Diane Verducci, CRS, SRES, GREEN
Specializing in Real Estate Services for Albany, Berkeley, Kensington, El Cerrito, Oakland and Piedmont

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Seller's Frequently Asked Questions

There is a lot to think about when you are considering selling your home. The first part of the plan is where you will go, the second is when. When you have made up your mind to move, the rest falls into place. Here are some things to consider:

How can I find an Agent?
If you are moving out of the area and need help in locating an agent in your new city, let me know. I network with agents all over the United States, agents who are Certified Residential Specialists and agents who are familiar with working with Seniors. I can put you in touch with a qualified, experienced agent who can inform you of market conditions in your new area and help with your moving plans.

Should I buy before I sell - or sell before I buy?
This is a serious question and probably the cause of our present day low inventory. Many potential sellers ask themselves, "if I haven't found a property to buy, then how can I sell?" All the fears of placing your property on the market before finding your new home are very real and a difficult decision for any seller. What does work for most is being prepared to sell and perhaps arranging with a lender for short term interim financing. This allows you to buy a property you like and then sell your property within a comfortable period of time. An alternative - Moving twice is not a picnic. But if you have been in your home for a number of years and it needs some painting or minor updating, many sellers decide to rent for a short time, fix their property up and get it sold. This way they know exactly how much profit they have to work with on purchasing another home.

What's my first step?
Choosing an agent should be your first step. You should choose a professional Realtor who has a strong marketing plan, who you feel will skillfully negotiate in your best interest, and who will manage the transaction from start to finish. Check that the agent is active in your area and selling at least 15-20 homes per year. Having accreditation as a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is helpful since less than 3% of all agents are certified as a CRS. CRS and SRES agents are very knowledgeable and having these designations is an indication of an agent's experience. This is a business transaction so I don't recommend hiring a friend. As the saying goes, you can't fire a friend. In addition, don't select a Realtor based on his or her estimate of the value of your home

What disclosure reports should I provide?
First you should order a Pest Control Inspection. There are several companies in the area that are reputable and recognized by other agents. You don't want to open a can of worms by choosing someone no one has heard of, or can depend upon as being accurate. The cost for an inspection varies depending on the size of your property, beginning at about $250 for a home less than 2,000 square feet. Your agent can help you choose which company to call. Second, your agent should help you provide a Natural Hazards Disclosure Statement, as well as other mandatory state or city disclosures. Providing these disclosures in advance for the buyer reduces the chance for surprises later in the transaction.

What changes should I make to my house?
Your Realtor can help you decide what changes or improvements should be made to your property before it goes on the market. Curb appeal is important so the landscaping should be spruced up. Inside, look at your property as if you are the buyer, with a critical eye. Go from there. I have a book I give sellers with many helpful hints that will keep you from wasting money on some improvements and not paying attention to others. It is important to set a budget and your agent should help you with that. Do what you can within your budget. The goal is to get the most for your home and its condition is one of the components of a high price.

How do I set the price of my home?
The answer to this question is complex. Your agent has to be in tune with the market to know how to price your home. Our market can change from day to day so be sure your agent is on top of the current trends for your area. You should be aware of competing properties and properties that were sold within the last 6 months. The number of days on the market, overbidding and circumstances of the past sales are all relevant information to help establish your price.

Honest but truthful - what doesn't affect the value of your home is 1) what you paid for it, 2) the amount of money you need from the sale, 3) what you want from the sale, and 4) what an appraiser says your home is worth. Keep in mind, bottom line, value is determined by what a buyer is willing to pay in today's market, based on comparing your home to others currently on the market.

How can I communicate with my agent?
Open communication is the key to a successful transaction. You should be comfortable asking your agent plenty of questions. Discuss your goals, timing and wish list at the beginning of your transaction. Most agents are connected with email, to the Internet and have voice mail and cell phones so you can easily keep in touch.

I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to contact me with your questions. I look forward to the opportunity of helping.
Diane Verducci, CRS, SRES, Green

Email: diane@dianeverducci.com    Direct Line: 510-982-4409 | Cell: 510-364-1500
Back Next - Buying a Home

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