8 Easy Steps to Selling a House in Greensboro

Sold HomeIt’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re selling a house.

Between pricing your home, performing housing inspections, and preparing the house for showings, there’s a lot to do!

Whether this is the first time you’ve sold a home, or the 10th, here are eight easy steps that will save you time, worry, and energy while you prepare your house for the market.

Step 1: Find a Great Seller’s Agent

One of the most important steps to selling a house is finding a great realtor near you. Speak to a variety of different realtors in your area, and treat each conversation as if it were an interview. A realtor with experience in your specific housing market will be highly preferable to one who only sells, say, lakefront property.

Ask all the realtors you interview how many homes they have sold in your area, how recently they have sold them, and how often they have had to lower an asking price. Look for a realtor who is experienced, knowledgeable, and up-to-date on current market trends.

Step 2: Settle on the Right Asking Price

Once you have started working with your real estate agent, it will be time to discuss your home’s asking price. In order to settle on a reasonable figure, your realtor will be able to give you a professional comparison between your home and other homes nearby. If your home has more to offer than other local homes do, you may be able to price it higher. On the other hand, it may also be necessary for you to perform certain repairs and additions to ensure a higher asking price.

Even though you would like to price your home as highly as possible, listen closely to the opinion of your realtor. An overpriced house rarely sells, and your realtor will be able to provide you with realistic expectations.

Step 3: Make Your Home Look Its Best

Once you have settled on an asking price, it will be time to prepare the house for the market. The first step is to give your entire home a thorough cleaning, both inside and out. Then, perform a detailed housing inspection to evaluate which repairs, if any, are necessary.  Be prepared to invest whatever is needed to encourage buyers to make an offer. You may want to add small upgrades around the house, such as new granite countertops, updated appliances, or hardwood floors.

Don’t forget to spend some time scrubbing or pressure washing the outside of the house. A good first impression is key!

Step 4: Have Professional Photos Taken

Studies consistently show that homes with professional listing photos sell more quickly than homes without them. The average home buyer spends just 20 seconds looking at the first listing photo, at which point s/he either moves on, or decides to learn more. Since those first few seconds are so crucial, it’s important to invest in professional photographs that will showcase your home at its best. Though professional photos can be costly, they are not something to skip out on, as well-taken photos can make a huge difference in how quickly your home sells.

Step 5: Market Your Home

Once the house is on the market, your realtor’s goal will be to get your home’s listing in front of many potential buyers as possible. This means exploring all avenues, from social media outlets to professional real estate listings. Your real estate agent will be able to handle most of this for you, and will also be able to use agent-to-agent referrals, open houses, and For Sale signs to spread the word. In some cases, direct mail advertising, media advertising, and brochures may also be appropriate to help the house sell.

Step 6: Receive and Negotiate Offers

Sometimes, the first offer a seller receives will be at or above the asking price, and all there will be left to do is accept it. Most of the time, however, the offer you receive will be either below the asking price, or involve additional requests for items you haven’t considered. For example, the potential buyers may want you to throw in the hot tub or shed that you had planned to take with you, or they may stipulate that you need to make additional repairs or renovations before they can finalize the deal.

This sort of give-and-take is a perfectly normal reality of selling a house, and your realtor will be well-prepared for it. You may either decide to make a counter-offer, or wait for a better one to come along. You may even be lucky enough to have two or more buyers bidding for your house at the same time. This is where having an experienced seller’s agent really comes in handy, because he or she can assist you in choosing the best offer, or even encourage a bidding war between the two buyers.

Step 7: Prepare for Closing

Once you decide to accept an offer, both you and the buyer will have obligations to fulfill before the sale can be finalized. Your agent should be in close contact with the seller and/or his agent during this time to make sure that everything is on track for the chosen closing date. Scheduling home inspections, radon testing, wood-destroying insect inspections, and other finalizing details may all be necessary before the house can officially be sold. Of course, you will also need to remove any remaining items from your home, garage, and property. Your realtor will be able to walk you through all of the necessary steps and ensure that no detail is forgotten.

Step 8: Close on the Sale

The final step in selling a house is “closing” the sale. This is an official meeting wherein the ownership of your home is transferred from you to the new owner. Usually, both the seller’s and buyer’s agents are present along with the buyer and seller, in addition to a loan officer and a closing agent who has prepared all the necessary legal documents. All parts of the sale will be reviewed and verified, and the final documents will be signed and distributed to both parties. Lastly, you will hand over your keys, and voila–the sale will officially be complete!

Selling a House? Find a Greensboro Realtor Near You

Voted the Triad’s Top Realtor for the last 10 years, Ed Price Realtors is ready to help make selling your home as seamless and efficient as possible. If you’re ready to sell your house in Greensboro or High Point, contact us today to for professional, experienced real estate guidance.

What Do Termites Look Like?

what do termites look likeWhen you’re trying to sell your home or purchase a new one, termites are the last thing you want to deal with.

That’s why we highly recommend hiring a professional home inspector before buying a new home or placing one on the market.

However, what with the myriad costs involved in buying and selling houses, you may have to perform a home inspection yourself.

If that’s the case, here are some ways in which you can identify termites before making, or accepting, an offer.

What do Termites Look Like? 

Most people have a vague idea of what termites look like, but tend to confuse them with their cousins, flying ants. There are a number of ways to differentiate termites from ants, however. Firstly, look at the wings. Both ants and termites can have wings, but on termites, both pairs of wings are the same size. In flying ants, the front wings are much longer than the back wings. Another difference is in the “waist” of the insect, or the midsection between the thorax and abdomen. The “waist” of the ant is noticeably smaller, and joins the separate segments of the insect’s body. Termites, on the other hand, will have no apparent waist. Finally, look at the insect’s antennae. Termite antennae are perfectly straight, while the antennae of ants are prominently bent.

How to Spot Termite Damage

There are two different types of termites that can seriously damage a home: drywood termites, and subterranean termites. Drywood termites usually cause less damage, as they work more slowly and have smaller colony sizes. They can be identified by the small, firm pellets of waste they leave behind, as well as their red bodies and black wings. Look for drywood termite damage near the roof and wherever there is exposed wood.

Subterranean termites are more problematic, as they live in large colonies. Damage from subterranean termites usually appears in a honeycomb-like pattern, with tunnels woven throughout the soft inside wood. It can be difficult to discover subterranean termite damage, because the external wood grain will usually be unbroken. Wood damaged by this type of termite will break easily,  revealing hollowed-out insides that are filled with mud or soil. Subterranean termites have a black body and white wings. They usually work from the ground level up, often entering a home through a crawlspace or sub-structure.

How To Get Rid of Termites

Checking for termites is an essential part of the home inspection process, both for the interior and exterior parts of your home. Taking care of these pests as soon as possible will prevent further damage and offer both buyer and seller peace of mind. If you have not purchased the potential home yet, you can either ask the seller to fix it before you move in, or deduct the cost of the repairs from the final price. A real estate agent will be able to help you decide on the best option for you.

The most effective treatment for termites is liquid pesticides used in combination with a termite bait system. Make sure that you identify the specific type of termite that is causing the damage, because different chemicals and follow-up inspections are required for each. Most professional termite exterminators will provide a guarantee that protects the home from any further termite damage, so if you are using a professional extermination company, be sure to request a detailed termite activity report and a copy of the company’s guarantee.

A Greensboro Real Estate Company You Can Trust 

Helping homeowners work through stressful issues, such as termite infestations, is just a small part of what we do at Ed Price Reality. If you are buying or selling a home in the Greensboro and Triad areas, give us a call today to find out how we can make the entire home buying process simple and easy. Be sure to check out our local listings to find Greensboro and High Point real estate near you.

Would You Make a Good Real Estate Agent?

Realtor Handing Over KeysMost metropolitan areas have hundreds of realtors available. If you’re a Greensboro, High Point or Triad homeowner planning to sell your house, how do you choose the right one? Here are five qualities that make a great real estate agent.

1.   Communicative

Your realtor should be a good listener, so that your wants, needs, and requests are heard and understood. Your realtor should be able to clearly explain options and potential costs, and answer your questions in clear and simple terms. Your real estate agent should also be able and willing to update you on any positive events or challenges that will affect your goal to buy or sell a home.

2.   Adaptable

During the process of buying or selling property, your circumstances may change. An adaptable real estate agent will be able to adjust to those changes and let you know how they will affect your goals.

3.  Knowledgeable

A good realtor is knowledgeable about:

  • The neighborhood or area in which you want to buy or sell a home.
  • Comparable properties in the area that have been recently bought or sold.
  • How to help you get the best property available for your budget.

4.  Motivated

Look for a real estate broker that is truly motivated to help you buy or sell a home. After understanding all your requirements, it should be evident that your agent is proactive and committed to helping you achieve your goals.

5.   Organized

Your realtor should be a good project manager. He or she likely has multiple clients, so the ability to keep good track of meetings, showings, and paperwork will help him or her to stay organized and sell your home efficiently.

Looking for a Qualified Real Estate Agent?

If you’re looking for a highly qualified real estate agent in the Greensboro or Triad area, contact Ed Price & Associates today.

Why Selling a House without a Realtor is a Big Mistake

Hand Coming Out Of Water

When you’re preparing to sell your house, sticking a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the yard and going at it solo might be a tempting option. But seller beware: selling a house without a realtor can be a big mistake. Sure, you might save that precious 6% commission in the short term, but if your home doesn’t sell at all, you won’t see a penny. Even worse, when you sell your house without an experienced realtor in your corner, you put yourself at risk for being given the bad end of the deal or even sued. If we haven’t convinced you yet, here are the top reasons you should never sell your house without a realtor.

You’ll likely be facing off against a buyer’s agent. 

Even though you’ve decided to handle your own real estate, the buyers haven’t. Savvy home buyers will almost always employ a buyer’s agent who can help them pinpoint the best deals, analyze where a home sits on the market, and identify a potential home’s weaknesses. When it’s time for the final negotiations, you’ll be heading up against a buyer’s agent who has years of industry experience. When you consider that the agent has sold hundreds of houses, and you haven’t sold one, it’s easy to see who will win the negotiation. You may end up receiving hundreds or thousands less than what your home is truly worth—and that 6% you saved by forgoing a realtor won’t be much consolation.

Buyer’s agents don’t like to show For Sale by Owner houses.  

Facing off against a buyer’s agent during the final negotiations is daunting, but most buyer’s agents won’t show a For Sale by Owner house to their clients in the first place. Since they won’t be reaping any commission for their services, as they ordinarily would, they have no incentive to show your home to their clients when other houses on the block will pay them for doing so. Additionally, For Sale by Owner sellers have a bad reputation within the industry, and can be viewed as unreasonable, unrealistic, and difficult. From an agent’s perspective, it’s much easier to skip the possibility of drama and only cooperate with other realtors, who are more likely to be professional and unemotional during the selling process.

…And you will be emotional.

You’ve loved and made memories in your home for a long time. Are you ready to deal with it being rejected time and time again by potential buyers? Are you ready to hear the negative comments from buyers and even agents about your home’s quality? Moreover, will you be able to handle negotiations calmly with the threat of a deadline looming over you? Even if you are a naturally calm person, selling a house is such an emotionally charged process that keeping emotions out of the sale is almost impossible for a normal human. And when emotions are involved, you might make rookie mistakes, like refusing to counter a low offer or giving in too easily. A realtor is able to remain removed from the process, so that all decisions are logical and rational.

You have a job, and it’s not selling houses. 

Selling a house is a full-time commitment. It’s not feasible to rush home from work every time a buyer wants to see your home, rapidly clean the house to perfection, and greet them with a smile while your boss wonders how long this is going to continue. Then there’s the fact that at the end of a long work day, you probably barely have enough energy to make dinner, let alone take advantage of every opportunity to market your home. An agent is able to devote the full amount of time necessary to sell a house, so that you never have to rush out of a meeting to answer a phone call from a prospective buyer.

You can’t see what’s wrong with your home 

Every home, no matter how beloved, has flaws. Since you live in your home every day, you’re accustomed to them, and may be oblivious to what might stick out to buyers as giant red flags. A real estate agent is an expert on what makes a house sell, and will be able to walk through your home with you and point out necessary changes in a helpful, informed way. If your house isn’t selling, an agent will be able to offer an industry perspective as to why. A real estate agent’s professional eye can more accurately identify issues and guide you to make improvements.

If you’re not careful, you could get sued

If you fail to disclose a hazard, nuisance, or defect in your home, and a buyer discovers it after they move it, they will be able to sue you. Since real estate agents also are responsible for disclosing information about property values, they are very familiar with disclosure laws and are trained to safely navigate the murky waters of real estate law. So much paperwork is involved in selling a home that it’s unwise to tackle it alone. A real estate agent will be able to sell the property without placing anyone at legal risk.

Your Greensboro Realtor

For over a decade, Ed Price Reality has managed countless of homes in the Greensboro and Triad areas. Whether you’re buying a house or selling, our professional real estate agents can help you get the best value for your budget. Click here to learn view our Triad listings, and give us a call to start the home buying or home selling process today.

Home Inspection Checklist: Interiors

DIY home inspectionLast month, we posted 8 Steps to Buying a House, where we discussed the importance of a professional home inspection. If you’re a buyer, a home inspection can help you identify potential damage prior to purchase; if you’re a seller, a home inspection can also help you  sell your home faster.

However, it’s not always possible to hire a professional home inspector. For this reason, we’ve compiled this handy home inspection checklist to help you identify potential problems yourself.

If you’re ready to begin, grab some gloves, a flashlight, and a print-out of this checklist, and let’s get started with your home’s interior.

Attics

  • No stains beneath roofing, especially around roof penetrations
  • No evidence of decay, damage, or rot
  • Sufficient, properly-installed insulation
  • An adequate ventilation system
  • No plumbing, exhaust, or appliance vents terminating in the attic
  • No open electrical splices
  • Adequately ventilated crawl spaces
  • No moisture
  • No evidence of insect damage

Interior Windows and Doors

  • No stains on floors, walls, or ceilings
  • Floors, walls, and ceilings appear level
  • Flooring materials in good condition
  • No significant cracks in walls or ceiling
  • Windows and doors operate easily and latch properly
  • No broken glass, sashes painted shut, or rot/decay
  • Paint, wall coverings, and paneling in good condition
  • Wood trim installed properly and in good condition
  • Light switches operate properly
  • Adequate number of functioning 3-pronged outlets
  • Working heating/cooling source in each habitable room
  • Evidence of adequate insulation in walls
  • Fireplace: no cracks or damage, damper operates properly, flue cleaned and lined

Kitchen

  • No leaks in pipes beneath sink
  • No stains, mold or decay in cabinet beneath sink
  • Adequate water pressure in sink
  • No rust or deterioration in garbage disposal
  • Built-in appliances operate properly
  • Cabinets and drawers operate properly

Bathrooms

  • Working exhaust fan that doesn’t terminate in attic
  • Adequate flow and pressure in all fixtures
  • Sink, tub, and shower drain properly
  • Plumbing and cabinet beneath sink in good condition
  • No signs of rust in metal sinks, no leaks in overflow drain
  • Toilet operates properly, stable, no stains around base
  • Caulking in good condition around tub and shower
  • Tub and/or shower tiles secure
  • No stains or evidence of leaks around bath/shower

Systems

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors where required
  • Plumbing: no evidence of leaks, stains, rust on water heater or pipes
  • Electrical: no exposed splices, all cables secured and protected
  • Heating/Cooling: good air flow, appears to operate well
  • Ductwork in good condition with no open seams
  • No asbestos on heating pipes, water pipes or air ducts
  • Clean air filters

To view the second half of our home inspection checklist series, click here.

Buyer’s Agents and Listing Agents: Understanding the Difference

Realtor house for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you’re cruising through your ideal neighborhood and spot your dream house for sale, it probably seems like common sense to dial the number listed on the sign in the yard. But before you grab your phone, remember: that agent represents the seller, not you. As a buyer, it may be wiser for you to invest in a buyer’s agent: someone who works for your best interests, to ensure that you get the best possible home for the lowest possible price.

Here, we’ve outlined some differences between buyer’s agents and their counterparts, listing agents, to help you determine which type of realtor is right for you.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

Buyer’s agents haven’t been around forever. They’re something relatively recent to the real estate industry; a new breed of agent that appeared partly as a result of the mid-2000s housing crisis. Unlike a listing agent, a buyer’s agent is exclusively invested in the best interests of the buyer. Although both buyer’s agents and listing agents are responsible for viewing properties, evaluating neighborhoods, and offering educated advice on property inspection and mortgage leasing, only a buyer’s agent can legally work to bring you the lowest sale price on a home.

Another advantage of a buyer’s agent is that they are able to legally share information about a seller’s position. This means that they can disclose information that may benefit you as a buyer, such as the reason the owner is selling, whether or not they have already located a new house, and how long they have lived in the neighborhood. Listing agents, on the other hand, are forbidden from sharing information that could compromise your final sale price.

So, what is a Listing Agent?

A listing agent, also called a seller’s agent, is a homeowner’s biggest advocate. When a listing agent starts working with a seller, he or she signs a written contractual agreement called an Exclusive Listing Agreement. Essentially, it states that the agent has a legal obligation to work on the seller’s behalf to get the best available terms for him or her. Some duties of a listing agent include:

  • Creating a marketing plan for the home
  • Commissioning professional photos of the home
  • Assisting in staging the house
  • Performing a comparative market analysis to find the fairest selling price
  • Recommending contractors to prepare the house for market
  • Coordinating and hosting showings

In general, a listing agent’s job is to make the home-selling process as easy for the seller as possible.

Listing agents are also legally obligated to share any information they learn about a buyer with the seller. If you strike up a conversation with a listing agent during a showing, any information you disclose could be used against your favor during negotiations. Are you relocating to the area because of the big salary increase you’ve received at your great new job? That’s valuable information to a listing agent; information they’re required to share.

Which should I choose?

Obviously, neither buyer’s agents nor listing agents are evil. Both are determined to help make the home buying experience as simple and rewarding as possible. Both have a passion for the real estate business; and both are very knowledgeable in the complex area of home buying. It’s just a matter of determining whose interests they are legally bound to prioritize. If you’re selling your home, a listing agent will help make your home as appealing to potential buyers as possible. And if you’re buying, resist the impulse to simply call whoever’s name appears on the For Sale sign, and invest in someone who will be primarily in your corner.

Here at Ed Price Realtors, we represent both buyers and sellers. Whether you’re interested in placing your house on the market, or finding the perfect home, Ed Price’s professional representatives are here to guide you every step of the way. If you’re considering buying or selling a home in the Triad area, give us a call today to get started.