Home Sellers’ Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs on Selling Your Home

  1. What improvements will help me sell my home? Start with the basics. Fix all minor mechanical issues (such as loose doorknobs and leaky plumbing), clean everything well, keep the yard maintained, and put fresh pine straw or mulch in the flower beds. Power wash decks and other surfaces if needed. For more information, view (and print) our How to Prepare Your Home For Sale checklist.
  2. Should we sell before we buy another home? Check with a lender first to learn if this is an option. Ask yourself if you are willing and able to carry two mortgages and deal with the stress that comes from physically and financially maintaining two homes. An experienced agent should be able to guide you to a good decision.
  3. Should I sell my home myself? It will take longer, on average, to sell a home yourself. If you have the time, the money to market, and want to manage the sale, you may want to consider this option. If you decide to sell your own home, visit ourFor Sale By Owner FAQ section to learn more. If you want copies of legal contracts for review, visit our Forms Library.
  4. Why should I hire a real estate agent? An experienced agent can lead you through the listing and selling process with ease. Aside from improving your quality of life during your family’s transition, a real estate agent may help you net more money for your home. Real estate agents know the market, proper pricing and how to achieve a faster sale. Often, owners who sell their own home are asked by potential buyers to discount the commission rate that would be given to an agent. In that case, you have all the work, all the complications and none of the financial rewards.
  5. Is it easier to sell a home that is vacant? You should only consider vacating your home before placing it on the market if your furnishings are poorly maintained or the environment is overly cluttered. A vacant home usually communicates a need to sell and weakens your negotiating position.
  6. Should we hold an open house? Open houses may make you feel good, since people are stopping by to see your home, but they are rarely effective for producing a sale. These events usually draw prospects just beginning to look at homes. They are getting a feel for the market and are not usually ready to make a commitment, even if they love your home. Often the “visitors” are curious neighbors. Our professional marketing plan will offer more effective ways to sell your home.
  7. How will I be kept informed of marketing progress to sell my home? This topic is often frustrating for sellers. Few real estate agents are excellent at communicating and keeping their sellers informed. If you want to have information on the status of your home’s marketing and any progress notes, you will need to establish that schedule with your individual real estate professional. If you list with AlphaHomes.com, you will have access to your own webpage from a customized login. Jeff’s clients can go online any time that suits their schedule to view daily updates, online notes and progress reports. When you are selling your home, it is critical that you be kept well informed.
  8. What issues should I disclose? The seller must disclose all pertinent facts about the home that are not easily seen. A good rule of thumb: if you are compelled to ask “should I disclose this?” – the answer is yes. The Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement must be filled out honestly and completely to help protect you.
  9. Should I provide a home warranty? If your home is more than ten years old, then it may be a wise investment. Many companies offer warranties for $360 – $400. Your real estate agent can help you with the application. Jeff Aughey offers a one-year home warranty to his listing clients as part of his commitment to quality service.
  10. Will I have to pay closing costs? The seller is not obligated to pay closing costs. However, it may be advantageous if you have a qualified buyer who does not have liquid assets for these costs. Closing costs are typically 2-2.5% of the buyer’s loan amount. Remember to focus on the net amount you receive, rather than the contract price.
  11. After the closing, may we stay and rent our old home from the new owner until we are able to move into our new home? (We don’t want to have to move twice!) This option can only be explored once you find a buyer. You may discuss your needs with your agent and he/she can determine if the buyer is both willing and able to postpone their own move into the house.
  12. When should I turn off the utilities? Call the utility companies to have them perform a final reading on the day the buyer takes possession. The buyer will need call to have the service transferred to their name. Visit our Resources section for utility contact information for Alpharetta.