Sellers Guide

When selling your home, there are no guarantees that a buyer will simply walk through the front door. There are steps that you need to take so that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing and able buyer.

The appearance of your home, a buyer’s first impression, and other considerations can also affect the sale of your home. Home prices, or ‘comps’, in your neighborhood and the value of your property are also factors used for pricing your home.  In many cases, you may have to bring your home to the buyer. Effective marketing will help ensure that your home is sold in a timely manner at the best price.

Below are some articles that you might find useful in the home selling process. Please feel free to click on one the links to read more.

Seller Articles

Risks of Remodeling Without a Permit

Most cities require that homeowners obtain a building permit before making modifications to their residences. Which modifications require a permit vary; however, you want to be sure you have the correct information and qualified people assisting you to make sure you have all of the necessary permits before going on the market.

In order for the homeowner to receive a permit, the homeowner or his/her designee are required to file plans and pay fees to the city. Inspections are often required, and this means having to schedule and then wait for inspectors to approve the work to be done. This process can be time consuming and inconvenient in the short run. It is for this reason that some homeowners skip the permit process.

If a permit is needed and you fail to get one, the city may discover this at some time in the future and getting a permit retroactively can frequently be significantly more expensive and much more problematic than having obtained the permit before work commenced. If work is not done in accordance with city procedures or if the inspector is unable to determine if the work has been done properly, the homeowner could be required to open walls or tear up floors, so that the inspection may take place. In addition, by law, work not permitted where a permit was required must be disclosed to any prospective purchaser. This may cause the owner to discount the sale price or perform costly or time-consuming repairs before title can be transferred.  These scenarios are at best – at worst, a deal can fall apart before the contract is even signed.  Perhaps at least, if not more, serious is when the deal is under contract and a discovery is made that the correct permits were not obtained.

For prospective buyers of a property, save yourself the future hassle and loss of money by researching whether all work on the premises has been done according to code and with the proper permits. You may obtain these permits by going directly to the correct website or by hiring a “permit puller” who will research the permits for you – typically, your real estate attorney.

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What is a CMA and Why Do You Need One?

CMA is real estate shorthand for “Comparative Market Analysis”. A CMA is a report prepared by a real estate agent providing data comparing your property to similar properties in the marketplace.

The first thing an agent will need to do to provide you with a CMA is to inspect your property. Generally, this inspection won’t be overly detailed nor does the house need to be totally cleaned up and ready for an open house. It should be in such a condition that the agent will be able to make an accurate assessment of its condition and worth. If you plan to make changes before selling, inform the agent at this time. This will give the agent an idea how much your property is worth in the current market. Please note that the CMA is not an appraisal. An appraisal must be performed by a licensed appraiser.

The CMA process takes place before your home is listed for sale. This is a good assessment of what your house could potentially sell for.

CMAs are not only for prospective sellers. Buyers should consider requesting a CMA for properties they are seriously looking at to determine whether the asking price is a true reflection of the current market. 

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The Home Sale: Securing the Deal

Ready to close the deal? Maybe not.

Sometimes unforeseeable issues arise just prior to closing the sale. Hopefully, with negotiation, most of these have a workable solution. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. But don’t panic. Another buyer might still be found who is willing to accept the apartment as is.

By negotiating calmly and looking at all possibilities, what could have been a “deal breaker” can be turned into a win-win situation for both the buying and selling parties. In other cases, the most workable agreement for both parties might be for the deal to be called off. The seller can always find another buyer and the buyer can always find another home.

To protect yourself against last minute “buyer’s remorse,” make sure the purchase contract anticipates and closes as many loopholes as possible after all known defects have been fully disclosed.

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