There are few decisions more financially and materially significant than buying or selling a house. If you’re selling a house, every choice you make could impact the sale price, and either create or prevent legal problems down the road. An experienced real estate attorney can help you anticipate problems, minimize risk, and maximize your selling price. Before you consult an attorney, you might want to prepare by taking these five tips for selling a house
Getting Ready To Sell
- Select a realtor you can trust. You’re going to be working closely with your realtor. Because the realtor will take a percentage of the sale price (usually six or seven percent), the realtor will want to get the sale price of your home as high as reasonably possible. But you need to select the realtor interested in you, and not just a final sale price. If a realtor can’t give answers to your questions or doesn’t respond quickly to communications, you need to find someone else.
- Know the market. Your realtor should be able to give you information on recent comparable sales. That way you can set an appropriate sale price, and minimize the time your home is on the market.
- Gather important documents. Before you sell a house, you’ll need the title search, survey, property tax receipts, and mortgage statements. You’ll also want to give your realtor a year’s worth of utility bills and any other related information – it’s best to be above-board and provide this at open houses.
- Take time out for repairs. You don’t need to remodel a kitchen or add an addition before you sell a house, but you should take a hard look and consider making cosmetic improvements. Perhaps a wall needs a new coat of paint, a stone tile in the patio is missing, or there’s a leaky faucet. Draw up a list and then tackle these things to add “curb appeal” and maximize perceived value.
- Understand the legal side of the sale. Your sale will involve a contract – a legal document. You may want to speak with an attorney specializing in real estate, who can answer your questions, help you come to a better understanding of the legal side of the transaction, and help insulate you from any problems that could arise after the sale.
We’re Here To Help
Richard H. Cole of Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner, & Gambino, P.C. is a real estate attorney with over 20 years of experience serving clients in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas. He would be happy to answer your questions about the process and help you plan to sell – or buy – a home. Contact him today to set up a legal consultation.