Advice for Sellers
» Tips on preparing your home for sale
» Appraisals & Market Value
» Working with a Real Estate Agent
» What the seller pays
» Pricing your house
» Should the seller provide the buyer with financing?
Tips on preparing your home for sale
When you decide to put your home on the market, make sure you have done all the
basic things to make it look at its best.
Complete all necessary repairs, improve your landscaping and curb appeal and
remove as much clutter as possible from the interior. Consider using professional
help to stage the house.
Make sure that all appliances and light fixtures work and repair any leaky
faucets. If you have pets in the house, make sure that there are no bad odors
by airing the house before an open house.
It always helps to place some fresh flowers around the home!
Appraisals & Market Value
Your real estate agent is qualified to perform a comparative market analysis to
determine your home's value. This analysis looks at similar homes in your
neighborhood and considers homes that are currently for sale, homes that are in
escrow, and homes that sold recently.
An appraisal, which depending on the home size may cost $300 to $1,000 to
perform, is a certified appraiser's opinion of the value of a home at any given
time. Appraisers generally review numerous factors including recent comparable
sales, location, square footage, construction quality, views and other special
Working with a Real Estate Agent
There are many advantages in working with a good real estate agent. As your
fiduciary, your agent works just for your best interests at all times. The agent
is best qualified to know the market, the legal aspects, suggest a fair market
price for your home and do all the marketing, negotiating and follow-up with
prospective buyers. He is with you all the way. Research shows that the vast
majority of sellers felt that their commission was well spent. Your agent frees
you from handling many details of selling our home. He advises you as to what
forms to use as well as the need for full disclosure.
What the seller pays
The seller generally pays for:
- Real Estate Commission
- Escrow Fees (50%)
- Document Preparation Fee
- Zone Disclosure Report
- Payoff of All Loans in Seller's Name
- Interest Accrued to Lender Being Paid Off
- Termite Inspection (according to contract)
- Home Warranty (according to contract)
- Any Judgments, Tax Liens, etc. Against the Seller
- Tax Proration
- Any Unpaid Homeowner's Dues
- Any Bonds or Assessments (Check Contract)
- Any & All Delinquent Taxes
- Homeowner's Title Insurance Policy Premium
- Homeowner's Association Transfer Fee - Doc Fees
- Documentary Transfer Tax ($1.10 per $1000 of Sale)
- Any Loan Fees Required by Buyer's Lender (Government Loans)
Pricing your house
Your agent will suggest pricing your home according to current market conditions.
This is very important because with the real estate market continually changing,
market fluctuations have an effect on property values.
A so-called comparative market analysis provides the background data upon which to
base your list-price decision. When you prepare to sell and are interviewing agents,
study each agent's analysis of how they priced your home. Make sure that recent home
sales from the neighborhood is included in the data.
Should the seller provide the buyer with financing?
In some situations a seller helps to finance a real estate transaction by taking back
a second note or even financing the entire purchase. This is called seller financing.
This is usually done if the buyer has difficulty qualifying for the full loan. In seller
financing, the seller extends a credit against the purchase price of the home while the
buyer executes a promissory note and trust deed in favor of the seller.
Seller financing is tricky and has inherent risks. Consult with your CPA or real estate
attorney if you are a seller considering such an arrangement.