Answers to most of your questions
Why should I use a real estate agent?
A real estate agent is more than just a sales person. A
real estate agent may act on your behalf, providing you
with advice and guidance when buying or selling a home.
Due to the constant changing of the market, the
information available on listings is not always 100%
accurate. There are times when you need the most
current information about what has sold or is for sale,
and the only way to get that is with a real estate
You don't need to use a commissioned real estate agent
to sell your home, but you may want to consider the
benefits of having a real estate agent versus not using
a real estate agent.
In addition, many people would rather use an Agent due
to the complexities of modern Real Estate transactions
since they usually incorporate legal and financial
attributes, which takes them well beyond more simple
transactions, such as the sale of an automobile.
What's the Difference between a "Listing
Agent" and "Selling Agent"?
Listing Agents usually deal with
sellers, and are the ones who will list a property for
sale on the Multiple Listing Service.
(also Buyers Agents) mostly deal with the homebuyers,
usually only listing just a few homes for sale. They
will sell the homes (which have been placed in the MLS)
via the listing agents.
The majority of agents will focus on one or the other.
Some agents will also divide their time between sellers
and buyers and are usually regarded as the best ones
since they are dealing with both sides of the coin.
If you phone an agent from a magazine or newspaper ad,
you are usually contacting the listing agent. These
agents will place ads to show the seller that they are
making an effort to sell their home. Also their
advertising efforts can draw others who may decide to
sell their homes.
What is an "Exclusive Right to Sell"
This type of listing is the most commonly used and is
the most effective. With this type of listing the agent
does the most work to sell your home they will usually
advertise your home, place it into the MLS, market your
home to other agents and even hold open houses for your
home. Only with this type of listing does an agent
expect to earn money back on their investments on
selling your home.
Is there a "best time" to put my house on
Along with economic factors such as supply and demand,
the time of year you choose to sell can impact both the
length of time it takes to sell your home and its
ultimate selling price.
Typically, the real estate market picks up around
February, continues strong through late May and June,
and tapers off during July and August. The summer is
usually the busiest time for moving since school is out
and buyers may be looking to get their children in
school before the new school year. September through
November generally marks a rally not as strong as late
winter and spring, followed by a slowdown from
Thanksgiving through and beyond the Christmas and New
Year holiday period.
How should I price my home?
You must take into account the prevailing state of the
real estate market and especially local market
conditions. The real estate market continually changes,
and market fluctuations affect property values. So it is
critical to determine your listing price based on the
most recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.
It would be a good idea to get a CMA, also known as
Comparable Market Analysis.
What are disadvantages of pricing my home
on the high end?
Well, several factors may come into play:
You might help sell similar homes that are priced
Your home may be on the market longer.
You could lose market interest and qualified buyers.
You might create a negative impression of the
You could lose money as a result of making extra
mortgage payments while incurring taxes, insurance
and unplanned maintenance costs.
You may have to accept less money.
A potential buyer may face appraisal and financing
problems resulting from the inflated price.
Do I have to sell to the person with the
No. If you prefer a lower-priced offer, perhaps with a
better-qualified buyer and/or more attractive terms, you
can accept that offer instead. Or you can give
counteroffers to one or more of the buyers.
Beware, however, that if you turn down a full-priced
offer, you may owe your agent a full commission even if
you decide not to sell your home.
Can I back out of my contract with one
buyer and accept a new, higher offer from a second
It would be very unwise to try to back out of the
contract because a purchase offer that's accepted is a
legal contract that the buyer can seek legal remedies to
What is a counteroffer?
A counteroffer is an offer made by one party that makes
changes to the original or latest offer of the other
What does an appraisal mean?
A report made by a qualified person setting forth an
opinion or estimate of value. The term also refers to
the process by which this estimate is obtained.
In conventional mortgages and in the HUD-FHA Direct
Endorsement Program, the lender receives a copy of the
complete report, showing the basis for the appraiser's
In VA cases and in HUD applications processed by HUD,
the lender receives only a statement of the estimate of
value, without any detailed supporting data.
What are comparables or comps?
These are referred to as recently sold properties that
are similar in size, location, and amenities to the home
for sale. These properties help an appraiser determine
the fair market value of a property.
responsible for making repairs, if any, as a result of
home inspection reports conducted for the buyer?
Because the buyer orders one or more home inspections
doesn't obligate the seller to make repairs or
modifications as a result of those inspections.
Typically, however, inspection reports are used to
negotiate repairs of major problems, or environmental or
safety hazards that may be noted. The purchase contract
should provide guidance for these negotiations.