Ask your Real Estate Questions
It’s time to sell your home and you have a few questions that you need to clear up, as they’ve been weighing on your mind; some more heavily than others. You won’t be the first to ask such a question and that you’ve been afraid to ask a Realtor. Please understand that your question(s) have likely been asked before by home Sellers. Ask the question. Clarity is essential for peace of mind. Without peace of mind, how could you ever begin to prepare for selling a home.
Can I ask a Realtor to reduce their commission?
Sure you can ask a Realtor to reduce their commission, in fact, it’s recommended. It’s recommended by me, you wonder? Why? How a Realtor will answer this question will tell you a lot about their ability to negotiate on your behalf. You’re now scratching your head wondering what the heck am I talking about. Let me explain.
So what happens when you venture out and ask a Realtor to reduce their commission? Their answer will enlighten you a great deal on a must have skill set for any Realtor you chose to hire. If you ask the Realtor to sell your home for less than the typical going rate and they easily give in to your request for them to earn less money, how easy will it be for them to reduce your home’s sales price when a Buyer and their Agent want to buy your home for less money? Easily sacrificing their own income will make it easier to forfeit your income. You can ask, but carefully watch how they respond.
Can I exclude something from my home sale?
If you absolutely must exclude something from your home sale, it must be made known upfront for any prospective Buyers. For example, if that one of kind, hanging chandelier over your dining room table is a light you fell in love with years ago when you first purchased it and you just have to keep it, then sure, you can exclude it. It must be made known to home Buyers, and it’s best to make sure it’s noted directly to your home’s MLS listing. But, my recommendation would be to have it removed before you even list your home for sale. Considering home selling recommendations will get you well on your way to selling your home.
Don’t let the Buyer use what you want to exclude, as a negotiating tool, to get you to give up your prized possession. Instead, replace the light fixture with a fixture that complements your home’s dining room and nobody needs to know about your favorite chandelier; avoiding potential drama and heartache.
Do I have to replace my worn out carpeting before I list my home for sale?
Let me answer after you’ve answered a few questions of mine:
- Is it old, worn and smelly?
- Is it a wildly, obscure color?
- Do you want to get the most money for your home attracting the most prospective Buyers?
If you answered, yes, yes and yes, then “yes” replace it. You can replace it with a neutral colored carpeting that any prospective Buyers can look past as being something they need to spend money on right away. Even if they don’t want carpeting, they will know that it’s something that they can live with awhile.
Carpeting may not be the only thing you’re wondering about on what you should do when your home may need some updates before putting it on the market. Consider other home improvement options.
Can I sell my home ‘As Is”?
You’re likely asking this question because you just don’t want to be bothered with fixing everything little thing in your home before you list it for sale, right? Or perhaps you’re aware of some major needed repairs such as a new roof being needed or your A/C is on it’s last leg or any other number of things that fall along this thinking. If I’m right, and this is what your thought process is then you must understand that your home will have to be appropriately priced knowing repairs are needed. If you’re good with this, then we can stop right now and go on to the next question you’ve been afraid to ask a Realtor.
Yet, you can still sell your home “As Is” while fixing all the little things before selling, so any home Buyer will not nickel and dime you for a price reduction. As basically, this is what it boils down to when you don’t fix what is needed to be repaired. If a Buyer’s home Inspection reveals defects, they’ll want a price reduction for them having to make the repairs themselves. However, at the same time, if you reveal the defects up front in a written property disclosure, the Buyer will know the defects are already priced into the home and it will be up to your skilled Realtor to ensure the price already accounts for the needed repairs. Make sure your Realtor is going to bat for you.
I’m a smoker and I’m selling my home, do I have to worry about the smoke smell?
Yes you do. It’s that simple.
It reminds me of a recent home showing where I was touring homes with my customer. We visited a home and we were advised by the Listing Agent that we needed to take our shoes off because of the sparkling, clean, white floors. We thought….oh good, we’re going to view a pristine home ready to move into. We entered the front door and Poof ……. that ever present smoke filled home hit my nostrils and eyes, though not actually visible. I felt the smoke filled air grab ahold of my clothes and hair. It was all we could do to take a quick peek and leave. Looking back, I don’t even know why we bothered to peek. We exited the home quickly wanting to run to the showers!
What was really incredible about this home was the fact that it was vacant and nobody was living there, other than a few stray side chairs. The homeowners smoking inside the home had permeated the walls the cabinets…everything. It needed an incredible smoking overhaul to rid the home of the smoke.
Know that a non-smoker can be extremely sensitive to the smell of lingering smoke.
You have two options to sell a smoke filled home; work on reversing the signs of the smoke or heavily reduce your home’s list price below market value.
Is it okay to decorate my home for the Christmas holiday when selling in November/December?
Sure you can! The Christmas holidays are a wonderful time of year and when you’ve chosen to sell your home, you’ll simply want to make sure your home is easy to be seen. You don’t want to over decorate making it difficult for your home’s features to be readily visible. Think simple elegance.
How important is curb appeal – do I really have to clean up my home’s exterior?
Did you know how fast first impressions can be formed? Really fast. When was the last time you were shopping and you noticed a lovely shop and adored what was in the window, thinking I want to see more?! The same holds true with a home for sale.
A prospective home Buyer will pull up to your home and can immediately get a feel for how the rest of the home may appear. Don’t give them the chance to skip your home when the interior looks so amazing due to all your effort you focused on inside. At least, give them a hint that there may be more that they like inside. It can be as simple as a good trim, cleaning and freshly potted flowers by the front door.
I bought the nicest home in a neighborhood, was that a mistake?
While I’m sure you probably love your home, the fact that you now own the nicest home in the neighborhood will potentially harm your resale value when it comes time to sell your home. Because you planted yourself into the nicest home in the neighborhood, your home’s value is at the top of your neighborhood’s price range. This means, that to get into your neighborhood, a home Buyer can pay a lesser amount for a smaller, less upgraded home; one that’s not the King of the Castle. Plus, if a home Buyer is qualified to buy your home at it’s higher price, then they just might as well go in search of another neighborhood, where they will be surrounded by nicer homes; they can be the little guy in a sea of mansions, which will ultimately help their resale value. Next time, think twice about buying the best home in a neighborhood.
9 times of of 10 it’s best to be the smallest and/or modest home in a neighborhood full of nicer and larger homes.
Is my beloved doggie going to make it difficult to sell my home?
My heart aches just understanding where you’re going with this question, as I too love dogs! Our doggies can be our best of friends, always accepting of us no matter what and are just pure joy! However, (yes,….I’ve got to put out the “however”) a dog can make our jobs more difficult when trying to get a home sold.
Perhaps the most prevalent concern is that of your dog’s smell that can fill your home with unwanted odor when it’s time to sell your home. From their toys, bedding and an occasional mistake when duty calls, the odor can indeed penetrate your home, when quite often you’ve grown accustomed to the odor. Unfortunately, a visiting, prospective Buyer will certainly catch the first whiff upon entering your home. Unless they’re willing to perform a deep clean or love dogs too, it may just be a deal breaker or a reason to ask for a lowball offer.
Your option will be to remove all the doggie stuff from your home, perform a deep clean yourself, which may include replacing any carpets or you can price your home below market value to compensate for the dog effect.
What should I do with my gun when selling a home?
Out of sight. Under lock and key. Do I need to elaborate any further?
Is it okay to to keep my collection of artistic nude paintings hanging throughout my home?
While you say it’s only art, a nude painting can make some feel uncomfortable, particularly if they have children in tow. When selling a home do you want to make a home Buyer feel at ease in your home so they’ll consider purchasing your home? Of course you do, otherwise why would you be trying to sell your home?
No matter the collection you have on display in your home, it’s always best to neutralize your home. There are all kinds of collections; from nude paintings, to dolls, to politics, to hunting collections and these very personal items can clog a prospective home Buyer’s vision. You want them to be able to see themselves living in your home and when it’s amongst your collection, the odds are against that level of comfort being reached.
Pack up and store your nude paintings. Or put them on display at a local art gallery until you move into your new home where they’ll gracefully hang on your new home’s walls.
Can I call my home a 3 bedroom when the non-permitted 3rd “bedroom” we added is in the garage?
To you it seems like a 3 bedroom, I get it, however when a prospective home Buyer arrives to view your home, seeing a “bedroom” in a garage with no window will not set easy with them. They’ll feel like they’ve been tricked into coming and it will only tick them off. It’s much better to tell it like it is in your home’s listing description. This way, there are some that will consider such an option and will view it a lot more favorably, than being surprised upon stepping foot into your garage, when they were expecting to see a garage.
In addition, the whole non-permitted factor is another issue putting pressure on it being to your city’s local building code and affecting the appraisal value.
Do I have to reveal that my wife committed suicide in our home?
Who can imagine having to live through such a traumatic experience in one’s home. It’s overwhelming to even think of anyone having gone through such a tragedy and the last thing that you need is to have a law punish you any further. Fortunately, Florida law through Section 689.25 F.S. clearly says that if a property was a site of a homicide, suicide or death it is not a material fact what has to be disclosed. Material facts are those that affect a home’s value. A suicide is viewed as a stigmatized property and here in Florida it does not have to be revealed to a prospective home Buyer.
It’s important to note that I’m reporting on Florida law and laws can differ from state to state, so be sure to check your state’s law if you have such a question for a Realtor.
Do I have to reveal that a bunch of apes live next door to me?
I understand wild, unruly neighbors can get the best of us at times. Hopefully, they’ll be on their best behavior for any new Buyers of your home or the Buyers themselves are a bit ape-like so they can get along together well.
There is no law that states you have to let the cat out of the bag about whether or not you like your neighbors. I’m sure there’s one thing or another that you like about your neighbors, so when you get asked about the neighbors you can reply to them mentioning what an admirable trait might be, such as: “….oh, they’re got the cutest little kids, that will be perfect playmates for your kids…”. There’s nothing dishonest about that, is there?
Is it okay to keep my pet Burmese Python visible for home showings?
So you live on the edge. Enjoy adventure. Typical domestic pets have never thrilled you too much. You love snakes. And, if others don’t love snakes then it’s just too bad. Gotta have you a Burmese Python snake.
No problem, you can have snakes as they’re not against the law, however don’t be surprised if you keep it out for home showings and your offers are slow to come. Seeing a snake while touring a home can conjure up all kinds of scenes in a prospective Buyer’s mind. Don’t give them the opportunity to imagine. Instead, hire a snake sitter to take your snake while your home is up for sale or send it to a snake daycare center.
I’d like to help you research to find a snake caring center, but they give me the heebie-jeebies, so you’re on your own!
Do you have to take photos of my home’s interior, I’m very private?
Revealing our lives to the world can be uncomfortable at times. We can be accommodating when photographing your home, yet having high quality photographs and video on display is what online, searching Buyers want to see. Over 90% of home Buyers search online for the home they’re going to buy and the better view they’re able to catch, the better chance of getting your home sold. You don’t want to put up any obstacles about seeing your home clearly. Remember this is temporary.
These are some questions that have been weighing on your mind, and some are tougher than others, which is why you’ve probably been afraid to ask a Realtor. Yet, now that they’ve been asked and you have the answers, you can plan for selling a home.
Perhaps there are other questions that you need answers to before you decide to sell a home. Don’t delay, and ask your question. Just a phone call, email or text away. Ask.
More Home Selling Resources:
“What Steps are Involved in Selling a Home?” from Imagine Your House
“Frequently Asked Real Estate Questions” from Pinterest
Today’s Real Estate article “16 Real Estate Questions You’ve Been Afraid to Ask a Realtor” was written by Lynn Pineda. You’ll find Lynn selling homes in Southeast Florida in the cities of Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Margate, Parkland, Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Sunrise, Plantation and Ft Lauderdale areas within Broward and Palm Beach counties. Call Lynn at 954-464-1100 if you have more questions about selling a home – don’t be afraid to just ask!
Lynn Pineda, a licensed Southeast Florida Real Estate Agent serving Southeast Florida since 2005. eXp Realty Boca Raton Florida. Real Estate Promises Delivered. You can speak with Lynn by calling/texting her at 954-464-1100 or you can email her at: LynnP@ImagineYourHouse.com if you need to buy or sell a Southeast Florida home. Your local, trusted professional when it’s time to buy or sell a home. Real Estate promises delivered.