Getting Market Value
This process generally begins by determining what a reasonable asking price for your home is. Your real estate agent should give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These four aspects are the key factors in getting your property sold at the best price quickly and with minimum hassle.
When listing your property for sale, do yourself a favor and trust your agent. They know what the market is at any given time, and will be able to pinpoint the best asking price, saving you money and time in the long run.
Remember! Your home is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. A property that has been on the market for more than four weeks is a clear message that it is not worth the asking price. A home may be worth more to the seller than the buying public, which is why it is crucial to confide and trust your agent to guide you.
In any case, an agent should be able to understand the marketplace well enough to price it right. At THE PRICE TEAM, we don’t believe in “We simply can’t sell this house”, because we know that anything will sell if the price is right.
Showing your Home
When it is time to put your house on the market, we will go through your house with you to get it ready. In the meantime, there are a couple of things you can start doing to prepare. We know from experience that if you follow these tips you will have an advantage over most of the competition already on the market. A sharp “turnkey” home sells faster and for more money!
Do as many of the following as you can prior to the first showing:
- Clear all unnecessary objects/clutter throughout the house. Keep decorative objects on the furniture to a minimum.
- Rearrange or remove furniture if the room seems full. When it comes to selling we need to make the rooms appear as large as possible.
- Re-paint rooms that need attention.
- Clean all the windows, inside and out.
- Be sure that all curtains/drapes and the carpets are clean.
- Remove dated wallpaper and re-paint, preferably with a neutral color.
- Check all light bulbs and clean fixtures, make sure they all work properly.
- Re-grout tiles in kitchens and bathrooms, it’s relatively inexpensive and gives everything a fresh new look.
- Repair any leaking/dripping faucets.
- Check the caulking around tubs and showers and replace it where needed.
- Replace or clean shower curtains.
- In bathrooms, keep only necessities on counters, and matching towels always add a nice touch!
- Creaking floors can turn off buyers, especially in townhouses, condos, or second story homes. Get the floors checked out and fix any problem areas.
- Clean and wax the floors throughout your home.
- All appliances (refrigerator, stove, sinks, etc.) should be spotless.
- Clean the exterior of the heating/cooling unit and compartment.
- Tidy up your closets, and remove seasonal clothing to make the closet look more spacious. All clothes should be neatly hung and shoes in place. Yes, buyers do look in your closets!
- Keep lawns mowed and trimmed. Replace dead plants and trim shrubs, a gardener may be a great investment during the sale process.
- Check all faucets and sprinklers, make sure the sprinkler system works fine.
- Repair any torn screens or cracked glass, replace in necessary.
- Paint or touch up exterior of home where needed, especially the entry area. Hose down any dirt, spots, cobwebs or any other debris.
- Plant colorful flowers, or bright plants in the garden area. A nice color bowl on the front porch is a good idea if there is room.
Clean the driveway.
- Repair any bubbling or cracking stucco.
- Eliminate clutter from view, which means any toys, garden tools, bicycles, etc.
- If you have a pool or spa, make sure it sparkles.
- Keep the patio neat.
- Take a walk around the perimeter and make sure to declutter, discard debris and make sure everything is clean and neat.
- Clean up the garage as much as possible, maintain it neat and tidy.
- If you want top dollar and have too much stuff inside the house or garage, consider a rental storage area.
Showing Procedures and Tips:
- Some people are afraid of pets, so attend to your own. It is helpful to move your pets into a kennel or have them stay with friends during this process, and if that is not an option, make sure to have them separated during showings.
- Unpleasant odors can lose a sale. Try carpet cleaning or carpet freshener if needed, sprinkle cinnamon over oven burners just before showing, bake cookies or fresh bread, or try a drop of vanilla on a light bulb under a lamp shade.
- Open drapes during the day and allow natural light inside. This will make rooms seem larger. A well-lit home shows better, so for the entire showing, make sure all lights remain on.
- If you have a fireplace, always have it lit to show it works. Even during the summer!
- Soft background music is always a good idea for showings, have a radio playing in the background or set up an mp3 player.
- A lot of buyers nowadays are turned off by the odor of smoking. If you are a long-time smoker, you are not as sensitive to the odor. Try to smoke outside your home and always air out the house before a showing.
- Buyers feel more comfortable looking at a home without the owners present. Whenever possible, leave prior to the showing or find an excuse to leave during.
- Have a lockbox on your home, this will make it easier for agents to show your home.
- Leave the thermostat at a comfortable temperature.
- Have all the carpets vacuumed prior to a showing.
- Make sure the kitchen is clean and tidy. Wash all dirty dishes, clean countertops and put away all food.
- Make sure all the rooms are neat and picked up. Make the beds, remove dirty laundry and put everything in its place.
The process of selling a home is not an easy one. You need to have your home ready for a showing (sometimes on a very short notice), but in order to increase your chances for selling please take these recommendations to heart. The better your home shows, the faster it will sell.
The Appraisal Process
An appraisal is a third-party estimate of the value of a piece of property at a particular point in time. It can affirm your offer price or block your transaction entirely. Understanding how real estate appraisals and appraisers work can help you navigate any problems that arise.
All appraisals must conform to guidelines set by the Federal Reserve, but every appraisal is ultimately a subjective analysis of a properties current market value. True market value can be difficult to ascertain in markets where prices are volatile and properties vary widely. To determine current market value, an appraiser will compare the price of your home with that of at least three comparable homes that are in the area and have sold in the past six months, then adjust for differences in the properties. An appraiser will physically measure and inspect the home, which doesn’t qualify as a home inspection, to compare, and may also take photographs to include in the report.
- Potential Problems
Inexperienced appraisers with a lack of training can result in problems. Appraisers are certified by the individual states under federal guidelines, but only half the states require actual licenses. Most states do, however, require appraisers to pass a written examination and have 74 hours of continuing education and 2,000 hours of direct experience through an apprenticeship. Most appraisers have to abide by professional and ethical standards set by industry organizations.
- Important Note
An appraiser charges you for his opinion of value and in many cases simply doesn’t have a complete grasp of individual market area trends that may exist. Before you hire an appraiser consider that we know the areas we serve very well and offer free, no hassle, assistance to help you evaluate your property. Simply fill out the form below, and we will be more than happy to help you out.
Opening and Closing Escrow
A neutral third party holds documents and money for a real estate transaction and ensures that all conditions of a sale are met. This also refers to a special account that a lender uses to hold a borrower’s monthly payments on property taxes and insurance. A lot has to happen in the weeks before you close, and its escrow’s job to stay on top of the details so you can close on time.
- Closing Costs
Closing costs vary dramatically depending on whether you are a buyer or a seller, and the type of financing used. Some costs normally associated with buying can be paid by a seller and most closing costs are negotiable.
Average closing cost for a seller run 5-7% of the total sale price and for a buyer, an average of 1-2% of the sale price. Sellers cost are usually subtracted from their gross proceeds at the close of escrow. Buyers closing costs are usually in addition to the money earmarked for the down payment.