Preparing and Staging the Home
If there is one word that a seller should act upon before putting their home for sale, it is DE-CLUTTER. Excess furnishings and bric-a-brac are a distraction and can make the home appear smaller and chaotic. If you have always wanted to be a minimalist, now is your chance. If you prefer to have all of your belongings around you, keep in mind that when you sell your house, you will be moving! Might as well start right now. There are inexpensive things that can be done to create the best impression. There are also expensive things that can be done that will not make a difference. Kent and Regan will help you every step of the way with recommendations to keep costs low and get the most out of your sale price. Sometimes, staging a home can make a huge difference in the sales price and time on the market.
Staging and Designers
Ben Teague Design*, 305-395-2559 firstname.lastname@example.org
David L Smith Interiors*, 305-923-3877 email@example.com
Royal Furniture & Design*, 305-204-5509 Christopher Ewell
Listing Agreement and Purchase Agreement
All contracts used by Truman & Co. are created by attorneys for Florida Realtors to ensure that all parties are treated equitably. Please take your time reviewing and ask Kent and Regan any questions that arise. We are here to help make the home selling process as easy and painless as possible. Download and review or print the Listing Agreement and Purchase Agreement.
Time Frame: Review, initial, sign and date no later than 10 days after the effective date of the listing agreement.
To protect all parties, the Seller must complete, initial and sign the Seller’s Disclosure form. This multi-page form discloses everything that the seller knows about the house and that which conveys with the house. Obviously, the seller cannot disclose what they do not know, but by disclosing what they do know, any current issues can be addressed in the inspection and in negotiations and/or the buyer can accept the property “as is.” The buyer also signs the seller’s disclosure acknowledging that they have reviewed the document. Download and review or print Seller’s Disclosure
Open Building and Tree Permits
Time Frame: It is never too early to close open permits. Start the process as soon as you are finished reading this post.
Most owners have no clue that there are open building and/or tree permits on their property, but it is an everyday issue for most real estate in Key West. The work is done, you have paid your contractor or arborist but they never called for a final inspection and the City of Key West never followed up, hence open permits hang out there for eternity until closed. Open permits can undo a transaction, so it is important to work through this with the City of Key West (or Monroe County for all islands east of Key West in the Lower Keys.)
Checking on and closing open building permits: First, open this webpage, type in your address and click on “search.” Any past permits on the property will be listed by year and permit number. If the “permit status” says “Adm Closed,” “Closed,” “Finaled,” or “Completed,” then the permits are officially closed. All other status’ such as “permit printed” or “permit issued” is an open permit. To have the permit file resolved and to remove the open or expired permits, go to the building department at 1300 White Street (rear entrance at parking lot) with your printed list in hand to determine what steps must be taken to close the permit/s. Some permits may be closed administratively if there are no safety issues involved. Others require the contractor of record to open the permit and to physically call for inspections and pay additional permit fees and/or inspection fees. In some cases the contractor may not be in business any longer or will simply stonewall in order to avoid helping the owner. In these cases, owners do have the ability to close the permits directly with the City. Speak with them about the process when you are at the building dept. To avert 11th hour issues just prior to closing which could possibly jeopardize the transfer of ownership, the seller needs to be proactive. This post should help.
Checking on and closing open tree permits: The same City website for building permits only has Tree Commission permits processed after August 2018, so there is an additional step that owners need to take to ensure that there are no other past open tree permits. All older Tree Commission permits from 2010 to August 2018 are still in a database in Karen DeMaria’s office (the urban forester for the City of Key West). Call Karen at 305-809-3768 in order to receive all of the proper information regarding open tree permits, if any, on your property.
Timeline: Have documents readily available for when the house goes under contract.
The purchase agreement specifies that the seller is to provide to the buyer a number of documents within 5 days after the effective date of the contract. The effective date is the date that all parties have completed signing and initialing the purchase agreement and the date from which the timeline of the contract originates. Documents include Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance, the Deed, Lease/s (if applicable) and Survey & Elevation Certificate (if available). If provided, these documents may provide a cost savings to all parties at closing. Any other pertinent documents should also be included such as contracts with vendors (fumigation, pool & landscape services, etc.) or evidence from the City of Key West that all past building and tree permits are closed.
Closing Attorneys and Agents
Customarily, in our market, the seller pays for the owner’s title policy and chooses the closing agent or closing attorney while the buyer pays for the lender’s title policy.
Susan Cardenas–Oropeza, Stones & Cardenas*, 305-294-0252 firstname.lastname@example.org
Erica Sterling–Spottswood, Spottswood, Spottswood & Sterling*, 305-294-9556 email@example.com
Mendy Walden–First International Title*, 305-396-7902 firstname.lastname@example.org
DRN Moving, Inc.*, 305-295-6683
Sunset Moving & Storage*, 305-398-4357
Tropical Movers*, 305-290-0560
*We know these contractors and vendors to be reputable from our past experience; this does not constitute any guarantees, warranties, or promises on our part for their future products or services.
©2021 Kent J Ducote, PA