Dennis Toomey, CRP, CRS, GRI, ABR, E-PRO

RE/MAX Action



RE/MAX Action and I hope that the information supplied here will be of assistance to you in selling your home.  We offer this free of charge and without obligations.


RE/MAX Action is a fast growing suburban firm composed of experiences, dedicated professionals serving the Chicagoland area.  If you succeed in marketing your home and feel that I have been of service, I would appreciate any recommendations to your friends and neighbors.


If you are unable to market your property, I would like to have the opportunity to come in and discuss with you the benefits that my company and I have to offer




1.  Call your bank and let them know you are planning to sell your home.  If your mortgage is assumable, ask about the terms.  Keep updated information on current mortgage rates.  The local lending institutions in your area are normally very cooperative.


2.  Contact a good real estate attorney.  We can suggest several excellent lawyers in the area whom you might consider.  Legal fees will vary slightly.


3.  Keep all your legal documents in a convenient location.  You will need these papers as soon as your home is sold.  Legal documents consist of:


A.     Title policy

B.     Plat of Survey

C.     Tax-bill

D.     Mortgage Papers


4.  Obtain information about your community for any prospective buyer.  They will be interested in the churches, schools, parks, and other benefits the area has to offer.


5.  Read our “Suggestions to an Owner”.


6.  If any repairs need to be made, do them before trying to sell your property.  Don’t tell a prospective buyer that you will fix something after they buy.  Fix it now and ask top dollar.


7.  Have copies of your utility bills available.  The buyer will be interested in the cost and maintenance of the property.



(On how to really help sell your property)


1.   Your front door gives a vital first impression while a prospect waits for you to answer the door.  Be sure it is scrubbed clean.


2.   Dress up windows in freshly laundered curtains.


3.   Make up beds with attractive spreads.


4.   If any decorating is needed (especially in the kitchen) do it now:  $20.00 worth of paint may balance $100.00 as a price cut.


5.   Keep all steps clear of hazards.


6.   Keep pets out of the way when showing.


7.   Turn down the radio or TV while property is being shown.


8.   Tidy up the grounds – porches – garage.


9.   Never apologize for appearance.  It only accents or distracts.


10.  Keep fresh towels and tablecloths handy to brighten up your home.


11.  Have as few people around as possible at the time of appointment.


12.  Don’t forget to have all light sockets filled with bulbs and turn on the lights in dimly lit areas, i.e. closets, basement.


13.  Never try to sell furniture or other personal items to customers before transaction is completed.


14.  Answer all questions about your property honestly.  You may be asked what your utility costs are.


15.  Keep conversations to a minimum.




When you accept a contract from a buyer you will have to allow him time to apply for a mortgage loan.  Since this means that your home will be off the market, it is important that you are sure he is qualified.  To avoid losing a lot of valuable time, get the following information from the buyer before you sign a contract.


A.     Buyers name

B.     Address

C.     Phone number

D.     Age

E.      Place of employment and how long

F.      Their monthly salary

G.     Their long-term outstanding debts

H.     Were they ever bankrupt or party to a judgment?

I.        Source and amount of down payment


It is important that all the above questions be answered because they all influence their ability to obtain a mortgage loan.  Remember, they are asking you to take your home off the market and you have a right to all the information necessary to obtain the mortgage.


Make an effort to get acquainted with a specific lending institution and loan officer.  If you have any questions as to the qualifications of your buyer you can call the loan officer directly.


Have contracts ready at all times.  Don’t hesitate to put your agreement with the buyer in writing.  Remember, “If it isn’t in writing, it isn’t so”.  If all terms and conditions are written, then there won’t be any misunderstandings later on.


* Maximum monthly payment (28% of income) including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.  This may vary with the lender.




Answer all questions honestly and truthfully.  Be pleasant.  Obtain the caller’s name and phone number if possible.  ASK QUESTIONS.  Don’t waste your time if the caller doesn’t like your area or model.  Be tactful.  Be ready to answer questions pertaining to schools, fuel and water bills, garbage pick up, etc.  Quote averages on utilities.  If you are not on a budget plan for utilities, determine the average by taking the total for the year and divide it by 12.




The best source for advertising your home is the neighborhood newspapers.  Don’t scrimp!  Make sure that you are including all the amenities that your home offers.  Include the price, as this will eliminate a lot of unnecessary callers.


Put a sign in front of your home.  This will alert neighbors that your home is for sale and they may have a friend or relative that might be interested.


Type a sheet with all the information about your home.  The buyer will be interested in the room sizes, if the home has central air, and how the home is heated.  Have several copies available so when the buyer leaves your home, they have something to take with them to remind them about your home.






TITLE EXPENSE.  Title policy will run $1,00.00 to $2,500.00 depending upon the price of the home.


STATE REVENUE STAMPS.  $1.00 per thousand in the amount of the purchase price unless the buyer assumes your existing mortgage.  In that case you will pay $1.00 per thousand on the difference between the mortgage balance and the purchase price.


COUNTY REVENUE STAMPS.  $0.50 per thousand in the amount of the purchase price.


CITY REVENUE STAMPS AND INSPECTIONS.  Contact your local municipality.


SURVEY.  These usually run about $400.00 to 650.00.  If you have made any additions, the survey will run $500.00 to $750.00


ATTORNEY FEES.  Attorney fees for drawing deed and documents are usually $450.00 to $800.00 but may vary upward.


VA-FHA.  Financing discount points must be paid by the seller on all VA loans but not necessarily on FHA loans.  The points vary daily.


PAY-OFF PENALTY ON MORTGAGE.  Best way to find out is to contact your lending institution.


Check to see if your tax escrow funds are sufficient to cover taxes that are currently due.  If your escrow is short you will have to make up the difference out of your equity.


DO YOU KNOW......................


*  The real needs, requirements and motivations of today’s buyer?

*  How to write appealing advertising copy every week?

*  How the competitive value of property is determined?

*  That almost all homes are bought by comparison?  Are you able to compare your home?

    -- thoroughly, objectively, with many others?

*  How to protect yourself from questionable or “suspicious” lookers?

*  How to negotiate objectively, realistically and unemotionally?

*  How to discuss your buyer’s financial “ability” to purchase without his resistance, or

    without danger of losing the sale?

*  How to write a sales contract that will be valid?

*  How to help your buyer obtain financing?  Do you have time to do so?

*  How to improve your home’s sales appeal without needless cost?

*  How to follow up without conveying your desire and/or anxiety to sell?

*  How many “Sunday Sightseers” and “Bargain-Hunters” you will escort through your

    home?  (More than you can handle, because the vast majority of serious buying

    Prospects seek and use the services of Realtors).

*  How to control inspection of your home by advance appointment?

*  How to prevent the unwanted or unannounced person from inspecting your property,

    Especially when you are alone?

*  How costly it is to spend countless hours and dollars trying to sell?

*  That when a third party is involved in negotiations, the seller usually comes out in