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Minimize Risk

Minimize Risk When Selling Your Home

Smooth transactions call also be safe. Discover our top six mantras to help minimize risk when selling your home.

When it’s time to sell your home, you’ll have a bunch of tasks to take care of. You’ll need to clean both the inside and outside, declutter the entire place, make repairs, and stage it for potential buyers. On top of that, you’ll have a whole list of things to consider for your relocation, like finding a new home, learning about schools and utilities in the area, and figuring out where you’ll do your shopping. Your Realtor will also be working hard to get your home on the market and ready to sell. While Realtors aren’t lawyers, they can help minimize risk when selling your home. That being said, here are the top six things to keep in mind when selling your home.

Disclose, disclose, disclose

The number one cause of lawsuits in real estate transactions is a lack of disclosure. In Texas, it’s required by law for homeowners to disclose any known defects to potential buyers. Whether you had a leaky roof or a foundation issue that you got fixed, make sure to disclose it in the Sellers Disclosure Statement. If you suspect that your fence might be encroaching on the property line, mention it as a possibility in the disclosure. It’s better to be cautious and let the buyers decide if it’s important to them.

Do things properly, or not at all

There’s a big difference between something looking right and actually being right. Don’t cut corners when it comes to home repairs because it will come back to haunt you. Over the years, we’ve seen many attempts to cover up problems instead of fixing them properly. For example, a homeowner fixes a leaky pipe but only paints over the water stains on the ceiling without addressing the soaked drywall. Eventually, mold starts growing, and it spreads to the attic, causing even more damage. The cost of fixing the problem correctly the first time is nothing compared to the expense of a full-blown mold remediation project.

Stick to the Facts

Don’t exaggerate the details about your home. If the bedrooms are 10×10, make sure your listing accurately reflects that. Most MLS systems and websites have disclaimers stating that the information is reliable but not guaranteed. While this is a start, it doesn’t always protect you, especially if potential buyers have reason to believe the facts you’ve provided are incorrect.

Be careful with conversations

Experienced Realtors often try to keep sellers and potential buyers separated until the closing. This isn’t meant to keep either party in the dark but rather to protect everyone involved. When owners and buyers start talking directly, things can be said or implied that lead to misunderstandings and complications. If you’re a seller and happen to meet potential buyers, it’s best to remove yourself from the situation and have them contact your agent for assistance. Your agent’s role is to ensure that all sale details are in writing and that your rights are protected.

Remember the rules

When selling your home, you can’t discriminate against potential buyers based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. The Fair Housing Act prohibits such discrimination. If you start making judgments based on any of these factors, you open yourself up to discrimination lawsuits involving not only the affected party but also the Federal Government. So, it’s important to make yourself scarce when the home is being shown and not engage in any discriminatory behavior.

Keep your commitments

When potential buyers make offers, they expect both parties to act with integrity. If buyers write offers thinking they can easily back out if they change their minds, or if sellers play pricing games at the direction of their realtor, it shows a lack of integrity in the deal. Everyone involved should strive for a successful transaction where both the buyer and seller feel they’ve been treated fairly. If all parties act with integrity and set personal issues aside, most transactions should go smoothly.

So remember…

Selling your home can be a daunting process, but by keeping these six mantras in mind, you can navigate it with confidence. Remember to prioritize disclosure, tackle repairs the right way, stick to the facts, be cautious with conversations, abide by the rules of fair housing, and honor your commitments. By following these principles, you’ll not only help minimize risk when selling your home, but also ensure a smoother and more successful home-selling experience. So go ahead, tackle those tasks, work closely with your Realtor, and approach the process with integrity. Here’s to a successful sale and a bright future in your new home!

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