Common Questions for Sellers in the Comox Valley
- Is there a best time to sell my house?
- Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?
- How much is my home worth?
- What should I do to get my house ready?
- Should I make repairs?
- What are my obligations to disclose?
- Must I disclose the terms of other offers?
- Are there standard contingencies in an offer?
- Should I be flexible in granting contingencies?
- What is my home worth?
1. Is there a best time to sell my house?
Property sells year round. It is mostly a function of supply and demand, as well as other economic factors. The time of year you choose to sell can make a difference in the amount of time it takes and the final selling price. Weather conditions are often a consideration in some areas than in other parts of the country. Generally the real estate market picks up in the early spring.
After the summer slowdown, sales activity tends to pick up for a second, although less vigorous, season which usually lasts into November. The market then slows again as buyers, sellers and REALTORS® turn their attention to the holidays.
The supply of homes on the market diminish because sellers often wonder whether or not they should take their homes off the market for the holidays. There are still buyers in the market place, but now those buyers have fewer homes to choose from. Those homes on the market at that time have considerably less competition. Generally speaking, you'll have the best results if your house is available to show to prospective buyers continuously until it sells. Back to Top
2. Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?
The two most important factors are price and condition in selling a home. The first step is to price it properly. Then, go through the house to see if there are any cosmetic or other defects that can be repaired.
A third factor is exposure. It is also important that the home gets the exposure it deserves. How your home is marketed is key, and working with a realtor that keeps current with marketing trends is important. Back to Top
3. How much is my home worth?
There are two methods many people use to determine their homes value, an appraisal and comparative market analysis.
Appraisals vary in cost, depending on whether it is a single family home or a multi-family dwelling. Appraisers review numerous factors and base information on recent sales of similar properties, their location, square footage, construction quality, excess land, views, water frontage and amenities such as garages, number of baths, etc.
A comparative market analysis on the other hand is an informal estimate of market value performed by a real estate REALTOR® or broker. It is based on sales and listings that will compete with your property that are similar in size, style and location. A range of values will be determined thus arriving at a probable market value.
Some individuals do their own cost comparison. This can be time consuming and may result in missed information. It always pays to be on top of things, but it's even more beneficial to review this with an experienced real estate agent. Back to Top
4. What should I do to get my house ready?
The way you live in a home and the way you sell a house are two different things. First and foremost, "declutter" counter tops, walls and rooms. Too many "things" make it difficult for the buyer to envision how they will place their possessions in your rooms. Don't strip everything completely or it will lose that feeling of "home". Clean all rooms, furnishings, floors, walls and ceilings. It's especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless. Organize closets. Make sure the basic appliances and fixtures work - repair leaky faucets, broken handles and cracked shelving. Leaving these for someone else to fix can give the wrong impression about maintenance, even if your home is generally well-maintained. Make sure the house smells good: from cookies baking or stew simmering on the stove, it all helps with the ambience. Hide the kitty litter, and possibly put vases of fresh flowers throughout the house. Pleasant background music is also a nice touch.
The second important thing to consider is "curb appeal." People driving by a property will judge it from outside appearances and make a decision then as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. Also make sure that the doorbell works. Back to Top
5. Should I make repairs?
Minor repairs before putting the house on the market may lead to a better sales price. Buyers often include a contingency "inspection clause" in the purchase contract which allows then to back out if numerous defects are found. Once the problems are noted, buyers can attempt to negotiate repairs or lowering the price with the seller. Any known problems that are not repaired must be revealed as a material defect. You do not have to repair the problem, only reveal it and the house should be appropriately priced for that defect. Back to Top
6. What are my obligations to disclose?
Items sellers often disclose include: homeowners association dues: whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes and permits requirements, any past or current issues with water, electrical or rodents, and more. Your real estate agent will provide you with a Property Disclosure Statement that must be accurately completed as it will form part of the sales contract and is a legal document. Back to Top
7. Must I disclose the terms of other offers?
No, according to experts, sellers do not have to disclose the terms of other offers. You may disclose the existence of other offers, so that all parties are aware that they should be submitting their best offer. Back to Top
8. Are there standard contingencies in an offer?
Yes, the two basic contingencies in a purchase contract are financing and inspections. Back to Top
9. Should I be flexible in granting contingencies?
That often depends on if you are in a buyer's or a seller's market, the condition of your home, the price you hope to get, how motivated you are to sell, as well as the quality and quantity of the offers you are getting. Any contingencies that are negotiated are written into your contract. Both the buyer and seller can place requirements on the table during the negotiation phase.
A frequently seen contingency is regarding the sale and closing of the buyers home before they can purchase yours. Whether this requirement is reasonable, or even achievable, depends on the individuals involved. Financial capabilities usually play a major role in negotiations. Few people can afford to own two homes simultaneously, except for some all-cash buyers.
10. How do I determine what my home is worth?
In today's market, it's more important than ever to price your home right. At the Bryce Hansen Team we know how to price your property to make sure it sells. Click Here for more details.