While reading this Top 20 List for Sellers I couldn't help but nod my head and say, 'yes..yes exactly, sellers should do that, right, err on side of disclosure(avoid lawsuits at all costs)..'
This list is really awesome. It put into words the bits and pieces scattered throughout my head(lessons and mistakes), mistakes that I have seen happen before.
Here are the other 10:
11. Preparing your house for sale involves much more than just sticking a For Sale sign in your front yard. To increase your chances of an efficient, top-dollar sale, obtain a good house inspection to discover problems before they become deal killers. Do the right corrective and cosmetic work before putting your property on the market, and time the marketing of your house to coincide with a strong selling season in your area.
12. "What is it worth?" is the most critical question you'll ask when selling your house. To get the answer,examine sales of houses comparable to yours in size, age, condition, and location (a good agent can assist you). Price your house right, and it will sell, because informed buyers recognize the value after seeing other houses with unrealistically high asking prices.
13. Don't ignore generations of conditioning when pricing your property. In addition to smart pricing, use buyer incentives to help you sell faster and get a higher sale price. But be careful; watch out for gimmicks that waste valuable time and money and end up stigmatizing your property.
14. Get the word out. To create the most interest in and competition for your house, you must develop a comprehensive,well-coordinated marketing and advertising campaign plan.
15. Everything is negotiable. There are no absolutes in real estate negotiation. You and your agent if you're using one, can maximize the price and terms of sale if you understand the needs and motivations of prospective buyers. You must also be able to spot the warning signs of fake buyers.
16. You still have lots to do after you accept an offer to sell your house. Don't let your deal fall apart because you didn't follow through properly.
17. Be sure to file the required federal and state tax forms to report the sale of your house. Understand and adhere to the tax laws for sheltering your sale profits; otherwise, you could get whacked with thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary taxes.
18. Your computer can really help you. The house-selling process requires both number crunching and advertising. Your computer can assist you with the financial analysis if you use good software and web sites. The internet is only one of many ways (and far from the best) to advertise your house for sale.
19. After selling your house,don't rush into your next purchase if you're unsure about it. If you hastily buy another property and realize that you are unhappy with your choice, you may end up moving again in a few years. Your hurried decision could cost you big bucks in unnecessary real estate transaction costs.
20. You have to play by different rules when selling rental property. When selling rental property, be especially careful to evaluate the rental-specific tax ramifications, the zoning of the property, and the rental property sales experience of the real estate agents and others you hire to help sell the property.
(House Selling For Dummies, Eric Tyson,MBA Ray Brown, page 1)
I recommend this book to everyone who is thinking of selling their home by themselves (For Sale By Owner). It will be invaluable. Here is a link where you can get it.
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