RESOURCES









SELL YOUR HOME

1. List your home


This section touches on the main points of listing your home.


Price

Your listing price is the most important factor in selling your home. Homes that are priced right sell the fastest.

According to Zillow research, 57% of homes sell at or above listing price when they accept an offer in the first week. In the second week on the market, that drops to 50% and trends downward as the weeks go on.

The point is – the longer your home is on the market, the less you can expect to receive for it.


Think of the real estate market like the stock market.

Say you have a stock like IBM, for example, which may have done a lot of work to make their company valuable. However, the stock market overall may be down so people will be unwilling to pay as much for the IBM stock as you think it is worth.

It’s the same with selling your home.

You may think you have made valuable upgrades to the home, but it won’t sell if the market is down or if you're requesting a price that is too high.

It is important to consider the MARKET when pricing your home.


Get an accurate sale price

YELLOW will help you determine the best price to sell your home. There’s two ways we do this: with an appraisal or price estimate.


Appraisal

The best way to find an accurate sale price is through an appraisal. A professional appraiser will do an examination of your home’s characteristics and analyze the recent sales of similar homes. They then create a report showing the fair market value of your home.

An appraisal can cost upwards of $400+ and YELLOW covers this cost. It will ultimately be paid by the buyer at closing, but will have to be paid by the seller if they pull their home off the market.

Appraisal Tips: To help your home appraisal, be sure you keep your home in top shape. This doesn’t necessarily mean it needs that “staged” look, but it needs to show well. The appraiser WILL be taking pictures of your home and its rooms. Additionally, be ready to provide the appraiser with a list of all major improvements to the home, plus any permits for projects you completed.


Here's an actual home appraisal as an example:

SAMPLE APPRAISAL



Price Estimate

A price estimate (also referred to as a Comparative Market Analysis) is free and is completed by YELLOW. It is considered less accurate than an appraisal and is better suited for homes in a community with other similar homes nearby.

The price estimate looks at recently sold homes that are similar and near to yours. Adjustments are made to the price based on the differences in features, like if it is in better condition or has nicer amenities or extra features like a pool.

These adjustments are subjective estimates and while they may not be completely accurate, it does help determine a ballpark for your sale price.


Here’s more on the difference between an appraisal and comparative market analysis:


Setting your price

Once the pricing figure comes in, don't automatically set that as your selling price. Look at other homes on the market nearby - are they priced higher or lower than your appraisal figure (this is assuming your home has similar features as the others)? If your figure is higher, consider lowering your selling price to make your home more attractive to buyers.

Don't forget that by using YELLOW, you aren't paying real estate agent fees.

If a home is being sold with an agent, 6% of the sale price will go to the agents involved in the deal. That means you can price your home for 6% less than a similar home and make the same amount on the sale. That’s a great way to make a quick sale!


TIP: Price your home slightly under a round number, like you often see in stores or gas stations. For example, say you would like to sell your home for $200,000. Instead, set the price at $199,900. Psychologists have found that this makes people think they are saving money. A round number like "900" has proven effective, too.




The remainder of this "Price" section has other resources to help with setting the sale price of your home.





When you list your home on YELLOW, we have you set your selling price BEFORE the appraisal or estimate comes back - but don't worry, you can change the sale price amount at any time. We think it is helpful for homeowners to research their sale price, too. We've listed a few resources below that will help with this.


Online estimates

There are many online tools that provide estimates of your home’s value. Their accuracy is debatable, but they provide a good reference point in pricing your home. Understand that sellers will also be looking at these estimates, so they must be considered. A large deviation from the estimate deserves justification.


Zillow

The biggest site out there is Zillow and you may have heard of the Zillow estimate (or "Zestimate" as they call it). There has been a lot of debate about its accuracy (like this article showing that the “Zestimate” was extremely far from the actual sale price of the Zillow CEO’s home).

The Wall Street Journal finds that Zillow came within 5% of the market price in about a third of cases, was off by 25% or more in 11% of cases, and was off by 50% or more in 3.4% of cases, although this study was done in 2007. LINK

That said, you should be aware of the "Zestimate" because buyers will be. Keep this price in mind when you are listing your home.


Redfin

According to an independent study of on-market homes, the Redfin Estimate is the most accurate among leading automated home-value tools. They also claim to provide the most accurate value of a home for sale - more than twice as likely to be within 3% of the home's selling price as other top online home-value estimators.


Here are some others sites that provide estimates:


On a personal note, in early 2019 I had an appraisal done on my home for a refinancing.

The estimate from Realtor.com was the closest to the number from the appraiser. They were slightly below the appraisal. An estimate from Chase was the next closest and a little further below the appraisal.

In third was the Redfin estimate, which was significantly above my appraisal. Eppraisal was even higher, FSBO, higher still, and Zillow was the furthest away and highest over the appraisal.

The estimates above my appraisal may sound like great news – but there is something important to consider. A buyer WILL have an appraisal done on your home during closing - it's required for a mortgage. If the appraisal comes in below the price you agreed on, the bank WILL NOT approve a mortgage to buy your home. It’s important to price your home accurately.






Review nearby sales

It’s important to know what the real estate market is like in your area. Looking at recent comparable sales, or “comps,” is the best way to do this.

"Comps" are properties similar to your own that sold recently (ideally in the last six months). The more similar the comp is to your own home (style, age, size, location, amenities, etc.), the better the estimate of your own home’s value.

You can find recently sold homes using almost any online home search websites.

With Zillow, for example, you can pull up the map and click the “Listing Type” button, then check only the ‘Recently Sold’ box. The process with most other websites is similar, too.


Redfin has something interesting. On the search page, click on “More Filters.” Then turn the For Sale OFF and Sold ON. From there you can narrow your search to sales over a certain time period, plus you can select property characteristics that closely match your own home.

On the result maps, you’ll want to look at homes that are:

  • In the same neighborhood or area
  • Similar size (within about 300 square feet)
  • Same home type (house, condo, or townhouse)

Most of these postings still have pictures of the home. How does it compare to your home? Nicer features and conditions will make their home worth more, and vice-versa. Take that into consideration when pricing your home.

Lastly, be aware of the listing prices of homes around you that are for sale or pending - but don’t pay them too much attention. The listing price is not likely to be what the buyer ends up paying.

Note that by using YELLOW, you aren’t paying the fees these homes will pay (like the 6% agent fee) so you can list your home a little less than the market and still walk away with more money.


Price per square foot

Buyers will look at the price per square foot of your home. There is a debate over how reliable and accurate this is, but nonetheless, it is something to consider when pricing your home. Take a look at the price per square foot of your comps – is your home priced higher or lower than the average? If your home is priced far away from the average, be sure you can justify it. A nicer home deserves a higher multiple and vice versa.


Appraisers focus heavily on “comps,” so this needs to be a consideration in pricing your home. The buyer WILL have your home appraised and many deals fall apart because the home was priced too high. Keep your home in line with the comps in your area!






Ask us!

We’re here to help, too!


Once you decide on a listing price, run it through a calculator to see how much you will walk away with. Don’t forget to factor in closing costs, which can average 2-4% of your home’s value. Play around with the different price levels in the spreadsheets to see how much you will walk away with at these various levels. It’s also good to know what your breakeven price is.


Here’s a few calculators to help, plus our excel spreadsheet:




Will you offer a commission to a buyer's agent?

Many buyers will use a real estate agent to help them buy a home. People often don't realize that these "buyer agent's" are typically paid by you, the seller, from the proceeds of the sale. You'd think the buyer should pay their agent for doing work for them, but for some reason that's not the case. It's customary for the buyer's agent to receive 3% of the sale price, but many discount services charge as low as 1%.

It's up to you if you want to offer compensation to an agent who brings a buyer.

Options:

  • No compensation - You can offer no compensation with the expectation that the buyer will pay the agent on their own. However, it may limit your pool of buyers since agent's won't bring buyers if they don't receive compensation.
  • "Buyer's agents paid by buyer are welcome" - This is a good option if you won't be offering compensation, but want to appear welcoming.
  • Percentage of the sale price - like 1% or 3% (keep in mind, YELLOW does most of the work and only makes $699).
  • Set dollar amount - like $5,000 (again, remember YELLOW only charges $699).
  • Negotiable - this shows you are open to working out a deal with the agent (and YELLOW can help).
  • Add to the price - You can indicate you will pay a commission, but it must be in addition to the sale price. For example, you can note that you will pay up to a certain percentage to the agent, say 1%, but the buyer must increase the purchase price by this amount. Note that the home must appraise for that total amount.

Remember, you only pay this commission if you sell to a buyer using an agent.

Buyers are still required to pay YELLOW's fee regardless of using an agent or not.








Staging

Homes that look “staged” sell faster and for a higher price than homes where there is clear evidence of people living there.

Buyers are always told to ignore things like the wall color or the furniture or the flooring because they can be changed later. In reality, though, its hard to overlook the tastes of the seller.

Staging is mostly about cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing your home so a buyer can picture themselves living there. It takes a little effort, but it can go a long way to boosting a sale.

Below we have some tips on staging your home.


Home Prep Tips

  • Remove all personal items, like family pictures or anything with a name on it. These items make it harder for buyers to picture themselves living in your home.
  • Keep only essential pieces of furniture to make your home look more spacious. Don't remove so much that it makes your home feel empty, though. Ask yourself, if someone was going to buy this home, what items would they keep? Consider taking the rest to storage.

    You may have to invest in a storage unit, but it will pay for itself if it results in a higher sale price. It also helps you get a head start on packing for the move.

  • Only keep furniture that is in good shape.
  • Clear the walls. A few choice paintings or pictures can be kept (avoid personal family pics), but keep wall clutter to a minimum.
  • Paint the walls a neutral color. Neutral colored walls make the home feel more "move-in” ready and also makes the rooms feel more open, light, and bigger. An accent wall is alright if you like color, but try not to make it too loud.

    It's possible to paint over any wallpaper, too, by using an oil-based primer first. Budget plenty of time to dry, especially in humid climates.

  • Add some live plants (and get rid of fake plants).
  • Clear the counters.
  • Scrub the bathrooms.
  • Make your bedroom look like a hotel room. Your bedroom is a very personal room. Sometimes buyers have a hard time seeing beyond your personal space and picturing themselves living there. Try to depersonalize this room as much as possible.
  • Keep your closets half full. They will appear to have more space.
  • Couples tend to walk through rooms side-by-side – be sure there is enough space for two people to walk freely through your home.


Using neutral paint colors on the walls and clean floors, carpets, and bathrooms can go a long way to boosting your sale price.

Don’t forget curb appeal. Clean up the lawn by keeping the grass cut. If the yard could use a little work, give it some fertilizer and put a sprinkler on it for a couple days. Also clean up overgrown shrubbery and trees and consider planting some flowers for a little color.

Tip: if you keep your lawn mowed and green, weeds are tougher to see.

Researchers have found that homes with high curb appeal sell for 7% more than homes with low curb appeal.





There is a TV show we like that is a great resource for staging, called Sell This House. It helps homeowners stage their home – at a very low cost. It definitely has a lower budget than anything you'd see on HGTV, but we feel like it’s more realistic. It’s a few years old, but we think it’s still relevant.

You can find it on the 'Dabl' network, which is on many cable carriers. You can also find episodes to watch online in the links below.

This first link requires you to sign in to your TV provider first to watch, but there are many full episodes:

    Sell This House - A&E TV

This link has several free videos. Look for the videos over 20 minutes long:

    Sell This House - YouTube




According to Zillow, here are some ways to prepare your home:

  • Clean the house
    Do a deep clean of every room in the house, either by bringing in a professional cleaning service or dedicating a weekend to doing it yourself. Wash the windows (inside and outside), make the beds, dust, vacuum, and get those fingerprints off your stainless steel appliances.
  • Declutter
    There’s nothing worse in real estate pictures than clutter. Clear the kitchen counters of small appliances, tuck away bathroom items like toothbrushes and combs, remove any eyesore cords or wires, put your TV remotes in a cabinet, and finally go through that stack of mail. Remember, if you’re going to be photographing your garage or workshop, make sure to clean there too.
  • Depersonalize
    You’ll want to ensure buyers can picture themselves living in the home, and they can’t do that with your personal belongings in every picture. Take a few minutes to stash away things like family photos, refrigerator magnets, toys, and pet accessories.
  • Hide or reduce children’s and pets belongings
    Though buyers may be parents or pet owners, they want to visualize their own families in the home, not yours.
  • Downplay seasonal elements
    Consider minimizing any holiday decorations or seasonal elements so that the photos are timeless.
  • Stage each room
    Go room by room with a critical eye, making small tweaks that can make a big difference: Open the blinds, turn on the lights, and add small touches that make the space feel welcoming.
  • Remove window screens
    Natural light is a big seller, and window screens dim natural light and make windows look dingy in photos. Consider removing your window screens before photos are taken, especially if you plan to capture high-value views.

Zillow Prepare your home for photographs




Should you use a professional staging company?

There are many reasons to use a professional stager, and not just for their expertise. It’s helpful to get an outside perspective, since many home sellers can’t objectively look at their home and see what needs to be done.

The cost of a professional is not cheap – however, their service is likely to result in a faster sale with a higher price, so it may pay for itself and more.

Cost breakdown, from Home Advisor:

  • Initial Consultation - $150 to $600 for two hours
  • Rearranging and de-cluttering only - $800 flat rate
  • Service Fees - $800 to $1,000 per project
  • Staging Fee - $400 to $700 per room for the first month, which averages $2,000 for initial setup (a three-month minimum is common)
  • Furniture Rental - $500 to $600 per room per month, which averages $2,000 a month for rental after initial setup
  • Homeadvisor.com How Much Does It Cost To Stage A House?

Our suggestion – consider the initial consultation, where you get advice on what should be done and do it yourself if you think you can.



Renovations

Some people like to make costly upgrades to their home in the hopes of selling it for more money. However, it doesn't usually pay off. A home may look nice with expensive upgrades, but the changes may not be a style that works for the buyer.

Sellers are usually better off not making big renovations and instead, pricing the home lower to appeal to more buyers who can customize it to their tastes.

Rather than a big renovation, make modest improvements and do a thorough cleaning. Let the buyers make the big renovations later if they wish.



Source: dyernews.com


Should you make upgrades?








Pictures

These are the most important part of your listing. Be sure to invest some extra time here to do a good job.

Once you’re comfortable with your home’s appearance, it’s time to take the pictures that will appear in your listing. Studies have shown that the pictures were the most important thing potential buyers looked at, so you want to get this right.

Below are a few tips to help you take the best pictures possible.


YELLOW will touch up your pictures if they need it. We use professional software to create more flattering and realistic pictures. We only do minor touch-ups because we believe some photos are edited so much that they don't reflect the home's actual condition.

Check out some of our before and after pictures below.




The following five pictures are bad pictures taken with an older digital camera and no lighting. We can adjust the color to look more appealing, while remaining realistic.


We can straighten the image and remove reflections.


Here we sharpened up the picture and removed a few distracting items. Can you see the differences?


In this picture we removed the reflection and cleaned up the colors.


Here we lightened up the shadows.




The remaining pictures were taken with an average camera in a home with no power - and therefore, no lights. We adjusted the colors and straightened the images.




Should I hire a professional photographer?

This is a frequent question.

One way to determine the quality of photographs you need is by looking at pictures of homes currently listed near you and at your price level. You can find them on any real estate website. Do the pictures look professional? If so, the answer is yes.

The general consensus the more expensive your home, the more likely it is that you should use a professional.

One suggestion is to initially take the pictures on your own. If you aren’t satisfied with the result, then turn to a professional photographer.



Camera

Use the best camera available to you. DSLR-style cameras are popular and should be your first choice over a cell phone. There are ways to get quality shots on a newer cell phone, too.

Here are some links with more info on using your cellphone camera:




Taking Photos

Here are some tips for taking good pictures:

  • Use a wide-angle lens or shooting mode if available to you.
  • Photograph the rooms at an angle. Take a picture from a corner or doorway, with the opposite corner of the room in the center. This will make the room look more spacious.
  • A good rule of thumb is to try to capture more floor and less ceiling.
  • Turn off ceiling fans.
  • Most pictures should be taken from waist- to stomach-high level (some experts recommend doorknob height). Stay 1’-2’ above the furniture or counters.
  • Take many pictures from many angles – you can always narrow it down later.
  • Some room furniture or pieces can be removed to give a cleaner look.
  • Lighting:
    • Maximize the natural light. Pull back the curtains and open the blinds, even open a window if you can.
    • Avoid rainy and cloudy days.
    • Turn on all the lights, but avoid turning on lights that are close to your camera (like a nearby lamp that may be in the shot).
    • Be careful about letting too much light in. Like the picture below, it can drown out the details of the room.


      Too much light can cause glares


      To prevent too much light from ruining a shot, pay attention to the time of day you are taking pictures.

      Indoor pictures should be taken when the sun is bright.
      -If the window is facing west, take the picture earlier in the day
      -If the window is facing east, take the picture later in the day
      This is because you don't want sunlight coming in through the window.

      Outdoor pictures look best taken when the sun is lower and behind the cameraman since it reduces the shadows on the home.

      Many people also take a twilight picture of the home when the sky is darker but all the curtains are open and the lights are on. This also helps show off any landscape lighting.

  • Put the pictures in an order similar to how you’d walk through the home:
    Start with a front exterior shot. Move to the front door, then foyer, living room, kitchen, dining room, then bedrooms and bathrooms, any other rooms, the garage, backyard outdoor space, then exterior shots of the rear of the home.
  • Narrow the amount of pictures down to 22-27. Zillow research has found that this amount pictures is the ideal range.
    “Homes with fewer than nine photos are about 20 percent less likely to sell within 60 days. And, interestingly, homes with more than 28 photos take longer to sell, too. This is likely because the addition of more photos over a certain threshold doesn’t contribute to a sale, so other factors begin to weigh more heavily - for example, homes with 28 or more photos are 12 percent more expensive, and more photos won’t outweigh an inflated sale price.”
    -HGTV Take better real estate photos

Photography tips from Zillow
  • Portray an honest representation of the home: This is the most important point. Don’t focus on the artistry of the image to the point that you sacrifice accuracy. Make sure every photo gives an accurate feel of the room and flow of the layout.
  • Take tons of photos: While you’ll only need to post 22-27 photos with your listing, you’ll want to take many more than that, so you can pick the very best images in editing.
  • Use a wide-angle lens: A wide-angle lens helps capture the full feel of a room, while still making it appear true to its size.
  • Use landscape orientation: Horizontal orientation makes it easier to capture the full room, and it’s also the orientation used on the MLS and other real estate sites.
  • Take photos that highlight the layout: Buyers are interested in the layout of the home, and great photos can showcase both the flow of the room and the relationship of one room to the next.
  • Leave doors open between rooms: Another way to give viewers insight into the layout is to leave doors open between rooms, so they can see how they all connect.
  • Avoid large objects in the foreground: An otherwise successful photo can be ruined by something big in the foreground, such as a bookshelf, couch, or other big piece of furniture. Keep spaces wide open for the most appealing images.
  • Take exterior photos at an angle: When taking a photo of the outside of the home, a photographer should be positioned at an angle, showcasing both the front façade of the house and the depth. An angled image gives a better feel for the size of a home.
  • Watch the position of the sun: When taking exterior photos, capture images when the sun is behind the camera but illuminating the front of the property. You’ll avoid shadows and the house will be perfectly lit.
  • Shoot interior photos when it’s brightest: To showcase your home’s natural light, schedule photos for mid-day.
Zillow Real estate photography tips

More photo tips:


AirBNB has some useful photo tips, too, since the home listers are in a similar situation to YELLOW users:


Here are some of the more popular photo editing apps to touch up a picture:


And apps designed for real estate photos:




Mistakes to avoid

A theme of many bad photos is a lack of attention to little details. Don’t get any people in your shot - including yourself - in the reflections and shadows. Even little things like leaving the toilet seat up can ruin a picture.


There are even websites devoted to bad real estate pictures:








Video Walkthroughs

Video can be a great way to give buyers a realistic look at your property.

Sellers have the option to upload a video walkthrough of their home. It can be as simple as a video shot on your cell phone, walking through the home.

Like with your photos, YELLOW will touch up your videos if needed. We use professional software to create a more flattering and realistic video. Take a look at the video below for more info.


YELLOW can touch up your videos.

We use professional software to remove bumps and vibrations, clear up the picture, adjust coloring, and add room captions. We've found that the 'autoplay' video function on most browsers only works if there is no audio or it's muted by default. For this reason, we are not adding music to the videos until we determine the best way to make videos play automatically.

The video below was shot at our corporate headquarters with a simple iPhone and nothing more. We made minor adjustments to the footage to make a better video - but note that we can't work miracles and can only work with what we're given.



Tips for making your video walkthrough:

  • Make sure your home looks 'staged.'
  • Use the best camera available.
  • Also use the RAW footage format if possible.
  • Turn on all the lights – unless they will be close to the camera as you walk past.
  • Film on a sunny day – but you don't want too much light coming through the windows.
  • Make slow and smooth movements.
  • Walk through the home from front to back. Start with a front exterior shot. Move to the front door, then foyer, living room, kitchen, dining room, then bedrooms and bathrooms, the garage, backyard outdoor space, then exterior shots of the rear of the home.
  • We can remove excess footage, like if you have to double back or turn the camera quickly and produce a blur.
  • Say the name of the room as you are recording so we can label it in the video. Alternatively, you can note the room and the time it appears in your video or provide us with a blueprint (a rough sketch is fine) of your home’s layout so we can label the rooms.
  • Try to have doors open or cracked to open easily – don’t get your hand in the shot.
  • Avoid getting your reflection in windows or mirrors.
  • Don’t worry about any noise you record – we will replace it with neutral music.
  • Try to keep your video short - aim for 3 minutes or less. The video should just be a walk-through and not focused on every nook and cranny. We may shorten your video by speeding it up in certain places, but we will keep the link to your original-length video, too.








Property Description

While property descriptions can have a prominent spot in your listing, they are not nearly as important as the picture section. Don't worry if creative writing isn’t your strong suit. A mediocre description section is unlikely to hurt your sale, but we’ve provided a few pointers and templates to help.


Writing a description

The purpose of the description is to highlight desirable things the buyer can’t see from the pictures. The most important thing is to be honest and don’t overhype your home – exaggeration is easy to see and can turn buyers off.

The odds are that if your home was sold in the last few years, Zillow may still have your home’s description up on their website. You can use that as a guide for what to include, but do not copy the old description! You can be charged with copyright infringement. (This applies to the photos, too.)

It's also helpful to check out the descriptions for other homes in your area to give you a good idea what to include in your description, but again, do not copy.






Listing descriptions tend to follow a basic structure:

Opening statement - This gives readers an idea of what they are looking at and to keep reading.

Description of features - As the name suggests, this part gives an overview of the home’s primary features and their description.

Call to action - Usually the last sentence gives the buyers a reason to act.


Check out these helpful adjectives and keywords that will help enhance your listing (don’t overdo it though!):

There’s a load of other websites that offer keywords and phrases that can be found with a simple internet search, too.


Here’s a little more on the basic structure of the description:


OPENING

The first part of the description tries to capture the reader’s attention. Try to incorporate some of the adjectives found in the links above.

Examples:

  • You’ll love this move-in ready | other adjectives home...
  • A must see in insert city | close to | etc...
  • A great deal in insert city...
  • A great value...
  • Adjective insert city | neighborhood house...
  • This adjective home...
  • Bright and spacious starter home...
  • Finally, an affordable home...
  • Well loved | cared for home in insert city...
  • Welcome home to this adjective..
  • Come see this adjective home...
  • If privacy is your need, check out this home...

  • ...located in a highly-rated | excellent school district.
  • ...located close to ___.
  • ... __ square foot home featuring __ bedrooms and __ bathrooms.
  • ...with an open floor plan house and tons of upgrades.
  • ...with excellent views.
  • ...in a quiet neighborhood.
  • ...located on a __acre lot.
  • ...is available now!



MIDDLE

This part highlights the features and tells readers what it’s like to live in the home. Use words that help buyers picture themselves living there. Rather than just a list of features, describe the benefits of those features. It’s okay to keep it concise and factual.

A general rule of thumb is to touch on the main points in the order your pictures appear (starting in the front of the home, moving inside to the living room, kitchen, bedrooms, then to the rear of the home).

Be sure to touch on any upgrades, renovations, or improvements you completed.

Highlight any special features of the home, like hardwood floors, marble countertops, tile showers, insulated windows, solid wood doors, nice views, outdoor areas, etc.

Also include name brands of premium appliances, windows, and doors (like Viking, Sub-Zero, Thermador, etc.) as this indicates quality.

Remember to touch on any nice neighborhood or location features, too. You may be close to certain districts or attractions, or maybe have amenities nearby like walking trails, parks, or even a community pool. Also note a highly-rated school system if it is in your area (this must remain fact based, like "A-rated schools." Subjective terms like "good" can violate the Fair Housing Act. More on this later.).

Examples:

  • In a convenient location close to...
  • Located in the heart of...
  • This home is close to grocery stores, local dining, and shopping destinations.
  • Located just 10 minutes to major highways...
  • The top quality materials and finishings found throughout this spacious home...
  • Newly remodeled with brand new appliances!
  • This home’s interior features a remodeled kitchen including new stainless steel appliances, modern kitchen cabinets, and marble countertops.
  • Exterior features include a new roof with new siding, as well as professional landscaping.
  • The back deck/porch/outdoor area is great for entertaining or relaxing on a day off...
  • The neighborhood is conveniently located next to walking trails and a town dog park.



CLOSING / CALL TO ACTION

The last part of the description conveys a sense of excitement or urgency that can help prod buyers to act. Sometimes these can sound cheesy to us and we don't think they are always helpful, but it may work for you.

Examples:

  • This one won’t last long!
  • A must see!
  • You have to see for yourself!
  • A rare opportunity that will go quickly!
  • This little gem is just waiting for YOU!
  • Come and take a look at this beauty!
  • Don't miss out!
  • Once you see it you’ll want to own it!



Combine these three sections together to get a decent write-up of your home.


Don’t forget to mention that by using YELLOW, you are helping buyers save time and money, which is helpful to selling your home.



House Hunt Network How to write real estate copy


Word of caution

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disabilities, or familial status. Be careful to avoid using any terminology that even alludes to these issues.









Seller Disclosure

By law, sellers must disclose any material defects of the home that they are aware of.

To accomplish this, each seller must complete a document that lists any known issues with the property and any repair or remodel projects completed during the time they owned the home.

This only applies to issues you know about.

You aren't expected to know about everything, especially inside the walls. But if the problem is something obvious - like a leaky roof - and you don't disclose it, you may end up in court. It is very important to be honest here.

Sample document:
  Blank Seller Disclosure


Flaws that must be disclosed:
  • Windows that don’t close or doors that stick
  • Faulty foundation or leaky roof
  • Problems with appliances or home systems like the HVAC
  • Repairs made on any of the above as well as insurance claims
  • Renovations completed without a permit
  • Pest or mold infestations
  • Environmental hazards in the area (e.g., floods and wildfires)
-Realtor.com What is a property disclosure statement?








Condo Disclosures

Condo sellers are required to provide additional documents, which you may recall from when you purchased your condo.

Here are the documents that are required:

  • Most recent year-end financial report
  • Rules of the association
  • Governance form
  • Declaration
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • FAQ's








After submitting your home

Once you’ve entered your home’s info and uploaded the pictures, it won’t immediately go live (where it appears on our website).

We have to request the inspections and if desired, the appraisal and title search. Plus, we have to send out the yard sign and the digital lockbox for your key. You do have the option for it to go live immediately, but with a 'Coming Soon' notification. We will be in contact with you to work out these details.





Inspection


Need a home inspection?

Find an inspector from the two links below:

YELP - Home Inspectors      
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)

This will show home inspectors in your current location of . Click HERE (YELP) and HERE (ASHI) to search from a new location.




  • Check the reviews and call a couple inspectors.
  • You'll ask for an inspector to come to your home and they'll usually come out within 7-10 days.
  • You can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $300-500.
  • The inspection usually takes around 2 hours, depending on the size.
  • You can follow the inspector to see what they are looking for. They will usually have tips on how to fix problems.
  • All homes have problems! Don't be disappointed.
  • A few days after the inspection, the inspector will send you (by mail or email) the inspection report.
  • Have the inspector send us a copy or upload it to us from our website.



  • Get a bad inspection? Take some time to address the issues. Complete another inspection once the issues are resolved so a cleaner inspection report can be seen by buyers.



The inspection is a critical step, but some sellers balk at the idea of an inspection. This is natural since there is the potential to reveal problems.

Those potential problems will be uncovered eventually.

Buyers will conduct their own inspection and any flaws will be revealed. This adds time to the closing and will lead to new negotiations over the repairs or the home price. It could also cause the buyer to back out of the contract.


Do you have to disclose a pre-sale home inspection?

Yes, you do have to disclose property condition issues that you are aware of (whether you know of them because of the pre-inspection or for another reason). What you are required to disclose depends on where you live, but in general, you’re required to let a buyer know about any major flaws in your home. Even in states with less-strict disclosure laws, you are still required to disclose an issue if you’re asked directly about it.


If a buyer backs out of a deal, the canceled contract will show up in your home’s property history on sites like Zillow and Trulia. Buyers are typically wary of homes that have already had offers fall through since it’s a sign there might be something wrong with the home.

By getting an inspection now, you can address any issues.


Pre-sale Inspection Benefits, from Zillow:

  • Better marketing
    Pre-inspections don’t only uncover negatives — they can also give you an opportunity to promote what’s great about your home.
  • Valuable improvement advice
    A pre-inspection can help sellers prioritize which improvements and upgrades to complete before listing. By following your inspector’s advice, you can update the parts of your home that are in most crucial need of repair and bypass less important upgrades.
  • More negotiating power
    When you already know the issues that are going to come up during the buyer’s inspection, you can price accordingly, which will give you stronger negotiating power. For example, if you’ve already factored the need for a new roof into your listing price and you make that clear upon receiving the initial offer, buyers are less likely to come back and try and get you to lower the price further.
  • Time saved
    With all the information about your home (good and bad) already out in the open, you won’t have to worry about a lot of renegotiating once the buyer does their inspection.

Zillow Pre-listing home inspection


The inspection costs you nothing as the seller – the buyer will ultimately end up covering this cost. Note that if a seller were to back out of using YELLOW before a sale, you will be responsible for the cost.


What do home inspectors look for?

  • Structural features: They’ll look for any issues with the roof, garage, attic, crawl space, siding, windows, or doors.
  • Appliances: They’ll check to make sure any appliance that’s staying with the home is in good working order—like your stove, oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, garage door, and water heater.
  • Systems: Expect a home inspector to check your home’s big-ticket systems, including electrical, gas, and heating and cooling.

Zillow Prepare for a home inspection


Home inspection checklist in pdf form:








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