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A Guide to the Home Selling Process

In a perfect world, the home selling process should be as easy as a handshake. In as much as we would want it to be like this, in reality, it’s a bit more complicated, especially when you factor in all the careful planning that’s needed, and also to have a proper understanding of the process, not to mention the fact that you will have to deal with a lot of paperwork. Now, to help you understand the whole process, we have included the top six most fundamental legal, financial, and business steps for a smooth and efficient home selling process.

Understand your responsibilities and costs

Here are the costs that are associated with the sale of a home:

  • Listing the property for sale
  • Agent fees
  • Payment of any agreed-upon closing costs
  • Paying for potential repair requests from the buyers

If you are looking to sell your house, one of the key aspects you will need to figure out is whether you want to hire a real estate agent to assist you in your sale, or you will sell it yourself. If you choose the latter, just keep in mind that you will be responsible for the marketing, viewings, engaging the potential buyers directly as well as handling all the paperwork required.

Set a price

Let’s be honest here, setting the price of the property for sale is partly science, partly marketing, and partly instinct. You obviously want to get the best deal, with the maximum price and the best terms possible from the sale. Well, there are several factors that come into play here – factors that you should know. The main factors include:

  • The number of similar properties being sold in your area
  • The region’s supply and demand, based on the local economy
  • The home’s fair market value, based on an appraisal
  • Your own needs – if you are looking to sell your property fast, or in urgent need of cash, that might have an impact on the selling price since you will sell at one of the first offers you receive, which might not have the target price you expected.

As the seller, you can also decide to have an appraisal done on your home so as to establish the property’s market fair value.

Show your home

For your home to sell fast, you have to make it as inviting as you possibly can to attract many prospective buyers. There are several simple and easy steps you can take to achieve this, including:

  • Spring for a quick spruce up – you need to ensure that small mechanical or cosmetic glitches don’t develop into large problematic issues. After all, making minor repairs is much easier and doable.
  • De-clutter – like someone selling their home, probably for the very first time, you should know that having a ‘lived in’ look is less of a selling point and more of a distraction. So, cleaning and clearing all the junk stuff will be significant as it will show prospective buyers how much space your home offers.
  • Protect your private information – when selling a home, it is highly unlikely that you will sell to the first buyer who gets to see the property. Chances are that you show a couple of buyers your home. Now, you don’t want your valuable items lying around when these buyers come to see the house. Lock everything valuable to you!

Negotiating offers

As the one selling your property, you can either accept or deny offers or even make counter-offers, taking your specific needs into account, thereby indicating what can be altered to make the offer acceptable. The buyer, being the one paying for the house, can also accept or reject your counter-offer, making a counter-offer of their own with new terms. Even with all these, always remember that:

  • The only way an offer becomes binding is only when both parties agree to the terms laid out and sign the purchase contract that is subject to contingencies.
  • This contract must have an expiration date, property price, initial deposit, financing terms and contingencies as well as warranties and fees.
  • In your sales contract, there will be a clause that will allow the buyer to inspect the property hours before closing.

Prepare for closing

Remember what we mentioned at the beginning of the article, that the home selling process isn’t that easy? Well, this has to do with the fact there are a lot of procedures that go into the process before you can ‘close the sale’. The procedures include:

  • An inspection of the property where an inspector conducts a thorough examination of the house’s physical structure and systems.
  • A property survey, exploring the property’s technical drawing and its structures.
  • A title search to verify the ownership of the property belongs to you, and that there are no other claims to the property.
  • If your property has a septic tank, a septic certification and well testing might be needed. This however depends on the state from which you hail.
  • A final inspection of the property by the buyer hours before closing the sale.
  • Disclosing all the information about the property that the buyer might require to know before committing to the purchase. You must not withhold anything, otherwise, you can be sued by the buyer, which will of course put you into so much trouble.

Be there during the closing

This is the final step of the process, and it is where ownership is transferred to the buyer, the title deed is delivered, title insurance policies and financing documents are exchanged, and the remaining costs are paid in full. The title deed, deed of trust signed by the appropriate parties, or mortgage are some of the final documents that are delivered to the county recorder for recording. Also, remember the following costs might be incurred:

  • Closing costs, including loan fees, agent commissions, record filing fees, and title insurance charges.
  • Transactional taxes

Please Note: if you need additional assistance, especially on the legal aspect of the process, you might consider hiring a lawyer. A real estate attorney is very helpful when it comes to dealing with all the paperwork, including the legal documents, contracts, and tax documents.

To sum it all up, your property is a valuable asset to you, and quite frankly, you deserve to get the most out of its sale. So, you may want to take some time to learn how to sell it. Patience is key in the selling process. Ensure that in each and every stage, you clearly understand everything, so that in the end, you are satisfied with the entire process as well as the final deal.  

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