Have you ever noticed that information and advice for first-time homebuyers is plentiful across the internet?

What happens when you look for that same information and advice for first-time home sellers?

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While buying a home for the first time is somewhat confusing until the process is explained, selling one for the first time is even more so. This is a huge investment you’re selling. How much will you make, and when?

We believe that knowledge is power and we’re always happy to share our knowledge with our clients. You should be aware of every step in the process so that you never have to wonder what happens next.

It starts with finding your trusted Realtor and listing your home. When you know what happens after you sign the listing agreement, and what is expected of you during this time, nothing will fall through the cracks and you can relax into the process.

Although you won’t see your Realtor, behind the scenes, they will have their hands full with a flurry of activity, from getting the home into the Multiple Listing Service database to implementing our tried-and-true marketing plan.

So, for anyone thinking of selling a home, here is what you can expect after you sign the listing agreement.

The pre-showing period

Immediately after signing the listing agreement, your Realtor will suggest ways to improve the home’s curb appeal and, if needed, give you some tips on how to stage the interior to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers.

Your Realtor will also walk you through any repairs that  may help the home sell  quicker and for more money.

While you are busy making improvements and needed repairs, your Realtor will be doing the following:

  • Ensure that all the pertinent information about the HOA or Condo Association is updated and available to potential buyers, if applicable.
  • Collect a key from you for the lockbox.
  • Talk to you about your current mortgage – is it assumable? Are you considering owner-financing? Do you have a VA loan?
  • Walk you through the broker’s open process (sort of an open house for real estate agents) and showings to potential buyers.
  • Advise you on how to guard your valuables and what to do with your pets and we’ll ask you if there are any restrictions on showing the home (times that you just cannot leave the home).

After leaving your house with the listing agreement its time for your Realtor to get to work.

First, order a sign for your yard or window, arrange to have the lockbox attached to your home and we’ll set an appointment with our professional photographer to take photos of the home.

These photos will not only be used in the MLS listing but in all other marketing materials, giving you plenty of notice to get the home in tip-top shape before he arrives. Also a good day to hold the broker’s open house will be scheduled.

Next, verification of the square footage and other basic information of your house, mostly via tax records, and enter all the information about your home into the Multiple Listing database.

Once the photos and information are in the MLS, your home is officially on the market and all other real estate agents in the area will have access to the information and can begin showing your home.

While the home is on the market

While the home is on the market you’ll be called on periodically to sign various forms. From contingency releases to other acknowledgements, all the while ensuring that you fully understand what you are signing.

Most sellers must fill out various disclosures – forms that tell the buyer anything the sellers know about the home that may bear on their  decision to purchase.

The Seller’s Disclosure Statement is one that all sellers must complete. Although Realtors cannot fill out the form for you, they are happy to assist you if you have any questions.

Seller disclosures are serious business; it is your most important duty when you sell your home. It may seem that by being brutally honest about known problems you may be sabotaging the sale, but you are actually protecting yourself from future legal liability.

While the home is on the market you will need to keep it tidy and keep your valuables locked away. Leaving the home while it’s being shown is a nuisance, but necessary if you hope to sell the home quickly.

There’s a lot more to selling a home than sticking a sign in the yard with a box of pretty fliers attached to it. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

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