Commonly Asked Questions

homeQ. When is the best time to sell my home?

A. In a strong economy with a lack of inventory, sellers are typically more successful in moving their properties quicker and for a higher price.  Low supply and high demand drive up prices and your leverage.

Many times families look for homes in the spring because they can move without disrupting their children’s school year. However, we also find a seller’s market in the Fall, Winter, and Summer when there is a low supply of homes on the market. Interest rates and excellent financing programs play a big part in selling your home as well.  Please call Your Zareski Team for the Northern Virginia’s current market situation.

Q. How will you price our home?

A.  Remember the favorite saying: Location…Location…Location! This is our starting point when beginning our research.  We look at similar homes within your community to compare it to similar homes that are active, under contract, and/or recently sold.  The square footage of your finished space, size and privacy of the lot, amenities in your home, quality of your upgrades and overall condition are large factors in our decision making process.  We also review the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, size of your garage, kitchen condition, and bathroom upgrades  in order to price your home properly.

Q. Should I select my Realtor who prices my house the highest?

A. Absolutely not. We recommend selecting a Realtor based on his/her honesty, ethics, competency, knowledge, personality, past performance, marketing skills and ability to price a home based on market realities. “Results not promises” is the key in finding the best realtor for you.  Ask for a list of clients that have worked with your agent – take the time to see what other sellers have said about your realtor.

If an agent overprices your listing, this most likely will work against you.  You will be selling everyone else’s  home while your home sits on the market.  Always remember that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  Houses typically have more showings and receive more contracts when initially priced right.

Front Door 2Q. What do I need to do to get my house ready to show?

A. Most homes need to be staged.  A few tips are to declutter your home, ensure there are no unusual odors, and have curb appeal.   An agent familiar with your market will make recommended changes to your home with the goal of creating more value than the actual cost, either through faster sale of your home and/or higher price achieved.  We recommend working with an Accredited Staging Professional to show off your home in the right light.

Q. How much advanced notice will I get before my house is shown?

A. We recommend making your home highly accessible to buyers in order to take advantage of any and all interest in your home.  Remember to leave your home ready for a showing.  When you are gone, the showing agents will use the MLS lockbox to enter your home and leave their business cards.

Q. Should we leave when the home is being shown?

A. When possible, we strongly recommend vacating the house during a showing and bringing along your pets with you.  The objective of the showing is for the buyers to visualize themselves living in your home.  The last thing you want prospective buyers to feel is that they are intruding in your home.  If for some reason you need to be home, we recommend going to areas where the buyers are not.

Bedroom2Q. What should we do if an unexpected Realtor requests to show the house?

A. First ask for a business card to check to see if they are a licensed Realtor.  We recommend accommodating their request whenever possible.  Try to keep your home ready to show each morning.  The better it shows, the faster it will sell!

Q. What should we do if an unexpected buyer requests to see the house?

A. If a buyer knocks on your door without a Realtor, DO NOT let them into your home.  Slide a brochure through the door and ask the buyer to contact your agent.  For your families protection, please advise your children to follow this same procedure.

Q. Do I get feedback after a showing?

A.  Yes.  We request timely feedback from the showing agent in order make adjustments to our marketing plan.  It is important to understand what draws people to your home or what is distracting others from making an offer.

 Q. What is the process after a buyer makes an offer?

A. The buyer’s agent will call us when their client expresses interest in your home.  Once their client signs off on a sales agreement, we will contact you to review all of the contract details and determine the financial viability of the buyer.  You can accept, counter, or refuse the offer.  We recommend trying to work with the existing contract when we have a qualified buyer because you never know how much higher the buyer will increase their original offer.

kid's roomQ. Should we have seller’s remorse if we sold our home within the first week?

A. You should celebrate!!! Data shows that the highest prices come in the first thirty days.  In Northern Virginia, the market typically corrects itself if a home is listed under its market value.  We have found that multiple buyers bid on under priced homes ultimately driving up the purchase price to the fair market value.

Q. Am I responsible to make repairs to my home before closing?

A. Most contracts have a home inspection contingency requirement. The successful buyer will hire an independent home inspector to look at your home top to bottom. Most inspectors summarize the most concerning repairs they find and the buyer decides which ones they want the seller to fix. The seller, in turn, with their agent’s help, decide which items they are willing to have repaired and the buyer and listing agents negotiate an agreement that becomes part of the contract. Those items that are agreed upon by both sellers and buyers must be fixed prior to closing on the home.

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Sharon Zareski

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