Q&A WITH MARK SPRAGUE
Mark Sprague is a noted and respected expert on the real estate industry and the Austin market, in particular. He is also the Director of Business Development for Mission Mortgage and we are fortunate to have access to his expertise and opinions. Mark receives numerous questions each week and he’s put together a group of them to address today. His goal is to provide the knowledge you need to make responsible financial decisions and to provide answer to the questions he hears most often. Today, Mark addresses questions from home sellers or potential home sellers.
QUESTION: I want to sell my house and downsize. Our children are no longer living with us and my wife and I do not need as much space as we have. Some people say we should wait until the spring to list our home as that is the “season.” Is that true? Or should we put it on the market now because we are eager to get this process started?
ANSWER: If you are eager to start the process, there is no time like the present. In truth, my agents tell me there are plenty of buyers out there looking for deals. The first time homebuyer credit is set to expire later this spring and you may find a buyer via that incentive program. It sounds like it works better for your needs to put it on now, and I say go with your instinct. Mission Mortgage has developed strong relationships with dozens, if not hundreds, of reputable, successful, and knowledgeable realtors in Austin and the surrounding area. If you would like a recommendation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
QUESTION: I am trying to sell my house- I am trying to decide if I should just list the home at the lowest number I am willing to take OR if I should start a bit higher, and then adjust the price in a few weeks if no one bites. Is there a strategy to pricing?
ANSWER: This is an excellent question. Yes, there most certainly is a strategy to pricing your home. It sounds like you have elected not to work with an experienced real estate agent in your community. If this is the case, I would urge you to re-consider. The 3 key pillars of selling your home: pricing it, marketing it, and negotiating terms of the sale, can be best addressed by a professional real estate agent. I have spoken with many sellers over the years that opted to sell on their own, only later to lament their decision. When it comes to pricing your home, the most effective pricing strategy begins with market data. An experienced agent can construct a historical analysis of what comparable homes have recently sold for, and can examine what comparable homes are currently asking on the market. After viewing the data and touring your home, then, and only then, can you get a better sense of how to price it. If you have questions about selling your home, please email us at email@example.com and we’ll be glad to provide you with an answer.
QUESTION: I was selling my house and we had an accepted offer and pre-approved buyers. We were about 3 weeks from closing and the lender wanted to resubmit them for their loan since their lock expired on their rate and they no longer qualified. Why would that happen? We are very discouraged as now we are back to square one with no buyer.
ANSWER: If your borrowers are no longer qualified based on the new rate, there are a few things that may help. First they can try different mortgage programs which carry a lower qualifying rate. Another option is for you, as the seller, to renegotiate the terms of your sale to include a “Sellers Concession”. This is when you, as the seller, agree to pay something on behalf of the buyer. In this case you could pay some additional “points” (pre-paid interest) to reduce your buyer’s interest rate and help them qualify. Inquire if this might help and then work out the best way. You may be able to raise your sales price to cover the cost of this. Contact us at 512.328.0400 if you have questions.
QUESTION: What are some pros for using a real estate agent? I really wanted to avoid the fee but some people say their experience is needed.
ANSWER: As a seller you want to receive the highest possible return on your home. In order to achieve that goal it is best to work with an experienced agent in your community. Without an agent you will have great difficulty marketing your home and qualifying potential buyers. This means that fewer qualified buyers will discover your home is on the market. You need the exact opposite to occur. You need lots of people finding out about your home and visiting it in person. This will increase the likelihood of getting the price you want for the home. If your home languishes on the market, at the wrong price or with the wrong marketing, you will have no choice but to lower your price. A great agent is worth every penny in a real estate transaction. For recommendations for an agent in your area, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.