Before putting your home on the market, make sure to think through your goals. Do you need to sell by a particular time – for example, the start of the next school year – or are you just looking to net as much as possible? The timing and sale price will be determined by the nature of the market, but your real estate agent will need to know your objectives in order to help you as much as possible. They will craft a marketing plan designed to help you achieve your goals.
Discuss your goals with your REALTOR®
Even if you aren't ready to put your home on the market this weekend, you should let your REALTOR® know that you're considering selling. They will be able to share data from recent comparable sales, tips and tricks for your sale, and other pointers to help you through the process. Your REALTOR® may even suggest changes to make to your home before putting it on the market; for example, you might be able to sell more quickly or for more money with some minor updates or renovations.
Put on the finishing touches
No matter your timing or the condition of your home, there are always opportunities to spruce up your home prior to selling. In addition to updates or renovations suggested by your REALTOR®, make sure your home has been thoroughly cleaned. As part of the cleaning, you may want to begin packing up your belongings. A cluttered home will make it more difficult for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there. Ask your REALTOR® what else they recommend before your home goes on the market.
Activate the pre-market plan
Your REALTOR® should have a multifaceted marketing plan that involves more than simply putting your home on the MLS. One tactic I use for my clients is advertising the "coming soon" listing on various social media channels as well as the Keller Williams internal portal. This enables thousands of other agents and potential buyers to learn about your home before it hits the market. It's a good time to schedule your first open house so buyers can plan ahead.
Private tours, open houses, and offers
Your house is officially on the market! With any luck, your house will see lots of traffic – private tours with other agents, and an open house or two – on the first weekend. In order to make that happen, my marketing plan includes a "just listed" campaign with in-person, print, and online advertising. A well-priced home combined with thorough marketing will generate interest in your home. Just make sure you've cleaned up and cleared out so potential buyers can tour whenever it's convenient for them.
Negotiating and signing the contract
In an ideal world, you've received multiple offers, all for a higher sale price than you asked for and with no contingencies at all. This doesn't happen every day, though; chances are, you'll need to allow for an inspection, accept a financing contingency, or make some other type of sacrifice. These decisions will depend in part on your timing and your priorities, but make sure to discuss ahead of time with your REALTOR®. Their insights and experience will help guide you toward a winning offer.
Facilitate inspections and clear contingencies
While the buyers are on the hook for scheduling the inspection, you'll need to allow it to happen. Make sure your REALTOR® knows when you're comfortable having the inspection – or, in some cases, multiple inspections – take place. Once it's completed, the buyers will have to decide how they'd like to proceed; the same is true after their appraisal. If the contract allows for further negotiation, be prepared to discuss with your REALTOR® and decide how you'd like to respond.
Pack up and move out
Maybe you've moved out already, but if you have any belongings left at the home which won't convey, it's time to get them. The future owners will do a final walkthrough before closing, and they'll want to make sure the house is in the condition that was agreed upon in the contract. From a cleanliness standpoint, the typical requirement is that the home is delivered in "broom-clean" condition. In other words, you don't need professionally cleaned carpets, but you at least need to sweep.
Congratulations! Once you're done signing paperwork, you've officially sold your home. Make sure you've given the keys to your REALTOR® so they can be delivered to the new owners, especially if you're doing a split settlement. If you have questions about closing or any other part of the selling process, please feel free to let me know – I would be more than happy to help.
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