Frequently Asked Questions

Selling a home can be an overwhelming affair, especially if you've never sold a house before. We're talking about the seller's perspective, not the agent's view. An agent has had a lot of exposure to selling homes and can, obviously, be an excellent source of information if you are willing to ask the questions.

There are always a lot of questions a person will have going into the process of selling their house. We have taken some frequently asked questions and shared some answers from a real estate agent's perspective.

Q. What's the problem with setting my price higher-I can always drop it later.

A. That sounds great in theory, however, the reality is that your house will probably sell for a much lower price in the end. When a house is initially listed, there is always a lot of traffic. As time goes on, if the house is overpriced, it is competing with other homes of greater size and value for the same price. As a result, the overpriced house probably won't attract an offer. It's good to remember that in the first few weeks of a listing the real estate agents do a preview tour. They see a lot of properties for sale and if the price is too high, then they may not even bother showing the house to their buyers. Eventually, you'll have to drop the price as buyers wonder why the house has been for sale for such a long time. That factor could influence their offer.

Q. What's a contingency clause in the sales contract?

A. A contingency clause in a sales contract is where the stipulations around the sale are enumerated. Another way of saying it is, "subject to..." For instance, the contract may be written up, but before the sale is consummated the financial arrangements have to be in place by a certain date. If, for some reason the financing falls through then neither buyer nor seller are obligated to the contract. You will see this in terms of inspections, purchase of another property, or specific repairs to the house.

Q. After the home inspection, am I, as the Seller, obligated to fix everything the Buyer wants fixed?

A. Depending upon which state or country you are selling in, the contract may indicate that you are not obliged to fix anything. The Buyer's agent may have some addendum in the contract which provides for a specific period of time in which the Seller can determine which, if any, repairs s/he is willing to make. The choice belongs to the Seller in most cases, whether all, some or none of the repairs will be done.

The decision to make repairs may have specific criteria. If a potential danger is inherent unless a repair is made, then probably it would be good to do it. The price of purchase in the offer can reflect repairs and, at the end of the day, the sale itself may be affected. Often people decide to go ahead with most of the reasonable requests and leave the frills for the new owner. There are times when a repair can make or break a deal, so it is a good idea to have an experienced agent working for you to help you negotiate your way through the contract.