If you’re selling a house for the first time, you’re bound to have plenty of questions about the process. It’s one thing to know about the details that go into the home selling process and another thing altogether to actually go through it. If you’re thinking of selling a house in Charlotte, North Carolina, here are five questions you need to ask yourself.
What should you ask when selling a house in Charlotte NC?
1. How Much Is My House Worth?
One of the core concerns about any home seller is how much money they’re going to get for their home. It can be hard to know that number, exactly, until you start getting offers and negotiating. However, you can get a sense of how much your house is worth on the current market.
The easiest way to do this is to find out what similar homes in your neighborhood or area have recently sold for on the open market. These prices are available publicly and you can easily find them on the multiple listing services (MLS), a database of most home listings across the country. The CarolinaMLS should have all the Charlotte-area listings and recent sales you’ll need to see.
When you’re looking for comparable homes, make sure you take into consideration the differences and unique instances. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms, to start, but also any additions or special aspects to the property that could affect the price. A home that comes with a well-maintained garden might have a little more value than one that doesn’t, even if they’re the same number of rooms.
2. What Is The Best Time of the Year to Sell My House?
Ask 100 people this age-old real estate question and you might get 100 different answers about the specific time to sell your house. In general, the real estate market tends to keep to the same cycle every year. While January is slow, things start to pick up in February before really booming during the summer. Then, the market slows down until winter hits and it dips back down to start the whole thing again next year.
Locally in Charlotte, there are differing opinions but if you look at when most homes sell, it seems as though March through June tends to be the time when most homes actually sell. Of course, it usually takes around three months for a home to go from listing to selling, so that means you might want to consider March and April as good times to list your home. Spring turns into summer soon enough and that brings out the buyers. And it should be noted that, according to the Charlotte Biz Journal, December is the best time of the year for buyers, which should be a big signal to you not to try selling around then if you can.
Ultimately, you can sell a house at any time of the year and the real answer depends on the condition of your house, the neighborhood, and what your listing price is going to be. All of these factors need to be considered before picking the right time to sell.
3. How Much Is It Going to Cost to Sell My House?
Some people think that real estate agent commissions and closing costs are the only costs you need to consider when selling a home. However, that doesn’t take into account the myriad other costs that go into the process, even before you actually list the home.
Before you even sell the house, you need to make sure it’s in the best shape it can be in. That likely means you’ll have to consider hiring a photographer or professional stager. You may also hire a landscaping help to up your curb appeal. And then there are any repair or improvement costs inside and around the house. If you find water damage, mold damage, or just general damage, you’re going to want to get that fixed, and it will cost money.
When you do find buyers for your house, there will certainly still be some costs involved. The buyer may ask you to make seller concessions, which will cut into your profits. Along with the usual closing costs, North Carolina requires a transfer tax for any home sales in the state ($1 for every $500 in value). And you might have to pay off prorated interest or a prepayment penalty on your mortgage.
As for how much that totals, it depends on the house and the sale price, not to mention all of the variables stated above. It might only be a few thousand (on top of the commission fee), but that’s still a lot of money to account for.
4. How Long Will It Take to Sell My House?
This is another question to which the answer is, “it depends.” Market conditions are always shifting but it’s reasonable to think that, unless you’re offering the deal of the year, it will take at least two-to-three months to sell your house.
Again, this is going to depend on many factors. What condition your house is in. What your asking price is and whether or not that’s in line with current values. Whether or not there are other homes like yours selling nearby. Whether or not buyers are coming to you with cash offers or financing offers. The list goes on and on.
5. What Should I Do if My House Isn’t Selling?
It is certainly possible that you could do everything you can to get your house squared away, list it, give it a decent asking price, and then not see the offers rolling in as you’d hoped. Or maybe you are getting offers but the buyers keep dropping out over bad financing or a desire for more concessions. While your house should sell within a few months, in theory, you never quite know what will happen once you get out on the open market.
There are a few options if you find yourself with a house that just won’t sell. First, you can take it off the market for a while. Sometimes if things aren’t working it helps to regroup, perhaps hire a new listing agent, and try again with a new asking price. Just being able to post the listing as “new” could have an incentivizing effect.
You could also take a step back and figure out what your pain points are with the house. Are buyers scared off by an outdated room? Or are they seeing the potential for repairs in their future? Perhaps you need to consider putting in the work (and money) to make those updates and fixes in order to quell their concerns. The less that buyers have to think about fixing up your home, the more likely they are to see it as their home.
Finally, if you’re just not finding any luck on the open market and don’t see how you can improve your standing, you might want to consider selling the house directly to a real estate investment company instead. They’ll work with you to assess your house quickly and make you a cash offer. You won’t have to worry about spending money on extraneous costs and you’ll be able to move on to your next home right away. If selling this house has become a burden because you already have a new home or are moving out of Charlotte, going this route can remove a lot of headaches quickly.