Preparing your home for sale

Clean up, Fix up, or Toss out - Tips to Remember

Basement areas should also appear organized hang pegboards and hang tools, put things on shelves, Cure damp smell by placing a bag of limestone in the damp area. Clean water heater outside, change filter in the furnace. Brighten the basement walls with a coat of light paint.

Q) Should we redecorate?

a) The big problem in major redecorating arises because it is very difficult to anticipate the tastes of strangers. Best to stick to fresh paint in very neutral colors and present a sparkling clean house without the redecorating expenses.

Q) Is it possible to over improve?

a) Yes. Your landscaping may be divine; you may have the only cabana and swimming pool in the neighborhood, but it may be difficult to sell a $160,000 home in an area of $130,000 homes. Consult your listing broker or Real Estate Office to determine if added improvement means added marketability.

Q) Are "fixing up expenses" tax deductible?

a) Yes. You can reduce your taxable capital gain by "fixing up," but only under strict guidelines. Check with your tax consultant for details.

Showing your home - Tips to remember

Q) Should I let anyone in to see the house?

a) If a prospective buyer calls or comes by unexpectedly without a broker, get their name and phone number. Do not show the home. Explain that it is not a convenient time. Call your listing broker so that the buyer can be qualified and identified prior to showing. This is for your benefit and protection.

Q) If an offer is imminent, should we still show the home?

a) A property is either sold or available - there is no in between. However, if here is an acceptable contract that contains a contingency, and back-up contracts are invited, then this must be made clear, and the house should be shown. Refer selling agent to your listing agent for details.

Offers and Contracts

Q) Is it best to turn sown the first offers?

a) In any transaction, it's normal for the seller to wonder "Could I have gotten more?" and for the buyer to wonder "Should I have paid less?" When your reasonably priced house is put up for sale, the very first lookers may make and offer to buy. That does not mean you've priced your home too low. It means qualified buyers and their brokers have been looking - and waiting - for the right house to come on the market at just the right price. Your listing broker will advise you on all offers.

Q) Do buyers ever offer more than the listing price?

a) Rarely, but they do offer "above list" sometimes if they believe it makes their offer more acceptable than other competing offers. For the protection of all parties, it is best to include a separate statement signed by the buyers indicating the buyer's awareness of the list price and their reasons for the higher offer.

Q) What do I do if the Property does not sell?

a) The first step is to go over everything carefully with the listing broker. As to why the property did not sell. Usually price, items or conditions need to be changed. Study and analyze what has sold in your area and at what price. Then relist the house after adjusting for shortcomings.

Q) Does the sale of a property or a condominium within a Homeowner's Association (HOA) require any special action?

a) if your property is a condominium, in some areas, the buyer is allowed a specific period of time to withdraw after a ratified contract. Ask you listing broker how this "right of recission" can affect you. Also, the purchase offer for a condo sale or Homeowner's Association property will contain, in compliance with the law, a requirement that the seller furnish the buyer with certain disclosure information and documents. Ask your condo and Homeowner's Association for resale procedures in your area.

Q) If a buyer forfeits deposit, who gets the money?

a) If the buyer fails to make a full settlement, the deposited earnest money may be forfeited only after all parties sign a release. In the event of forfeiture, the deposit will be divided equally between seller and the real estate brokers, but not to exceed amount of commission, or according to the sales contract. In case of a dispute, either party may file a court action to assert their claim to the deposit.