Tampa Bay Real Estate Sellers 2014 – Did You Know?

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happy sellers at closing

There are a lot of factors that go into successfully selling your condo, townhouse or home and some may be obvious (pricing it correctly, having it show well) and others that you may not think about or be aware of.  I’ll go over some here that are important to keep in mind at this time.

Flood Insurance

This is an issue that is now coming up more and more with buyers and if you want to sell a property (especially an older home) that is in a flood zone you will need to be prepared.

The best thing to do is to get an insurance quote for a new owner from an insurance agency that is able to underwrite flood policies through Lloyd’s of London. Flood insurance through the U.S. program can be very, very high for older homes in a flood zone (especially on or near the water) and Lloyd’s of London flood insurance policies are more reasonably priced.

By having this information available for buyer’s agents and presenting the info in the appropriate place in the listing, you will have a better chance of selling that property. What I’m seeing now is that buyers will get scared about what they might have to pay and without the information they won’t proceed. If they have the information and it isn’t as bad as they thought it might be, you could save that potential deal

Contract Versions

There are 2 basic versions of the contract for the purchase and sale of residential real estate here. One is the As-Is version and the other is the regular version. Many sellers sell their house ‘as-is’, meaning they won’t do any repairs on items that come up on inspections. This is understandable with sellers that are elderly, sick or that do not live here as it is more difficult to handle these repairs in those situations. But for some reason it has become ‘the thing to do’ and even though it may seem like a good idea, it isn’t always the best approach. Here’s why:

If you are selling your house as-is and are in a position where you could do the repairs that might be needed for issues that come up on inspections, the buyer can cancel the contract and get their deposit back even if the only repair issue was an outlet that had to be replaced or a faucet that needed repair. In other words, you could lose a deal because of a small cost repair and there is nothing you could do about it. This is because the as-is version of the contract states that the buyer can cancel if he finds anything unsatisfactory about the house during the inspection period. I have a client who lost a buyer because of this exact thing and when I listed his house for him and explained this to him he wished he had known about this previously.

So you will need to really make an informed decision on whether it will actually be better for you to sell your property as-is or not.

Qualifying the Buyer

It is pretty standard now to require a bank letter or statement as a proof of funds for a cash buyer and a preapproval letter for a buyer getting financing. Unfortunately that is not always enough.

One of the big 4 lenders is known to ‘preapprove’ buyers and then not approve the loan, sometimes only a few days or a week before closing. I have seen this with my own clients where the loan officer does a ‘preapproval’ but doesn’t do the full actions that should be done to do this and later on we find out that they can’t get financing for the amount they were told.

What your agent can do to avoid this problem is to make it a requirement that any buyers getting financing must get preapproved by a mortgage broker of their choice that they know is reliable. The buyer is not required to get their financing through them, but they must go through the preapproval process with them. This is especially important to do on mid to upper priced homes.

Summary

There are many other factors involved and you should be working with a professional that knows about them and goes over them with you but at least you are now aware of these 3 issues that you should pay attention to when they apply to your situation.

Call me if you want my assistance in selling your home, condo or townhouse and the type of attention and care that you need and want.

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