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As a seller, your main goal is obviously to sell your home. So once that mission is finally accomplished and you’ve accepted your home buyer’s offer, you may think that your job is done. Wrong! There are still a few things left to take care of.

For example, the seller must collect what is referred to as earnest money. Earnest money is really just a way of showing that the buyer has serious intentions while they place 1%-2% of their offer amount down. As the deal proceeds, that earnest money then becomes a piece of the buyer’s down payment. If the deal falls through for a legitimate reason, then the buyer gets the money back. If the buyer backs out because of cold feet or some other personal reason, then the seller may keep the check in order to cover the inconveniences.

After the earnest money is collected, you must then provide the buyer with a disclosure that includes details about the property. But how do you know what you legally must disclose versus what you can keep to yourself? This actually varies from state to state. Nolo’s Legal Encyclopedia is a great resource to view your state’s requirements. Although items such as structural issues, environmental factors and flooding hazards most likely will be required, it is encouraged to be as honest as possible since the buyer will eventually discover any problems the property has.

Afterwards, an appraiser will come to the property in order to estimate a value for the home. If the estimation is equal to or higher than the asking price then you are able to move forward with the closing process. However, if the appraiser decides that his/her estimation is lower, then the buyers will have to either pay the difference out of pocket or negotiate a lower price.

The back and forth between both buyer and seller can be demanding at times, but practicing clear communication and arming yourself with knowledge about the process can aide in alleviating the stress of negotiations.

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Identity Fraud Liability

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