Before gathering information about selling property, you have to identify (or label) what type of seller you are. One size does not fit all. Just because you are considering selling property, you can not be lumped in with every type of seller. The information you need has to be relevant to you and your situation.
Sellers fall into several categories.
Sell and purchase another home – If you currently own property and plan to sell and purchase another home, your needs are specific. You are entering what may seem like a foreign country. The language used does have it roots in English, but the terminology does not always mean what it appears to mean. In the real estate world, there is a big difference between buyers and sellers. A person selling one home and purchasing another needs a guide to assist them in getting both transactions coordinated and completed smoothly. If you are planning on selling one home and purchasing another, you first have to determine the market value of your home as a starting point. You then have to figure what it will cost to sell the home. Add the cost to sell to the amount still owed and subtract that from your market value and you will have a rough idea of the proceeds you will have to work with when purchasing your new home.
Your market value has to be realistic, this is not what you think the house is worth. This should be what someone willing to pay for your house is willing to spend. For you, it is difficult to move past the emotional attachment (and the subtle impact that attachment has on your subconscious). The buyer is only attached to their MONEY. The buyer always has other options, including not buying anything.
Your cost to sell will include any repairs that need to be done to improve marketability, the fees charged by any sales assistance provider and settlement costs at closing.
Repairs include any updating, replacing or repainting. Updated, replaced and repainted sells. The original refrigerator that has the loose shelf won’t be overlooked by a potential buyer. The carpeting that needs more than cleaning won’t be missed by a potential buyer. The bedroom walls, all adorned with different paint colors won’t entice potential buyers.
Updated is encouraging, replaced indicates prior home care and repainted (a calm, neutral color) offers a buyer a palette that is more palatable.
The fees charged by sales assistance providers range from flat fees to a percentage of the sales price. They all happen to be negotiable. Take a moment and understand, whomever you choose is working for you and there must be an agreement on the cost of their services. None of it is written in stone.
Your costs a closing will include the title companies charges and any taxes you are required to pay. (Note, your contract may include concessions made to the purchaser) These costs can be estimated at the time you put your home on the market.
Short Sale – If you own a home and want to sell but owe more than the market value, some things may have changed. It is not like riding a bike. Laws in every jurisdiction change over time and if you owned in a different location, the laws may not be the same in your new location. Just because you have owned in the past, you can not assume anything about this transaction. You may be familiar with the terminology used, but the real estate environment has changed considerably in the past few years. A person attempting a short sale needs a guide to assist them in moving through the transaction process smoothly and comfortably. If you are upside down on your mortgage, you will be best served by speaking with a Realtor that has experience with short sales or contacting a title attorney that has experience with these sorts of transactions.
Selling property for an Estate – If you currently the executor of an estate that needs to liquidate real property, you certainly have different challenges ahead. The property must be marketed and sold with a clear title. Often, information will have to be dispersed to several people named in the will. There are times, when the decedent died intestate and the executor will have to liquidate assets to provide cash to cover final expenses. There may be a need to have the home cleared and cleaned and staged. We have found that most executors have a full plate and appreciate full service. Your transaction will require diplomacy and strong negotiating skills. If you are among this group of home sellers, you should check with the Register of Wills in the area and make sure you are proceeding according the laws of your jurisdiction.
Investor Selling- If you are in the market to sell real estate you purchased as an investment, your needs are quite different than those that are selling property that has been owner occupied. You face different challenges regarding potential financing and will be making business decisions rather than personal decisions. In many cases you will be selling distressed properties that you have renovated. You will need the assistance of someone familiar with the vehicles you will use to complete the transaction successfully. If you are selling property you purchased for investment purposes, you should sit down with an agent that is experienced in the instruments used by investors (i.e. 1031 exchange, builders contracts, etc.)
Relocating to another area- If you are relocating from the Washington, DC area, you may fit one of the other categories as well as this one. The fact that you are moving to a new area increases the probability that you need lots of information about the area you are moving to as well as assistance in your specific seller category. In addition to the information pertinent to your type, it is important that you have a source of local knowledge. Traffic patterns, schools, shopping and life style choices all come in to play when you are moving to a new area. If you are relocating from the DC area, you should make contact with an experienced agent. Although, there is a great deal of information on the internet, someone that actually lives and works in the area will know the nuances that exist in DC.
Bank owned/REO Property – If you are a representative of a financial institution that is seeking to liquidate it’s real property portfolio, you have needs that are specific in nature. Unfortunately, the large number of homes that fall into this category has created an overload on employees of financial institutions. Mortgage holders are under pressure from the Federal Government, investors, the media, share holders and the public. This situation has created a disparity between what many financial institutions are receiving and what they are paying for the services they receive. We offer concrete solutions to financial institutions. We understand that those faced with the liquidation of property need support and patience. If you are considering adding another Realtor to your effort in liquidating property, we would appreciate to have a discussion with you regarding our method representing financial institutions.
If you are ready to sell and wish for us to contact you, give us a call and we will set up a time to meet with you that is mutually agreeable.
John MacArthur and Lourdes Tudela-MacArthur
Century 21 Redwood
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