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Heather Milling
(973) 534-3065
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Heather Milling
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(973) 534-3065
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Buyer FAQs
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Home Purchase Guide
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Home-Buying Mistakes
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Seller FAQs
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Selling for Top Dollar!
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Selling First Impressions
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Real Estate Glossary
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About Weichert
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FAQs
Questions that sellers frequently ask me

 

When should you sell your house…after you buy your next one?

What do you need to consider when preparing to sell you home?

What does your home look like to a potential buyer?

How do I set the right price for my house?

How does Weichert bring results?

Why shouldn’t I price my house a little high, since I can always drop the price later?

What’s a seller’s disclosure? How can we determine who is a qualified buyer?

What happens after I receive an offer?

What is meant by the term “contingency” in a sales contract?

What is an escape clause?

As a seller, what certifications am I responsible for?

What do I need to know about lead paint?

What happens if the home inspection reveals a serious problem?

What is radon and what is the purpose of radon testing?

What should I do if my appraisal doesn’t go through?

When should you sell your house…after you buy your next one?
Generally, host real estate professionals would advise you to list your present home and shop for a new one simultaneously. However, depending on the market and/or your individual needs, you may want to consider and alternative.

In a very robust real estate market, your home could sell within a few days of listing. Yet you may have very specific criteria for your new home’s location, size, views, age, etc. which could lead to a time consuming search. In that case, you should consider finding and buying a home first before you sell you existing home.


Seasonality, too, has traditionally played big role in deciding when to sell, with spring and fall the most popular seasons to put a home on the market. More recently however, interest rates and the state of the economy have been affecting buying habits more than the seasons. Low interest rates send buyers out hunting for homes year round. And while some can be deterred by unpleasant weather conditions, it’s been our experience that potential buyers who brave the inclement weather tend to be very motivated.

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What do you need to consider when preparing to sell you home?
Presentation is everything. You’d be amazed at the difference “cosmetic” improvements can make in how buyers react to your home. SO you may want to spend some time sprucing up your home with paint and landscaping as well as taking care of necessary repairs you may have been avoiding. This not will help you get the best price, but also sell your house sooner.


Making arrangement for pet care. If you house is also home to a cat or a dog, that can be noted in your listing so that the real estate agents act with due caution. You may want to close your pets off in a separate room or fenced area outside, or request advanced notice when your house is to be shown.

The value of placing a lock box on your home. A lock box is a key storage system placed on an entrance to you home that is accessible only by active, licensed real estate agents. With today’s technology, most lock boxes all us to know which sales agent showed your house and when. A lock box allows sales agents to show your home when you’re not there, without having to go to the listing agent’s office to obtain, and later return, the key. By making it more convenient for real estate agents to show your home, it will be viewed by a greater number of buyers.

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What does your home look like to a potential buyer?
First impressions are vitally important. How often have you heard someone say “My gut reaction was really good….or really bad”? Generally you to have some control over the first impression that buyers have. You create a great first impression if the lawn is well cared for, or in winter the driveway is plowed and the walkways are clear. A seasonal door decoration adds warmth and a friendly welcome.

Remove all clutter. Whether it’s your closets, the basement, or the main living areas, keeping all areas free of accumulated clutter makes your home more spacious and appealing to the potential buyer, who therefore perceives it as worth more. So toss out, give away, and old that garage sale now, before you house goes on the market.

Keep things light and bright. Keep as many lights on as possible and open the drapes to let the sun in. Well-lit rooms look larger and give visitors a more positive feeling. Clean windows also help.

Nothing brightens like paint. There’s nothing like fresh paint to make a room seem new. While vibrant colors can “punch up” a room, neutral colors are safer. Aside from de-cluttering, painting delivers a greater return that almost anything else you can do

Highlight best features. If the jewel of your home is a beautiful view or a charming fireplace, think about arranging your furnishings or using colors in a way that will spotlight that feature.

Create special touches. When someone is walking through your home, they are picturing what it would be like to live there. So to fuel their imagination you may want to go the extra mile to create a truly inviting atmosphere with scented candles or making sure there are fresh flowers out when your house is about to be shown.

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How do I set the right price for my house?
Pricing a home for an optimal result is both science and art, and I apply considerable study and skill to this critical professional task. As a starting point I will thoroughly research comparable homes in your neighborhood and town. I’ll advise you of recent sales prices and how similar homes are priced now, as well as review homes that didn’t sell and were taken off the market. Location, property size/features, style, age, physical condition, special features and recent enhancements will all be considered in assessing your home’s value.

The collective data will then be carefully evaluated alongside the many market influences that impact price, including supply of homes versus demand, how the local economy is faring, home appreciation rates and price trend projections.

If the trend is for rising prices, that future price growth will be factored into the price range I’ll suggest.

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How does Weichert bring results?
You’ve probably heard that one of the “Golden Rules” of real estate is location, location, location. Here one of our golden rules, marketing, marketing, marketing. You can’s sell a home, or anything for that matter, if people don’t know that it exists. And spreading the word that your home is available and a great buy is what we do best.

When you sign on with Weichert, Realtors, you are tapping into a powerful marketing network that produces countless calls to our offices every day and solid results for our clients. Not mention all the buyers who come to us through referrals or reputation, or because they used a Weichert Sales Associate before.

Weichert marketing and advertising is everywhere and takes a variety of forms –from our highly visible and recognizable yellow lawn signs….to our extensive advertising in local media and in major newspapers…to our leading website at www.weichert.com

As a result we are able to put Weichert listings in from of the millions of online buyers who visit our helpful easy to navigate website. From there, quick searches and maps can lead them to your listing. Finally our unique Lead Center will capture their business for you and immediately call with a relevant Weichert Sales Associate.

The Weichert Open House program is an especially powerful marketing technique that we’ve gotten down to a science. You’ve surely seen our signs and balloons directing buyers to our weekend open houses. If you wonder why we hold more open houses than anyone else, its because we know how to make them work amazingly well. Preparing beforehand and following up with every visitor who attends is the secret of our success. And our Sales Associates don’t just “show” a home, they sell its benefits.

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Why shouldn’t I price my house a little high, since I can always drop the price later?
That’s a strategy that sounds good, but in fact its more likely to result in a lower price. Here’s why. The first few weeks a house is on the market is when it will have the most activity. If a house is overpriced, it as to compete with house at that higher price level, which almost certainly larger or have newer/more luxurious features. So the overpriced home is unlikely to attract an offer. Worse yet, those first few weeks are when the real estate agents preview the house. If its overpriced, they may not even bother to show it to their buyers. Eventually, the seller will have to drop the price –and may end up with an even lower price because buyers will wonder why the house has been on the market so long and may factor that into their offer.
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What’s a seller’s disclosure? How can we determine who is a qualified buyer?
At the time of listing you will be asked to fill out a Seller Disclosure. A Seller Disclosure is an important consumer protection tool that benefits buyers and sellers alike. It is essentially a written statement listing any known defects as well as any past problems that have been remedied.

The intention is to give the buyer a sense of the condition of the house. A Seller Disclosure minimizes misunderstandings that could come up later and jeopardize your sale and also gives you some protection from legal liability, with respect to disclosure terms.

It is as important to us as it is to you that the buyers are “ready and able” to purchase.

We urge buyers to obtain actual mortgage credit approval before they start looking for a home.

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What happens after I receive an offer?
When you receive an offer, you’ll get an excited rush. If the offer is a little low however, you may want to counter, and that where my negotiating skills come in. If the buyer counters your counteroffer, I can help you set aside the emotions involved and frame your next move. Often introducing an issue other than price can be a winner for you. For example, we could offer that while your price is firm, you will agree to leave behind major appliances that the buyer would otherwise have to purchase out of pocket.

I can help negotiate flexible terms, such as a delayed closing date, to give you time if you need to purchase another home. Conversely, an early closing date can have real financial benefit if you’ve already purchased another home and need to close quickly to avoid carrying two mortgages.

When you receive an offer, or if more than one offer comes in, you also want to look at how “solid” the offer(s) is. I can help you weigh the offer(s) by pointing out such crucial factors as whether the buyer has a mortgage pre-approval, how much they’re putting down, whether they have a home to sell and so on.

Sometimes the most emotionally charged negotiations follows the various home inspections that come after the contract is signed. “Who pays for what” is strictly a matter of negotiation and I will help you take a balanced stance that’s 1) tough enough to protect the home equity that you want to walk away with yet 2) has enough cushioning to avoid alienating the buyer and jeopardizing the sale itself.

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What is meant by the term “contingency” in a sales contract?
Sales contracts typically contain several “contingency” clauses, or stipulation that the sale is subject to. For example, with a mortgage contingency, if the buyer is unable to obtain funding within the specified timeframe, neither the buyer not the seller is required to complete the purchase. Among other common provisions in the “subject to’ section are termite and other inspection issues and the purchaser’s need to sell a current home first.

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What is an escape clause?
An escape clause, also known as a kick out or knockout clause, is a provision that allows the party to void a contract. For example, the seller may retain the right to look for a more favorable offer, with the original purchaser retaining the right, if challenged, either to firm up the first sales contract (such as by waiving a contingency) or to void the contract. As another example, sellers might insist upon an escape clause in a contract that hinges on the buyers’ selling their home.

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As a seller, what certifications am I responsible for?
You municipality will likely require certification that your home has working smoke detectors in appropriate locations. Carbon monoxide detectors are mandated in some areas. Many communities require a Certificate of Occupancy before a new owner can move in. I can advise you on this.

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What do I need to know about lead paint?
Lead was used as a pigment and drying agent in alkyd oil-based paint until its use was banned in 1978. The federal government estimates that lead paint is present in 75% of all private homes built before then. It was commonly used on doors, windows and other woodwork. An elevated level of lead in the body can cause serious damage to the brain, kidneys, nervous system and red blood cells. A lead-based disclosure statement must be attached to all sales contracts and leases regarding residential properties built before 1978, and a lead hazard pamphlet must be distributed to all buyers and tenants. Buyers have the right to test for lead paint: however, its existence does not automatically constitute a hazardous condition in all cases.

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What happens if the home inspection reveals a serious problem?
Generally, if the home inspections reveal a serious problem, the buyer who has a properly drafted contract can get out of the contract. What usually happens, however is that the cost of remedying the problem becomes an issue of negotiation. This is where the negotiating skills of the seller’s sales associate can be critical in resolving the issue and keeping the home sale moving.

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What is radon and what is the purpose of radon testing?
Radon is a radioactive gas produced by the natural decay of other radioactive substances. If radon dissipates into the atmosphere, its not likely to cause harm. However, when radon enters buildings and is trapped in high concentrations (usually in basements with inadequate ventilation), it can cause health problems. The general rule is that remediation is indicated if radon levels measure four picocuries (pci) or more. Recent evidence suggests that radon may be the most underestimated cause of lung cancer, particularly for children, individuals who smoke, and those who spend considerable time indoors. Radon levels vary, depending on the amount of fresh air that circulates through the house, the weather conditions and the time of year. It is relatively easy to reduce the levels of radon my installing a ventilation system or exhaust fans.

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What should I do if my appraisal doesn’t go through?
It may reassure you to know that I will supply to the appraiser “market comparables” that will help substantiate your home’s selling price. Occasionally, however and especially in a high-demand market where buyers bid up prices, the appraised value may fall short. Should that happen, getting a second appraisal is one possibility. Alternatively, in many cases the buyer will be willing to make up the shortfall, although you might have to make concessions, such as leaving behind lawn equipment or other items you planned to take with you. Other possibilities are that you and the buyer decide to split the difference, or you might agree to adjust the price to the appraised level.

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