Before you start this process, it’s good to be aware of a couple facts that you may not be aware of. For example, in some states such as Pennsylvania, legally speaking:
- You do not need a Real Estate Seller
- You do not need a Real Estate Lawyer
- You do not need a Title Company, but it is highly recommended.
IN PA, at the closing you will only need a Title Insurance Agent, and no one else (although you may decide to have a lawyer present).
Also, when it comes time to price your home and you have done your homework, if you know your house is worth what you are asking, stick to your guns and you will get your price!
It may take a little while, but if you can afford the time, stick to your price. Don’t just jump at the first offer (unless it’s what you are asking for or a little more)
A very important aspect of selling your home is disclosure. You must disclose any and all information about your house, within your knowledge and include all these facts in the PA seller disclosure Statement . For example, problems with liens, easement or physical problems such as a bad water heater, leaky roof, mold etc. It is very important that you disclose all of this information.
State law in Pennsylvania (68 Pennsylvania Statutes Section 7304) requires that sellers provide buyers with lots of information about the property’s physical condition (particularly any “material defects”), using a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement form established by the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission).
The standard form covers such concerns as:
- property contents, such as specific appliances, and whether or not they need repair or replacement
- availability of working smoke detectors
- defects in the electrical, plumbing, and other property systems
- any homeowners’ association fees or deed restrictions
- other specified property details, such as the type of sewage system, when the roof shingles were replaced
- whether the seller made structural additions to the property
- if you’re buying a house that was built before 1978, the seller must comply with federal Title X disclosures regarding lead-based paint and hazards. See the lead disclosure section of the EPA’s website for details.
- …and much more
Steps to Selling Your Home
Determine the fair market value of your home
Prepare the home for sale
Market the home for sale
Negotiate the sale
Handle the closing
The closing on a house is an entirely legal affair. That means there is a specific process, and it will be handled either by closing attorney or the title agent. Once you decide who this party will be, they will provide you with the required procedures.
Most of the closing work will be done by the closing agent. But you may be called upon to provide certain documentation along the way. Be sure that you do provide it as quickly as possible.
You should also be sure that you maintain contact with buyers between the time of contract acceptance and the closing. There will be points of contention, but good communication can bring you through them.
The biggest closing obstacle in most real estate transactions is the buyer’s mortgage. Even if you have a copy of their mortgage approval, do your best to stay on top of related developments. Most mortgage approvals have conditions that must be satisfied between the time of approval and closing. Some of those conditions aren’t so minor. If the buyer is unable to meet even one, the loan approval can be withdrawn.
To the degree possible, try to involve the mortgage closing agent in the back and forth details. A nervous buyer will often provide more information to a closing agent than to you as a seller.