Your Questions About Selling Your Home Answered

Christina Giffin September 22, 2023

If you have a home to sell, you’re probably excited to get the process started. There are many things you need to consider when selling your property, and it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by the task. The good news is I’ve done extensive research about what you need to know about selling your home – and I’ve answered the questions you’re probably wondering:

How Will You Determine My Home’s Value?

To determine your home’s value and set a listing price, I complete a Comparative Market Analysis. The CMA uses recent sales of homes close in geography, age, size, and features to yours, (a CMA is not the same as an appraisal, which a licensed appraiser can perform).

Is It a Good Idea to Start High?

Many sellers like the idea of “starting high” to see if they get higher offers, but this strategy isn’t usually practical. First, buyers may not see your listing if they use a price filter set to what they expect prices in the area to run. Second, you run the risk of the appraisal coming in lower than your contract price, which will require your contract to be renegotiated or canceled. Third, and perhaps most importantly, if your listing price puts your home higher than your neighborhood value, your home will likely sit on the market longer as buyers wait for you to make a reduction. It’s best to set a realistic listing price in line with the market value that will bring you buyers quickly. My goal is always to get you the highest possible price in the shortest amount of time.

What Percentage of the Listing Price Can I Expect to Get?

The list-to-sell ratio is determined by dividing the selling price by the listing price and is largely market-driven. In a sellers’ market, which is when inventory is low, sellers may get close to 100% or over 100% if the home sells above list price. In a market with a large inventory of homes, a buyers’ market, buyers have more negotiating power, so the list-to-sell ratio may be closer to 90%. My goal is to get you as close to a 100% list-to-sell ratio as the market will bear.

How Soon Can I Get My Home on MLS?

Once we agree to work together, I will begin working with you on a timeline that suits your goals. Staging consultations, scheduling a professional photographer to take photos and videos of the property, and marketing preparation all need to happen before your home goes “live” on the MLS. Launching a home on the market needs to be done right and I take the time to make sure we knock it out of the park. If you are looking for an immediate listing, our market prep timeline can be completed in as little as 7 days.

What Do I Need to Do to Get Ready to List?

It’s a good idea to begin cleaning out or organizing storage spaces, closets, and drawers, and putting away some of your décor and belongings. You’ll want your home to show its spaces in the best way possible so taking a minimalistic approach is best. You may also want to have the exterior pressure washed and the landscaping cleaned up or refreshed. We can talk further about specific things that will help your home show better during our staging consultation.

How Will Showings Be Conducted?

You and I will agree on the terms you are comfortable with for showings. We want to make the home easily accessible to buyers without too much disruption to your personal life. All showings are scheduled in advance and we can discuss the ideal lead time you would like to have. We typically use electronic lockboxes that only active members of our local Real Estate Agents Association can access and any time the lockbox is accessed, I receive a notification.

How Will You Market My Property?

Marketing your listing is of the utmost importance. Most buyers find their properties online through the MLS (via their agent,), Zillow, or other search engines. Listings in our MLS system automatically show up on these sites within the day they become active. In addition, I directly share my listings with the agents in my vast network, on my website, and on my social media. We can discuss additional opportunities such as hosting open houses and marketing within your neighborhood.

How Long Will It Take to Find a Buyer?

Several factors influence the time it takes to find a buyer. These include the market conditions, price range (higher-priced or luxury homes typically take longer to sell,) location (whether your home is in a desirable neighborhood or a unique location,) and the condition of the home (is it move-in ready or in need of renovations?) In a balanced market, most houses, when priced accurately and without significant damage or extenuating circumstances, go under contract within thirty days. Homes sell faster in a seller’s market, while buyers take more time to look when inventory is high. Today, we are in a very active seller’s market and have less than one month of inventory.

Will You Qualify the Buyer?

When an offer is received, I will work with the buyer’s agent to vet the buyer and their offer. All offers should be accompanied by either a pre-approval from a mortgage lender or, if paying cash, by verification of funds available to cover the purchase price. Once you accept an offer, the buyer must put down the agreed upon escrow deposit, schedule any inspections as stipulated in the contract, and, if financing is involved, their lender will initiate the loan approval process. I stay in close contact with the buyer’s agent to make sure due process is followed.

What Are the Costs Involved?

The seller usually pays for the real estate agent fees, which are divided between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. The seller also pays their share of the property taxes, HOA dues, transfer taxes and recordation fees. If the full annual amount for taxes and HOA dues has been paid, the buyer will repay their prorated portion back to the seller at closing.
Thinking of selling? I’m here to help! Shoot me a message or give me a call today.

Work With Christina

Christina take great pride in the relationships. She builds and always works relentlessly on the client's behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals.