This section of the Q&A is
made up from the most common questions we are asked in our daily business.
If you don't find the answers to your questions, please Email
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1) What are the most important things when I'm selling my house?
There are many things to consider, but the most important things are price; condition; terms; location, access to the home for showing, exposure to the market and legal liability.
2) When is the best time to list a house for sale?
Once you have made the decision to move, you should give yourself as much time as possible to sell your home. In Southern Calif., we see March through June being the hottest. November through January are usually the slowest months. Given that, buyers are looking every day of the year. If you can plan to sell in the spring and summer, do it. If not, sell when you need to sell. The more potential buyers your home is exposed to, the better your chances of getting a higher price for your home. This is not to disregard the necessity of pricing your home to get maximum attention from prospective buyers right from Day 1.
3) Is there any seasonality to the market?
Traditionally, the busiest times of the market are in the spring. In other areas of the country, the market cycles may well change greatly. An important point to consider is; the more homes on the market, the more competition you face. Some of the better times to sell your home are: December Holidays and the summer. Why? Because you have less competition.
4) Should I wait for prices to go up, or interest rates to go down?
Remember, there are no guarantees that the prices will go up, or that interest rates
will go down. The experts in the financial markets have forecast steady interest rates for
the foreseeable future. Real estate analysts do not forecast any great variations in house
prices. A 40 year trend in
5) How long should it take to sell?
The time your home takes to sell will depend on the items addressed in #2. There are various factors that affect the time it takes to sell your home, including: The supply of comparable homes. The condition of the economy in general. The demand for homes such as yours. Your price. For an example of the average time it takes to sell homes in San Diego over the past 4 years has gone down from 4.5 months in 1995 to 45 days in many areas today. The time will also depend on the time of the year.
6) Should I buy first, or sell first?
While this is a decision that rests with you, your real estate professional will be able to give you some good guidance in making this decision. If there are a number of homes available that you would consider investing in as your next home, then you probably should list your home first. If you are looking for an uncommon type of home, or there is a definite shortage of homes that meet your criteria, some believe that you should hold off on listing your home until you find a home that will be suitable for your next home. We recommend that you get your home on the market, and make any offer on your current home conditional upon your finding suitable accommodation. As with the other factors in selling and buying a home, the laws of supply and demand will have a major bearing on your decision.
7) How do I set the price my house?
For a complete explanation of this, see the section of this website titled "How do you set the price on my home". The key in setting the price on your home is to be realistic. This area is one where you should draw upon the experience and expertise of your real estate professional. Setting the price on your home realistically, in terms of the current market, is a big part of the marketing of your home.
8) What is 'fair market value'?
Basically, Fair Market Value is what the seller is willing to accept and an informed
buyer is prepared to pay.A buyer will be armed with a CMA, showing them what other,
similar homes have sold for. When a house is sold, it has to be sold to not only the
Realtors and the buyers, but also
9) How much room should I allow for negotiation in my asking price?
Again, this is an area where your real estate professional can be of assistance to you. Only in the 'hottest' of markets will you find homes selling over the listed price. The ratio of list price to sale price varies from area to area. For example, in San Diego it is approximately 96% of the asking price with variations from 80% to 110% depending on the original pricing strategy.
10) Should I fix my house up before listing?
There are some things that you will want to do to make your home show at its best. These are generally minor things such as painting, a thorough cleaning, fixing loose doorknobs, etc. When considering any more significant fix-ups, ask the opinion of your Realtor . Very important: read "You dont get a second chance to make a good first impression".
11) Should I hire professionals to do any work?
If, like me, you have neither the time, talent, nor patience to do the work, then the
answer is a resounding YES. However, most people don't mind doing the smaller fix-ups,
such as painting, replacing washers, etc. themselves. For larger projects involving the
mechanical systems of
12) What advertising is the best?
It will probably come as a surprise to you to learn that newspaper advertising is just
about the least effective method of advertising your home when it is for sale. Nationwide,
less than 5% of all houses sold are sold through the newspaper advertisement. The best,
most cost effective form of advertising has been the realtors MLS. Why? Because, as
pointed out in #1, 97% of all homes sold are sold by a realtor . The up-and-coming leader
in marketing is the Internet. Technologically savvy
13) Should we hold public open houses?
As with many of the components of the home marketing process, the effectiveness of open
houses for the public varies regionally. Here, some of the homes available for sale are
held open for the public to view. One of the main reasons for public open houses is for
Realtors to gather new buying clients. Nationally, only 2% of the buyers bought the home
they saw at a public open house. Some police departments even advise against open houses.
The typical visitor to visit open houses in this area is more likely to be a curious
neighbor.A critical part of the home marketing process is to hold the house open for the
other Realtors to inspect. These inspections are usually held during weekdays, at pre-set
times. This Realtor Open House offers a chance for all Realtors to view your home, at a
time when most people are at work, thus gaining mass exposure in a very short period of
time. However some areas of San Diego do not hold effective broker open
14) Should we be home when the house is shown?
NO, if it is at all possible. Prospective buyers will feel rushed and will not be able
to relax if you are at home when your house is being shown. If you have young children or
elderly people living
15) Do I have to pay commission even if I find the buyer?
Yes, once you have signed a listing contract, you are contractually obligated to forward all inquiries about your house to your Realtor . If you find a buyer, you will still owe the commission that is spelled out in the listing agreement. It is in your best interest to help your Realtor market your home by telling everybody that the home is for sale.Contact friends, neighbors, co-workers and relatives.
16) Can I sell my house myself?
Yes you can. Anyone CAN sell his or her own home.
A few of the many benefits of working with a real estate professional are:
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