Frequently Asked Questions (Seller's Perspective)
Why do I need an agent when selling a home?
When you decide to sell your home, you can do it on your own or solicit the help of a REALTOR. Many factors go into the process of selling a home. Specifically, you need to decide how to set the price of your home; know what the market conditions are like; know what your competition is; decide on how you want to advertise your home or get the word out that you are now in the market; know what to do to get your home ready for the market. After it is on the market, you need to be flexible on showing the property – do you want to be at any and all showings; set your advertising schedule; keep your home in “show” condition; be available on weekends for an open house; take calls at all times from folks wanting to see the home. Upon getting an offer, will you accept the first one; if so, how will inspections be done? Is the prospective buyer able to finance the home? Who will negotiate any changes proposed by you or the buyer? When will you close on the property? How and where will you close – through an attorney, a title company, or other option? When will the buyer obtain possession of the home? Will you have any liabilities for the property after you close? A licensed REALTOR is a professional who can help you through this maze of buying or selling property.
How does an agent get paid?
Most agents will not be paid unless they are able to sell your property. An agent is normally paid upon the closing of the property’s sale. The amount the agent is paid is determined in your Listing contract. It is usually a percentage of the sale price. This amount is split among the buyer’s agent as well as your selling agent.
What is the normal process for selling a home?
To sell a property through a REALTOR that is associated with Multiple Listing Service (MLS), a Listing contract initiates the process. This is where your property information – number of rooms, style of home, deed information, and construction amenities – is gathered for publication through the REALTOR’s brokerage. The listing contract also specifies the length of time the REALTOR will be able to list your property for sale on the MLS, as well as the terms and conditions of how much you agree to pay the REALTOR upon the completion of the sale.
After the listing is posted, the REALTOR will set up the advertising schedule for your property, answer any inquiries from potential buyers and other REALTORs, confirm showings as specified at the time of listing, keep you abreast of marketing efforts on your home, provide feedback on showings, and present any and all offer to purchase your home.
How long will it take to sell my home?
The amount of time it takes to sell your home depends on the area you are located. Your REALTOR will be able to give you an idea of the time based on the recent history of sales in the area. In July 2006, for homes closed in the Louisville Metro area , the average home was on the market for 72 days. It then took these home 32 days, on average, to close.
After I accept an offer on my home, what can I expect to happen?
After accepting an offer your home you can expect it to take approximately 32 days before you close the sale. During this time, the buyer will schedule any and all inspections as deemed necessary under the terms and conditions of the contract. These must be completed within the time frame specified. After the inspections, the buyer is entitled to ask for any repairs, replacements or corrections. The seller then has a set amount of time to decide which repairs will be completed to satisfy the buyer’s concerns. The repairs may be made before the closing or monies may be exchanged to offset the repairs. Your REALTOR will be there to advise you during this process. Upon the completion of these negotiations, the primary items left to set are the financing and closing arrangements. The Buyer’s mortgage office controls this aspect of the sale. Upon final approval of the loan, the mortgage officer forwards the information to the closing attorney or title company and requests a closing date that is usually agreeable to both parties in advance. The closing company then prepares a preliminary Settlement Statement on a HUD-1 form and forwards it for review by both parties. This advises both parties of any monies to bring to closing and or any monies that will be paid to them at the time of closing.