Questions and Answers - Selling a Home
There may be risks for both the buyer and seller in a contract sale. The main risk for the seller, as with any lender, is that the new buyer will default on the loan. This forces the seller to regain possession of the property through foreclosure of other legal means and put it back on the market. Possible risks for the buyer may include the seller's problems with tax liens or judgements, or the seller's inability to provide a clear title. Having attorneys for both parties assist with the transaction can protect the interests of both sides and minimize any risk. When buying or selling a home, consult a real estate agent who is a REALTOR®, a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, for professional advice and service.
DON'T MOST HOMESELLERS BUILD THE AGENT'S COMMISSION INTO THE SELLING PRICE SO THEY CAN RECOUP THE HOME'S FULL VALUE?
That's not usually true. Homes generally do appreciate each year, but to sell, a home must be priced and marketed properly. Most real estate agents have an in-depth knowledge of local housing markets, enabling them to help consumers evaluate their home's worth. But keep in mind, the seller sets the price for the home. When buying or selling a home, look for a real estate agent who's a REALTOR®, a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, for professional advice and service.
A QUALIFIED VETERAN CAN MADE AN OFFER ON MY HOUSE. WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER HIS OFFER IF I HAVE TO PAY HIS LOAN FEE?
Although it is a government requirement that the seller pay the buyer's loan discount fee with a VA mortgage, there are advantages to such a situation. The main benefit is that the seller will avoid taking back a note to finance the transaction and it will be an all-cash sale. Also, VA mortgages are government-backed, offering increased assurance to the lender. Furthermore, if you hold the sale price firm, you can often offset money spent on the buyer's loan fee. For assistance and expertise when buying or selling property, consult a real estate agent who is a REALTOR®, a MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
WE'RE THINKING ABOUT SELLING OUR HOME NEXT YEAR. IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO THIS FALL TO MAKE OUR LAWN MORE ATTRACTIVE WHEN SPRING COMES?
Yes. An ideal time for rebuilding your lawn is four to six weeks before frost is expected. A good way to start is by raking out thin or bare spots with an iron rake and then reseeding. It also is a good time for a complete replanting, either from seed or from fresh turf, if your lawn requires it. Necessary materials, as well as helpful hints, are available at most hardware stores and home centers. Improving the appearance of hour lawn can go a long way in enhancing the curb appeal of your home and also its resale value. AN inviting yard can be the deciding factor between your home and another to a buyer in a competitive market. For information on improving your home's value and appearance, contact a real estate agent who's a REALTOR®, a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT THE REAL ESTATE AGENT I CHOOSE IS COMPETENT?
During the listing presentation you will have the opportunity to evaluate the agent's experience and marketing plans. Also consider working with a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. As members, REALTORS® are strongly encouraged to participate in continuing education to increase their knowledge and to enhance their professionalism. To keep their competitive edge, many members also pursue professional designations in real estate specialties. In addition, REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics, which binds them to fair and ethical treatment for both buyers and sellers. When looking for an agent to provide expert service, choose a real estate agent who's a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.
COULDN'T I SELL MY HOME FASTER IF POTENTIAL BUYERS COULD PAY TO UTILIZE THE LOCAL MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS)?
Probably not. Potential buyers wanting to access the many homes listed with the MLS need only contact a participating real estate agent. Through the MLS, an agent can offer buyers specific information on homes that will meet their needs, wants, and price range, all of which is free of charge to the buyers. Also, licensed professionals can screen buyers so that only those with serious and legitimate intentions are provided access to information about your property. When buying or selling a home, seek the professional services of a real estate agent who's a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®
SOMEONE SUGGESTED THAT I SELL MY HOUSE BY AUCTION. ISN'T THAT ONLY FOR DISTRESSED PROPERTIES?
No. Auctions are often used to market real estate in foreign countries and are becoming increasingly common for both residential and commercial properties in the U.S. They can offer both buyers and sellers a relatively fast transaction technique. Selling by auction can result in an early sale, especially in a slow market, which will reduce your mortgage, maintenance, and marketing costs. Also, auctions often employ intense promotional efforts which can bring you a higher return. Before deciding if an auction is for you, visit a few and see how the process works. Additionally, consult an expert on the advantages and disadvantages of your particular situation. For expert information on auctions and other real estate procedures, consult a real estate agent who's a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.
I WANT TO DO SOME BASIC REMODELING BEFORE I SELL MY HOME. HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND, AND WHAT AREAS SHOULD I CONCENTRATE ON?
Making your home stand out is the best way to sell it for its full value. Begin with the basics such as adding a fresh coat of paint and doing needed repairs. For larger projects, it may be wise to consult a real estate agent for suggestions on what buyers in your area are looking for. Generally, buyers are most interested in the kitchen, master bedroom, and bathrooms. If the kitchen and bathrooms are more than 10-15 years old, consider new cabinets, flooring, and fixtures. Enlarging the master bedroom or adding features such as a Jacuzzi or kitchenette also show a good return. Other areas to focus on that provide good payback include window, insulation, storage areas, and landscaping. As a rule, don't spend more that 20% of the value of your home on remodeling. For additional information on selling you home, consult a real estate agent who's a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.