You probably know the drill for getting your home ready to sell – you know, de-clutter, deep clean, touch up paint, make necessary repairs and upgrades, improve curb appeal, and all that. There is, though, one essential component many home sellers overlook. And that is gathering all the information and assembling all pertinent documents that buyers will need. Here, then, is the information home sellers need to provide their potential buyers.
Documents and Information Home Sellers Need to Provide
Actually, there is quite a bit of information home sellers need to provide their potential buyers. Most of it, though, can be found in your files or your safe deposit box, for example:
YOUR SALES CONTRACT
Your original sales contract, the agreement you made with the owner when you bought the home, will contain information your potential buyers will need to know. “This contract outlines the terms of the purchase . . . This way, the buyer makes no mistake about who has previously owned the house, and the terms and conditions under which it was transferred to a new owner. The sales contract notes the price at which the house was sold, and elaborates on the disclosures about the property that were made before the sale.”
Also included in the information home sellers need to provide their potential buyers is the home’s professional valuation when you bought it. This information, the fair market value at the time, is contained in the appraisal report you received. The buyer will want to make sure you’re not gouging her on price because it is possible you bought the home at a very low price. So you will probably need to provide the buyer with the appraisal report from when you purchased the home (in addition to any new appraisals for refinancing if that applies).
MORTGAGE PAYOFF AMOUNT
Unless you’ve owned the home for years and years, you probably still owe on it. And in that case, you’ll need to contact your lender to get a statement showing the payoff amount. Knowing this will help you calculate the proceeds of the sale and will assist you in pricing. Actually, the mortgage payoff amount is only indirect information for buyers. But when you know it, they will know some of what they need to know. (For assistance with strategic pricing, contact your local agent at 866-593-7012.
Potential buyers will certainly be interested in what they will have to pay for homeowners insurance, so that will be part of the information home sellers need to provide. Buyers will also want to know about damages and repairs, which the insurance records will reveal. So experts advise providing buyers “with proof of your homeowner’s insurance information as well as a claims report or a list of all the claims on your home since the time of purchase.”
If the home you’re selling is in a neighborhood with a homeowners association (HOA), you will need to provide information about that as well. The key information will include:
- Articles of incorporation
- Declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions
- Amount of dues (past statements)
- Minutes from a couple of HOA meetings
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR RECORDS
Potential buyers will definitely want to know that your home has been well maintained and that you have made timely repairs when needed. You should, then, provide buyers with this information in the form of copies of maintenance and repair records, including receipts and descriptions of kind and date of maintenance performed.
Potential buyers will almost always ask what you pay for utilities, so this is part of the necessary information home sellers need to provide. Heres what one top realtor claims buyers typically want to know.
“During the negotiations, the buyer will also, of course, ask for a record of utility bills . . . They will want a 12-month average; they want to see the detail of each and every month, what the seller paid going back a year. Sometimes they ask for two years, just to get a really good idea of what utilities are going to cost them.”
Capital improvements include major things like bathroom and kitchen remodels, room additions, and new roofs. Mostly this concerns you as the seller when it comes to tax time regarding capital gains taxes. But it’s also important information for buyers because it lets them know your asking price is more than reasonable.
Information Home Sellers Should NOT Provide
While there is a great deal of information home sellers need to provide their potential buyers, there’s also quite a bit of information they shouldn’t offer. These things include time on the market, the reason for selling, price reductions, and the number of offers. Providing this information could, in fact, kill the sale. So you need to know what information to provide and what to withhold. That where your agent can save the day. To discover how our agents can help, contact us today. 866-593-7012