Have you ever noticed that information and advice for first-time homebuyers is plentiful across the internet?
What happens when you look for that same information and advice for first-time home sellers?
While buying a home for the first time is somewhat confusing until the process is explained, selling one for the first time is even more so. This is a huge investment you’re selling. How much will you make, and when?
We believe that knowledge is power and we’re always happy to share our knowledge with our clients. You should be aware of every step in the process so that you never have to wonder what happens next.
It starts with listing your home. 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.
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 anyone thinking of selling a home, here is what you can expect after you sign the listing agreement.
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’ll also 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.
- Talk to you about your current mortgage – is it assumable? Are you considering owner-financing? Do you have a VA loan?
- 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.
Then, 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.
While the home is on the market
While the home is on the market 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.
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.
There’s a lot more to selling a home than sticking a sign in the yard with a box of pretty fliers attached to it. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.