Selling your Florida home can be exciting, but it also takes work. You’ll need to fix all those little problems you’ve let go for so long, while packing, arranging your move, and managing your career and family.
Selling your home can take some time, depending on your local real estate market or for those who must short sale. Select our attorney staffed title company for your settlement to ensure the guaranteed best prices and care!
Call us today at 888-412-5674 to discuss how we can save you money, while providing the best service!
We put together the following outline and resources to make your home sale as smooth as possible.
A listing agent will represent you and have a fiduciary responsibility to look out for your best interests. Be wary of agents who don’t ask you questions and probe for your motivation. You wouldn’t work with just any agent off the street, and good agents are just as selective about their clients too. You will want to interview a few potential real estate agents. Try not to interview agents from the same company.
Some questions to ask your realtor:
Prepare your home for sale by cleaning, de-cluttering and improving curb appeal. You may also want to consider hiring a professional stager, or ask your real estate agent for help in staging. Some other things to consider while getting your home ready for sale:
A seller’s biggest mistake is to overprice their home. Your realtor will pull a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) which will show the last sales of comparable houses in your area and price range. Stick to this, even if you think that your house is somehow “better”. At the end of the day, your house is worth what people are willing to pay for it – which will hopefully be cleared up with the CMA. Also, consider if you are in a buyer’s or seller’s market. Back in 2004-2006, buyers were paying over the asking price for properties. This trend has long passed as bank owned, foreclosure, and short sale transactions bog down the market.
You or your real estate agent will be advertising your home for sale. Consider the following forms of advertising to increase your odds of a bite:
Regardless if your have a realtor or not, you will want to consider how your home will be shown. You will maximize showings with a lockbox on the door, but if you situation does not allow a lockbox – be readily available to set appointments for buyers to come by. Selling your home during the holidays will likely net fewer showings and a lower sales price. Holding open houses can be hit or miss, but you don’t know until you try.
Now comes the fun part, negotiating your sale. If you have priced your house right, you will receive multiple offers. If not, prepare to counter-offer your buyer. Even if you receive a lowball offer, negotiate by issuing a counter offer. Ask for a kick out clause or first right of refusal if the buyer’s offer is contingent on selling a home. Consider making a counter offer contingent on buying a home, if market conditions warrant. Don’t be afraid to make a full-price counter offer, if you are priced competitively. Eventually you will settle on a sale price with your buyer and enter into contract.
Once under contract, ask for an escrow letter from whomever is holding the earnest money deposit. Your agent or transaction coordinator will put you in contact with the title company handling the settlement. Typically they will need:
The sale and purchase contract call for your and your buyer to act diligently to complete certain obligations. A buyer will have financing and inspection hoops to jump through, and you have yours. Here are a few:
A closing date and time will be coordinated between all parties, and scheduled by your title company. Finally, the day you have been waiting for. You will be asked to bring all house keys, garage door clickers, pool keys, gate keys, etc – for transfer to your buyer. If you have any instruction manuals for alarms, appliances, or pool equipment – please bring those as well. Bring any coupon books for payment of monthly maintenance fees due Associations. Lastly, bring a valid ID for the settlement agent to copy. Certain documents will require notarization, and verification you are in fact the seller.
Communicate with the title agent as to how you would like your proceeds (if any) from the closing. Wires and Trust Account checks are no problem, but a Cashier’s Check may need to be arranged beforehand. You will be required to sign a variety of documents at closing, including a Settlement Statement and Title Transfer Documents. Upon the execution of these documents and funding by your buyer – you have successfully sold your home. Congratulations.
Consult with your tax or financial advisor about your tax situation. When selling a primary residence occupied for 2 or more years, a single person can walk away with $250,000 tax free ($500,000 for married folks). This same rule applies for losses on property. If you short sale your primary residence for $100,000 less than you owe, you lender will send you a 1099 and treat this as income for you. So long as the loss is no more than $250,000 – you are fine. For investment properties, you will receive a 1099 for the loss that the lender takes – and have to pay the coinciding tax. Consult with your tax professional for more details.