FAQ for Sellers
When is the best time to sell my house?
Properties sell throughout the entire year. However the market, like any, is a function of supply and demand, as well as other economic factors. The time of year you choose to sell can make a difference in the amount of time it takes and the final selling price. Weather conditions are often a consideration. As a general rule the real estate market picks up in the early spring following a slower winter.
In the middle of summer, the market usually slows down. The end of July and August are often the slowest months for real estate sales. The strong spring market often places upward pressure on interest rates and many prospective home buyers take vacations during mid-summer.
After the summer slowdown, sales tend to pick up for a second, less vigorous season, which usually lasts into November. The market then slows again as buyers and sellers turn their attention to the holidays.
During the slower periods of the year, a benefit as a seller is that there are fewer homes on the market to compete with, however there are also fewer buyers looking. Generally, you will have the best results if your house is continuously available for buyers until your house is sold.
What are important factors to consider when selling a home?
The two most important factors in selling a home are price and condition. The first step is to price it properly. Then, go through the house to see if there are any cosmetic defects that can be repaired. It’s good to remove as much clutter as possible and improve the flow of walking space throughout the home.
A third factor is exposure. It is also important that the home gets the exposure it deserves through open houses, advertising, good signage and listing on the local multiple listing service, as well as the internet.
Choose the REALTOR® that you believe will get the job done, not the one that quotes you the highest price. Some real estate sales representative may quote you a higher price in order to gain your listing and then have no success in selling it. At R. W. Thur Real Estate Ltd., we’re honest and upfront about our opinions and use conclusive evidence to back it up.
What should I do to get my house ready?
The way you live in a home and the way you sell a house are two different things. First and foremost, it’s important to “declutter” counter tops, walls and rooms. Too many “things” make it difficult for the buyer to see their possessions in your rooms or on your walls, however don’t strip everything completely or it will appear bare and uninviting. The second step would be to clean all the rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It’s especially important that the bathrooms and kitchen are spotless. Organize closets. Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work and get rid of leaky faucets and frayed cords. When showing, make sure the house smells good, anything from candles, air fresheners or home cooking.
Another important consideration is “curb appeal.” People driving by a property will judge it from outside appearances and make a decision as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, trim the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking.
Should I make repairs?
Minor repairs before putting the house on the market can lead to a better sales price or faster close. Buyers often include an “inspection clause” in the purchase contract, which allows them to back out if numerous defects are found. Once the problems are noted, buyers can attempt to negotiate repairs or lower the price with the seller. Any known problems that are not repaired must be revealed as a material defect. You do not have to repair the problem, only reveal it, however the house should be appropriately priced for that defect.
How much is my home worth?
There are a number of ways people can determine their homes value, the two main ways being an appraisal or a comparative market analysis.
At R. W. Thur Real Estate Ltd. we offer comparative market analyses at no charge as well as formal written opinions of value, if needed for other reasons, at a cost. Appraisers review numerous factors and base information on recent sales of similar properties, their location, square footage, construction quality, excess land, views, water frontage and amenities such as garages, number of baths, etc.
A comparative market analysis on the other hand is informal verbal estimate of market value performed by a real estate sales representative or broker. It is based on sales and listings that will compete with your property that are similar in size, style and location. A range of values will be determined thus arriving at a probable market value. If you’re thinking about listing, call one of our qualified sales representatives for a CMA to get an idea of what your home could sell for.
What are my obligations to disclose?
Items sellers often disclose include: homeowners association dues: whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes or if there were permit requirements; the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises which a prospective buyer might not notice, such as any restrictions on the use of property, including but not limited to zoning ordinances or association rules. You should also disclose if you’re aware that in the past it was used for any illegal purposes. You must also reveal any hidden defects that would materially affect the enjoyment or use of the home. Ie. asbestos, UFFI, water leaks, old utilities.
It is wise to review the seller’s written disclosure prior to a home purchase and ask questions if it does not satisfy you entirely. Sellers do not have to disclose the terms of other offers, however you should disclose the existence of other offers so that all parties are aware that they should be submitting their best offer.
How do I gain more Interest in my House?
Even in a slow market, the two most important factors in selling a home are price and condition.
If a home is not getting enough interest to sell, the biggest reason for that is an inflated asking price. The first thing to gain more interest attention to your house is to lower the price. After that, go through the house and see if there are any major cosmetic defects that can be easily repaired. The third step is to ensure the house is getting proper exposure on the market through open houses, advertising, good signage, and listing on MLS.
Are there standard conditions in an offer?
Yes, the two most frequent conditions in an agreement of purchase and sale are financing and inspections. A third condition that you may see is the sale of the buyers property, this is often a longer time period for condition but it’s a reality that the buyer of your home generally has a house they need to sell before they have the finances to purchase your home. Ensure you read and fully understand all the clauses within your contract before signing
Should I take offers with conditions?
That’s slightly dependent on the type of market you’re selling in, whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market. I can also depend on the condition of your home, the price you’re looking to get for it, how urgent it is for you to sell your current house, as well as the quality of the offer. Unless your home is in a multiple offer situation, it is quite common to see some conditions within an offer. The length of the conditions can make a big difference as to whether it is worth accepting or waiting for another buyer who may not have so many conditional needs.