A. On the selling side:
• Make sure your buyers are pre-approved and that their money is available to buy.
• Find out if the buyers have to wait for anything in order to be ready to close and move, for example, if their lease is not expiring and they want to stay until then so as not to lose rent.
• Have your agent check the proof of funds and other paperwork. Also ask your agent if they will be meeting with the appraiser and have comparable sales ready.
• Make sure you assemble all your papers, including a survey and deed if you are selling a house. If you are selling a coop, make sure you have the Stock Certificate and Proprietary Lease, as well as the prospectus, latest financials, and a board application.
If you still have a mortgage, then the bank will likely have the Stock Certificate and Proprietary Lease. Make sure your lawyer requests these as you get closer to closing. Additional papers you should have on hand include information on any major repairs, e.g., the roof, or major plumbing, heating or cooling issues, as the buyer is sure to ask.
On the buying side:
• Do your homework, make sure you have targeted the right location(s) and are familiar with prices so you can make a reasonable offer. A lingering negotiation process will slow things down. Narrow your list of locations and attributes to the basic must-haves.
• Be aware that properties that are new to the market might be less negotiable or might not be ready for a fast sale.
• Have your papers in order. You will need two years’ worth of tax returns and related documentation, as well as bank and financial statements for three months, and a pre-approval (not a pre-qualification) from a lending institution (not a mortgage broker).
• Find out the seller’s time schedule for moving. Make sure they are not waiting for their new place to be available past a date with which you are comfortable.
• Stay in close touch with your lender, and make sure everything is moving. If any documents are requested, try to respond rapidly, even the same day if possible.
• Make sure the title search or lien search has been started; this can slow down a closing process if anything out of the ordinary is discovered.
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