Jeff Green
Broker CalBRE Lic#01519105
Call/Text: 209-495-2200

Common Questions for Sellers

  1. Is there a best time to sell my home?
  2. Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?
  3. How much is my home worth?
  4. What should I do to get my home ready?
  5. Should I make repairs?
  6. What are my obligations to disclose?
  7. Are there standard contingencies in an offer?
  8. Should I be flexible in granting contingencies?
  9. What do I do if my home isn't getting activity?
  10. Is it possible to sell for less than my mortgage?

1. Is there a best time to sell my home?

Property sells year round. It is mostly a function of supply and demand, as well as other economic factors. The time of year you choose to sell can make a difference in the amount of time it takes and the final selling price. Weather conditions can be a factor, particularly in the winter. Generally the real estate market picks up in the early spring and begins to slow in the fall.  Ultimately, the best time to sell your home is when you need it to be sold.

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2. Are there important factors to consider when selling a home?

The two most important factors in selling a home are price and condition. I can provide you with an accurate home evaluation based on the sales price of other comparable properties in your area. I will never quote you a price higher than what your home is actually worth simply to get your business. I will sometimes advise a higher price in a hot real estate market in order to test the market.

I will advise you as to any changes you may want to make in your property to make it more sellable. Generally, repairing any cosmetic defects will increase the saleability of your home.

A third factor is exposure. I have an extensive marketing plan to ensure to the best of my ability that you get the best price for your home.  This plan includes:

  • Submitting your home to the Multiple Listing Service for local and national cross-broker exposure
  • Calling prospective buyers on a daily basis

  • Conducting open houses, as necessary, to increase buyer traffic

  • Ensuring syndication of your listing as well as open house dates through various secondary and tertiary real estate websites

  • Marketing your property using Google Adwords to find potential buyers

  • Posting Internet ads for your home

  • Creating a custom “single property” website featuring your home

  • Developing a list of features of your home for brokers to use with their potential buyers.

  • Contacting, over the first seven days, my buyer leads, center of influence, and past clients for their referrals and prospective buyers including my database of 2800+ buyers who have logged into my real estate search site in the last 12 months.

  • Adding additional exposure through a professional sign and lockbox.

  • Following up on the sales people who have shown your home … for their feedback and response.

  • Engaging in a direct mail campaign.

Choose the REALTOR® that you believe will get the job done. Back to Top

3. How much is my home worth?

There are two methods used to determine a home's value:  an appraisal and a comparative market analysis.

Appraisals vary in cost. They average about $300 for a single family home and more on multi-family dwellings. Appraisers review numerous factors and base their appraisal on recent sales of similar properties, their location, square footage, construction quality, excess land, views, water frontage and amenities such as garages, number of baths, etc.

A comparative market analysis, on the other hand, is an informal estimate of market value performed by a REALTOR® or broker, such as myself. It is based on sales and listings that will compete with your property that are similar in size, style and location. I will determine a range of values in order to strategically set the price of your home.

Of course, there are websites that purport to give you a home valuation, but these are seldom accurate as they are not based on a viewing of the actual condition of your home. Back to Top

4. What should I do to get my house ready?

Here are some suggestions for optimizing the sale of your home. First and foremost, declutter counter tops, walls and rooms. This will give your home a more spacious feeling. It is best not to strip everything completely or it might appear stark and inhospitable. Clean and make attractive all rooms, furnishings, floors and walls. Touch up the paint if necessary. It's especially important that the bathroom and kitchen are spotless. Organize closets. Check that the basic appliances and fixtures work and repair leaky faucets. Anything that is not functional or which you cannot repair must be disclosed to the prospective buyer. Make sure the house smells good; scented candles, fresh flowers, or baking in the oven are a nice touch, as is pleasant background music. Hide the kitty litter!

The second important thing to consider is "curb appeal." People driving by a property will often judge it by its outside appearances and make a decision then as to whether or not they want to see the inside. Sweep the sidewalk, mow the lawn, prune the bushes, weed the garden and clean debris from the yard. Clean the windows (both inside and out) and make sure the paint is not chipped or flaking. Also make sure that the doorbell works. Back to Top

5. Should I make repairs?

Minor repairs before putting the house on the market may lead to a better sales price. Buyers generally include an inspection contingency in the purchase contract which allows them to back out if inspectors find numerous defects. Once the problems are noted, buyers can attempt to negotiate repairs or lower the price with the seller. Any known problems that are not repaired must be revealed to the buyer as a material defect.  Back to Top

6. What are my obligations to disclose?

Sellers must disclose all known material facts relating to the sale of the home.  These include: homeowners association dues; whether or not work done on the home meets local building codes and permit requirements; any repairs that the home or appliances might need; the presence of any neighborhood nuisances or noises which a prospective buyer might not notice, such as any restrictions on the use of the property, zoning ordinances, association rules, etc.

Sellers do not have to disclose the terms of other offers. You may disclose the existence of other offers, so that all parties are aware that they should be submitting their best offer. Back to Top

7. Are there standard contingencies in an offer?

Yes, the two basic contingencies in a purchase contract are financing and inspections. Back to Top

8. Should I be flexible in granting contingencies?

This depends on whether you are in a buyer's or a seller's market, the condition of your home, the price you hope to get, how motivated you are to sell, and the quality and quantity of the offers you are receiving.  Some buyers make the purchase of a new home contingent upon the sale of the home they are currently living. The contingent nature of the offer and the likelihood of the buyer's sale actually occurring are factors to be considered, in addition to price, when determining what offer to accept. Any contingencies you and the buyer negotiate will be written into your contract.  Back to Top

9. What do I do if my house isn't getting activity?

Even in a slow market, price and condition are the two most important factors in selling a home.

If a home is not getting the activity it needs in order to sell, it is probably because it is overpriced for the market. I can advise you on a price that will expedite the sale of your home. If that price is not acceptable to you, then I can advise you on other alternatives, such as removing your house from the market for a period of time to allow market conditions to improve. If you must sell, and your home is without equity, I can assist you in negotiating a short sale with your lender.  I have closed over 100 short sales in my real estate career. Back to Top

10. Is it possible to sell for less than my mortgage?

A "short sale" is for home sellers who are upside down on their mortgage. In other words, the home's value is less than what they owe to their lienholder(s). I have successfully negotiated over 100 short sales during my real estate career. In order for the lienholder(s) to approve the sale, a seller must demonstrate that he or she has a hardship, such as unemployment, a reduction of income, a job change, a health crisis, divorce, etc. Once a lienholder approves the sale of the property at a price less than what is owed, the sale can go through. Back to Top