Damage from wood boring insects
Mold or mildew in the home
Leaks in the roof or foundation walls
Amount of property taxes paid annually
Problems with sewer or septic systems
Age of shingles and other roof components
A buried oil tank
Details about any individual who claims to have an interest in the property
Information about a structure on the property that overlaps an adjacent property
Some things are not material facts and do not have to be disclosed. They include personal information about the seller and the seller’s reason for moving.
Among those things that may or may not be material facts: whether a death took place in the home or whether a home is considered haunted.
A real estate commission, if you use an agency to sell.
Advertising costs, marketing materials, and other fees if you sell the home yourself.
Attorney, closing, or other professional fees.
Excise tax for the sale.
Prorated costs for your share of annual expenses, such as property taxes, homeowner association fees, and fuel tank rentals.
Any other fees normally paid by sellers in your area, including points, survey, and appraisal fees.
To get a better handle on all costs, ask a real estate agent. Agents deal with this information daily and can give you a pretty good estimate of the closing costs you can expect to pay.
The worth of your home. The agents should inspect the home and prepare a written comparative market analysis.
Marketing plans. These are a must. Make sure they include regular newspaper ads, the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – which gives your home maximum exposure to all local agents – and Internet marketing through the agent’s Web site.
Length of the listing agreement. A 90-day listing is reasonable for marketing your home. Experts advise against signing a listing for more than 90 days unless it contains an unconditional cancellation clause. If you like, you can always extend the contract later.
Number of listings. Find out how many listings the agent now has and how many she normally sells. Too many listings – more than a dozen – with a low sales rate, may not be a good sign.
Get references. Ask for the names and phone numbers of recent home sellers. Call them and ask if they were satisfied with the level of service delivered by the agent.