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House For Sale Sign

Seller Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do To Get My House Ready To Sell?

  1. Let there be light: Open curtains and pull up the shades to let as much light in as possible. This gives your home a more welcoming feeling and bright lights tend to have positive impacts on emotions, which in turn allows the potential buyer to feel more at ease the very moment they step foot in the door.
     

  2. Clean clean clean: A well maintained home is sure to grab a potential buyer’s attention. Make sure to clean your home from top to bottom covering all the nooks and crannies. Remove wet towels in the bathroom, cooking smells from the kitchen, pet odors-all signs of normal life need to be hidden for showings.
     

  3. Consider staging: If your home is currently empty, staging your home to look more appealing to buyers can make all the difference. This also helps them visualize how their current belongings would fit in the space.
     

  4. Declutter and get organized: Now is the time to organize or clear out any old and unnecessary belongings. Not only will this help you feel refreshed lessening your workload down the road, but it will also make your home appear more spacious and in return, more appealing to potential buyers.
     

  5. Keep your pets safe: Make sure you keep your pets and potential buyers safe by taking your pets with you during showings.
     

  6. Let’s talk about your curb appeal: A buyer’s first impression is made as soon as they pull up into the driveway. Make sure your home is tidy and welcoming

  7. Showings: Now that your home has showings scheduled, you need to make sure you leave your home so the potential buyer can inspect and visualize themselves in your home without feeling pressured or uncomfortable.
     

  8. Treat it like a business: Working with a real estate agent when selling your home can help with every single one of these steps. From pricing your home competitively to attract potential buyers to taking photos that show off your home’s best features, real estate professionals have gone through this process with many other clients and can help you navigate it with ease.

Can I Sell My House If I Still Have A Mortgage On It? If So, How Does That Work?

Yes, you can sell your house even if you have an existing mortgage. When you sell your home, you can use the proceeds from the sale to pay off your mortgage balance and any closing costs. 

 

It's very common. First you need to figure out your remaining loan balance so you can find out how much you need to sell your home for. At a bare minimum, you want to price your home so that you can pay off your mortgage. The lower this number relative to your original loan balance, the more existing equity you have in your home. Home Equity is the difference between your home value and what you have left to pay off on your home. The more equity you have in your home, the more you are likely to make in a sale after paying off your mortgage, so it’s important to know what this number is. 

Next you need to determine if its the right time for you to sell:
The right time to sell is a complicated question because everyone’s situation is different. Here are several factors to consider:

 

  • Why are you moving? If you have to relocate for career reasons, you might want to move faster than if you’re downsizing or looking to take advantage of a strong housing market.
     

  • What kind of market is your home entering? There’s a big difference between a buyer's vs seller's market. If competition in your area is high and there are fewer homes available for buyers, you can set your home price higher than if it was the other way around. It’s helpful to have your real estate agent do a comparative market analysis. 
     

  • Are you confident you can find another house? If you’re looking for another house, you may find that it’s tougher in many markets than it has been in the past. The same conditions that make it a good time for you to sell can make it a difficult time to buy. There’s something to be said for not wanting to ever make two mortgage payments at once, but you also may not want to sell only to move into an apartment and pay for storage.

Next you need to set a fair listing price:
Everyone wants to get as much money for the home as they possibly can. However, there are advantages to setting a fair asking pric
e.

 

Here are couple of them:

 

  • You have a better chance of getting multiple bids. If people think there’s good value at the price point you’ve listed, you’re more likely to get several bidders on your home. In this way, you may actually end up generating a higher sale because it creates more competition between the bidders.
     

  • There’s less chance of fallout. Most people don’t have the ability to make an all-cash offer for a home. Getting a mortgage requires an appraisal, which places a value on your home in relation to comparable properties in your area. If you’re listing price is fair and based on reasonable values, the likelihood of the appraisal coming in low and scuttling the transaction isn’t as high.

 

A real estate agent doing a comparative market analysis should help you decide on a fair listing price.

 

Prepare Your House To Sell And Stage:

When you’re selling a home, you want to compare as if you were trying to win the apple pie contest at the state fair. Just as you would only use the best ingredients in your pie, you want to make sure you’re showing your home in the best possible light.

We recommend all sellers always do a few basic things:

 

  • Do some deep cleaning and de-clutter. 

  • Paint a picture without personalization. 

  • Even little renovations can matter. 

Cover Closing Costs:

Although closing costs are typically thought of as being paid by the buyer, there are certain costs that have traditionally been paid by sellers.

Here are a few examples of possible expenses:

 

  • Real estate agent commission: Split between the buyer’s agent and your listing agent, this is usually 6% of the final purchase price of the property.
     

  • Owner’s title policy: This policy is protection for the buyer in case someone comes along in the future with a valid claim to your property. This is often paid for by the seller as a show of good faith.
     

  • Escrow account: The escrow account that many are familiar with is the one that buyers usually have for things like property taxes and homeowners insurance. However, money given prior to the sale is also held in an escrow account for the protection of both the buyer and seller until the transaction closes. This cost is typically split between the parties.
     

  • Prorated taxes: You’ll pay real estate taxes for the portion of the month in which you live in the home prior to your sale.
     

  • Homeowners association dues: If you live in a homeowners association, these dues will also be prorated.

 

Speak with your real estate agent about what you can expect to pay in your area.

 

Sell The Home And Pay Off The Remaining Mortgage:

At the same time you sell your home, you use the proceeds to pay off the existing mortgage. When you do this, it’s important to get a payoff quote  from your lender. You can’t just send in a check for the loan balance because you owe interest up until the date of the move. When you get your payoff quote, it will have an expiration date. As long as you make your payment before that date, the amount quoted is what you owe. Otherwise, a new quote will need to be generated. If you make your payoff prior to the expiration, you’re refunded however much interest you don’t have to pay as a result of selling earlier. It’s important to note that in some instances you may also have to use your sale proceeds to pay off other liens, such as those for back taxes or contractor work.

Keep The Remaining Funds From The Sale:

Once you sell your home and pay off the mortgage and any other outstanding liens, whatever’s left over is your profit. You can keep it in the bank. On the other hand, what people commonly do is use it as the down payment on their next home. Having a larger down payment can help avoid paying for private mortgage insurance.

Should I Sell My Current Home Before Buying A New One?

The process can seem a bit overwhelming, but if you follow these steps, you can simplify the home buying process, lower your stress and make it a (nearly) painless experience. Before we get to the steps, though, here are some important factors to consider.

 

Should You Buy Or Sell First?

There are several schools of thought when deciding whether to buy or sell a house first, and each person will have their own considerations. If you’re selling a house with a mortgage, some people say you should sell your old home first so you’re not stuck with two mortgages at the same time. Others say you should wait to sell later so you’re not in between homes.

 

Buying Before Selling
 

Pros:

The most obvious pro about buying a house before selling your current one is that you know you’ll have a place to go when you sell your place. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to find a short-term rental, especially if you have pets, kids or heavy furniture. Many places don’t allow month-to-month rentals if you’re a new tenant. That means you may have to pay for multiple months of rent even if you only need a month.

Plus, if you have a home to move into, then you won’t have to pay for moving expenses twice. You also won’t have to worry about living out of boxes.
 

Cons:

Not selling your house before you buy your next one could leave you on the hook for two mortgage payments at the same time. Homeowners need to have a plan for how they’ll pay for two mortgages, or have a plan to sell their house fast. This could be financially devastating, especially if selling your home proves harder than you realized.

Selling Before Buying
 

Pros:

When you sell your home before buying a new one, you’re no longer on the hook for paying two mortgages at once. This means you don’t have to feel rushed into making a housing decision. If you have somewhere to stay after closing, then you can also take your time and make sure your next home purchase is the right one.
 

Cons:

When you sell a home before buying one, you’re leaving it up to chance that you’ll find something that fits your lifestyle and your budget. Some people have discovered through the process of selling their home that they’re better off staying put and remodeling.

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