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Talk to a Lender Before You Sell Your Home
If you're looking to sell your home quickly, and for top dollar, the best thing you can do is to be able to offer your buyers some sound financing options. That's why developing a relationship with a lender can be the key to a quick sale, and to more money at closing.
Some of your potential buyers will have already gotten themselves preapproved with a lender, but many won't, and being able to offer financing options will open up a number of possibilities for selling your home. The easier you can make finding a loan for your potential buyers, the better your chances of selling your home.
Find out what type of loans are available at your local lending institutions, and what kinds of programs they can offer buyers. Ask about income qualifications, credit scores, down payment requirements, both for buyers with good credit and for those whose credit is less than perfect. Ask if the lender will allow you to contribute to the buyer's closing costs.
Get an Accurate Appraisal
If a banks or mortgage company uses in-house appraisers, it can sometimes cost you a considerable amount of money at closing. For instance, my husband and I once allowed buyers to use their own lender and ended up netting $13,000 less because of a low appraisal. We discovered later that the bank was known for understating appraisals.
Don't sign a sales contract contingent on the appraisal of a buyer's lender; draw up your sales contract with a firm price and then give the buyers a specific time to arrange financing, based on that price. You don't want to have to lower your sales price to reflect a lower appraised value. Make sure that your lender's appraisers consider properties sold, but not yet closed and competing listings of similar properties when doing their appraisals, and not just past sales, because past sales alone may not give an accurate picture of your home's true market value in a fast-moving market.
Even if buyers say that they are prequalified through a lender, it's worthwhile to explain that your lender may be able to offer better financing, and that you're willing to pay a certain portion of their closing costs for them if they'll use your lender.
Having a relationship with a lender who is willing to help your buyers finance your home will give you an edge on your competition, and will go a long way toward selling your house quickly, and for top dollar.
(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.
Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see http://www.doghousetodollhousefordollars.com/pages/5/index.htm
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