Here are some seller frequently asked questions!
Selling a house is a big undertaking. And if you want to ease the process while also maximizing profits, then being prepared is key.
Are you thinking of listing your house in the near future? Make sure you ask yourself these important questions before moving forward.
Q: When is the best time of year to sell a house?
A: You can sell your home at any time of the year, but there are definitely some months (and even specific days) when selling is easier, faster, and more profitable. Peak selling seasons vary from year to year in most market places and weather usually has a lot to do with that. Often early spring and early fall are the prime listing seasons as houses tend to “show” better in those months than they do in the heat of summer. Be aware that there are also more houses on the market during the prime seasons, resulting in more competition. While seasonality is a factor, it’s not something that should dominate your decision on when to sell. Winter has it’s upsides such as a low inventory. When you’re the only home for sale in the neighbourhood, your chances of selling are pretty good!
Q: How in-demand is real estate in my area? Is it a buyer’s market or a seller?
A: Real estate is in high demand in the Kootenay’s. We’ve seen quite the spike in real estate when the pandemic hit. Work from home became popular, which meant you didn’t have to live in the city to do your job.
You’ll maximize profits and minimize your home’s time on the market if you list it in a seller’s market.
Q: What are local market conditions?
A: You might consider gauging local market trends like the number of active listings or median sale price before deciding to list your home. Every month I release local real estate statistics – sign up HERE for my newsletter to receive them!
Q: How long will it take to sell my house?
A: Time to sell really depends on where you’re located, the conditions of your local housing market, your listing price, the condition of your home, and you (or your agent’s) marketing and staging prowess can also play a role. Currently the average days on the market for single family homes is 62 days, and 55 days for multi family homes.
Q: How much does it cost to sell my house?
A: There are many costs involved in selling a house. Fortunately, most of them don’t require an out-of-pocket payment, such as the real estate commission. Many come out of your sales proceeds at closing.
Q: Should I make repairs before listing the house?
A: Many times, homebuyers want a “move-in ready” property — one that doesn’t require much work and elbow grease before moving in. This is especially true of younger buyers, 76% of whom say a move-in ready home is a must. For this reason, you may want to consider making some repairs before putting your home on the market. Smaller, cosmetic repairs can be a good idea to make your home more marketable (and more valuable).
Q: Can I take my favourite light fixture (or other favourite home feature) with me?
A: Anything that’s attached to the house is something you’ll need to leave behind for the buyer. This includes light fixtures, built-in shelving units, blinds, door hardware, and more. If there’s something specific you don’t want included in the sale, make sure you bring it up during negotiations. You’ll need to note it in your sales contract.
When you are thinking to list your home, contact me for a complimentary market evaluation and staging advice!
What is an appraiser?
Appraisers are licensed or certified professionals who provide a qualified, unbiased opinion of value. Appraisers are required to be licensed or certified to provide appraisals to federally regulated lenders. Meaning, you’re working with a highly trained individual who understands current real estate market conditions in your area.
Appraisers are considered third-party participants in the transaction. Their work assures mortgage lenders that the amount they are lending does not exceed the home’s true value. Yet, it also assures that you (as the home buyer or homeowner) are receiving a fair, unbiased price for your property.
What does a home appraiser look for?
The appraiser researches recently sold properties in your area with features similar to your prospective home, called “comparables.” Comparables are sales records of recently sold homes. Appraisers and real estate agents use at least three comparables, usually through the Multiple Listings Service (MLS), to get the most accurate estimate possible of a home’s value. The three comps must be sales that have closed within six months of your appraisal date to be considered accurate.
You can expect the following factors to be reviewed:
- The condition of the home (are there any cracks, damages, leaks, etc.)
- The size of the home and the property lot
- The quality of landscaping
- The quality of roofing and foundation
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- The quality of lighting and plumbing
- The number of fireplaces
- The condition of a swimming pool or sprinkler system
- The quality of the basement (whether it’s finished or unfinished)
- The finishing details in the home (such as granite countertops, hardwood floors, and appliances)
A home appraisal is not the same as a home inspection. Learn about the differences and the importance of home inspections.
How long does an appraisal take?
For home buyers or borrowers looking to refinance: you can expect an appraiser to be at your home from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the size of the property. They’ll use that time to take photos of all areas of the home which will document the condition of the home.
Once the physical appraisal is complete, the appraiser creates a written report of findings for the mortgage lender. This generally takes three to five days. The appraiser must confirm all data, so this takes some time.
How to prepare:
Maximize your home value ahead of time, so your home appraises as high as it can. This may include significant work such as home renovations, or simple tasks like the ones listed in the checklist below:
Appraisal checklist for selling or refinancing a home:
- Ensure your landscaping is on point as “curb appeal” is considered during an appraisal
- Repairing damaged drywall or painting rooms can factor into your valuation
- Make sure every light switch, wall outlet, fan or vent works
- Document recent home improvements with estimated prices and dates
- Provide copies of previous appraisals
- Make sure all rooms of the house are accessible
- Be flexible and coordinate the appointment around the appraiser’s schedule
- Let the appraiser do the inspection without distraction
Be aware of the $500 rule!
Appraisers tend to value property in $500 increments – like $300,000, $300,500, $301,000, etc. Because appraisals with $500 increments are common, it’s in your best interest to make small repairs if you are selling your home or refinancing. Even the smallest of changes can contribute to the overall condition of your property.
For any real estate questions – do not hesitate to reach out to me!
Here are some of my staging tips to help sell your home in the best possible light!
Start With Curb Appeal
First impressions matter, so make your home stand out the instant buyers pull up to the curb. Some upgrades can be done in a weekend and will cost more in sweat equity than actualdollars. A few suggestions: rent a pressure washer to remove dirt and grime from your siding, roof, fascia, and gutters. Paint the front door and/or shutters a bright color, but make sure it coordinates well with the rest of the home’s colors. Replace old house numbers, lighting, the mailbox, and welcome mat. Clean up the edging around flowerbeds and lay down fresh mulch. Fill in empty beds with small shrubs, seasonal flowers, and greenery. Even if it’s the dead of winter, get a pair of urns or large planters and fill them with small evergreen shrubs and cold-hardy annuals. If you have window boxes, fill them with fresh greenery too. If your porch or stoop has room for furniture, add a couple of chairs to expand your outdoor living space.
Give the Kitchen a Facelift
Kitchens sell houses, so any updates you make have the potential to go a long way. And they don’t have to be expensive; some upgrades can be accomplished with mostly elbow grease. Start by showing off your storage. Pack up the seldom-used small appliances and holiday dishware for your next house and use up all the dry goods in the back of the pantry. Clear clutter off the countertops. Consider giving your cabinets a facelift with paint; go for classic white or try a dark neutral like gray or slate blue. At the very least, change the outdated hardware for an easy DIY. A corroded faucet or one caked with hard-water stains can be a big turn-off; swap it out for one with style and added function. Instead of replacing the dishwasher, check with the manufacturer to see if they sell replacement panels for your model. If not, peel-and-stick contact paper can be used to make your dishwasher and your other appliances look like stainless steel. To update a backsplash on the cheap, try peel-and-stick faux tile, tin tile, beadboard paneling or try painting the existing tile.
Pare Down Furniture
The most important thing you can do to prepare your home for sale is to get rid of clutter. One of the major contributors to a cluttered look is having too much furniture. When professional stagers descend on a home being prepped for market, they often whisk away as much as half the owner’s furnishings, so the house looks bigger. You want potential buyers to be able to move around each room without being blocked by furniture. Make sure they can easily access your home’s best features like the fireplace or built-in bookshelves, and make sure they can look out all the windows. Avoid a cluttered look by minimizing items on the coffee table and not piling so many pillows on the couch that nobody can sit on it.
Rethink Furniture Placement
There’s a common belief that rooms will feel larger if all the furniture is pushed against the walls, but that isn’t the case. Instead, furnish your space by floating furniture away from walls. Reposition sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groups, and place pieces so that the traffic flow in a room is obvious. Not only will this make the space more user-friendly, but it will open the room and make it seem larger.
Add Functional Office Space
These days more people are working from home and homeschooling is becoming commonplace, so a workspace may be essential for your potential buyers. If you don’t have an entire room to dedicate to a home office, carve out a nook in a spare bedroom, a corner of the living room or even a closet.
Potential buyers want to be able to picture themselves in your home, and that’s hard to do if all they see are your personal items. Remove family photos, your kids’ artwork, framed diplomas, and personal collections. Pack these items up to take to your new home and replace them with generic artwork.
Show Off Your Storage
Storage always ranks high on buyers’ priority list. Show off yours by decluttering your closets and cabinets. Keep closets neat by stashing items in matching baskets and cloth bins. Implement shoe racks and under-shelf baskets to demonstrate the versatility of your storage. Straighten out the linen closet and add a couple of satchels of potpourri so when buyers peek inside, they’ll be greeted by fresh-smelling sheets and towels.
Make Bathrooms Shine
Scrub the bathrooms, then scrub them all again. Nothing is going to turn off a potential buyer more than a scuzzy bathroom. Remove hard-water stains from faucets, make sure there is no sign of mold and remove clutter by whittling down your cosmetics and products in the vanity and medicine cabinet. Invest in new shower curtains, rugs, and bathmats (you can always take them with you when you move). If the tile is looking old, consider having it repainted. If discolored grout is an issue, you can fix that with a $15 bottle of grout stain. If there’s moldy caulk around the tub or shower, remove it using a razor blade then recaulk the entire area. Then when all that cleaning is done, create a spa look with fluffy white towels, candles, a few fancy soaps, and a couple of apothecary-style accessories.
Amp Up the Lighting
One of the things that make staged homes look so warm and welcoming is great lighting. Increase the wattage in your lamps and fixtures. Aim for a total of 100 watts for every 50 square feet. Don’t depend on just one or two light fixtures per room, either. Make sure you have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (pendant, under-cabinet or reading) and accent (table and wall).
Erase Signs of Pets
We totally understand how much you love your pets (we do, too), but potential buyers may be turned off by pet odors or be allergic to fur and dander. Thoroughly clean the areas where your pets spend most of their time and add air fresheners. When potential buyers come calling, throw the pet beds, crates, toys, food dishes and litter boxes in your car then take Fido or Fluffy for a walk in the park.
Don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait. Real estate investing is not about timing the market. It’s about your time IN the market 📈.
There is never going to be a perfect time. A lot of people may try to time the bottom of the market but no one knows when they are in the bottom until after the fact. Those that look for reasons not to act will soon be saying that prices are falling so they don’t want to invest. Or that interest rates are too high. Quote me on this.
How many times have you heard someone say:
🕰️”I’ll just wait until the market slows down, it’s too unstable”
📉”Mortgage rates are too high”
💸”The market is going to crash, I’ll wait and buy then”
And more then likely, you’ve heard this:
🏡”I should’ve bought that house ____ years ago”
🌲”That lot at Red Mountain has doubled in price since ____”
😲”Remember when that house was for sale for $______!”
Instead of obsessing over the best time to buy or sell a property focus on your time IN the market. With a great strategy and realtor by your side you can achieve wealth, a retirement plan, a nest egg for your kids, by investing in real estate now.
👇🏼 What are your thoughts on this market? Let me know! 778-554-9289!
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