Frequently Asked Questions From Home Sellers

As a home seller, you may have lots of questions. Garry Real Estate’s Home Seller FAQ has the answers. We’ve gathered the questions (and answers!) that we see the most from first-timers and veteran home sellers, to help guide you through the process. Our Seller FAQ answers some of the most frequently asked questions about selling a home and conducting real estate transactions.

Home Seller FAQ

We have complied our frequently asked questions from our sellers to put together this resource.

How do I find out what my home is worth?

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which is an informal estimate of value based on the recent selling price of similar neighborhood properties.  And an Appraisal are the two most common and reliable ways to determine a home's value.

When should I sell my home?

Honestly, you want to sell when you are likely to get the best possible results. But when is that? The answer is complicated and many factors contribute to it. Generally, the best time to sell is when you are ready. When you have made that life altering decision and start to detach yourself from you home.  There are advantages to selling in every season, in spite of what some agents may try to tell you. Spring is undoubtedly considered most ideal in a lot of circles, but that does not mean you can’t get great results in summer, winter, and fall. You just need an agent who knows how to sell year-round.

What improvements will help sell my home? 

Too many home sellers have extreme anxiety over the thought of having to clear out and fix up their home, so much so that it can delay or even prevent them from putting the place on the market in the first place. But in most cases, there’s no need to panic here—or to overshoot your goals. Often there’s far less to do than home 

sellers think. Before spending months and thousands upgrading your place—or just throwing up your hands and giving up before you begin—have a professional, proven successful real estate agent take a look at your property in order to provide you feedback. You might be pleasantly surprised by your current sales prospects. Start with the basics. Fix all minor mechanical issues (such as loose doorknobs and leaky plumbing), clean everything well, keep the yard maintained, and put fresh pine straw or mulch in the flower beds. Power wash decks and other surfaces if needed. For more information, visit our How to Prepare Your Home For Sale page. 

Why should I use a REALTOR® to sell my home?

A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate professional belonging to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). NAR is a real estate trade association that requires all of its members to follow a 17-article Code of Ethics. This means that your REALTOR® is required to have your best interests in mind.

Your REALTOR® will help you set the right price for your home, reach potential buyers and help you negotiate the sale. Your REALTOR® will also help with staging your home and adding curb appeal. They will make sure that you feel supported every step of the way and ensure you receive the best deal. Good real estate agents have a deep understanding of their local market and want to show your home in the best light. They also have relationships with photographers and home stagers, who can all work as a team to highlight the amenities that local buyers want.

According to Zillow research, 36% of home sellers attempt to sell their homes themselves, but challenges along the way lead many of them to eventually hire an agent. In the end, only 11% of home sellers end up selling their home without a real estate agent.

FSBOs accounted for 7% of home sales in 2017. The typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 compared to $265,500 for agent-assisted home sales, according to NAR.

With access to the local MLS and online listing portals, social media presence, professional networks, connections with other agents, and name recognition, your real estate agent can get a lot of eyes on your listing and plenty of potential buyers in the front door.

Experienced agents can spot serious buyers and guide you toward the strongest offers, which eliminates the burden of calls and negotiations with less motivated shoppers. Agents are extremely familiar with both the selling process and your local market, so they can recommend appropriate counteroffers. Bottom line: They’ll help you get as much money as possible. No wonder 82% of home sellers surveyed by Zillow said they value their agent’s ability to lead contract negotiations.

There’s a lot of documentation involved when you sell a home, and without an agent, the burden of making sure it’s complete and accurate falls on the seller (or an attorney you’ve hired to help). Seasoned real estate professionals are experts at the purchase and sale process, and all the legalese that comes with it.

When is the best time of year to sell?

This varies depending on the housing market. In general, house hunting typically picks up in the warmer months of the year, making it a great time for sellers to put their home on the market. In the colder months, it’s typically a buyer’s market. This can vary by city and even neighborhood, so be sure to ask your REALTOR® what they recommend.

When should I put my home on the market if I'm looking to buy a new home?

Trying to buy and sell a home at the same time can be a careful balancing act. There are different arguments to be made about whether you should search for a new home before selling your home or sell your home first. The truth is, it depends on your circumstance and whether it's a buyer or seller's market. In a buyer's market, there will be more houses on the market than there are buyers. A seller's market is the opposite. Your REALTOR® can advise you on what makes sense in your area at any given time.

What should I expect when I put my house on the market?

Once your home has been listed, the best piece of advice is to have realistic expectations. Keep an open line of communication with your REALTOR® and be patient. Your REALTOR® will handle the marketing for your home and guide you through the process of showing your home. They will also help you with the negotiation process and make sure your home closing goes as smoothly as possible.

Are there any safety tips I should keep in mind when putting my home on the market?

Opening your home up to strangers naturally raises some safety concerns, especially for new home sellers. While your REALTOR® will help protect you from these risks, we recommend:

  • Never give home tours by yourself. A REALTOR® should always be present.
  • Hide valuables and all electronics prior to any home visits or open houses.
  • Remove mail, bills, and personal checks from places where they can be seen by those touring your home.
  • Take stock of the state of your home after an open house to make sure everything is locked and in place.

What is the standard commission for a Real Estate agent? 

Real estate agents work on a commission basis, making a percentage of the sale or purchase price of the home their client is buying or selling. Typically, as a seller, you’ll pay 6 percent of the sale price, with half of the total serving as the buyer’s agent’s commission.

Keep in mind that the commission is always negotiable up front, depending on local market factors or your own situation. For example, if you’re going to be using the same agent to help you sell your house and also to buy your new home, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate since they’ll be getting two commissions.


Selling your home?

We hope that you found our frequently asked questions from home sellers useful. Get a customized CMA report from Garry Real Estate and recommendations on what is the best way to sell your home. 

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