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Here are some simple tips to help you with the selling process:
When is the best time to sell your property? Only you know this but it would be a good idea to sit down with a professional REALTOR® and find out what is happening to the market place in your area.
How much is my home worth? Again, the best thing for a seller to do is to contact a professional REALTOR® who knows the seller’s market area and have them come out and evaluate your home and then provide you with a written CMA (competitive market analysis) and a NET SHEET based on that CMA. I am always amazed at the sellers who have an agent that lives 90 miles away to come and list their home. The likelihood of that agent knowing the market as well as someone local is very slim. Along with both of these, the REALTOR® should also furnish you a written market strategy outlining how your property will be marketed. You do not want any surprises.
How long will it take for my property to sell? Based on the CMA furnished to you, your REALTOR® can provide you with an estimate but there are no guarantees on this. There are too many factors that can happen while your home is listed that could affect the length of time it takes to sell.
Who represents me? This is a great question and one that you must have with your listing agent. When a real estate agent lists a home, the agent represents the seller. However, if a buyer contacts that agent and asks to see the agent’s listing, then the agent is acting as an intermediary. It is your agent’s responsibility to explain to you about representation and intermediary relationship. This is typically done during the listing period but you can ask about it at any time.
Do I need a survey in order to sell my property? It is great if you have a stamped, signed and dated survey showing the footprint of your home but if you do not have a survey but you have a legal description, then “no” you do not need a survey to sell your property. During the negotiations, you might end up agreeing to buy or share in the cost of a new survey with the buyer but you can cross that bridge when you get there.
How long does it take to close on my home? Just a ball park number would be 35 to 45 days if your buyer is getting a conventional loan. If it is any type of government loan like a VA, then it could be 45 to 60 days. If it is cash and there are no issues, it could be as short as two weeks.
How much will my closing costs be? Any good REALTOR® will be able to provide you with an estimate on what your closings costs will run and should be able to figure these costs for you within less than 1/10 of 1%. This is what your Net Sheet that I mentioned above will provide you.
Do I have to move out of my home before closing? This is always negotiated in your contract. It is up to you, your agent, the buyer and the buyer’s agent as to what is negotiated. I always feel it is in the best interest of the seller to remain in their home until their check has been placed in their bank account. You may have to enter into a residential lease agreement with the buyer where you agree to rent the home back from the buyer for a specific amount of money and for a specific length of time. Remember once you close and fund on your home, it is no longer your home. So if you agree to pay rent, do it knowing the buyer is now paying for the property taxes, insurance, upkeep, mortgage and interest and it not getting the benefit of living in their home. Do not make a big deal of paying rent. It is no longer your home.