By Leo Kingston
June 20 2011
Sometimes people call me to look at their home, thinking I might want to buy it. Sometimes I buy it and sometimes I don't, but almost every time they ask, "Can you tell me how to sell my home?" This is a question that is very familiar to me, so I have several answers on the tip of my tongue, although I try to consider each homeowner's circumstances before making any suggestion at all. To sell a home you have to realize that it's not really about selling the home, that's the problem. It's about finding a buyer.
We like to focus on what happens after we find a buyer, which is that we sell a home. But the real adventure is locating the buyer in the first place. That is what has to happen first and it has to happen whether the homeowner finds the buyer herself, or whether she hires a real estate agent to find a buyer for her. The point is, somebody has to find a buyer. It would be wonderful if that's all there is to it, but, unfortunately, it's not. I mean, finding the buyer is just the beginning of a lengthy process leading to the day the transaction closes. But the next step after finding a buyer is qualifying the buyer. If you've never had to sell a home before, you might not completely understand what I mean, so I'll explain. Qualifying the buyer is a process that verifies the person or the couple who is interested in your home has sufficient income, savings and credit to be approved for a mortgage loan.
This is not usually the homeowner's job to collect the information or verify it with employers and banks and credit bureaus, but if you sell your home yourself you may have to do part of this process yourself. It's not difficult to accomplish, you just have to know who to call. Any mortgage lender will be doing all this as well for the purpose of making a mortgage loan, but by the time you and your buyer have made a deal and your buyer has applied for a mortgage, quite a bit of time may have elapsed.
And this is time during which you really don't know whether your home is sold or not because you don't know if the buyer qualifies for a loan. My best advice is to get very brave and bold on your own behalf and ask the buyer right at the beginning, completely upfront, before you sign a purchase agreement to sell the house, for evidence that he or she has a job, has money in the bank and has a good credit rating.
You may be a little shy to ask for this personal information, but it's better to be safe than sorry when it you ask me, "Leo, how do I sell my home?" I advise you to take care of yourself when you find a buyer and be sure to qualify your buyer up front as well.
About the Author For people who need to sell a house fast for cash, Leo Kingston has been offering home owners in the Oklahoma City area a means of quickly selling their home without the need for Realtors or banks. There are no fees or other costs associated with selling homes to 18002sellhomes.
The author has permitted the reprinting and redistribution of this article.