Home Sellers March 27, 2023

Home Sellers’ FAQs: Inspections, Contingencies, and More

Thinking of selling your home? Home sellers deal with appraisals, inspections, contingencies, staging, and more. We answer your most frequently asked questions below.

What is a Comparative Market Analysis?

A Comparative Market Analysis or CMA is a detailed report that estimates the value of your home based on the sale of similar properties in your area. Typically, the seller’s agent completes the report after inspecting your home and researching other similar properties near yours. They will also take into account regional market trends.

One of our local real estate experts can provide a free analysis. Knowing this information will allow you to make informed decisions moving forward. It can also aid in determining what remodels or potential upgrades would be worth it to make before putting your home on the market.

How is an appraisal different from a CMA?

An appraisal of your home will occur further along in the home-selling process. Once a buyer makes an offer, their lender will require an appraisal for financing purposes. It ensures that the bank does not lend the buyer more money than the property is worth. Typically, the home buyer will pay for the appraisal.

Is a pre-listing inspection worth it?

While a Comparative Market Analysis will identify the value of your home, a pre-listing inspection can take place before the home is put on the market to ensure it is ready to list. A home inspector examines the property and identifies any repairs or problems that may need to be addressed. Pre-listing inspections also allow the seller to address and avoid any surprises that might scare off a home buyer. Additionally, they help instill a sense of trust so that the buyer knows more about the property upfront and feels more confident about it.

If the pre-listing inspection uncovers any major repairs that need to be completed prior to selling the property, the Windermere Ready Program is a loan program that can help sellers with the upfront costs. It provides a loan specifically for repairs and upgrades to a property and can enhance your home with the goal of it selling for more and in less time.

What types of contingencies will I face?

Once a buyer puts in an offer, it is common for the offer to come with contingencies. Five of the most common contingencies in a home sale are home inspection, financing, appraisal, home sale, and title contingencies.

These contingencies protect the buyers’ interest, but the seller also has certain options in each case. For example, in a home sale contingency, it is the seller’s choice on whether or not to accept the offer contingent upon the sale of the buyer’s home. A seller could also include a “bump” clause to keep showing the property. If you receive a new offer, the first buyer has a specific time period to either choose to move forward or back out of the contract.

What if a buyer backs out?

First and foremost, it will be important to work with your real estate agent to fully understand the buyer’s offer. Once agreed upon, the buyer will put their earnest money into escrow.

If a buyer backs out for a reason other than those stipulated in the contract, the seller receives the earnest money. If the buyer backs out for a reason that is stipulated in the contract, then they will receive their earnest money back.

As a seller, you are also able to accept backup offers and/or refuse offers and counteroffers.

Should I stage my home?

Most real estate professionals will agree, staging a home is worth it. Staged homes often sell faster and for more money than un-staged homes. Many buyers begin their house hunt online and a staged home can make a good first impression. Highly-quality staging and excellent professional photos can grab buyers’ attention and help them easily imagine living there.

If you still have questions about the selling process, our agents are always happy to help. Feel free to reach out. Additionally, check out our guide to selling a home for more useful information and tips.