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Selling a Home

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.


Seller's Agent
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 best interest
  • be loyal to you
  • follow your lawful instructions
  • 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
  • otherwise 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 buyer.

Dual Agent
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.



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 attention:

  • Lawn carefully mowed, edged, fertilized and watered.
  • Trees and shrubs trimmed; flower beds edged, weeded and cultivated.
  • Driveways and walks free of snow or grass clippings.
  • Exterior house paint in good condition and clean, especially the front door.
  • All door locks open properly and easily.
  • Roof in good condition.
  • Screens and screen doors repaired.
  • All exterior lighting in working condition, with fresh bulbs.
  • Absence of clutter in yard and driveway.


  • Walls clean and unmarked, preferably freshly painted with neutral colors.
  • Windows clean inside and out.
  • All light fixtures working and fresh bulbs in each.
  • Plumbing in good repair.
  • No cooking, smoking, pet or other objectionable odors.
  • Sinks and tubs stain-free; faucets in good repair.
  • Caulking in tubs and showers in good repair.
  • All clutter removed from closets, attic, basement, garage and other storage areas.
  • Ask 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:

  • Open draperies and curtains.
  • Turn on enough lights to brighten every corner, day and night.
  • Remove dirty dishes.
  • Make beds.
  • Rooms dusted, vacuumed and clutter-free.
  • Kitchens and baths sparkling clean; no clutter on counter-tops.
  • Noise is distracting. Be sure TV and radios are turned off, although soft background music is acceptable.
  • It's best to keep pets out of the house. Even the friendliest pets become anxious when strangers appear.
  • Put away valuables such as jewelry and cash, or remove completely.
  • 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 shown.

If a 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 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.


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.)

When both 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.

Closing Details
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" condition.

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 contract requires.

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 the buyer.
  • Once you have a closing date established, notifying the utility, telephone, water and other services to advise them on your final billing date.

A 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
  • The real estate commission
  • Pro-rated taxes and homeowner's association dues, if applicable Homeowner's warranty

If 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 settlement sheets.

Congratulations! Sold and Settled!


Your Name:
Your Address:
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  • Are you interested in finding another home or lot? No  Yes  Where?
  • Do you need relocation services? No  Yes
  • Why are you interested in selling your home or lot?
    Moving from the area  Want a larger home Want a smaller home Other
  • What size is your home?
    0-2,000 SF  2,000-2,500 SF  2,500-3,000 SF  3,000-3,500 SF  3,500-4,000 SF  4,000+ SF
  • How many bedrooms do you have?  4 or more
  • How many bathrooms do you have?  4 or more
  • When was your home built?
    1970 or before  1970-1980  1980-1990  1990 or later
  • Do you have a pool? No  Yes
  • Are you in a gated community? No  Yes
  • Are you in a golf or tennis community? No  Yes
  • What value do you place on your home or lot?
    $0 to $100,000  $100,000 to $200,000  $200,000 to $300,000 
    $300,000 to $400,000  $400,000 to $500,000  Above $500,000
  • How quickly do you need to sell your home or lot?  30 to 60 days  60 to 120 days  120 to 180 days  No time limit
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If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us 828-743-9440, 800-526-9767, email us, or use our online request form.


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