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Seller's Guide


Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Sell Your House?

Deciding to sell a home is the largest financial decision most people will make in their lifetime, so it’s natural to be a little anxious as you approach the selling process. Don’t worry, you’re not on your own. Read on to learn if conditions are right to put your home up for sale.

How do I determine how much to sell my house for?

The easiest way to determine the value of your house is to get a professional appraisal. A professional appraisal will compare your house to similar houses in your area (called a “comp”) and give you a good idea of how much you should sell your house for. When evaluating a “comp”, it is important not only to find similar houses in the area, but also to look at how recently those homes were sold. Sales closer in time are a more accurate guideline when setting the price on your home.

Can I do it myself, or do I need a real estate agent?

Only a few states require you to hire a real estate agent or attorney, but it may often be worth it. Selling a house, even with an agent, is an exhausting process. If you are the one stuck doing all of the paper work and showing the house, it can be like taking on a second job. Alternatively, you may consider hiring a real estate agent to only help with portions of the process, and take on other portions of the process yourself.

How to Show Your Home

The time is fast approaching when buyers will be taking your tour and giving serious consideration to buying your home. You’ve priced your home, written a great description, decluttered and staged, taken great photos and deployed a solid marketing plan. You are now ON. How you conduct your home showings and open houses will have a major impact on how quickly your home sells. Follow these “B”s of showing and you’ll do great.

What should I disclose to potential buyers?

When selling a home, it’s important you disclose to potential buyers anything you are aware of in your home. Nobody likes “getting the raw end of a deal” when it comes to buying a home, car, or anything for that matter. If you’re aware of defects with a roof, appliance, or home in general, you’re always going to be better off being honest and upfront. If you’re aware of defects, whenever possible, fixing them before going on the market is best. This can avoid potential issues and/or lawsuits once your home is under contract, after inspections, and even years after you have sold your home.

Should I do anything to my house before I sell it?

Absolutely. Before you sell a home, you should probably hire a professional home inspector because eventual buyers certainly will, and it pays to know what they will find first. A professional home inspection can:

  1. Allow you to address problems and complete repairs before you sell a home.
  2. Help you set the price on your home.
  3. Ensure that the sale process won’t be held up by unseen issues.
  4. Boost your credibility and trustworthiness.
  5. Reduce your liability by relying on professional documentation in your disclosure statement
What are the tax consequences of selling my house?

The sale of your house generates “capital gains” as defined by the IRS which is normally taxable. However, since the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, individuals can exclude up to $250,000 in capital gains for individuals, and married couples can exclude up to $500,000 in capital gains.

What are some alternative ways to finance the sale of a house?

There are two common ways outside of a common mortgage scenario to finance the sale of a house. The first method is to loan money to the buyer and take back a mortgage on the home when you sell it. The buyer would sign a promissory note (to repay the loan) and either a mortgage or a deed of trust (both of which would allow you to foreclose on the house if the buyer failed to pay). In return, the seller would sign a deed transferring title of the house to the buyer (which allows the buyer to sell or refinance the house).

How to Negotiate an Offer

If you’re buying or selling a home, negotiating is by far one of the most important things to be able to do. In fact, being a strong negotiator is an absolute necessity. If you don’t know how to ask for what you want, you’ll never get it. And, of course, you can save yourself a lot of money in the process.

When is the best time to sell my home?

This frequently asked question cannot be answered with a simple or general answer. Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from real estate community to real estate community. In most cases, the spring months are the best time to be selling a home. The spring months will vary from community to community. For example, the spring market in the Webster, New York real estate community maybe April, May, and June while the spring market in Coral Springs, Florida maybe March & April.

Ready to sell your properties?

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