Sell My House
Most Common Questions, Answered!

Sell my house most common questions range from:

  • how to price the property right
  • should you do it yourself or hire a Realtor
  • what to expect with inspections and appraisals
  • how to deal with low appraisals
  • do I close with a title company or hire an attorney?

Got questions about 'how to sell my house' we haven't answered in this post? Ask them below and we'll post an answer shortly!

What's the market value to sell my home?

What price do I sell my house at? Determining market value should include several steps. First start with a search on for their instant "Zestimate". This estimate of value is a daily computation Zillow produces this value estimate based on factors including recent sales of similar properties, and square footage.

As Zillow recommends, the second step should be requesting a free CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) report from an experienced, licensed real estate agent. These reports come with no obligations, and realtors do these daily as part of their jobs. Simply request the market value report and you'll get a more comprehensive report featuring information on the homes currently for sale in your area (your competition), pending sales that will soon close, and recently closed sales. It will tell you how many days on the market before a property finally sold, any adjustments that were made for condition, unique updates etc that you can use to compare your own property to.

It will have photos, addresses and will give you a final estimate, from a realtor perspective, of the amount your property should be able to sell for, right now, in the current market and climate.

Should I sell my house myself, or hire a Realtor?

Studies have shown that when selling through an experienced Realtor, properties sell at a higher amount and close faster and more successfully. With so many potential pitfalls like financing, contract clauses, inspections, appraisals, escrow deposits, condo questionaires etc - real estate agents know how to navigate through the potential mine fields. The average commission charged for these services is typically 6% of the purchase price. This may seem like a lot to a seller.

With the DIY sell my house scenario, you'll save this 6%. So you would need to weigh the pros and cons. Have you bought and sold enough properties to feel comfortable navigating the process and successfully closing the deal? Some people have been through the process enough that they can handle the potential pitfalls, and saving the 6% is worth it to them. The most important aspect of the DIY seller will be determining the right market value, and being able to stick to it. In which case, the DIY seller could end up with a successful sell my house experience and get the amount of money you wanted at the closing table.

What documents do I need?

What documents do I need to sell my house? Yes... you'll need to gather some documents! Generally, you'll need more documents to sell a condo, than a house. Is the house located within a homeowner's association? Is there a Master Association?  If there is any over-arching associations or organizations, you'll need an updated copy of by-laws, financial statements and rules/regs. Why? The buyer will need to look at them to make an informed decision on buying into a property governed in part by this/these entities. You'll also need a copy of the Warranty Deed. And if there was any change of ownership or divorce, etc. since that Warranty Deed was granted, you'll need a copy of any Quit Claim Deed or similar Deed proving ownership. Lastly, you'll want to gather and provide any paperwork, permits, warranties for any major work done to the property like a re-roof, new AC, septic/drainfield, new electrical panel, etc. The law is very clear... you must disclose most everything possible to a new buyer so they can make an informed decision. Provide as much information as you possible can, to protect yourself from liabilities of non-disclosure later on.

How long will it take to sell my house?

Sellers like to plan ahead. How long will it take to sell my house - is one of the most common questions we're asked. Why? Sellers need to know when to plan to move, how long to expect a vacancy, etc. Time is money. The longer the house is for sale without being sold, the more it could be costing you.

"DOM" (days on market" is a big consideration to factor into both the pricing of the property, and also whether or not to sell the house as "occupied" or vacant. In general, homes sell faster and for more money when they are vacant. Second is "owner occupied". Homes generally sell for less money and take much longer to sell when they are "tenant occupied".

If the property is in an area that sees a healthy amount of sales and is no longer suffering from foreclosures, and there are multiple properties currently for sale that are similar to yours, and the area is popular, the property is priced correctly for the current market, and you take a solid (non risky) contract/terms... generally you can expect to sell within 2-3 months.

But each of these factors, the area, interest rates, etc all play a role in how long it will ultimately take to reach selling success. Cash buyer? You can close within 3 weeks! FHA or VA? It could take 6 weeks or more.

Can I live here while I sell my house?

Or is it okay if we stay while trying to sell my house? Owner occupied homes are pretty normal in residential, family-oriented neighborhoods. If your property is in a high rise in Downtown Miami, trying to sell "owner occupied" will be a drawback, but it's still possible, you'll just need to be more patient. To avoid discounting your property or having the property sit on the market longer than need be... make sure to employ some strategic home staging efforts, fix those small but noticeable repairs, and take the time that you're continuing to live there to improve the property, clean the property, move some furniture around, and get rid of non-essentials and clutter.

I have a tenant, but I need to sell

Can my tenant stay when I'm trying to sell my house? Tenant occupied properties for sale have both advantages and disadvantages. First, you're continuing to collect rent while selling. Great!  But the drawback is that your potential buyers look at vacant property first. Why? It's easier to set up showings at a vacant house, than making appointments usually 24 hours in advance with a tenant. It's also very difficult for many people to have the vision beyond seeing the tenant's furniture and things, to be able to envision their own family living in the space. With vacant homes, buyers see the empty space and can visualize themselves living there much more effectively.

Make sure when selling "tenant occupied", you talk to the tenant about how to prepare the property for showings. Make sure they know to keep everything clean during the process, make the beds each morning, keep clutter off the flat surfaces of the kitchen and bathrooms. Make sure the property has a pleasant fragrance, no pet smells or other unpleasantness. If your tenant cooperates, and makes the house accessible for showings easily, you can find success. But if the tenant doesn't keep a clean house, if there's work like painting or carpet replacement etc that's needed... your buyer is going to notice those things right away and either move on to another property or they will offer you a price much lower than you want, or that you could have gotten otherwise.

How do I prepare for the Property Inspection?

Inspection reports are very, very comprehensive. They inspect every system in the house including AC, plumbing, electrical. They check the temperature of the water, how fast the water comes out of the faucets, how toilets flush, the condition of the roof, if every single electrical outlet is working, how many GCFI outlets you are missing, etc. For this reason, it's very important to look over a sample inspection report, and go through your own property looking for potential issues. If you find issues, and they are easily fixed, fix them! And if they are costly repairs, you'll need to be open to negotiation with the buyer to either get these things fixed or reduce the agreed upon purchase price.

Why does it matter how the buyer will pay for the house? Cash, conventional mortgage, FHA, VA...

Is there a difference in buyer financing when I review offers, if I want to quickly sell my house? Cash buyers are generally the easiest and fastest transaction. They can close quickly, and they don't require appraisals which can be a mine field waiting to explode if the buyer is financing the purchase. If the property is located in a condo community, the property would need to be FHA approved in order for FHA to finance the purchase there. And there are MANY condo communities that are not approved. VA financing is typically considered the most difficult to close with, because they often have the most strict appraisal and inspection steps to get past.

If you are a DIY seller, do an internet search about your area's recent sales and the types of financing... BEFORE you accept an offer from a buyer. Make sure you are knowledgeable about the pluses and minuses of each type of purchase, so you can make the best decision for your individual situation.

What's the difference between using a title company for a closing, or hiring an attorney?

Most closings happen at a title company, with a closing agent. This closing agent works for both the buyer and the seller to get the closing done. They do the title searches, mortgage payoffs, document preparations, any FIRPTA withholdings, and so much more. But for another approximate $500 or so... you could hire an attorney to handle your side of the closing, who will be working directly for you. Do you need the extra legal support? It depends on your situation and if you feel more comfortable having an attorney by your side. Many people do. The majority of closings are simply handled by a title company. Both options are good, and the decision is a personal preference and should be made according to your own personal and financial situation.

If your property is in Miami-Dade County,
we'd be happy to provide a free market value report.
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Sell My Property - Info Request

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LOOKING FOR HELP TO SELL?  Christa and Team... We do what it takes to GET IT SOLD!! In this market, to try to sell is common... to get it SOLD is skill! The buyers we bring to your property are qualified, and genuinely interested.

We watch neighborhood real estate activity constantly to ensure your pricing is the most competitive... giving you the edge over your neighbors. We develop a marketing plan as customized and unique as each property we list. When you accept your perfect offer, we walk you through every step from appraisal to inspection to closing. We sell!

Ask us a question directly, via email, here!

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