Home Sellerâ€™s Guide
39 King Street Chappaqua, N.Y. 10514 914.238.2090
2 Croton Point Avenue Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. 10520 914.271.5115
Selling your Home Now you’re ready to sell you home. A North Country Sotheby’s International Realty agent can give you the personal and professional attention to make the sale of your home easier. Our thorough knowledge of the marketplace assures that you will sell your home at the right price in the shortest amount of time. New York State Disclosure Law. The Secretary of State has mandated that you have rights in the type of agency representation you receive. Any agent that you work with must review and explain agency relationships prior to representing you. How does North Country Sotheby’s International Realty help you price your home to sell ? The MARKET determines the PRICE…not how much you paid for your house...not how much you put into renovations…not how much you need for your next step…not how much a neighbor, a friend or family member tells you it is worth. Our agents preview hundreds of homes every month during Broker Open House Tours and have years of training in doing Competitive Market Analysis. With this knowledge our agents can assist you in setting the right price on your home so that it will sell in the least amount of time at the best price. Getting your home ready to sell. HERE ARE THE KEY STEPS: DECLUTTER, DE-PERSONALIZE, AND STREAMLINE. You may need to get a storage room or storage Pod for your extra belongings and excess furniture. Think of this stage as preparation for the move. It’s essential. Buyers should see the house’s bones, not your years of accumulated personal effects. You want the buyers to be able to see themselves and their furniture in your space. Nothing makes a house seem smaller than having every surface stacked with books, photos, papers, etc. A general rule to follow is no more than one or two decorative items on surfaces. Leave lots of room between furniture pieces. This also means clearing out the basement, garage and attic. Items no longer in use should go in the trash, to Goodwill or recycling. Organize what is left and keep clean. Closets are often ignored. A lot can be accomplished by washing smudge marks off walls, doors and floors and using specialty products to spruce up wood cabinets and floors. Potential buyers do open closets. You want them to be neat and reasonably organized. Clothes shouldn’t be cramped. The doors should close without difficulty. For more in-depth information on selling your home please contact one of North Country Sotheby’s International Realty’s licensed agents.
Receiving an Offer You have received an offer on your home. Making an offer involves much more than just a dollar value. Your offer should include the following: • Price • Financing Terms • Date of Occupancy • Inclusions and Exclusions • Inspections Mortgage contingency. If your buyers need a mortgage to enable them to purchase, they will ask for the contract to be contingent on their ability to obtain a loan. Date of occupancy. This is an important date to establish between the buyer and seller. It is the target closing date. Inclusions and exclusions. All property and fixtures that are included or excluded in the sale should be clearly spelled out. The acceptable offer and what it means. When the offer has been accepted it does not guarantee that you have a non-contingent sale. We will continue to show the home until contracts are fully executed. Should a higher offer be submitted, you have the right to accept it. Therefore, it is incumbent on the buyer to act quickly. Inspections should be scheduled as soon as possible and a contract signed in a timely manner. When the contract is signed by both the buyer and seller, the contract is binding. It should be noted that contracts may contain many different and varying terms. North Country Sotheby’s International Realty does not provide legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to advise you on specific terms of your contract and your legal rights. The buyer is advised to personally verify all important information such as taxes, square footage, property size, maintenance or common charges and any other information that would be of concern prior to signing a contract.
The Inspection Process Engineering. This inspection covers the major structural elements of the home and any outbuildings as well as home systems including heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems. Pests. Although commonly referred to as the "termite" inspection, this should cover all wood destructive insects. Inspections will be made of the home and all outbuildings. The buyer’s report should contain a certification of non-infestation and/or a report of any damage and recommended treatment. Water. If there is a well on the property, laboratory analysis of the water is needed to assure you of its potability. Tests should also be performed to determine the capacity of the well. As of November 19, 2007, Westchester County, under the Private Well-Water Testing Law, requires sellers and landlords conduct a well water test to identify substances which will affect the quality of drinking water, promptly after the execution of a contract. See www.westchestergov.com/health. Radon. Radon is an invisible, odorless and slightly radioactive gas that may seep into a house from the surrounding soil. After long exposure, high levels of radon have been found to be a health hazard. In most cases, if radon is found, a mitigation system can be installed to correct the situation. For further information, please visit www.epa.gov/radon. Asbestos. This is a mineral fiber that was once used for insulation and fire protection. Fibers released into the air may be hazardous to one’s health. Asbestos in good condition may not need to be removed but instead, covered and sealed. Any asbestos work must be done by a licensed contractor, and an air test should be provided to the buyer ascertaining proper levels. For further information, please visit www.epa.gov/asbestos. Oil Tanks. In-ground oil tanks and the surrounding soil are subjected to testing for leakage. Lead Paint. Paint chips and dust from deteriorating lead paint are toxic and can be poisonous when the particles are inhaled or ingested. Reliable and quick detection is necessary. In the case of houses built before 1978, the buyer must, by law, be presented with a lead disclosure booklet and sign an acknowledgement that they have received the booklet. Additionally, buyers and sellers must sign the disclosure acknowledging whether the seller has any information as to lead paint and whether the buyer intends to test for its presence. For further information, please visit www.epa.gov/lead. Septic. Most engineers will not perform a detailed inspection of the septic other than a standard dye test. A specialist should be contacted to determine the condition of the system.
Contract of Sale You have come to an agreement on an offer! Congratulations! What happens next? 1. If you have not retained an attorney to represent you, now is the time to do so. 2. The listing broker sends a memorandum of agreement to you, the buyer’s agent, the buyer’s attorney and your attorney. 3. Your attorney usually prepares the contract of sale and sends the proposed contract to the buyer’s attorney. 4. The buyer’s attorney will review the contract and discuss modifications, if any, with the buyer and your attorney. 5. The buyers will sign the contract. The buyer’s attorney will then forward the contact with the buyer’s down payment check, to your attorney. 6. The customary down payment upon contract is 10% of the purchase price. It is usually held in the seller’s attorney escrow account until closing. 7. You will then sign the contract and your attorney will return a fully executed copy to the buyer’s attorney. Once delivered, a fully executed binding contract exists. Prior to closing. you will satisfy any contingencies that remain in the contract, such as items that were discovered in the inspection that you agreed to fix prior to closing.
The Closing This is the day you have been waiting for. At the closing you complete the sale of your home as the title to the property is legally passed from you to the buyer. Prior to the closing. Your attorney will schedule the date, time, and location of your closing with the agreement of the buyer’s attorney, lender’s attorney and title company. Your attorney will advise you of the documents necessary to close and check with your bank for the final balance to pay off your mortgage. He or she will prepare a list of closing costs. The buyer’s will request a final walk-through of the property just prior to the closing to assure that it is in satisfactory condition. All your personal items should be removed and the house should be broom clean. Who will be at the closing? You and your attorney, the buyers and the buyer’s attorney, the lender’s attorney and the title closer will be present at the closing. The realtors involved in the transaction usually attend as well.
What happens at the closing? The attorneys and the title closer will review all documents and agree on the calculation of adjustments at or prior to the closing. It is the responsibility of the title closer to assure all parties of clear title to the property: that any mortgages, liens, and judgments presently on the property have been satisfied; that all taxes have been paid to date; that there are no violations on the property; and that a Certificate of Occupancy has been issued. When all necessary documents have been signed, all adjustments made and you have received your proceeds, the deed and any other required documents are given to the title closer to file at the County Clerk’s office. Congratulations. The sale of your home is accomplished! No other firm has the wealth of knowledge and years of experience to help you either buy or sell a home. Call us for a consultation. We welcome the opportunity to work with you.