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Serving Katy, West Houston, Cypress, Fulshear & Surrounding Areas

Via Champions Real Estate Group

Serving Katy, West Houston, Cypress, Fulshear
& Surrounding Areas

Via Champions Real Estate Group

Seller FAQs

You'll find a list of frequent questions sellers ask before listing their home for sale - as well as during the sales process - answered below.

Is there a best time to sell my house?
How do I know how much is my home worth?
What should I do to get my house ready to list?
Should I make repairs to my home?
Should I make improvements to my home prior to listing?
What issues am I obligated to disclose about my home?
Are there any typical contingencies that appear in offers?
Should I be flexible when it comes to granting contingencies?
Should we sell our current home before we begin looking for a new one?
Should I sell my home myself or hire a real estate agent?
Is it easier to sell a home that is vacant?
Should I stage my home?
Should I hold an open house?
What do I do if my house isn’t getting activity?
How will I be kept informed of marketing progress to sell my home?
Should I provide the buyer with a home warranty?
Will I have to pay closing costs?
How are property taxes dealt with when selling a home?
How are HOA dues dealt with when selling a home?
Is it possible to stay in and rent our old home from the new owner after closing until we are able to move into our new home?
When should I turn off the utilities?
My home has an impending foreclosure scheduled. Can I still sell it on the open market?

Is there a best time to sell my house?

We'll start by saying there isn't really a "bad" time to sell a home in Katy. As a suburb so close to Houston, it always seems like there is a constant influx of new home buyers. We don't get snow, making the winter slump seen in many northern states pretty much a non-issue here.

You'll sometimes see an rise in market movement in May and June as a result of families with school-aged children wanting to sell and be moved into their new home before the next school year starts. But, at the end of the day, it feels like it's always a good time to sell in Katy.

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How do I know how much is my home worth?

The sales price your home can obtain depends on a variety of factors including location, home features, home condition, zoned schools, how quickly you need to sell, the sales prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood, what repairs you are or are not willing to make, whether the home has ever flooded before, and more.

We're happy to provide you with a free evaluation of your home's value. Fill out this form and we will be in touch as soon as possible to schedule a time to meet with you and take a tour of your home.

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What should I do to get my house ready to list?

You'll find our guide to preparing your home to be listed here. Be sure to check it out. Sometimes little things can make big differences in the time it takes your home to sell and in the price it can command.

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Should I make repairs to my home?

A seller with a home in need of repairs has two primary options: make any needed repairs prior to listing the home to attempt to bring it to the top of the market or price the home to accommodate for the extra cash buyers will need to put into the home after closing to perform the necessary repairs themselves.

Deciding which option to go with is a personal decision. We can help you understand how performing or not performing any needed repairs stands to affect the pricing of your home in our opinion. Then you'll need to weigh that against the cost of doing the repairs and your desire, time, or ability to complete them and decide which option works best for you.

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Should I make improvements to my home prior to listing?

Whether or not it makes sense to implement improvements or renovations to a home prior to listing varies on a case-by-case basis.

Once again this is a personal decision. We can tell you the potential affect we believe any individual improvement or renovation will have on your home's value once completed and you'll need to weigh that against the ability, cost, and effort of performing the renovation and come to a decision as to whether or not performing them is the right decision for you.

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What issues am I obligated to disclose about my home?

When you list your home for sale you will need to fill out a seller's disclosure form (in most cases). The purpose of seller's disclosure form is to disclose any known issues or defects with the property that you're aware of. You're obligated to disclose any item you have knowledge of that is addressed on the form.

In almost all cases the potential buyer will have the home inspected during the option period, so attempting to "hide" issues would typically be a futile effort, as well as an unethical one.

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Are there any typical contingencies that appear in offers?

There are a wide range of contingencies that might be included with an offer and some are more common than others. The two most common contingencies are a financing contingency (which mean that the offer is contingent on the buyer being able to obtain financing confirmation within a specific timeframe) and a sale of another property contingency (which means that the offer is contingent on the buyer being able to sell their current home before a certain date).

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Should I be flexible when it comes to granting contingencies?

Whether or not to accept a contingency within an offer is a personal decision that will need to be made based on your specific situation, wants, and needs. We can explain the pros and cons of accepting or refusing contingencies attached to an offer, but the final decision as to whether or not to grant them is one only you can make.

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Should we sell our current home before we begin looking for a new one?

There is no correct answer to this question. It comes down to personal decision. In a seller's market (where most houses are selling quickly and receiving multiple offers), sellers might be reluctant to accept an offer that includes a contingency for selling your current home. In a buyers market (where most houses aren't moving fast and are receiving few offers), a seller might be more willing to accept an offer that includes the contingency to sell your current home.

We can help advise you on what kind of market we're currently experiencing, but whether or not to sell your current home before searching for a new one is something only you can decide.

That said, we'd highly recommend you ensure you can obtain mortgage pre-approval to be able to purchase a new home before listing your current home. You can find out more about mortgage pre-approval and why it's so important here.

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Should I sell my home myself or hire a real estate agent?

Selling a home is a big undertaking with multiple nuances involved. One study shows that homes For Sale By Owner (FSBO) take almost 3 weeks longer to sell than those listed with with a real estate agent on average.

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), over 70% of homeowners who listed their home as FSBO reported experiencing "significant difficulty" with selling their home and 21% of FSBOs eventually end up being listed on the MLS.

That same NAR study showed that a realtor obtains and average of over 18% in sales value vs. homes sold FSBO. "Saving" 6% in commission to a real estate professional by selling FSBO could end up actually costing you money.

Hiring a real estate agent helps ensure that your home is priced right, marketed well (including being listed in the MLS), and sells fast. It gives you help in understanding and navigating the market, competition, offers, contingencies, appraisals, financing, paperwork, and screening potential buyers and offerers to ensure they're qualified to purchase your home.

It also places a real estate professional on your side who is experienced in the negotiation process and gives you a buffer between yourself and the potential buyer in those negotiations.

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Is it easier to sell a home that is vacant?

It depends on who you ask (or maybe more accurately, who the potential buyer is). There's no arguing that vacant homes are easier to show because showings won't need to be scheduled around the occupant, but whether or not they're easier to sell is up for debate.

Some buyers have an easier time imagining the home as their own by looking at the blank slate a vacant home provides. On the flip side, other buyers will have a hard time envisioning how they could use an unusual space, whether or not a bedroom can fit a specific mattress size, and can find vacant homes to feel sterile - which results in them having difficulty in seeing the house as a "home."

Vacant homes can sometimes signal an urgency to sell to potential buyers (they assume that if the owner isn't living in the home, they must be paying expenses for both their own residence as well as the home listed for sale) and could result in lower offers. Vacant homes can also be a potential security risk (it's obvious the home is vacant in photos when the listing is advertised).

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Should I stage my home?

In our opinion, the answer is that it depends. If you're occupying the home it will likely be easier and less expensive to follow our tips on preparing to sell your home while still attracting the sales price you're looking for.

If your home is vacant, you might want to consider staging the home as we believe it helps the home sell faster and at a higher price. That said, staging a home is an expense and one that might not be a fruitful one depending on the price-point of your home. In general, the more expensive a vacant home is, the more likely that staging the home will be worth the effort and cost associated with doing so.

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Should I hold an open house?

There are varying opinions on whether or not you need to hold an open house. Open houses early in the life of your listing can be a way to get attention, but they rarely lead to homes selling faster or for higher prices in the Texas market according to Redfin. There is also a common train of thought in the real estate industry that open houses serve to have more benefit for the real estate agent hosting it (by introducing them to unrepresented buyers) than it does for the homeowner.

With 80% of home buyers conducting all or some of their home searching online, in our opinion a well written listing with quality photographs being expertly promoted online stands to have a much bigger impact from a marketing perspective.

Deciding whether or not you want to hold an open house is a personal decision. Given the data, it's not something we see as an imperative step. If you do choose to hold an open house, you'll need to ensure you're not leaving any valuables out and make sure there are enough people manning the open house to ensure visitors are under watch while in your home.

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What do I do if my house isn't getting activity?

There are various reasons a home may not be getting the market activity you'd been hoping for. If you haven't completed every task in our guide for preparing to list your home, you might want to revisit it and complete any items that haven't been addressed.

Other potential hinderances can include poorly done photos and descriptions of a home in promotional efforts and a low amount of effort being put into marketing the home. Pricing (or more accurately, over-pricing) can also play a role.

It's also imperative that you make it easy to show your home. Buyers need to be able to view your home around their schedule and not yours. If they can't get in to see your home during the day and time they're out looking, they'll be viewing a competing home that is readily available to show.

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How will I be kept informed of marketing progress to sell my home?

This will vary by agent. Our clients receive weekly updates via email letting them know what kind of promotional efforts were performed in marketing their home during the prior week. We'll also send you any comments and feedback provided from showing agents as soon as we receive them. You can find out more about how we market our listings here.

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Should I provide the buyer with a home warranty?

You're not required to provide credit for a home warranty for the buyer, but it is fairly typical for a seller to provide one. It's all negotiable.

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Will I have to pay closing costs?

Yes. When it comes to closing on a home both the seller and the buyer will incur closing costs. The seller typically pays between 6% and 10% of the sales price in closing costs. The buyer typically pays between 2% and 5% of the sales price in closing costs.

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How are property taxes dealt with when selling a home?

Property taxes for the current year are typically paid at the end of the year and are pro-rated at closing. Depending on the date of the sale, and whether or not the property taxes have already been paid for the year, this will result in a credit to either the seller (if they already paid the taxes for the current calendar year) or to the buyer (if the buyer will be the one who has to pay the taxes at the end of the year).

Tax responsibilities are calculated per day through the day of closing. The seller is responsible for their portion of the property taxes up through the day of closing. The buyer is responsible for the portion from the day after closing until the end of the year.

Example: The property taxes for 123 Main Street are $3,650 for the calendar year. $3,650 divided by 365 days is $10 per day. The sale closes on June 13th. This means that the seller is responsible for the property taxes for January 1st through June 13th (164 days multiplied by $10 per day equals $1,640 as their portion owed). The buyer is responsible for the property taxes owed from June 14th through December 31st (201 days multiplied by $10 per day equals $2,010 as their portion owed).

Since the taxes for the current year would not yet have been paid, the buyer would have to pay the full amount ($3,650) at the end of the year. So during closing, the buyer will receive a credit from the seller of $1,640 (the portion of the taxes the seller owes).

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How are HOA dues dealt with when selling a home?

While property taxes are typically paid at the end of the year they're for, HOA dues are typically paid in advance. This means that the seller usually has to pay the dues for the entire year at the beginning of that year. HOA dues are pro-rated in the same fashion as property taxes.

Example: The HOA dues for 123 Main Street are $365 for the calendar year. $365 divided by 365 days is $1 per day. The sale closes on June 13th. This means that the seller is responsible for the HOA dues for January 1st through June 13th (164 days multiplied by $1 per day equals $164 as their portion owed). The buyer is responsible for the HOA dues for June 14th through December 31st (201 days multiplied by $10 per day equals $201 as their portion owed).

Since the HOA dues for the full current year would have already been paid by the seller, the seller will receive a credit from the buyer of $201 (the buyer's portion of the current year HOA dues) at closing.

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Is it possible to stay in and rent our old home from the new owner after closing until we are able to move into our new home?

Providing the buyer agrees to it, yes. You can make acceptance of their offer conditional on being able to rent your home until a specific date after closing should you choose to do so.

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When should I turn off the utilities?

We typically recommend that you schedule the home's utilities to be turned off the day after closing and funding. The buyers are entitled to do a final walk-through the day of closing and the utilities should be on to allow for a proper walk-through.

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My home has an impending foreclosure scheduled. Can I still sell it on the open market?

Yes. Whether or not this will be an effective strategy depends on how much time there is between when you decide to list and the impending auction date. If you have 30 to 60 days before the scheduled auction date, you can typically still list the home, price it aggressively, and sell the house fast for close to fair market value. If the auction is scheduled for three days from the date you decide to sell, you'll likely need to explore different options. Feel free to contact us no matter how long you have left - we can at least explain your available options.

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