Selling a home you’ve lived in and loved over the years isn’t exactly like unloading your collection of old books or music (or is it…?). It’s hard. It’s emotional. And above all else, it’s complicated. A slew of questions will likely pop into your head throughout the process and possibly keep you up at night.
Today we’ll tackle the most common questions that our real estate agents hear from sellers along with some answers, of course.
Q: How much needs to be done to my house before putting it on the market?
Many sellers have extreme anxiety over the thought of having to clear out and fix up their home, so much so that it can prevent them from putting the place on the market in the first place. But in most cases, there’s no need to panic here or to overshoot your goals. “Very often, there’s far less to do than homeowners think.” So before spending months and millions (figuratively) upgrading your place or just throwing up your hands and giving up before you begin show your home to one of our agents. You might be pleasantly surprised by your current sales prospects.
Q: How much is my house worth?
While the median house price in 2016 is $345,000, the exact price of your own home will depend on its size, neighborhood, and lots of other factors. Further complicating matters is your own skewed perspective: We tend to mentally inflate our home’s positives and airbrush out the flaws that are all too apparent to the cold, calculating eyes of buyers. “People always seem to compare their house to the most expensive sale in the area,” says Elias Gebeily, Owner of Gebeily Real-Estate. Instead, look at the prices of similarly sized homes that have recently sold in your area data that we call comparative market analysis. Then, price your place strategically. “If you price too high, the home is likely to linger on the market,” says Gebeily. Meanwhile, pricing low can have major upsides, resulting in multiple bids that could ultimately jack up your price. So, do your homework. Then, discuss a number with your agent that feels right and is realistic.
Q: How long will it take to sell my home?
Right now, nationally, houses spend around 150 days on the market before they sell, although the time varies wildly based on area and price. So, price competitively and make sure that you and your agent are getting the place in front of as many eyeballs as possible. “The higher the exposure, the faster the offers,” Spread the word through your own social networks real ones and virtual ones. You never know whose passing it along to that special someone will lead to a sale.
Q: Is staging really important?
On average, a staged home sells 88% faster and for 20% more money than a home that’s left as is. The reason it works, of course, is it gives buyers a “stage” onto which they can play out their home-owning fantasies and envision themselves living in your home. “Choose neutral paint colors, remove any family photos and add a nice lighting” says Gebeily. That give homeowners a blank canvass that they can mentally fill with their loved ones and themselves.
Q: Should I be present when buyers view my house?
“NO!” says Gebeily. There is not any situation in which this is appropriate. Having the owner in the house makes the buyers uncomfortable. They feel as though they can’t make comments or ask questions that could be offensive. The owner who has a history and attachment to the house has the tendency to argue if a potential buyer makes a comment that could be a little negative. This can turn off buyers and lose you offers.” Got it.
Q: What is the agent’s commission?
While the commission is typically 2.5% of a home’s sale price. But what’s implied by this question is “What is Gebeily Real-Estate doing to earn that fat check?” Here are some facts to keep in mind: Unlike lawyers who get paid by the hour, or doctors who are paid by the appointment, Real-Estate agents don’t get paid unless they make a sale. For every hour an agent spends with a client, he or she will typically spend nine hours on average working on that client’s behalf doing everything from networking to finding potential buyers to filling out paperwork and marketing you property.