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What Real Estate Sellers Need to Know

Now is a great time to take advantage of the housing market by putting your house up for sale. There are eager buyers looking to get a great interest rate, as they are at an all-time low. This means that houses are still selling well, even with an uncertain economy. Before you gear up to move out, there are a few things you should consider. Making sure you are fully prepared will help make your sale a success. You’ll need to ensure that your home is looking its best, consult with a licensed real estate agent, and understand the closing process before you put that “for sale” sign out front.

Proper staging is key. Take a good look around your home. If it’s in need of a little cleaning, either bust out the elbow grease or consider hiring a professional cleaning service. You’ll want to eliminate clutter and remove personal items from the home. Repair or replace any visible damage, like torn carpeting or a missing drawer pull. Another investment in making your home show well is giving it a new coat of paint with a neutral color, like light gray, white, or beige. You’ll want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves living in your house, and that often takes a clean slate.

Call in a licensed realtor to help you with the process. They will help you with getting your home ready for showings. They’ll take photos (or hire a photographer to do so), and get an online listing set up for easy shopping on the buyers’ ends. They may also hold an open house for you in addition to being available for showings.

The other great thing about bringing in an agent is that they may already have the perfect buyer that is looking for a home just like yours. They’ll also be able to get all the tedious but important paperwork filed and managed for you. They’ll handle negotiations and even walk you through your closing.

The closing process in selling a home requires several steps that you can’t skip. After accepting an offer, you’re going to need to do a title search and obtain title insurance. The buyers will have a home inspection performed. Be prepared that anything wrong with the home might prevent you from going to close unless you are willing to cover the cost of these repairs. Buyers who are purchasing with a mortgage will also need an appraisal. This could also stop the deal if the appraised value is less than the agreed upon sales price unless the buyer is willing to make up the difference or the seller is willing to change the sales price based on the lower appraised value.

Lastly, you’ll have a final walkthrough around 24 hours before closing. Consulting with a licensed relator is beneficial in ensuring you come out ahead and don’t miss any steps in the process. Having an attorney review contracts is also an important consideration. Selling your home is often the biggest financial transaction of your life. Having legal representation will help keep you out of Court and conflict.

If you’ve followed all the preparation steps and understand the processes involved, it’s time to put your house up for sale. Start packing your boxes and get ready for your next chapter in life while giving your house room for the buyer’s imagination in staging. Hire a realtor to help you through the steps, and work towards your closing. Before you know it, it’ll be time to bring in the moving truck.

James Schroeder is an attorney licensed to practice in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.

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