Overview of the Buying & Selling Process

1 Considers purchasing a home
2 Selects a real estate agent
3 Determines needs and wants
4 Discusses financial issues
5 Views & researches target homes
6 Makes an offer to buy

1 Decides to sell property
2 Selects a real estate agent
3 Determines needs
4 Prepares home for marketing
5 Agent markets the home
6 Accepts, rejects or counters offer

7 Offer Accepted

8 Loan Application
9 Inspections
10 Title Search
11 Appraisal
12 Loan Approval

13 Closing Papers Signed
14 Documents Recorded
15 Funds Available To Seller

16 Seller Moves Out
17 Buyer Moves In

Back to the Top

Preparing your home through the eyes of a buyer

The effort put into repairing and cleaning your property is likely to be returned in a fast sale at an attractive price.

As buyers approach your property the first time, impressions are formed quickly.
Paint house – this can do more for sales appeal than any other factor.
Yard – Remove all toys, garbage, garden tools and other items from view.
Mow lawn and keep edged.
Close garage doors.
Put colorful flowers in front of house.
Often, while waiting to be let in, the first thing a buyer looks at closely is the front door.

Put new paint on the front door.
Buy a new door mat.
Buyers take a close look at the basement of a home. They will look for bad wiring, leaky pipes and signs of decay.
Clean out basement and dispose of everything you are not going to move.
Ensure that there is plenty of lighting.
Sweep or vacuum floor.
Stack items neatly against walls.
The kitchen is often the most important room in the house. Make it bright and attractive.

Put a vase of fresh flowers on the table.
Replace curtains or clean existing ones.
Remove appliances from counters.
Create a pleasant fragrance in the kitchen (i.e. vanilla, cinnamon).
It is important that bathrooms are clean, bright and smell fresh.

Install a new shower curtain and replace worn throw rugs.
Polish all fixtures.
Open windows.
Hang bright, fresh towels.
Remove stains from toilets and bathtubs.
Use air freshener.
Display colorful soaps.
The living room

Clean out the fireplace and place logs in it.
Polish all woodwork.
Put big furniture in storage so rooms are not cluttered or crowded.
Back to the Top

Repair & Cleaning Checklist
Front Door:
Newly painted
Doorbell operating
Door brass polished
Hinges oiled
Exterior of House:
House recently painted
Gutters recently cleaned
Exterior lights operating
Missing shingles replaced
Moss removed from roof
Window trims painted
Windows operating freely
Cracked windowpanes replaced
Windows washed
Potholes patched
Recently sealed
Wood stained or painted
Fencing secure
Lawn in good condition
Grass mowed
Edges trimmed
Dead branches pruned
Dead shrubs replaced
Overgrown shrubs pruned
Entry lights operating
Floors cleaned
Closet cleaned
Closet light operating
Living Room:
Recently painted
Cracks in ceiling/walls repaired
Leaks repaired & watermarks covered
Wallpaper secured
Woodwork repainted
Curtains/drapes/blinds cleaned
Drapes/blinds opened
Carpets cleaned
Furniture positioned to show space
Sink free of stains
No dripping faucets
Appliances in good working order
Walls, cabinets free of stains
Countertops cleared and cleaned
Pantry neatly arranged
Pantry hardware replaced
Refrigerator defrosted

Family Room:
Cracks in ceiling/walls repaired
Leaks repaired & watermarks covered
Wallpaper secured
Woodwork repainted
Windows washed
Curtains/drapes/blinds cleaned
Windows operating freely
Drapes/blinds opened
Carpets cleaned
Hobby supplies put away
Cracks in ceiling/walls repaired
Leaks repaired & watermarks covered
Wallpaper secured
Woodwork repaired
Windows washed
Curtains/drapes/blinds cleaned
Floor waxed/refinished
Carpets cleaned
Beds made
Laundry put away
Floor free from clutter
Cracks in ceiling/walls repaired
No evidence of water penetration
Dampness removed
Cold water pipes covered
Dehumidifier installed
Sump pump installed
No musty odors
Drains cleared
Furnace cleaned
Storage neatly arranged
Excess storage removed
Floor swept
Light fixtures operating
Handrail secure
Stairway runner secure
Dining Room:
Cracks in ceiling/walls repaired
Leaks repaired & watermarks covered
Wallpaper secured
Woodwork repaired
Windows washed
Drapes/blinds open to view
Floor waxed/refinished
Carpets cleaned
Sink stains removed
Leaky faucets repaired
Grouting stains removed
All joints caulked
Missing tiles replaced
All fixtures operating
Floors cleaned
New shower curtain
All supplies stored
Guest towels
Back to the Top

Possible work orders
The following is a list of some possible work orders. The work orders must be completed prior to closing and the seller is responsible for having them done. Check with your local authorities for specific requirements.

The following conditions may require a work order:

Broken windows.
Debris in crawl space.
Dry rot or deteriorated wood.
Earth-wood contact.
Overgrown shrubbery.
Electrical not in working condition.
Gutters and downspouts blocked or missing.
A hot water tank without a 3/4″ discharge line.
Inadequate foundation ventilation.
Inadequate attic ventilation.
Less than four feet of waterproof material around tub enclosures (tile, formica, etc.).
Less than 18″ clearance between soil and floor joists under entire house.
Peeling or missing paint.
Plumbing not in working condition.
Single oil or gas space heaters to heat entire house.
Water damage inside home.
You might have to:

Paint the exterior and interior if in bad condition.
Hook up to public water or sewer if available.
Get county certification if home is on septic or well.
Remove unused oil tanks or fill with cement-slurry or polyurethane foam.
Other items to remember:

Inspectors will need access to the attic.
Leased equipment cannot be included in the sale (i.e. hot water tank, alarm system, etc.).
All assessments must be paid.
Joint maintenance agreements will be required for common road easements for maintenance on home where property line is within 3′ of structure.
* Check with local authorities for specific requirements.

Back to the Top
While your house is being shown
Before Your House Is Shown

Tag or remove items not included in sale (i.e. water conditioner, chandeliers, plants, drapes).
Open shades and curtains to let in light.
Turn on enough lights so home is well-lit during showing.
At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting.
Tidy all the rooms. Neatness makes a room easier to view.
Clean dirty dishes in the sink and put away any dishes on counter.
Keep toys in the children’s rooms.
Put away items in the yard such as bicycles, gardening tools and skateboards.
If fall or winter, light a fire in the fireplace.
While Your House Is Being Shown

When possible, leave while the property is shown. If not, remain in an area not being shown by the sales associate.
Let the real estate expert show your house. Answer questions candidly when asked, but avoid questioning potential buyers.
Refer inquiries about seeing your house to your Realtor to take advantage of the agent’s professional skills in selling your home.
Don’t mention items you wish to dispose of unless asked.
It is best to be away when your agent is holding an open house.
Keep pets outdoors or in one area.
Keep children quiet and in one area.
Keep radio, stereo or TV on low volume.
Keep money and other valuable items out of sight.
Back to the Top

Answers to frequently asked questions
What is title insurance?
Title insurance protects the named insured against loss because of defects, liens, encumbrances, adverse claims or other matters not shown or disclosed to the new owner that attach before date of policy.

What is a wood-destroying organism inspection report?
A wood-destroying organism inspection report is a written opinion by a qualified state licensed structural pest control inspector based upon what was visible and evident at the time of inspection. The inspection report does not in any way represent or guarantee the structure to be free from wood-destroying organisms or their damage, nor does it represent or guarantee that the total damage or infestation is limited to that disclosed in the report. Wood-destroying organisms include subterranean termites, dampwood termites, carpenter ants, wood boring beetles and wood decay fungus.

What are the hazards of lead-based paint?
All buyers and sellers are required by law to receive and read a pamphlet outlining the hazards of lead-based paint for homes built before 1978. Be sure to ask your real estate agent for a copy.

What are closing costs?
Closing costs are an accumulation of charges paid to different entities associated with the buying and selling of real estate. For sellers, they are usually about 9.5-10% of the total sales price of a property. Some of the closing costs you might encounter are: discount points, escrow fee, documentation fee, homeowners’ association fees, pest/rot inspection, real estate commission and title insurance premium.

What is the difference between “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved”?
If a buyer is “pre-qualified” it has been determined, with a loan officer, what price the buyer can afford based on the down payment, debts and the amount the mortgage company will approve for the mortgage. Being “pre-qualified” is only a determination of probable credit. If “pre-approved”, credit, employment and funds have been approved by the lender.

What should a home inspection include?
Every inspection should include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the following:

1. Foundations
2. Roof
3. Heating and air conditioning systems
4. Ventilation
5. Common areas (for condominiums)
6. Septic tanks, wells or sewer lines*
7. Insulation
8. Plumbing and electrical systems
9. Ceiling, walls and floors
10. Doors
11. Hazardous materials concerns*
* There may be an additional fee for this.

What property details are usually included by Listing Services?
Usually, properties listed will include the following details:

Annual property tax
Current financing (when assumable)
Listing company
What pages are generally included in the Purchase and Sales Agreement?

Agency Disclosure
Financing Addendum/Clause
Earnest Money Receipt
Conditions/Disclosures Addendum
Addendum Outlining Special Conditions
Lead-Base Paint Notification
Property Disclosure Form (completed by Sellers)
What is the difference between a REALTOR® & Real Estate Agent?
REALTOR® identifies real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics. Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® may be an appraiser, property manager or involved in some other aspect of the real estate business.

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Linkedin