+ What is the MLS and how does it work?
MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. An MLS is a private, professional, member-based system containing all the listings, agent contact information, and statistics of a region. Each region has their own MLS.
+ What updates do I need to make to the home before selling?
Because you will not have the same taste as your buyer, we encourage you not to spend time or money on updating bathrooms or kitchens. Instead, focus on first impressions. Fresh paint and new carpet are the best ways to refresh your home without making expensive renovations.
+ Who compensates the Realtor?
The brokerage fee is collected through the seller’s proceeds. These proceeds are generally included in the closing costs.
+ What is the difference between closing costs and the down payment?
The down payment is the money paid upfront to the seller in order to lower your loan amount and comply with lending guidelines
The closing costs are costs required by the lender; essentially, they cover the fees associated with obtaining a loan. The buyer and seller are responsible for their own closing costs, but buyers can get their closing costs paid for by the seller through effective negotiation in a buyers market.
Closing costs are usually made up of the following:
- Attorney or escrow fees (yours and your lenders, if applicable)
- Property taxes for the calendar year you owned the property (seller) or will own the property (buyer)
- Loan origination fee (charged by a lender to process a new loan application–covers lender administrative cost)
- Recording fees for property ownership with the county
- First premium of mortgage insurance (if applicable)
- Title insurance (yours and lenders)
- Loan discount points (fees paid to the lender to receive a reduced interest rate)
- First payment to escrow account for future real estate taxes and insurance
- Paid receipt for homeowners insurance policy (and fire and flood insurance if applicable)
- Any documentation preparation fees
- Brokerage fee (included in seller’s closing costs)
+ How long will the process take?
Plan on spending four to six months finding and securing your dream home. At the very least, buyers should start looking no later than four months from the desired closing date. Once the contract is written, plan on 30 to 45 days to close.
+ Will I be committed to working with you after one appointment?
Ultimately, we want what is best for you. If you decide after our first meeting that we are not a good fit, we will be happy to refer you to someone who is.
+ If we are not married, can we still buy a house together?
Of course, as long as you both have good credit, good job histories, and a steady income.
+ How long do I need to be at my job before I can qualify for a home loan?
You are required to have been at your current job for at least one year in order to qualify for a home loan. If you are self-employed, the minimum is two years.
+ Will you be able to help me with resale if I need to move in a few years?
Yes! When helping you buy a home, our goal is to not only give you a home that meets your needs now but also a home with high resale value that will benefit you for years to come.
+ What websites should I look at for possible houses?
For the most current and accurate information, visit UtahRealEstate.com. We suggest avoiding websites like Zillow and Redfin.
+ About how many days will my house be on the market?
The amount of time it takes to sell your home depends on the current housing market. In a buyer’s market (when supply exceeds demand) houses may stay on the market for up to six months. In a seller’s market (when demand exceeds supply) houses stay on the market between 7 and 21 days.
+ How do I determine my housing needs before I look for a home?
Your home should suit your lifestyle. Before beginning your search, sit down with the whole family and make a list of your priorities: location, number of bedrooms, amenities, etc. Determine your minimum requirements–things that a house must have. You should also create a wishlist that includes ideal items and features you would enjoy but are not necessary in order to consider buying the house.
+ How do I prepare my home to be put on the market?
To appeal to high-quality buyers, it is important to have your home in move-in condition. Making repairs and updates discourages buyers from renegotiating price due to issues found during private inspections and gives you a better chance of selling your home quickly, at or above your listing price.
Here are some suggested preparations:
- Curb Appeal: the outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers see. Make a good first impression by mowing the grass, cleaning up and deweeding gardens and sidewalks, and enhancing the landscaping by planting or potting flowers. Clean the windows and replace damaged screens. Refresh any chipped, fading, or flaking paint and make sure the doorbell works.
- Cleanliness: a good cleaning can give any house a fresh feel. You should clean the bedrooms and furnishings, vacuum and mop floors, remove cobwebs from corners and ceilings, dust fan blades, and remove any markings from the walls. Pay special attention to kitchens, bathrooms, and windows.
- Openness: getting rid of clutter makes even the smallest homes feel larger. Organize your closets, declutter shelves, and open the curtains to make your home feel brighter and bigger.
- Functionality: make sure all the appliances and fixtures work. Replace leaky faucets and fix running toilets.
- Hospitality: Eliminate any bad smells from trash or litter boxes by using an air freshener, lighting a candle, or baking a dessert before an open house. Place fresh flowers around the house and near any marketing materials you have set out for visitors.
Every detail pays off when selling a home. To sell your home as quickly as possible and at the best price, putting effort into these details is essential.