When thinking about selling your home, there is a myriad of things you need to think about, so let me give you a little free advice.
We have all watched House Hunters and all the DIY Flip series, but those are very rarely true in real life. It is very important to work with a reputable, experience real estate agent to help you. One that is very knowledgeable and well known in your area, will walk you through the process. But here are just a few things you need to know before you get started.
The 3 Things
There are 3 things that impact the sale of a home.
As Is, Not Really
In the 1-4 Family Residential Contract, there is a box that says the buyer accepts the property ‘AS IS.’ This is one of the most misunderstood boxes in the contract. It means that when the contract is signed the buyer accepts the property ‘As Is’ but the contract also provides a provision for the buyer to get an inspection. Upon receipt of the inspection report, the buyer may come back and ask for repairs or a reduction in purchase price, so you are not really selling the property ‘As Is.’
If a seller wants to sell the property ‘AS IS,’ and is not willing to do any repairs, the listing agent must disclose that information in the listing, and the property needs to be priced accordingly.
People are always asking me what I ‘charge’ to list a home. There is technically no real industry standard, but in my market, most will have a 6% listing, however some agents offer a lower percentage. This means that 6% of the sales price of the home will go to the agents that negotiate and manage the transaction. It is typically split between the listing broker and the broker who represents the buyer. While that may sound like a lot of money, it covers a lot of things, so make sure and discuss with your agent what services are provided. Keep in mind, you get what you pay for, so a lower commission may mean you get a lower level of service.
While I can’t speak to other agents and their commission, I am a full service agent, which means I offer a variety of services to my clients. When deciding to sell your home, interview agents, and ask them about their services and how the commission works. Many people are unaware of what goes into the sale of their home, so a full understanding of the process and the cost to sell, is crucial.
Overprice vs Underprice vs Just Right Price
The pricing of a property can be tricky. Some sellers will want to price their property high, thinking that buyers will negotiate it down. However, most buyers I have worked with, are uncomfortable with that strategy and will rarely want to lowball on a house. Because of that discomfort, they may not even go see a house that would be perfect for them, if it is priced too high. Overpriced properties often languish on the market for months and the seller eventually drops the price enough to get interest, ending up selling for much less than was originally anticipated.
Underpricing a property can generate a lot of interest and sometimes bring a bit of a bidding war. However, it doesn’t always work out best for the seller. The belief that pricing a property low will allow fora quick sale can backfire. Buyers may become suspicious that something is wrong with the property and avoid it altogether. So a really good strategy is a….
Just right price. When a property is priced properly, it usually will sell quickly and sometimes gives the buyers an impression of a good value. This may generate multiple offers, but usually allows for a much less stressful listing, leading to the perfect buyer.
To Stage or Not to Stage
Sellers are often confused by staging. If you have a really nice property, that will bring a price above the median sales price, then staging always works to your benefit. Professional stagers charge a fee, and may have a warehouse full of items to supplement your décor if needed. However, most sellers cannot afford that kind of expense, so what should they do.
Multiple Offers vs The Offer
In this market, many believe that multiple offers is a really good thing. However, it is often very stressful and can be a very hard decision. At the end of the day, you only need one that gets you to your goal. The highest offer is not always the best offer, so having a realtor explain the terms clearly, and provide a side by side comparison, makes decision easier. Some agents will hold onto the first offer, hoping to get other offers in. I have found that often that first offer may be the best offer, so presenting that to the seller early on may save a lot of difficulties. But it is your decision, so talk with your agent about the process and what is best for your situation.
When vs Why
Some people have to sell for a variety of reasons. Either a job change, family situation, loss of income or some other reason is driving their decisions. The when and why is not an issue in these situations. But many people are thinking of selling, partially because the market is high and, because they want to make a change for another reason.
There are two parts to this decision, then when and the why. One may drive the other. When to sell depends on your circumstances. If you have kids in school and they want to finish out their education in that district, then your when, will be at graduation. However, if you want to move to a different district to benefit your kids, then your when may be now. So one will always drives the other.
Sell High and Buy High
Keep in mind that when you sell high, you will buy high. When you buy low, you will sell low. Those are facts that can’t be changed. In an active sellers' market, you may get premium price for your home, but you will probably pay premium price for your next home. Wrap your mind around that from the beginning. You will not be able to get a ‘deal’ unless you pay cash for a fixer upper and usually investors grab those up before they hit the market. Connect with your lender before you list to determine what you can afford before you list your home. Putting your house up for sale before finding out what your lender will allow, may often bring disappointment and upset. Or you may be strapped with a house payment higher than you want. Do your homework before you decide to sell. A conversation is always free and will save you a lot of issues later.
I hope this insight will help you while you are trying to decide if you should list your home or not. If you aren’t sure, give me a call. We can discuss it and I’ll be glad to answer your questions and maybe help with the decision.
I'm always available to give you a little free advice.
Connecting you with Fun Events and Happening Places!
(16) Glitzy Girls Trailer Park Decatur | Facebook
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(15) Wise County Christian Counseling Fundraising/Informational Dinner! | Facebook
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(15) National Cattledog National Finals | Facebook
Everyone likes a dog show...only for Cow Dogs...this is greatness held at NRS Ranch, and don't forget to go to the superstore and shop til you drop!
If you know me at all, you know my life is pretty full.
I like to use my blog to give information, all kinds of information, but today I just want to catch up on some things.
First of all, personally, we have technically become ranchers...mini cattle ranchers. More specifically Zebu's and yes there was a song about them on Veggie Tales.
Zebu's are mini cows that look like really small Brahma's. We have a bull and a cow and we call them Rocky and Babette. Not sure why, that is just what we came up with. They keep Earl busy feeding and just making sure they are settling in to their new home.
First is a picture of them when we brought them home. The neighbor's cows were sort of stunned. It gives you an idea of their size. The second is on a brighter day and you can see their size relative to the round bale. I'll let you know how things go with them.
There is so much I could write about, but each topic would make for a huge blog. So I just want to hit the high spots.
RED FLAG WARNING
Wise and surrounding counties are in a Red Flag season which means that we are in a drought where the trees, grass, etc., are extremely dry. Also, we are experiencing higher than normal winds which will fuel a grass or wild fire quickly. Not only is the Wise County Office of Emergency Management asking that there is no outside burning, it is a pretty good idea to have no fire outside at all. There is a temptation to grill outside, but if you are using charcoal or wood, you may want to wait a bit. One spark could cause a lot of damage quickly.
For complete information, go to (14) Wise County Fire Marshal's Office/ Office of Emergency Management | Facebook.
REAL ESTATE MARKET
There is no way to describe what is going on in one blog, so I will hit the high points. Interest rates are going up. We are still in a Seller's Market which means that we have somewhat of an inventory problem. There are a lot of new builds and properties in high price ranges, but the 'affordable' home is very hard to find. While sellers can sell high, they will also have to buy high, so some are beginning to hold off.
Buyers are fighting for what is available, getting frustrated and either giving up and walking away or paying over asking. This is part of what is driving prices up.
Many families are coming out looking for raw land, and that too is going up. However, often they are unaware of exactly what the costs are going to be and selling the land before building on it. Others are trying to 'build it themselves'. Then after doing some of the work, they get overwhelmed and walk away.
There is a big uptick of people building their own home. If you are going to buy a house, you should always get an inspection, especially if the owner built it themselves. They may be experienced builders, but more often than not, they lack in one area or another and often cut corners. You will want a professional inspection done to ensure you are buying a safe and solid home. Remember, that if anything does show up during an inspection, the seller will have to hire a licensed contractor to fix the problem. They will not be able to just fix it themselves. This ensures it will be repaired properly.
It is inevitable that this crazy market can sustain itself. What goes up always comes down. I thought the quarantine would do it, but it just fueled the fire. However, when interest rates start to rise, gas prices rise, inflation is raging, and there is an actual war going on, that usually will be enough to precipitate a downturn. But who knows, I have been wrong before.
SPRING HAS SPRUNG
The coming of Spring is a perfect time not only for spring cleaning, but spring maintenance. Get your HVAC system checked, change out the filters, and make sure it is ready for summer. Check on your smoke and fire alarms. If you have a septic system, maybe see if it should be pumped. If we get spring rains, you may be glad you did. Many people say you should have it pumped every 2-4 years depending on use. Others have said you never have to get it pumped, but our system usually lets us know. We begin to smell sewer gases outside and the drainage is a bit slow.
Do you have a wood fireplace? Maybe take this opportunity to move the wood away from your house, far away. Wood stacked close to your home not only can be a breeding ground for termites, but it is also problematic if there is a grass fire. Did you know that, if you live in the country, and there is a wildfire or grassfire close, and you have wood stacked by your home, the fire department will not try to save your home? It would take them too long to move the wood and it is too likely to cause your house to burn, so they move on to a home they can save. So keep it away from your house or any other buildings.
While you are at it, clean out your fireplace and see if you can find a chimney sweep to clean out the chimney. Soot and creosote build up and sometimes can cause fires to smolder in your chimney, leading to a house fire and even damaging the flue itself. So keeping it cleaned out can save you problems later on.
Those are all the things I want to say for now, but make sure and get out and about this spring. There are some great events happening, you won't want to miss out!