Pop quiz time: when you sell a home by yourself, how many people are involved in the process?
You may have answered two: the seller and the buyer. While these two are probably the most important people involved in the sale of any home, by no means are they the only people to consider. Just because you have decided to go the For Sale by Owner route doesn't mean you get to eliminate the middleman. Selling a home involves more people than you realize.
In fact, there could be as many as twenty people involved in the sale of your home, people you may have to hire in order to complete a legal, smooth transaction. That's right. Were you to sell your home through an agency, some aspects might be covered by the agency with their own people. Otherwise, fees for various services will come out of your own pocket.
Let's take a look at some of the people involved in the sale of your home:</>
Attorney / Real Estate Specialist
Unless you are a lawyer, you may require the services of an attorney specializing in real estate law to see you through a sound contract. There may be certain regulations applicable to your property and/or region that a layperson may miss in a contract. Make sure you know everything in your contract before you sign it, or have a lawyer assist you.
Real Estate Appraiser
It would be nice to slap an arbitrary value on your property, but in order to sell your home it must first be appraised for approximate. A licensed real estate appraiser helps determine the worth of your property through various factors, including damage and reconstruction, value of nearby homes, and overall condition of the surrounding area. Some real estate agencies may have somebody on staff for this purpose.
To adhere to various disclosure laws, it is required to know everything about your home before you sell. A licensed property inspector is brought in to make a thorough, unbiased evaluation of your home. Such reports are helpful to the seller as well as the buyer, as a careful inspection may alert the property owner to needed repairs he did not know existed. Mortgage Loan Officer - Say you have a potential buyer for your home. Great! Now you need to know whether or not he can pay. Here, the assistance of a mortgage loan officer is needed to confirm the buyer's qualifications and evaluated overall financial health. This way the seller is armed with that knowledge and can determine whether or not to sell.
What is the condition of your neighborhood and surrounding area? Do you live near a plant or factory that may offer living hazards like pollution? An environmental specialist offers services to evaluate the home and surrounding property for potential health risks. Depending on where you live, you may be required by law to report such anomalies.
Are you or the buyer required to pay certain taxes attached to the sale of your home? A tax specialist may be needed to evaluate the sale and report any levees that must be paid. Lead Paint Inspector - Especially if you are selling an older home, you may require aid of a specialist to determine if your home contains lead, whether by current paint or remnants of old coatings.
Radon Gas Expert
Like carbon monoxide, radon gas cannot be seen or smelled, and is very deadly. Radon gas emanates from the breakdown of uranium, and may be a potential hazard if you own an older home. An inspector may need to be called in to check if your home tests positive for radon.
Sanitary Systems Expert
Make certain your pipes and sewage systems are operating correctly. A quick call to a sanitary inspector for a clean bill of health here may be needed.
Occupancy Permit Inspector
Your home may be subject to various occupancy laws, especially if your property is not detached. An occupancy permit inspector can advise you with regards to such regulations.
Is your home only zoned for residential purposes, or may it be sold as commercial property? A zoning inspector can determine the overall usability of your home.
Where exactly are the property lines? Do you own more acreage than you realized. You may need to hire a surveyor to help determine the exact square footage of your property.
Flood Plain Inspector
Do you live in an area susceptible to flooding and hurricane damage? If your property rests near a flood plain, you may need to have an inspector take a look at it to determine if your home is safe from potential hazard.
Termite/Pest Control Company
You may have termites and not know it! Before you consider selling your home, it is strongly recommended to have a pest control expert inspect your home for termites, insects and other risks associated with vermin.
Are you legally able to sell the home at all? Is the property under your name, or do you need the permission of a third party like a former spouse or relative to sell? Enlist the assistance of a title company to confirm ownership.
Are you liable for anything beyond the sale of the home? Will a potential buyer be able to insure the home against all natural disasters? You may need to consult with your insurance agency before you consider selling your home to know what is needed from you.
Last but not least, once you do sell your home you have to move all your stuff! Unless you plan to rent a van and do it yourself, you will have to call a moving company to assist you.
When you think about it, there are many people involved in the sale of a home. Though you likely won't see all of them at once, your house can expect to receive lots of company as you prepare to sell, not all of them buyers! This is why it is important to consider all factors before going through with a For Sale by Owner option.
With a real estate professional on your side, however, many of these tasks may be covered by the agency. This is why it is recommended that you consult with an agent even if you plan to sell on your own. Get all the facts before you hang your sign.