Selling Q&A

Who pays your Brokerís real estate commission?

In most cases, the seller pays all real estate commissions.

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When is the best time to sell?

There is no best time to sell per se. Selling a house depends on supply, demand and other economic factors. But the time of year in which you choose to sell can make a difference both in the amount of time it takes to sell your home and in the ultimate selling price. Because many buyers prefer to move in the spring or summer, the market starts to heat up as early as February. Families with children are eager to buy so they can move during summer vacation, before the new school year begins.

Weather conditions are less of a consideration in more temperate climates, but most of the time, the real estate market picks up in February, with the strongest selling season usually lasting through summer and early fall. By November the market tends to slow as buyers and sellers turn their attention to the holidays.

If this makes you wonder if you should take your home off the market for the holidays, consider the advice of veteran agents: You are always more likely to sell your house if it is available to show to prospective buyers continuously.

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How should I price my home?

It's very important to price your home according to current market conditions. Because the real estate market is continually changing and market fluctuations have an effect on property values, it's imperative to select your list price based on the most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.

A so-called comparative market analysis provides the background data upon which to base your list-price decision. When you prepare to sell and are interviewing agents, study each agent's comparable sales report (the data should be no more than six months old).

If all agents agree on a price range for your home, go with the consensus. Watch out for an agent whose opinion of value is considerably higher than the others.

An appraisal, which generally costs $200 to $500 to perform, is a certified appraiser's opinion of the value of a home at any given time. Appraisers review numerous factors including recent comparable sales, location, square footage and construction quality.

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What information should I disclose about my property?

Obligations to disclose information about a property vary.

Under the strictest laws, you and your agent, if you have one, are required to disclose all facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property, which are known or accessible to you.

This might include: homeowners association dues; whether or not work done on the house meets local building codes and permits requirements; the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises that a prospective buyer might not notice, such as a dog that barks every night or poor TV reception; any death within three years on the property; all items included in a sellerís property disclosure, if required in the contract; and any restrictions on the use of the property, such as zoning ordinances or association rules.

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