Selling Your Home
Selling Your Home
John Caliendo (Realtor) gives expert video advice on: How do I price my home for the current real estate market?; How do I set up an open house?; How can I improve the appearance of my home in order to raise the asking price? and more...
Do I need a realtor to sell my home?
When it comes to selling your home, people can sell their home without a realtor. This has happened but the vast majority of home sales do involve a real estate agent. I certainly would not fault any home seller for attempting to sell their home on their own without a realtor, but the reality is hiring on a professional probably is the best way to go. There are countless case studies of people that have tried to sell their home on their own but ultimately ended up listing with a real estate agent.
Do I need to consult an attorney when selling my home?
When it comes to selling your home, I would never dissuade anyone from seeking the guidance and counsel of a real estate attorney before selling your home. I can tell you that in my experience the vast majority of my sellers have not consulted with an attorney, but again, I would never dissuade anyone if they felt consulting with an attorney was the right thing to do.
What day of the week is the best day for an open house?
When it comes to selling your home, Sunday is by and far the best day for an open house. I'm not quite sure why that is; it's been quite of a source of curiosity for me through the years. I tend to think that people after a long hard week just want to sleep in on a Saturday morning, take it at their leisure. By Sunday morning they're raring to go. They get up early, they get breakfast and they head on out to those open houses.
What is a real estate "fact sheet"?
A real estate fact sheet enables your consumer, your buyer, to at the end of the day when they are sitting at home with the fifteen or so flyers that they picked up at the afternoon, to sit down, compare and contrast houses, and you start stripping away the obstacles that the buyer may have. In other words, if a buyer has a question, "Oh honey I don't remember does this one have a home office? We have to have a home office". "Oh Yes this one on Maple has a home office". In other words, the more the information to the consumer, the better.
What is a "virtual tour"?
When selling your home, a virtual tour is one of the by-products of the information age that really have impacted our consumers to make an efficient search. In other words, back in the day you may drive around for several hours showing several homes only to find out that none of them really excited your buyer. Well, the buyer now from the comfort of their own home can sit and choose what fits and what doesn't fit. About the time they have got to the property, they have a very good working knowledge of what they are going to see all because of the virtual tour.
What information needs to be included in a real estate classified ad?
In a classified ad, basically you would want to just go into the basics. In other words, you have to be very careful, especially when it comes to print advertising because you don't want to over promise on the property. I think you should probably just be very realistic about what it has. For example, you don't want to blow your credibility. If you're still talking about this lush, tropical lagoon in the backyard, and people show up and it's just an old pool, they're going to start discounting anything else that you have to tell them about the property. So I would just say keep it brief, get on the radar, and let them come out and see the property.
What information needs to be listed on a "for sale" sign?
When it comes to selling your home, the information that needs to be listed on a “for sale” sign depends on your local municipality. You may have to have on the “for sale” sign the real estate agent's license ID and direct phone number, as opposed to a cell number. As far as the for sale sign, it is primarily not going to go into great detail about the house's amenities, that would either be on a rider sign with a domain name which tells all about the home, or in the flier box and all the information found there.
What do I do if the buyer offers less than the full asking price on my home?
With regards to selling your home, if the buyer offers less than the full asking price I would recommend, as hard as it is, to treat it as a business transaction, not personal. Oftentimes a seller could be quite insulted by the property price being offered. It's not worth the aggravation, quite frankly. That buyer may be making that offer because that's the max of what they can afford, or it could be because that's what the buyer feels the property is worth based on their analysis. Maybe their analysis is right, maybe it's wrong, but my point being, counter at your price for the house and hopefully the sides come together.
What do I have to disclose to the buyer when selling my home?
You as the seller are required to disclose to the buyer any material facts that you are aware of. In my state there is a Transfer Disclosure Statement which is required by law of every seller to every buyer, regardless of whether an agent is involved or not, and they fill the form out. The form does two important things. Number one: It causes the fence sitters to commit. In other words, if you were unaware if you had to disclose certain items and you see that item on line three, you then say, "Fine, we have to disclose this." The other function of the Transfer Disclosure Statement is that a Transfer Disclosure Statement is not going to make a dishonest person honest overnight, but what it will do, it will cause them to commit in writing their position at that point in time.
What is a "seller disclosure form" and do I need to provide one?
In my state, it is required by law to provide a buyer with a seller transfer disclosure statement. If you are not providing a seller disclosure form, my hunch is that the buyer, certainly the buyer's agent will be asking for one.
What does selling a home "as is" mean?
When selling your home, selling "as is" means that the seller is making it clear that he or she has no intention of making any improvements to the house, or crediting the buyer in any way. They may still grant the buyer full right of inspection, but again, has no intention of making any repairs to the property or incurring any cost through a credit.
Can I get the buyer to pay for title insurance?
With regards to selling your home, you can certainly ask the buyer to pay for the title insurance. However, there are two policies; one on the buyer side and one the seller side. In my experience, usually they just both pay for their own title insurance.
Can I get the buyer to pay for the property appraisal?
With regards to selling your home, traditionally the buyer is responsible to pay for the property appraisal. The seller may have already done an appraisal going in just to find out what the value of the property is per the appraiser. However, on the buying side, it is a buyer's expense.
How much can I expect to pay my realtor in commissions?
In regards to paying your realtor commission when it comes to selling your home, on the buying side you do not have to pay your realtor anything in commission, which is usually very happy news to the vast majority of buyers that I've worked with in the past. On the other hand, sellers usually part anywhere from a five to six percent brokerage fee as commission. That five or six percent is usually split between the listing agent and the selling agent. However, ultimately, that listing and selling agent may in certain cases be the same person.
At the completion of the sale, how do I get my money from the buyer?
After the completion of the sale of your home, your money coming from the buyer is the responsibility of the escrow company, the escrow company being the neutral third party and traffic coordinator of the transaction. They are the ones that take the deposit, take the proceeds when your lender is issuing your funds. They don't go directly to the seller; they go directly to the escrow company. So to answer the question, at the close of escrow, basically the escrow company will balance the books, send the seller his or her proceeds, give the buyer any leftover moneys that were in escrow and everyone moves on.
What are capital gains taxes?
With regards to selling your home, capital gains taxes are simply put, if you make a profit on the value of a property and you sell that property, you may, and again I defer to any CPA or tax attorney on this point, may be subject to taxes on the gain from the property.
What do I do if my home doesn't sell?
With regards to selling your home, if your home doesn't actually sell, assuming of course that you are listed with a very hard-working, established, reputable agent, the biggest solution to this would be the price. The market answers all of our questions. Now again, assuming that the marketing is top-notch and there are no other market conditions that are extreme in one way or the other, if a property is not selling, in my experience the vast majority of times it has everything to do with price.
What are some factors that may prevent my home from being sold?
With regards to selling your home, factors involved which may prevent your house being sold may involve real estate not being an easy business, but it is however a simple business. What I mean by that is, when it comes to selling a home, price and accessibility are huge factors, huge factors. So, if people are not accessing your home in a convenient and easy manner, it's a major, major block in getting the house sold. If they can't get in to your house and it's overpriced, that's an even more serious situation. So, I would say make your home accessible and price it right, assuming of course the marketing is top notch.
What interesting trends in real estate are you following right now?
One of the most interesting and intriguing trends in real estate that I'm seeing at the moment is the condo conversion. What I mean by that is there are apartment buildings that were built and intended as apartment buildings, and they have been there for a good long while, but in some cases they are able to be converted over to condominiums. This is a windfall in many respects for the owner of the apartment building, because instead of having to go out and build a whole bunch of new condominiums, he has condominiums already. The cities are pretty strict with this real estate trend. There are certain restrictions and conditions that have to be met. If they are met, then in certain cases you can convert an apartment building into a condominium complex.
What do you wish your clients knew before meeting with you?
Well, what I'd like my clients to know before meeting me is probably something that they will learn by the end of the escrow period, I've seen it time and time again. In other words what I mean by that is, usually when a buyer starts out a process, it starts out as a very simple thing, "Let's go buy a house." And before long, you start realizing that it really is a very complicated process, and there are serious repercussions if things are done improperly or incorrectly. Which is why you should be seeking out the guidance and counsel of a true professional, a realtor, a real estate agent, who is there, really, to protect you, to work for you. And it's interesting: a lot of my clients become very good friends of mine, because you bond in the trenches of an escrow as you go and you learn and you understand the process, and that is really one of the byproducts of what I do for a living that I never expected. The bonding that goes on between agents and clients in escrow is really quite a special thing. I've been to more weddings and more housewarmings of clients that are now very good friends of mine than you could ever imagine. So that's really a wonderful thing, but in summary, I just hope consumers understand that this is a pretty serious undertaking and you really should seek the guidance and counsel of a professional.