6 Questions to Ask your REALTOR to Sell your Home with Confidence

Real Estate Agent with Falcon Property Company

How do you determine value?

Determine Home ValueA competent REALTOR will examine the market for homes similar to yours that have sold over the past six-to-twelve months in your immediate area to determine which are most similar to yours. They should also look at the houses that didn't sell to get a feeling for what went wrong. Armed with that knowledge, skilled agents should be able to give you a Fair Market Value for which your home should sell. But don't be fooled by a Price Wizard who is trying to "buy your listing."

Should I price my home high to negotiate?

The time your house sits on the market costs you money - in additional mortgage payments, additional taxes and expenses, and not being able to get on with the next phase of your life. But most importantly, there is a perceived "stigma" in the mind of prospective Buyers if a house takes too long to sell. They wonder what's wrong with it if no one else wants to buy it. Some areas of the country add negotiating room, but Colorado Springs historically sells for 98.7% of asking price, even during slower markets. 

When is the best time to sell?

All too often people tell me they are going to wait until Spring or Summer to put their house on the market. The truth of the matter is, Buyers are always moving and need a place to live. If you wait until the seasonal 'listing rush,' you are in competition with all the other people who are waiting for warmer weather like you are. It's always a good time to sell. My response to "When is the best time to sell?" Whenever you're ready.

Do I have to fix everything I know is wrong with my home?

There are no perfect houses. Even newly built homes have unexpected problems. My advice to Sellers is to plan on fixing those items they know to be health or safety concerns. Cosmetic matters may or may not be negotiated during the course of a contract if you so choose. But even though you don't have to fix everything, you are required by law to disclose what you know to be materially wrong. Buyers are much more forgiving of future mishaps if they know going in that there were previous difficulties, rather than finding out six months later that the leaking pipe has been fixed five times before and you hadn't mentioned it. 

Can I keep the earnest money?

In the state of Colorado, a competent agent for the Buyer will make sure the dates and deadlines are being met, and it is rare that a Seller would be able to keep a Buyer's earnest money, even if the sale doesn't make it to the closing table. In any contract, there are legal and legitimate ways to terminate prior to closing. If everyone's doing their job efficiently, you will not be able to keep the earnest money. Hopefully it's a moot point as you sit at the closing table to transfer ownership to the Buyer.

Should I take the first offer?

No matter how good or competent or experienced your agent is, the reality is that Buyers end up determining the market value of a home. What a ready and able Buyer is willing to pay is often the deciding factor. When a home comes on the market, the people who are looking for a home like yours are usually the first ones to see it. They know what's out there and have a good sense of what yours is worth. If they've been looking and make an immediate offer, they are often the most motivated and excited prospects. Take them seriously. Negotiate if you need to. A quick sale at the right price is in your best interest.

Originally published by Mimi Foster as Be Confident You're Doing All You Can to Sell Your Home

Comments (9)

Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is very good information to share with prospective home sellers.

Nov 25, 2019 05:33 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Great list, Mimi. I'm working on a post about the questions one needs to ask agents before hiring them to list a home.

Nov 25, 2019 05:43 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

These are all questions that we hear from prospective sellers and we definitely have to be prepared to answer them and educate them because they have likely heard the wrong answer from friends, media, etc.

Nov 25, 2019 05:43 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Mimi - a feeling of confidence comes from experience and knowledge.  Of course it can work when real estate is the topic.  Good list for prospective home sellers.  

Nov 25, 2019 06:09 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Mimi. This is terrific and answers those questions very well.

Nov 25, 2019 06:21 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

These are definitely questions that have been, and will continue to be, asked. And the answers are right on!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Nov 25, 2019 06:22 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hi Mimi - This is stellar advice from someone who knows and has the passion within to help all buyers and sellers. 

Nov 25, 2019 10:01 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You again?  I mean, um, hey, that's a pretty good list!

As to repairs, I would recommend that sellers fix the obvious things.  It makes the house look cared for!  When I see repairs I suggest to the buyer that it's better to see a fixed issue than a damaged, unfixed one... 

Unfixed?  Good word?  Bad word?  I just asked the author I know!  Um, you know, like, how about, yeah, uh, like capricious?  Unreckonable?  Fluctuant?  Fickle?  Oh, helter skelter?  Wayward?  Gee, English is tough!

Nov 25, 2019 11:55 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Wavery?  Mercurial?  Unquivered?  Precarious?

On a college exam day a bunch of us decided to use this phrase on all our exams:  the fragile and mercurial essence of the public confidence.

On one I got back the prof had underlined it and said, "Good point!"  Ha!

Nov 25, 2019 12:00 PM