If you’re buying a house in Whatcom County for the first time in your life, we understand that it’s an invigorating time. So much so that it can be a bit overwhelming. After all, this will hopeful…Read More
Tips On Selling A Home
When you’re ready to complete a purchase and sale agreement on a home, your offer will generally be contingent on a professional inspection of the entire property, including improvements. The home inspector looks beyond the cosmetics to make sure that the home’s general systems operate properly.
Here are some of the things an inspector will be looking at:
-The home’s heating and cooling system
-Interior plumbing and electrical systems
-The roof, attic, and visible insulation
-Walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors
-Foundation, basement and visible structure.
-Cracks in cement walls, water stains that indicate leakage and any indication of wood rot.
A home inspector will also point out the positive aspects of a home and may warn you of maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape.
Remember, no home is perfect. If problems are found, Hoppis Real Estate will help you negotiate through the process.
Six to eight weeks before selling a house:
-Use up things that may be difficult to move, such as frozen food.
-Get estimates from professional movers or truck rental companies if you are moving yourself.
-Once you’ve selected a mover, discuss insurance, packing, loading, delivery, and the claims procedure.
-Sort through your possessions. Decide what you want to keep, what you want to sell, and what you wish to donate to charity.
-Record serial numbers on electronic equipment and take photos of or videotape all your belongings.
-Obtain a change of address packet from the post office and send to creditors, magazine subscriptions and catalog vendors.
-Discuss tax-deductible moving expenses with your accountant and begin keeping accurate records.
-If you’re moving to a new community, contact the Chamber of Commerce and school district and request information about services.
-Make reservations with airlines, hotels and car rental agencies, if needed.
Two to four weeks before:
-If you are moving yourself, use your inventory list to determine how many boxes you will need.
-Begin packing non-essential items.
-Arrange for storage, if needed.
-If you have items you don’t want to pack and move, hold a yard sale.
-Get car license, registration, and insurance in order.
-Transfer your bank accounts to new branch locations. Cancel any direct deposit or automatic payments from your accounts.
-Make special arrangements to move pets and consult your veterinarian about ways to make travel comfortable for them.
-Have your car checked and serviced for the trip.
-Collect items from the safe-deposit box.
One week before:
-Talk to your pharmacist about transferring important medical prescriptions.
-Arrange for a babysitter on moving day if you have kids.
-Return library books and videotapes.
Two to three days prior:
-Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
-Have movers pack your belongings.
-Arrange to have payment ready for the moving company.
-Set aside legal documents and valuables that you do not want packed.
-Pack clothing and toiletries, along with extra clothes in case the moving company is delayed.
-Give your travel itinerary to a close friend or relative so they can reach you as needed.
Essential Packing Materials
-Crumpled newspapers or packing paper
-Plenty of boxes
Pack a “first day” box with items you will need right away. Handy items include:
-Local telephone book
-Instant coffee or tea, soft drinks
-Pencil and paper
-Children’s toys and books
Preparing Your House For Sale
When selling a house, you want the best price and most favorable terms. There are a myriad of marketing options and details that go into a sale, from the time you set the price to closing. When marketing your property, if it is properly prepared for showing an interested buyer, it will bring the best price, terms, and ultimately sell in the shortest time frame. Helpful tips for preparing or staging include:
-Remove clutter from the yard
-Cut and edge grass
-Trim hedges and weed gardens
-Paint, fix or wash railings, steps, storm windows, screens and doors
-Straighten up garage
-Paint, wash and fix garage doors and windows
-Repair dripping faucets and leaky toilets
-Replace all burned out light bulbs
-Repair faulty light switch
-Oil door hinges, tighten door knobs
-Carpet professionally cleaned or replaced if in poor condition
-Give home a through cleaning
Purchase And Sale Agreement
Once you’ve found the home you want to buy, together we’ll complete a purchase and sale agreement. This is the contract in which you and the buyer outline the details of your property transfer
The purchase and sale agreement usually consists of the following pages:
-Earnest money receipt.
-Contingency addendum-when appropriate.
-Addendum outlining special conditions.
-Lead-based paint notification-when appropriate.
In many areas, the following forms will also be a required part of your agreement:
-Property disclosure form completed by the property seller.
Settlement Costs- Who Pays What
During the negotiation stage of the transaction, a mutually agreed-upon date for closing is determined. “Closing” is when you and the buyer sign all the paperwork and pay your share of the settlement fees, and the documents are recorded. Settlement obligations vary widely due to specific contract language, local laws, and customs. Prior to closing, the closing real estate agent (usually an escrow or title company or attorney) will complete a detailed settlement statement for both buyer and seller.
The Seller Will Receive:
-Utility deposits held by gas, electric, cable, telephone and other companies
-Prorated portion of pre-paid property taxes
-Prorated mortgage interest from payments made during the current month
-Fuel rebate for oil or propane remaining in a storage tank
-Net proceeds after sellers share of expenses are paid
The Seller Pays:
-Brokerage commission (the sum or percentage of the sale price, previously agreed upon by the seller and real estate agent)
-One-half of escrow or legal fees paid to the attorney or escrow company for preparing the closing
-Document preparation fees
-Recording and notary fees
-Title search and title insurance (paid by either the seller or the buyer)
-Local transfer taxes, if any
-State taxes, if any
-Repairs or inspections that you have agreed to pay for
Tips For Showing Your Home
-Remove pets. Take them with you or keep them penned in the yard or garage.
-Open shades and curtains to let in light.
-Turn on enough lights so the home is well lit.
-Remove clutter from tables and bookshelves. Neatness makes rooms seem larger.
-Put away items in the yard like garden tools, bicycles, and toys.
-Light a fire in the fireplace to create a cozy atmosphere.
-Grind up part of a lemon in the disposal to add a fresh smell to the kitchen.
-Keep radios and TVs off, or on a low volume.
-Keep money and other valuables, as well as prescription drugs, out of sight.