Another week down in this crazy pandemic and it’s startling to realize summer is on its way out and the year is starting to wrap up! Before we know it, we will have leaves falling and then it’ll be time for the holidays! I hope everyone is well, we are all doing the best that we can in these crazy, unheard of times we are living in! Today I just wanted to take a little bit of time and explain the most common pitfalls for people in the home buying and selling process. If it’s your first time then of course there’s a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming. Or maybe you’ve done it before, but it just didn’t go as smoothly as you hoped. No worries, Syd’s here to talk you through it. I chose Real Estate because not only do I love people and homes, I do well under pressure and I’ll fight for what’s right. There’s a lot of talk and misconception about what to do and what not to do, so hopefully this will shed a little light on the process so you don’t feel like you’re walking blind.
- How much selling your home could potentially cost you
A lot of times people start entertaining the idea to sell their home but they aren’t exactly aware that there could potentially be more than the 5-6% you will pay your Realtor when it’s all said and done. Let’s not forget about the closing costs, potential repairs, and other concessions to the buyer that will be negotiated, meaning that the costs of selling can be closer to 10% of the selling price in some (not all) cases! There’s always other scenarios to account for. Maybe you move into your new home before selling your old one, or you may have to rent a temporary place or pay for both mortgages as well as other carrying costs, such as utilities, HOA dues, taxes, and storage! Selling and buying can be soooo stressful, that’s why a Realtor can ease sooo much of the burden and educate you to make these crazy decisions!
- Not being realistic about your home’s worth
This one is a little hard to understand and I am coming from a place of love whenever I say this…. The price you think your home is worth may not be the price the market is willing to pay. The big word of the day…. Fair Market Value. Let’s talk about it because if you are selling/ buying you will hear this term and it’s best to understand what it means. This word refers to how a home is valued when both the buyer and seller are reasonably knowledgeable about the property and neither is under any pressure to buy or sell. Meaning, there’s nothing crazy going on and you expect a normal sale. When a seller lists their home this is the price that’s basically a sweet spot between asking too much or too little. If you aren’t educated on this you risk not getting all of your bang for your buck or potentially having your home sit for sale for longer than it needs. Most homes in our market can sale in 30-60 days!!! We put together comparable properties, us Realtors call them “comps” and this is basically what real estate agents use to suggest a listing price. The name of the game is that no two comps are the same and you need to familiarize yourself with the differences and know how to adjust the price based on these factors.
- Renovating things that won’t add value, as well as ignoring repairs that SHOULD be made
This one I’m just going to touch and go because it really is a case by case basis and this is why you should always have a Realtor friend ready and willing to offer advice as these ideas come along. You may think that adding that sunroom, or building that in ground pool will really benefit you in 5 years when you are ready to list it, but that isn’t always the case. Renovations can be costly, and you won’t always recover the cost in the purchase price. Furthermore, some buyers prefer to make their own renovations to personalize the space and what you do to the home might not be what they would’ve done. But the one thing you should take the time to discuss is the repairs that your listing will need completed. A long list of maintenance issues can turn buyers off instantly in some cases and potentially decrease the value of your home. More so, buyers expect the condition of your home to match the description. If they feel you weren’t honest or up front or they feel you didn’t treat your home with care then they may not feel buying your home is worth the risk. Fixing things that are bound to show up on an inspection report are always the first things I suggest should be tended to. If a buyer is smart, they will want an inspection, not because they don’t trust you or they are trying to be difficult, they just want to know what they are signing up for is basically how I explain this. Make a list of what should be done first and then work your way down, it’s worth it to do these things so you get what you deserve out of your home and it’s in the best condition possible!
- Knowing how to prepare your home for sale and what to expect
It’s not always as simple as I did 1,2,3, now I’m ready to list my home!! You have to remember that while your home is for sale, part of this process is showing your home to potential new owners and that translates to the less cluttered, the cleaner and better decorated it is, the better it could be for you! But just because you love that retro theme in your modern home, doesn’t mean that every one (or anyone really) will love that, or that leaving your 65 family portraits up is a good idea… (I’m sorry friends, but it doesn’t matter how cute your kid is, it’s hard to imagine living there with someone else’s faces plastered all over the walls heheh!) and Realtors offer wonderful advice about how to stage and clean your home to give its best presentation! (Yes, that sometimes means we come into your house with tote boxes and we pack up your belongings or it also means we come back to the house 3 different times if we feel the cleaning company didn’t do the job the first time! ( or second..) YES! That’s our job so YOU don’t have to worry about what’s next!) Moving.com suggests that clutter can make your home appear smaller and make it more difficult for buyers to picture themselves living in your home. In fact, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than those that aren’t staged, according to Realtor.com. Take it from us! We’ve done this a time or two! ;)
- Do I Really Need a REALTOR?
It’s no secret I’ve name dropped us lovely Realtors a time or two in this post (heheheh :D ) And that’s because simply… we are valuable and this next section is to help you understand why as well as help you figure out questions to ask the potential agent you are thinking about having list your home to make sure you don’t worry about any of the above topics and more!!! Not only do we help you through the pains of listing and possibly finding your dream home, we also make it available for people to view the home! This catches many people off guard, because let’s be frank here- it’s annoying. Once you’ve put your home on the market, you’ll have to try to cooperate when your agent wants to show it. That could mean scampering out at dinnertime for a private showing, or vacating for several hours—or most of the day—for a weekend open house. The goal is to accommodate as many buyers as possible, even if their timing is inconvenient because we want what you want and that’s to help you close the deal! If your house isn’t easy to show, it won’t be easy to sell either. While interruptions and added weekend planning may feel inconvenient, just remember the end goal—a good return on your investment that can support your next move. Selling can be the biggest decision you will make aside from buying that piece of property and we do all we can to take the stress and guess work out of it all. Having a Realtor can take a lot of aggravation and frustration out of everything and can really help you steer free of these classic mistakes! We will negotiate and lead with knowledgeable care all on your behalf!
You may also ask potential agents about:
* If you are able to see references
* Their marketing plan for your home
* If they can go ahead and send you a Comparative Market Analysis for your area
* Current market statistics (is the area growing/ declining?)
* Whether they require you to sign a contract with them (and for how long)
* Their negotiation style
* Do they work solo/ team
* How often they plan to communicate with you
* The drawbacks of your home
* If they have any current listings that might compete with yours
- Not thinking about the bigger financial picture
A lot of sellers like I previously mentioned will go into this without an idea of what they are doing and can potentially put them in a financial situation. We never want you to have any painful surprises but a lot of times if a seller isn’t informed, this can happen. Before you make the decision to sell, it may be helpful to assess your income, debt, and any upcoming expenses during your move. It’s always best to understand exactly how much you owe on your current home, along with your target sale price, and now that you’ve learned a little about the cost of selling your home, this will give you a general idea of how much money you may walk away with after the sale. This part is important, normally this is the biggest playing factor for people. If you’re selling your current home in order to buy a new one, you’ll want to know how much house you can afford, and thankfully we have mortgage loan people that graciously help people with this! What you can afford often depends on your monthly expenses, which may include car payments, student loans, child expenses and debt. You may also want to consider how much cash you have in savings to cover any unexpected repairs or emergencies that could arise, please take that advice seriously because people tend not to until they are in their new home and something happens. (This is just life, stuff happens!) Finally, it’s important to think about how a home purchase fits with your other long-term financial goals like saving for retirement. If you are just selling “just because” and you want something newer even though you’ve been happily content until you saw your neighbor moved, attended their house warming, and now you are thinking different for yourself as well…. GREAT! But only if it makes sense for you and your family.
- So what does all of this mean?
When it’s all said and done everyone just wants a smooth and painless closing. To focus on these aspects can be stressful, but you should never go into something not fully prepared. And these small hiccups along the road to something that you really want/ need makes the whole process worth it! With all of this information you can now make a confident decision in what you are wanting to do and always remember, knowledge is power my friends! I would love to hear your thoughts or swap stories, as always, I’m available anytime!
Reach out with questions and lets be friends!!! Sydney Burke 931.319.3293!