5 Important Questions to Ask Before You List Your Home
1. What is the best time frame to list your home?
The best time to sell a home varies depending on the area, and the real estate market is forever changing. Historically, late spring has been the national trend to be the best time to list your home and sell, most likely because families want to wait till school is out, and because homeowners want to plan a move when the weather is decent and when it won’t interrupt their summer vacation. Certain studies suggest homes that were listed between May 1st and May 15th sold 18.5 days faster than homes sold at other times throughout the year. These homes sold for around 1% higher than the average listing, netting a premium of about $1,700. Since every situation is different, home sellers should discuss the timing of their home sale with their realtor. In some cases, the competition is lower in the winter and fall months. A professional realtor will help you research the most strategic timing.
2. How will you market your listing?
A good real estate agent will have a detailed marketing plan to get your home sold. That plan will include posting property information on all the popular online real estate sites to expose it to as many people as possible. The real estate agent will also distribute the property details to buyers’ agents and their own network of prospective buyers. Offline tools like Just Listed postcards, email/text campaigns and newspaper ads are more options. Home-sellers can support these efforts by sharing the listing details within their own social media contacts and networks and posting flyers strategically around college campuses, libraries or other well-trafficked places. Homeowners can provide significant support to their realtor by making sure their home is priced right and kept in pristine condition during the selling process. Make sure the house looks its best in marketing photos, videos, and during showings.
3. What is the track record of your real estate agent?
If you already have a realtor, have you researched their records? How many homes have they sold in the past few years? What do their reviews say about them? Top-producing realtors will be able to find qualified buyers and sell your home as quickly as possible, so you should expect nothing less.
4. What does the listing agreement entail?
You probably already know by now that a listing agreement is a written contract between a homeowner and a real estate agent that explains the rights the agent has to sell the homeowner’s house. Both parties are legally bound to abide by the regulations stated in the contract, so make sure you understand all the terms and conditions. The listing agreement keeps the homeowner and the real estate agent on the same page so that both parties understand each of their responsibilities and their mutual commitment.
5. How is a comparative market analysis (CMA) conducted?
A comparative market analysis is a listing of homes similar to yours, called “comparables,” that are currently for sale or were recently sold in the area. A CMA differs from an appraisal in that it is prepared by a real estate agent, not a certified appraiser. The CMA demonstrates a reasonable price range you can expect from your home once you officially list it.