As spring selling season officials starts tomorrow, more and more homeowners are contemplating putting their properties on the market, only rightly so since the current inventory conditions make it the optimum time to list. For those who are already savvy with flipping investments and selling at a profit, listing is a process that's a no brainer; but for those who are divesting for the first time, it can get a little tricky. And that's where this article comes in.
Our selling primer below should guide and give you valuable insights into the home selling process, and answer the most basic questions like how it works, the number of showings and open houses you should be prepared for, what you'll need to maintain your home during the process, and finally how to temper out prospective buyer's interests.
The Home Selling Process Here is a snapshot of how the process works and how a quality agent should be on top of things:
Once you've selected an agent to exclusively market your property and paperwork is signed, then the preparation process begins. Your agent will advise you whether staging is necessary (it usually is) and they would have outlined what you will need to do in order to be ready to sell. This can take a few days or longer depending on how much needs to get done. Once your home is ready then comes compilation of the media. This should entail professional photos, virtual tours and floor plans. It will often take a week or so coordinate these tasks and get all media ready to launch.
Open Houses & Showings Most agents will typically activate a listing on Wednesday or Thursday in preparation for 1st showings at a Sunday open house. The logic behind this is to create a "feeding frenzy" of buyers on opening weekend. Sellers should expect an open house the weekend after your property is listed, sometimes the next weekend and then bi-weekly or monthly after that if needed. In this market though, one weekend is enough and offers are generally due the Monday after that. If there is a need to adjust your price, that will usually have a subsequent open house as well. Listings, well-marketed and well-priced, should see 10-40 people at their 1st open house. Our firm usually averages out 50-60, so that says something about how we market our listings.
Aside from your Open House, there will also be a broker's open house - this is a preview for brokers and agents out there who have clients they know will already be interested in your property. This is usually held during the week, most specifically during lunch hours so agents can mingle and discuss possible price points and requirements to submit an offer (or bid, most likely in this market).
Most listings will see 3-4 individual showings per week. This could be more or less depending on the market segment and corresponding amount of buyers. You should outline up-front with your agent how you prefer to be notified (text, email or phone) and typically you will get 24 hours notice on any showing requests. You have to be flexible in terms of individual showings - if you already know you will not be comfortable with in and out drop-ins, schedule with your agent a specific day when they could plan around hosting previews.
Maintaining Your Home & Constant Agent Communication Your home needs to look "photo-ready" for every showing. If you have pets and/or infants then special arrangements need to be discussed in advance with your agent. A weekly call should be scheduled with progress reports and any specific should be discussed, as well as relayed as soon as available after each viewing.
Once someone makes an offer, then the negotiation and hopefully contract phase will commence. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series, where we'll explore what happens during the financial negotiations, and Part 3 where we'll take a look at conditions that may affect your closing.
For the meantime, check out our other guides on home selling:
- Determining Whether You Should Stay or Sell This Spring
- Price To Sell: A Guide To Setting Your Listing Price
- Why You Shouldn't Always Pick The Highest Bidder
- How To Buy and Sell Simultaneously
Want a personalized consultation? Let us guide you! Contact us now and we'll be happy to assist and advice you! Our knowledge of the local market, as well as our long list of partner marketing services can get your property sold in no time!