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Common Seller Questions

As a home Seller, you will have many questions before, during, and after the Selling process. This page answers some of those common seller questions. For example, questions like what makes a house sell, to when is the best time to sell, to how long a home will take to sell, to how to price the home properly, to how to show the home properly, and so much more. Feel free to contact Century 21's top Broker-Associate, Cheri Elliott, if you have any questions or need assistance in selling your home.

What makes a house sell?

A successful sale requires that you concentrate on six considerations: your listing price, your terms of sale, the condition of your house, its location, its accessibility, and the extent of marketing exposure your house receives. While some of these factors are beyond your control, you can compensate by taking advantage of others (like staging your home) to make your property as attractive to prospective buyers as possible.

When is the best time to list a house for sale?

The “best” time to list your house is when you are ready to sell. No sooner. No later. The real estate market has its selling benefits all throughout the year.

Peak selling seasons vary in different areas of the country, and weather has a lot to do with it. For example, late spring and early fall are the prime listing seasons in many areas because houses tend to “show” better in those months than they do in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. And of course, people like to do their house shopping when the weather is pleasant.

However, keep in mind that there are also more houses on the market during the prime seasons, so you will have more competition. So while there is seasonality in the real estate market, it is not something that should dominate your decision on when to sell. Therefore, again, the best time to sell is when you are ready. Try not to “time” the market. Time your selling around what is best for you.

How long should it take to sell?

The honest answer is “it depends.” A Realtor can say that an average listing time may vary from two weeks to 180 days, according to market conditions in a particular region, town, or even neighborhood, and of course, price, terms, condition, location, accessibility and exposure play an even greater role. Truly, there is no way to know until the home is put on the market and the Buyer showings begin. This is why it is so important as a seller to “prep” as best as you can, and choose the right Realtor that will market your home properly, and provide the professional experience to handle the turbulent escrows of today’s real estate World to actually close the escrow. Selling a home is one thing, actually closing the escrow is an entirely different beast. Hiring an experienced Realtor will help ensure the hoops and hurdles of an escrow will be handled swiftly and professionally.

What if I can’t sell my old house before I have to move?

This situation clearly is not ideal. A home owner should always sell the original home first (or at least get into escrow) before putting an offer on the next home to avoid potential double-mortgage scenario. However, sometimes this cannot be avoided. This situation can arise for any number of reasons. For instance, getting the job promotion you’ve been waiting for may mean having to relocate very quickly. Another example: you finally find your “dream home,” and need to get it under contract before it sells to another Buyer. Whatever the reason, don’t panic. You have some viable alternatives to the worrisome possibility of double mortgage payments.

If you don’t have to sell in order to buy a new home, consider the advantages and disadvantages of renting your old house. If you’re being transferred before you’ve had a chance to decide on the new house, you may be able to obtain a short-term rental of your own while you’re becoming familiar with the new area. Either way, a local real estate professional can usually help, by advising you how much you can expect to pay for rent in your new city, or what you need to charge for your current home to both cover your mortgage payments and take care of other costs you’ll entail as a landlord.

How do I price my house?

Price your property sensibly.

It is important to be realistic about your home’s value and price it accordingly. To determine the fair market value, a real estate professional can supply information on comparable homes that have sold or gone under contract in your area. The report is called a Comparative Market Analysis(CMA).

Fair market value of a house is the highest price an informed buyer will pay.

To get an estimate of fair market value on your home, request your own Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) today from Cheri Elliott. The analysis will give you a realistic figure based on the most salient features of the local real estate market. It will provide information about recent sales of similar houses, including how much they sold for and how long it took. The Comparative Market Analysis CMA is very helpful in determining the right listing price.

How flexible should I be about the listing price?

Generally, the first three weeks will be the test period of your initial asking price. If you see showings drop off and very few return visits, you may want to consider adjusting your asking price. Most buyers leave room for negotiation when they make an offer. Thus, a certain degree of flexibility is usually called for on the part of both the buyer and seller.

While it is ultimately your decision to accept or reject an offer, or present a counter-proposal, a good Realtor can be of great assistance to you during the negotiating process. In fact, negotiation is one of the valuable skills a real estate professional can offer you. As negotiations proceed whether in writing, face-to-face, or by phone your sales professional will inform you of your options in responding to each offer from the buyer, so you can make an educated decision as to how you want to proceed.

Should I try to avoid being at home when the house is shown?

ABSOLUTELY! You should definitely plan to be out of the house during any showings or open house your sales professional has scheduled. Buyers often feel uncomfortable speaking candidly and asking questions in front of the Seller. You want them to feel as free as possible to picture your house as their “dream home.” Hence, always be gone for showings. Before you leave, get the home in “show form.” Turn on all the lights, open all window shades, turn on some low music in the background, activate any waterfalls, spray some air freshner, and take your pets with you. This is the best way to get your home show-ready before leaving. The home will be light and bright, and ready to go!”

What Happens Once the Home Goes into Contract?

Once the home has an accepted offer, the Escrow process begins. See "Seller's Escrow Process" for all the specific hoops and hurdles that lie ahead that will help you as a Seller ensure a successful closing.

Request a FREE Home Value Analysis CMA

Cheri Elliott, Broker-Associate
Century 21 Select Real Estate
4601 Post Street
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Direct: 916-939-7762
Text: 916-812-0382
Email: elliott-c@sbcglobal.net

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4601 Post Street - El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
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