As a seller, there are many things to get excited about: moving to your forever home, moving to a new state, moving for a new job or new love. These are considered positive stresses. Moving because of a divorce, family needs across the country, or because you lost a job can carry many negative stresses. BUT, the best way to sell your home, regardless of the situation, positive or negative, is to be prepared. Let's take a look at a typical Seller's Checklist. Getting your "ducks in a row" will take some of the stress out of the formula.
1. HOA Documentation: If you are selling a home that is under the jurisdiction of a HOA (Home Owner's Association), then have those needed documents on hand. Typically when you purchase a home in an HOA, those documents are provided to you (often times you paid for them), so find them, put them in a binder, and have them ready for when you want to sell your house.
2. Property Deed: Your property deed is the physical document that passes those ownership rights from seller to buyer and is usually recorded with the courthouse or assessor’s office. Having proof that you actually own the property and have the right to sell it is extremely valuable when getting ready to sell.
3. Utility Bills: Providing a list of the last 12 months of your utility bills to potential buyers is a smart thing to do. When buyers are considering making an offer on your home, they are also calculating every monthly fee and consider that when making an offer. Providing this information allows buyers to factor in what their monthly electric, gas, water, and sewage bills may look like.
4. Mortgage Documents: It's important to have these documents on hand so you know exactly what you still owe on your home. This will help you figure out your own finances when deciding on a bottom-line price.
5. Property Survey: Most lenders will accept a survey that is between 5-10 years old. Check to see the year of your home survey. If you know that you have added physical structures to your property, put up a fence, or added a pool, make sure your current survey shows that you built within your property lines. This will help answer questions and concerns when buyers are considering your property and ensure there are no property violations, which can cause a deal to fall apart.
6. Title Report: A title report is a document that outlines the legal status of a property and related information on its ownership. By providing this documentation, the buyer can be assured that you have the right to sell the property to them.
7. Home Improvements and Repair Records: Keeping an on-going list of improvements and repairs you made on your home will be extremely handy when it comes time to sell. Placing all the documents in a binder not only is helpful for you as a home owner, but being able to pass that information on to a new buyer is priceless. Questions will come up on the age of the roof, the company that installed the windows or the color of the paint on your walls. The more information you can provide, the more desirable your house becomes. Sites like "Just Measuring Up" is just one of many options you can turn to to help you keep improvements and repairs organized.
8. Appraisal or Valuation Reports:
Depending on the state of the current market, it is sometimes helpful for sellers to have their house appraised before placing it on the market. This will ensure potential buyers that they are paying a fair price for your home. When it's a buyer's market (more houses than buyers), buyers want to make sure they are getting a home for the best price possible.
9. Warranties and Manuals: Having these on hand makes your home more appealing to buyers. If you bought new appliances, had a fence installed or had your roof replaced, having the documentation for these improvements is important. Many warranties that are provided with the purchases or work come with a warranty and you want to be able to pass those warranties over to the new buyer, when possible. By sharing model numbers, year work was completed, the sales receipts, company names and contact person - you are adding value to your home.
10. Disclosure Statements: Also known as Seller's Disclosure, this is a required document for a seller to provide the buyer. It's important to complete a seller's disclosure with the most accurate information you can provide. Some companies, like Seller's Shield charge a small fee to add an "insurance" to the document stating that the sellers are accurately disclosing information about the home they are selling.
11. Lease Agreement: If you are selling a home that you are renting, then it is important to have the lease agreement on had for potential buyers. Some lease agreements terminate with the sale of a home, but most lease agreements go to the end of the lease agreement between you, the current owner and the leasee. Buyers will want to see the terms of the rental agreement when considering buying your home.
12. Inspection Report: Sometimes getting your home inspected before you list is advisable. It gives you, as the seller, a chance to fix issues before listing and it lets buyers know what items may need to be repaired. It may sound like a bad idea to present to buyers what's wrong with your home, but when they get their own inspection done, they will find out anyway. If you decide to repair any issues that are discovered, those issues will not show up in the inspection report the buyer orders and you can boast about the current repairs that were recently completed.