Hi there! My name is Brian Johnson and I’m a real estate broker in Spokane, working with Windermere Valley Liberty Lake. I frequently get asked great questions about real estate, both in the comments section of my videos and in private messages. I decided to take some time to answer seven of the most common seller questions that I receive.
First things first, if you have any questions about real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. My contact information is readily available and I’m always happy to help. If you have more general questions about selling your house and aren’t quite ready to contact an agent, I’ve created a detailed seller’s guide that you can download for free. Just follow the link in the description or find the pin comment below. The guide walks you through all of the steps involved in selling a house, and includes helpful checklists for things like preparing your home for sale and staging ideas.
Now, on to the questions! One question I often get asked is about what happens to a mortgage when a house is sold. When you sell your house, the money goes into escrow, usually with a title company or escrow agent. The escrow agent uses that money to pay off the mortgage, and once it’s paid off, the mortgage is considered satisfied and recorded as such. The mortgage is then considered “dead,” as the note has been paid off and the paperwork is complete.
Another question I often hear is whether it’s possible to roll negative equity from a mortgage into a new mortgage, similar to how it’s done with car loans. The answer to that is no. If you sell your property and the sales price is less than the amount you owe on the mortgage, you’ll need to pay off that mortgage at closing. This means bringing extra funds to closing to cover the difference. In today’s market, especially in Spokane, a large percentage of people are “equity rich,” meaning they have more than 50% equity in their homes. As a result, it’s not as common to see people wondering if they can roll negative equity into a new mortgage. However, as the market shifts and people start wanting to sell their properties to deal with inflation, we may start seeing this question more frequently.
Another common question is whether it’s possible to time the market when selling or buying a house. The answer to that is no. It’s not possible to accurately predict the market, and the only way to know if the market has hit the bottom or the top is after it has started to rise or fall. So, by definition, you can’t time the market. The best you can do is to try to be as informed as possible and make the best decision for your situation.
I also get asked whether it’s better to sell a house before or after making repairs, and the answer to that depends on the specific repairs and your financial situation. If the repairs are minor and won’t cost too much, it might make sense to take care of them before putting the house on the market. However, if the repairs are extensive and will be costly, it might make more sense to sell the house as is and let the buyer handle the repairs. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your individual circumstances.
Pricing a house correctly is also a common concern for sellers. It’s important to price your house appropriately, as overpricing it can lead to a longer selling time and potentially lower offers. On the other hand, underpricing it can result in a quicker sale, but you might not get as much for your house as it’s worth. A real estate agent can be a valuable resource when it comes to pricing your house, as they have access to data and market knowledge that can help you determine the best price for your property.
If you are the listing agent and you have a client who owns a house that you have listed, it is possible that you may still be paid even if the client finds their own buyer. There are two types of listing contracts that you can sign. In one type of contract, you are the only agent that can sell the property, but the client can still find their own buyer outside of you and if they do, you do not receive a commission. This type of contract is rare. The most common type of listing contract is one in which you are the exclusive agent for the property, and if it sells, you will be paid a commission. However, it is possible to include provisions in the contract stating that the client has the right to sell the property to certain people, such as their brother-in-law or neighbor, without paying a commission to the agent. It is important to discuss the specifics of the contract with your agent to ensure that you understand your obligations and the terms of the agreement.
I hope this post has been helpful in answering some of your questions about selling a house. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. And if you’re thinking about selling your house, don’t forget to download my seller’s guide for more information and helpful tips. Thanks for reading!