FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do we have to put our house on the market immediately after we sign the paperwork?  We need to time to finish painting and small repairs first. 

No you don’t.  You have a great opportunity when you list your home with David Nelson and the Imperial Home Team. We have the ability to have your home pre-listed while your are preparing your house for sale.  This allows you to have your house fully marketed including on the Internet without having to deal with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and the showings.  You get the benefit of your house being seen by millions of buyers without starting your “days on the market” with the MLS.  Then when your house is at its’ best, photos have been taken and you feel ready to sell, it will be placed on the MLS or “go live”.  We like using the example of your house is a summer blockbuster movie and pre-listing it is similar to the movie trailers.  We can tease the audience that your house is coming on the market so when it does go live on the MLS, you have a line of buyers waiting to see it instead of starting the momentum the day it hits the market.

 

How are my house keys protected? 

Many agents still use those outdated combination locks that have no way of tracking who comes in or who has accessed the lockbox.  Not David Nelson!!  He uses electronic lockboxes that allow licensed real estate agents to enter your house only when they are approved by the sellers.  The lockbox has set hours where it will not open to access your keys..including David!  Typically the lockboxes are protected from opening between 9pm to 8am but can be set to your preferences.  Also, we can retrieve data from the lockbox that will tell us who entered your house and when. ** Please have at least one spare key for your front door ready for our appointment.**

How do showings work?

All of your showings will go through a service called ShowingTime.  You will be asked for approval before any agents are allowed access to your house.  Showings typically are scheduled for an hour so be prepared to be away for that amount of time including having any pets either kenneled or taken with you.  David requires feedback from the showing agent and will provide that to you once it is received.  Some agents are better than others with their promptness of completing the feedback form.  Some agents will never provide feedback even after a multitude of attempts by David to retrieve it.

 

Should I be there when a real estate agent shows my home?

No!!! The reason is that if you’re there, whether showing all the finer points of the property to the buyers or just in the background, the buyer feels self-conscious and will be concerned about saying anything negative about the house. We all have an innate need for a sense of approval and want to be courteous, especially to strangers. Being away from the home during showings gives the buyer the freedom to express their feelings freely so they don’t have to be worried about your reaction to what they have to say. It also helps because you want them visualizing themselves moving into your home, which is more difficult to do if you are there hovering over their shoulders and talking about “your house”.

 

What are methods to determine value?

A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which is an informal estimate of value based on the recent selling price of similar neighborhood properties.  Appraisals and CMAs are the two most common and reliable ways to determine a house’s value in the current housing market.

How do I determine how much my house is worth?

Simply stated, a house is ultimately worth what an informed and unbiased buyer will pay for it.  Everything else is really an estimate of what a buyer might pay.  The Fair Market Value, or worth, is established when a meeting of the minds between you and the buyer takes place.   Remember that neither you nor David determines the true value of your house…..the current housing market does.

Why shouldn’t I price my house higher so I can leave room for negotiation?

The first few weeks a house is on the market is when it will have the most activity from the buyers.  If a house is overpriced, it has to compete with correctly priced houses at that higher price level, which are almost certainly larger, newer, better in quality, superior in location, enhanced views, etc.  Those first weeks are also when other real estate agents preview the house.  If it’s overpriced, they may not even bother to show it to their buyers.  Eventually, the seller will have to drop the price – and may end up with an even lower selling price because buyers will wonder why the house has been on the market so long and may factor that into their offer.

What is “Staging a Home” for sale?

Think of “staging” as preparing your house to star at a big Hollywood event.  “Staging” is not the same as “decorating.”   Staging involves removing items from a home to sell as decorating typically is adding items for personal taste.  As the star, your house should be dressed in a tuxedo (or ball gown), rather than appearing too casual, as if wearing sweats and a t-shirt.  Your house only has one chance to make a first impression.  Partner proper staging with professional photography, your house will be the belle of the ball on the Internet!  Over 93% of buyers start their home search online so your visual presence is one of the most important aspects of selling your house.

Do I have to disclose information about my house?

The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement could protect you from a lawsuit.  Today, home sellers are required to fill out a form disclosing material facts about their homes.  Material facts are details about the house’s condition or legal status, as well as the age of various components.  Information about the major components of the home including the electrical, plumbing, appliances, HVAC, and the roof are usually included in these Property Disclosure Forms to make the potential buyer aware of any structural or safety issues.

What are examples of material facts?

The following examples include details that would qualify as “material facts” that must be revealed by sellers about their homes:

– Any damage from wood-boring insects.

– Mold or mildew in the home.

– Leaks in the roof or foundation walls.

– Amount of property taxes paid annually.

– Problems with sewer or septic systems.

– Age of shingles and other roof components.

– A buried oil tank.

– Details about any individual who claims to have an interest in the property.

– Information about a structure on the property that overlaps an adjacent property.

– Repairs and renovations were done on the property.

Things that may or may not be material facts: whether a death took place in the home or whether a home is considered haunted.

Are real estate agents required to disclose material facts?

Agents and brokers can be held accountable, especially if they had prior knowledge or should have known about any material facts.  Although agents or brokers are not home inspectors, they are expected to use their best judgment when something is evident or appears suspicious.  Keep David informed so we can protect your house!!  David has the legal and ethical responsibility to disclose any material facts that are known to us from the sellers.

What are contingencies?

Sales contracts typically contain several “contingency” clauses or stipulations that the sale is subject to.  Both sellers and buyers may have contingencies in the contract.

Contingencies, for example, may be a mortgage or financing contingency, if the buyer is unable to obtain financing within the specified time frame; neither the buyer nor the seller is required to complete the purchase.  Among other common provisions in the “subject to” section are inspection issues, appraisal, closing date and the purchaser’s need to sell a current home first.

Should I talk about selling my house on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, etc?

YES……and no.  You should give your house as much positive public attention as possible!!  The more eyes that see your house, the better it is!  The “no” answer is you should not be talking about the hassles of mowing your large lawn, the painful neighbors you have or other negative comments.  You never know who is reading your social media posts and they could be your next buyer.  Keep your comments positive about your house to not discourage anyone from your house for sale.

Do I have to put a sign in my yard especially one that needs a hole to be dug?

Signs are not a necessity but I strongly recommend you having one in your yard.  It provides another avenue of advertisement for your house and ways for potential buyers to contact David Nelson for further information or a showing.  David has signs that can be stepped into your yard leaving your soil mainly untouched but they are smaller than the average hanging sign panels.  The large signs that need to be placed in a hole are more visible for those passing by your house and are sturdier against the Minnesota elements.  A text/cell rider will be hung as well.  This allows potential buyers to simply call or text about all the information on your home including photos.