Oregon home sales are regulated by state and local laws, so doing it yourself could lead to missteps and serious legal problems. Before selling your home, you should be aware of a number of things.

Duties of a Seller's Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent has the resources and knowledge to accurately assess the current value of comparable homes in your area and effectively market your house. You can locate a licensed real estate agent at Oregon.cc.

What Is a Real Estate Listing?

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: Owners 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 pays a commission to the listing broker regardless of who brings in the buyer.

How Is the Selling Price Determined?

One job of your agent is to assess the selling price by comparing prices of similar homes that have been listed in your immediate area. The contents of your listing should include:

  • Price and commission
  • Items included or excluded in the sale
  • Duties and obligations of seller and agent

Required Disclosures

The seller must disclose known defects in the home's structure, as well as:

  • Soil and water issues
  • Systems and fixtures
  • Sewage and insulation

Your failure to make the required disclosures can expose you to a lawsuit. Home sellers generally use the Sellers Property Disclosure Statement.

What Happens with an Offer?

An offer is made by a prospective buyer to pay a specific price based on certain terms and conditions. It becomes a legally binding contract when the seller accepts the offer and notifies the buyer of its acceptance. A counteroffer is one that rejects the original offer and presents a new offer. Once the purchasing agreement is signed, the deal goes into escrow, which includes deposit of funds, documents and instructions to complete the transfer.

What Is the Purchasing Agreement?

A purchase agreement is a legally binding contract that contains the terms and conditions of sale, including:

  • Identity of the parties
  • Price and financing terms
  • Guarantee of clear title
  • Date of closing and inspection

Can There Be Post-Contract Negotiations?

Generally, if an inspection turns up material defects, the buyer can insist that you pay to remedy the defect or lower the purchase price.

At the Closing

At the close of escrow, the following events occur:

  • The buyer signs a promissory note
  • Costs and fees are paid
  • All documents are signed and transferred
  • The deed is recorded

Sellers 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 or you have occupancy.

Leveraging a Real Estate Lawyer

This article on Oregon real estate law is by no means comprehensive. For legal advice regarding your specific transacation, you should consult with a real estate attorney before selling your home.

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