Seller Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the market value of my home determined?

A: Drew will help determine the market value of your home by preparing what’s called a comparative market analysis, or CMA, for your home. A CMA studies similar homes that have sold recently in the neighborhood (or a similar neighborhood / rural area); these homes are commonly referred to as “comps”. Drew performs an in-depth look into the comps’ overall condition, updates, age of roof, HVAC, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, lot size, location, overall market conditions, their sold price per square foot, and much more. All of this research helps to find the market value for your home by figuring what your home would have theoretically sold for if it was located on the lots where the comps were. While a CMA does take a significant amount of data into account, creating an accurate CMA is more of an art than a science. It takes someone, like Drew, who is familiar with the overall market to determine an accurate picture of the market value. In other words, your home’s value is not just a number that can be calculated on a website. Find your home's market value.

Q: What should I do to prepare my home for sale?

A: The first thing you should do is deep cleaning. Many sellers overlook the importance of having a clean house for potential buyers to see. It can mean the difference between someone making an offer or not. This can be done even before meeting with your listing agent. When listing your house with Drew, he will be able to give you more specifics on things that will increase your home’s value or make it more marketable. He will also provide a staging optimization consultation in order to optimize the use of the furniture and personal items in the house.

Q: What happens if the appraised value comes in lower than the purchase price on an offer I’ve accepted from a buyer?

A: There are few different possibilities here. One slim possibility is for the seller’s Realtor to formally dispute the appraised value, but in many cases, it is unlikely to be changed unless the appraiser completely omitted a comparable house or made a blatant error in the appraisal. There are four more likely outcomes if this situation arises: 1) the Buyer can come up with difference in cash, 2) the Seller can lower the price to the appraised value, 3) the deal can be cancelled if there is an appraisal contingency in the contract, or 4) the buyer can bring some additional money to purchase the house and the seller can come down from the contracted price so both parties meet in the middle. It is not common for appraisal issues to arise unless the house was priced way outside of the market value to begin with.

Q: How frequently does Drew communicate with selling clients?

A: As often as needed with a minimum of twice per week! One of Drew’s commitments to customer service is exceptional communication, which means never leaving a client wondering what is going on or if there is any recent news on a listing. Even if there are no updates, Drew will touch base every few days.

Q: How do potential buyers view my house?

A: The main (and traditional way) is for buyers to physically visit your house with their Realtor. The buyer’s Realtor will call the showing service to schedule a showing appointment. That said, studies have shown that 89% or more of potential home-buyers have searched for and browsed homes online before scheduling a showing. This emphasizes the importance of having high-quality pictures and video available online that will make a potential buyer want to come and see your house in person. Recently, more out-of-town or out-of-state buyers have been submitting offers on homes based on what they see online. Click here to see some of Drew’s previous listings.

Q: What is meant by a “contingency” in the contract?

A: Buyers may write a contingency into an offer in order to allow themselves to be released from the contract without penalty if the contingency is not met. The four most common contingencies found in offers in Tennessee are:

  1. Inspection Contingency - This gives the buyer the legal ability to have the home inspected to make sure there isn’t a defect found that would cause them to not want to purchase the home.
  2. Appraisal Contingency - This means the property has to be appraised at a value greater or equal to the purchase price in the contract. This is an extremely common contingency, especially when the buyer is obtaining a mortgage to purchase the home.
  3. Financing Contingency - This means that if the buyer was suddenly unable to obtain a mortgage prior to the closing date due to a job loss or other major life event, the buyer would not be forced to proceed with the purchase.
  4. Sale of Home Contingency - This means that the buyer needs to sell their current home prior to closing on the new home they’re making an offer on.

While these are the four most common types of offer contingencies, a buyer can make anything a contingency in an offer, including for example, a spousal approval contingency, survey contingency, or something more unique, such as a contingency based on the buyer’s truck fitting in the garage. However, as a seller, it may not be something you want to accept and may choose to make a counter offer that removes the contingency or reject the offer altogether.

Q: What repairs or updates should I make to my home before selling it?

A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer for this. It can vary greatly depending on the house, neighborhood, size of the house compared to others in the area, price point, and many other factors. The end goal when determining how much money to spend on repairing/updating a future listing is to receive more than 100% return on investment. This can be accomplished through obtaining a higher purchase price and/or by significantly increasing the desirability of the house to where it will sell much quicker, thus reducing the overall time on the market and opportunity cost of the seller. The only way for Drew to be able to give his professional opinion on this is for him to evaluate the house in person.

Q: What happens if it’s storming on the day that pictures and video are scheduled to be taken?

A: Drew will keep an eye on the weather forecast in the days prior to the scheduled shoot. If it’s necessary to reschedule, Drew will touch base with the seller to determine the next best day to shoot.

Q: Is it a good idea to ask Drew to install a “Coming Soon” sign prior to listing my house for sale?

A: It depends on the condition of the market, but in a strong market like Middle Tennessee has been experiencing, installing a “Coming Soon” sign prior to the listing going “live” may actually decrease your chances for the best possible offer. Because the “Coming Soon” sign will only be seen by locals driving by rather than the entire online market, the number of potential buyers seeing the house is greatly diminished thus, likely decreasing the strength of any offers received during the “Coming Soon” period. It’s typically best for sellers to have their Realtor launch their home’s marketing campaign and go live with the listing all at the same time in order to get the most market exposure and strongest offers. This is just like a major company launching a new product: the company releases the product to everyone in their target market at the same time as opposed to rolling it out slowly. This maximizes the product’s exposure and consumer excitement.

Q: Should I be present for showings at my home?

A: No - potential buyers are generally more comfortable with viewing a house if the owner is not present. This allows them to talk more freely with their Realtor and not feel pressured to hurry. Their Realtor is responsible to lock up and make sure all of the lights are switched off when they leave. Drew can even make special requests if desired, like asking all visitors to take their shoes off at the front door.