What Every Home Seller Should Know
Whether this is your first time selling a home or it’s been a long time since you’ve experienced the process, there are a number of terms and practices you should be aware of. On today’s episode we will talk through seven different terms to ensure you have a thorough understanding of what to expect.
What important terms should you know when it comes to selling? As a seller it’s important to do things right, but to do so, you need to know what’s what. Angie talks us through the ins and outs of seven different terms relating specifically to selling your home.
In order to price the home correctly, make sure your realtor does a CMA, a comparative market analysis. This research considers the price of similar homes in the neighborhood and in your local market. While you might think it makes sense to price it higher and mark it down over time, you’ll actually net less than if you just priced it right from the start.
If you see a house on Zillow, did you know that sometimes by the time a home shows up there it’s already pending? This is due to the MLS, which is a database that realtors use to post homes. This is the way realtors get information out about a home that is coming soon and updates it once it is no longer available.
Both staging the home and showing the home make a major difference in how well it sells. Having someone else set up the home with furniture and decluttering some personal items help create a clear vision for the potential buyers. You want buyers to be able to envision themselves living in the home, not you.
If you are thinking of selling your home, you’ll want to find a realtor you feel confident working with. A seller’s consultation can help you get an idea on how much your home is worth and provide you with a better idea of what the process will look like.
Listen to the full episode or check out the timestamps below to hear more as you prepare to sell your home.
1:17 - What is CMA, comparative market analysis?
3:52 - Real estate professionals use an MLS, multiple listings services.
8:14 - Staging a home can make a significant difference on how well a home sells.
10:32 - What are showings like now?
13:35 - What do you need to know in the contract?
16:04 - When there is a contingency addendum, what does that mean?
18:53 - What happens in a seller’s consultation or listing presentation?
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Note: This is an automated transcription. Please forgive the robots as they tend to make some (a lot of) mistakes...
It's time for the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter Schultz alongside Angie Cole, the owner and broker in charge of a coal Realty serving you throughout the triangle, teaching you about the ins and outs. When it comes to buying or selling a home, you can find the team online by going to eight Cole realty.com. That's a C O L E realty.com or by calling (919) 578-3128 that's (919) 578-3128. And now it's time for one of the top realtors in the triangle, Angie Cole and the savvy realtor podcast. Well, since, uh, even though inventory is a little low for those who are thinking of selling in the near future, Angie and I still feel like we're probably just bottling up more houses to come onto the market here. At some point, as things start to maybe settle back down a little bit, uh, at some point in time this summer, uh, and so people are gonna need to know the process of selling their home and how that's designed, and what's all involved in that. So we thought it'd be fun on today's show to cover some of those important terms when it comes to selling. So I've kind of just assembled a couple here, Angie, no, necessarily a order to these. We're not exactly walking through the process step by step. Kind of just a smattering of interesting little terms here. So first one was a C, M a C M a comparative market analysis. What is that? Why would that be important to know?
Yeah. Oh, super important. Right? Um, when it, when it's time to sell your home, it's very important that we price your home. Right? Okay. We do not want to undervalue your home, but we also do not want to overvalue it either, because what happens is we end up chasing the market it's called. And so if you overprice your home, you end up getting very few showings. Your days on the market will start to accumulate those start to increase, and then potential buyers start to wonder, well, what's wrong with this home? Why is it sitting? Why the dates and the market's so high and in the long run, what happens is you're chasing the market. Meaning you do a little price reduction, do another little price reduction, but in the long run, you're actually netting less versus just listing your home at the right price from the beginning.
So a CMA, the whole point of that is a real estate professional like myself. I'm doing exactly what an appraiser would do. So I am pulling comparables and I start off in the neighborhood if possible, if needed, we go out a little bit further radius wise. I look at similar square footage, similar age and similar style. Then from there, of course, I look at pictures, I look at cosmetics, you know, and I really, you know, decide, okay, this home being like our subject home, you know, where should it line up in relationship to our comparables? And when looking at comparables, you should have three closed comps or comparables that you use to use as a basis. Now it's always great to look at what is our active competition what's pending, but we really need to
see, what's actually sold to get an idea of the values of the home, in that specific area, helpful to see what's happened to others. And you could apply this really to anything. I mean, it's, it's, this is the comparables, right? I mean, this is the, uh, just like, if you go to sell your car or you go to buy a car, you're checking the comps. Like, what else, what other people pay exactly. It goes for anything,
you know, why are you going? I mean, even gas prices, right? You might drive by one and say, Oh, that's kind of expensive versus the next one across the street. So yes, you are always comparing prices. Um, but you know, when it comes to listing our home, you know, it's our job as a real estate professional to give the seller guidance on pricing it, right. Because when we price it right, is going to drive the most traffic to then get the best offer for our sellers. So then they net the most. Okay. So pricing home is super important.
The next item on our list is the M L S this is not the, this is not major league soccer that we're talking about, that the MLS is something different, right?
Yep. Yep. So the multiple listing services, uh, you know, database that we use, so real estate professionals in every market, they have an MLS that's specific to that market. So for example, I've had a lot of, you know, potential buyers say, or sellers, Hey, Angie, can you help us at the beach? And I say, absolutely not because I do not have access to their MLS. Um, so I wouldn't be, you know, effectively representing you like I should, but of course I have wonderful referral partners. So let me know, and I can connect you. But at MLS database is where all the listings go into like the system. Okay. It's like the, I don't know, it's the, ah, of real estate. Um, and you know, there is not a requirement for homes to go in MLS. There's actually a disclosure that sellers can sign stating they want their home withheld from MLS.
But honestly, I think that's silly to do that. You want to get the most exposure out there. So the MLS is going to tell you everything about that specific home is telling you location, showing you pictures, all of the specifications features square footage, age, just anything and everything you need to know about a particular home. And that MLS is wonderful because you know, it's accessible by real estate agents, but we can also set up our clients on searches in our MLS. So they are seeing all of real time data. And it's really important to get set up directly through an MLS because when you go to third party websites like a Zillow or realtor.com, oftentimes that information's outdated. Okay. So all of the time we have people say, Oh, I've found this home on Zillow. You know, we want to go take a look only for us to then give them a response at, Oh, unfortunately it's already pending, it's under contract.
So the MLS has all of the real time data. Also, we can extend a search you're receiving coming soon listings too. So you're kind of ahead of the game. Uh, just because listings are moving so quickly, you want to know what's up and coming on the market, not just the, of homes. And so, although only real estate professionals have actual direct access to log into the MLS. We can set our clients up on searches through there. So the getting, you know, newsfeed, they're getting real time information important to do that. And I think that's one of the big differences, Angie, that real time info. Do you remember from searching for homes before you'd might see a home that's available showing us available lawn on Zillow or realtor.com or some other website, and you get really excited about it. But then when we actually got connected with you and your team, we start looking at home.
It's like, well, how is that available? Or that has a soul weeks ago, Oh, this one's not available. So same people get so frustrated. They won't listen to us. We're like just only pay attention to the surgery step. Yup. Set you up on. And they're like, well, you know, I'm finding this home and this home, it's not available. That's why you didn't get it in your search, you know? Um, so it can be misleading. But the, the reason why that happens is, you know, remember with search engines like Zillow and realtor.com, you know, they make money by real estate professionals buy and leads from them. The way that they get leads is they need to have as much opportunity on their site for potential buyers and sellers to click. Right. And so, you know, unfortunately you think a home's active, but many times it can already be under contract, but they kind of wrapped you in by getting you to click through. They're not incentivized to take those homes down. Right.
So the MLS database is definitely the best place for searching for coming soon listings and active listings. I'm not going to get political, but it kind of reminds me of, you know, just the conflict that, uh, like news stations have with more, the more clicks, uh, you know, in the more views that their shows and information has the better. So they're motivated, they're motivated to have in a way, you know, negative news because that's what draws the clicks and the information. And, you know, we can, we could debate about that for a long time, but it's kind of interesting that this is kind of the same concept, but kind of like the pending listings. I mean, that's kind of negative that they're still showing those. I mean, it's good to see what's happening in the market, but it's not positive when they're showing those. And it looks like to the consumer that they're still active.
Right. Right. If you've ever looked for a home, you've had that moment where you've gone. Oh, I found the house. I found the one and then Nope, it's gone. I can't get it. Sign out. I know it's a bummer to go through that's for sure. Right. Uh, what about staging? What, what does it mean to really stage a home these days? Yeah. So, you know, thing is everything, right? Um, you know, how it presents itself is very, very important because you know how a home presents itself will drive more traffic to your home. We'll get offers quicker, we'll get a higher price point. So staging, um, for example, for us is we always bring our professional stager into a home. So if you're living in the home, we bring her in, she's going rim to rim and she's taken lots of notes and she's getting nitpicky.
You know, the way she's advising you to set up your home is for it to be ready for pictures. Okay. It's not necessarily how you would live in the home. We always say that you need to depersonalize and you need to make it just minimalistic because you want to make sure that the buyer can visualize themselves in your home and how they will live. So, you know, be in kind of sparse is important. We want to neutralize declutter, depersonalize. So she is going through getting super nit picky, but giving you guidance because you know what, by following her suggestions will only help your home to just photograph better and to sell quicker. If your home is vacant, we then still bring her in. And she does, what's called like a light fluffer sprinkle. And so we don't want your home to just be Bayer and vanilla.
So she's bringing in a couple of pieces just to accent, you know, deliver him the kitchen, the master bedroom, master bathroom, just to add some color. Okay. Another great feature that we do. There's also a thing called virtual staging. Um, I'm a huge fan and the person that we use does an amazing job. It doesn't look like the furniture is floating. Okay. So for those vacant homes, we send off our professional that is, and we send those to a person who does the virtual staging for us. So it's actually setting up a, the home and staging it to give you ideas of how you could live in it. So the pictures show furniture, but actually when you're in the home, it's bacon, but it really just, it, you know, really helps the pictures, you know, show great. It gives it a pop. It shows you how you can live in it. You know, the layout, how we can configure our furniture. Um, and it's a really cool tool that can be super helpful again, to increase the amount of showings you get on your home. So staging is super important.
Uh, the next one is showings. And this one say, it may sound a little obvious, you know, it's time to show your home to potential buyers, but how many showings does the typical seller actually go through? And what are showings like these days, given that we're sort of in this, you know, somewhat opened back up, but also somewhat still closed down coronavirus world.
Sure. Um, so showings of course are where a potential buyer. Um, and of course their agent, their agent always must be in charge of a company and them opening up the home, walking it back up, but brings them out to view a home. You know, as far as the amount of showings that is really dependent on location, price point, you know, overall condition. Typically we see in this market, you know, lower priced homes, especially like if you're in Raleigh and if you're under 300,000, because inventory is so limited, typically they are bombarded with showings, right. But when you're in the higher price bracket, maybe you're more of an estate home. You know, showings probably won't be as significant just because the pool of buyers is probably a little bit smaller, but showings is a time for the client to come out, you know, thoroughly do a walkthrough and hopefully they love what they see.
Um, and they then from there want to make an offer as far as, you know, showings during right now, during these times and still kind of dealing with, you know, the pandemic and whatnot in the areas that we, everyone is allowing showings, but you're not supposed to do any type of overlapping showing. So normally, you know, you can have 10 agents showing the same home at the same time. Uh, but right now they are limiting to only one agent showing within a certain window just to try to, you know, slow down just kind of the foot traffic and to keep everyone safe and healthy.
That's very cool. I think it's really interesting to, um, kind of just look at how things have changed so rapidly. I wonder how fast it'll either get back to normal or will we have some of these things that stick with us for a long time? I don't know.
You know, I, I kinda think, you know, we talk about normal, you know, kind of get back to normal. I, I think the new norm might be kind of what we're doing now. You know, I don't think just like shaking hands, I think maybe that went out the door for quite a bit, you know, just practices people are taken. I think people are going to be a little bit more cautious on, you know, touching, you know, touching their face, touching other people's hands, you know? Um, I think people will be aware a little bit more of their surroundings. So I don't think it's going to go back completely to normal per se, anytime soon. I think we're going to stick with some of these standard practices for quite some time. And just like not allowing overlapping, you know, showings, you know, it's not the end of the world that we can't get more than one person at the same time. There's plenty enough time during the day to go view a home. So I think that will stick around for quite a bit.
Yeah, maybe. Right. Absolutely. So that's the skinny on showings right now. Again, we're talking about these terms to know if you are a home seller, if you have any questions for Angie Cole, by the way, you can call or text your questions at (919) 538-6477, that's (919) 538-6477. All right, Angie, the contract, uh, how important is this for sellers to kind of understand the ins and outs? And it was a lot of paperwork. You go through the negotiation process, you get these offers, there's a lot of papers to sign and figure out. So what, what really boils down to kind of defining the contract and what is there to know about that part of the process?
Yeah, so, you know, understanding a contract is super important, right? I mean, a contract's a contract, so you need to understand what you're signing, but, you know, that's where real estate professionals should step in and point out. What's most important about that contract. There are specifics about a contract, for example, you know, all right, here's the price due diligence, money due diligence, end date, earnest money, closing date, personal property. If they're asking for any concessions, a warranty, you know, those are typically the most important items a seller needs to understand, okay, whenever they're reviewing the contract, you know, so having an agent to point out those items and also give guidance and suggestions on, you know, what this due diligence amount, this is kind of minimal, you know, we need to see this increased or this time periods, a little lengthy lists shorten that you need someone who understands kind of, there's never a standard by the way, but what the norms we're seeing in our market, because we are actively in this business, you know, it is very crucial for you as a seller to understand, you know, what's expected in an offer and a really give you guidance.
So you do not miss something. For example, um, your home is listed at 400,000, but then the buyers also ask, asking for you to pay for 5,000 of their closing costs. If all you saw was the 400,000, it's going to be not as so nice surprise when you get to the closing table and you realize actually you're netting 5,000 less because you didn't know that, Hey, there's kind of a hidden spot of seller concessions. So understanding all of the terminology is very, very important. Um, just because it's a, it's a big deal, you know, just like when you're buying a car, you want to know what you're signing, you know, what is your interest rate? Um, what is, you know, the term of the contract, all of those items are very important and you need a real estate professional to explain those to you in detail.
Very cool. And I think it's important that you have these things in place and you don't have to become a legal expert and understand all the intricacies of the contract, um, you know, to the minute detail, but understand what you're signing, understand what's being offered, uh, make sure you read those things to the early, just so that you know, that part of the process and Andrea is going to, of course, help you look through that and stuff as well. So that's important to know, uh, contingencies, Angie, I remember a couple of years ago, we talked a lot about contingencies and you said, you know, we're not really seeing contingencies anymore because it was such a strong a sellers market that buyers just really, they couldn't get a home if they had contingencies attached. It seemed, is that still the case these days?
Yeah. So it's interesting. So every single year there's new contract documents that come out and they could just be revised documents or they can eliminate, they can add to, but in July of 2019, they had eliminated the contingency a denim. Okay. And, you know, I kind of was happy that the real estate commission made that move because the contingency addendum was protecting a buyer, should they, or personal home fall through, they then come back out on the seller and still get back. What's called the earnest money, which typically the earnest money is kind of the larger of the two amounts. Um, and it really wasn't fair to sellers. I mean, I had this happen to one of my sellers last year. It was the week of closing the buyer for our listing had to back out because their buyer backed out on them. And the only person that was really left financially in distress was my seller because they had their home off the market for a certain period of time.
The only money they were able to keep was to do the due diligence money, which was minimal. It was the earnest money. That was a lot more significant, you know, and it was kind of a domino effect. Everyone was getting back their money except for my seller. So I'm kind of happy, or I am happy. I feel like it's, it's fair that they did away with that agenda. But, you know, it's interesting because I have seen some offers recently with a contingent agendum in it. Some agents are having an attorney draft, an addendum, which can always be done, um, that is protecting their clients. So, you know, it's really understanding the overall situation, whether or not it makes sense when representing the seller to accept a contingency, but you're right, Walter in today's market within the Tory being so low, most sellers are not in a position that they have to accept a contingency. You know, why will they take their home off the market, just waiting around for their buyer to either sell or close on their home and risk, maybe not closing on, you know, their, their actual personal home. So a contingency definitely can be a little risky and, you know, there's a lot of factors to take into consideration if you know, someone has presented an offer with a contingent sale agenda.
Hmm. That's a great point. And I think it's a, that'll be interesting to watch. Did they become more popular or less popular over time? It's kind of this battle of, you know, can contingencies have a place or are they pretty much eliminated from the marketplace
when a sellers market it's going to be less common, right? The ball's in the seller's court. So, you know, it's going to be less common once we, you know, eventually if we shift more and back into a buyer's market, I bet it will come about a lot more.
Very cool. All right. One last term to get to for sellers important terms to know if you're selling a home in the near future, and this is the sellers consultation, and this is actually a really important part of the process. Of course, this is where Angie and her team really step in to help you. But I remember, uh, my seller's consultation visit with your team Angie, and it's a, it's an exciting time. And it's a really important time to really ask the right questions and really get to know you and your team or the agent that you're going to be working with. Uh, this is, this is a big one.
Yeah. So with a seller's consultation, or we also call those listing presentations or consultations, you know, it's a time for us, to me, with you as being the seller and just really go through our processes, you know, explain to you why we should be your go to why we should be the agent to represent you because we're confident in our abilities to sell your home quickly and make you top dollar. So during our listing presentation, we tell you all about ourself and about our team set up, give you a couple of stats. They are, we go through our marketing plan really into detail. We then we'll chat about comparables, net proceeds sheet. We talk about how showings will operate. We talk about trying to close process, but you know, we're giving you all of this information. So you feel comfortable with understanding how this process would kind of come about, you know, understanding all the steps and, you know, it's one of those discussions that we don't expect you to remember everything, you know, but just feeling a little bit more confident with what's about to take place is really important as a seller because, you know, even if you've sold a home 10 times, every state's different, right?
So you need to make sure that you understand how the contract works here in North Carolina, but just understanding everything that our team will do in regards to marketing to make you top dollar. So if you are thinking about selling your home, uh, most sellers, they first want to get an idea of what their home is worth in today's market. I can appreciate that and completely understand which for most areas we're seeing some wonderful appreciation. So if you are thinking about selling your home and you want to get an idea of what your home is worth in today's market, just text the word, listing to the phone number five, five, five, eight, eight, eight. And from there, we will respond back with the text, make sure that you click that link, you input your address. And from there, we'll give you an idea of what your home is worth. So once again, if you're thinking about selling your home and you want to get an idea of what your home is worth in today's market, just text the word, listing to the phone number by five, five, eight, eight, eight,
that's all you have to do. It starts with a text and begins the process, and it starts with a simple understanding of what your home might be worth in today's market. Now understand it's just an initial estimate. You're going to want to have that in person, sellers consultation, to get a truly accurate estimate of what to list your home at when you go to sell it. But this is a great starting point to help you realize, okay. Yeah. Look at the, uh, the potential value here. I think this would be a good move for our family or a good investment for us to go ahead and make that move. Uh, it all kind of starts with knowing what that home value it looks like. So if you want to find it out, all you have to do is text the word listing to the number five, five, five, eight, eight, eight.
Again, text the word listing to the number five, five, five, eight, eight, eight to find out your potential home value. Today. You've been listening to the savvy real tour podcast. I'm Walter store halt alongside Angie Cole. She's the owner and broker in charge of Aiko Realty here in the triangle. And if you have questions for Angie, we invite you to go online to a Cole realty.com. Listen to past podcast episodes on the website, read the blog and all the great information, including the option to find a home right there on the website. That's a Cole realty.com. And you can also call Angie with your questions. (919) 578-3128.
Did you know that Angie co also has a radio show tune into the savvy realtor, Saturdays at noon on one Oh 6.1 FMW TKK.
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