Congratulations on the decision to sell. Whether you are moving up, down, entering the rental market or leaving Chicago all together, let us help advise you on the entire process.
Contact your lender to find out how much you owe on your loan for the property you wish to sell. Also make sure that there are no pre-payment penalties that you might be liable for upon loan payoff.
Call your accountant or attorney and discuss the tax consequences of a property sale as well. It pays to be informed of your options, especially if you have lots of equity in your home.
Make sure to get in touch with your mortgage professional and obtain a new pre-approval. Determining how much you can afford and appropriate timelines will go a long way towards managing your sale and timing the purchase of your new property correctly.
Your lender and accountant can help you decide how much new house you can afford, and what how much financial commitment is comfortable moving forward.
Deduct your mortgage payoff from your property's fair market value
Deduct your selling costs from this figure
Be sure that the number left over is enough to cover your transition costs into your new target property. You should receive an estimate from your escrow agent prior to your closing, but it pays to have an idea in mind.
Your Marks Realty Group broker can help you determine your property's fair market value and also advise you on current market conditions for your neighborhood and the city as a whole. Sometimes an independent appraisal is a good idea, in order to make sure that you are truly informed.
Now is the time to make those repairs that have been on your punch list for some time, and it can also be a good idea to invest in small "spruce ups" like fresh paint (neutral colors) or updated hardware on cabinetry. It is also a good time to "de-clutter" your living space. Removing very personal items such as large photos, or fringe artwork can help potential buyers envision themselves in the space rather than envisioning you in the space.
Along with your Marks Realty Group broker, determine what times will fit for showings. How much time would you like for advanced notice of requested showings? What days and how often do open houses make sense? What time of day lets in the most light and makes your home appear most inviting? It can be hard to let the public into what has been your personal space, but a little flexibility goes a long way in getting offers.
Your Marks Realty Group broker will collect any and all offers submitted on your property, and will help you evaluate the merits and shortcomings of each one. Often offers are submitted with an expiration date and time, so you will need to take this into account. Among other items to consider are: offer price, cash vs financing, earnest money amount, timeline to closing, and any other special requests. Again - your broker can help you evaluate before you make the big decision.
Once you have accepted an offer, the buyer will likely be conducting a home inspection to evaluate the foundation, roof, systems and appliances. This is part of the process, and a little flexibility in allowing this to happen usually eases it along. If the inspector finds any faults in the property, he or she will write it up into the "official" inspection report, and the buyer will communicate through legal counsel in order to request credits and/or fixes.
The other item that will need to be scheduled is the appraisal. If the buyer is using financing in order to make the purchase, their lender will send out an independent appraiser to evaluate the property's market price.
Once both parties have moved past the inspection and attorney review contingencies, it will be up to the buyer's lender to issue the "clear to close" and issue an unconditional loan commitment. After that it will be time for closing. This usually takes place at a title company or attorney's office, and most of the time in Illinois, the seller is not required to attend. Your attorney and Marks Realty Group broker will be in attendance, however.
If you are signing over "power of attorney" make sure that you have done so well in advance of closing. It is also a good idea to remain reachable by phone incase your attorney or agent needs to discuss any last minute issues or particulars.
After closing, the home will legally be the buyers, and you will have successfully completed the sale transaction.