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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

6 Vital Things to Do Before Listing Your Home For Sale

If you are thinking about putting your home up for sale there are some important things you must take care of before listing it in order to ensure your success. Bearing in mind that the real estate market is in the down part of the cycle right now you must consider the best ways to be competitive and make your house stand out from the crowd so you will be able to sell it quickly and for the right price. The very first thing you will want to do before listing your home for sale is to find the right realtor.

The right realtor will know exactly what things you need to do in order to attract home buyers and command a good price for your home in any market. Some of the things you will probably need to do before listing your home for sale include making any necessary repairs, improving your curb appeal, staging your home, and developing a plan to keep the house clean at all times. You should also check around and see what other homes in your area are selling for so you can price your home appropriately.

Louise Scoggins is a leading Realtor in the Atlanta Homes market. For more information on Atlanta Foreclosures, please visit

So, now that you know the 6 most vital things you need to do before listing your home, let's look at some of them in a little more detail. Making necessary repairs includes major repairs such as a new roof or windows as well as minor repairs such as chipped paint or rusty hinges on your doors. Image is everything when it comes to selling your home because it is how your home makes a potential buyer feel when they see it even more than the facts and figures that will determine if someone buys your home and how much they are willing to pay. Curb appeal is vital so that a potential buyer gets a good first impression and wants to see more. The exterior of the house should be clean, clutter free and attractive. The grass should be cut, flowers planted and weeds should not exist.

Staging the home is a way of making the interior more attractive. Paint should be neutral because colors like bright red will cause a strong reaction ranging from love to hate and you need the colors to be something that everyone will like so a potential buyer isn't turned off. Having a plan to keep the house clean at all times may mean having the kids spend more time with grandma, setting a schedule for chores or even hiring a housekeeper to come in a couple of times per week.

The real estate market right now is extremely competitive which means you and your house need to be at the top of your game in order to sell. Selling a home right now and selling for a good price is very possible, but you have to play your cards right and make your house the one that everyone wants to live in.


Make Your Home Sell With a Home Inspection

If you want your house to quickly draw a buyer, and if you want to have greater control over the pricing without turning off the buyers, then a home inspection can be the solution.

The real estate market is incredibly competitive right now due to the current state of the economy. So if you need to sell your property now then it can be to your advantage to have a few aces up your sleeve.

Many developers are offering deep discounts and many people are trying to sell their houses also. It is definitely a buyer's market. So what will drive potential buyers to go knocking on your door? Trust and security are two things that are of utmost importance in real estate.

If you can provide these, you have an advantage in the marketplace. When your house has been inspected by an impartial and objective third party with the license, skill, and knowledge to expertly review the condition of your dwelling, you give yourself an advantage to getting a quick sale.

A residence is an entity that requires a wide range of systems and structures, operating together, to properly function. From moisture in the basement to a crack on your wall, these can be seen as signs of systemic malfunction in one or more aspects of your home. Because not everyone has the knowledge to properly inspect the many parts of the house, an inspector should always be called in for the job.

But why bother with a home inspection? Even if you aware of some items that need repair, an objective review can spot items you were not aware of. You can then take care of these items before they have the chance to impact the sale.

A prospective buyer is aware of what a house inspection can mean for them: an assurance of their investment, a way to avoid unexpected repairs, and a safety precaution before handing you their hard earned cash. Since they will likely request an inspection, by having one done before listing you can take care of the items before they become an issue for a buyer.

By having the inspection done before listing the property and telling prospects that you have done this, they know that you mean business, and more importantly, that you can provide them with a sense of trust and security. You are demonstrating to them that your dwelling is one that has been well cared for and that you are willing to have someone evaluate the home. You show them that you have nothing to hide and that you have taken care of any items that could become an unexpected expense to them.

In an industry where competition is the operative principle, having an edge above the rest can help you to get people interested in your house, get an offer more quickly and help you to get the price you are asking. With the current market you know that every potential buyer is important. With people wary of spending and having even more options to choose from, you need to have what it takes to get them feeling safe enough and secure enough to sign the deal. With a professional home inspection, you are one step closer to closing the deal.

Chris Goggans is the President of Realty inspection Services, LLC (RIS). RIS is a Multi-Inspector Home and Termite Inspection company in the Dallas, Fort Worth Metroplex. RIS was established in 1991 and has conducted over 29,267 Home Inspections. Chris Goggans, President, is an active member of TAREI, NTTAREI and NACHI.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why the Need For Real Estate Disclosure Forms?

By Gloria Smith

Purchasing a piece of real estate property is a valuable investment that any individual can make during his lifetime. And being a worthy investment, it is only appropriate for people to make sure they get real value for their money when buying a property. One of the ways home buyers and investors can ensure they're getting a property in good condition is by reviewing disclosure forms.

In the U.S., disclosure forms are required from home sellers in many states. Sellers need to provide buyers with this document to inform them of the real condition of their properties. The forms normally state any physical defects in the home as well as legal issues. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in a lawsuit or withdrawal of a sale.

Disclosure forms need to be filled up by the sellers themselves and not their agents. If you're not sure about this, the best person to talk to is a real estate lawyer.

One of the major disclosures that should be included in the forms is on the use of lead-based paint. This covers all homes constructed before 1978. Sellers who can provide this document without hesitation are more attractive to buyers. However, buyers who want to make sure can always request for inspections for lead-based paint within 10 days.

The material facts and defects, if any, of the property should also be fully disclosed. These pertain to electrical, heating and cooling as well as plumbing systems, foundation issues among others. Most buyers, especially those looking for a home to live in, are very particular about a property's condition. Sometimes, even little defects can affect their decision to purchase. There are even some people who stay away from homes where deaths have occurred. So if you're selling a home, it is a wise move to be honest upfront. For sure the buyer will be more than grateful for that honest gesture.

External disclosures should not be forgotten. These include whether the property is within an earthquake and flood zone, has fire and natural hazards, noise and ground pollution.

Other than informing potential buyers of the state of your property, disclosure forms are helpful in determining the proper price for the home. With the right price, a home can sell faster and therefore, can give sellers significant profits.

In addition, home sellers who provide these forms make themselves more attractive to potential buyers. For their part, buyers are more confident when they know the real condition of a property they're targeting to purchase. By being presented with the disclosure forms, they can have their peace of mind.

Another purpose of the documents is to avoid misunderstandings between the two parties. Sometimes, problems can result when buyers discover late the defects in a property. This then leads to delay in negotiations and closing as home inspections and appraisal may be requested by the buyer.

The use of disclosure forms benefits both the buyer and seller. This only means that it's better to be honest at the start than having to deal with problems later in the deal.

See Real Estate Disclosure Form

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Using a Quit Claim Deed - Real Estate Forms

A quit claim deed is a legal form that clears title to a property. It is used in the transfer of an interest on a property to another person. By its name alone, it means the owner quits any claim on a house or land. The person who is quitting claim is known as the grantor while the one who accepts the property is called the grantee. The grantee assumes all risks especially if no guarantees or warranties are made on the title.

The deed, however, only transfers interest and does not guarantee if the grantor actually has ownership rights on the property concerned. It also does not ensure that the property is without debt.

In order for it to be enforceable, the deed has to be signed by the grantor after which a notary public should sign and stamp it. In some states, though, the grantee and other witnesses are required to affix their signature as well. Apart from a notary public, officials from states other than where the property is located can also notarize the deed.

During the sale of a house, a quit claim deed executed at closing transfers the property interest from the seller to the buyer. In other words, the seller totally disposes of the property rights and guarantees that he or she will no longer go after it whatever happens.

Another situation where a quit claim can be used is if a certain homeowner plans for an estate or a living trust. In this case, the deed transfers the ownership of his house into a trust fund.

If a life estate is involved, the grantor can still keep his right to possess the property even after signing a quit claim deed. A life estate usually gives the owner the absolute right to stay at the property until death. It is only after the owner's death that the grantee is able to get the right to possess the property.

It is important to understand that once the deed is signed, it will be hard to reverse or undo the deed. Only if the grantee agrees to quit claim the property back can the previous owner possess the property again. Otherwise, the grantor will have to show proof that the transfer was invalid.

A quit claim deed is a valid option for giving up property interest. But since transfer of title or ownership rights is not guaranteed by this document, it is best accompanied by a warranty deed.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Free Websites To Advertise Your Home FSBO

Listing your home with photos on the internet is a must if selling your home for sale by owner. If you are not using a realtor or the MLS, you should advertise your home anywhere you can. Try looking for a local for sale by owner website first. You can also try these FREE websites:

You may also want to list your home locally at

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Earnest Money Deposit & Your Real Estate Contract

Is an earnest money deposit really necessary when filling out a real estate contract? Many real estate professional agree that an earnest money deposit will show the seller that you are a serious buyer. Earnest money deposits are usually for 3-5% of the offer price, depending on the market, and local customs. Many buyers add a clause in real estate contracts stating that the contract is contingent upon a buyer being able to obtain financing. This way if your financing falls through, you are more likely to get your earnest money deposit back. If all goes well and your financing goes through and you get to closing, the earnest money deposit is given as a credit toward what you will owe at the closing. It is possible to loose your earnest money deposit. One example would be if all the conditions of the real estate contract were met, but the buyer decided at the last minute not to buy the home, then the seller would most likely get to keep the earnest money deposit. If there are any doubts you should contact a real estate attorney.

To see a sample real estate contract visit:

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Truth about Rent to Own (Real Estate)

A lot of things have been heard, talked and asked about the words “rent to own.” For many, this seems a very good deal, as anyone can have the chance to eventually own the place he is renting. This business has made numerous companies’ fortunes and include such places as Prime Time and Rent A Center. But if truth were to be told, very few would go this route, except for those who have bad credit difficulties.

Most people are usually attracted to this scheme because some can be paid off by only a few dollars a week. Payments usually last about 15-20 months. However, if you regularly keep tab of the list of all your payments, you will eventually realize that you are paying double the price, or more than what you would give for a mortgage. This is a steep price to pay, especially for those who have good credit standing.

In addition, part of the terms and conditions in a rent to own scheme is sales tax, which you will have to pay on top of the mortgage fee. Again, even though this can be attractive to those without good credit, better and cheaper deals can be made with direct purchase through mortgage.

There are also instances when rent to own houses start out as purely a lease agreement with the owner, who decides in time to sell it to you. Luckily, you will find an owner who is flexible and work out things with you to get the price he might want for his house. But beware of those who will charge you more in order to make a handsome profit. This is usually done by extending the duration of paying period.

Indeed, rent to own may not be the best way to buy a home, but for those who have fewer options, this is a better alternative than paying rent for an apartment. With rent to own houses, you are not just paying rent but paying to eventually own a home.

The best thing to do in these circumstances would be to make sure of the terms and conditions of the sale with the owner, how much you will be paying and for how long. In this way, you and the owner will both end up satisfied with the deal.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Political Yard Signs & Selling Your Home

Is it OK to have political yard signs out before an election while trying to sell a house? Some say that this is probably not a good idea. Your Obama or McCain sign could detract from the MOST important sign in the yard...the FOR SALE sign.

Political signs shouldn't be a factor, but why risk it. The smallest thing can kill a real estate deal and you never know what might step in the way of a successful negotiation. Real estate agents suggest that you should make the interior of your home as neutral as possible (paint colors, furniture, etc) so why should the outside of your home be any different. Yes, everyone has a right to their opionion but you might turn off a potential buyer with a particular endorsement. Selling a home in today's market it is challenging enough without adding politics to the mix.