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© 2018 by Barbara Campbell, REALTOR, Elkhart IN USA

You will also have to establish a clear legal right to sell your home.  That typically means that a deed has been recorded with the county indicating that you are the rightful owner of the property.  Deeds often list husband and wife; sometimes deeds list brothers, sisters, or other relatives; and sometimes they reference trusts or other business entities.  Yes, deeds can quickly become a complication, especially when several people are involved.  Fortunately, I've handled transactions with complicated titles, and I know how to find a way to sort through the complications.

Expect to spend a fair amount of time completing the "Owner's Disclosure."  It lists every key feature of a typical home, from garbage disposals to garage door openers, and asks you to say whether they're in working condition.  It's essential to be honest with your answers on the disclosure, because it is legally binding.  Fortunately, "Don't Know" is one of the answers.   

Other forms include:  

  • Our "Office Policy" - It's a form that explains the protections in place in case I or someone else in my office finds a buyer for your home.  You'll want to know that any confidential information relating to your property is safe.

  • Mortgage Information - If you have a mortgage, this gives the financing institution of the buyer to establish what your mortgage balance is.  

  • MLS Information - I actually fill this one out, capturing all the things I need to know to post your listing online, on MLS and the real estate web sites.  Among the things i need to know is your property tax bill, so plan on having that number handy.  

Yes, it's possible for all of the "paperwork" to be taken care of online, by email and e-signatures.  That's great if your schedule is busy, or if you (or other people with an interest in the property) aren't available.  More and more paperwork is being handled online, and there are safe, secure ways to do so.  

Step #5:  Making It Official:  
Listing Your Property

I'll bring the pens and the forms - Plan on meeting for an hour or more; typically your home is a good meeting place, because you may need to refer to documents you have on file there.  You will sign a Listing Agreement giving me authority to represent your home for sale.  I'll cover a long list of specifics about the timing, conditions, and items included in any offer.  

 

I will ask you about personal property - Things like appliances and furniture that aren't permanently attached to your house, but may be included in the sale.  Typically buyers assume they're entitled to everything they see when they tour your home, so you need to be clear about anything that isn't included in the sale.  

As we finalize the listing details we'll cover other details, including when and how you want to be notified when someone wants to see your home.  You'll provide me with copies of keys for all the doors we need to open (including garages, sheds, outbuildings, etc.), and I'll put an electronic lockbox on your front door.  I'll arrange to get pictures, measure rooms, and plant a sign in your front yard.   I'll have other questions, and it's likely you will too.  

Your Key Step - Listing Your Property:

Be ready to answer questions about the features and condition of your home; have tax and mortgage info available.

Homes include a wide range of property, materials, and mechanical systems.  

It's official!  With my sign in your front yard, and a lockbox on your door, your house is now "For Sale!"