Colonial Properties
3049 Veterans Blvd.
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Toll Free: 800.336.1899
Local: 865.453.3333
Fax: 865.774.3554
Info@ColonialProperties.com
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Featured Home

$269,900  3 Bed
3 Bath  2448 Sq. Ft.
Area: Pigeon Forge
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HANDOUTS FOR CONSUMERS: SELLERS
Need a printout? Download the pdf
Understanding Agency
Working With a Real Estate Professional
5 Things to Do Before You Sell
Tips for Holding a Yard Sale
10 Ways to Make Your House More Salable
5 Ways to Speed Up Your Sale
 
7 Steps to Preparing for an Open House
10 Ways to Make Your Home Irresistible at an Open House
7 Terms to Watch for in a Purchase Contract
What You’ll Net at Closing
Moving Tips for Sellers
6 Items to Have on Hand for the New Owners
 
20 Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home
What Is Appraised Value?
Understanding Capital Gains in Real Estate
Does Moving Up Make Sense?
Remodeling That Pays
12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor
 
Web Site Resources for Consumers

Back to Top Understanding Agency
  It’s important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson (licensee) has to you and to other parties in the transactions. Ask your salesperson to explain what type of agency relationship you have with him or her and with the brokerage company.
  AN EXPLANATION OF TERMS FOR AGENCY IN TENNESSEE
  Facilitator / Transaction Broker (not an agent for either party):
  The licensee is not working as an agent for either party in this consumer’s prospective transaction. A facilitator may advise either or both of the parties to a transaction but cannot be considered a representative or advocate of either party. “Transaction Broker” may be used synonymously with, or in lieu of, “facilitator” as used in any disclosures, forms or agreements. [By law, any licensee or company who has not entered into a written agency agreement with either party in the transaction is considered a Facilitator or Transaction Broker until such time as an agency agreement is established.]
  Agent or Subagent for the Seller:
  The licensee’s company is working as an agent for the property seller and owes primary loyalty to the seller. Even if the licensee is working with a prospective buyer to locate property for sale, rent, or lease, the licensee and his/her company are legally bound to work in the best interests of any property owners whose property is shown to this prospective buyer. An agency relationship of this type cannot, by law, be established without a written consent.
  Agent for the Buyer:
  The licensee’s company is working as an agent for the prospective buyer, owes primary loyalty to the buyer, and will work as an advocate for the best interests of the buyer. An agency relationship of this type cannot, by law, be established without written buyer agency agreement.
  Disclosed Dual Agent (for both parties):
  Refers to a situation in which the licensee has agreements to provide services as an agent to more than one party in a specific transaction and in which the interests of such parties are adverse.
  Designated Agent for the Seller:
  The individual licensee that has been assigned by their Managing Broker and is working as an agent for the seller or property owner in this consumer’s prospective transaction, to the exclusion of all other licensees in his/her company. Even if someone else in the licensee’s company represents a possible buyer for this seller’s property, the Designated Agent for the Seller will continue to work as an advocate for the best interests of the seller or property owner. An agency relationship of this type cannot, by law, be established without written agency agreement.
  Designated Agent for the Buyer:
  The individual licensee that has been assigned by their Managing Broker and is working as an agent for the buyer in this consumer’s prospective transaction, to the exclusion of all other licensees in his/her company. Even if someone else in the licensee’s company represents a seller in whose property the buyer is interested, the Designated Agent for the Buyer will continue to work as an advocate for the best interests of the buyer. An agency relationship of this type cannot, by law, be established without written agency agreement
  Adverse Facts:
  “Adverse Facts” means conditions or occurrences generally recognized by competent licensees that have negative impact on the value of the real estate, significantly reduce the structural integrity of improvements to real property or present a significant health risk to occupants of the property.
  CONFIDENTIALITY:
  By law, every licensee is obligated to protect some information as confidential. This includes any information revealed by a consumer which may be helpful to the other party IF it was revealed by the consumer BEFORE the licensee disclosed an agency relationship with that other party. AFTER the licensee discloses that he/she has an agency relationship with another party, any such information which the consumer THEN reveals must be passed on by the licensee to that other party.

Back to Top WORKING WITH A REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL
  Pursuant to the Tennessee Real Estate Broker License Act, every Real Estate Licensee owes the following duties to every Buyer and Seller, Tenant and Landlord (collectively “Buyers” and “Sellers”)
 
  1. To diligently exercise reasonable skill and care in providing services to all parties to the transaction;
  2. To disclose to each party to the transaction any Adverse Facts of which Licensee has actual notice or knowledge;
  3. To maintain for each party in a transaction the confidentiality of any information obtained by a Licensee prior to disclosure to all parties of a written agency agreement entered into by the Licensee to represent either or both parties in the transaction. This duty of confidentiality extends to any information that the party has authorized for disclosure or information required by law to be disclosed.
  4. To provide services to each party to the transaction with honesty and good faith;
  5. To disclose to each party to the transaction timely and accurate information regarding market conditions that might affect such transaction only when such information is available through public records and when such information is requested by a party;
  6. To give timely account for earnest money deposits and all other property received from any party to a transaction; and
  7. A) To refrain from engaging in self-dealing or act on behalf of Licensee’s immediate family, or on behalf of any other individual, organization or business entity in which Licensee has a personal interest without prior disclosure of such personal interest and the timely written consent of all parties to the transaction; and B) To refrain from recommending to any party to the transaction the use of services of another individual, organization or business entity in which the Licensee has an interest or from whom the Licensee may receive a referral fee or other compensation for the referral, other than referrals to other Licensees to provide real estate services, without timely disclosing to the party who receives the referral, the Licensee’s interest in such referral or the fact that a referral fee may be received.


  8. In addition to the above, the Licensee has the following duties to his/her Client if the Licensee has become an Agent or Designated Agent in a transaction:

  9. Obey all lawful instructions of the client when such instructions are within the scope of the agency agreement between the Licensee and Licensee’s client; and
  10. Be loyal to the interests of the client. A Licensee must place the interests of the client before all others in negotiation of a transaction and in other activities, except where such loyalty duty would violate Licensee’s duties to a customer in the transaction.
  11. Unless the following duties are specifically and individually waived, in writing by a client, a licensee shall assist the client by:
    A) Scheduling all property showings on behalf of the client;
    B) Receiving all offers and counter offers and forwarding them promptly to the client;
    C) Answering any questions that the client may have in negotiation of a successful purchase agreement within the scope of the licensee’s expertise; and
    D) Advising the client as to whatever forms, procedures and steps are needed after execution of the purchase agreement for a successful closing of the transaction.
Upon waiver of any of the above duties, a consumer must be advised in writing by such consumer’s agent that the consumer may not expect or seek assistance from any other licensees in the transaction for the performance of the above.
   
Back to Top 5 Things to Do Before You Sell
 
  1. Get estimates from a reliable repairperson on items that need to be replaced soon, such as a roof or worn carpeting, for example. In this way, buyers will have a better sense of how much these needed repairs will affect their costs.
  2. Have a termite inspection to prove to buyers that the property is not infested.
  3. Get a pre-sale home inspection so you’ll be able to make repairs before buyers become concerned and cancel a contract.
  4. Gather together warranties and guarantees on the furnace, appliances, and other items that will remain with the house.
  5. Fill out a disclosure form provided by your sales associate. Take the time to be sure that you don’t forget problems, however minor, that might create liability for you after the sale.
Back to Top Tips for Holding a Yard Sale
  Hold a yard sale to reduce the clutter in your home and get rid of items you don’t want to move.
 
  1. Check with your city government to see if you need a permit or license.
  2. See if neighbors want to participate and have a “block” sale to attract more visitors.
  3. Advertise. Put an ad in free classified papers, and put up signs and balloons at major intersections and in stores near your home.
  4. Price items ahead and attach prices with removable stickers. Remember, yard sales are supposed to be bargains, so don’t try to sell anything of significant value this way.
  5. Check items before the sale to be sure you haven’t including something you want by mistake.
  6. Keep pets away from the sale.
  7. Display everything neatly and individually so customers don’t have to dig through boxes.
  8. Have an electrical outlet so buyers can test appliances.
  9. Have plenty of bags and newspaper for wrapping fragile items.
  10. Get enough change, and keep a close eye on your cash.
Back to Top 10 Ways to Make Your House More Salable
 
  1. Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack away most of your small decorative items. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.
  2. Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for.
  3. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows.
  4. Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.
  5. Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems, such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet, may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained.
  6. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks. Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.
  7. Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
  8. Clean your gutters.
  9. Polish your front doorknob and door numbers.
Back to Top 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Sale
 
  1. Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.
  2. Get your house market-ready for at least two weeks before you begin showing it.
  3. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you’ll find a seller.
  4. Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.
  5. Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, be prepared to lower your asking price.
Back to Top 7 Steps to Preparing for an Open House
 
  1. Hire a cleaning service. A spotlessly clean home is essential; dirt will turn off a prospect faster than anything.
  2. Mow your lawn, and be sure toys and yard equipment are put away.
  3. Serve cookies, coffee, and soft drinks. It creates a welcoming touch. But be sure the kitchen has been cleaned up; use disposable cups so the sink doesn’t fill up.
  4. Lock up your valuables, jewelry, and money. Although the real estate salesperson will be on site during the open house, it’s impossible to watch everyone all the time.
  5. Turn on all the lights. Even in the daytime, incandescent lights add sparkle.
  6. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (a basement or bath), and let the salesperson know where to find them.
  7. Leave. It’s awkward for prospective buyers to look in your closets and express their opinions of your home with you there.
Back to Top 10 Ways to Make Your Home Irresistible at an Open House
 
  1. Put fresh or silk flowers in principal rooms for a touch of color.
  2. Add a new shower curtain, fresh towels, and new guest soaps to every bath.
  3. Set out potpourri or fresh baked goods for a homey smell.
  4. Set the table with pretty dishes and candles.
  5. Buy a fresh doormat with a clever saying.
  6. Take one or two major pieces of furniture out of every room to create a sense of spaciousness.
  7. Put away kitchen appliances and personal bathroom items to give the illusion of more counter space.
  8. Lay a fire in the fireplace. Or put a basket of flowers there if it’s not in use.
  9. Depersonalize the rooms by putting away family photos, mementos, and distinctive artwork.
  10. Turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes to make the lawn sparkle.
Back to Top 7 Terms to Watch for in a Purchase Contract
 
  1. The closing date. See if the date the buyer wants to take title is reasonable for you.
  2. Date of possession. See if the date the buyer wants to move in is reasonable for you.
  3. The earnest money. Look for the largest earnest-money deposit possible; since it is forfeited if the buyer backs out, a large deposit is usually a good indication of a sincere buyer.
  4. Fixtures and personal property. Check the list of items that the buyer expects to remain with the property and be sure it’s acceptable.
  5. Repairs. Determine what the requested repairs will cost and whether you’re willing to do the work or would rather lower the price by that amount.
  6. Contingencies. See what other factors the buyer wants met before the contract is final—inspections, selling a home, obtaining a mortgage, review of the contract by an attorney. Set time limits on contingencies so that they won’t drag on and keep your sale from becoming final.
  7. The contract expiration date. See how long you have to make a decision on the offer.
Back to Top What You Will Net At Closing
  To find out how much money you’ll net from your house, add up your closing costs and subtract them from the sale price of the house.
 

Closing Costs for Sellers

 

Mortgage payoff and outstanding interest

 

Prorations for real estate taxes

 

Prorations for utility bills, condo dues, and other items paid in arrears

 

Closing fees charged by closing specialist

 

Title policy fees

 

Home inspections

 

Attorney’s fees

 

Survey charge

 

Transfer tax or other government registration fees

 

Brokerage commission

 

Total

 


Back to Top Moving Tips for Sellers
 
  1. Give your forwarding address to the post office, usually two to four weeks ahead of the move.
  2. Notify your credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, and bank of the change of address.
  3. Develop a list of friends, relatives, and business colleagues who need to be notified of the move.
  4. Arrange to have utilities disconnected at your old home and connected at your new one.
  5. Cancel the newspaper.
  6. Check insurance coverage for moved items. Usually movers only cover what they pack.
  7. Clean out appliances and prepare them for moving, if applicable.
  8. Note the weight of the goods you’ll have moved, since long-distance moves are usually billed according to weight. Watch for movers that use excessive padding to add weight.
  9. Check with your condo or co-op about restrictions on using the elevator or particular exits.
  10. Have a “first open” box with the things you’ll need most—toilet paper, soap, trash bags, scissors, hammer, screwdriver, pencils and paper, cups and plates, water, snacks, and toothpaste.
  Plus, if you’re moving out of town:
 
  1. Get copies of medical and dental records and prescriptions for your family and your pets.
  2. Get copies of children’s school records for transfer.
  3. Ask friends for introductions to anyone they know in your new neighborhood.
  4. Consider special car needs for pets when traveling.
  5. Let a friend or relative know your route.
  6. Carry traveler’s checks or an ATM card for ready cash until you can open a bank account.
  7. Empty your safety deposit box.
  8. Put plants in boxes with holes for air circulation if you’re moving in cold weather.
Back to Top 6 Items to Have on Hand for the New Owners
 
  1. Owner’s manuals for items left in the house.
  2. Warranties for any items left in the house.
  3. A list of local service providers—the best dry cleaner, yard service, etc.
  4. Garage door opener.
  5. Extra sets of house keys.
  6. Code to burglar alarm and phone number of monitoring service if not discontinued.
Back to Top 20 Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home
  Make your home more appealing for potential buyers with these quick and easy tips.
 
  1. Trim bushes so they don’t block windows and cut down on light.
  2. Buy a new doormat.
  3. Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.
  4. Put new doorknobs on your doors.
  5. Put a fresh coating on your driveway.
  6. Edge the grass around walks and trees.
  7. Keep your garden tools out of site.
  8. Be sure kids put away their toys.
  9. Buy a new mailbox.
  10. Upgrade the outside lighting.
  11. Use warm, incandescent light bulbs for a homey feel.
  12. Polish or replace your house numbers.
  13. Clean your gutters.
  14. Put out potpourri or burn scented candles.
  15. Buy new pillows for the sofa.
  16. Buy a flowering plant and put it in a window you pass by frequently.
  17. Make a centerpiece for your table with fruit or artificial flowers.
  18. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.
  19. Buy new towels.
  20. Put a seasonal wreath on your door.
Back to Top What Is Appraised Value?
  It’s an objective opinion of value, but it’s not an exact science so appraisals may differ.
  For buying and selling purposes, appraisals are usually based on market value—what the property could probably be sold for. Other types of value include insurance value, replacement value, and assessed value for property tax purposes.
  Appraised value is not a constant number. Changes in market conditions can dramatically alter appraised value.
  Appraised value doesn’t consider special considerations, like the need to sell rapidly.
  Lenders usually use either the appraised value or the sale price, whichever is less, to determine the amount of the mortgage they will offer.

Used with permission from Kim Daugherty, Real Estate Checklists and Systems (http://www.realestatechecklists.com).


Back to Top Understanding Capital Gains in Real Estate
  When you sell a stock, you owe taxes on your gain—the difference between what you paid for the stock and what you sold it for. The same is true with selling a home (or a second home), but there are some special considerations.
  How to Calculate Gain
  In real estate, capital gains are based not on what you paid for the home, but on its adjusted cost basis. To calculate this:
 
  1. Take the purchase price of the home: This is the sale price, not the amount of money you actually contributed at closing.
  2. Add adjustments:
    • Cost of the purchase—including transfer fees, attorney fees, inspections, but not points you paid on your mortgage.
    • Cost of sale—including inspections, attorney’s fee, real estate commission, and money you spent to fix up your home just prior to sale.
    • Cost of improvements—including room additions, deck, etc. Note here that improvements do not include repairing or replacing something already there, such as putting on a new roof or buying a new furnace.
  3. The total of this is the adjusted cost basis of your home.
  4. Subtract this adjusted cost basis from the amount you sell your home for. This is your capital gain.
  A Special Real Estate Exemption for Capital Gains
  Since 1997, up to $250,000 in capital gains ($500,000 for a married couple) on the sale of a home is exempt from taxation if you meet the following criteria:
 
  • You have lived in the home as your principal residence for two out of the last five years.
  • You have not sold or exchanged another home during the two years preceding the sale.
  Also note that as of 2003, you also may qualify for this exemption if you meet what the IRS calls “unforeseen circumstances,” such as job loss, divorce, or family medical emergency.

Back to Top Does Moving Up Make Sense?
  Answer these questions to help you decide whether moving up makes sense.
 
  1. How much equity do you have in your home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of paying a mortgage, but if you’ve owned your home for a number of years, you may have significant unrealized gains.
  2. Has your income increased enough to cover the extra mortgage costs and the costs of moving?
  3. Does your neighborhood still meet your needs? For example, if you’ve had children, the quality of the schools may be more of a concern now than when you first purchased.
  4. Can you add on or remodel? If you have a large yard, there might be room to expand your home. If not, your options may be limited. Also, do you want to undertake the headaches of remodeling?
  5. How is the home market? If it’s good, you may get top dollar for your home.
  6. How are interest rates? A low rate not only helps you buy more home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.

Back to Top Remodeling That Pays
 

Upgrading your home is always appealing, but which enhancements really get you a good return for your money when it’s time to sell? The 2003 Cost vs. Value Report  (link to complete report) by Remodeling magazine and REALTOR® Magazinehas the answer.

 

Note:  Online Remodeling’s 2006 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report may be purchased at a reasonable cost.

 

 

2003

2002

Variance

Bathroom Remodel

Midrange

89.3%

87.5%

1.8%

Upscale

92.6

91.0

1.6

Bathroom Addition

Midrange

95.0

94.2

0.08

Upscale

84.3

81.4

2.9

Major Kitchen Remodel

Midrange

74.9

66.6

8.3

Upscale

79.6

79.8

-0.2

Master Suite

Midrange

76.4

75.1

1.3

Upscale

76.9

76.8

0.1

Family Room

Midrange

80.6

79.5

1.1

Deck

Midrange

104.2

N/A*

N/A*

Basement Remodel

Midrange

79.3

78.7

0.6

Siding Replacement

Midrange

98.1

79.1

19.0

Window Replacement

Midrange

84.8

73.8

11

Upscale

87.0

77.0

10

Attic Bedroom

Midrange

92.8

N/A*

N/A*


Back to Top 12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor
 
  1. Get at least three written estimates.
  2. Get references and call to check on the work. If possible, go by and visit earlier jobs.
  3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
  4. Be sure that the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
  5. Make as small a downpayment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
  6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
  7. Be sure that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
  8. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will do parts.
  9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet local building codes or regulations.
  10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
  11. Guarantee that materials used meet your specifications.
  12. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work.
Back to Top Web Site Resources for Consumers
  Credit Union Consumer Facts,
 

http://www.cuna.org/data/consumer/advice/retire_home/hometoc.html

   
  www.EnergyGuide.com
  Provides an easy way to assess energy use and get quick tips on saving energy.
   
  Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov
 

A one-stop shop for advice on testing for and mitigating pollutants, from lead paint to radon to mold.

   
  Equifax, www.eqifax.com
  A source of credit reports.
   
 

Experian (formerly TRW), www.experian.com

 

A source of credit reports.

   
  Federal Citizen Information Center,
http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/results.tpl?id1=17&startat=1&--woSECTIONSdatarq=17&--SECTIONSword=ww
 

Offers a list of consumer articles about home sales, financing, and maintenance.

   
 

Ginnie Mae, http://www.ginniemae.gov

 

Provides advice to buyers on affordability and homeownership, including calculators.

   
 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, http://www.hud.gov/buying/index.cfm

 

Offers advice to buyers on finance, fair housing, and more.

   
 

ImproveNet, www.improvenet.com

 

Provides links to contractors and architects for remodeling projects for buyers and repair services for sellers. For a small charge, buyers can use the site’s Estimators to determine how much renovating a property they’re considering would cost.

   
  www.Moving.com
 

Helps buyers and sellers with packing tips and timetables, online mover links, and places to store belongings so that homes look less cluttered.

   
  www.REALTOR.com
 

Offers consumer information for buyers and sellers as well as home listings and links to service providers.

   
 

Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC), http://www.rebac.net/hbk.html

 

Offers a homebuyer’s kit with useful information and checklists.

   
 

Trans Union Corporation, www.transunion.com

 

A source of credit reports.