Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR's Blog
If you want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, it generally is helpful to establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence. With an aggressive price, you can stir up lots of interest in your home. As a result, you can increase the likelihood of a fast home sale.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you set a competitive initial asking price for your house.
1. Conduct a Home Appraisal
A home appraisal enables you to receive a property valuation. Then, you can use this valuation to determine how to price your house.
In addition, it often is beneficial to conduct a home inspection prior to listing a residence. An inspection allows you to receive insights into any home problems. Once you have a home inspection report in hand, you can prioritize house repairs and upgrades, improve your home and get the best price for your residence.
2. Evaluate the Local Housing Market
Take a look at the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your residence. By doing so, you can establish a price range for comparable homes and use this information to decide how much to ask for your house.
Also, you may want to take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area and find out how long these residences were available before they sold. This housing market data can help you differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Pricing a home can be difficult, particularly for those who are listing a residence for the first time. If you work with a real estate agent, however, you can receive in-depth house selling insights and ensure you are better equipped than other sellers to optimize your home sale profits.
A real estate agent is happy to help you set an initial asking price for your home that hits the mark with buyers. He or she first will learn about you and your home and create a custom property selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you prepare your residence for the real estate market. And when you're ready to sell your house, a real estate agent will add your residence to the local housing market and promote your home to buyers.
Of course, a real estate agent provides lots of assistance throughout the home selling journey too. A real estate agent will offer honest, unbiased recommendations at each stage of the home selling journey. Best of all, he or she will respond to any of your home selling concerns and queries.
As you get set to enter the real estate market, you should consider how to price your residence. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can set a competitive initial asking price for your home. That way, you can generate significant interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.
If you’re planning on buying a home in the near future and are confused about many of the terms associated with mortgages, you’re not alone. Real estate is its own industry with its own set of processes, terms, and acronyms. If you’re new to the home buying process, there can be somewhat of a learning curve to understand what each of these terms means.
Since buying a home is such a huge investment and life decision, there’s a lot of pressure on home buyers to make sure they get everything right. This makes for a stressful situation for buyers who don’t feel like they understand the terminology of things like mortgages, appraisals, credit reports, and other factors that contribute to the home buying process.
To alleviate some of those concerns and to make the home buying process run more smoothly, we’ve compiled a list of the most common, and most commonly confused, real estate words, terms, and acronyms. That way, when you’re talking things over with your real estate agent or your mortgage lender, you’ll be confident that you understand exactly what’s being considered.
Read on for our real estate terminology glossary.
Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) - This is one type of home loan. Mortgage rates with this type of loan fluctuate throughout the repayment term of the loan. The fluctuation is based on a market indicator.
Fixed rate mortgage (FRM) - Another type of home loan, a fixed rate mortgage has a rate which does not fluctuate, remaining constant for the life of the term, most commonly 15 or 30 years.
Appraisal - An appraisal is the determination of the value of a property. Appraisals are used when purchasing and selling a home, as well as when refinancing a home loan. Appraisers are required to be licensed or certified in each state and are usually paid for by the lender.
Appreciation - An increase in a property’s value, most commonly due to market inflation, or the general increase in home prices over time.
Depreciation - A decrease in a property’s value, due to either market deflation (uncommon) or the wear and tear on a home that comes with age.
Closing costs - The costs and fees that a buyer is responsible for when purchasing a home or taking out a mortgage. These include underwriting fees, inspections, appraisals, transfer taxes, and more. Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the total loan amount.
Contingency - Home purchases have contracts to protect the interest of the buyer, seller, and lender. Contingencies are provisions designed to protect the buyer or lender should something occur in the time leading up to closing on (or purchasing) the home. One common contingency is the buyer’s right to have a final inspection of the home before closing to ensure no new issues with the home have occurred.
Private mortgage insurance (PMI) - Buyers who cannot afford a down payment of %20 typically are required to take out a private mortgage insurance policy. This policy protects the lender should the borrower default (fail to repay or meet the conditions of their loan).
After you receive an offer on your home, how should you respond? Ultimately, there are many questions for a home seller to consider before accepting a proposal, including:
1. What is my home worth?
Did you get your home appraised before you added it to the real estate market? If so, you may want to review a home offer in contrast to your home appraisal. This will give you a better idea about whether the offer is "fair" based on your home's condition.
If you have not received a home appraisal, there's no need to worry. In fact, there are many ways to assess your home to determine whether to accept or decline a proposal.
Check out the prices of comparable residences in your city or town. This will enable you to see how these houses are priced and better understand how to proceed with an offer.
Also, review the prices of homes that recently sold in your area. With this information, you can learn about the current state of the housing market.
2. Are there any other offers to consider?
As a home seller, you'll likely have 24 to 48 hours to respond to an offer on your residence. But if you receive multiple offers at the same time, you'll want to evaluate these proposals in conjunction with one another.
Even if you receive two offers for the exact same price, these proposals may differ.
For example, a homebuyer who has financing in hand will be able to streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner. On the other hand, a homebuyer who submits an offer without financing in hand may require additional time to secure a mortgage from a bank or credit union.
Take a close look at all of the offers on your home. Review these proposals with a fine-tooth comb, and you'll be able to make an informed decision.
3. Does this offer meet or exceed my expectations?
An offer on your home may fall short of your initial asking price, but this offer can still meet or surpass your expectations.
Consider what you hope to accomplish as a home seller as you review an offer.
For instance, if your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, you may be more inclined to accept one of the first offers you receive. Or, if you can afford to remain patient, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to ensure you get an offer that matches or exceeds your initial asking price.
4. What will happen if I accept the offer?
After you accept an offer on your home, a homebuyer likely will want to complete a home inspection.
If the home inspection goes well, the homebuyer probably will proceed with his or her purchase. If it does not, you may need to complete home maintenance or repairs to finalize the purchase agreement.
Remember, if you accept an offer, there are still several steps that will need to be completed before you sell your house. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you'll know exactly what to expect at each stage of the home selling process.
Sometimes the timelines for buying and selling a home don’t match up perfectly. You may have purchased a new home or need to relocate before you can sell your current residence. In these cases, your property may remain empty for weeks or months at a time. Here are a few ideas for keeping your home secure until ownership is transferred.
Keep Your Utilities Running
It is an extra expense to keep paying for a utility bill on a property you do not occupy, but it's ideal for security purposes. Electricity, in particular, allows for the use of lights to create the impression of occupancy. Consider using lights you can set to a timer — ensure the lights come on at appropriate times in the evening and go off during daylight hours. Installing exterior motion detector lights will turn on your lights when someone comes within range of the sensor.
If your home is vacant during the winter months, you will want to keep the heat running to avoid issues like frozen pipes. You can maintain the temperature with a programmable thermostat or one that you can connect to remotely. It is helpful to have a local contact who can check in on your heating system during especially harsh weather.
Maintain Your Security System
If you have one, maintain your security system until the next occupant moves in. Let the security company, as well as your local police department, know that your property will be uninhabited. The more security measures you have in place, the better the protection for your property. Having a security system in place can notify you and the local authorities if there is unusual activity on your property. Notice of a security system often serves as a deterrent for keeping criminals away.
Keep the Yard Neat
Hire a landscaping service to mow the lawn and keep the landscape looking tidy. If you leave your yard looking untidy and unkempt, it is a visual cue to passersby that the house is vacant. If the weather is cold, plan for snow and ice removal to ensure the property is accessible.
Your unoccupied home is a financial asset until it is sold to someone as their forever home. Keep it in the best condition possible until you transfer ownership. If your property may be vacant for an extended period of time, it can be helpful to arrange for a property management service to keep an eye on your home. Your real estate agent is a great resource for management services in your area, call for recommendations today.
Looking to add your home to the real estate market sooner rather than later? Ultimately, you'll want to look beyond the potential price of your residence as you get your house ready for the real estate market.
For home sellers, price is one of several factors to consider before they list their houses. In fact, some of the top home selling factors to evaluate beyond price include:
1. A Home's Location
A home's location may dictate how quickly you're able to sell your residence. And if you understand the benefits associated with your house's location, you should have no trouble promoting your residence to the right groups of homebuyers consistently.
For example, a home that is located near a big city may prove to be an ideal choice for those who work in the city. On the other hand, a house that is located near top schools could prove to be an ideal option for families.
2. A Home's Condition
Although you've tried to maintain your house's interior and exterior over the years, you may still be uncertain about how your residence will stack up against other houses in a competitive real estate market.
Fortunately, a home appraisal can help you take an in-depth look at your house's condition and map out your home selling journey.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will examine your residence. The appraisal may take several hours to complete, as a property inspector will investigate your house's interior and exterior.
When a home appraisal is finished, a property inspector will provide you with a detailed report that describes his or her findings. Then, you can use the home insights contained within this report to prioritize myriad home improvements.
With a home appraisal, you can gain deep insights into your house's condition. That way, you can better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses prior to adding your home to the housing market.
3. The Current State of the Housing Market
The current state of the housing market may impact your ability to sell your house, and for good reason.
For instance, if you're operating in a seller's market, there may be an abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of top-notch houses. This means there will be high demand for the best residences, and you may attract plenty of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.
Let's not forget about a buyer's market, either. In a buyer's market, there are many home sellers and few homebuyers. Therefore, a home seller may need to allocate significant time and resources to stir up interest in his or her property.
For those who are unsure about how to navigate a seller's or buyer's market, hiring a real estate agent usually is an excellent idea. A real estate agent can teach you about the current state of the housing market so that you can get the best results possible during the home selling journey.
Look beyond price before you list your residence, and by doing so, you can boost your chances of a fast home sale.