Sellers FAQ

Sellers FAQ

FAQ For Virginia Beach Home Sellers

questionQ. What typically goes into a listing agreement?

A. The listing agreement is between the real estate company and a home's seller. Think of it as your legal instructions to the people who will market your home and represent you in its sale. It must include beginning and end dates for the term of the listing, the conditions to which you, the listing agent and the real estate company agree, and a price (usually a percentage of the eventual sale price) you're willing to pay for services rendered.

Q. How important is the condition of my property to its sale?

A. The answer to this question depends upon your priorities. Are you hoping to extract the maximum sale price for your home? If so, condition and appearance can both be very important. If, however, you've let "deferred maintenance" catch up with you, your priorities may be different. You may wish to sell your home in "as is" condition, allowing its buyer to repair/replace items as she/he sees fit. In this case, your ultimate sale price will be less than what the same buyer would be willing to pay for your home in mint condition.

Q. Should we leave our home when showings (or open houses) are being conducted?

A. Generally speaking, yes. If it causes you no undue hardship, it's easier for a real estate agent to show your home without you present. The agent is better able to "demonstrate" your home's features and benefits, painting a realistic picture for the buyers to envision themselves living there. Your absence will also allow your prospective buyers to focus on the house and its attributes - rather than on being polite to you.

Q. What is an Agency Disclosure?

A. An Agency Disclosure is a state-required document, disclosing to you as a principal in a real estate transaction (in this case, the seller) whom the agent(s) in that transaction represent. A state's Agency Disclosure simply notifies you of that state's agency laws; it does not obligate you to work with any particular agent or broker.

Q. What is the MLS, and how does it benefit me?

A. A Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is a database that makes it easier to reach a large number of buyers and increase your property's exposure. It's a system which participating brokers at the real estate board agree to share commission on the sale of houses listed by any one of them. For example, if your house is listed with one broker and another finds the buyer who purchases it, they split the commission. You benefit because more people have an interest in selling your house and your home is exposed to more buyers since Realtors have access to MLS.

Q. Is RE/MAX Allegiance a member of the Multiple Listing Service?

A. Yes, in every market we serve, RE/MAX Allegiance is a member of the local MLS, as well as being members of the national, state and local Associations/Boards of Realtors®.

Q. Do your real estate agents cooperate with other companies' agents?

A. Our agents work according to specific laws, regulations and customs in their respective market areas. In all markets RE/MAX Allegiance serves, brokers and agents from different companies work cooperatively, showing and selling each other's listed properties.

Q. Should I buy first ... or sell first?

A. Do you need the equity that's built up in your present home to complete the purchase of your new home? If so, you either need to sell first or consider a bridge loan or house sale contingency. We strongly suggest that you engage a real estate agent with whom you can enter a trusting relationship. Then discuss this question with him or her, touching on every aspect of what it may mean for your particular situation. Keep in mind, too, that the RE/MAX Allegiance listing agent who's selling your present home can become your buyer's agent for your next home.

Q. How can I prepare my house for sale?

A. The selling process usually starts months before a property is actually put on the market. It is a good idea to look at your home through the eyes of a potential buyer. This will help you decide what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired or tossed out. Your Realtor can help you make these decisions and list your home at a fair price when it's ready.

Q. How can I find out what my home is worth?

A. Your RE/MAX Allegiance associate has a thorough knowledge of the current real estate market, and will prepare a professional market analysis of your home to help you set a competitive price. Your associate will also help you stage your home for showing to buyers. It is extremely important to view your home as a potential buyer would. Professional staging features your home in the best light, increasing its marketability.

Q. As a seller, what do I have to disclose about the condition of my property?

A. The best policy is truth when it comes to disclosing the condition of your property. You must disclose all known material defects of the property. Normally, these are noted on a Seller Disclosure Form (SDF). This is a form included in the seller compliance manual and is completed by the seller and Realtor. If an item is not covered on the SDF, you must still make disclosures about known material defects. Even if a matter has been repaired, you should still disclose the previous defect and a report of the repairs completed. By disclosing all problems up front, you can avoid any surprises that many times provokes a lawsuit.

Q. When is the best time to put my home on the market?

A. Peak selling seasons change from year to year and sometimes weather has a lot to do with it. Often early spring and early fall are the prime listing seasons because houses tend to show better in those months than they do in the heat of the summer or the cold of winter. Keep in mind there are more houses on the market during the prime seasons, so you'll have more competition. You shouldn't base your decision to sell on what season it is because each selling situation is unique.

Q. When choosing a Realtor, how do I know what all of those abbreviations mean behind the agent's name?

A. Well, believe it or not, all of those letters stand for Realtor designations. Agents are required to take a certain amount of continuing education classes each year to maintain their real estate license. Many times, they'll choose an area to focus on in order to specialize in it. Below are some of the most common designations, which indicate they have specialized knowledge about a certain topic or are members of different real estate associations.

ABR Accredited Buyer Representative
CCIM Certified Commercial Investment Member
CIPS Certified International Property Specialist
CNHS Certified New Homes Specialist
CRB Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager
CRS Certified Residential Specialist
GRI Graduate Realtor Institute
NAR National Board of Realtors Member
RRS Residential Relocation Specialist

Contact Information

Photo of The Butler Team Real Estate
The Butler Team
RE/MAX Allegiance
4000 Virginia Beach Blvd. Ste 164
Virginia Beach VA 23452
Fax: 757-233-1552

The Butler Team, ABR, CRS, GRI

Dave  Macklin 
Office: 757-237-2751      Fax: 757-233-1552