Eight important steps in selling your home

Selling a home can be a daunting process, particularly if you are not aware of the steps involved in a property’s transaction. Real estate laws are state-specific in the U.S., but below are some of the most common obligations you will have to follow if you are planning to put your home on the market in the near future:

·       Choosing an agent: If you want to avoid common home selling mistakes, your first step should be to hire an experienced real estate agent. The agent will guide you throughout the complex process of a property’s transaction and negotiate with buyers and their agents on your behalf.

·       Setting the right price: The next step is to put a price tag on the property. Your agent will conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) to come up with the right price. A CMA is a study of homes of similar condition sold in the same locality in past 3 months to six months.

·       Listing and other preparations: Your agent will list the property in the multiple listing services (MLS) in your area and prepare marketing collateral. He or she will help you stage the property for showings.

·       Marketing: Your agent will be responsible for have quality photographs taken and put a virtual tour online to create a buzz.

·       Purchase offers and negotiations: Buyers will make offers in writing. You will weigh the offers depending on the asking price and pick the best one. Ask for a kickout clause or first right of refusal if the buyer’s offer is contingent on selling a home.

·        Open Escrow and Order Title: Your agent will open escrow and order a title policy. After you accept the offer, the buyer will make a good faith deposit and then down payment. Select a date to close based on when the buyer’s loan will fund. You may also need to disclose defects with the property in a seller disclosure form.

·       Appraisal and home inspection: Clean the house the day before the appraiser arrives. If you receive a low appraisal, ask your agent about alternatives. Get ready for the home inspector. Ask your agent to provide you with a home inspection checklist so you will know which items an inspector will want to see. Prepare for the final walk-through inspection which takes place the day before, or the morning of, closing. If the home inspection comes up with major defects, be prepared for another round of negotiations on who will pay for the repairs.

·       Close escrow: On the closing day, you will receive the remaining amount of the purchase price. Your property deed, reconveyance and deed of trust will record in the public records. The title company will notify you and your agent when it records the deeds. Depending on buyer’s possession rights specified in the contract, you may be required to move on the day the home closes

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