Seller FAQs: Rentbacks, Exclusive Listing Contracts & More
You’ve got questions about selling your house, we’ve got answers. Sift through some commonly asked seller questions (and feel free to comment with any additional questions you might have!).
How do I sell my home?
To sell your home, first decide if you want a real estate agent or to sell on your own (FSBO). A real estate agent takes care of practically everything for you but costs money, FSBO could save you some money (not a guarantee) but it’s more work.
If you opt for FSBO and decide not to find an agent, you’ll need to research selling prices in your area, find paperwork that’s specific to your state, stage your home, take photos and find a listing platform. Don’t let this one-sentence blurb fool you — it’s a lot of work.
What are the benefits of working with a real estate agent?
Agents can get your property into the local MLS and have a lot of connections. They know of people who are looking to buy, they work with other agents — their network alone can make a massive difference.
Agents are also good at setting your listing price by pulling comps to see recent, local selling prices. They’ll help you with closing paperwork, which is notoriously complicated. In a lot of ways, the right agent could actually get you more money for your property through their industry knowledge and connections — you could get a better deal than if you were to sell on your own.
What if the contract with my agent expires before my house sells?
You can look into renewing your contract, but there’s a good chance you’ll want to let it run its course if your house didn’t sell while working with them.
One thing to keep in mind: there’s a good chance you might still owe them commission even after their contract expires. Every contract has a commission protection period, so if a person looked at your house, then waited until the contract expired to put in an offer, they (as the buyer) would be a named exception. In this instance, the agent would still get commission.
If someone completely new and different comes in to look after the agent contract expires, the agent won’t get commission.
Can I hire more than one real estate agent?
Unless the real estate agents are working as a team, you usually can’t hire more than one. However, this depends on where your property is that you’re selling:
- Exclusive listing contracts: In the US, only one agent can present the property for sale.
- Non-exclusive listing contracts: Found around the world but pretty typical in the Caribbean and Central America. Many agents present your international property for sale, the only agent or person who gets paid is the one who brings the buyer.
This is also sometimes called a non-exclusive listing agreement.
How do I make sure my house sells?
Other than making your home look desirable, every seller needs to provide the proper real estate marketing to amp up exposure. DIY marketing is a lot to take on, but it can work for some sellers.
If you want to save yourself the hassle (or if your home isn’t selling), work with a company that lists your property AND provides marketing. RealtyHive offers both and when you list with us, you won’t pay for marketing until your house sells.
How do I set the right selling price for my house?
An agent will help you find out how much your house is worth, but if you’re selling your house on your own then here are some things you’ll need to consider:
- Comparable sales (comps)
- Home appraisal
- Property renovations, upgrades, or unique/valuable characteristics
- Tax appraisals
If you’re not sure about finding an agent, list with RealtyHive. We offer equity checks to get the right property price for your home before putting it in a time-limited event.
When is a bad time to sell my property?
A common real estate myth is that it’s a bad idea to list your property in the fall or winter, but there’s really not a bad season. In fact, selling in the “off season” can actually narrow down the competition.
One thing to pay attention to is market rates. If you don’t have to sell your property (ex. you aren’t moving) you should keep an eye on the current housing rate. Biting the bullet and listing when mortgage interest rates are low can work in your favor; selling when a city is on the verge of booming can become a regret.
What happens if my property sells before I’m ready?
Try to coordinate your buying and selling. If you sell first and don’t have a new house bought yet, you’ll want to look into renting and putting stuff into storage until you close on a new place. If you bought a house but your current one isn’t selling, keep in mind that you’ll have to manage two mortgage payments until your current place sells.
The other option is a rent-back, which we’ll get into just below.
What is a rent-back?
Rent-backs allow you to stay in your home even after it sells, until a specific date, on the condition that you pay rent to the new owners of the home. It’s basically like renting the home you had previously owned.
In order to make this happen, you need to see if the new owners are open to it (they might say no because they might be in the same predicament of needing a place to live). If they agree, a security deposit will be set up and you’ll essentially lease your place from the new owners.
Hopefully we were able to answer some pertinent seller questions, but if you’re still looking for some, sift through our blog for further resources or ask us in the comments!