To real estate sellers, a “hot” market might mean quick, easy money for their home. After all, a hot market means limited inventory and lots of buyers seeking the perfect place. In many cases, a hot market does mean quicker sales at or above the asking price. But there are some risks that a home seller in a seller’s market should be aware of before they can start counting the money.
Ensure that Your Home and Property are Ready to Show
A “fortunate” aspect of a hot market is that quirky or outdated properties sell faster than they otherwise would. Buyers become far less discerning about the home they want, and they are willing to overlook superficial flaws and might even consider accepting expensive fixes such as leaky windows or an old roof.
In a seller’s market, a homeowner has a better possibility of selling a property “as-is” rather than having to make significant updates. As a seller, whether or not you need to make any major updates is best determined through a discussion with your real estate agent to assess comparable properties in that area.
On the other hand, home staging is advisable even in a seller’s market. Staging is a great way to attract multiple offers on your home right after listing it. Buyers must move fast in a market like this, and emotions and first impressions often drive them. To make someone fall in love with your property, there is no better way than to make it more attractive through staging.
If you cannot afford to stage your house, the property should at least be thoroughly cleaned and de-cluttered to prepare it for showings.
Get Your Disclosure and Other Documentation Organized
As properties in a hot market tend to sell fast and have shorter contract deadlines, you should have all relevant documentation ready to be sent to potential buyers at short notice. Before listing your house, consider getting an inspection done to present an accurate picture to buyers right from the beginning.
Make sure your disclosure documents are ready before the property goes on the market. If, as a seller, you appear fully prepared to sell, a buyer will feel more encouraged to make a quick closing offer.
Based on this, you or your agent might want to speak to a title company before putting the house on the market. While many contracts allow a buyer to decide on the title company, having a reliable, reputable title company at hand for the buyer can help and enable the process to move more effectively toward closing. In some cases, a buyer might still want to choose another title company. However, more often, they will work with the seller’s chosen title company simply for convenience.
Don’t Overlook the Professionals to Market Your Property
In a booming market, many homeowners will consider using for sale by owner (FSBO) to sell their home. The assumption in a seller’s market is that buyers are ready to jump on the first property that comes up for sale without the need for any marketing. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to pay commission if the property will essentially sell itself, right?
It might be true that buyers are abundant in a hot market, but sellers should not write off the expertise of a professional. In the case of low inventory, buyers are more likely to work with an agent to identify homes for sale either before they come up for sale or immediately after listing. Agents often search for clients on the MLS or speak to other agents to determine new listings for their buyers. To gain the most exposure for your property and take advantage of the numerous buyers out looking, you still want to hire a real estate agent to market your property.
Work with a Dedicated Real Estate Lawyer
A real estate attorney will meticulously evaluate the extensive paperwork involved in your house sale to catch errors and protect your rights every step of the way. In the early stages of your sale, you can ask them to assess the listing agreement with your agent to make sure that the terms are favorable to you.
A real estate attorney can review offers as they come in, identify tax benefits and considerations, and raise potential red flags. After the offer stage is completed, a real estate attorney will draft contracts and assess the title, mortgage, and transfer paperwork. Moreover, they will write the deed and review the final breakdown of sale proceeds at closing.
Apart from the above, if an unexpected complication stalls your transaction, such as a judgment or lien on the title or a question on disclosure, your experienced real estate attorney will help you navigate these complexities and steer the deal to a successful conclusion. A real estate attorney adds an additional layer of scrutiny to ensure that the deal closes smoothly, and no legal issues are revealed after the sale.
To speak to a skilled real estate lawyer at Evans Law in Maryland, message us online or call today at (410) 626-6009.