I’m not going to lie to you. Selling your home is going to be a lot of work and your feelings may get hurt along the way. You may feel slightly violated with people walking around your home, opening drawers (yes your refrigerator too), looking in your closets and at times using your bathroom.
Here are some things to expect when listing your home:
MAKE IT PRETTY
You have to make your home as appealing as possible to EVERYONE. This means de-cluttering is your first bit of business. This will makes your home feel more open and bigger; you don’t want a buyer to come in and feel claustrophobic. Your agent may also point out that your house needs a paint job and/or a landscaper to help with curb appeal; you may feel a bit chided. Why did she take my listing if she thinks my house is crap?! Your agent knows what buyers expect to see in a house because they also represent buyers. Realtors see homes everyday and they know when they walk into a house if it will sit or be in multiples by the end of the week.
YOU THINK WE SHOULD LIST FOR WHAT?!
You and your agent may have a difference of opinion in pricing your home, this could be a very personal and emotional conversation. You have obviously done your homework and know the market and your neighborhood. However, it is a conversation always worth having so that you don’t have to do a price reduction later on. Instead of feeling frustrated about your house sitting, you could be reviewing offers.
YOU WILL OBSESS ABOUT SHOWINGS
It is true that from the minute your house hits the market you will be waiting for the phone to ring with appointments for showings. You will also obsess about how long they stayed, and if you are present (I suggest you aren’t) you will be doing your best to hear every word they are saying to each other and their agent. The agent showing your property may be late, may cancel and want to reschedule and never call back. Your days will be consumed with prepping your house to look its best everyday. This will truly be an inconvenience, but if you want your house sold you must allow for the most showings. My suggestion to you is to always have your house ready to show even at the last minute because sometimes agents call while standing on your doorstep.
You may get some low-ball offers and may even give some yourself when you shop for your new home. This is a very common practice and you shouldn’t be offended. You can have your agent respond verbally back to the buyer’s agent thanking them for their clients offer however, at this time we think we’re just too far away to respond with a counter, but most of the time it is best to work with what you have and start the countering process. You may actually get to a place all parties feel good about.
DON’T GET TOO COCKY ABOUT THE BIDDING WAR
It is great to have a lot of offers to choose from but remember that the best offers aren’t always the highest. Other things can come into play that might be worth more to you than the actual price like waiving certain contingencies or giving concessions that work for your situation. The most important thing is to make sure whichever buyer you choose can perform, and is qualified to purchase your home.
YAY, YOUR IN ESCROW! NOW WHAT?
You are going to have to disclose EVERYTHING you know about your house. Don’t forget about the little roof leak you had last year that you decided to patch yourself.
The buyers will most likely do their inspections so now is not the time to hide something because if it comes back to bite, it will bite hard. You also must keep up with all the maintenance of the house like the pool and gardener, and if something breaks fix it properly and promptly.
BE A BIT FLEXIBLE
Just because you have a closing date doesn’t mean that you will close on time. Things happen and you should know that it could go over a few days. Especially if your closing date falls on a weekend. It is always good to have the attitude that most problems can be solved and that all parties want the same outcome.
This might be a lot to digest but once you start the process you will become an expert pretty quickly. So take a breath and know that this too shall pass.