How Long Will it Take Me to Sell My House?
You may be eager to sell your house, but may be wondering “How long will it take me to sell my house?”. Our guide will help you have a clearer expectation.
So… How Long?
Figure two weeks to get it ready to list. We will go through your home and make suggestions to make your home show beautifully. We also pay for a professional inspection when we list your home so we don’t have any surprises once we are under contract.
Pricing is the next big factor in how long your home will sit on the market. Price it too high and it won’t sell until you lower to market value. Price it right and it should sell within 30 days. Price it too low and you very well could end up with over market value as buyers turn into bidders. The “If you want this house, I want it more…”) mentality seems to take over.
Negotiating an offer will take a few days. The inspection is the biggest obstacle to quick closings. Be sure you disclose any and all negatives in the seller’s disclosure. Be very sure you have permits for any major work or repairs that were done to the home either before or during your ownership. It may seem unfair, buy you are responsible for providing permits for any and all repairs or installations that require a permit to be sure everything is up to code.
If both sides are satisfied at this point or have renegotiated as a result of the inspection, you could be headed for the closing table. However, if the buyer has a mortgage, the home must appraise. If not, the price may have to be renegotiated once again. A third hurdle could be association approval if there is an HOA or condo board involved.
From this point, it will take a minimum of 45 days to close with the new closing procedures effective October 3, 2015. If it is a cash offer, you can often close within 2 weeks.
REALISTIC BUYER EXPECTATIONS
The big difference between Hollywood, Florida and the other Hollywood is that we don’t have reality shows that make buying a home as quick as you can say “lights, camera, action”! Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make, and we are not only talking about money. This decision will also affect your peace of mind and will greatly impact your family’s quality of life. A decision this important makes it crucial that you completely understand the process and possible pitfalls. Three major areas that buyers need to be aware of are as follows:
You are in Competition with Other Buyers
We’ve all heard the saying, “While you’re sleeping on it, someone else will be sleeping in it.” At this point in time, this saying is completely accurate.. Nice homes that are priced right and marketed correctly are flying off the shelves. Multiple offers and final sales prices over the listing price are happening more and more. This might be a surprise for buyers considering they’ve been told by their parents or colleagues to start their offer at 20 percent below the listing price. If you study properties on the internet at all, you cannot help but see the flaw in this reasoning. We will go over this when we sit down with you at our buyer consultation meeting. We will preview properties on the big screen to narrow your search; by neighborhood, by features, by school districts, by location – whatever are your most important “must haves” However, you will learn quickly that when you find the home you love, you can bet someone else loves it too. We simply cannot waste time getting there first. We need to be showing within 24 hours of the listing. Then we need to write the strongest offer possible. As your Realtors, A Team Florida has more strategies than just the highest offer. We are great negotiators and committed to making sure you GET the house you want.
Strategies to Find – and buy – your Dream Home!
As mentioned before, your parents or co-workers who bought a home 10+ years ago are notorious for giving advice – please talk to us about what you are being told so we can show you how different things are in TODAY’S market. Here are some facts:
- You cannot go out looking for homes before you are pre-qualified. Not if you are working with professional realtors. Common sense would dictate that you know for a fact how much home you can afford and have the paperwork in hand to present with your offer. No seller will consider an offer seriously without accompanying proof of funds and/or mortgage pre-approval.
- Homes are selling for list price or higher if they are priced to market value. Again, because there is an army of buyers out there looking for the same thing you are; AND they sell in record time.
- Sellers do NOT normally pay buyer closing costs; not in this market. The buyer selects the title company/closing attorney and both sides pay their own taxes, fees and closing costs. Can you request that the seller pay the closing costs? Yes, but the offer really needs to make it worth their while. If you need your closing costs paid, we have ways; again, talk to us about it during your buyer consultation.
- Inventory is low and demand is high. A good deal might be NOT having to pay more than what the house is listed for. It is normal for buyers who are not market savvy to lose several homes before they learn that what their agent is telling them about making a strong offer is actually true. A Team Florida makes it a practice to get to a new listing and make the offer within 24 hours if it looks like we found your perfect home.
The All-Important Inspection
This is the biggest hurdle to navigate in today’s market and we, as well as every other agent in this market, have lost deals because of it. Many real estate transactions meet their demise at the hands of the home inspection. The inspection is all-important so you know everything that is wrong with the home; from a non-working garbage disposal to the need for a new roof. But it is only good if you know what is worth fighting for. Expect to negotiate fairly with the seller if there will be costs associated with repairs. This is probably one of the most difficult steps to navigate in the sales process for the buyers, sellers and real estate agents. This is where human nature kicks in; the seller never thinks the repair is a big deal, and the buyer sees a money pit.
A Team Florida is in a unique position because we have Brian Gaiefsky, who has a background in construction and attends every inspection. He can tell us what is important and costly and what is not. Prior to the inspection, the buyer thinks this is the most perfect and beautiful place to call home. The inspector, however, is able to wreck their world in a matter of hours by informing them of all the imperfections and “could go wrongs” lurking behind the walls of the home. Code violations are also a big issue so we run a “background check” on the home itself BEFORE the inspection and may even modify the offer based on what we find. The bottom line is that sellers have the option of fixing the problem or crediting the buyer with the funds to do it themselves. Everything is a negotiation. Sometimes is it better to just walk away. We know how to explain the pros and cons so that you can make an intelligent decision. A Team Florida always has your back!
The new guidelines make it an even better idea for buyers to get more than one estimate for their mortgage. Lenders must now provide you with a loan estimate no later than three business days after you apply for a mortgage which outline the exact terms of the mortgage: loan amount, interest rate and closing costs. You will know the loan will cost you over the next 5 years and how much of the principal will be paid off during that time. You will easily see which lender offers you the best value.
Now it begins. Go to http://ateamflorida.com/buyers/ to learn more about the buying process and then call us at 954-964-2559.
Once we have a deal, we contact your lender and provide them with the signed contract so they can start to process your loan. Three business days before closing, you will receive a five-page document from your lender called the closing disclosure. It will contain much of the same information as your initial loan estimate. You will know EXACTLY what to expect as far as expenses and fees and there will be no “surprise” changes at the closing table
Be very careful not to do ANYTHING between the signed contract and closing date that will affect or change your credit worthiness.
- DO NOT make any big purchases; i.e. furniture, appliances or a car.
- DO NOTHING that will cause a credit check.
- DO NOT sign up for any new credit cards even if there is a great incentive like lower interest or discounted merchandise.
- DO NOT quit or change jobs. Even if you will be making more money, hold off. Job history is more important than a new wage rate.
Buying a home is the most important purchase you’re likely to make, you want to get it right, here is pamphlet that goes beyond important things to consider when buying a home.
HOW TO AVOID THE MOST COMMON BUYER MISTAKES
It can feel like watching a car accident in slow motion: Our buyers are happily cruising along until — bam! They make an error that kills the deal. They think “well, OK, let’s find another” and then never finds the perfect place again and end up having to “settle”; never forgetting the one that got away. As agents, we see the train coming but we can’t save them from themselves. Although we do our best to set them up for success by sharing our expertise and years of experience to help them avoid these types of mistakes, there are always well meaning friends and family who lead them astray. The silver lining is that they likely won’t make the same mistake again. The downside is there are more mistakes to be made. One thing we do know, if a buyer listens and takes our advice, they are always grateful – and successful.
1.THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS AND THE DEADLINES
There are THREE important people in your life when you purchase property (other than your family) – your Mortgage Broker/Lender, your Realtor and your Closing Agent. Choose wisely; follow their advice and heed their warnings. If you are not comfortable with any or all of the above – HIRE SOMEONE ELSE! If you have hired and fired more than two – it is YOU and not them. Also, when it comes time for the inspection, the appraisal and if necessary a condo or HOA approval, you definitely need to listen to professionals. Missed deadlines and unrealistic expectations derail deals.
The nitty-gritty details of buying a home, like disclosures, inspections, and loan documents are not nearly as much fun as actually having your offer accepted. But they are ALL IMPORTANT to your pocketbook and peace of mind. Yes, we will review everything because we know what to look for, but we do not always know what is most important to you, so we need to work closely together. If you feel lost with the paperwork or a procedure, TELL us. It is our job to make sure you are knowledgeable about each step of the process so we can work together to make the right decisions. “There is no such thing as a stupid question” is never truer when you are spending thousands of dollars on a place you will be spending a good portion of your life living in.
3.ASK UP FRONT ABOUT THE MAJOR “DON’TS”
Not everyone knows NOT to buy anything major between the day you start looking and the day you close; not a car, not furniture, not a washer/dryer. Do not do anything that necessitates a credit check. This is a red flag for lenders. Do not quit your job or change jobs, even if you will be making more money. Lenders want to see continuity in your past employment and income. Other mistakes include increasing credit card debt or paying bills late. Be prepared to prove where any cash you use for a down payment comes from. The old “safe deposit box” explanation doesn’t cut it. If a relative is helping you with the down payment, tell your lender so they can document it honestly. TALK to your lender and/or realtor about the costs associated with a purchase BEFORE you make the offer. No matter how long it takes us to find you a property, always consult with us BEFORE you make major financial or career changes.
4.DO NOT WAIT TO MAKE AN OFFER
When you find the perfect house, you can bet that there are several other buyers thinking the same thing. You need to be ready to go. That is why we will nag you about giving us a copy of your bank statement (with the acct # blacked out) to prove you have the cash to put down and pay closing costs. If you are getting a mortgage, we need proof from your lender that they are willing to lend you that amount of money. When a listing comes on the market we will call you and insist that you be available to see it within 24 hours. When we find a house that you feel is a “10” we will scurry back to the office and immediately make up the offer. We will show you our strategies that get our offer accepted over others but you will need to implement them. Once the offer is accepted, our real work begins. From contract to close is a whole other adventure! Let us be your guide. At A Team Florida, teamwork makes the dream work. We want to work with you to make sure you are going to LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE!