1. Use a real estate agent
The same rationale for our advice to Buyers applies to Sellers as well. Using a professional and local realtor in most situations will sell the home faster and for more money. They do a good job of screening who comes into your home and under what circumstances. They have access to up-to-date comparable properties to ensure that you are not leaving money on the table. They also serve as a buffer between you and the buyers in the event of issues arising post-closing. If you hire a local realtor, they have contacts in the area that you will have difficulty reaching. Most also have great suggestions for getting the home sale ready; listen to them.
The Seller pays the commission which is usually 5-6% of the purchase price split with the buyer’s broker. There are circumstances where a realtor is not needed or not preferred, Your Lawyer represents plenty of “for sale by owner,” estate/trust transfer and similarly situated clients. We are here to help no matter how the Contract came about.
2. Get a Market Analysis.
As part of the interview process most realtors will provide a written estimate of the value of your home called a market analysis. They will usually provide you with comparable listing sheets showing what other similar properties in your area have been selling for. Prior to signing the listing agreement, take a close look at the comparable properties to be certain that you are comfortable with the list price. Call Your Lawyer with any questions regarding the listing process.
3. Negotiate the offer.
See Buyer Tips
4. Hire an attorney that regularly handles real estate matters.
As suggested in the Buyer Tips, Your Lawyer needs to regularly handle closings in this area to properly serve you. Whoever, the Seller retains, it needs to be done very early in the process. Sellers should call Your Lawyer as soon as they decide to put the home on the market. There are a number of title, survey, municipality and inspection issues that are often time sensitive. And with the Pandemic, it can be slow getting these obligations met. The sooner we can get these issues cleared the smoother the closing.
5. Home Inspection.
Your Buyer is entitled to inspect the property typically within 5 business days of Contract acceptance. Your role is to make the property available and assessable to all areas of the home. Stay away from the inspection. Your realtor is trained in properly answering questions and is the appropriate person to be at the inspection. If this is a sale by owner. Talk to Your Lawyer prior scheduling the inspection.
If your Buyer does come back with repair requests, talk to Your Lawyer. The stress and carrying costs involved should make you at least open to discussing a resolution.
6. Final walk through.
Stay away. Let your realtor handle this one too. Generally, your obligation will be to present the property in the same condition as it was at Contract formation, wear and tear excepted. Professional cleaning is not required but recommended. All repairs promised should be competed with paid receipts provided to Your Lawyer well in advance of the closing.
These tips are intended solely to be helpful in understanding the possible issues involved generally in a residential real estate transaction in Cook County Illinois. There are, however, many factors that may affect these tips. Before signing any documents or depositing or receiving any money preparatory to entering into a real estate contract, you should consult with an attorney of your choice to ensure that your rights are properly protected.