10 Things to Do Before You List Your House for Sale

posted by Judith Ellenthal January 16, 2020
Real Estate Law - Before Listing [Blog]

Team up with an attorney experienced in real estate law – even before you list your home.

In a competitive real estate market, doing your homework before listing your home can increase your odds of making a sale. Real estate transactions can be the largest financial decision you make, so it’s critical to get guidance from professionals experienced in real estate law and market trends.

Ten steps to take before you list your home:

1. Attend open houses in your neighborhood. Check out your competition to see how other houses show and get a benchmark of your home’s value.

2. Declutter. You’ll need to do it before your move, so start making your house look better now. If needed, rent a storage locker.

3. Interview attorneys specializing in real estate law. Set expectations by discussing exactly what each attorney will do on your behalf. Many firms offer a free initial consultation.

4. Interview real estate brokers. Get a sense of how each broker plans to market your home, from pricing for today’s market to maximizing reach through online marketing. 

5. Hire a home inspector. Ordering your own home inspection report allows you to make informed choices during negotiation, and can help your sale progress faster. 

6. Decide what to repair. Fix anything that’s not up to code now, so it doesn’t derail your sale later. Discuss other items with your attorney and broker and call repair companies for quotes, if needed.

7. Review the Residential Disclosure Form with your attorney. This form becomes legally binding and includes disclosure of easements – so make sure you consult with your attorney first.

8. Order a title and municipal search. Your attorney can order the searches and can help identify any potential title or municipal issues. 

9. Resolve any title issues. If unreleased mortgages are found on the land records, your attorney can obtain a release so you have a clear title.

10. Close any open building permits. If permits were not closed by contractors, your attorney can work with you and your municipal code office to resolve any issues. 

It can take time to get prepared, declutter, schedule repairs and resolve potential title or permit issues – so get ahead of the curve by starting now. By completing these ten steps before you start the clock on a real estate listing, you can pave the way to a smoother and quicker transaction.

Learn more about Judith Ellenthal and the Real Estate Practice Group at Cacace, Tusch & Santagata.

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