People sell their properties for many reasons. You’re tired of renting and want to be a Lake Havasu homeowner. You’ve lived in your house for a very long time and want something else. There’s a new bundle of joy on the way and your starter home no longer works for your family. Maybe your children moved out and you want to downsize. Find out what a home seller needs to know before listing their property.
Home Seller Q & A
What Does a “Seller’s Market” Mean?
For a home seller, a seller’s market is a good thing. This means that you have more buyers out looking for homes than you do homes for sale. When that happens, prices go up. For a seller, that’s more money in their pocket.
How Do I Determine My Listing Price?
The market determines prices. Just because you overspent on upgrading your Havasu home does not mean that that is what your house is worth. A home seller needs to talk to their real estate agent about the comps in the area. Look at only those homes similar in size, age, and amenities to yours that sold in the last 30 to 60 days.
Should I Hold an Open House?
An open house brings much more traffic to your door than holding private showings. You never know if the buyer of your home might be among those that show up to an open house. While it doesn’t guarantee you a buyer, open houses provide an easy way to get your home seen by as many people as possible at one time.
Do I Really Need to Stage my House?
The short answer? Yes. Real estate experts say that a staged home sells approximately 88% faster than a non-staged home. Remember the three “D’s”: deep clean, declutter, depersonalize. For a few hundred dollars, you can hire a professional to come in and stage your property. But, if it’s not in the budget, you can stage it yourself. Think about what a model home would like and emulate that idea in each room. You want to highlight how spacious and livable your Havasu home truly is so that the buyer can picture themselves in it.
What am I Legally Obligated to Disclose to the Buyer?
In Arizona, a home seller must fill out a “spuds” form (Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement). On this form, the seller must legally disclose any issues that they are aware of that could have a negative impact on the property’s value. This includes any issues they were told about from the prior owner (floods, plumbing problems, electrical issues, pest problems, etc.). Deaths, murders, known sex offenders in the area, and any resident diagnosed with AIDS or HIV need not be disclosed on the form.
Can I Sell My Property “As Is”?
In real estate terms, “as is” means exactly that. The buyer purchases your property exactly as they see it. The home seller is not obligated to repair anything to complete the sale. While you can sell your property “as is”, I recommend you fix up whatever you can before you list it. That will net you the best sale price in the end.
How Should I Handle a Lowball Offer?
Just because you priced your property at market value doesn’t mean you won’t receive a lowball offer. When that happens, a home seller has three options: counter, make concessions or just say no. Most sellers counter, especially if the buyer’s financials look good. Some may try to negotiate concessions (such as a quick closing date or foregoing a home inspection) in order to make the deal work. But, you can always simply turn down the offer flat and wait for someone else. That tends to be the riskier move. (“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” and so on.) Don’t be discouraged if the only offer you get is way below your asking price. Talk to your real estate agent about which move would be best to make next.
What Can Happen to Stop a Sale in Escrow?
Finding a buyer for your Havasu home is just the beginning. When you enter escrow, some things may crop up that will stop a sale in its tracks. One of them might be that the buyer didn’t get approved for their mortgage loan. Sometimes, the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed upon sale price. Other times, a home inspection might uncover problems with your property that the buyer doesn’t want to deal with. Until all the paperwork has been signed and keys exchange hands, a sale is not complete.
What Happens if A Buyer Backs Out Without a Legitimate Reason?
When a Havasu home enters escrow, a buyer submits an earnest money deposit. This money proves the buyer’s good faith in the purchase of the property with the home seller. Sometimes, it’s $500 to $1000. Other times, it might be a percentage of the agreed sale price. If the buyer gets cold feet anywhere along the line and backs out for no legitimate reason, the home seller keeps the earnest money deposit. Unfortunately, that also means you’re back to square one with having to list the property and find another buyer.
Who Pays the Real Estate Agents’ Commissions?
Commissions for the real estate agents representing both the buyer and seller get paid by the seller after closing. This comes directly out of the money the seller gets for the home. Typically, commissions run about 3% of the purchase price for each agent. However, that only happens once a sale is complete. If no sale happens, no one gets paid.