Six things real estate agents wish everyone knew from ABCNews was a funny post — I truly enjoyed reading the article.

There are four I would like to address, and put my own additional information in.

  • YES, the house has to smell good. Pets? Have to get the pet odor out. Smoked? Smell has to go. Shampooing carpets, paint, and a good scrubbing can help to make the house smell fresh and clean to a new buyer. And yes, that is VERY important.

What sellers need to remember — once you have decided to sell your house, you are trying to make it NOT YOUR HOUSE anymore. Your GOAL is to make it someone else’s. Keep that in mind, and try to look at your home from that perspective.

  • Not all “buyers” are able to buy your house. There is a difference between a pre-qualification and pre-approval process, and it can vary bank to bank. Find out what the “lender letter” submitted with an offer means — has the information provided by the buyer been verified? Has credit been run?
  • Selling your home probably will take longer than you expect. How long will it take for you to get your house in showing shape? (Usually, how we live is not how we need our houses to look to show to prospective buyers. Remember, once you decide to sell your house — you are trying to make it NOT your house any more.)

How long is the average for a house to be on the market before it sells in your area? This can be very specific to zip code and neighborhood. Is it an average of 60 days? Yes, some of the houses in your neighborhood may have sold quickly. But 60 days means there are a number that took LONGER than two months to receive an acceptable offer. Keep that in mind!

Once you get an offer — it can take some time to negotiate. Sometimes the terms are agreed upon quickly. But what if it takes longer? It could even take up to a week!

THEN, once you are under contract, there are usually inspections, an appraisal, and much more. It often takes 30-60 days from the point of agreeing to a contract to go to settlement!

  • For buyers — the pre-approval letter is just the beginning. You need to ask your lender what you can and cannot buy while you are under contract. Don’t open new lines of credit unless you ask your lender first. Do not spend large amounts of money that are in your account — the bank may want to know where that money is going.

Also, the loan process can be VERY invasive and VERY frustrating. You may get asked for things multiple times. OR, the underwriter may say what you have provided is not enough. Take a deep breath. This is a very stressful time. You are NOT ALONE. Most homebuyers are going through the same thing.

There are a few others addressed in the ABCNews post. I just wanted to put my take on a few.

If you are considering selling your home in Towson, please contact me. I would love to help!


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