FAQHere is a collection of frequently asked questions that I have put together to help you in buying or selling a home. If you have any other questions, not listed here, feel free to call or send an e-mail.
By clicking on any of the questions below, you may view the answer.
All showings will be coordinated through the seller. The seller will determine when the property is available for a showing.
If you are working with an agent, then you and your agent will discuss an offer to present to the seller. Your agent will then present the seller with a formal offer which then the seller will need to decide to accept the offer, counter back to the offer, or just decline the offer and walk away.
If you are looking to make an offer without an agent then you will be communicating with the seller either in person at the house, email, text, phone, etc. The seller will have an offer worksheet to discuss all the terms and conditions of the offer.
If you are getting close to putting the offer together and ready to make it formal then you can have your attorney review the terms and conditions before you sign.
Earnest money is an amount of money you put down to show you’re serious about purchasing a home. It can also be known as a good faith deposit.
Earnest money protects the seller if the buyer backs out. The amount of earnest money is whatever the buyer is comfortable putting up and whatever the seller is willing to accept. The earnest money should be held in an escrow account until the deal is complete. If all goes smoothly, the earnest money is applied to the buyer’s down payment or closing costs.
If the deal falls through due to a failed home inspection, appraisal issue, financing or any other contingencies listed in the contract, the buyer gets their earnest money back. The purpose of depositing earnest money can decrease the likelihood of a buyer placing offers for multiple homes, then walking away after the sellers take the homes off the market. So the larger the earnest money check usually means the buyer is less likely to walk away for no reason.
As far as the property itself goes, there is no difference in the actual property when looking at what sign is in the yard. The sign in the yard is just determining how the seller is marketing the property and who is the point of contact in regards to the sale of the property.
But not all seller's are created equal so you may need to do some researching on your own. You will want to discuss doing a home inspection of your own to see if there are any concerns that you were not made aware of by the seller or seller's home inspection.
You will want to know if there are any judgments, liens, special assessments, HOA fees, insurance claims, etc on the property.
Some seller's have a past appraisal on their home and they like to negotiate any items on top of the appraised value. So any inspection items, closing costs, commissions, home warranties, etc. would be added to the price. You want to be careful of stretching the price to far because if the home does not appraise with the lender then the contract will be voided and the terms will need to be renegotiated. This could lead to the deal falling apart and a big waste of time on everyone's part.
For most people the first step is looking at properties online. You need to determine the amount of inventory available and the prices of the homes available. For some people they look at homes online for years before they actually decide to move while other people can make that decision in less than a week.
Once you have identified a home or multiple properties of interest then you need to get pre-approved by your lender. Not all approval letters are created equal and not all mortgages are created equal. It would be beneficial to discuss mortgage options with multiple lenders to see if there are any discrepancies in the different types of mortgages available for you.
Yes. You will create a username and password that will allow you to change price, edit information, upload new photos, open houses, mark pending sale/sold, and remove from the site at any time during the listing period.
No. A home inspection is not required when it comes to listing a home. But a home inspection before listing a home can prove to be beneficial to the seller. The seller can become aware of any issues with the property and have them addressed before actually listing the home for sale. The issues can be brought to the buyer's attention as being already taken care of or the seller can have the asking price reflect any of the issues that still need to be addressed.
This can be beneficial when compared to a buyer getting a home inspection and they find some issues. Now there is usually a time crunch to find a professional to fix the issues that were found before the actual day of closing.
No. An appraisal is not required by the seller when selling a home. The buyer's lender will be the one ordering the appraisal for the sale of the property no matter how many appraisals the seller has for the property.
Not all appraisals are the same. If you had 5 different professional appraisals on your home you would more than likely end up with 5 different answers as to the exact value of your home.
So appraisals can be used as part of the process when looking to price a property, but you also need to take into consideration the motivation in selling the property, the current amount of inventory of homes available and the current demand on similar properties on the market. Homes are constantly coming on the market and going pending sale, so the changes in inventory can change very quickly causing the prices to adjust one way or the other.
Zillow requires all By Owner sellers to create their own account with Zillow There is no syndication between IAHomes and Zillow.
The closing process is essentially the same no matter how you go about selling your home. You can have an attorney of your choice assist you through the process or you can work with one of our recommended closing companies in River Ridge Escrow or O'Shea & O'Shea. The necessary closing paperwork will be provided when signing up for a paid listing package.
A 3D Virtual Tour is not a requirement when it comes to selling a property. The virtual tour can be beneficial in allowing people to tour your property online at their leisure but also can make potential buyers feel no need to actually schedule a showing and form an opinion once inside the property.
You can upload your photos if you already have some that you would like to use or we can schedule a professional photographer to take photos.
IAHomes includes a yard sign, directional signs, open house signs, and sign riders with our Assisted listing package.
- Negotiations - Buyers that don't have an agent know that you are looking to save some money selling on your own without paying commissions. So buyers will be looking to have you reduce your asking price according to the realtor fees in your area. So when you actually look at your net numbers, your proceeds are not really that different when hiring an agent because of how negotiations could go in the selling process. For example - Paying a 3% commission to an agent is the exact same cost if a buyer asks you to drop your price 3% because the buyer is not using an agent. Both of those scenarios are the same cost when it comes to your Net Proceeds from the sale of your property. So be sure to go through the exact numbers when calculating all your costs when selling By Owner vs Realtor.
- MLS Exposure - Not getting maximum exposure on the MLS and attracting all the potential buyers out there. People buying a home for the first time, moving to a new area or state, looking for assistance in the process, having limited free time, etc. will have a high probability of working with an agent to find homes.
- Time - If your job and/or personal life leaves little time to dedicate to selling your home or if you are getting close to closing on your new home then FSBO may not be the best option. Also, if you have an offer on another property and it is contingent upon you selling your home then looking to sell By Owner might not be the best option for you since you might run the risk of missing out on the property you want to purchase.
- There’s no guaranteed commission. Selling your home on your own allows flexibility with listing agent commissions and buying agent commission.
- It’s easier to sell to family members or friends. If you and your family member or friend can easily agree on the sale price and condition of the home, involving an agent may not be necessary.
- You have control. Selling on your own gives you greater control in the process including showing your home and scheduling open houses.
- You have tech-savvy marketing knowledge and enjoy the process. A large part of for sale by owner is listing your home on websites and social media. A strong understanding of how to best promote and boost your home’s exposure is important.
Selling By Owner is when you, the owner, takes full responsibility for selling your home without using a realtor. There are no brokerage listing agreements, no MLS marketing exposure. You’re accountable for all aspects of the home sale, including all paperwork and contracts, pricing, marketing, showings, open houses, and negotiations.
The Assisted listing is until your home is sold. The Instant listing will expire after 30 days .