Whether you're selling an empty nest or moving up from a cramped starter home, selling a house can be a complicated proposition. While the process is similar in every state, specific laws in Idaho govern real estate transactions in the state. Learning as much as you can before you start avoids problems and pitfalls later.
While some people enjoy handling a home sale from start to finish on their own, most prefer professional support. A broker can write an enticing listing, show the home to potential buyers, track paperwork and more. The Idaho Real Estate Commission offers tips on finding a broker and a searchable database.
The Listing Agreement
There are several types of arrangements, or listing agreements, you can use. An open listing, which real estate firms aren't fond of, permits anyone to sell the home. Under an exclusive agency listing, the agency you sign with is the only one that can sell the home, though you can also sell it on your own. In an exclusive right-to-sell agreement, the most common type, the agency is the only one that can sell the home for a set period of time.
Your actual listing will include attractive details about the house, such as square footage, amenities and upgrades, and neighborhood attractions. Set a price by looking at what other homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for.
What to Disclose
In Idaho, sellers must complete a disclosure form that lets buyers know about potential problems that might make them think twice about buying the house. In fact, you can be sued if you hide serious issues, such as a structural weakness or defect. You'll also have to give information about heating systems, water service and more.
Make Me an Offer
You have a potential buyer, but the price he wants to pay is way too low. All is not lost. In fact, most buyers expect you to counter their first offer. In addition to price, you also can negotiate amenities and repairs.
Once you and the buyer have settled on a price, nail down in a purchase agreement that and other crucial details such as a closing date and financing. Reviewing a sample purchase agreement will give you an idea of what to expect. Once signed, the agreement is legally binding. Occasionally, an inspection will reveal a previously unknown flaw or problem with the house. This isn't necessarily a deal breaker. You can negotiate again with the buyer, perhaps lowering your price or agreeing to pay for some repairs, in order to complete the sale.
Closing the Deal
At closing, you and the buyer sign all paperwork and you'll turn over the keys. You also need to pay any taxes or fees you owe. Don't forget to bring a driver's license or other photo identification with you.
This article is intended only as a general overview of this topic. For legal advice specific to your pending transaction, you should consult an attorney.