I routinely see For Sale By Owner signs and advertisements, so I wanted to present those of you who are trying to sell on their own a few resources to help. Since only 2% of homes purchased nationwide are sold from a For Sale sign, we understand the limitations of selling a home.
We also like making sure that our buyer clients have access to all listings in the area that we serve. If you’d like for us to distribute your home information to potential buyers, please feel free to email us your property information or by using the “Contact Us” to the right.
Forms You’ll Need to Sell Your Home
1. Property disclosure form. This form is required by Virginia law for all residential sales. There are a few exceptions, but Unrepresented sellers are not exempt.
2. Purchaser’s access to premises agreement. This agreement sets conditions for permitting the buyer to enter your home for activities such as measuring for draperies before you move.
3. Sales contract. The agreement between you and the seller on terms and conditions of sale. Again, check with your state real estate department to see if there is a required form.
4. Sales contract contingency clauses. In addition to the contract, you may need to add one or more attachments to the contract to address special contingencies — such as the buyer’s need to sell a home before purchasing yours.
5. Pre- and post-occupancy agreements. Unless you’re planning on moving out and the buyer moving in on the day of closing, you’ll need an agreement on the terms and costs of occupancy once the sale closes. Make sure you review the Virginia Wet Settlement Act to better understand recordation issues, when the buyer gets keys and when you may get money from your home (traditionally not on the day of closing)
6. Lead-based paint disclosure pamphlet. If your home was built before 1978, you must provide the pamphlet to all buyers. You must also have buyers sign a statement indicating they received the pamphlet.
17 Service Providers You’ll Need When You Sell
Real estate attorney
Mortgage loan officer
Lead paint inspector
Sanitary systems expert
Occupancy permit inspector
Flood plain inspector
Is Your Buyer Qualified?
Unless the buyer who makes an offer on your home has the resources to qualify for a mortgage, you may not really have a sale. If possible, try to determine a buyer’s financial status before signing the contract. Ask the following:
1. Has the buyer been prequalified or preapproved (even better) for a mortgage? Such buyers will be in a much better position to obtain a mortgage promptly.
2. Does the buyer have enough money to make a downpayment and cover closing costs? Ideally, a buyer should have 20 percent of the home’s price as a downpayment and between 2 and 7 percent of the price to cover closing costs.
3. Is the buyer’s income sufficient to afford your home? Ideally, buyers should spend no more than 28 percent of total income to cover PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).
4. Does your buyer have good credit? Ask if he or she has reviewed and corrected a credit report.
5. Does the buyer have too much debt? If a buyer owes a great deal on car payments, credit cards, etc., he or she may not qualify for a mortgage.
Tips for Pricing Your Home
Consider comparables. What have other homes in your neighborhood sold for recently? How do they compare to yours in terms of size, upkeep, and amenities?
Consider competition. How many other houses are for sale in your area? Are you competing against new homes?
Consider your contingencies. Do you have special concerns that would affect the price you’ll receive? For example, do you want to be able to move in four months?
Get an appraisal. Realtors typically perform a Comparative Market Analysis to give you an opinion for asking price. Absent a CMA, you should consider an Appraiser for a asking price. For a few hundred dollars, a qualified appraiser can give you an estimate of your home’s value. Be sure to ask for a market-value appraisal. To locate appraisers in your area, contact The Appraisal Institute or ask your REALTOR® for some recommendations.
Ask a lender. Since most buyers will need a mortgage, it’s important that a home’s sale price be in line with a lender’s estimate of its value.
Be accurate. Studies show that homes priced more than just 3 percent over the correct price take much longer to sell.
Know what you’ll take. It’s critical to know what price you’ll accept before beginning a negotiation with a buyer.
Food For Thought From Financial Guru Dave Ramsey
I want to thank you for your time and interest in assisting us to sell your home as a Buyer Agent or talk to you in the future about assisting you as a Listing Agent. Should you have any questions you can feel free to contact me anytime.