As a Seller, when selling real property you have certain responsibilities. And since you’re selling your home by owner, perhaps you’re unaware of the responsibilities you would not otherwise have if you enlisted the help of a licensed Realtor. So do your research and make sure you know what you must do throughout the process.
RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES
If you’ve chosen to list on the MLS, or if you’re working with a Buyer’s Agent, keep in mind that the Buyer’s Agent is the one who may be selling your property – so be courteous to them. Be accommodating to Realtors / Buyers for showing your property. When you have an accepted offer, and when you close on your home, you must promptly notify the referring Broker so that this information may be noted in the MLS. You also must have the capability and means to fax or email contracts back and forth between Realtors or Buyers… whomever you’re working with.
As a seller, you have rights in addition to responsibilities. You have the right to list your home at whatever you want… but keep in mind, that doesn’t mean it’s what your home is worth or that that is what your home will sell for. Your home will only sell for what the market allows. You can change the listing price of your home at any time, choose to take your home off the market, and choose to sell without the help of an agent. But you CANNOT discriminate against people and choose not to show your home to them because of their race, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, etc.
Regarding your responsibilities, in most states you are required to disclose the condition of your home. Certain disclosure forms are required for you to fill out and provide to interested parties. You will have to disclose the overall condition of the house, such as the roof, electrical system, plumbing, foundation, heating and cooling. You’ll also have to disclose the condition of the appliances and components that will be included with the purchase of the property, such as the refrigerator, dishwasher, oven/range, sump pumps, fireplace/chimney. This may help protect you from the possibility of being sued later for the repair or replacement of such things.
It’s also mandatory that if your home was built prior to 1978, you furnish the Buyer with any information or reports related to lead-based paint in the home.
It’s important for you to remember that as the Seller, you may be responsible for real estate closing costs when your home closes. You may contact your local Title Insurance Company to get an overview of what closing costs you could expect. These closing costs could include the transfer tax for your property, if such is charged in the state you live (you can contact the Title Insurance agency or Register of Deeds to find out how much this is in your area), the Title Insurance Owner’s Policy (you may also contact the Title Insurance agency in your area to get an idea how much this will cost you), the preparation of the deed, and of course the Buyer’s Agency commission of 3-3.5% if applicable. Usually, the Seller is responsible for the commission for both the Seller's Agent and the Buyer's Agent. Since you would be acting as your own Seller's Agent, obviously you would not have this responsibility. However, if you list on the MLS or sell your home to a person working under contract with a Buyer's Agent, you could be expected to pay the Buyer's Agent Commission, which may be 3-3.5%, but could also be negotiable.