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Seller FAQs

Q: How much is my house worth?

A: The true market value of your home is what a buyer is willing to pay for it based on today’s market, competition, economic conditions and many other factors that your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® can help you determine.

Q: What is a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?

A: The CMA is a side-by-side comparison of homes for sale and homes that have recently sold in the same price  range and neighborhood. Other parameters include single-family, or condo, number of bedrooms and baths, zip code and many other factors. The purpose is to show a fair market value, based on what other buyers and sellers have determined through past sales, pending sales and homes currently on the market.

Q: What fees are associated with selling a home?

A: In Colorado, it is customary that the seller pays the full real estate commission for both the listing agent and buyer’s agent.  You should also expect to have your own closing costs which include title fees, transfer taxes, HOA fees, your mortgage pay off and then the cost of any repairs you agree to in the contract.  Remember you may also agree to pay for all or a portion of the buyer’s closing costs.  Ask your REALTOR® for a seller net sheet prior to accepting any offer so that you know what your bottom line will be at the closing table.

Q: How do I choose a real estate agent to list my home?

A: Choosing a REALTOR® is important. You can ask friends, family members or neighbors for a referral of an agent they have used in the past.  Once meeting with a REALTOR® feel free to ask them about their years of experience in the industry, any designations they hold, their communication style, marketing approach and read their client reviews.  All of this should help you make an informed decision on the best REALTOR® to sell your home.

Q: Should I get an attorney to help me sell my property?

A: Your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® can work with your attorney at any point on the sale of your home. Some states require attorneys to be involved in the process. Colorado does not. That being said, we always advise and recommend a real estate attorney review any paperwork or legal contracts you engage in.

Q: What are some tips on negotiating to get the best price for my house?

A: Having a Sears Real Estate REALTOR® acting on your behalf is the first negotiating tip. They are not “emotionally involved” in the deal and can often better negotiate in your favor because of this. Your REALTOR® can help you in each scenario to negotiate the best deal on your home…each situation is different and there may be different tactics and strategies to employ in different circumstances. Do not hesitate to ask your REALTOR® what they would recommend in your personal situation.

Q: What is a home sale contingency? Should I accept an offer from a buyer with a home sale contingency?

A: The most common contingency clauses is called the Buyer’s Home Sale Contingency and it means that the buyer can end the home sale contract, without losing a dime, if their home doesn’t sell. This particular contingency is popular because most people can’t afford a new home without getting the money from selling their current home.  Your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® can advise you, based off the current market, if accepting a home sale contingency is in your best interest.

Q: What is a contingency?

A: A contingency is a clause in the contract that protects both parties of the transaction.  It allows both parties to terminate the contract if something either doesn’t occur (you don’t sell the house you live in currently) or is unsatisfactory (inspection on a home). There are standard contingencies in the Colorado real estate contract such as a contingency for inspection, loan approval, and delivery of free and clear title.

Q: What is the difference between the list price and the sales price?

A: The list price is what you as the seller want to sell your home for (sometimes fair market value and sometimes not) and the sales price is the final price that you and the buyer determine fair market value and agree to sell your home for. Someone could list a property for $1million but that may not be the actual sales price or fair market value of the home.

Q: What if a buyer asks me to pay their closing costs?

A: You may help the buyer pay for their closing costs if they negotiate that as part of the contract. Typically, the maximum is 6% although most people don’t usually need 6% in closing costs for their loan. And, all loan programs and lenders are different. Talk to your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® while reviewing the buyer’s offer to see if this is something they would recommend that you pay for.

Q: Do I have to tell a buyer about problems I’ve have had with my property such as a roof leak?

A: Yes. In the State of Colorado, a seller is required to tell a buyer about any problems they have had with the property. One of the best ways for a seller to disclose this information is through the Seller’s Property Disclosure. In addition to you disclosing, if your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® (or the buyer’s REALTOR®) knows about problems that have happened to the physical condition of the home (material fact), they are also required to disclose this information to a new buyer.

Q: When is the best time to sell a home?

A: The best time to sell your home is when you have determined the time is right for you. For example, do you have significant equity built up in your current home, has your financial situation improved or changed, have you outgrown your home or neighborhood, are you comfortable moving in the current housing market, etc. Talk to your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® about the pluses and minuses that might go into selling your home right now to see if it makes sense for you.

Q: Do I have to do repairs to the home before we sell it?

A: Not necessarily. Depending on the current real estate market your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® may suggest that you fix items in your home prior to putting it on the market or they may tell you to wait and see if a buyer requests the repairs in an inspection notice.  If you agree to do repairs on the home during the inspection process, you are held (contractually) to complete any repairs you agreed to. Some sellers wish to sell their homes in an “as is” condition and reflect their desire to do so in a lower price. You will also want to notify buyers up front that home is being sold as-is and that you are unwilling to do repairs prior to closing. All of this being said, it doesn’t mean that a buyer can’t request that you complete repairs on the home before they purchase…you may just not agree to do it.

Q: Who typically pays for the real estate broker’s commission?

A: In Colorado, the seller typically pays for a real estate broker’s commission. That being said, it is always negotiable and there are times when a buyer may pay a portion or all of a real estate broker’s commission. It’s wise to ask your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® before you sign the listing agreement, what your specific situation might be as it relates to paying their fee.

Q: What is a home warranty and who pays for it?

A: A home warranty is a renewable yearly service contract that protects a home’s systems and appliances from unexpected repair or replacement costs due to a break down. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover for mechanical failures, so a home warranty can help bridge the gap. The buyer, seller or real estate agent can purchase the home warranty for the buyer.

Q: What is an appraisal?

A: A home appraisal is an approximation of your home’s worth. It serves as peace of mind for the buyer’s lender or bank that the property being purchased has a certain amount of value. Home appraisals are conducted by an appraiser after the purchase price has been agreed upon by both the buyer and the seller.

Q: What is an appraisal gap clause in the real estate contract?

A: An appraisal gap is the difference between the appraised value of a home and the purchase price in the sales contract. An “appraisal gap clause” is used in a sales contract to guarantee that the home buyer will cover the monetary gap (bringing cash to closing) between the appraisal and the sales contract if an appraisal gap becomes an issue.

Q: What are the differences between a Buyer’s agent, Seller’s agent, Transaction Broker and Customer?

A: A buyer’s agent works solely on behalf of the buyer to promote the interests of the buyer with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as
an advocate for the buyer. A seller’s agent (or listing agent) works solely on behalf of the seller to promote the interests of the seller with the utmost good faith, loyalty and fidelity. The agent negotiates on behalf of and acts as an advocate for the seller. A Transaction Broker or TB assists the buyer or seller or both throughout a real estate transaction by performing terms of any written or oral agreement, fully informing the parties, presenting all offers and assisting the parties with any contracts, including the closing of the transaction without being an agent or advocate for any of the parties. A customer is a party to a real estate transaction with whom the broker has no brokerage relationship.

Q: Should we read love letters from buyers who have submitted them with their offer?

A: It’s not against the law for a home buyer to write a personal letter to the seller. But some buyer love letters can invite sellers to unwittingly violate fair housing laws. You should consult with your Sears Real Estate REALTOR® before reading a letter submitted with an offer.