Seller FAQ’s

  • I owe more on my house than what I think its worth & need to sell.  What are my options?

We would first recommend talking to your mortgage company to see if they have anything to offer you in terms of making the home more affordable for you to stay if that’s something you’d like to do.  Many lenders are modifying loans and there are programs in place right now to help people that meet certain requirements, so check with your mortgage company to see your options.  If they do not agree to work with you to change anything, ask them about allowing a short sale.  Sometimes they will give you an indication if they will accept a short sale.   Your REALTOR can advise you on the short sale process.  If a short sale is not an option to you, talk to your bank about other steps you can take to avoid a foreclosure.


  • What types of things should I do to “spruce up” my property before selling?

It is difficult to give advise without seeing a home first, as each home is different, but a couple rules of thumb are: *Take away as much clutter as possible, including nick knacks and personal items.  *A fresh coat of paint goes a long way.  Try to avoid bold bright colors as neutral colors are the safest bet for pleasing most people.  *Curb appeal is very important, so take care of anything exterior that will help the home look more attractive and inviting.  *Re-arrange or remove furniture to make a room look larger if you have a lot of large pieces.  We offer advice as part of our listing services, so we may recommend more things specific to your home after our initial viewing.


  • My house is vacant – should I be staging my home to sell?

In most cases, homes that are stages sell more quickly and for more money than homes that are vacant.  Buyers have a hard time imagining furniture layouts in a vacant home, so if staging is in your budget, we would recommend it.  If you do not want to do a full on staging, it’s a good idea to bring several things to the home to make it feel more personal.


  • Should I leave my appliances?

If you do not need your appliances for your new home, yes we would recommend leaving them. Appliances that should stay with the home no matter what are the stove, dishwasher, and microwave (if built in).


  • What paperwork should I have ready before my listing appointment?

Please gather your tax bill, most recent mortgage bill(s) and any other relevant home paperwork you may have.  Make sure to have all decision makers for the home present at the listing presentation.


  • How do I know how much my property is worth?

Your REALTOR will prepare a comparative market analysis (also known as CMA) for you, which will analyze recent, active, and pending sales in your neighborhood that are similar to yours.  This will give you a range of what your home should be listed for.


  • What is capital gains tax?  Is that something I’ll have to pay?

Capital gains tax is a tax the government charges you on your profit when you sell the home.  If you have owned your primary home for more than 2 years, you may be except from this tax.  You should speak to your accountant for verification.


  • What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is something the buyer may request on their offer to purchase, which would cover the major mechanical systems of the home for the first year of ownership.  Home warranties can actually be used during the listing period also.  We cover our seller’s homes with home warranties on all our listings, which will protect the owner if something breaks while the home is listed.


  • Should I have open houses on my home when it’s for sale?

Some people feel strongly that they do not want open houses; we ask you what you’re comfortable with.  If owners are not opposed to open houses, we will typically hold several per month.  Most of the time, homes do not sell from open houses, but real estate marketing is a numbers game, so we try to get as much exposure as possible for all our listings.


  • Who pays for the typical fees associated with a real estate transaction?

Some of the typical fess that are the buyers responsibility in a real estate transaction are: Appraisal, Credit Report, Discount Points, Escrow Payments,  Insurance Impounds, Interest Adjustment, Mortgage Insurance Impounds, One-time MIP (FHA only), Origination Fees, Prepaid Insurance, Recording Fees, Tax Impounds, Title Policy, Home Owners transfer fees (can be negotiated to be paid by buyer or seller).

Some of the typical fees a seller may pay in a real estate transaction are: Escrow Fee, Title Policy, Real Estate Commission, Home Warranty (negotiable), and Credit for buyers closing costs (negotiable).