•It would be in your best interest to leave your home for showings. Buyers are looking for a deal, and it is very likely they will find something in your house to be critical about – don’t risk getting defensive and scaring them away! Let your Real Estate Professional be a buffer.
•Minimize family photo’s, buyers want to picture themselves in the house. Also photo’s can be distracting, wondering where you vacationed rather than noticing the high ceilings and granite counter tops.
•Don’t forget small things: fresh soap and towels in the bathrooms, clean dish towels and pot holders in the kitchen.
•Big turn offs for buyers clutter and smelly spaces. It is recommended to remove half of everything in the jam-packed garage, closets and cupboards. Get rid of odors by cleaning your garbage cans, carpet(s), area rugs and refrigerator. Avoid plug-in’s and sprays, the perfumes can irritate some buyers.
Staging your home:
•Put away all fragile items that could break, in case prospective buyers bring their kid’s.
•Get rid of signs of pet’s like the litter box and dog bowls, people can trip over them and buyers who are not animal lovers may be turned off.
•Get rid of area rugs and runners, these may be a tripping hazard.
•Pimp the bathroom – empty trash, hang clean towels, and put fresh out a fresh bar or bottle of soap.
•Scent your lawn, add cedar or pine mulch to shrubs and flower beds.
On closing day, expect to sign a lot of documents and walk away with a big stack of papers. Here’s a list of the most important documents you should file away for future reference.
•HUD-1 settlement statement. Itemizes all the costs — commissions, loan fees, points, and hazard insurance —associated with the closing. You’ll need it for income tax purposes if you paid points.
•Truth in Lending statement. Summarizes the terms of your mortgage loan, including the annual percentage rate and recision period.
•Mortgage and note. Spell out the legal terms of your mortgage obligation and the agreed-upon repayment terms.
•Deed. Transfers ownership to you.
•Affidavits. Binding statements by either party. For example, the sellers will often sign an affidavit stating that they haven’t incurred any liens.
•Riders. Amendments to the sales contract that affect your rights. Example: The sellers won’t move out until two weeks after closing but will pay rent to the buyers during that period.
•Insurance policies. Provide a record and proof of your coverage.
Sources: Credit Union National Association; Mortgage Bankers Association; Home-Buyer’s Guide