Trying to sell your home on your own is a major task. With numerous state and local requirements, you could face legal ramifications for failure to follow these. There are a number of things you need to know, however, before you consider selling your house in the Magnolia State.
What a Real Estate Agent Can Do
Selling a home by owner can easily be time-consuming and filled with uncertainty. A real estate agent has the tools to determine the current value of comparable homes in your area and can effectively present and market your home.
Find a licensed Mississippi real estate agent at Homes.com. The best agents are diligent and resourceful and have proven records of success.
There are three kinds of real estate listings:
- Open listing: Owners retain the right to sell the home and pay no commissions.
- Exclusive agency listing: This type of listing is used for a sale by owner who will execute a listing agreement with a broker and pay a commission only if the broker is the procuring cause of the sale.
- Exclusive right to sell listing: The seller agrees to pay a commission to the listing broker regardless of who brings in the buyer.
Your sales agent sets the selling price by comparing prices of similar houses that have been listed within a quarter- or half-mile of your home.
The listing will include:
- Price and commission
- Duration of the agreement
- Items included or not in the sale
- Duties and obligations of seller and agent
Mississippi's Required Disclosures
As seller, you must provide certain disclosures including known defects in the home's structure, as well as the following:
- Building code approval
- Foundation issues
- Infestation history
- Land and site data
- Restrictions, easements and encroachments
The failure to disclose known defects or to make other required disclosures can expose you to a lawsuit. Mississippi home sellers are not required to use any particular form, but the property condition disclosure statement must include information mandated by the Mississippi Real Estate Commission.
When You Get an Offer
An offer is one that is made to pay a certain price based on certain terms and conditions. It is not a legally binding contract until the seller accepts the offer and notifies the buyer of its acceptance.
A counteroffer is one that rejects the original offer based on price or altering the terms or conditions.
Once an offer is agreed upon, it will go into escrow where the buyer deposits certain funds into an escrow account. Thereafter, mortgage approval and a home inspection are arranged.
Preparing the Purchasing Agreement
A real estate purchase agreement is legally binding and includes terms and conditions such as the following:
- Identity of the parties
- Description of the property
- Price and financing terms
- Items included in sale
- Date of closing and inspection
If an inspection turns up material defects, the buyer can insist that you pay to remedy the defect or lower the purchase price so that the transaction can still go forward.
Close of Escrow
At the close of escrow, the following events occur:
- The buyer signs a promissory note.
- Buyer signs the deed of trust on the property as security for the loan.
- All documents are delivered and costs and fees paid.
- The deed is recorded on the day escrow closes.
As the seller, you need not be present at the closing so long as all costs are paid and documents are signed. You will typically have to turn over the keys to the buyer the same day as the closing so long as the deed is recorded.
Consult an Attorney
Mississippi real estate laws can be difficult to follow and each sale is unique. Also, state laws and regulations are different for every state so consult with an attorney when you are thinking of selling your home.