If you are selling your home, chances are you’d have some home selling FAQ you’d like to ask. In the end, selling our property is likely one of, if not the biggest transaction most of us will ever have. It’s easy to understand why you wouldn’t want to mess anything up.
As a real estate investors, we at Sparks Property Investors LLC have heard many questions from home sellers. Most of them are collected and answered in our e-book, Why Real Estate Investors Are Your Best Option, that you can download on this site. Here are some common questions home sellers from WI usually have.
1. How do I prepare my house for sale?
If you decide to list your house on MLS, there is a lot of work to be done prior to that. The potential buyers need to see a perfect home, instead of complaining about a bunch of stuff you might have overlooked. Some of the things that need to be done before listing your house are:
Keep in mind that if you sell your house to a real estate investor you won’t have to worry about any of these things, as most of them will purchase your property as is.
2. When should I sell my home?
This completely depends on your preferences. In short, you want to sell when you are likely to get the best possible results. The full answer is a bit more complicated. Spring is generally considered to be the best time to sell your unwanted property, but you can get great results any other time of the year, as long as you make necessary preparations and learn some tips and tricks for each season.
3. How to figure out the value of my property?
There are several ways to figure out the value of your property. Some real estate agents will do these calculations – for a fee. There are even professional appraisers who specialize in determining the exact value of your house. You can even do that by yourself, if you learn how! Some of the most important things that have to be considered are:
- The price of properties in your areas that have sold in the past 6 months
- The price of similar homes that are listed for sale
- Competing properties that are currently for sale in general price point
You should also do the evaluation of your own home, which includes:
- The size of your home (square footage)
- Home style (colonial, raised ranch, contemporary…)
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Overall condition
- The age of the house
- The age of mechanical and structural components
- The amenities such as central air system, alarm system, sprinklers system etc.
- The appeal of the neighborhood
- The lot’s desirability
4. How are list and sale price different?
They can be very different. As the name suggests, the list price is the price you list the house for sale. In other words, it’s the amount that you expect to gain, a goal that you have set. The sale price is the amount of money you will get for your house, after all the negotiations.
5. Are assessed value and market value the same thing?
No, they aren’t. An assessed value serves to help your local municipality to collect the appropriate amount of taxes. Market value is the estimated price of your property according to the current market.
6. Should I make some improvements to help me sell my house?
That depends on your sale plans. If you are going to sell your house to a real estate investor, then no, as most of them will buy your house as is. Don’t waste the money that you could use for other, more important things. However, if you plan on making a traditional sale of your house, then it might be a good idea to improve some things before you list it on the market. For example, fix all mechanical issues, clean everything well and take good care of your front yard.
7. Should we sell before we buy a new house?
First you’d have to check if you are able to get a second mortgage. It’s also recommended that you already have a loan approved before you make a sale of your house, as it can be extremely financially difficult to carry two mortgages. If you sell your house to a direct buyer, you may have the option to move the closing date so you can find a new place to live in before you leave your old property.
8. What issues should I disclose?
No matter who you are selling to, you should disclose all pertinent facts about your home that aren’t easily seen that you know of. In other words, whenever you wonder should you disclose something, the answer is: ‘Yes, disclose it’. Even if you think it’s not important, any undisclosed problem, no matter how minor, can end up with you going to the court. With things like these, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to always fill out The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement honestly and completely, just so you remain protected from potential lawsuits.
9. Will I pay closing costs?
This depends on the buyer. You are not required to pay the closing costs. However, in most traditional sales it is up to the seller to pay these expenses. This is even considered to be an advantage, as some buyers might not have liquid assets to pay for the closing costs, which will lower your chances of making a quick sale of your house. On the other hand, most real estate investors will take it upon themselves to pay these additional expenses to help you end up with the most money you possibly can.
10. Should I hold an open house?
Again, this depends on your preferences. It isn’t required to hold an open house, but they can help you. However, they aren’t as effective as one might think. Most people who come to the viewings are just beginning to search for their dream property and they are far from making a final decision. Some visitors are even just curious neighbors or people who are bored and who are just looking for a way to kill time.
Of course, if you think that an open house will help you increase your chances of making a sale of your property, go for it! They are a fun way to attract a few more potential buyers than you normally would. Another good occasion for an open house is if you live in a nice neighborhood. People have to get to your house. If they can see how the surrounding area is nice and calm, they might decide in your favor.
11. Should I hire a real estate agent?
This is completely up to you. If you want to make a traditional sale of your property, hiring a real estate agent can be a good choice, as it’s easier to work with a professional than to attempt doing everything by yourself. However, real estate agents come with a commission fee, which is usually around 6% of the profit, and you have to pay them for any additional services, such as advertisement or determining the value of your property.
12. Can I sell my house by myself?
Yes, you can. However it can be extremely difficult to do everything right if you are selling your house the traditional way. You’d have to do great research of the market and median prices so you could determine the right value of your property, you’d have to do all the advertisement work and you’d have to deal with a lot of paperwork.
If you don’t want to work with a real estate agent, the best option would be to find an experienced real estate investor who would buy your house quickly and help you with estimating the exact price.
13. How is selling to a real estate investor different to working with a real estate agent?
When you work with a real estate agent, you are working with a professional who will help you list your house on MLS and deal with the paperwork and house viewings. On the other hand, a real estate investor IS a buyer who will purchase your house for cash. The amount of money you’d get from making a sale with the investor is usually lower than the market value of your property, however listing with an agent usually ends up with you waiting for months for your house to sell, and during all this time you will have to pay holding costs. That’s without mentioning the additional prices such as closing costs and commissions.
The shorter explanation is this: When you work with the real estate agent, you will get help with your traditional sale, which is great if you aren’t in a rush and want to attempt to earn the most from your property. When you work with a real estate investor, they will purchase your property for cash, which is great if you need money fast or if you don’t want to risk your house not selling. If you need more information about how real estate investors, such as Sparks Property Investors LLC, buy houses, and how can that be beneficial to you, feel free to check this link.
14. What commissions will I have to pay?
That depends on who you’re working with. Most real estate agents have commission fees of 6% of the amount you’ve made from your sale. Real estate investors don’t have any commission fees and what you earn on the sale is what you’ll get in your pockets.
15. May we stay and rent our old house until we are able to move to a new place?
This option depends on the buyer. Some buyers are willing to allow you to rent out your old property, especially if they don’t have to move in quickly. However this isn’t a common scenario.
On the other hand, most real estate investors would gladly allow you to pay rent and to stay in your property until you are able to settle in your new home. In fact, as the closing date is flexible when you work with investors, you would most likely be able to negotiate the date of your sale, so you can stay on your property for as long as necessary.
Want to learn more about why working with real estate investors in Milwaukee might be your best option? Click here to download your free e-guide to real estate investing!