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BUYING A HOME |
SELLING A HOME |
Selling a Home
WORKING WITH A REAL
When buying or selling
real estate, you may find it helpful to have a real estate agent
assist you. Real estate agents can provide many useful services and
work with you in different ways. In some real estate transactions,
the agents work for the seller. In others, the seller and buyer may
each have agents. And sometimes the same agents work for both the
buyer and the seller. It is important for you to know whether an
agent is working for you as your agent or simply working with you
while acting as an agent of the other party. This brochure addresses
the various types of working relationships that may be available to
you. It should help you decide which relationship you want to have
with a real estate agent. It will also give you useful information
about the various services real estate agents can provide buyers and
sellers, and it will help explain how real estate agent are paid.
If you are selling real estate, you may want to "list" your property
for sale with a real estate firm. If so, you will sign a "listing
agreement" authorizing the firm and its agents to represent you in
your dealings with buyers as your seller's agent. You may also be
asked to allow agents from other firms to help find a buyer for your
property. Be sure to read and understand the listing agreement
before you sign it.
DUTIES TO SELLER:
The listing firm and its agents must:
- promote your
- be loyal to you
- follow your
- provide you with
all material facts that could influence your decisions
- use reasonable
skill, care and diligence, and
- account for all
monies they handle for you.
Once you have signed
the listing agreement, the firm and its agents may not give any
confidential information about you to prospective buyers or their
agents without your permission. But until you sign the listing
agreement, you should avoid telling the listing agent anything you
would not want a buyer to know.
SERVICES AND COMPENSATION:
To help you sell your property, the listing firm and its agents will
offer to perform a number of services for you. These may include:
- helping you
price your property
- advertising and
marketing your property
- giving you all
required property disclosure forms for you to complete
- negotiating for
you the best possible price and terms
- reviewing all
written offers with you, and
promoting your interests.
For representing you
and helping you sell your property, you will pay the listing firm a
sales commission or fee. The listing agreement must state the amount
or method for determining the commission or fee and whether you will
allow the firm to share its commission with agents representing the
You may even permit the listing firm and its agents to represent you
and a buyer at the same time. This "dual agency relationship" is
most likely to happen if an agent with your listing firm is working
as a buyer's agent with someone who wants to purchase your property.
If this occurs and you have not already agreed to dual agency
relationship in your listing agreement, your listing agent will ask
you to sign a separate agreement or document permitting the agent to
act as agent for both you and the buyer.
It may be difficult for a dual agent to advance the interests of
both the buyer and seller. Nevertheless, a dual agent must treat
buyers and sellers fairly and equally. Although the dual agent owes
them the same duties, buyers and sellers can prohibit dual agents
from divulging certain confidential information about them to the
other party. Some firms also offer a form of dual agency called
designated agency where one agent in the firm represents the seller
and another agent represents the buyer. This option (when available)
may allow each designated agent to more fully represent each party.
If you choose the dual agency option, remember that since a dual
agent's loyalty is divided between parties with competing interests,
it is especially important that you have a clear understanding of:
- what your
relationship is with the dual agent and
- what the agent
will be doing for you in the transaction.
SHOWING YOUR HOME
You don't get a second chance to make a good impression!
A home that stands out among similarly priced houses is
the one that sells. The following suggestions for
preparing your home to sell are worth the special
carefully mowed, edged, fertilized and watered.
Trees and shrubs trimmed; flower beds edged, weeded
Driveways and walks free of snow or grass clippings.
Exterior house paint in good condition and clean,
especially the front door.
door locks open properly and easily.
in good condition.
Screens and screen doors repaired.
exterior lighting in working condition, with fresh
Absence of clutter in yard and driveway.
Walls clean and unmarked, preferably freshly painted
with neutral colors.
Windows clean inside and out.
light fixtures working and fresh bulbs in each.
Plumbing in good repair.
cooking, smoking, pet or other objectionable odors.
Sinks and tubs stain-free; faucets in good repair.
Caulking in tubs and showers in good repair.
clutter removed from closets, attic, basement,
garage and other storage areas.
your REALTOR® what should be boxed up to give your
home a more spacious look.
Showing Your Home
When your home is to be shown, we will always attempt to
make an appointment with you, giving you as much advance
notice as possible. To help make the best impression
during showings, we suggest you:
draperies and curtains.
on enough lights to brighten every corner, day and
Remove dirty dishes.
Rooms dusted, vacuumed and clutter-free.
Kitchens and baths sparkling clean; no clutter on
Noise is distracting. Be sure TV and radios are
turned off, although soft background music is
best to keep pets out of the house. Even the
friendliest pets become anxious when strangers
away valuables such as jewelry and cash, or remove
Never enter into a conversation with a prospect. Let
the REALTOR® who is showing your home answer any
questions the prospective buyers may have. It is
best for you to leave while the house is being
prospective buyer comes by unexpectedly without a
broker, get their name and phone number. FOR YOUR OWN
PROTECTION, DO NOT SHOW THE HOME. Have unescorted buyers
call your REALTOR® for an appointment.
PRICING YOUR PROPERTY
Pricing your property correctly is critical in getting
the most amount of money in the least amount of time.
Landmark Realty Group Carolina Mountains will investigate all
comparable properties recently sold or " For Sale " in
your immediate area. They will research prices and terms
of sales in the current real estate market in order to
arrive at an expected sale price.
Don't be tempted to over-inflate the value of your
property. The first days of the listing period are when
the greatest activity occurs while selling your home.
Overpricing may discourage prospective buyers from ever
looking at your property.
CONTRACTS AND CLOSINGS
A buyer makes an offer by submitting a written and
signed offer to purchase. This document becomes the
sales contract when signed by all parties involved. The
selling agent customarily notifies the listing associate
of the offer, and the listing agent will then arrange an
appointment with the seller to present the offer.
At this point, the seller has three options:
Accept the offer as written.
Reject the offer if it is totally unacceptable.
Counteroffer, changing any unacceptable conditions.
(When the counteroffer goes back to the buyer, the
buyer has the option of withdrawing, accepting, or
countering the counteroffer.)
buyer and seller agree to all terms (including changes
made in any counteroffer), and indicate agreement by
their signatures, the contract becomes "firm." With
signatures and notification to all parties, a sales
contract now exists.
Several professionals may come into the home-selling
process after the offer is accepted, including a housing
inspector (if hired by the buyer), a termite inspector,
and an appraiser.
If the buyer is financing the purchase of your home, the
process will typically take 30 to 60 days. On the chance
that a buyer's financing will not be given final
approval, you should keep the house in good "showing"
As part of the contract process, you must prove to the
buyer that you have a clear title on the house - that
you own the property, and that there are no legal claims
against it. The lender representing the buyer and/or
financial institution will do a title search and issue
an opinion that the title is clear.
Tim Elder can help you gather the paperwork that the
Some of the details you will need to handle include:
Notifying your lender that you will be paying off
the mortgage and asking for a statement of what you
owe. Your outstanding balance will be subtracted
from the amount you receive from the seller.
Having any fix-up work completed according to the
contract, so that final inspections may take place.
Gathering all warranties and instruction books for
your home's appliances or major systems to give to
you have a closing date established, notifying the
utility, telephone, water and other services to
advise them on your final billing date.
walk-through inspection prior to the closing allows the
buyer to determine if conditions of the contract are
satisfied. It is up to the buyer to perform the
inspection, and if they should be accompanied by the
selling and/or listing agent. The seller may or may not
be present, but should make sure that utilities are on
so that equipment can be operated.
At the settlement (closing), the home seller should
bring all warranties on equipment (or leave them in an
obvious place in the house) and instructions on
equipment maintenance or operation. Be sure to bring all
keys and electric door openers.
The closing attorney will explain the settlement sheets
to you. These outline the closing costs to you.
Typical costs for the seller include:
State deed transfer tax
Mortgage balance pay-off
Interest on the mortgage up to the date the mortgage
is paid off
real estate commission
Pro-rated taxes and homeowner's association dues, if
applicable Homeowner's warranty
property or homeowner's insurance has been in escrow
with your lender, you will receive any money that is
accumulated in that escrow account for bills not yet
due. Funds will be disbursed at or after settlement. The
seller, the buyer, and the agents receive a copy of the
Congratulations! Sold and Settled!
If you have any
questions or would like more information, please contact us
us, or use our online request form.