Sunday, October 16, 2016

This is in case you have to sell a home for your parents. If I never mentioned it, I was a Realtor in the state of Ohio over a 37 year period of time.

Checklist  and information to sell a home:

  • Hire a good, professional Realtor that was recommended to you if you don’t already know them

  • Purchase a home warranty for the buyer (You don’t pay until home is sold.)

  • Make sure you have an original Power of Attorney for the title company to do their work, just in case your parent is unable to sign when necessary.

  • Find out the age of the roof, furnace, air, and the appliances are because you will be asked.

  • Clean out as much as you can ahead of time-have it not be cluttered if possible.   

Know that EVERYTHING CAN BE NEGOTIATED. This means commission, the length of time a home can be on the market, how you want it shown and advertised. Your Realtor should be working in YOUR best interest. They are a SELLER’S agent when they are employed by you. You might want to ask them if there is any situation where they would work for the buyer. Some states have something called “dual agency,” which means the Realtor can represent both the seller and the buyer. I, personally, feel that 2 opposing parties cannot be represented by the same Realtor. They can write the contract for the buyer, but they are facilitating the transaction. I do not  think they can equally go to bat for both parties.  In my state it is legal to be a dual agent. I just felt I was not working in the best interest of my client  to do so.

Sometimes sellers consider having a home inspector check out their home before they sell. I never suggested that, however, because it could open up a can of worms for the seller. Once the inspector gives you the report, you now have knowledge of everything that is wrong with the home. You should  divulge anything you know on the state disclosure form. That makes  you potentially more liable. If you wait for the buyer to have an inspection, there is less chance of you having to fix EVERYTHING. Every state is different, however. I noticed this when my son purchased a home, and also with buyers coming from out of town having to make extensive repairs in their former homes.

Some people have asked if it is better to sell a home that is furnished or vacant. I would DEFINITELY take pictures of the home while the furnishings are still in place. It makes it look more homey. Believe it or not, rooms look larger when they are not empty. If you have to get rid of the furniture, it is not a deal breaker, but online a vacant room looks horrible.

Most Realtors will put a lock box on the home. This is standard procedure. It enables the home to be shown when no one is there. The Realtor registers their name with the office selling or with a professional service. Just anyone cannot enter your home without calling their office.

If you have to make repairs, make sure YOU get some estimates if it is to be professionally updated. You want to be able to control any expenditures that have to be made. They buyer will get their contractor and you will be subject to their estimate. An example: Let’s say your electrical service needs to be upgraded, or that there is something that could be potentially dangerous, like the box being a fire hazard. ( a real problem that exists )This could be a few thousand dollars or hundreds, depending on what is to be done. Ask your friends the name of a good electrician if you do not know one. This could really cost you if you let the buyer do everything. 

I had a situation where there was a chimney coming away from the home, as well as some brickwork in the front needing to be fixed. The estimates were $2000 apart. The buyer and seller settled on a price between the two estimates. It’s all in the negotiation.