When you start thinking about selling your house, you may have a lot of questions, especially if you’ve never sold a home before. Your real estate agent will also have a variety of questions to ask you in what’s called a seller’s needs assessment.
A seller’s needs assessment is a questionnaire you’ll complete that provides detailed information to your real estate agent. Your agent can then be more efficient and effective in fulfilling your needs as a home seller.
Your agent, with your information, should be attuned to your needs for timing, pricing, contingencies, and desired lifestyle.
More than just understanding your motives and requirements, the agent is then armed and able to tailor a marketing strategy specific to you.
Here are some things that your sellers agent may ask.
Details About You
First, you’ll go over the basics like providing your name, address, phone number, how long you’ve lived in the home, and other pertinent details.
You may be asked about why you’re selling the property, how you feel about the sale, and what the other household members living with you think about selling.
You’ll answer whether or not you’ve sold a home before, and if your current home has been on the market already.
Have you already purchased your next residence?
Another important factor is where you are moving – whether you’re staying local or moving to a new location.
Details About Your House
Here you’ll provide information about the size and age of your home, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, whether it has a garage, basement, fenced in yard, heating an air, etc.
Are you current on your mortgage payments? Are there any tax liens, holds, special assessments, or other restrictions on the sale of the property?
What do you love most about your current home’s character? What elements made you decide to purchase your house when you did?
Have you noticed other houses for sale in your area? How do you feel your home compares?
Your Motive for Selling
The reason you’ve decided to sell your house dictates the entire process.
Are you moving because you’re ready to upsize to accommodate a growing family, or are you downsizing to celebrate empty-nesting?
Maybe you’re moving for work purposes, are motivated to live within a specific school district, are establishing a college fund, or creating a retirement fund.
On the contrary, you may have to sell – even if you’d rather not – if you’ve fallen behind on payments or in the case of a divorce.
Your Timeline for Selling Your House
Your motive for selling also influences your timeline for selling.
Do you have to move by a specific date, or do you have time to wait until the market is in favor of sellers? When are you relocating and when do you need to close?
Some buyers may submit offers with contingencies wherein they have to sell their house before they can buy yours, or that they have to move by a certain date, or have to wait a specific amount of time to close.
In other cases, some buyers may not have received financing yet, which could cause delays. And, sometimes, a buyer will ask you to pay some or all of their closing costs.
Establish your timeline with your real estate agent so that you both have the same understanding and expectations when it comes time to review and negotiate offers.
Your Pricing Strategy
Your first objective is to determine how much money you need to to pay off your current mortgage, seller’s closing costs, and then assess your basic financial needs. How much do you need to sell for vs. how much you’d like to earn.
There are multiple ways to approach the pricing of your house for sale. Some sellers prefer to aim high, patient enough to wait for the right offer, or willing to reduce the price in increments.
Other sellers with more motivation to move quickly might list at fair market value.
And, in cases where the need to sell is urgent, you may list below market value (which can sometimes result to multiple offers, bidding wars which could escalate the price) – or, in the worst case scenario, a short sale.
Your real estate agent will help you understand effective pricing strategies and supply you with valuable tools, but it’s important that he or she understands your financial goals when selling.
The Condition of Your Home
Is your house move-in ready, or does it need a bit of work?
Will the home pass inspection, or do you need to make repairs?
The condition of your home will affect both the sales price you earn and the timeline for the transaction.
Have you made any recent upgrades, renovations, or other improvements that may add value to your home?
Have you received an opinion of value other than an appraisal?
Your chosen real estate agent can help you understand quick and easy ways to prepare your house so that you can gain the most return on your investment, and expedite the process.
In the interest of full disclosure, is there anything a buyer should know about the property?
Selling the Neighborhood
As much as buyers consider the size, style, condition, and price of a house to purchase, they also consider the neighborhood and community amenities.
What are your favorite hang outs? Your favorite places to eat or shop? What parks are close to home, and how are the school district’s ratings? Is your house close to public transportation? Is there easy access to entertainment, recreation, art and culture nearby? Do you live near emergency services, a library, or a community center?
All of these things not only elevate your home’s value, but are strong selling points that your agent will focus on when educating buyers about your property.
What do You Expect from Your Real Estate Agent?
You’ll be forming a relatively long working relationship with the real estate agent you hire. It’s important that you are clear with your agent about your expectations.
Do you expect your agent to contact you daily? Do you prefer phone calls, text messages, or email? How long is an appropriate response time? Are you comfortable and confident in your agent’s marketing strategy for your home?
You’ve likely taken a lot of time coming to the conclusion that it’s time to sell your house. Selling. house is a time consuming process that can feel complicated.
To make it easier to serve you and fulfill your needs as a seller, your agent has to have a thorough understanding of what you need to earn on the sale of your home, when you need to close, the condition of your home, how you’re willing to negotiate, and what you expect from their service.
Have Questions? Ask JTC Real Estate!
JTC Real Estate is the best source of information about the local community and real estate topics. Give Jane Caddell a call at 562-331-3301 to learn more about local areas, discuss selling a house, or tour available homes for sale