Q. When I sell my home, what closing costs do I have to pay?

A. Sellers closing costs fall into 2 categories.

The first category are the costs you pay to close the transaction with the title company: Title insurance, escrow, document prep and other fees and will run about one-percent of the sales price. For example, a $100,000 sales will have about $1,000 in closing costs.

The second are costs you agree to pay the mortgage company on behalf of the buyer such as points, buy-downs and FHA mandated seller paid costs. (About $700) These are costs you agree to pay on the sales agreement.

Q. What are points?

A. Points are what a lender charges to you to get a lower interest. In other words, it's prepaid interest for giving you a lower rate than market. Typically, a point is one-percent of the loan amount and will lower you interest about 1/4 of 1 percent over the life of the loan. For example, 2 points on a $150,000 loan will cost $3,000 and lower your interest approx. percent.

Q. What is the Regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and how can it help me sell my home?

A. The Salt Lake Board of Realtors as well as the other associations throughout the state of Utah have agreed to put their listings on a common computer data-base. As a home seller, this gives you access to the buyers thousands of Realtors are working with throughout the state. Also, your home is featured on the web site, the official site of the National Association of Realtors and it's hundreds of thousands of member agents nationwide.

With this wide exposure, you have the greatest chance of quickly attracting the buyer who will pay the most money for your home.

There is, however, a downside to listing your home on the MLS. If your home is overpriced, needs work or upgrading it becomes obvious on an MLS printout that compares dozens of homes in your area and price range. As a result, serious buyers will not consider it when deciding on what homes to look at. This is why a good Realtor will pay careful attention to the pricing and condition of your home and make suggestions that will make it more saleable.

Q. Once a sales contract is signed, how long does it take to close.

A. It's possible to close in a week if the buyers have most of their paperwork in to the lender. Normally, most people like to take about 30 days to pack and get ready to move.

Q. As a seller, when we close how long does it take to get our check?

A. After the paperwork is signed at the title company, it goes back to the mortgage lender for approval. Funds are then wired into the title company's account and the deed and mortgage note(s) are recorded. This all takes about 24 - 48 hours before your check is ready. You can pick it up or have your funds wired or deposited into your checking account...whatever is convenient for you.

Q. If I decided to list my house with you, what would you do to get me the most money?

A. The first thing I do is work up a marketing appraisal to find out what is the best selling price that will get you the most money in a reasonable time frame.

I do that by looking at what homes have sold in your area and what home have gone under contract in the last week to 10 days. Finally we look at what your competition is in your area and price range. We want to know what home buyers are looking in addition to yours. Once we know this, we can zero in on the most likely selling price that will get you the most money.

From a marketing standpoint, you home will be on the MLS, 3 internet sites, ads in 3 local newspapers and direct mail targeting you local area. Signs and brochure boxes help get information to drive-bys attracted by our advertising.

In the end, it will probably be other signs, other ads and other contacts that will end up selling your home. It's been my experience over the years that buyers seldom buy the home they call on. That's why it's important to go with an agent who has the experience to funnel these contacts to your home whether they be buyers or other agents.