Becoming Friends with the Buyer It’s appropriate, even important, to be friendly, but don’t let the personal nature of someone being in your home allow you to get into too many long discussions with the buyers, because personality conflicts often cloud judgments. Watch what is said in discussing items related to the house and neighborhood. Remember, this could be their new home. You’re no doubt excited about moving. But buyers will start second guessing. A casual statement about the house “really being too small for a growing family,” or “the schools are going through some changes” might be enough innocent chatter to squash their interest. Underestimating Closing Costs Many sellers only consider the money they are selling their home for. They don’t appropriately calculate all the costs associated with the sale. Zillow lays out the following list of expenses: • Real estate commission, if you use an agency to sell. • Advertising costs, signs, other fees, if you plan to sell by owner. • Attorney, closing agent and other professional fees. • Excise/Gains tax for the sale, if applicable. • Prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, such as property taxes, homeowner association fees, and utilities. • Any other fees sometimes paid by the seller (appraisals, inspections, buyer’s closing costs, etc.). Spending Earnest Money Given to You Do not believe that earnest money given at the time an offer is accepted is yours until the deal has closed and been recorded. There are toomany stories about sellers who spent the deposit money prior to closing. When the transactions did not occur for reasons such as financing contingency or failure of inspection or repair issues, the buyers had to fight or sue for a refund. Another advantage to using a real estate agent is that the agent is a neutral party who will hold the deposit for you until closing day, and make sure your contract dictates what happens to the funds if the transaction doesn’t close.
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