Only you can decide when it’s the right time to put your house on the market, but market factors determine which time of the year is best. Most closings are in May and June. If you want to move then, start planning by the previous year end. Ask your realtor for advice on when to list but don’t leave listing until the last minute.
If you don’t have the luxury of advance planning, the pricing and presentation of your house are critical. Don’t price your home on hunches. Have it professionally evaluated.
Setting the asking price
Your realtor can help you set the “asking” or “listing” price of your home. Discuss with him or her the sales records of similar properties in your area, comparing these properties with yours and balancing the similarities and differences. To make this comparison, your realtor should also evaluate your house on its own merits, considering special features and/or improvements.
The listing agreement
The listing agreement is most commonly drawn from a standard form approved by your local real estate board. It provides a framework for all forms and negotiations that follow, with inclusions and exclusions clearly specified. The agreement is generally signed by you, the vendor, and the realtor. The signed listing agreement is a contract between yourself and your realtor on behalf of the company he or she represents; both parties are bound to follow its terms and conditions.
The fine print
Because this is the first document in your sales transaction, the listing agreement is used as an information source for all documents to come. Spend time now to get those details right. In the first part of the listing agreement, you appoint your realtor’s brokerage company and grant the authority to find a purchaser. The duration of the agreement is stated, as is the fee for services. Generally, this fee is paid upon closing.
The second action details the property you are selling, including the listing price and physical description: lot size, building style and materials, etc. Now is the time to decide what you’re leaving in the house and what you’re taking with you. The general rule is, unless expressly stated otherwise, fixtures remain with a property on sale, whereas chattels (or moveables) are not included in the sale. Finally, list financial details: mortgage balance, monthly payments, property taxes, casements, rights of way, liens or charges against the property.