If you are getting ready to sell your home, you won’t find a better “how to sell your home” book than “Home Seller’s Checklist” by Robert Irwin. This amazingly simple and easy-to-read book answers home-seller questions in a unique format so the reader can quickly skip to the sections of urgent interest, such as questions to ask real estate agents when listing the home for sale.
The book’s format is so different, it is sure to be stolen by other authors who want to create books on different topics that are ultra-complete and authoritative, yet easy to understand.
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Robert Irwin, who has written more than 50 real estate books, is a long-time realty broker, investor and author who has a knack for making the complicated seem simple. For example, his new checklist book features typical important home seller questions in bold print, followed by one or two paragraph answers. If the topic doesn’t interest the reader, it’s easy to move on to the next question and answer.
Equally important to the easy read formula are the questions and authoritative answers. The author has been involved with real estate for many years. He is well-qualified to not only ask the right questions but also provide practical answers based on years of extensive realty experiences.
For example, in the section about how home sellers can find a realty agent to list their home for sale, Irwin’s questions suggest several methods. Then he follows up by listing the questions savvy home sellers should ask each agent they interview. Along the way, the author warns about tricks a few agents use and home sellers need to know, such as agents who over or under estimate probable sales prices.
In the question and answer format, Irwin explains virtually everything home sellers need to know. Even if you are considering selling your home alone without a professional realty agent, this new book explains problems do-it-yourself sellers should anticipate and how to handle them.
There is an entire section on selling “by owner,” as Irwin calls selling without a listing agent. Although the author is a Realtor, he recommends techniques to sell the home faster, how to show the home to prospective buyers, and even how to handle purchase offers obtained by realty agents who represent buyers.
A unique section explains how to sell a home under pressure, such as when the local home sales market is declining in market values. Irwin even anticipates distress situations, such as when the home seller owes more on the mortgage than the home is worth (called a “short sale”), how to handle an attorney, the lender, and temporary profit alternatives such as renting the home or giving the lender a deed in lieu of foreclosure.
This quick read book is ideal for homeowners who want to sell but who don’t want to read a boring home sales book. Because the reader can easily skip from section to section, just by reading the bold questions, it is easy to find just the information needed by the home seller.
Chapter topics include “Fixing-up Your Home to Show”; “How to Find a Good Agent”; “Pricing to Market”; “Checking Out the Agreement When You List”; “Preparing Disclosures”; “Handling the Buyer’s Home Inspection”; “The Challenge: Counteroffers”; “Special Concerns for Condo and Co-Op Sellers”; “Selling ‘By Owner'”; “Selling Under Pressure”; “Closing the Sale”; and “Paying the Taxes.”
A book reviewer is supposed to find fault with the book reviewed. But it is hard to fault with this simple, direct, easy-reading home sales book. The reader might disagree with the author’s opinions, such as never sign a listing longer than 90 days, but that is valuable advice based on his extensive experience. On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding book rates a solid 10.
“Home Seller’s Checklist,” by Robert Irwin (McGraw-Hill, New York), 2004, $12.95, 167 pages; available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and www.amazon.com.
Real Estate Center).