We all want everything to go smoothly, from start to finish, when putting your house on the market. Maybe the tips below can help you from encountering some unpleasant surprises.
IF YOU WANT TO PUT YOUR HOUSE ON THE MARKET,
HAVE YOU … Checked to make sure there are no outstanding liens on the house?
Some sellers who have paid their homes off only THINK their lien was released and recorded when in fact the mortgage company or bank never released the lien and it shows up not being paid off on title search. You may have also had some repair work done at some point and time by a third party and if you neglected to pay them off they may have put a lien against the house.
HAVE YOU … Had the Will probated?
If one or more of the parties listed on the original Deed to the house is or are deceased and there was a Will, you must have the Will probated before the house can be sold. This could take approximately 3-4 months to complete. You don’t want to put your house on the market and have your buyers wait until the process is done. Contact an attorney to get this process started.
What if there is no Will? You need to talk to an attorney and /or a title company to find out the steps that need to be taken to determine who can sell the house and who will benefit from the proceeds.
HAVE YOU … Been making your house payments and are current on taxes and insurance?
This WILL turn up during title search. If you haven’t been paying your taxes (property taxes or federal taxes) it will lessen the amount of money you would make from the sale of your home because taxes get paid first. If you haven’t been making your house payments, there is a possibility you may qualify to do a Short Sale. Call me at the number listed at the end of this article to discuss.
HAVE YOU … Paid to have a professional home inspection done?
It is NOT required by the Seller, but it will be the first thing the buyer will do during their option period (the first 7-10 days of the contract). You don’t want any surprises and if major repairs are needed you may have to come off the price thousands of dollars to keep the contract going. If repairs are needed, buyers might attempt to renegotiate the sales price based on repair items that they feel need to be done. This figure is usually inflated. Or the buyers may ask that the repairs be completed before closing at the seller’s cost using a licensed repairman.
If you can afford to get the property inspected and make some repairs ahead of time, or at least know what the buyer will find out when they have the house inspected, it makes the whole process a lot smoother and nobody is surprised by unexpected repair issues. Keep in mind that a copy of the home inspection must be given to buyers, but you can also indicate which repairs have been completed.
HAVE YOU … Kept a copy or the original Survey of the property when you bought it?
Everyone always wants to know if there is a current and valid survey available. In fact, if the buyer is getting a loan to purchase the property, it is required. Sometimes the cost of a new survey will be negotiated as to whether buyer or seller takes on this cost.
HAVE YOU … Resubdivided your acreage at some point and time?
If so, make sure it was done legally. Just because you have a new survey showing you split off 2 acres from a 5 acre tract does not mean it is legal. When you split off less than 10 acres the property may have to go through a replatting processing.
HAVE YOU … Checked to see what kind of Deed you actually have on the house and who’s name is on that Deed?
A Quit Claim Deed might not convey property. And all names listed on the Deed will have to sign selling documents. Verify with your local title company.
HAVE YOU … Made sure the front of the property looks well kept, well maintained, and inviting?
First impressions can make or break a sale. If a buyer drives up and sees the lawn mowed or landscaped, some flowers or manicured bushes, and a clean and painted front door free of dirt, cobwebs, and wasps, this will make them excited about seeing the inside of the house.
HAVE YOU … Prepared the inside of the house?
Put away most of the personal photos, taken all Post-It Notes, pictures, bills, and drawings off the refrigerator? Replace or sand and repaint door jams that have been chewed or scratched by pets. Make sure you can’t smell cigarette smoke, dogs, or kitty litter when you open the front door. Sometimes a wall plug-in scent will do the trick (well, except for making sure the kitty litter is cleaned up and put away and you haven’t smoked in the house). Be sure all toilets are flushed and underwear is put away. If you currently live in the home it is expected to have some what of a lived in look and smell but think about what it would look and smell like to you if it was YOU looking at the house for the first time.
HAVE YOU … Chosen to work with an experienced REALTOR® who is familiar with your market area and will give you the time, communication, expertise, and advertising you need to help you sell home at the best possible price in the best possible time frame?
Trying to help out a friend, neighbor or family member who just got their license may not always be the best decision for you. If you have the patience and the time to see if it can be done (because we were all new at one time or another), then go for it. But if you are in a hurry to sell, think about what will work best for YOU!
HAVE YOU … CALLED ME TO DISCUSS ANYTHING MENTIONED ABOVE OR HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
WE DON’T WANT YOU TO ENCOUNTER ANYTHING UNPLEASANT DURING YOUR ENTIRE SELLING JOURNEY. CALL OR EMAIL FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT SELLING YOUR HOME!
SANDY SMITH, REALTOR
JEANETTE SHELBY REALTY