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Selling a Home in Central Texas

Seller's FAQs

What do I need to know about selling my home?

The best thing you can do for yourself when getting ready to sell your home is to find an experienced real estate agent who will help guide you through the process. Other things you can do are research home values in your area, improve your home’s curb appeal, and begin to de-clutter your home. Fully understanding the intricacies of the local market and neighborhood will help you sell your home for the most money.

How do I prepare my house for sale?

Your Realtor will provide specific, detailed information about how to get your house ready to put on the market, but in general, you’ll want to repair any major issues you’re aware of. You’ll want to make it sparkling clean. You’ll want to tidy up your landscaping — fill in any gaping holes, and maybe put down some fresh mulch. Declutter your home and clean it thoroughly and deeply.

What is staging and when is it needed?

Staging is arranging furniture, artwork, and knick knacks to show off your home to its very best advantage, and in such a way that will entice potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.

Why are professional photos important?

Professional photographers have special equipment that enable them to take the highest-quality images that highlight the best features of your home and make it look stunningly beautiful. Many buyers choose or eliminate homes to consider purchasing strictly by the quality of the photography. Taking photos with your smart phone and posting them may cost you a significant amount of money.

How do I get ready for my home's photo shoot?

Declutter, deep clean, and remove family photos. Have your home professionally staged if your real estate agent recommends it.

What is a showing?

A showing is simply when a real estate agent shows your home to potential buyers. A showing is often conducted by a buyer’s agent, but may also be handled by your agent. A showing might take the form of an open house, where potential buyers tour your home, or a showing might be a brokers’ open house, where other real estate agents preview your home to see if it’s a good fit for their clients. Finally a showing could be just a single real estate agent and his or her clients.

What should I expect when my house is shown?

Almost certainly, your agent will ask you, your family and your pets to not be present when your home is being shown. Either your agent or an agent representing potential buyers will enter your home and walk through all the rooms of your house, showing off your home’s best features, and offering a feel for the character of your home.

What is an offer and how do I know which is right for me?

An “offer” is an official offer to purchase your home according to terms set forth in the offer. You will know if an offer is right if the buyer offers you terms that meet your expectations for the sale of your home, and if you and your Realtor believe the buyer has the resources to complete the transaction.

What is a counteroffer?

This is a response from the seller to an offer. Say a seller was asking $400,000 for a home. A buyer offers to pay $350,000, and the seller thought that was too low of an offer. The seller makes a counteroffer of $375,000 to the buyer. The buyer can accept the counter, make a counter of his or her own, or choose to terminate negotiations. An experienced Realtor who knows how to negotiate will be of great importance during negotiations.

What are contingencies?

Contingencies are conditions that must be met in order for the sale of a property to close. For example, a home might have to meet a particular appraisal amount in order for a sale to go through. A buyer may have to sell their current home before they can complete the purchase of the new home. Or a sale may be contingent upon certain repairs being completed.

How do I know when to negotiate and what for?

This is where having a seasoned Realtor on your side is essential. He or she will help you know when and what to negotiate for.

What happens if I get multiple offers?

Lucky you! You can decide which offer to accept or choose to negotiate with whichever buyer yo want. This decision may be based solely on dollar amount, or you may consider other factors, such as whether a buyer is paying cash or must secure a mortgage. You might also consider whether a potential buyer’s purchase of your home is contingent upon them selling their own home or how quickly they can close.

What should I expect when I go under contract?

You can expect the buyers to execute the inspection they likely asked for in the contract. You may have to make repairs as specified in the contract, and the buyers may request additional repairs based on the results of the inspection. An appraisal will likely take place.

What is a home inspection and why are they doing the inspection?

An inspection is conducted by a professional who is trained to carefully examine your home for anything that is wrong or could go wrong in the near future. He or she will check that your roof, for example, is in good shape. The inspector will check your HVAC, easily visible plumbing and electrical bits, as well. They’ll check to make sure the foundation is in good shape.

Buyers want to ensure they’re not purchasing a home that has a lot of problems, or if problems are indeed identified, they may come back to you, the seller, for adjustments to the contract to get any major items fixed.

What isn't looked at when my home is being inspected?

The inspector won’t tear apart your house to check plumbing and electrical. They don’t check for pests; you’ll have to hire a separate company to do a pest check. They likely won’t check swimming pools or septic systems. They don’t assess landscape conditions or sprinkler systems. They may or may not check your appliances.

I need to do repairs on my home, what do I do?

Ask your Realtor for recommendations for tradespeople who can fix what needs to be fixed. Get bids and get the work done.

What is a home appraisal and why is my home being appraised?

A home appraisal is an independent, unbiased estimate of the market value of your home. The buyer’s lender will require an appraisal of the home the buyer is considering purchasing to ensure that the amount of money the borrower is requesting is appropriate.

What is a survey and why is it needed?

A property survey is a document that shows your property boundaries and the land and structures that comprise that piece of property. It’s a schematic diagram. Mortgage companies often require a survey to ensure that the loan they’re considering funding is appropriate for the actual, legally defined piece of property.

What do I need to do before closing?

Before closing on the sale of your home, be sure to get all contingencies taken care of. Make sure the title is clear, and get final mortgage approval. Review your closing disclosure. Do a final walk-through of the property, if this was stipulated in the contract. Confirm and prepare any documents you need to bring to closing. In many cases, all documentation, with the exception of your ID, will have been collected or prepared by the mortgage or title company prior to closing, but it’s good to double-check.

What can I expect at closing?

Expect to sign a lot of papers. When you get to closing, all the hard work is already done and you won’t have to produce any additional documents (other than your ID); you’ll just wear out your hand writing your John Hancock many, many times under the guidance of a title agent. You may have to hand over a check or money order, or that may have been taken care of prior to the closing meeting. At the conclusion of the meeting, you may hand over the keys to the property to the buyers or title company. Some closings take place with both sellers and buyers present in the same room; others are done separately. Still other closings are executed remotely, where some documents may be signed digitally and others are mailed back and forth for signatures.