Frequently Asked Seller Questions

Whether you have never sold a home or have sold many homes, the list of relevant questions you should be asking is long. Your home is probably your biggest financial investment and its sale should be done professionally. The sale of a home is also a process governed by rules, regulations, and industry knowledge that change frequently. Here's a small collection of Frequently Asked Questions:

What makes a house sell?

Price, Terms, Home condition, Location, Curb Appeal and Market Exposure are some of the requirements for a successful sale. Since not all of these items can be controlled, you may have to overcompensate in one or more areas to offset a competitive disadvantage in another.

What is the MLS®, and why do I need it to sell my house?

A Multiple Listing Service (or MLS®) makes it easier to advertise your property and reach a the vast majority of prospective buyers. This increases the property’s exposure dramatically. This is one of the major resources for finding buyers for a home.

How do I reach the potential buyers?

Today, people are moving further and more frequently than they used to. The result is that they pool of potential buyers for your house is much larger and spread wider than ever before. Real estate brokers have responded by developing increasingly sophisticated marketing techniques that define likely buyers, where to find them, how to reach them, and how to persuade them to buy one house over another.

Should I select an agent based on their suggested selling price?

While I can see how that can be tempting to go with the price you want to hear: Do not be fooled! Having your home listed for the wrong price will end up doing you disservice and will ultimately cost you time and money.

How do I price my house?

If you really want to sell, it needs to be realistically priced. I can provide you with a Free Home Evaluation based on a current Comparative Market Analysis in your area.

What is the difference between fair market value and asking price?

Generally speaking, the owner's asking price is set a bit above estimated market value. Negotiation will be necessary to reach an agreement with a buyer, however too large of a variation in price above market value will result in reduced showings.

Why could we not just try it for a while at that price?

Homes that are overpriced will not sell and will end up becoming stagnant on the market. The longer your house sits on the market, the less interest it will generate. Potential buyers start to ask, 'What is wrong with this house? Why has it not sold yet?' Reducing the price later does not generate nearly as much new interest as a new listing does. It also contributes to the stigma that there may be something wrong with it. This can also weaken your negotiating position once you do have an offer.

When is the best time to list a house for sale?

As soon as you decide to sell it. If you want to get the best price for your house, the key is to give yourself as much time as possible to sell it. More time means more potential buyers will probably see the house. This should result in more offers. It also gives you increased time to consider more options if the market is slow or initial interest is low.

Is there any seasonality to the market?

Peak selling seasons vary from year to year in our area and weather sometimes has a lot to do with it. You are trying to sell a home in Nova Scotia and you know the definition of Spring, Summer, or Fall in Nova Scotia better than anyone. Keep in mind that there are also more houses on the market during the prime seasons so you will have more competition. While there is seasonality in the real estate market, it is better to time your sale based on your needs and not market predictions.

Should we try to avoid being at home when the house is shown?

You should definitely try to be out of the house during any showings your agent has scheduled. If you do need to be at home, do not 'hang around' or follow them through the property. People often feel uncomfortable speaking candidly and asking questions when the current homeowners are present.

How long should it take to sell?

Average listing times vary from 30 to 180 days according to market conditions in a particular neighborhood, type of property and price range, as well as terms, condition, location, and exposure. Selling in any market is easier if you keep time on your side. Most professionals will tell you that allowing yourself at least three to four months of listing time will put you in a position to get a better return from their marketing efforts.

What if my agent does not sell my home?

Besides commission, the most important matter you negotiate at the time of listing your house with a broker is the duration of the listing contract. Terms vary, but listing agreements are seldom for less than three months or greater than one year. So what if you find yourself dissatisfied midway through your contact? While the listing contract is legally binding, a few brokers offer homeowners an 'out' if they are unhappy with the service they are receiving. I personnally offer an 'Easy Exit' guarantee whenever listing a property. If you are not satisfied for any reason, at any time, your property can be taken off the market immediately.

​If you came here looking for question that is not covered in this page, or if you would like more details on any given question, please call me at 902-488-4388 or email me at with your question.

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