Preparing your home to
The effort put into repairing and cleaning your property is
likely to be returned in a fast sale at an attractive price.
* As buyers approach your property the first time,
impressions are formed quickly.
* Paint house - this can do more for sales appeal than any
* Yard - Remove all toys, garbage, garden tools and other
items from view.
* Mow lawn and keep edged.
* Close garage doors.
* Put colorful flowers in front of house.
Often, while waiting to be let in, the first thing a buyer
looks at closely is the front door.
* Put new paint on the front door.
* Buy a new door mat.
* Buyers take a close look at the basement of a home. They
will look for bad wiring, leaky pipes
and signs of decay.
* Clean out basement and dispose of everything you are not
going to move.
* Ensure that there is plenty of lighting.
* Sweep or vacuum floor.
* Stack items neatly against walls.
The kitchen is often the most important room in the house. Make
it bright and attractive.
* Put a vase of fresh flowers on the table.
* Replace curtains or clean existing ones.
* Remove appliances from counters.
* Create a pleasant fragrance in the kitchen (i.e. vanilla,
It is important that bathrooms are clean, bright and smell
* Install a new shower curtain and replace worn throw rugs.
* Polish all fixtures.
* Open windows.
* Hang bright, fresh towels.
* Remove stains from toilets and bathtubs.
* Use air freshener.
* Display colorful soaps.
The living room
* Clean out the fireplace and place logs in it.
* Polish all woodwork.
* Put big furniture in storage so rooms are not cluttered or
Before Your House Is Shown
* Tag or remove items not included in sale (i.e. water
conditioner, chandeliers, plants, drapes).
* Open shades and curtains to let in light.
* Turn on enough lights so home is well-lit during showing.
* At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting.
* Tidy all the rooms. Neatness makes a room easier to view.
* Clean dirty dishes in the sink and put away any dishes on
* Keep toys in the children's rooms.
* Put away items in the yard such as bicycles, gardening
tools and skateboards.
* If fall or winter, light a fire in the fireplace.
While Your House Is Being
* When possible, leave while the property is shown. If not,
remain in an area not being shown by
the sales associate.
* Let the real estate expert show your house. Answer
questions candidly when asked, but avoid
questioning potential buyers.
* Refer inquiries about seeing your house to your Realtor to
take advantage of the agent's
professional skills in selling your home.
* Don't mention items you wish to dispose of unless asked.
* It is best to be away when your agent is holding an open
* Keep pets outdoors or in one area.
* Keep children quiet and in one area.
* Keep radio, stereo or TV on low volume.
* Keep money and other valuable items out of sight.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance protects the named insured against loss because of
defects, liens, encumbrances, adverse claims or other matters not
shown or disclosed to the new owner that attach before date of
What is a wood-destroying organism inspection report?
A wood-destroying organism inspection report is a written opinion
by a qualified state licensed structural pest control inspector
based upon what was visible and evident at the time of inspection.
The inspection report does not in any way represent or guarantee
the structure to be free from wood-destroying organisms or their
damage, nor does it represent or guarantee that the total damage
or infestation is limited to that disclosed in the report.
Wood-destroying organisms include subterranean termites, dampwood
termites, carpenter ants, wood boring beetles and wood decay
What are the hazards of lead-based paint?
All buyers and sellers are required by law to receive and read a
pamphlet outlining the hazards of lead-based paint for homes built
before 1978. Be sure to ask your real estate agent for a copy.
What are closing costs?
Closing costs are an accumulation of charges paid to different
entities associated with the buying and selling of real estate.
For sellers, they are usually about 9.5-10% of the total sales
price of a property. Some of the closing costs you might encounter
are: discount points, escrow fee, documentation fee, homeowners'
association fees, pest/rot inspection, real estate commission and
title insurance premium.
What is the difference between "pre-qualified" and
If a buyer is "pre-qualified" it has been determined, with a loan
officer, what price the buyer can afford based on the down
payment, debts and the amount the mortgage company will approve
for the mortgage. Being "pre-qualified" is only a determination of
probable credit. If "pre-approved", credit, employment and funds
have been approved by the lender.
What should a home
Every inspection should include, but not be limited to, an
evaluation of the following:
3. Heating and air conditioning systems
5. Common areas (for condominiums)
6. Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines*
8. Plumbing and electrical systems
9. Ceiling, walls and floors
11. Hazardous materials concerns*
* There may be an additional fee for this.
What property details are
usually included by Listing Services?
Usually, properties listed will include the following details:
* Annual property tax
* Current financing (when assumable)
* Listing company
What pages are generally included in the Purchase and Sales
* Agency Disclosure
* Financing Addendum/Clause
* Earnest Money Receipt
* Conditions/Disclosures Addendum
* Addendum Outlining Special Conditions
* Lead-Base Paint Notification
* Property Disclosure Form (completed by Sellers)
What is the difference between a REALTORŪ & Real Estate Agent?
REALTORŪ identifies real estate professionals who are members of
the National Association of REALTORSŪ and subscribe to its strict
Code of Ethics. Not every real estate agent is a REALTORŪ. A
REALTORŪ may be an appraiser, property manager or involved in some
other aspect of the real estate business.