An easy answer is when it’s best for you! Obviously, if you are closing on a home purchase, moving for work, or want to get settled before the new school year, you have a timeline you need to work with. But, if you have the luxury of choosing when to sell, there are a few considerations. Spring is traditionally a time when there are more buyers looking, but you may also have more competition. Fall, and closer to the holidays, is a good time to get a higher price from buyers that need to move before the new year. Watching the market is always smart. A seller’s market, meaning there are more buyers than sellers, which is current state of the market, is always a good time to list.
Determining your home’s market value is one very important reason to use a real estate agent. We will do a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help you set the correct listing price. This includes recent sales of comparable homes, similar homes that are under contract, and homes that are listed in the same price range of your home. Then we compare features of the homes including the size, style, number of rooms, age of the home, amenities, condition, lot size and placement, and the location or neighborhood. (Note: the tax appraiser’s assessed value of your home has nothing to do with the market price.)
What your home is worth and what you should list it at are not the same. You always want to have room to negotiate with buyers, so setting a “firm” price to avoid the negotiation process is not usually a good strategy. Neither is setting a very high price to “see what we get.” Setting an unreasonably high price usually results in longer time on the market, which does not look good to buyers and will frustrate you. Many sellers ask about the price that Zillow or other real estate websites give for their home. These are not reliable for a pricing strategy because these sites are only taking into consideration very general demographics.
The length of time on market will depend upon the market in your area at the time of listing and whether the home is priced realistically. We are always working to get you the highest price in the shortest time possible. If you need to sell fast, that should be reflected in the list price.
The standard real estate commission is 6% of the sales price, split between the listing and selling sides. Commissions are not paid directly to the agents, but to our brokers. They collect fees for marketing your home on MLS and other websites, administrative costs, insurance fees, and required fees for storing your transaction records as required by law. The broker then pays the agent/s for representing you in the transaction. As your agents, we will work very hard to represent you ethically and with your best interest always as the top priority.
I recommend that you give the home a thorough cleaning – get rid of anything you aren’t taking with you, declutter surfaces, take care of repairs, make sure the major mechanical systems are in good operation, have the exterior pressure cleaned and the landscaping spruced up. You may also consider repainting if it is overdue or if the home is painted in bold colors.
We will decide together on how to handle showings. We can set parameters as to the hours and days that showings are allowed and how to notify you in advance. Homes show best when the homeowner is not present, but if this is not possible, we will work together to create the best experience for the buyer that also fits your lifestyle. Usually we use an electronic lockbox that allows buyers’ agents to access your house key. These boxes also notify us any time they are opened, so no one is accessing your home without my knowledge. If you have pets in the home that need to be tended to during showings, we will work out the best way to handle them. Furthermore, we try to get feedback from each showing and pass that information back to you.
Hands down, our best marketing tool is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) This is the database all real estate agents use when searching for properties for buyers. And buyers are using websites like Realtor.com, which is why all my listings automatically show up on these websites. My broker will list your home on our company website, and I may also use additional avenues such as open houses, brokers’ opens, and direct mailing, depending on your home and market.
Incentives are something I like to consider on a case-by-case basis. There are certain circumstances where it may be smart to offer an incentive. Some incentives can be offered from the start. For example, if your home is in an area that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, we may offer an incentive to agents to bring us a buyer. Or if you know the appliances are at the end of their lifetime, you may offer a home warranty to help the buyers replace them. Other incentives, like helping with closing costs, are better used during the negotiation process.
It’s smart to disclose any issues right up front. Your buyers will have the right to inspect the home, so it’s best they not be hit with bad news after going under contract. If you know of problems with the appliances, plumbing, electric, HVAC, roof, foundation, property lines, or deed, these need to be listed on the Seller’s Disclosure. If there are repairs that you can have done before listing, go ahead and take care of those. Anything that cannot be remedied before listing should be considered when setting your list price.
It sometimes happens that a home does not appraise at or above the contract price. When this happens, we go back to negotiations to determine if we can save the deal by adjusting both the sales price and the terms of the contract to the satisfaction of both buyer and seller. Usually we are able to work it out! You always have the right to refuse to lower the price to meet the appraisal, but it’s usually in your best interest to try to work with the buyer to resolve the issue as the next appraisal could result in the same valuation. If you are concerned about the appraisal value, go ahead and have your home appraised before setting the listing price.
A multiple-offer scenario is a fun position to be in as a seller. I will help you through the negotiation process to select the right buyer– and that is not always the one with the highest offer. We need to consider how strong the offer is, whether they are offering cash or financing, how much they are financing and what type of loan they are using. How much they are offering to put in escrow and the terms of the inspection process are indications of their commitment to the deal. You may also draw on sentiment: are they buying your home as an investment or a place to raise their family?
We have a clear and outlined process for our listings that we’ll go over with you in-depth before we get started. It’s just one of the ways we make sure your experience is as pleasant, smooth, and surprise-free as possible. For more on our processes, download our Harmon Home “Guide to Selling.”
@2021 HARMON HOME TEAM
1610 West End Ave., Ste 115, Nashville TN 37203 | 615.522.5100
1610 West End Ave., Ste 115, Nashville TN 37203
@2020 HARMON HOME TEAM