What Are the Legalities Involved in Selling a Home?



Selling a home is about as sentimental as it gets. Undoubtedly, you have grown attached to your home and, even if you're excited to move to a new one, there will be some emotions of longing as you let go of what you once called home. In the throes of these emotions, it's hard to think about all the legalities involved, and yet they are just as important as the emotions. Therefore, it's a good idea to have them in mind and think them through before you begin the selling process. The first step, of course, is to get a NYC real estate lawyer to help you through the process. Because it is a legal process, you cannot do without one. Once you've got that down, here are the other things you should consider.

Who Handles the Selling Process?

It's understandable that some sellers might not want to contract the services of a real estate agent due to what they consider to be high commissions. However, while handling the sale yourself is certainly going to save you the commission, you need to consider the actual work involved and whether it is worth it after all. 

For example, if you decide to work with a real estate agent, you will be working with an experienced professional who knows your neighborhood and has a wide network of agents and potential buyers. You still need to do your homework to make sure you're getting the right agent. Get references and ask as many questions as you need to remove all doubt about their suitability for the task.

Things to Know About Your Home

It's imperative to be as realistic as you can about your home. Are there any repairs needed or does the house have any defects? You have to handle all of these before you put your house on the market. A great number of municipalities and states require you to test your house for many things, from radon to roof leaks, and give written disclosures about the same. Your buyer will probably also require an inspection. 

To get the value of the home, use comparable sales for similar houses in the area or get an appraisal. In case you're working with a real estate agent, they can find records of similar sales that have happened in the area quickly and easily. 

You should also consider selling costs, including moving costs, commission costs, mortgage payments, liens, title reports, title insurance, attorneys, homeowners' association fees, special assessments and your share of unpaid property taxes. This is another place where a real estate agent comes in handy since they can give you a detailed breakdown of all the costs and how they affect your bottom line. 

Factors to Consider About Buyers

If you are working with a real estate agent, then all you have to do is make sure the house is clean for showings and the agent will handle the rest. If you're doing it yourself, then you will have to handle everything yourself, including scheduling time for showings, handling callers, picking genuine buyers from nosy people, getting insurance in case potential buyers damage your property or get injured on it during showings, and so on. 

When You Get the Offer

You don't have to go for the first offer you get, as tempting as it may seem. Consider the price as compared to your calculated costs, the dates involved, and other contingencies. 

When You Close the Sale

When the sale closes, it is typical to attend a meeting at an attorney's office with the buyer. Sometimes, you can deposit all the required checks and documents with an escrow agent, and they will handle transfers. Make sure you don't forget your identification documents since notarization of some documents is inevitable.