Preparing Your House for
The Real Estate
Congratulations! You have decided to put your
home/condominium on the market for sale. Whether you plan
to buy a larger house or retire to a sun-filled state,
you should be aware of what is involved in selling your
current home. Here are a few suggestions.
There is no requirement that you use a real estate
broker to sell your home. However, if you chose to do so,
he/she will want you to sign a listing agreement. Any
agreement says that the broker will be responsible for
marketing your home, listing your house in the Multiple
Listing Service and holding open houses for the public in
exchange for a commission once the house is sold.
While it is best to hire an attorney before you sign
anything, you should read the agreement carefully.
Listing agreements can last from 2 to 6 months. They can
be renewed if the property has not sold during the first
agreement. If you decide you do not want to sell, can you
terminate the listing agreement? If the broker finds a
buyer, according to most listing agreements the broker is
entitled to a commission. What if the deal falls through?
Will the broker agree to receive a commission only if the
sale is completed? These are terms that can be negotiated
with the broker.
Your House for Sale
Your broker will have suggestions for you on how to
fix up your house so that it will show better. This may
even include giving the house a fresh coat of paint. You
should be sure to talk to your accountant or attorney as
to whether any of these items are tax-deductible.
Improvements made to your home add to your basis in the
house, thereby reducing any capital gain tax that may be
owed upon the sale. Save your receipts for your tax
Real Estate Contract
When a buyer is interested in your house, he/she will
make an offer to purchase by giving you a real estate
contract. The offer will include how much the buyers are
willing to pay for the property, when they want to close,
personal items they want included in the sale and how
much time they will need to get a mortgage. These terms
are usually negotiable as is whether you must give them
possession at the time of closing. Once all the terms
have been agreed upon, the buyers will deposit a check
with your broker for the earnest money.
Once an agreement has been reached, you will have to
provide the buyers with various documents. You must
prepare and sign a Residential Real Property Disclosure
Statement. This is to inform the buyer of the condition
of the property. You must also provide a disclosure
statement as to the knowledge of any lead-based paint on
the premises. In Chicago, you must also provide a
statement of utility costs. Your broker should have these
papers for you to complete.
If this is the sale of a condominium, the buyer may
ask for various condominium documents. These usually
include the By-laws, rules and regulations and the
operating budget. You must provide the documentation
asked for as soon as possible. In addition, you should
find out whether the association requires a credit
report, a meeting with the Board of Directors, or