingencies: a financing contingency, which makes the purchase conditional on the buyers’ ability to obtain a loan commitment from a lender, and an inspection contingency, which allows the buyers to have professionals inspect the property to their satisfaction. A deposit could be forfeited by the buyers under certain circumstances, such as the buyers backing out for a reason not provided for in the contract. The purchase contract must include the sellers’ responsibilities such as passing clear title, maintaining the property in its present condition until closing, and making any agreed upon repairs to the property.

Disclosure: What is a seller obligated to disclose?

It varies from state to state. Under the most restrictive state, the seller and the sellers’ broker, if there is one, are required to disclose all facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property which are known or accessible only to him and which are not known to, or within reach of the diligent attention and observation of the buyer. In the case of residential properties, the seller must provide the buyer with a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement, which specifies the existence and condition of all known physical attributes of the property. Sellers are responsible for disclosing only information within their personal knowledge.

When to Sell: When is the best time to sell your house?

In addition to supply and demand, and other economic factors, the time of year you choose to sell can make a difference both in the amount of time it takes you to sell your home and in the ultimate selling price. Generally, the real estate market picks up as early as February, with the strongest selling season usually lasting through May and June. With the onset of summer, the market slows. July is often the slowest month for real estate sales due to a strong spring market putting possible upward pressure on interest rates. Also, many prospective home buyers and their agents take vacations during mid-summer. Following the summer slowdown, real estate sales activity tends to pick up for a second, although less vigorous, season which usually lasts into November when the market slows again as buyers and sellers turn their attention to the holidays.

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