Selling your residence can be a big project. It's time-intensive and it can have significant consequences. There’s more to selling than placing a “for sale by owner” sign in your yard. Be prepared to aggressively promote your home or it may sit on the market for a long period of time, and insufficient exposure can result in a lower sales price.

Benefits to Using an Agent

Do you need to retain a realtor? When deciding, balance the value of your time against what you can save by not paying realtor commissions. Realtor.com, the official site of the National Association of Realtors®, has a “Find a Realtor” offering to help you locate a broker.

Your Listing

There are multiple listing options for sellers. "Sale by owner" candidates can consider an open listing, or a non-exclusive listing that allows you to sell your home yourself. Exclusive agency listings and exclusive right to sell listings apply to situations where you use an agent to sell your home.

How do you set your sales price? Begin with comparable information from recent local home sales, a real estate appraisal, market and economic information, and pricing and sales data. Include descriptive text, attractive photos, video tours, and descriptions of stand-out attributes in your listing.

Disclosure Requirements

It's crucial to have a sufficient seller’s disclosure. A disclosure informs purchasers of any information that might interfere with their decision to buy the home. The seller prepares this written statement and it's signed by all parties. It lists pre-existing faults and other pertinent information about the house. There are weighty consequences in failing to adequately disclose defects. A frustrated purchaser might try to void the sale or request money damages through a lawsuit.

The Nebraska Real Estate Commission offers an official form for the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement.

What to do Upon Receiving an Offer

Purchasers make initial offers to sellers, usually for a price lower than what's being asked. The offer may contain altered terms, such as closing date, contingency conditions or deadlines, inspection waivers, or personal property the buyer wants to have included in the sale. A counteroffer is the seller’s response to the offer, often accepting it subject to certain conditions. There's no limit to how many counteroffers can be exchanged. After an offer is accepted, the parties enter into a contract and complete its terms to progress to closing. The purchase agreement is the final, written offer.

How Important is the Purchase Agreement?

The purchase agreement is a legally-binding contract that includes the purchase price, settlement dates, what's included in the sale, agency disclosure, details of possession, due diligence, marketable title, final walk-through, and warranty terms.

Handling Post-Contract Negotiations

If the buyer's home inspection discloses property defects, you can negotiate to save the sale transaction. You can offer an allowance to the buyer so he can repair the defects, you can have the work done yourself, or you can lower the sales price.

What do do During the Closing

Closing is the last stage of the process when the parties, along with their lawyers or agents, meet to complete the sale. Purchasers sign promissory notes and mortgages and obtain funds from their lenders. They pay the sellers the purchase price, and the sellers give them documents to transfer good title. These include deeds to transfer title to the buyers. The seller usually provides the keys at the closing, or shortly after. Sellers don't have to attend closings, and they rarely do.

A Legal Professional Can Help

The laws governing real estate sales are state-specific. Nebraska sellers should consult with a real estate attorney to protect their interests.

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