Seller FAQ

What do you charge for a commission?

Sellers- We have a flexible fee schedule depending on the situation. Here are the most common full service fees.

Existing homes 6%

New construction homes 5%

Land 10%

cabins 10%

Buyers- Normally, there is no cost to a buyer if Alaska Dream Makers assists you with the purchase of a listed property. Commission is paid to Alaska Dream Makers through the office that has the property listed. Sometimes home buyers would like our assistance with the purchase of a non listed property (for sale by owner). In this example, a commission may be paid by the seller and/or by the buyer

Are there any upfront fees in selling my house?

Most fees can be paid out of the closing proceeds. The typical upfront fees would be the cost of the appraisal, upfront inspections and any repairs. Unlike other companies, we have no cancellation fee or marketing fees.

What if I have a buyer and need help with the paperwork?
If you find your own buyer and would like professional assistance after you have negotiated all the terms (such as price and conditions) we charge 1.5%, plus a $395 closing fee to handle all the details, ordering, appraisals , well & septic, title, inspections, lender follow up,  etc all the way to closing.
I want to list my home with Alaska Dream Makers. When I call, what should I expect?
Larry and Jacque will schedule a time with you to meet at your home. We will take a ‘tour’ and take notes, a lot of notes about your home and its features. We will offer suggestions on common health and safety items, staging ideas and answer any questions you may have.

While we are not home inspectors, there are common items that occur regularly that we may point out. Some examples would be GFCI’s in the kitchen and bathrooms, missing CO detectors and self closing door from the garage into the house. This process of familiarizing ourselves with the house and making valuable suggestions often takes 30 minutes to an hour.

In order to properly price your house we need to look at the market data and trends. We like to involve you when determining market value of your property. Primarily we do this by meeting at our conference room to go over similar properties that have sold recently. It is very important to us that you know how we price your home, what we are comparing your home to for pricing, and what your competition is. You see what we see.

After we go through the comparable sales and pending offers to get a price range, we then take a look at all homes in that price range. This will be your competition – what buyers will see when they start their search. This is important to see if your home will stand out among the others.

Once we decide to list our house what is next?
Once you let us know that you are ready to list your house, we schedule a time with you to complete the listing paperwork and take photos. We take great care and pride in taking our own photos.

It is very common for our listing to have between 50-70 select photos in the MLS and internet marketing. Once we are all ready (usually a couple or 3 days) your house will be input into the MLS and ‘online’ for public viewing.

During the time of photos and your home being on the market. Between the time photos are taken and your home is placed on the market, there are several things we are doing in the background.

This process may include but is not limited to…

Selecting photos from sometimes hundreds that are taken.

Preparing full color, card stock flyers.

Designing and creating a virtual tour of your house.

Setting up a QR code and text message with photos for instant information.

Publishing a home book and placards with the specific details on your house.

Researching DEC records

Ordering a property profile from a local title company

Entering your home into our showing feed back system

Creating Craigslist advertisement

Coding an electronic lock box to your address

Placing a sign on your property complete with flyers and text message rider.

Customizing a specific real estate search in order to update you weekly on market activity.

Upload specific documents to the MLS on your home.

How will we know what the market is doing once our house is listed?
We provide you with updates on a weekly basis by email. You can expect this report on Friday (or choose a day that works better for you) . This report contains listing details of homes that are new to the market (your competition) and competing homes that went under contract for the week.

See Weekly Market Update Topic on our marketing plan.

Do you take your own photos or does an assistant take them?
Photos of your home are very important to us. Alaska Dream Makers take great pride in their photography and often take anywhere from 100-400 photos of a listing. We do not feel as if we can hire this important task out to an assistant.

Some photos will highlight special features of your home. We also use specialized stitching software for panoramic photos, which provides the potential buyer a better perspective. We only use wide angle lenses in our photography. You will see the difference.

How is it possible to offer so many services? How do you find time?
Individually, we would be unable to provide this level of service. However, we incorporate a team approach that gives us that flexibility. Although Jacque and Larry will always be the main point of contact, we utilize a transaction and listing coordinator as well as assistants to ensure a smooth process.
Are you available in the evenings or on weekends?
We are available in the evenings and on weekends by appointment. We understand that time is of the essence in buying and selling real estate. We believe it is important to respond to our clients calls and e-mails quickly.
What is Parade Ready?
Parade ready is our term for having your home ready for buyers. Typically a new listing gets more activity and showings when it first hits the market. It is important to have everything “just so” as you probably only have one chance to make a good first impression.
What will you need from me?

Here are some things we will need from you:

Keys for our electronic lock box.

State of Alaska Disclosure completed.

Previous information you may have such as an as-built survey, well and septic test, documentation on any disclosure items if available.

Phone numbers for showings.

E-mail address for communication.

Any special showing instructions (such as pet information or work schedules)

Do you offer staging advice?
As part of our initial visit when we tour your home, we will offer suggestions on how to present your home so it shows in the best possible light. This may include condensing clutter, moving furniture and cosmetic suggestions.
What happens if I overprice my home?The short answer is it will not sell. Often over priced homes help sell similar properties that are priced for the market. Many overpriced properties become market warn and stale with accumulated days on market. Even after a price reduction, activity may be less compared to similar homes that have less market time.
Do I have to be here physically to sign any documents?
In order to list your property signatures can be obtained using electronic means such as fax and e-mail. We utilize a system called docusign that allows electronic signatures without having to print. This method can be used from the listing agreement stage to entering into a sales contract.

Final signatures from the title company such as the warranty deed and lender specific documents will require an original or notarized signature. These documents may also be signed by a Power of Attorney in your absense.

If a POA is to be used it is best to have the title company prepare it so it meets any lender or title company requirements.

Will you be showing our home?
We do show our listings as the opportunity presents itself. We also believe it is more important to get your property sold then be the ones to show the home to the potential buyer.

Although we often have buyers looking in all price ranges it is more common for our marketing efforts to reach more buyers working with other real estate licensees. As we market your home we will get calls and e-mails from potential buyers that already have a licensee working on their behalf. These calls and e-mails generate showings which lead to a successful sale.

What should I expect with showings?
Depending on what the showings instructions are, you will be contacted by the real estate licensee that wants to show your house. Typically, they will give you a time frame, such as between 1 to 2 pm, that they intend on showing.

There may be an occasion where that time will not work with your schedule. It is best to be as flexible as you can with showings, but use judgment and discretion if a showing conflict arrises.

We advise our clients to not be present during showings. There are several reasons for this. The buyers may not be comfortable looking through the home, placing themselves in the home if they are distracted with your presence. Questions may be asked that could be detrimental to your negotiating ability. Gathering feedback to report to you diminishes as most buyers spend less time in the home and are less likely to verbalize their opinion.

Licensees will get access to your home using the key provided in your lock box. We believe the lock box should be at the front door for ease of access and a better presentation into your home. Data can be tracked from the lock box to determine when and who accessed it. Most licensees will leave a business during their showing.

We ask our clients to call us to let us know about any scheduled showings to ensure we get them into our feedback system. Feedback usually occurs within 72 hours of the showing. It is rare we get feedback the same day.

What's the best way to prepare for a showing?
Have the home parade ready, clean and tidy.

When possible if the showing is scheduled for twilight or dark hours, turn on lights throughout the home.

Have light music playing softly in the background.

Be mindful of any odors that may need to be taken care of prior to the showing, ie: empty the trash cans, clean litter box, etc.

For safety and security it is always a good idea to hide jewelry, medications and fire arms prior to showings.

What happens when I get an offer?
As soon as we know that there is an offer we will notify you. We can set up a time to meet either at your home or our conference room. If it is more convenient we can discuss the offer and options over the phone or even share a computer screen through a Skype session.

We will prepare a net sheet for you based on the offer or your counter offer if the offer is not acceptable as written. We will discuss the details of the offer and provide advice.

Before responding to an offer, we believe it is in our clients best interest that all parties that have recently seen the property or have expressed some interest in the property be notified of an offer.

There have been numerous occasions through the years where this practice has produced multiple offers for our sellers.

What are closing costs and who pays for what?
Here is an example (pdf file)Closing Cost Splits of what the customary closing costs are for each party. They may vary slightly depending on the buyer’s loan type.

What should I expect with a home inspection?
Once an offer has been accepted on your house, it is typical for the buyer to schedule a a home inspection. The inspection normally takes place within a 10 day period from acceptance. We normally find out when the inspection is scheduled for within 48 hours of acceptance. The inspection itself is done by a state licensed contractor.

The inspection is normally attended by the buyer, possibly the buyer’s licensee and the home inspector.

We advise our seller clients not to be present during a home inspection. The inspection itself may take from 2 to 4 hours. The inspector then will prepare an inspection report on either on site or within a few days of the inspection. Once the inspection report is received the buyer and the selling licensee (licensee representing buyer), go through the report.

The buyer at that point has an opportunity to ask the seller to make repairs based on the inspection findings. There must be an agreement or the buyer shall have the option of rescinding the agreement and retaining their earnest money. The buyer may also elect to have additional inspection performed, such as radon and water quality.

What should I expect with an appraisal and who pays for an appraisal?
An appraisal is ordered by the lender and in Alaska, normally paid for the seller. Almost all lenders require the appraisal be paid for upfront before it is ordered. This amount will vary slightly between lenders but is typically around $700 for a residential appraisal.

The appraisal is usually ordered after the inspection is agreed to. Once an appraisal is ordered the appraiser will contact either you or our office to make arrangements to view the property. The appraiser may look for health and safety items and require them to be completed to satisfy the loan.

Most appraisals are turned into the lender within a week to 10 days from the time the appraiser views the property. This time frame will vary depending on market conditions such as a high volume of refinances and the appraiser’s schedule. The appraiser will spend anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour at your house. Most have access to the electronic lock box.

Is it a good idea to get a pre-inspection?
We commonly recommend pre-inspections in addition to having a heating contractor inpsect, clean and service the heating systems. The heating system service would also include the water heater, garage unit heater and gas fireplace(s) if applicable.

There are several reasons why we believe preinspections are important to our seller clients. By being made aware of issues before a contract is negotiated it allows a seller to make decisions based on all the information. It also makes it easier to deal with repairs on your own terms rather having to negotiate who, how and when a repair is to be performed. Many items discovered upfront can be turned into a positive to help sell the house.

As an example, if you discover your furnace needs replacement after you negotiate an offer it leaves you with little leverage. If you knew the furnace had to be replaced before you negotiated the offer it could be used and marketed as a value added item to assist with getting a higher price.

Although buyers are still allowed to hire another inspector during their inspection period, most will use the seller’s pre-inspection report. This removes the element of surprise for a buyer and seller and allows the process to continue without the normal inspection delay.

What is the difference between closing date and recording date?
A closing date is the date that parties will sign the closing documents. This may occur the day before or several days prior to the recording date. The recording date is the date referenced in the sales agreement. The recording date is the date, unless otherwise agreed to, where the seller must have the property vacated ready for the purchaser.

The recorders office is closed weekends and for many holidays.

It is important to keep this in mind as sometimes a Friday closing may mean recording will not occur until Tuesday if Monday is a holiday. Recording to a seller is also the day of disbursement. Monies can be picked up directly from the title company, deposited by the title company to a local bank or wired to your account for a fee.

Are there any upfront fees in selling my house?
Most fees can be paid out of the closing proceeds. The typical upfront fees would be the cost of the appraisal, upfront inspections and any repairs. Unlike other companies, we have no transaction fee or cancellation fee.
What is the difference between an appraisal and the borough assessed value?
The Mat-Su Borough now uses the word appraised value in their assessments. Although the borough works very hard to maintain assessed values that coincide with market value it is too difficult to track each home correctly.

There is a common belief that the borough assessed value is lower than market value. The reality is that the values the borough places on property are sometimes high, sometimes low and sometimes right on. The best source of data when determining value is closed sales data.

Closed sales data from the MLS system is not available to the borough since we are a non disclosure state and sales data is private unless the owner voluntarily reports it to the borough. An actual appraisal is performed using closed sales data along with an inspection of the property.

What things are considered personal property?
Personal property is property that is not affixed. An example of personal property that would not be included unless otherwise agreed to on a separate bill of sale would be, washer, dryer, refridgerator, greenhouse, shed unless on a permanent foundation.
Should I get the septic pumped before I put my house on the market?
If you are on a two year schedule and it is time to have it pumped again you may want to consider continuing your homes maintenance schedule. However, if you receive an accepted offer and you want to pump your septic before it is tested, we recommend waiting.

The engineer is testing the leach field and will have to fill the tank up with water before they are able to test the leach field. The result could be an increased bill for the extra time it takes to fill the septic tank.

Many engineers will only require a tank to be pumped if there is more than 6″ of solids at the bottom of the tank.

Once we get an offer accepted, how long do we have to move out?
It is typical in our market to see contracts with a 30 to 45 day closing cycle. Also see ‘What is the difference between closing and recording date?
Larry and Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers

Direct: (907) 373-8000
Toll Free: (877) 291-0887
Fax: (888) 818-6183
[email protected]
[email protected]

Mailing Address
PO Box 870276
Wasilla AK 99687

3751 S Well Site Rd.
Wasilla, Alaska 99654