If you’re ready to sell your home and if you want to get top dollar and not have it set on the market for months on end, knowledge and preparation are key. You need a fairly good understanding of the whole complicated process. And the best way to begin, as Aristotle said long ago, is to ask the right questions. To help you out, then, here are the top 10 Moreno Valley home seller questions answered.
1. When is the best time to sell?
Typically, in most areas, spring and early summer are the best times to sell, but in a few other areas, winter is the best time. In the Inland Empire, this usually holds true due to buyers normally being busy during the end of the year due to the holiday season and all of the distractions going on at that time. Once February arrives, many buyers are back out home-shopping because they have tax refund money, less distractions, and are preparing to time their purchase with the end of their children’s school year when possible.
2. What is the market like right now?
Of all the Moreno Valley home seller questions, this one may be the toughest to answer because there are so many variables involved. Local real estate markets vary from region to region and even from neighborhood to neighborhood. An agent with local, niche expertise can give you a good idea of the average days on market (DOM) as an indication of your market’s health. However, at the moment, most homes throughout the Inland Empire are selling in under 30 days. Future blog posts will provide Market Updates that will detail more information on the market.
3. What improvements do I need to make?
At a minimum, you should make all the basic repairs and improvements you find a need for – for example, fixing leaking faucets, replacing old light fixture, raking and mowing, and performing light landscaping. Before taking on larger and costlier improvements and upgrades, you need to determine whether you can realize a good return on your investment at sale time. Besides that, the other improvements that won’t break the bank would be touching up the interior paint, or painting a neutral color if your color palette is not neutral. Remember, you are trying to appeal to the market’s tastes, not to your own, and this is where many sellers miss the boat! Besides paint, another easy improvement would be to change your interior panel doors such as these that you can find at Home Depot for under $40.
4. Should I sell before buying another home?
This is one of the Moreno Valley home seller questions that sellers should probably ask more often than they do. The two important considerations here are: 1) are you financially capable of carrying two mortgages and maintaining two homes, and 2) is your lender willing to loan you the money to do so? The alternative is to sell concurrent to you purchasing a home. I will go into detail as to how this process works in a future blog post, but this is very common practice and you will need an experienced Moreno Valley agent to help you through this process.
5. Is a vacant home easier to sell?
Realtors are pretty much agreed on the answer to this one of the 10 Moreno Valley home seller questions: No. A vacant home conveys the impression of a desperate need to sell and so detracts from your negotiating leverage. The part that makes a vacant home easy to sell is that Realtors can show it at most any time. However, if you provide the same showing flexibility by allowing your Realtor to use an electronic entry device called a Supra iBox that provides security and peace of mind, you can come away with the same effect.
6. Do I need to hold an open house?
Again this is another of the top 10 Moreno Valley home seller questions that aren’t asked but should be. An open house seems like a good idea and everyone seems to recommend it because you get people into the home you have for sale. But it rarely produces a sale because these people are usually just tire kickers.
That being said, in a hot market where your home is priced well and shows well, an Open House can help create a sense of urgency if your Realtor is able to strategically create a buzz around the property with a mix of professional photography, online and offline marketing, and other strategies that a good Moreno Valley Realtors such as Alex and Itzel Gonzalez can provide. One such example is an Open House Alex held at 9116 Spohn in Fontana on June 9th, 2018. During a 3 hour period, there were over 30 different parties coming through the Open House, a few of which had already submitted offers even before seeing the house, and a handful of others that eventually submitted an offer after seeing it, for a total of 10 offers resulting by Monday, June 11th!
This will not always happen, but usually one or two Open Houses held when your home hits the market are usually enough. Most of the time, a serious and interested buyer will be shown your home in the middle of the week resulting in a sale. When a home is not selling in the first few weeks after more than a dozen showings is usually an indication of something that’s wrong with the home – either its condition or its price.
7. How much should I disclose?
The answer to this one of our Moreno Valley home seller questions is easy. And that answer is . . . you should disclose everything you can think of. It is, after all, a legal requirement. Even items that were once broken and you have since repaired should be disclosed. In real estate, it is always best to over-disclose than to under-disclose!
8. Should I offer a home warranty?
The general consensus here is that if your home is at least 10 years old, then, yes, you probably should provide a home warranty. In the Inland Empire, this is customary for the seller to pay for a 1-year Home Warranty that can range in cost from between $300-650 depending on some upgrades such as pool, roof, and A/C coverage.
9. Who pays closing costs?
As the seller, you aren’t obligated to pay closing costs. It’s a good move, though, to offer to pay at least a portion of closing costs to sweeten the deal for the buyer when you only have one offer. In a multiple-counter offer situation such as the one described in #6 above, the buyer with the best terms and conditions – sometimes meaning one that doesn’t ask for a credit towards their closing costs – wins out!
10. Should I sell myself (FSBO) or hire an agent?
Although this is among the top 10 Moreno Valley home seller questions that are frequently asked, the answer given is often too facile. The best answer is: “It depends . . .”
But here are two things to be aware of. On average, it takes longer to sell a home yourself. And if you hire an agent, you increase your chances of not only getting a quicker sale but a better price as well.
Hopefully, these Moreno Valley home seller questions answered will be beneficial and move you toward your goal. Knowing the answers can, in fact, have a significant impact on the sale price and prevent you from making costly mistakes.