Top Questions to Ask Before You List Your Home For Sale

Pricing is the most critical step to selling your home. Take great care in choosing an agent with the knowledge to price your home effectively.

1. What listing price do you recommend and what is that price based on?

Pricing is the most critical step to selling your home. Take great care in choosing an agent with the knowledge to price your home effectively. Keep in mind the selling price should attract prospective buyers to your home, get you top dollar in the current market and reflect the condition of your home. Be realistic and avoid ‘yes agents’, who will say ‘yes’ to any request or price while your home languishes on the market. Lowball agents will try to talk you into an artificial price simply to sell as fast as possible.

2. What does the listing agreement entail, what are the beginning and expiration dates, and what are the fee amounts I will be paying? –

Have your agent go over every detail in the listing agreement with you until you understand it completely. Make sure the beginning and ending dates are on the agreement; a good standard for length is three months. In a slow market, this could be longer.  Know exactly what fees you will be paying and remember that less is not always better. If the agent stands to make very little commission you can bet it will be reflected in the amount of time and effort that is spent marketing your home. If the agent reduces their commission to get the listing it may mean they intend to spend very little money promoting the property. The normal commission is between 5 and 7 percent.

3. Will you let me out early if I’m not happy?

You’re probably going to be asked to sign a six-month exclusive listing agreement. What if you’re not happy three months into the deal? A good agent will let you out of the agreement if you’re not happy. When you’re picking an agent, your job is to be as specific as possible as to exactly what you expect. Theirs is to fulfill those expectations. Ask for the right for early termination if your expectations aren’t being met.

4. What can I do to make my house as marketable as possible?

A good agent is going to have lots of tips on making your house sell for as much as possible as quickly as possible, from painting to de-cluttering to staging.

5. What additional services do you provide so my house sells more quickly and for more money?

Selling a home quickly involves a number of strategies, each of which is designed to shorten the time to sell while maximizing the price of the sale. Before you list your home we will do a thorough inspection of the property and give suggestions on what to do to make your home more presentable. Some common items include:

– A professional landscaper who performs an initial clean up of your property
– an initial home inspection geared to identify necessary repairs/touch ups that can be taken care of prior to showing the home
– an initial home appraisal that determines the value of the property prior to listing it for sale
– the taking of professional high res photos
– a professionally guided video open house tour (specific listings only)
– a 1-year home warranty plan for the buyer so he can feel comfortable purchasing the home with the added bonus that it also covers the seller during the listing
– the completion of a “home book” that  details the property and the surrounding area

6. How do you determine how much to sell my property for if I list it with you?

We stay up-to-date with current market trends enabling us to price your property appropriately for a quick sale. We check recent sale statistics as well as current listings for similar properties. We will provide a detailed comparative market analysis to all sellers (clients or not) to get a realistic value of the property in today’s market.

7. How are you going to market my home?

One of the most critical factors in marketing a property for sale is to remain active and consistent with advertising. Our goal is to have your property sell quickly using a variety of different mediums.  We list your property on the MLS, hold open houses, create a customized personal listing website, we advertise in the classifieds and much much more. Contact us to see how we will market your property.

8. Can you refer us to a reputable appraiser, home inspector, or mortgage lender?

Yes, we can provide you with several names of reputable mortgage lenders, appraisers, or home inspectors. If you visit the tools section of our website you will find a few of our trusted vendors, but feel free to ask for additional referrals. It would be our pleasure to pass their names and contact information along to you.

9. Will you personally be there when contracts are presented and handle all the negotiations?

At Capital Realty, we strive to meet the needs, wants and time parameters of our clients. Technology has allowed us to simplify this process with the use of telephones, fax and the internet. However, I would be happy to meet face to face with any of my clients if that is their preference. I will handle all negotiations on behalf of my client, and strive to do it in a fashion that is most convenient for sellers.