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Seller’s, this will likely happen to you

You will receive low-ball offers. Buyers are trying to get the most bang for their buck, and most of them know you won’t take their initial offer, so they offer lower to start in hopes of ending lower as well. Try not to take it personally.
People wishing to see your home will either show up early, unannounced, or will stand you up. Its frustrating for you and rude on their part, but sometimes its unavoidable. Things happen to mess up schedules all the time, the more accommodating you are, the better chance your home will sell.
You may need to drop your price in order to sell. You know what you want to get for your home, but that number might not be the one that finally gets it sold. Try to keep an open mind, and remember that your agent has your best interests in mind, so try to trust their judgement and advice.
The date on the contract will change; it is a guesstimate and subject to many variables (i.e., the lender’s timetable)
The property will not appraise at the original price on the contract
Agents will miss showing appointments without calling
Appointments will be made and cancelled at the last minute
The agent on the sign will be in witness protection and not return any phone calls
Some showings will last about five minutes and some showings will last 3 hours
Agents will knock on your door or even drive by, see you in the yard, and ask if they can see your house (if this happens, call your own agent)
You might run into trouble if you aren’t careful with your name. Meaning, be sure to use the same name on all the documents you sign. Watch for misspellings, nicknames, and anything else that could cause a discrepancy on the documents. Chances are someone will catch the differences, and fixing them will just make the process take longer.

Questions from Home Sellers:
When is the best time to list my home?
There are pro’s and con’s to selling your home at any time of the year, so it really depends on when you want to sell. It is widely accepted that Spring is the best season to list your home, with the thought being that many home buyers are getting ready to pull the trigger and purchase. The problem with this thinking is that it doesn’t take into account that many other sellers will also be listing their properties at the same time, so there is much more inventory on the market for buyers to choose from. Unless your home has something that the others don’t, it could be in danger of being lost in the multitude of choices available. The next period of time that sees an increase in home sales is the fall. Over the summer sales stay pretty steady, but a lot of folks hold off on their home shopping to make room for trips and vacations. Fall sees an increase of purchases as people get ready to hunker down for the winter. You won’t find many agents recommending you list in the holiday months, being November and December, but if you find yourself in a pinch and you must list during this time, keep in mind that there is probably much less competition on the market than in other times of the year. The most important aspect of selling a home, regardless of the time of year, is price.

How do I decide on an asking price, and why is it so dangerous to overprice?
Pricing a home has less to do with the homes actual value and more to do with the comparable properties (comps) in your location. The philosophy is a simple one; when given a choice between two homes that are similar in square feet, bedrooms and bathrooms, a buyer will choose the cheaper of the two. Of course the value of the home is important, but if there is a better deal out there your home will sit unsold. This is another instance in which working with a good real estate agent will come in very handy. Agents have tools at their disposal for analyzing the market and should be able to price you home competitively. Try to have an open mind when discussion pricing options with your agent. They have you best interests in mind and if they are telling you a price lower than you were hoping for, its because they genuinely want to sell your home in a timely manner.

It is ultimately up to you to decide how you want to price your home, but beware of the dangers of overpricing. Not only can overpricing keep your property for sale longer than you’d like it to be, but it can actually increase the possibility the your home will bring in a lower amount than it would have if you had priced it appropriately in the first place. If a home sits on the market for too long, buyers who are paying attention will see that and assume a couple of things; the first assumption may be that there is something wrong with the home that is turning off buyers in that price range. The second assumption is that the seller is unwilling to drop the price and therefore would be difficult to work with. Neither of these possibilities are attractive to potential buyers, at all. One of the more concrete dangers of overpricing comes into play after the accepted offer is on the table. Let’s say you got away with overpricing and found a buyer who was willing to pay a little more for your property, and the time has come for the appraisal, which all lenders require before they will cough up the dough. If a home does not appraise as high as the accepted offer, the buyer will either have to come up with the extra cash (a difficult sell from the buyers prospective), or the sale will have to be re-negotiated based on the lower appraisal which puts you in the position you would have been in had you priced it appropriately in the first place. An overpriced home makes for a difficult negotiating situation, and its best to price the home competitively for all parties involved.

What costs are involved with selling a property?
Simply put, sellers (when listing with a real estate agent) should be prepared to pay approximately 8% of the sales price of their home in closing costs. Some lenders have different requirements than others, but a basic list of closing costs include:

1. Agent commissions: vary depending on the agreed upon percentage.

2. Mortgage payoff balance: the amount you have yet to pay on the home being sold, and some lenders charge you an additional fee for paying off the loan earlier than the original agreed upon time period.

3. Recording fees: paid if you owed money on your home to prove the debt was paid.

4. Escrow fees: paid to the escrow company which handles the transaction to ensure the money is handled and transferred correctly.

5. Title insurance fees: title insurance states that you are legally free and clear to sell the home. Title companies take the time to search public records for any outstanding details that may affect the title such as mortgages, easements, liens, restrictions, etc.

6. Other fees/costs: other items you may come across that may cost you extra include lien releases, notary fees, buyer rebates, necessary repairs, and home warranties.

What should I do in preparation for selling my home?
Just about any home will sell if it’s on the market for long enough and it’s price drops low enough, but everyone wants to get the most money for their home as possible. Let’s look at some ways to boost you can boost your home’s appeal.

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