Questions Sellers Frequently Ask:
What should be the listing price of my home?
The first step to pricing your home well is to have your real estate agent complete a CMA (comparative market analysis) for your property. To prepare this, your agent will consider the specific aspects of your home, such as square footage, number of rooms--especially bedrooms and bathrooms--property size, and any special amenities your home features. Then he or she will compare your property to similar homes that have sold in your area to determine a likely market price that will maximize both the interest in your home and the amount you will receive for it.
If you're just curious about your home's value, you could use an online home value estimator to give you a rough idea.
How long will it take me to sell my home?
That depends on where your home is located, the condition it is in, and the number of buyers versus sellers in your local market. Right now across America homes are staying on the market for an average of 48 days. In our local market in Greater Greenville, SC, homes are selling in an average of 40 days, as of September 2023.
Several factors could make your home sell faster than normal. If it is located in a particularly popular subdivision, near a local attraction, or in a desirable school district, for instance, it is likely to sell faster. Conversely, if it needs repairs or updates or lacks major selling points, it may take a little longer to sell. Your real estate agent should be able to provide tips about budget-friendly ways to help your home sell quicker, especially if the number of available homes in your local market is relatively small.
Questions Buyers Frequently Ask:
When I am ready to start looking for a home, what should I do first?
Assuming that you will need to take out a mortgage loan to purchase your home, your first step to house-hunting is knowing how much home you can afford--or how much a lender is willing to lend you. You'll get a quick estimate of this when you spend a few minutes online or at a lender's office completing a pre-approval form. This tells the lender your basic financial information, such as your job, your income, the amount of debt you owe, and your credit score. With this information the lender will be able to determine if you qualify for a loan and what the maximum loan amount is.
Once you have a pre-approval letter, you are ready to begin your search.
How much money will I need for a down payment?
The down payment amount will vary considerably based on the type of mortgage you're applying for, your credit score, and whether you want to have the lowest possible interest rate on your mortgage. Ask a traditional lender that question and you'll probably be told you need 20% down. That's largely because the 20% down payment covers the mortgage insurance the lender requires. Lenders who meet Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements for credit score, may need only 3.5% down. From time to time, some lenders offer 1st-time home buyers mortgages that require as little as 1% down, as long as they have stellar credit scores and meet other guidelines regarding income, the age of home, and/or location of the home. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) the 2021 average down payment for a home was 7%.
There are a couple of things to remember as a prospective home owner. First, buyers who can save a bigger down payment often get a slightly reduced interest rate on their mortgage. One-quarter or one-eighth of a percentage point doesn't seem like much, but that small difference could save you thousands over the course of a 30-year mortgage. Second, you will need cash for closing, for setting up your home, and for dealing with surprises that pop up. (Welcome to the world of the homeowner.) You don't want to put all your cash toward the down payment and then be strapped for cash to close or not be able to buy any furniture.