For Sale By Owner. I’m going to sell it myself.
I understand that you are considering, or in the process of, selling your home by yourself. Good luck with that. I commend you for your ambition. I have attached some information that hopefully will help you with the process.
The following page is an excerpt from my marketing plan, which I use when I represent sellers as their Realtor. Hopefully you can get some ideas from this about marketing your own property.
The paragraphs following that are some things that you will need to consider as you move forward in the process. These steps represent some of the items that I take care of for my clients in the normal course of business. But, since you are doing it yourself, you should probably do some research on them now.
You may be going to the hardware store to get a lockbox so that prospective buyers will have easier access. Please read my lockbox security page here so that you are prepared.
I am providing this information for you so that you can see what needs to get done, and, in the event that you decide to eventually hire a Realtor, you will give me the opportunity to represent you when and if that happens.
In the meantime, if you would like to discuss any of the material that I sent, call me. I would be happy to help.
THE OFFER, or GETTING TO “UNDER CONTRACT”
OK, you have an offer. Excited? You bet, but be careful. The State of Colorado Contract To Buy And Sell Real Estate is 18 pages of “legalese”, and, if prepared by an agent representing the buyer, will probably be heavily weighted in favor of the buyer, and will probably only give you a very brief acceptance period in hopes that you will rush into a “Yes, I accept” answer.
Also, if the offer was made by an investor it will probably be a low-ball offer, since investors love to prey on unrepresented sellers. They consider you easy prey, or easy to take advantage of.
So now it’s decision time. Do you accept the offer as written? Do you reject the offer? Or do you make a counter-offer? And what terms of the offer can you change? And do you know exactly how to make a valid counter-offer, without accidentally accepting the first offer.
Notice that I haven’t said anything about price. How did you establish your sales price? Zillow? If so, read the fine print on their Zestimates. They can be off by as much as 25%.
YOU’RE UNDER CONTRACT. NOW WHAT?
Earnest Money. You did get earnest money didn’t you? And what do you do with it? Bank it? No, it’s still not yours to keep. Escrow it? Yes.
Lead-based paint. Penalties for failure to comply with Federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Laws include treble (3 times) damages, attorney fees, costs, and a base penalty up to $11,000 (plus adjustment for inflation). The current penalty is up to $16,000 for each violation.
Sellers Property Disclosure. Colorado requires full disclosure of all known issues, whether latent or visible.
Source of Water Addendum
Square Footage Disclosure
Mold Disclosure. Not required, but a good idea.
Common Interest Community (HOA) Documents
- You will need to engage a Title Company to prepare for the Closing. They will do research to make certain that you can convey a clear Title. Title also contacts the appropriate agencies, coordinates activity with the buyer’s lender, and makes certain that all documents are appropriately recorded with the county.
- The buyer will want to do an inspection, and has the right to do so.
Inspection Objection. The buyer can ask you to correct any deficiencies found in the inspection. This could be a make or break moment in the transaction. This is where some negotiating skill will come in handy.
Inspection Resolution. The resolution of the inspection objections will need to be disclosed to the buyer’s lender so as to avoid the appearance of loan fraud.
- The buyer’s lender will order an appraisal of the property.
Appraisal Objection. It is very possible that the appraisal could come in lower than the proposed purchase price. You may be asked at this point to revise the purchase price downward.
FINALLY, THE CLOSING
This is where you finally get paid. Not much to worry about here, unless you or the buyer is not a legal resident of the United States, or you are moving out of Colorado. Then there are some other things to comply with.
I hope this has been of value to you. Selling a home can be a very tricky proposition if not handled properly. If you would like some professional assistance with your home sale, please call me.
Or start with getting an estimate of market value.
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