Wednesday, June 26, 2013
What to Expect After Listing
Signs, locks and strangers, oh my!
Selling a house can be a lot like remodeling –- it takes longer, costs more and is more emotionally draining than you thought but in the end was worth doing.
Knowing what to expect when your house goes up for sale can be half the battle of getting through the transaction. Most people are a bit excited when they put their house on the market. Hopefully, they are moving up to a better home or off to new challenges in another city.
Unless you’re the rare homeowner who gets multiple offers above the asking price days after listing, the sales process can be an emotionally challenging time. Here’s a look at what you can expect once you sign a listing agreement:
Soon, a for-sale sign will appear in the yard and a lockbox will be attached to your house, most likely the front door. The lockbox allows local agents access to the house when you aren’t home.
It may seem unsettling but it’s important to allow agents to show your home when you are away, especially in a slower market. If you don’t have a lockbox, many agents will put you at the bottom of their client’s list of homes to see because it’s a headache to track down your agent, who must track you down to find out when you’ll be around, which may not fit into the buyers’ schedule. Plus, unless you’re in a hot sellers’ market, there will be plenty of other houses to see.
The agent will likely have a brokers’ open house, which is during the week, so area agents, hopefully with clients looking to buy, can see the property. Next, traditionally on a Sunday, will be the public open house.
It is best if you are not present during open houses because buyers want the freedom to look in closets and make comments. That’s difficult for most people to do it you are present. When potential buyers come for a viewing, try to step outside while they tour your house.
Whether you have additional open houses is between you and your agent. Many sellers incorrectly think that multiple open houses are needed to sell a house. In fact, few houses are sold at open houses but there are many good reasons to have one for the public and another for agents.
The average days on market (DOM) can be 60-90 days in a normal cycle, depending on the area of the country. In a slower market buyers can take their time and they usually do. If you have buyers come back a second or third time it usually means they are seriously considering your home and you’ll want your agent to keep in contact with their agent. Any offers, even one you consider low-ball, is a chance to begin negotiating, which often leads to a sale.
Most people don’t have the vision to look past toys scattered throughout the house, dishes in the sink or pet food spilled on the floor. It doesn’t matter that they probably live the same way.
Unless you are in a very difficult market, if you have not had serious interest in six weeks, it’s time to meet with your agent and discuss sales strategy.
Markets can change quickly, so you 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 realizing the garage should be cleaned out or the pink bedroom walls should be repainted can make the difference.
When you sign the listing agreement, you can generally expect a three-step process to begin: Getting ready, showing it off and responding to the market place. If you are prepared, especially for the last one, you can avoid getting that prescription for sleeping pills to get through the process.