A Guide to Selling Your Home
Home sellers should be familiar with the information provided in each of the following steps in this Guide to Selling Your Home in order to maximize the home’s value and reduce the chance of any legal liability related to the transaction.
Because of the unique nature of every transaction and every location, not every issue can be addressed. But, the information in our Sellers Guide should provide a good starting point for the most common situations that may arise.
Avoid Common Seller Mistakes
With so many options available and so much conflicting advice, it may be helpful for those considering selling their home to consider some of the most common mistakes of made by homeowners and even inexperienced real estate agents, such as improper pricing.
Improving and Staging
There are three typical categories of home improvements that should be considered when you want to sell your home: remodeling projects which can be as extensive as you allow them to be; general home maintenance and cleanliness; and staging the home for presentation.
Choosing a List Price – Determining Fair Market Value
Properties priced within the right range generate more showings and offers. If your home is priced too high, it is uncompetitive and will take longer to sell. Lowering your price over time can make buyers wary as to why it hasn’t sold and why it has been on the market for so long.
Options in Selling Your Home – Broker vs. FSBO
Educate yourself on the distinct advantages and disadvantages of selling your home "FIZBO" (For Sale By Owner), without professional representation.
Understanding Applicable Laws
When selling real estate, you are obligated to follow Local, State and Federal "mandatory disclosure" laws. The bottom line of these laws is the disclosure of any defects the property has that you, the homeowner, are aware of.
Marketing and Advertising
It’s important to sit down with your REALTOR® and go over every offer. A professional agent will take time to explain what every clause will mean to you. They are also skilled negotiators, who can often respond to an unacceptable offer with a counter-offer that includes a better price and/or fewer conditions.
Settlement and Closing
Before settlement, you will receive a HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This summarizes the fees that comprise your closing costs, what is assigned to the buyer, and what is assigned to the seller.
Real Estate purchase contracts in Maryland stipulate that the home is to be "broom clean," meaning the seller should at least sweep the floor and brush down the walls and ceiling. The language in some of these contracts is often vague. To determine exactly how clean you are contractually bound upon vacating, you should read your purchase contract and/or speak with your Real Estate agent.