Now that you have signed the listing paperwork and have prepared your home to looks its very best, your listing will be placed on the local Multiple Listing Service and will be visible to all the agents that are members of that MLS. Your listing will also be syndicated out to many other real estate websites such as Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow, Homes.com as well as your agents website, company website and hundreds of other places. Your home is now LIVE to the public at large!
You will have a lockbox placed on your door to allow access to buyers agents showing to their clients. A showing service will call you to schedule the day and time of your showing and will then call the agent back to confirm the showing. What do you need to do? Just be sure your home is in the best showing condition it can be in. Make the beds, put away all dirty dishes, pick up the house, put away dirty clothes and make sure the bathrooms and kitchen sparkle. Be sure your home is as “odor free” as possible. Don’t go around spraying a strong air freshener just before the showing (some people are hyper sensitive to strong odors), make sure the litter box is cleaned out, air out any left over odors from cooking and try to avoid incense. Turn on all the lights in the home to make it as bright as possible and turn on some soft music (low) to set the stage. Last but not least – Leave. Buyers need to be able to look around your home without you being present. They are more comfortable and will take a real good look at your home.
Your agent will make sure you receive feedback from the other agent once the showing is over. In some cases, you may get showings and no offers. At this time, you may need to discuss a price reduction or other strategy with your agent to encourage more traffic. Have your agent do an updated Market Analysis to see if your home is still priced correctly.
One of those buyers that looked at your home may come back for a second look (and even a third) and will bring you an offer to purchase. Your agent will get together with you to go over the offered terms and you will discuss if you want to accept the offer as written, counter with other terms or just reject the offer outright. You may be happy with some of the terms, but want to change others. This is your reason for having a great agent! Your agent will help you negotiate the best price and terms and convey that to the other agent. Hopefully a win-win situation will be reached and the offer will be signed.
The first hurdle after contract acceptance is the inspection. The buyer will hire a professional inspector to thoroughly go over your home looking for major and minor defects (no home is perfect!). Areas of specific concern are: roof, furnace, structure, electrical and plumbing. It is advisable to have a pre-inspection done before listing your home to avoid any big surprises that may pop up after you have negotiated a price. In NC, the buyer has a Due Diligence period in which to do all their inspections, surveys, review covenants and get their loan through underwriting. The buyer has the right to walk away from the transaction for no reason or ANY reason in this state during that period. After the buyer completes their due diligence, they may ask you to repair some items and you will have to decided what you will do. Most buyers will expect any large items to be corrected but usually will be flexible on the small items. This is one of the trickiest times in the process and can cause many contracts to be terminated. Work with your agent to find the best solution for all involved.
Once all the inspections are complete and any repairs handled, you will prepare for closing on your home. This is the time to get packing! Get a checklist to keep you on track (I have a great one for you). Make sure to leave any warranties or manuals for appliances or other equipment staying in the home. Leave the garage door openers, alarm instructions, fan remotes and any touch up paint you have left. Clean out sheds and garages. Clean up the house and make sure all your personal items are removed before the final walk-thru.
You should receive a preliminary settlement statement for review before the closing, but that is not always the case. Be prepared to have to make changes at the closing table. All parties to the loan and deed should be present to sign. Be sure to bring your ID for the attorney and any funds in certified form (if required) and the keys you will hand over to the buyers once the deed is recorded.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED:
This is just a quick summary of the things to expect during the listing period but be prepared for anything. Getting a transaction from offer acceptance to the closing table is no easy feat and requires patience and flexibility. Just be prepared to make adjustments. Your agent will work with you to make this time as smooth as possible so that soon you will be moving forward with your plans.
Other titles in the seller series:
Article #1: Seller Questions Answered – A preview to Listing your home for Sale
Article #2: What do I need to do to prepare my home for sale?
Article #3: Why do I need an Real Estate agent and how do I select one?
Article #4: I have signed the paperwork, now what? -What to expect during the listing period
Article #5: A buyer wants to see my home -How can I maximize showing opportunities?
Article #6: I have received an offer – now what?
Article #7: My home is under contract – What are the next steps?
Article #8: What can I do to prepare for my move?
Article #9: What can I expect at the closing table?
Article #10: What happens after my home is SOLD?
Sonya Leonard –Keller Williams Realty – Mooresville NC. The Home Style Team provides free access to individualized home searches for all homes in Statesville, Mooresville, Troutman, Lake Norman and the entire Lake Norman Area. Explore buyer and seller reports, community resources, new home communities, and be sure to sign up for instant alerts to help find your dream home. Let Sonya help you INVEST in Real Estate and your Future! (704) 450-0588.