There are a lot of variables. What is more important to you? The best price possible or the timing? Timing meaning getting help from friends and family to assist in moving? Are you making 2 payments? Does the weather play a part in your moving? Spring and summer are usually the seasons when most sale occur and thus the time to get the best prices. Do you want to sell it quickly or do you have time to wait? As the other agents indicated, get a clear picture of what the average days on the market to sell a home, then most importantly, price it accordingly. Don't just consider how much homes are listed for in your area, but how much they actually sold for. Most important is hire a Realtor that is an active agent that knows the market and will market your home and not just put it on the MLS and hope a buyer comes along. Hope this helps.
There are seller closing costs (cost to sell) and buyer's closings costs. The seller's closing costs are generally deducted from the contracted price of the home as well as the balance due from the lienholder(s). It's not out of pocket. However, if there is not enough to pay off the lender after deducting the costs to sell, you are in a position of a short sale, which means the lienholder will have to agree to taking less than the balance owed, which is a very common affair these days. Generally, the buyer will not want to pay more than what they think the house is worth unless they really really want a particular house.
I would definitely call up your lender to see if you could apply for loan modification. If you are not paying PMI, they more than likely won't add to it. Be prepared to provide everything that they request including tax returns, W2s, bank statements, etc. They will also be requesting that you write a hardship letter to explain why you are having a difficult time paying. I specialize in short sales. A short sale is when a sale price of a property is not high enough to pay then underlying loan or loans off in its entirety. A lot of the homeowners who are short selling their home really don't want to sell but didn't realize that they may be able to work with their lender to keep their home, so I am encouraging them to apply for a loan modification. If possible, hire a professional negotiator to negotiate the best possible deal for you.
It is pretty common that homes that are for sale by owners are priced higher than market. The reason is that most owners are not in touch with the value of their home is that they are emotionally attached to their home. It's THEIR home, after all. The buyer, of course, is looking at "houses" to buy and does not have the same level of emotional attachment to their future home.
I post my rental listings on Craig's List and the good ole newspaper!
Is the property listed for sale? Our team specializes in pre-foreclosure homes in Washington. A short sale can be obtained but it could take awhile if the bank does not get all the paperwork it needs to make its' decision. If you hire a lawyer, be sure they have done short sales in the past. There's a lot of disclosures required for a distressed home buyer. I can refer you to our 3rd party negotiators who does the short sale negotiations. That is all that they do.
Ask your lender to give you an updated good faith estimate of costs needed to close. You should have gotten one when you first applied for the loan and then updated when your interest rate was locked in (if there has been a change from the original quote) or whenever there has been a change in costs. The lender is the one that determines the closing costs for the buyer in our State (Washington). Here, we do not bare any costs for the sale of the home, just the costs of borrowing.
For whatever reasons, banks can decide not to accept a short sale. You could be waiting months and find out that they won't accept it. Just because it is a short sale does not necessary mean the house may go into foreclosure. Sometimes, the house is just worth less than what the lender's loan is at. Market value is what the the public is willing to pay for it at this moment in time. In a depreciating market, that could mean a lot lower than what the lender based their loan amount at. If the owner is credit conscious and not behind on his payment, still able to make the payment, the bank will probably not accept a short sale. In some cases, however, the bank may decide to let it go into foreclosure and buy it back at the auction because they feel that they could get a better price for it. This becomes a REO (Real Estate Owned) property. You could up your offer, but I'm not sure how $5000 will influence the lender. There's no real way to speed up the process. I would call (or have your agent call) a title company and get the recorded documents on the property. What you want is the Notice of Default and/or Notice of Trustee Sale. This will tell you who the lender is, who the trustee is, and what is owing on the property, how much is behind, and when does the seller have to come up with the funds.
Yes, you are able to get a free estimate of what your house could be marketed at. This is an agent's way of giving you something free in hopes of being able to list with them to sell when you are ready. I would get more than one estimate. The sales used to compare to your property should be in similar neighborhoods within the same area (usually within 1 mile of your home). Closed sales are used as it is a more reliable source of what the current market is. Also to be considered is the similarity, size, and condition of the home.
I do use a stager in my listing process. I have several stagers I use. When a seller lists with me, I encourage them to use the services of a stager. It's nice to have a second opinion from another professional on their home. To encourage the sellers to do so, I offer to reimburse them for the initial consultation fee (any where from $175 - $250 in my area). My stagers give them several different options. For out-of-state owners, I coordinate all that for them.