Perhaps you’ve finished all the remodeling projects, updated the appliances, and applied a fresh coat of paint to your home, and you think you’re ready to call a listing agent to put your home on the market. Before you do, there are a number of important legal issues for you to consider, many of which will need to be resolved before you can sell your home, and some of which will simply be easier to resolve before your home is sold. Read on to learn about the top legal questions you’ll need to resolve before you sell a house in Maryland.
1. Figure out how the sale proceeds will be divided
Perhaps you share your home with a romantic partner to whom you’re not married. You may have contributed to the mortgage or to other household expenses, but do not have your name on the deed. While it’s unpleasant to consider, now is a good time to create an agreement laying out the share of the proceeds to which you’re each entitled. This amount should not only include any payments you made toward the mortgage, but also the amount you paid toward renovations, as well as the value of the time you spent doing work on the property. A knowledgeable real estate attorney can help you determine the value of your contributions and can draft an agreement that provides a legally-binding division of the proceeds.
2. Any liens against your home must be resolved
If you’ve faced any major consumer debt while you’ve owned your home, and one of those creditors succeeded in a legal claim against you based on the debt, there may be a lien filed against your home. Likewise, unpaid taxes, child support, or alimony could also result in liens against your title. You’ll need to resolve these outstanding debts before you’ll be able to sell your home.
3. Make sure you have copies of or can locate all the documents you’ll need
There are so many important legal documents that you’ll need to have on hand before you sell your home, such as a copy of your deed, any land surveys, contracts with tenants or co-owners, or any restrictive covenants that apply to your property. Since you may need to order copies of some of these documents, make sure to begin the process of gathering what you need well in advance. An attorney can walk you through exactly what you’ll need when selling your home.
For assistance with questions regarding real estate transactions, contract disputes, or land use in Maryland, contact the knowledgeable and detail-oriented Annapolis real estate attorney Matthew S. Evans III for a consultation, at 410-626-6009.