Frequently Asked Questions about Selling a House

Whether you’re upgrading to a larger, nicer home or you’re moving on to a new city, listing a home up for sale is always an interesting experience. From determining the listing price to meeting with scores of interested potential buyers, you may find that you have questions that come up as you move through the sales process. Let’s take a look at answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about selling a house including some insight into the costs involved, how your home is priced, and more.

Selling a House FAQ


What Are Some of the First Things I Should Do to Prepare My House?

Once you’ve decided to sell and you’ve contacted a real estate agent to begin the formal process, it’s time to start preparing your home. First, either clean the home from top to bottom or contract a team of professionals to do this. This isn’t your average spring cleaning; buyers will be poking their noses in every nook and cranny and as such, your home needs to be absolutely spotless. If you haven’t had a professional inspection done in a while this is a great way to determine any items that need to be repaired or replaced in order to bring your home up to its peak condition. You should also determine your renovation budget and where it is best spent modernizing your home. Buyers will concentrate on your master bedroom, your kitchen, and your bathrooms, so ensure that these areas are in prime condition.


What Are the Typical Costs Associated with Selling a House?

There are a few costs involved with the home selling process and how much you spend in total will depend on the condition of your home and various other factors. If your home hasn’t been painted recently you may decide that a fresh coat will help to brighten its appearance. Any repairs or maintenance that you’ve been putting off will need to be completed before a buyer has a home inspector come through. You may opt for professional home staging or for simply adding decorative items and furniture in areas that need them. You’ll also pay your real estate agent a commission for selling your home and you’ll likely be responsible for a variety of taxes that will come due after you receive the proceeds of the sale.


What Can I Do to Help Sell My Home?

Your real estate agent is a home sales and marketing expert and they’ll be executing on a custom-tailored plan to ensure your listing receives buyer interest as quickly as possible. However, there are a number of ways that you can help to get the home sold. First off, don’t be at the house when another agent is showing it to a potential buyer. It often makes them feel uncomfortable, as they are aware they are looking through your house. Give them breathing room to openly talk and discuss the property. Also, add some decorative touches around the house. Things like new bed sheets and updated fixtures can really make a home appealing to buyers (and convince them to make a higher offer).


What Factors Impact the Pricing of My Home?

There are many factors that come into play when determining the true value of your home. A few of the major considerations are:

Market Factors – The real estate market will play a major role in how much you can list and sell your home for. If the market is ‘hot’ or there is a low inventory of homes available you can expect to receive higher offers than if you’re trying to sell your home in the dead of winter.

Your Home’s Condition – If your home has been properly maintained, is in excellent condition and has had tasteful renovations completed your home will have a lot of value. Conversely if your home is in need of major repairs like a roof replacement or if you haven’t updated the kitchen or bathrooms to modernize the appliances and fixtures, you’ll have a tough time selling at a high price.

Your Home’s Location – Location is a major consideration for most buyers and certainly impacts the value of your home. Consider the difference between being on the waterfront compared with living beside the freeway.

Staging and Curb Appeal – The first impression that your home makes on a potential buyer will impact the value that they place on it, which is why professional staging is almost always a good idea. Consider landscaping and other upgrades to spruce up your home’s appearance from the front as well.


If I Get an Offer, Should I Negotiate or Just Accept It?

There are a few schools of thought on this particular topic, and you should look to your agent for guidance as to whether or not you should accept your first offer, submit a counter-offer or simply hold out for other potential buyers. Many believe that your first offer is likely to be your best offer, but this isn’t true in every situation. Give some thought to the buyer’s situation. If they are willing to submit an offer for your home, they’re likely to have their mortgage financing lined up and have been watching the market for a home like yours to appear. Unless the offer is so low that you feel insulted, it’s well worth considering.


What Happens After I Accept an Offer from a Buyer?

First of all – congratulations! Accepting a buyer’s offer is the first step in getting your sale fully closed, but as you can imagine there are a few more steps to go. Both you and your buyer will be responsible for completing any responsibilities laid out in your purchase agreement. For example, your buyer will place their deposit or earnest money in escrow, book and conduct a home inspection, have an appraisal of your home and property completed and more. On your end you’ll need to complete any renovations or repairs that you committed to take care of, as well as dealing with any outstanding legal items relating to your property. It’s a little early to go changing your address, but once you and your buyer sign your purchase agreement you’re rounding third base and heading toward home.

Selling a home can be a challenging process that you shouldn’t try to undertake without professional assistance. When you’re ready to sell your home, contact the local real estate sales experts at 8z Real Estate. We’ll show you how our unique approach to real estate marketing will ensure that interested buyers are attracted to your listing and that your home is sold quickly and efficiently.