If you’re planning to sell your home in Oregon, you need to know what to expect, create the right strategy, and be aware of the relevant legal requirements in the state.
In this section, we give you several important things to keep in mind when selling a home in Oregon, so you can prepare and make well-informed decisions.
Why sell your home?
Selling a property is a huge transaction. Taking a closer look at why you’ve decided to sell in the first place is a good start. Do you need to downsize, or perhaps find a larger home for your growing family? Are you selling your home because you need to relocate to a different city?
While your reasons may already seem obvious, having a clear idea of your intentions to sell will be very helpful for you and your realtor, who will be able to determine the best possible options that accommodate your real estate goals.
Set a realistic schedule
Establishing a time frame is another key step in the early stages of the selling process. In case you need a quick sale, talk to your agent and request a comprehensive marketing analysis and a selling strategy that’s tailor-made for your goals. If you’re not in a hurry to sell, your agent can then take time to study current market conditions and determine the best time to sell, so you can get the best offer possible for your home.
Pricing your home
Your real estate agent will provide you with information on your local market, which will help you determine a realistic price for your home. Pricing your home will set the stage for the selling process.
If you price it too high, you run the risk of making your home a “stagnant” listing, as potential buyers might see similar yet more reasonably priced homes available. Pricing it too low on the other hand, could result to a significant loss of profit.
While your agent can recommend an optimal price, you are still the one who will make the final decision. Remember to be objective and try to set aside any attachments and personal feelings you may have towards your home, and treat the sale like a business transaction.
Create an agreement to sell
The statute of frauds applies to sales of real property in the state of Oregon. It is a legal doctrine that requires particular contracts to be made in writing. Thus, your agreement to sell your home should be made in writing and will need to be signed by all parties involved. While you are allowed to negotiate new terms with a buyer, all amendments you agree on must also be in writing and signed by all parties for it to be made legal.
An agreement to sell a property in Oregon is usually on a form known as a “Residential Real Estate Sale Agreement.” This may come in several different forms, and could have a different title. The sale agreement includes all terms and conditions of the transaction. Some of the common terms included in a sale agreement are:
- Purchase price
- Amount of escrow money, who will hold the escrow money, and who receives the money in case the sale fails to close
- Details of the pre-buy inspection
- Date and location of closing
- How closing costs will be divided between the buyer and seller
Property disclosure statement
Home sellers in Oregon must be able to provide a property disclosure statement upon receiving a written offer from a buyer. This document must be presented to the buyer following the form provided by the Oregon legislature.
The property disclosure statement requires all sellers to address specific questions regarding the property’s condition, such as:
- Local water sources and irrigation
- Existing fixtures and systems such as electrical and plumbing
- Title to the property and any liens, easements, and existing encumbrances
- Sewage disposal
- Current condition of its structure, including unpermitted additions or serious defects such as roof leaks
- Common interests such as homeowners’ association dues and shared common amenities
- Existing material defects that are not identified in the form.
You can request a copy of the required disclosure form from your real estate agent. In most cases, the seller will only need to accomplish this form once, and have their agent hand out a copy to any prospective buyer who makes an offer for the property.
Disclosure of lead paint
For older properties, the federal law requires disclosure of lead paint usage (42 US Code 4852d). In case your home was constructed before 1978, you will need to provide a “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” pamphlet and a lead paint disclosure. You can get sample forms and additional information from the HUD website. Sellers must also provide a ten-day period to allow the buyer to conduct a lead paint inspection.
At closing, home sellers are required to sign a deed that effectively conveys the home to the buyer. The buyer typically requires the deed to be created in a certain form and that it meets minimum requirements so the county clerk will be able to record it in official public records.
Deeds can be made using one of several forms, including sale or bargain deeds, or statutory warranty deeds. The state of Oregon requires all title companies who perform the closing to prepare the deed. Real estate attorneys are also permitted to prepare the deed.
Hiring an attorney
While hiring an attorney for assistance during the home selling process is not customary in Oregon, the significance and unpredictability of every transaction and the possibility of facing liability makes it a smart move.
Having an attorney on your side can be very helpful during a home sale, as you will have someone who will address any questions and concerns regarding the sale agreement and disclosure statement. An attorney can also help you resolve any title defects that have to be addressed before closing.
Need help with selling your home in Southern Oregon? Call Ashland Homes today to fulfill your real estate goals! Get in touch with the team by calling 800-334-7499 / 541-482-0044, or send an email to info(at)ashlandhomes(dotted)com