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Saturday, April 21, 2007

For Sale By Owner Checklist

I've given you the definition of what a For Sale By Owner is. I've given you tips on How To Get Your Home Ready to Sell and suggested using MLS Listings as a way to get your home advertised.
Now, I think I should give you the "Seller's Checklist", so you are prepared for the upcoming sale of your home. Selling your home can be a stressful time, so if you are prepared, it will be much easier to deal with this event.

o Price your house properly: You could hire an independent appraiser or receive a free appraisal from a Real Estate Agent. Most agents offer this service for free because they want listings. Be honest when you approach an agent. Explain that you are thinking about selling your home and you're trying to get a feel for what the market is like at this time.
o Advertise Your Home: Generate traffic by classified ads in local paper, weekly shoppers and/or other weekly publications, online listings. Splurge on a sign for your front yard. And don't forget - Word of mouth.
o Be mindful of the Fair Housing Act:Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (Fair Housing Act), as amended, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18) and handicap (disability).
o When Brokers call: You may get calls from local agents trying to convince you that you need to list your house. They may say they have a prospect that's dying to see your property. Remember: if you allow an agent to show your house, you may be liable for his or her commission, even though you haven't signed a listing agreement.You could request your Attorney to draw up a one time only open listing agreement. Seek your attorney's advice.
o Closing the deal when offering Owner Financing: Gathering the necessary paperwork:

  1. Employment Information
  2. References
  3. banking-Financial Statement
  4. Incorporating a Balloon Payment - usually 5-10 years
  5. A good down payment: Make sure your buyer will invest some of their own money. This will also show commitment on the pat of the buyer.
  6. The credit of the payer

Keep in mind you want the strongest qualified buyer if you chose to offer Owner Financing.
The interest on your note: can be 1 to 1.5 above traditional home loans, but can be negotiable so you don't loose the sale. Based on circumstances: if the buyer is putting down 20-30%, he/she would have a lower interest rate.

  • Get Your House Ready To Sell: Before you start to promote your home, give it a thorough cleaning.
  • Give the landscape a good manicure.
  • Curb Appeal is going to make the buyer want to go inside.
  • Clean out the garage, attic, basement and all closets.
  • Hold a yard sale to get rid of unwanted items.
  • Make sure the house has a clean fresh smell in every room. Even the closets. Open the windows and air things out.
  • Make minor repairs.
  • The front of your home is where the first impression is made. Make sure the drive-way is clean and free from oil spots. Eliminate moss or mildew build-up on the front steps. The hardware on your front door should sparkle. Take care of paint that's peeling. Add a little color to the porch with a basket of flowers. A nice door mat also makes the front door look appealing.The entry area will also create first impressions.
  • Repair scratches in wood floors or worn spots in carpets.
  • Be sure to have the entry closet clean and free of clutter.
  • Put high wattage light bulbs in all fixtures and turn them on when you show the home.
  • Keep the drapes open so that everything is well lit. Dark areas can send out a bad message. People may think you're trying to hide something.
  • If you have rooms painted in dark colors change them to light colors, such as an off white. Lighter colors create an open look.
  • Put away all the personal possessions and let the buyer see how much room there really is. Personal family heirlooms can make the home look like a museum. The buyer needs to have a clear picture how their belongings are going to fit in the house.
  • Remove unnecessary furniture. The more furniture in the room the smaller it looks.
  • Get The Word Out:The first thing to do is put up a sign in the front yard. Tell your neighbors. They may already know of someone looking in the area, maybe even a family member. Let people know where you work, a church group or club. If you want to go further, put up notices on bulletin boards.
  • Run a classified ad.
  • Showing Your Home:When you have an appointment to show your home, open the windows and air out before any potential buyer arrives. This will get rid of any last minute unpleasant odors that might be lingering. It's always a good idea to have the scent of pleasant aromas in the house. Things like fresh bread,cookies, the smell of cinnamon or vanilla.
  • Open House: An open house can be very effective in promoting your house.

For Two reasons: 1) You can schedule the open house at a specific time and day and you'll be attracting a lot of people at the same time. 2)This creates a spirit of competition. Competition produces action that ends up with a sale.

  • Place a welcome sign in your front yard or by the front door.
  • For security reasons, I would recommend having visitors sign in before they go through your home.
  • Have a information circular or flyer on your home that visitors can take with them. The information flyer is good for people who call on your newspaper ad. You can take their address and even mail one to them.The information flyer should include: Your name, address and phone number. Sales Price and if you're offering OWNER FINANCING,the down payment you're requesting. Mention you'll consider all offers in writing, with the understanding you won't take the home off the market until a legally binding sales contract has been signed and earnest deposit money is deposited with your attorney.
  • Respond to all offers and if they are too low, counter the offer.Your information flyer should also include:Property taxes, insurance and utilities etc..and remember to list the features of your house:Square footage, type of roof and age, kind of heat, air conditioning, schools, kind of water heater and age, the lot size, describe the structure, electrical system, bathrooms and kitchen, the rooms size and measurements and public transportation available.Tell a little about the outdoor features and anything else you feel is unique about the home.List any recent repairs or maintenance. When was it last painted or sided, new roof etc.
  • Have pictures on display during different seasons of the year. If you're showing your home during the fall or winter, show pictures during spring or summer. The pictures will show the flowers and plants in bloom. Schedule your open house during peak hours when traffic goes by your house.
  • Put a sign up where people will see your sign as they drive by.

These tips may take some time, but in the end, you will see the reward.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
I am here to help you.

Wishing you much success!


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