Top Tips for First Time Sellers

McHenry County Real Estate Attorneys

Top Tips for First Time SellersWith the spring quickly approaching, the real estate market is ramping up for its busy season. Individuals and families looking to move during the spring and summer have already started researching their potential purchases. So, if you are considering selling your home this year, it is important that you are ready to start showing your home as early in this busy season as possible. Below are a few tips to help you through the process of selling a home in this area.

Price your Home Realistically

Your home’s role in your family and the memories it holds might be priceless to you. But for potential buyers, the home has a price and if you want to sell it, this price must be appropriate for its value. Research similar properties in your area and talk to your real estate broker about an appropriate price for your home. Pricing it too high might scare potential buyers away, leaving it on the market for months. Subsequent price cuts and months on the market will make your home look more undesirable to buyers, making it more difficult for you to sell.

Work with an Experienced Real Estate Broker

Specifically, you should work with a real estate broker who has experience with home sales in your neighborhood and/or experience with homes similar to yours. For example, if you own a two-family home, consider working with a broker who has helped clients sell this type of property in the past.

When you interview prospective brokers, ask each about his or her experience with your neighborhood. Ask about how many homes he or she sold in the last year and any trends he or she has noticed in recent years that you should know about. Ask about his or her marketing strategies and what he or she realistically feels you will receive for the home. Beware of any broker whose claims are “too good to be true” – no home is perfect and if your real estate broker does not sound realistic, he or she probably is not. Interview two or more real estate brokers to determine the best one to handle your sale.

Know your Rights and Obligations as a Seller

Your real estate broker should go over these with you when you start working together, but it is always a good idea to speak with a real estate attorney about your rights and requirements under Illinois and federal law, such as the Federal Fair Housing Act. Know when you and/or the buyer can back out of a sale contract as well as any issues with the home you are legally required to disclose. Failing to uphold your responsibilities or allowing your buyer to neglect theirs could result in significant legal consequences.

Stage your Home Appropriately and Make All Necessary Repairs

Staging your home is the act of making it look appealing to potential buyers. Consider making basic upgrades like painting rooms and cleaning the home thoroughly before potential buyers visit. Also consider making aesthetic changes, such as opting for neutral tones and decorative pieces.

Another aspect of staging is making any necessary repairs. Although you can negotiate larger repairs, such as a roof replacement, with your prospective buyer, make the simple repairs like patching holes in the drywall before showing the home.

Be Ready to Move

Once you sign a sale contract with a buyer, you should begin preparing for your own move. It is important to fully vacate and remove all of your personal belongings prior to the buyer’s final walk through in order to avoid unnecessary issues at closing. If possible, consider purchasing your next home before closing on your sale. This way, you will not be burdened with potential issues arising from attempting to finalize both closings on the same day.

Be Willing to Negotiate

Even if your home is priced fairly, buyers may still want to negotiate for the best possible deal. Negotiations are common and may focus on more than just the price of the home. For example, frequently additional negotiation occurs over issues arising from the home inspection. A few things to consider before the negotiations begin include:

  • Whether you are willing to pay some or even all of your buyer’s closing costs;
  • Whether you will you leave your appliances in the home or bring them with you; and
  • If the home needs significant repairs, whether you are willing to pay for them, either partially or completely? If not, will you lower the price accordingly?

In many cases, the seller’s willingness to make concessions will help to expedite the sale process. Discuss this further with your real estate broker and attorney to determine which concessions you can afford to make and under which conditions.

Work with an Experienced Crystal Lake Real Estate Law Firm

Working with a real estate broker does not eliminate your need for an experienced real estate lawyer. During the negotiation and closing process, sellers and buyers both need legal protection to ensure that they make a fair deal. To learn more about the legal pitfalls you can face during a real estate transaction and how you can protect yourself, speak with one of the experienced real estate attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC. Contact our firm today to set up your initial consultation.

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