Our Home Seller’s Guide

Our Home Seller’s Guide is a great reference for guiding you through the sale of your home. For most families, their home is their largest financial asset, and deciding to sell it is a big decision that involves a lot of preparation and work. When you’re ready to sell it’s important to have an experienced real estate professional handle the details involved in the successful sale of a home for top dollar. As an experienced professional who has helped many Port Charlotte residents sell their homes, I know how to handle every aspect of the sales process – from strategically marketing and showcasing your home to making sure everything’s signed, sealed and delivered by the closing date.

Providing you with comprehensive, high-quality listing service is my top priority. So when you decide to sell your home, please contact me and let’s get started!

HOME SELLER’S GUIDE – Your home is more than an architectural structure. It is an extension of who you are, representing your personality, style, and values. That’s why selling it can be such an emotional experience. But it can also be exciting and rewarding.

We can help you transition from the emotional decision to the objective planning phase by arming you with key information about the home selling process. Here we’ll discuss the following four major steps in selling a house:


Make note of your questions as you read. Our sales associates are familiar with every aspect of the real estate transaction and can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Pricing Your Property to Sell

‘Price Sells’ is a term we’re all familiar with. It’s one of, if not the most, important components in selling a property. If it’s priced too high, you may have a great deal of response from buyers. It’s important to price your property right, from the beginning. Pricing your property is not a science, but an estimate. Before you decide on a price consult your Sales Associate and be sure to look over the comparable home sales data that your REALTOR® can supply you. Discuss the length of time those properties were on the market and what types of conditions were effecting the market at that particular time. Once you look at the data, you’ll be able to price your property and feel positive going into the sale process.

PERFECT PRICING: Pricing Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Don’t rely only on comparable sales to set a price. Consider the current market conditions, as well. 2. Do consider your urgency. If you must move in 30 days, getting the highest price for your home may not be your top priority. A lower price may help your property sell faster.
  2. Do consider the property condition. If the floors are scuffed and the house is cluttered, realize that a warn look will negatively affect pricing and the ability to sell.
  3. Do look at other properties comparable in the area. Whether in person or online, comparing your property to others of the same will give you an understanding of what you’re competing with.
  4. Do discuss with your REALTOR® the other properties on the market. Let your REALTOR® explain the price differences of the properties. Some may be priced incorrectly.
  5. Do plan on how you will handle price reductions. Ask your REALTOR® for information on what will be done to market your property for a given period and once that period is over; if there has been a lack of buyers consider setting a date to discuss a price reduction.
  6. Do get an appraisal. Getting an appraisal from a qualified appraiser to help find your home’s current value that can be financed. Be sure to ask for a market value appraisal.
  7. Do be as accurate as possible. Studies show that homes priced more than 3% over the correct price take longer to sell.
  8. Do know your bottom line. It’s critical to know what price you’ll accept before beginning a negotiation with a buyer.


It’s easier to settle happily into your new home if you’re confident you can afford it. That requires that you understand your mortgage financing options and choose the loan that best suits your income and ability to tolerate risk.

The Basics of Mortgage Financing

The most important features of your mortgage loan are its term and interest rate. Mortgages typically come in 15-, 20-, 30- or 40-year lengths. The longer the term, the lower your monthly payment. However, the tradeoff for a lower payment is that the longer the life of your loan, the more interest you’ll pay. Mortgage interest rates generally come in two flavors: fixed and adjustable. A fixed-rate allows you to lock in your interest rate for the entire mortgage term. That’s attractive if you’re risk-averse, on a fixed income, or when interest rates are low.

The Risks and Rewards of ARMs

An adjustable-rate mortgage does just what its name implies: Its interest rate adjusts at a future date listed in the loan documents. It moves up and down according to a particular financial market index, such as Treasury bills. A 3/1 ARM will have the same interest rate for three years and then adjust every year after that; likewise, a 5/1 ARM remains unchanged until the five-year mark. Typically, ARMs include a cap on how much the interest rate can increase, such as 3% at each adjustment, or 5% over the life of the loan. Why agree to such uncertainty? ARMs can be a good choice if you expect your income to grow significantly in the coming years. The interest rate on some -but not all- ARMs can even drop if the benchmark to which they’re tied also dips. ARMs also often offer a lower interest rate than fixed-rate mortgages during the first few years of the mortgage, which means big savings for you-even if there’s only a half-point difference. But if rates go up, your ARM payment will jump dramatically, so before you choose an ARM, answer these questions:

  • How much can my monthly payments increase at each adjustment?
  • How soon and how often can increases occur?
  • Can I afford the maximum increase permitted?
  • Do I expect my income to increase or decrease?
  • Am I paying down my loan balance each month, or is it staying the same or even increasing?
  • Do I plan to own the home for longer than the initial low-interest-rate period, or do I plan to sell before the rate adjusts?
  • Will I have to pay a penalty if I refinance into a lower-rate mortgage or sell my house?
  • What’s my goal in buying this property? Am I considering a riskier mortgage to buy a more expensive house than I can realistically afford?

Consider a Government-Backed Mortgage Loan

If you’ve saved less than the ideal down-payment of 20%, or your credit score isn’t high enough for you to qualify for a fixed-rate or ARM with a conventional lender, consider a government-backed loan from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). FHA offers adjustable and fixed-rate loans at reduced interest rates and with as little as 3.5% down and VA offers no-money-down loans. FHA and VA also let you use cash gifts from family members. Before you decide on any mortgage, remember that slight variations in interest rates, loan amounts, and terms can significantly affect your monthly payment. Use our mortgage tools to determine how much your monthly payment will be with various terms and loan amounts.

Century 21 Schmidt Real Estate is just a phone call or an email away! Please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-941.485.0021 or Contact Us today for all of your real estate needs!

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