selling your home

Closing Checklist … Items You’ll Need at Your Closing

Closing Checklist … Items You’ll Need at Your Closing

Okay, so now you’ve bought/sold a house and the closing is happening soon.

If it’s your first time or your first time in a long while here’s a quick primer.

If you bring the following, you should have everything you need.

  • New Deed drawn up by your attorney. (sellers)
  • Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide certificate of compliance (sellers)
  • Title V certificate of compliance (if serviced by private sewer) (sellers)
  • Final water/sewer bill, stamped paid in full (if municipal service not serviced by well) (sellers)
  • Keys and garage door openers ( leave duplicates in a drawer in the house) (sellers)
  • Copies of any paid bills or affidavits required for work done after home inspection issues were negotiated. (sellers)
  • Instruction booklets, receipts, builder drawings and anything else you have that the buyer could find very useful after moving in to your home (leave them in a drawer in the house). (sellers)
  • Copy of receipt or statement for fuel oil in the oil tank and/or propane in the propane tank (if applicable) (sellers)
  • Driver’s license or another form of personal identification. (sellers & buyers)
  • Your personal checkbook for miscellaneous items and/or adjustments. (sellers & buyers)
  • Certified check or cashier’s check drawn in Buyer’s name or whatever the conveying attorney specifies for the difference between the sale price of the property and the amount of the mortgage less any deposit already made. The final amount will be spelled-out in detail on the form known as the HUD1. (buyers)
  • At the closing, the bank may require 2-3 months tax payment (to be held in Escrow by the Bank); PMI when applicable will be collected for the first year. The exact amount can be obtained from the mortgaging bank prior to the closing; it will be spelled-out in detail on the  HUD1. (buyers)
  • Additional fees can be paid with cash or personal checks. The exact amount can be obtained from the bank’s attorney prior to or at the closing. (buyers)
  • Personal property of the sellers can be paid with cash or personal checks. (buyers)
  • Remaining fuel oil in the oil tank (if applicable) can be paid with cash or personal checks. (buyers)
  • Paid insurance policy or binder for the new property (whichever the conveying attorney specifies) in an amount equal to the amount of the mortgage. Ask your insurance agent for advice on this matter. (buyers)
Sellers & Buyers Negotiate … Agents Advise

Sellers & Buyers Negotiate … Agents Advise

The ability to negotiate successfully is crucial not only for successful real estate transactions, but also for daily life events in general. As your agent my job is to advise and counsel you and present your offer/counter offer in the absolute best way possible, but you are the only one who can negotiate in a real estate transaction … it’s your money and your choice what to do with it.

Here are some general guidelines:

Challenge the ideas that are presented to you

Negotiating requires you to be assertive and question what you are being told. If you disagree with someone regarding the price, value or condition, speak your mind. Of course, be sure to do so diplomatically.

Become a good listener

Listening carefully and critically thinking about what you are being told can prevent a considerable amount of confusion and ensure that the negotiations run smoothly.

Be prepared

If you’re buying, what exactly does the property have that could take away from its value? What is community like? What is the average selling price in the neighborhood? If you’re selling, know your property extremely well; you cannot allow yourself to be taken aback by what a prospective buyer might say.

Aim high

If you’re selling, try marking the price of your home about 5% above what you would actually want. This will leave you some negotiating space to come down. If you’re a buyer, offer a price that is lower than what you normally would; enter negotiations with the optimistic attitude that the seller will come down.

Just a little patience

Relax. This could take a while.

Be diplomatic

Because negotiations may be a long and tedious process, it can be very easy to get irritated. Getting frustrated with negotiations that seem to be going nowhere will only perpetuate any difficulties you may be having, and may even result in an end to all talks. Keep your cool.

Be aggressive

While you don’t want to be hostile, you do want to be assertive and dominate negotiations. When negotiating with the prospective buyer or seller’s agent, be sure to try to take control of the negotiations. Talk with a strong and confident voice, and be sure to have responses for any potential arguments that may be thrown your way.

Don’t get nothing for something.

Whenever you agree to give something, be sure to get something in exchange. For example, if you are the seller and you agree to lower the price, you may want to hold back on any additional goods that you may have initially been willing to give away (like furniture).

Always give the appearance of being willing to walk away

Even if you are in love with the property as a buyer or are dying to sell as the owner, never reveal your desperation. Always give the impression that you will be willing to walk away.

Time is on your side

It’s most likely that you and the other party are eager and pressured to resolve the transaction. Acting calm and under control, in addition to taking time to think rationally, will help you in the long run. In short, just think before you speak.

6 Common Selling Mistakes That Could Lose You Money

6 Common Selling Mistakes That Could Lose You Money

Overpricing and waiting too long for reductions.  You’ve contacted a realtor to list your home and they give you prices of comparable homes’ selling prices. You’re not in a rush, so why not list your house at the high end, or even more? I’ve heard this many times before … and your rationale is almost always one of these three:  it only takes one buyer who is willing to pay more;  your house really is nicer than those “comps” probably were; or if someone really wants your house, they’ll be willing to pay a little more to get it. And of course, you can always lower the price at some point.

Well, there are many reasons why your realtor is not doing you any favor by pricing your house high for the market. Buyers are doing lots of looking and comparison-shopping these days, and quickly gain the ability to gauge a house’s market value. Remember, they are not looking at your home in a vacuum. Pricing your house too high only helps your competition sell. The longer your house is on the market, even if you do start reducing the price, buyers view it as “stale” and wonder why no one else wanted it. Even the best marketing strategies won’t sell a house that is priced unrealistically high.

Trying to pick the ideal time to market your home . Here are some need to know points about market timing:

The best month to make an offer on a house is January.

The best day of the month to make an offer on a house is the first Tuesday.

The best time of the year to sell a house is the Spring.

The best day of the week to list your house for sale is Thursday.

Forgetting that everything is negotiable.  The words, “I have an offer for you” from your realtor are music to your ears – that is, until you hear the number following the dollar sign, and (gasp!) the conditions that accompany it. Before you panic, remember that buyers assume that their offer is a first step in a back and forth dance between buyer and seller. Try not to personalize the issues – the buyers have never even met you, and this is, ultimately a business deal. It is important to work with your realtor who is used to the real estate negotiation process and with some patience and perhaps a little compromise a deal can be reached.

 Underestimating the importance of “Showing Condition” You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “curb appeal.” The same type of instant and overall impression occurs inside your home as well. You want your home to show as positively as possible, and that means the rooms should be as light, bright, and large as possible. One way to do that is to cut down on clutter or extra furniture that makes a room seems smaller than it is. The more uncluttered a room is, the more spacious it feels to a house hunter. Unfortunately, housekeeping counts too. The cleaner a home is it both makes a positive impression and creates an impression that the house has been well maintained. Many housecleaning companies offer a one time top-to-bottom cleaning for people putting their houses on the market. Sellers have said to me, “But they’re not buying the house furnished – they’ll be redoing it anyway,” or “They’re not hiring me as a housekeeper, so what do they care?” Although those are logical arguments, buyers tend to not be able to get past things that make an immediate negative impression. Also, many people do not have the “vision” to be able to see a room or house differently than it appears in front of them.

Staying Home During Showings.  Your instinct may be to be present during showings for any number of reasons: to assess the buyers’ reactions, to supervise, or to point out tiny details the showing agent may not know to mention. I can tell you in no uncertain terms from experience, both my own and that of my clients, that this is one of the worst things you can do. As a buyer, it is quite uncomfortable and leads to two common results: a quicker than normal walk through without paying attention to details and an unwillingness to ask questions or make comments that are part of their decision making process.

Not Listening to Feedback. Whenever you house is shown, the realtor will get feedback from the buyers (or their realtor) about what they liked about your house, and what shortcomings they may have perceived. There are some things you can do nothing about – for example, the fact that your backyard slopes steeply, the amount of traffic on your road, or that your house is next to a business building. Some things, however, you can change, and if a specific item comes up several times it is a good idea to address it. Buyers often assume that an area of your house that shows neglect or disrepair reflects on the same lack of attention to unseen areas. Your goal is to sell your house, not to win an argument defending why your side yard fence is unpainted and rotting.

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