FAQ's

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How much commission do you charge?

Commission is negotiable, period.  Don’t let any salesperson tell you otherwise.  This being said, the saying “you get what you pay for,” often is true when it comes to real estate.  If a salesperson offers a lower commission, do you think they will negotiate aggressively on your behalf when it comes to the price?  Also, if you were working for a reduced hourly wage from your “normal,” would you work as hard as you normally would?  The answer is likely not.  Choosing an agent based solely on the fact they offer the lowest commission amount is a top mistake made by home sellers when choosing a salesperson to sell their home.

When is the best time to sell my home?

This frequently asked question cannot be answered with a simple or general answer.  Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from real estate community to real estate community.  In most cases, the spring months are the best time to be selling a home.   Since every home seller’s situation is different, you should discuss the timing of your home sale with your preferred agent.  In some cases, selling a home during the Autumn and winter months maybe better than waiting until the spring real estate market.  This is due to a combination of many factors including lower competition and that serious buyers are always looking for a home, just to mention a couple factors.

How much is my home worth?

Most home owners want to know how much their home is worth.  This frequently asked question is another one that cannot be answered with a generalized answer.  One of the best perks to owning a home is the ability to make it your own and improve it how you’d like.  Finding out how much your home is worth is not something that should be done without asking a top local agent.

Why is the ratable value different than what you say my home is worth?

The ratable value (RV) is the value set by the local authority or council in order to determine rates for a property. The RV is also known as the capital value (CV) or the government valuation (GV). The RV doesn’t usually consider anything that makes a property better or worse than others in the area. For example, the condition of the house and land, chattels included or landscaping improvements.  A skilled real estate professional can give you a registered valuation. They will utilize local knowledge of the area and review all sales records to establish a value. You can be more confident of the valuation if the agent has extensive industry experience. A market value is what a willing buyer is prepared to pay for the property – it’s that simple!

What is the difference between a list price and sale price?

This frequently asked question can be answered very easily.  The list price is the price a home is currently listed for sale at.  The sale price is the price a home is sold at.  A top salesperson should be able to suggest a list price that ends up being very close to the final sale price.

How do you determine how much my home is worth?

There are a handful of methods that Realtors use to determine the value of a home.  The most common method to determining the value of a home is by completing a comparative market analysis.  A comparative market analysis is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes in the past 6-12 months.  A comparative market analysis, also known as a “CMA,” isn’t a crystal ball that determines what a home will sell for, however, if performed by a top salesperson, it should greatly narrow the sale price range. A professionally completed “CMA” will take into account many features of not only a home, but also the local area and neighborhood.  Considerations that a professionally completed “CMA” include, but is not limited to: 


1. Square footage 

2. Number of bedrooms 

3. Number of bathrooms 

4. Upgrades to kitchen 

5. Window quality 

6. Roof age 

7. Lot features 

8. Location; primary or neighborhood street? 

9. Style of residence 

10. Flooring type

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Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?

This frequently asked question often leads to a common pricing mistake that sellers make.  Many sellers believe they should price their home $5,000 higher than what a top Realtor suggests to leave room for negotiations and low-ball offers.  A well-priced home will sell quickly and will sell for close to the listing price.  There is no need to leave room for negotiations, as today’s home buyers are very well educated.  A seller who prices their home high to leave room for negotiations can be costing themselves more money than if they price it to reflect the suggested market value.

How long does the listing agreement last?

Most of the frequently asked questions that relate to exclusive right to sell contracts are not able to be answered with a universal answer.  When it comes to the length of a listing agreement, every real estate agent will have a different preferred length.  One thing to keep in mind when asking about the length of a listing agreement is the average days on the market.  If the average days on the market in your local real estate market are 75, a 90-day listing agreement may not be enough.

What happens if I’m not happy and want to cancel the contract?

This frequently asked question is not one sellers like to ask when selling a home, however, it can come up frequently.  The hope when selling a home is a quick sale and top dollar.  This isn’t always the case though.  Every state and contract has different terms but generally speaking, if you decide to cancel the listing agreement, you could possibly be responsible for any expenses incurred by the real estate agent and their agency.

Do I need to provide permits or anything for my deck, shed, fencing, or additions?

Every municipality is different, but in general, when making an improvement or change to a piece of property or land, a certificate of compliance (and/or permit) is required.  When selling a home, potential buyers have the right to ask for certificates of compliance for any improvements, such as decks, patios, or sheds.  Some buyer’s may not ask for any permits and some may.  Technically, you do not need to provide any permits or certificates of compliance, however, you could lose a potential buyer over a simple fence permit.

How do I respond to low ball offers?

When selling a home, it’s best to think of any decision as a business decision rather than an emotional one.  Low ball offers still happen, unfortunately.  Dealing with low ball offers can sometimes lead to the sale of a home, if handled properly.  The worse decision you can make if you receive a low-ball offer is not responding.  Some home owners are so upset they decide they do not want to respond to a low-ball offer, which ultimately ends any potential chance for a deal.  A counter offer, even if it’s close to the list price, is better than letting a potential buyer walk!

How do you plan on marketing my home?

A comprehensive marketing plan and strategy is something that you should expect from your agent when selling a home.  The days of placing a sign in front of a property and waiting for someone to sell it are over.  With the evolution and the impact the internet has had on the real estate industry, it’s critical that not only is your home marketed through “traditional” avenues, such as newspapers and mailings, but it must also get maximum exposure online. A top salesperson should have a quality website, quality real estate blog, and a strong social media presence.  The importance of where a Realtors website ranks in search results is critical since over 90% of buyers are beginning their home search online!

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Why isn’t anyone looking at my home?

This frequently asked question can be a fairly complex answer.  In most cases, however, the reason your home is not being looked at by potential buyer’s is due to the price.  Buyers who feel a home is priced to high will choose to look at other homes before yours, likely finding one before they reach yours.  Other possible reasons your home is not being looked at could include a poor curb appeal, a poor location, or lackluster marketing efforts from your salesperson.

Can you recommend service providers who may be needed throughout the transaction?

No matter what industry, top professionals enjoy working with top professionals.  This is no different in real estate.  A top Realtor should be able to provide high quality mortgage professionals, attorneys, contractors, movers, or other services needed throughout the home selling process.

How frequently and by which methods do you communicate with your home sellers?

Like many of the answers to these frequently asked questions, the frequency and methods of communication will vary from agent to agent.  At a bare minimum, you should expect to hear from your agent at least once a week when selling your home.  The methods in which a Realtor communicates with their sellers should be tailored to each individual seller.  If a home owner prefers communication via e-mail, the agent should communicate via e-mail.  The same can be said about text messaging, phone conversations, or face-to-face interaction.

Should I be present during showings at my home?

Easy question to answer – no!  There are many reasons why sellers should not be present during showings.  The primary reason why you should not be present at showings of your home is potential buyers can feel uncomfortable to talk open and freely with the agent about your home.  They do not want to say something that could offend you, the seller.  The best idea is to leave shortly before the scheduled showing and come back once you are certain the buyer and the agent have left your home.

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