Your FSBO To-Do List
If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to make sure you’re wearing matching shoes when racing out the door each morning, let alone remember the zillions of things that require your attention each and every day. Truly, the fact that I have two healthy, thriving children and a couple of live house plants is, some days, beyond my comprehension! Adding one more item – like “sell house” – to the bottomless list of chores, seems overwhelming, so I thought a quick list of commonly missed items might be helpful to you. Here you go!
Call the Title Company
Doing a preliminary search on your house can help you catch any recording errors, unreleased liens, or other items that need addressed. Your HOA dues, mechanics liens, property taxes, unpaid bills, federal liens, assessments for water and sewage system upgrades, etc. can all show up on your title search. The title company can assist you in obtaining a clear title by settling unpaid balances, getting unreleased items cleared, and removing any liens filed against the wrong person/property. If you have a common name like Robert Smith, having liens wrongly filed isn’t all that uncommon. Taking care of these issues beforehand will help you have a smooth transaction later.
Inspect the Property
Unless you are very handy and up to date on city and county building codes, doing an inspection before you list the property will help you avoid bumps and bruises during the selling process. It will also help you in case a problem arises after closing, and the buyers argue that you “knew” the issue existed before the sale. Having your own inspection, plus an additional inspection that the buyers conducted during the due diligence phase of the transaction, can help protect you from negligent claims. Once the inspection is completed, read it carefully and fix the items that buyers will find worrisome. Also, be sure to disclose any issues you cannot fix on the Residential Seller’s Disclosure Form required by the state.
Call Your Mortgage Company
People are often surprised by the balance of their mortgage, and may even have to cancel an accepted offer due to lack of funds. Knowing for certain what is owed, and researching what you’ll have to pay at closing, will help you avoid an unpleasant surprise when you get the HUD-1.
Lock Up Your Valuables
Everybody knows you shouldn’t leave your Rolex on the nightstand during a showing, but what about the tablet that is always sitting on the coffee table? What about the list of PIN numbers you keep in your desk drawer by the computer? And just because you take your pain medicine for pain, doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t want to use it for recreation or profit. The number of thefts during open houses and home tours is on the rise, partly because thieves have figured out how easy it is to score drugs with street value from unsuspecting home owners. Jewelry, cameras, small electronics, change/money jars, etc. are all easy pickings for would-be criminals.
Change Your Combo
If you haven’t already gotten a lockbox for your front door, you might want to do that before you make your home available for sale. Having a lock box allows showings to happen when you’re not there. Once you give a code to an agent or prospective buyer, however, your security has diminished. Be sure to change your code frequently, and for pity’s sake don’t use your house number, birth year, or phone number. You wouldn’t believe how many agents use their birth year for a combo code. Not only is it easy to guess, but now I know the code to ALL their listings!
I hope you’ve found this list both insightful and useful. You can contact us here at Rocket Realty with any questions, and we’ll be glad to help you be a successful FSBO!
Good luck out there!