Met with a Realtor About Selling My House, What’s next?
Met with a Realtor, What’s next?
While it isn’t actually the hardest step of the home selling process, calling a real estate agent is often the most prolonged! It’s tough for many as they “know” what they need to get done, but it’s never easy hearing it. I feel the same way when I go to my Doctor! I know she is going to say I am overweight… I don’t need hear it!
So, what’s next? You have met with an agent and you want to move forward with the process.
Step 1: Selecting Your Agent - Let the agent know that you would like to work with them (If you haven’t already done so in the appointment). Real Estate Agents are a lot of things… But mind readers we are not!
Step 2: Choose Your Marketing Package - Generally, after you have acknowledged that you would like to move forward, you will select the marketing program and commission structure that work best for you (Here is an example of our Fee Structure).
Step 3: Sign the Listing Agreement – This is an important step as it solidifies the relationship between you and your Broker. At this point, the agent is contractually required to work for you and to always have your best interests at heart. They may also start spending some of your marketing budget with pre-marketing as well as hiring a stager for a staging consultation.
Step 4: Recalculate Your Net Proceeds - Once you have that, you will want to go over how much it costs to sell a house (Click here to see the breakdown of expenses) with a Net Sale Proceeds Sheet. This Net Sale Proceeds sheet is important as you will be able to use these estimates for the planning purposes of your next step.
Step 5: Call Your Mortgage Banker (if Buying a new house) - If you are planning on buying a new home, then you will want to reach out to your mortgage banker and provide the additional information. With this clarity, they will be able to revise (hopefully up, but possibly down), your purchase power on your next purchase.
Step 6: Decluttering - For 98% of us (Did you know that 83% of Stats are made up on the spot?), the next step is to start the decluttering process (If your property is vacant, then jump to step 7). An amazing rule of thumb is ‘if you are not taking it with you, then throw it away’. When it comes to selling a house, less is more! By removing clutter from rooms, closets and even drawers it will provide the appearance that a house is a more bright and larger space. More space & brightness = More Money!
Step 7: Staging – If your house is vacant, then you may want to look into some Professional Staging. It has been proven that staged houses sell faster and for more money! And staging an entire house is most likely not necessary. Focus on the rooms that are important to a potential buyer.
If your house is not vacant, then this is still a very big step. Many times, staging can consist of painting a room a more neutral color or moving a piece of furniture to a different part of a room. Removing personal photos and items off of the refrigerator are often important parts in preparing a house for sale.
Staging isn’t for everyone and some people don’t do any. But this is one of those things that the (correct) efforts made will increase the salability of your house! And I do mean correct. When staging a house think Pottery Barn, not your personal taste or preference. Neutral is important as it helps a buyer picture themselves in the house.
Step 8: Let Your Agent Know you are Ready! – When you are about a week or two out, you will want to let your agent know that you are close to being ready. This way they can prepare the initial marketing of your house. They will need to do things like: schedule a Professional Photographer, do a 3D Interactive Tour and Floorplan of the home, order the yard sign, prepare the initial social media marketing campaign, etc.
Step 9: Confirm your Inclusions/Exclusions List - While you are nearing the finish line of preparing your house to go on the market, you will want to look around and figure out if there is anything that you plan on taking with you to the next home. Maybe your washer and dryer or a chandelier that you love. This is the time to do this so that your agent can disclose these items to potential buyers.
Step 10: Disclosures – Speaking of disclosing, know that Massachusetts is not a Disclosure State. What does that mean? As a seller, you are not required to fill out a seller’s disclosure and disclose any issues in the house to a potential buyer. While it is not a requirement in Massachusetts to fill out a seller’s disclosure (which is a requirement in most states), it is important to remember that if a buyer asks you about an issue, then you are required to answer truthfully. Common examples of this is the question of whether there has ever been water in the basement.
Step 11: Spit shine – Right before you go on the market, you may want to go through the house and do a thorough cleaning. The way we live and the way we sell are different. As an example, this may be a good chance to clean dust off of the blinds or lampshades (even the light bulb! Side note, have you ever noticed how dusty a light bulb can get?). Sometimes a lot of little small things can add up and make a world of difference. This is when you focus on those small things!
Step 12: Take yourself out to dinner and relax - You have done a lot of work! You deserve to reward yourself. At this point, it’s your agents’ job to pick up the reigns and start doing the heavy lifting (figuratively speaking of course… We are not that strong)!
Did I miss anything? If so, then let me know! In most cases, our house is our largest asset. Properly Preparing your house for sale and choosing an experienced agent can help maximize your sales price while minimizing your marketing time (less headaches!).
Should you have any specific questions about your specific situation or are looking to make a move in the future, then know we are always here to help!