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Preparing your Home for a Sale

Showing Tips

Conducting Open Houses: Tips

The Contract and Closing

Concessions that Sellers can make to get the deal done

Reasons a Buyer may want a counter offer

Common things to look for in Contracts

Tips on How to Price Your Home

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Sale of your House

What You’ll Net at Closing

Moving Tips for Sellers

What Is Appraised Value?

Understanding Capital Gains in Real Estate

Service Providers You’ll Need When You Sell

6 Forms You’ll Need to Sell Your Home

Preparing your Home for a Sale:

You the seller plays the most important role in the sale of your property. The following are some thoughts on Home preparation to impress the buyer:

1. First Impression
A Harvard study indicates that 65% of the first impressions is by the way things look. Make the most of that First Impression A well-manicured lawn, neatly trimmed shrubs and a clutter-free porch welcome prospects. So does a freshly painted - or at least freshly scrubbed - front door. If it's autumn, rake the leaves. If it's winter, shovel the walkways.

2. Clean the property
Here's your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your property. Prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look, "with a little work."

3. No Dripping Faucets and blown Bulbs
Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs leave prospects in the dark. Don't let little problems detract the buyer from what's right with your home.

4. Deal with the sticky doors
If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect's mind. Don't try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily take care of them. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

5. Keep Safety in Mind
Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.

6. Make Room for Space
Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They're looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.

7. Consider Your Closets
The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.

8. Make Your Bathrooms Sparkle
Bathrooms sell homes, so let them shine. Check and repair damaged or unsightly caulking in the tubs and showers. For added allure, display your best towels, mats and shower curtains.

9. Create Dream Bedrooms
Wake up prospects to the cozy comforts of your bedrooms. For a spacious look, get rid of excess furniture. Colorful bedspreads and fresh curtains are a must.

10. Open up in the Daytime
Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home can be.

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Showing Tips:

1. Lighten up at Night
Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.

2. Avoid Crowd Scenes
Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they're likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum.

3. Watch Your Pets
Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.

4. Turn down the Volume
Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it's time to show your home, it's time to turn down the stereo or TV.

5. Relax
Be friendly, but don't try to force conversation and don't follow them around to closely. Prospects want to view your home with a minimum of distraction.

6. Don't be offended
Never be offended or apologize for any short comings that a potential buyer may point out about your property. Ignore these comments to the extent that you can and resist the urge to go on the defensive. It's not personal, the buyer may simply be trying to set the stage for future negotiations.

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Conducting Open Houses: Tips

  • Clear out their closets and their clutter. Donate unwanted household goods to charity.
  • Pack up extra toys, linens, small kitchen appliances, and the like and store them offsite or in the garage.
  • Be sure the trees are trimmed, the shrubs are pruned, and the lawn is mowed and watered regularly. Turn on the sprinklers for five minutes 30 minutes before the open house. It makes the lawn and driveway sparkle.
  • Refrain from cooking anything that leaves a particular odor (fish, garlic, cabbage) and from introducing any other unappealing odors into the home.
  • Have a professional service clean the home, including the carpets and the windows.
  • Set the dining room table with attractive linens, dishes, and stemware.
  • Serve cookies and coffee; people will linger longer.
  • Arrange fresh flowers throughout the home and have a fire in the fireplace in fall and winter.
  • Add extra lamps in dark rooms or dark corners, and turn on the lights.
  •  Remove stacks of magazines, ashtrays, sports trophies, family photographs, and other distractions.
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Contract & Legal Advice: 

1. Get a good attorney. Remember that a Real Estate Agent is not an attorney.

2. Deposit Deposit Deposit
The more skin that the buyer has in the game more likely the deal is going to go thru on terms agreed upon

3. Where can I find a contract. Follow the link for a sample contract. Be sure to print it on Legal Sized paper. This is a sample contract. Please consult and attorney for you needs.

4. When in doubt consult your attorney.

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Concessions that Sellers can make to get the deal done:

1. Sellers can let buyers move in quickly.

2. Sellers can help with financing.

3. Sellers can let buyers rent with an option to buy.

4. Sellers can permit certain contingencies.

5. Sellers can pay closing costs that are traditionally paid by the buyer.

6. Sellers can pay for improvements such as exterior painting.

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Reasons a Buyer may want a counter offer:

1. The buyer might make an opening offer just to get the negotiations going.

2. If the seller has an unrealistically high asking price, the buyer might make a low offer to try and strike a compromise.

3. A buyer who can't afford what the seller is asking might offer something close to his maximum price, hoping the seller will make a viable counteroffer.

An offer is finally accepted when the seller signs it and communicates that fact to the buyer. The most common way of communicating acceptance is by delivery of the signed offer back to the buyer.

Thirty years ago, the sales agreement was a single-page document with a few preprinted lines. Everything was filled in by the salesperson or the principals. Today's agreement is a multipage document consisting largely of legal boilerplate. Most have room to write in only the address, price, downpayment, and loan amount. Everything else, including a long list of contingency clauses, is usually preprinted to be crossed out if inapplicable.

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 Common things to look for in Contracts:

1. The date the contract was executed/ signed by all parties.

2. The full correct name of all parties, along with their addresses.

3.A legal description of the property being sold.

4. The full purchase price, broken down to show the portion that was made as a down payment and the balance amount due.

5. A "subject to" provision covering zoning, covenants, easements, and restrictions of record.

6. Fixtures and personal property that will pass with the property.

7. Specific items that will be apportioned, such as taxes, insurance, water, and utilities.

8. The date and location of the closing.

9. The name of the broker who brought about the sale and who will be responsible for paying commissions to agents and subagents.

10. To whom and how (such as fax/certified mail) any notices affecting contract contingencies will be sent.

11. The signatures of all parties.

12. A seller's right of cancellation if clear title cannot be delivered.

13. Remember that your Realtor is not an attorney and cannot offer legal advice.


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