Selling your home is a huge project with both financial and legal implications. Here are a few things to consider about Colorado home sales before you begin.
A Seller's Real Estate Agent can Provide Invaluable Help
Selling your house yourself isn't necessarily difficult, but it can take up a lot of your time and it requires that you research state real estate laws. A seller's agent can help you with these details, as well as with things like deciding on a good listing price and promoting your property. You can find an agent by asking others for recommendations or by contacting an association of agents such as the Colorado Association of Realtors, which has a searchable online database.
Listing Your Home
When you contract with a seller's agent, you must decide what type of listing you want.
- Multiple listing: Your local Multiple Listing Service will publish your listing and any member agent can see it and arrange to show your property. Typically, your agent and the buyer's agent share the commission.
Exclusive right to sell: Your agent does everything possible to market and sell your home in exchange for a guaranteed commission, no matter who finds the buyer.
When you're setting your listing price, you'll need to consider a number of factors, including an estimate of the value of your home and the current condition of the market.
State law requires that you tell potential buyers about any known problems with your house. Use the Colorado Real Estate Commission approved disclosure form and fill it out as completely as possible. Not doing so could leave you open to an expensive lawsuit from the buyer. Federal law requires additional disclosures for lead paint in homes built before 1978.
Considering an Offer
An interested buyer will give you a written offer that includes the proposed terms of the sale. If any of the terms are not acceptable to you, you can make a counteroffer with suggested changes. You should use the Real Estate Commission-approved Counterproposal form to submit your counteroffer.
Your Purchase Agreement
Your final document is your accepted or ratified purchase agreement. It contains the agreed-upon terms of the sale. After it's executed, it becomes legally binding, so make sure you've included all necessary details.
Most real estate purchase agreements include contingencies, which are issues that must be resolved before the deal can be finalized. One common contingency involves the results of a home inspection. If the inspection turns up any problems, you'll have to decide if you want to fix them, adjust the sales price, or do nothing.
Closing on Your Home
After you've made it through the various rounds of negotiation, it's time to close the sale. You'll need to sign sales documents, pay any seller's fees, and pay off any remaining liens, often with your proceeds from the sale. You can do this early; your attorney can represent you at closing and turn over the keys on your behalf.
Getting Legal Advice
Colorado real estate laws can be confusing, so it's a good idea to consult with a lawyer to make sure you get everything right.