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Lo Que Necesita Saber Antes de Vender su Casa

What You Need to Know Before you Sell Your Home

By Warren Morrow

You have probably heard about the availability of homes during this economic recession. Many people bought homes that they couldn't afford given their incomes while some were victims of fraud and others may have lost their income when they found themselves jobless.

The same economic forces have resulted in a favorable buyer's market and a difficult market for those families who would like to or may have to sell their home.  If you plan on selling your house, be it because of a change of employment, because of the need to reduce expenses, or as a source of income, keep the following advice in mind in order to make the most of your sale:

Decide whether you will sell through a real estate agent or on your own and learn about the process. Both routes have advantages but also present a lot of information to learn.

If you decide to list with an agent, make sure it is someone that is well established. Ask for references and make sure to follow up with them to verify the agent's professionalism. Make sure that this agent has current licenses. You will need to make sure that the agent is honest, hard-working, and with a track record of success. Also, look for someone that can explain to you the process of transferring the title, the closing costs, and how to make sure that the house is free from liens or tax debt. Your agent should be well-connected with trustworthy inspectors, appraisers, and attorneys. Take the time to verify that each person involved is honest and demand that everything be explained to you since it is the sale of your home from which each of these people will earn their pay.

While there is a lot to learn about using a real estate agent, when you have chosen a trustworthy agent, you will benefit from their expert guidance. Remember that the sale of homes is an agent's area of expertise, so a trustworthy agent can provide you advice about what improvements you should make to your home to get the biggest return, about the optimal price, and about the negotiation process. He will take care of publicity and often can help you find your next home if you plan on selling your home to buy another. If you will use the same agent for the sale of your home and the purchase of a new home, you may be able to negotiate a more favorable commission. Your real estate agent should demonstrate that he is advertising your home actively and he should exhibit a collaborative nature with you. Remember, you do not have to take advice that does not sound sincere, and you can always change agents. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals - NAHREP (http://www.nahrep.org/) can be a good source of recommended and reliable local agents.

If you decide to sell your home on your own, prepare for a process that is quite demanding of your time. The advantage of this option is simply the possibility of saving money that you would have to pay to an agent. The agents representing the seller and the buyer normally share a commission of about 6-8% of the house listing price - which is paid by the seller of the house. If you sell it yourself, you will save this amount. Deicide if the amount of time necessary for you to learn about the process, the money you'll pay appraisers, inspectors, and lawyers, and the time necessary for advertising and showing the house, are justified by the savings you seek. Selling a house without an agent can also create doubt in the mind of the buyers. They may wonder whether you have done everything correctly and if you might make a mistake throughout the selling process.

Also, you will have to invest a lot of effort on advertising of your house. Posters at church or in local public places generate very little interest. In these times you will need to seek ways of expanding the reach of your sale information. The internet is an obvious way to do so. You can list your home for sale on internet sites such as owners.com, forsalebyowner.com, or homesbuyer.com.  NAHREP also has a listing site specifically for Spanish-speakers who want to list their home - http://www.vivareal.us/

Whether it's through a real estate agent or on your own, selling your home is a long and complicated process, and even more so in these times. However, informing yourself and relying on the advice and suggestions of a representative from your local credit union can be a very good way to start. That way, at least you'll know that you are starting off on the right foot.

Published 5-10-2010

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