The Selling Process
There are many questions and things that homeowners must think about when considering putting their home on the market. Once the decision is made to list a home then there is a step-by-step process that will involve preparing the home, contract, list, maintenance/showings, potential reductions, feedback, offers, and closing process. However, it is very important to first make a well-informed decision to actually list the home. Good communication, honesty and transparency on the part of not only the Realtor but the client as well are paramount to a successful home selling process.
Things to consider when trying to decide whether or not to list your home…..
- Meet with potential Realtors to see what services they would provide you throughout the home selling process.
- Each Realtor you meet with should provide you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) for your neighborhood/subdivision as well as a broader market area.
- It is very important that you yourself have a realistic and accurate picture of the current market, not only your neighborhood or subdivision but also in your town and/or city.
- Schedule appointments with 2-4 Realtors within the same 3-5 days.
- Prepare your questions for the Realtors ahead of time.
- Pay attention to; promptness, professionalism, preparation, communication skills and most importantly their follow up with you.
- They should provide you with a lot of information, be sure to look through all of it thoroughly and follow up with questions after the appointment.
- Discuss Commission (and any other possible fees), Time Table, Best Method of Communication (text/call, day/night etc.).
- Discuss openly and honestly list price and probably sale price as well as timeline for reductions if necessary.
Preparing the Home
- Once you have chosen your Realtor and contacted them to get the process started you will do the next 2-3 steps within close proximity of each other. There might be some variance in the order by which you proceed to listing.
- You will need to have walked through the home to discuss in detail all things that need to be adjusted in order to make the house more marketable. Make a list of all items.
- Discuss a timeline for when all things need to be completed. If it is a project you are not 100% sure you can do easily or in a manner that will be done correctly and look professional, hire a professional. It is all about the details…
Staging & Photography/Video
- Once all of the agreed upon adjustments have been made to the home, the staging (if needed), measurements/dimensions and photography will be completed.
- It usually takes anywhere from 24hours to 72 hours for the Realtor to have the edited photo files, floor plan etc. depending on what all is being put together for the listing.
- These pictures, video, floor plan etc. will all be used throughout the marketing process but should be ready prior to the home going on the market.
- First impressions are extremely important and your pictures and video are just that….
Listing – Contract & Associated Documents
- Your home is now ready to go so it is time to meet with your Realtor to discuss the terms of the listing contract as well as the details of all other necessary documentation that must be signed in order to list your home.
- Sign all listing documentation either in person or through one of the many secure on-line signing programs being used currently in your market.
- Once the Realtor has submitted the listing paperwork to their brokerage it will become an “active” listing.
- Be sure to review all of the details on the MLS sheet and notify your Realtor asap of any needed changes.
- Once the home is on the market (in the MLS – multiple listing service) your Realtor should place a sign and lockbox at the property.
- Email to all agents showcasing the new listing should go out on Day 1 as well as all social media posts.
- An open house should be scheduled within the first 2 weeks of listing followed by another one every month. Not all homeowners like open houses hosted at their home, that is up to the discretion of the homeowner.
- There should be continued social media pushes once a week to every other week depending on the listing.
Showings & Feedback
- Before the listing goes live you need to have discussed with your Realtor how the showings will be approved and access granted to the requesting showing agent.
- We use a program called ShowingDesk/ShowingTime. This is a program designed to handle all showing details and showing feedback. If an electronic lockbox is present at the home and linked to the listing in the ShowingTime site then all activity is logged.
- The licensed agents can access the lockbox and the time/date is logged.
- You as a homeowner can choose to have the ShowingTime app on your phone which will send you notifications for requested showing appointments that you will be able to approve or decline with a couple clicks. This eliminates the interrupting phone calls from an appointment desk and allows for quick responses to requests.
- Once the showing has taken place, the system will send the showing agent a feedback request of which the answer to will be sent to you and your Realtor.
Days on the Market (D.O.M.) & Possible Reductions?
- Days on the Market are an important factor in the eyes of buyers, it is considered a direct assessment of the quality of a home. Unfortunately that is not always the case, in many cases these are simply over-priced but are great homes. This is a point that is one of the most important decisions in the selling process.
- It has been shown that the first 30 days of the listing are the “prime” listing period and the further you get from the 30 day mark, the more challenging things become. It is important to start at a market appropriate price if you want to sell regardless of personal factors. If you are not able to price accordingly you may not be in a position to sell quite yet.
- If after 30-60 days you have gotten no serious interest and the showing are slowing down or have stopped, you will need to have a conversation with your Realtor about a price reduction and/or what could be done to “inspire” potential buyers.
- If the feedback has been provided it is another important tool to help you make your home as marketable as possible. If you receive one showing feedback that says the home is priced too high that is one thing but multiple feedbacks stating similar issues become impossible to ignore.
- Any correspondence regarding an offer or a potential offer should go through your Realtor. It is the obligation of your Realtor to pass along any offers to you as soon as they have received them. Every offer should have a response deadline which is important to look at immediately upon receipt.
- Discuss all of the details of the offer, there is so much more involved than the sale price. Make a list of all important details and discuss your needs/concerns with your Realtor.
- Have your Realtor provide you with a seller’s worksheet which will help you estimate your bottom line at the closing table. The seller’s work sheet can be used to factor in different scenarios regarding closing costs, sale price, commission etc.
- If both sides can verbally come to terms then a revised contract and associated docs must be drawn up and signed by all responsible parties to constitute a contract.
Contract Details & Deadlines
- Once a contract is entered into, all parties must receive a revised copy of completely signed.
- The contract date is important to know which will be the date that the final buyer or final seller signed.
- Title work must be ordered within 7 days from contract date.
- Inspection Repair Amendment (14 day) must be submitted within 14 days of contract date.
- Inspection Repair Amendment (21 day) must be submitted within 21 days of contract date.
- Schedule your closing appointment with your Realtor, buyers and sellers need to agree upon a time on the day that the contract indicates.
- Any agreed upon repairs must be completed by a licensed or qualified professional within 5 days of closing at which point a final walk through is the right of the buyer if they choose to do so.
- Copies of all invoices for repairs made must be delivered to the buyers prior to closing.
- Closing statements should be provided to the sellers and buyers for review within 1-3 days prior to closing. Review this statement thoroughly before you close in order to avoid delays on the day of closing.
- At the closing table the seller usually has minimal signing, it is mostly the buyers signing. This process can take anywhere from 20 minutes (cash transactions) to upwards of 1 hour plus. This depends greatly on the lender and the type of financing.
- In many instances the sellers will not be able to be present at the closing table/date and may opt to pre-sign all documentation and appoint your Realtor with signing authorization on minor last minute documentation. This is often done but it needs a bit of time to prepare for so this is not a last minute option.
- Once all documentation has been signed and sent back to the lender, they approve and release funds. Once the closing coordinator has received funds and dispersed the closing is complete and new ownership has taken place.
For most, buying and selling a home is one of the biggest financial events in your lifetime making it important to be well-informed and properly represented. Let The J.R. KOCH Team go to work for you during these important moments in your life…. CALL TODAY to set up a Listing Appointment (309) 472-4418 or (309) 256-3210.