Whether you are looking to upgrade or downgrade your house, selling in either instance can be complicated. Though the process is similar in all states, specific West Virginia laws govern home sales there. Try to learn as much as you can before you begin so you can avoid problems later.
Find A Broker
Some people want to handle home sale from beginning to end, but the "for sale by owner" route isn't for everyone. Most folks prefer to work with a professional broker who can help with listings, show the home, organize paperwork and more. The West Virginia Association of Realtors offers a searchable data base that will help you find an agent from among its members.
Listing A Home
There are several different possibilities for working with a broker. With an "open listing," anyone can sell the house, but real estate firms don't like these deals. An "exclusive agency listing" gives the firm you sign with the right to sell the house, though you still can sell it on your own. The most common, an "exclusive right to sell" agreement, guarantees your agency the right to sell the house for a set period of time.
Your listing describes the property's selling points, such as special amenities or additions, as well as the appeal of the neighborhood. Review sales prices for neighboring homes and check out similar houses in other neighborhoods to help set an asking price.
In West Virginia, sellers must complete disclosure forms that let the buyer know about any flaw that might make him think twice about the house, such as problems with the heating system or roof or any repairs you've made. The owner can get in legal trouble for not disclosing problems he knows about.
If you have potential buyers, but the two of you are far apart on price, you shouldn't worry. Buyers typically expect the seller to provide a counteroffer. In addition to price, you can negotiate things such as appliances, furnishings or repairs.
Establishing the Agreement
Once you agree on price, detail that and other crucial points such financing and closing date in a purchase agreement. This document will guide you step by step through closing, and it's legally binding once you sign.
Occasionally an inspection will turn up an issue with the property, but this doesn't mean the deal is doomed. You can reopen negotiations with the buyer if you still want to complete the sale. Steps such as lowering the price or agreeing to pay for some repairs can help you save the deal.
Now that you're ready to close, you and the buyer finish up all paperwork. You also turn over keys, plus pay any fees or taxes owed. Remember to bring a photo ID with you to the closing.
Real estate laws in West Virginia are complicated, and each situation is unique. This article is intended as a general overview. For specific legal advice, contact an attorney who specializes in residential real estate to ensure a successful transaction.