Seller Frequently Asked Questions

Can my home be entered on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)?

Yes. Listing on the MLS provides the broadest marketing exposure for your home and will usually result in a higher sale price. Consult Shepherd Real Estate to find out how to best use the MLS to your advantage.


Can I price my house high to see if it will sell?

The first few weeks a home is on the market are the most important. It is critical that your home is priced competitively in order to take full advantage of that early marketing time. If you price high, your home may sit on the market longer, making buyers wonder why it isn’t selling, and likely assuming you might accept lower offers. Another concern with over-pricing your home is that it will be compared to houses with more space and superior features. In effect, your home will help comparably priced homes look like a better value to buyers, while your home remains unsold. Talk with your Shepherd Real Estate advisor about pricing your home effectively.


What if my REALTOR® tells me my home is worth less than I paid for it?

A home is an asset with a fluctuating value, much like stock in a company. You bought your home with the expectation that it would go up in value, and historically home values have increased over time. However, there can be seasons when the market changes and values may decrease.

Your home’s value is determined by the price of other homes that have recently sold, and by similar homes currently for sale. If you have not owned your home for very long, it is possible that your home is worth less than you paid for it. While this can be extremely frustrating, the fact remains that the price you paid for your home does not impact your home’s current value.


Should I leave room in my price to negotiate?

Price negotiation varies with changing market conditions. In a seller’s market, there is sometimes no need to leave room for negotiation. In a buyer’s market, few people expect to pay the asking price for a home. While you might need to take less than your asking price in a buyer’s market, the price of your home should be based on market price determined by the competition, recently sold homes, and your motivation level. The strong negotiation skills of your Shepherd Real Estate agent can help in getting the most for your home.


Is there a difference between REALTORS®?

Definitely! Make sure you know the marketing plan(link to marketing plan page) your REALTOR® will be using to sell your home. There is much more to marketing a home than putting a sign in the yard and entering a listing in the MLS. Be sure to ask for other details of a marketing plan. REALTORS® also vary in their experience and the number of homes they sell. Be sure you have a strong negotiator working on your behalf, and remember that negotiation skills definitely develop with time and experience. Many REALTORS® only sell a few homes each year and often work at real estate only part-time, which limits their experience base and knowledge of the local market. On the other hand, REALTORS® who sell very large numbers of homes are often extremely busy and have limited time for each client, which can result in less personal attention than you need and desire. We have the experience and time to provide superior service and results.


Should I try For Sale By Owner first?

The owners of Shepherd Real Estate have extensive personal experience selling properties For Sale By Owner, and completely understand the desire to save money by marketing your own home. Through our experience of selling By Owner, we discovered several significant drawbacks to this method of sales.

Most qualified home buyers in Lancaster are already working with a real estate agent, and many agents will try to avoid showing For Sale By Owner homes. This is because they fear additional work in the selling process, they are unsure if they will collect a commission, or they do not want to encourage owners to sell without the use of a REALTOR®. As a result, fewer buyers see your home.

Selling By Owner can also be very time consuming and require difficult negotiations. If you are not a strong negotiator, the money you save on the commission could be lost in the negotiation process. We would be happy to discuss our By Owner experience with you and answer any questions you might have. We would love the opportunity to share our marketing plan(link to marketing plan, which we believe will allow you to net the most money for your home in the least amount of time.


Should I sell my home by Auction?

This depends on how quickly you need to sell, what type of property you are selling, and where your house is located. A Shepherd Real Estate advisor can consult with you about this decision and help you make the best choice. We work closely with local auctioneers who can meet your auction needs. If you have personal property or valuables, these items can be auctioned without a real estate auction.


When should I list my home?

This depends on why and where you are moving. In general, more homes in Lancaster are sold during spring and summer months than other times of the year. Homes that are in good condition and “staged” for sale tend to sell easier, so taking an extra week or two to prepare your home can be worthwhile. However, keep your timeframe in mind and do not delay too long in hopes of getting your house in “perfect” condition.


Can I set the settlement date?

The settlement date is generally an item of negotiation in the sales agreement.  However, notifying your agent of your ideal settlement date ahead of time can help in obtaining your preferred timeframe for the sale.


Should I take less for my home to get it sold faster?

It depends: What is your motivation for selling? Your Shepherd Real Estate agent can advise you on the likelihood and timeframe of selling your home within certain price ranges. If you are relocating, in pre-foreclosure, or have already purchased another home, you may be better off to sell now at a reduced price than wait for a higher price. The ongoing costs of owning a home – mortgage payments, insurance, taxes, repairs and utilities – can decrease the net proceeds from the sale of your house, so there may be situations that warrant taking a lower price in exchange for a quick sale. However, there are other ways to help your house sell faster. We would be happy to advise you on all aspects of maximizing your home’s chances of selling quickly.