1. Get your finances in order

First, understand your finances

It's important to understand how the sale of your home will affect your finances.

You'll need to know how much remains on your mortgage, since this will tell how much equity you’ll have when you sell. Knowing this number can help you budget for home improvements or to plan for your future home purchase.

You will also have to consider closing costs. The average seller has closing costs of 8-12% of the home's sale price. Lucky for you this includes the 6% real estate agent fee (3% goes to the listing agent, 3% to the buyer's agent) which you'll save by listing with YELLOW.

That still leaves 2-6% going to closing costs, which is not insignificant. These fees usually come out of the proceeds from your sale, but if your sale price is close to the amount due on your mortgage, you will need to have the money available to cover them.

Common closing costs for sellers:

  • Transfer tax
  • Title insurance
  • Escrow fees
  • Prorated property taxes
  • HOA fees
  • Credits toward closing costs

Calculate the net proceeds from your sale

To estimate the amount of cash you’ll walk away with when the transaction is complete, you will:

Take the proposed sale amount
  • The amount owed on the mortgage
  • Any other liens (equity loan, judgments)
  • Legal costs of selling (attorney, escrow agent)
  • Transfer taxes
  • Unpaid property taxes and utility bills
  • Repairs or improvements
  • If required by the contract: cost of survey, termite inspection, buyer's closing costs, etc.

We've created an Excel spreadsheet that will help with these calculations:

YELLOW Sale Price Spreadsheet

Here are links to a few other online calculators, too:

Get organized

Make a list of your deal breakers

What’s the minimum sale price you will accept? What’s your time frame to move? What’s your budget for pre-listing home improvements? Set these now and try not to break them.

Time your move

Maybe you are selling for a reason and have to move immediately. If this isn't the case, consider timing the sale of your home to maximize the sale price and minimize its time on the market.

According to Zillow research, the best time of year to sell your home is the first half of May. Homes listed for sale in this window sold almost two weeks faster than average and for $2,500 more.

Get paperwork together

Here’s a list of documents you are likely to need:

  • Your mortgage documents, with a payoff estimate from your lender
  • Documents related to title and ownership
  • Property surveys
  • Receipts for improvements or repairs that you’ll need to disclose
  • Permits, certificates of occupancy or other documents from renovations
  • Copies of any pre-sale inspection reports
  • Monthly dues and the covenants, conditions, and restrictions of applicable homeowners associations
  • Manuals and warranty information for appliances to be sold with the home

It's important to have a good title. As a condition of the sale, the title must be good, insurable, and marketable, meaning that you have the right to sell the home and no one else has a claim on the property.

Think of anything that occurred over the course of your ownership that may have impacted your title (like any liens) and make sure that the title search will come back clean.


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