SELLING YOUR HOME - COMMON Q&A ABOUT SELLING YOUR HOME
Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?
Sellers are not legally allowed to disclose the terms of other offers to prospective buyers without the permission of those buyers who submitted the other offers.
How do I prepare the house for sale?
First and foremost, put it in the best condition possible. That means taking care of any major repairs that could deter a buyer (such as replacing any broken windows or replacing a leaky roof) if you can afford it. Next, work on your home's curb appeal. Make sure your landscape is pristine. Mow the grass, clean up any debris and weed the garden beds. Plant a few annual flowers near the entrance or in pots to be placed by the door. Other quick fixes that don't cost a lot of money but can help you get top dollar for your home:
- Stand at your front door and look around. This is the first impression your buyers will get of your home as they wait for their Realtor to unlock the lockbox and enter the home.
- Power wash the exterior if needed. We recommend Dan O'Neal, you can call or text him at (919) 523-7405.
- Clean the windows and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking.
- Clean and freshen up rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. Make sure that bathrooms and kitchens are spotless.
- Organize closets, making sure they appear no more than 2/3 full.
- Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work. Replace leaky faucets and frayed cords.
- Eliminate the source of any bad smells, such as the kitty box. Use air freshener or bake a batch of cookies before your open house to ensure that the house smells inviting.
- Invest in a couple of vases of fresh flowers to place around the house
- We will help you stage your home with your furnishings. You live in a home differently than you sell it.
- If needed we will loan you on trend accessories to make it look updated & move-in ready at NO additional COST TO YOU!
Should I add on or buy a bigger home?
Consider these questions before making a choice between adding on to an existing home or moving up in the market to a bigger house:
- How much money is available, either from cash reserves or through a home improvement loan, to remodel the current house?
- How much additional space is required? Would the foundation support a second floor or does the lot have room to expand on the ground level?
- What do local zoning and building ordinances permit?
- How much equity already exists in the property?
- Are there affordable properties for sale that would satisfy housing needs?
Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual needs, the extent of work involved and what will add the most value.
What do all of those real estate acronyms in the ads mean?
If you find yourself stumbling over weird acronyms in a real estate listing, don't be alarmed. There is method to the madness of this shorthand. Here are some abbreviations and the meaning of each:
- dk -- deck
- gar -- garage (garden is usually abbreviated "gard")
- expansion pot'l -- may be extra space on the lot, or possibly vertical potential for a top floor or room addition. Verify actual potential by checking local zoning restrictions prior to purchase.
- br, bdrm -- bedroom
- frplc, fplc, FP -- fireplace
- grmet kit -- gourmet kitchen
- HDW, HWF, Hdwd -- hardwood floors
- In-law potential -- potential for a separate apartment. Sometimes, local zoning codes restrict rentals of such units so be sure the conversion is legal first.
- lsd pkg. -- leased parking area, may come with an additional cost
- pvt -- private
- pwdr rm -- powder room, or half-bath
- Wow! -- better check this one out.
How long do bankruptcies and foreclosures stay on a credit report?
Bankruptcies and foreclosures can remain on a credit report for seven to 10 years. Some lenders will consider an borrower earlier if they have reestablished good credit. The circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy can also influence a lender's decision. For example, if you went through a bankruptcy because your employer had financial difficulties, a lender may be more sympathetic. If, however, you went through bankruptcy because you overextended personal credit lines and lived beyond your means, the lender probably will be less inclined to be flexible.
What are some tips on negotiation?
The more you know about a seller's motivation, the stronger a negotiating position you are in. For example, seller who must move quickly due to a job transfer may be amenable to a lower price with a quick closing. Other so-called "motivated sellers" include people going through a divorce or who have already purchased another home. Remember, that the listing price is what the seller would like to receive but is not necessarily what they will settle for. Before making an offer, check the recent sales prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood to see how the seller's asking price stacks up.
Some experts discourage making deliberate low-ball offers. While such an offer can be presented, it can also sour the sale and discourage the seller from negotiating at all.