Your home is listed; now what?
Once we list your home on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there are many more steps to take to actually sell your home.
Many realtors like to compare the process of selling a house to a beauty pageant: you may spend a lot of money to get ready for it, you have to handle criticism well, you may have to get outside your comfort zone, and the process can be quite emotionally draining!
We are here to help ease the burden! What do we do next?
1) Listing, lockbox, and signage
We list your home in the My Florida Multiple Listing Service. With over 30,000 professionals subscribing to this service, your house has the best exposure when we post your listing here. The listing then gets distributed to outside real estate web sites such as Zillow, Red Fin, and Trulia.
Within the first week of listing your home, we will place a lockbox with key on site to allow other agents to show your property, and a For Sale sign will get installed in your lawn. If you live in a neighborhood with good foot traffic, we will attach a flyer tube to the sign.
2) Marketing efforts
Some of the things we like to do to get your house sold include making property flyers to be kept on site for potential Buyers, sending out "Just Listed" postcards to your neighborhood (a neighbor will be one of the best mouthpieces for sharing the benefits of your neighborhood to his friends and family!), scheduling a Brokers' Open or Open House, and any other creative advertising ideas depending on where your home is located.
3) Handling feedback
It is always good to keep an open mind and heart when hearing feedback from potential Buyers. We know that your house isn't going to be for everyone; this is the beauty of real estate! Every one is looking for something different and no one wants a "cookie cutter" house. We always do our best to get honest feedback after every showing to get an idea of any criticisms that we can address, to keep an eye out for any repeated comments that may affect perceptions of value, and to overcome any issues for future showings.
4) Price adjustments
Sellers usually hit the wall at about 6 weeks. The initial excitement of listing has waned, you're tired of keeping the house looking like a model home, and you are irritated at yet another looky-loo coming through the front door.
Unless you are in a very difficult market, if you have not had serious interest in 6 weeks, let's circle around to discuss sales strategy. Markets can change quickly, so we will need to consider price and any physical changes or improvements that could enhance the home. This doesn't mean you have to remodel the kitchen, but maybe cleaning out the garage or repainting the pink bedroom walls can make a difference.
5) We've got an offer!
Once we receive an offer, we will review all the details with you and discuss your wishes for proceeding: accepting, rejecting, countering, whatever it may be. After acceptance, the next step is for the Buyer to make his/her "earnest money deposit" which gets held in a protected escrow account and is meant to demonstrate his/her good faith in adhering to the contract terms until closing.
The Buyer will then schedule an inspection. Prior to having the home inspected, we will meet with you to discuss some crucial things you can do to make the inspection go as smoothly as possible. Typically, there will be just 1 or 2 inspections- a general building inspection, and a termite inspection. However, the Buyer may wish to perform more intensive inspections such as a wind mitigation inspection, or electrical, A/C, plumbing, roof, or septic. These inspections are paid for the Buyer.
After the inspection period concludes, the Buyer's lender will hire an appraisal. We will scour the market to find appropriate comps that support the selling price and will send these comps to the appraiser. Once the supporting appraisal comes through, we are on our way to a successful closing!
While the brunt of selling efforts are now over, you should do your best to keep your home in the same condition as it was when the Buyers made their offer. This includes yard maintenance, appliance upkeep, and overall cosmetics of the home. The Buyers will schedule a final walk-through either the day prior or the day of closing to make sure that the property has remained in the same condition. Also make sure to keep the utilities turned on until the day of closing!
We know that the week before closing will be an especially busy time for you, with packing and moving. Please make sure to repair any damage that has resulted in moving efforts, fix or fill any large holes left behind by paintings, and make sure the house is clean and ready for the Buyers to move in. This is a Seller's obligation and can affect closing if not complied with.
The day of closing, please bring any appliance manuals, garage door openers, and all keys. You will have a limited amount of paperwork to sign at the closing table. Congratulations, your house is officially SOLD!