You can find tons of online posts offering tips for first-time home buyers. It goes without saying that first-time buyers generally face a steep learning curve. But what about first-time sellers? There is a lot to know about selling that homeowners are not likely to learn unless they research and ask questions.
EXIT Real Estate Consultants has teams of professionals that specialize in both buying and selling. Perhaps buying a home is what brought you to EXIT to begin with. Now that you’re ready to sell, we’d be happy to work with you again.
If this is your very first sale, there are some things you should know. In fact, here are three things every first-time home seller should be aware of:
1. Sellers Pay Both Commissions
Real estate agents on both ends of the transaction earn commissions on real estate transactions. Commissions represent their income. Who pays those commissions? It is almost always the seller. There are exceptions to the rule, but sellers generally pick up the tab unless negotiations have created some other type of arrangement.
How much are those commissions? Again, it’s negotiable. The standard rule of thumb is about 3% of the total sale price for each agent. So sellers are looking at 6% of their sales proceeds going toward agent commissions.
2. Bargaining with Contingencies and Concessions
A best-case scenario for a seller would involve getting an offer with no contingencies or concessions. Unfortunately, such offers are hard to come by. Here’s what you need to know as a seller: contingencies and concessions are often used as bargaining chips.
Contingencies are a bit more worrisome in the sense that they allow for some type of action in the event of an unforeseen circumstance. For example, an offer may be contingent on the buyer’s ability to get a mortgage. Concessions are an entirely different matter.
A concession amounts to asking the seller to do something to facilitate the sale. You might be asked to leave behind the washer and dryer you had planned to take with you. A buyer might request that you fix a broken light switch or take care of a damaged kitchen floor. Based on the concessions you are willing to make, you might also be able to ask for a higher sale price.
3. Delays Are Always on the Table
Finally, know that accepting an offer with a defined closing date doesn’t guarantee closing will actually happen on that date. Delays are always on the table. Remember that the buyer’s bank has its own complicated underwriting process to work through. There are title searches to run, inspections to schedule, and more. A delay in one task can lead to a domino effect that delays every other subsequent task on the list.
Delays are part of the process, but they are not the end of the world. Just be prepared for them so you are not surprised. If you can take everything in stride, it will all work out in the end.
As a first-time seller, you are about to see real estate transactions from the other end. Get ready for an exciting ride. By the time you come out the other side, you will have gained a whole new appreciation for what goes on in the real estate market. Hopefully your experience will be more positive than negative. Work with EXIT and it will be.