Are you ready to sell?

Here are your answers.

1. When potential buyers come to view your condo, you should:

You want the potential buyer to feel relaxed and at home, so the best thing for you to do is to not be there. Leave before they arrive as you don't want them thinking they are interrupting you. If they have questions, it is best for their agent to call your agent. By speaking directly to them, you may be giving away information that could hurt your negotiating position. Good agents are skilled in getting information from sellers.

2. What is the definition of a Seller's Market?

A seller's market is defined by a low inventory level of 4 months or less. Inventory is measured in months of supply. For example, a four month supply means that if no more homes came on the market and sales continued at their current pace, all the homes would be sold in four months. We have been in a low inventory market for several years now and in Arlington, the inventory level for condos has been below one month supply all year. We are definitely in a seller's market.

3. What percentage of buyers are generated from all the 'homes' magazines you find in stands at grocery stores and around the neighborhood?

1% Statistics are getting worse by the year as the digital era continues to evolve and print media usage declines.

4. The longer a home is on the market the higher the price.

False! This should have been an easy one. The longer a home sits on the market, the less chance you will get your asking price. If it has been on for a significant time, buyers will start to think there is something wrong with the place.

5. What percentage of buyers shop online for condos?

Not surprising, more and more buyers shop online for everything, including condos. Studies have more than 90% of buyers search online when buying a home.

6. You should choose the real estate agent that says they can get the highest price?

No. Don't fall for this trick. In the industry, this is known as 'buying the listing'. The agent will suggest an unrealistic high price in hopes the seller will sign with him or her and then after a certain period, the agent will begin hammering the seller to lower the price.

Now, it is certainly possible that the highest recommended price is correct, but make sure the agent can can walk you through their estimate on how they arrived at their price.

7. For single taxpayers, how much profit from the sale of your home is capital gains tax free?

For the sale of your PRINCIPLE RESIDENCE, you can exclude up to $250,000 in capital gains tax. For a married couple, it's even better - up to $500,000.

8. Which activities produce the greatest return at sale?

There are many things you can do to improve your place and the place to start is cleaning and decluttering. This is least expensive option (for most people) and gives the biggest return. A fresh coat of paint throughout is usually the second best option. Updating kitchens and baths adds value, but can get costly.

9.If you sell your condo and lose money, you can write the loss of on your taxes.

Unfortunately, this is not true for your primary residence. For an investment property, you might be able to get some relief.

10. Once you commit to a real estate agent, you must keep him or her until your place sells.

Absolutely not. In Virginia, a listing agreement between a brokerage and a seller, must have a set termination date.

11. If you are looking to move up to a new place, where can you get funds for your down payment ?

There are many places to tap into for funds for a down payment, including loans from your retirement accounts and a bridge loan.

The best pricing strategy is to start high as you can always come down later.

No. This is typically a failed strategy and will net you less in the end than if you set a price in line with the market.

Have a question that wasn't answered here? Feel free to reach out to me anytime.