Have you ever noticed that information and advice for first-time homebuyers is plentiful across the internet?
But what happens when you look for information and advice for inexperienced or less frequent home sellers?
While buying a home for the first time in a while can be somewhat confusing until the process is explained, selling one for the first time in years is even more so. This is a huge investment you’re selling. How much will you make, and when? What will it take to sell? What does your agent do to sell it?
We believe that knowledge is power and we’re always happy to share our knowledge with you. You should be aware of every step in the process so that you never have to wonder what happens next. Or be asking, “Why haven’t I heard from my real estate agent?”
It all starts when you list your home for sale. When you know what happens after you sign the listing agreement, and what is expected of you during this time period, nothing will fall through the cracks and you can relax into the process. And, if you don’t know what we’re up to, you probably are going to think that we just “plant and pray” (plant a sign in your yard and pray your home sells – nothing could be farther from the truth in our case!)
Although you won’t see us, behind the scenes, we will have our hands full with a flurry of activity, from getting the home into the Multiple Listing Service database to implementing our tried-and-true marketing plan.
So, for all of you thinking of selling a home, here is what you can expect after you sign the listing agreement with us.
The pre-showing period
Immediately after signing the listing agreement, we will suggest ways to improve the home’s curb appeal and, if needed, give you some tips on how to stage the interior to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers. We have stagers, handymen, gardeners, painters, and whole team of people we bring in to polich your diamond and make it POP for your potential buyers.
We’ll walk you through any repairs we feel will help the home sell quicker and for more money.
While you get busy making improvements and needed repairs, we will have our own tasks to complete. Here is just a handful of what we do just after you sign the listing agreement:
- Ensure that we have all the pertinent information about the HOA, if applicable.
- Collect a key from you for the lockbox.
- Schedule our professional photographer, and if applicable, our videographer, too.
- We will walk you through the broker’s open process (sort of an open house for real estate agents) and showings to potential buyers.
- We will advise you how to guard your valuables and what to do with your pets and we’ll ask you if there are any restrictions on showing the home (times that you just cannot leave the home).
After we leave your house with the listing agreement we’ll head back to the office and get to work.
First, we’ll call our sign company and order a sign for your yard or window, arrange to have the lockbox attached to your home and we’ll set an appointment with our professional photographer to take photos of the home.
These photos will not only be used in the MLS listing but in all other marketing materials, so we’ll give you plenty of notice to get the home in tip-top shape before he arrives. We will also determine a good day to hold the broker’s open house.
We’ll verify the square footage of your house and lot via tax records and enter all the information about your home into the Multiple Listing database.
Once the photos and information are in the MLS, your home is officially on the market and all other real estate agents in the area will have access to the information and can begin showing your home.
We aggressively market your home to buyers, agents, and the entire local market should someone know of a friend looking to buy. No stone is left unturned in making sure that every potential buyer has the opportunity to fall in love with your home the same way that you did!
While the home is on the market you will need to keep it tidy and keep your valuables locked away. Leaving the home while it’s being shown is a nuisance, but necessary if you hope to sell the home quickly.
When the home goes into contract
When we find a buyer and work with you to negotiate the agreement to sell your home. you’ll be called on periodically to sign various forms. From contingency releases to other acknowledgements, we’ll ensure that you fully understand what you are signing.
Most sellers must fill out various disclosures – forms that tell the buyer anything the sellers know about the home that may bear on their decision to purchase.
The Seller’s Disclosure Statement is one that all sellers must complete. Although we cannot fill out the form for you, we’re happy to assist you if you have any questions.
Seller disclosures are serious business; it is your most important duty when you sell your home. It may seem that by being brutally honest about known problems you may be sabotaging the sale, but you are actually protecting yourself from future legal liability.