What to Expect in Listing Your Home
After meeting with your agent, you will have to schedule a time for them to come in and take a look at you home. At this point, you will have already begun some of the preparation to sell, the cleaning, de-cluttering, and de-personalizing of your home. Your agent will get a sense of your home and outline some important next steps in your home-selling journey. Here are what some of those next steps will look like.
Working With Your Agent / Marketing Collaboratively
You should be working with your agent to market your home. The agent brings a lot to the table when it comes to home marketing, in particular, their access to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). But your agent cannot market the home alone.
In many ways, selling a home is like running a small business, and your agent is your business partner. Bring your personality and ideas to the market table. Look into marketing online, but also don’t forget about physical ads and signs. Word of mouth also goes a long way in the home selling process. During the time that your home is on the market, if anyone asks you how you are doing, you’ll know what to say.
Pricing your home properly can be a difficult proposition for many homeowners, whether they are experienced in home selling or not. Many homeowners end up overpricing their home, only to see the property languish on the market. Your agent will use Comparables – homes of the same size, number of beds and baths – that have sold in your market recently. Comparables help zero in on a home true value. If you want to get even closer to that number, ask your agent for a free market analysis. The agent should price your house in line with your neighborhood, and they’ll do this for free because they want you to list your house with them.
Creating the Listing Assets
With the marketing and the price point in mind, the listing itself needs to be crafted. The listing includes a detailed description of the home, and photographs of the home, inside and out. How extensive you get with developing your assets is up to you and your agent.
How to Create a Great Home Listing Description
The Home description should be detailed but concise. Experts recommend that 250 words is a good target for most homes. Avoid subjective language and stick to the concrete; for instance, “Lovely exterior” isn’t as useful as “wrap-around porch.”
Employ Advertising Language:
Certain words have power no matter where they’re used. Experts say “Beautiful” is always an important word to use. The word “Open” is also a key in-home description whether it’s talking about the house’s flow, a bedroom, or the yard. Another useful phrase is “Well-Maintained”; if there are parts of the house that have been well-maintained the implication is that the entire house has.
List Your Home’s Major Selling Points:
Separate from the home description should be a bullet-pointed list of the home’s major selling points. These include the school district, eco-friendly features of the home, recent renovations, new brand-name appliances, and local amenities like; parks, restaurants, and shopping. Remember: Location sells homes.
Photography & Visual Assets:
When it comes to selling your home, hiring a professional stager and having the home professionally photographed is typically well worth the expense. Professional photographs look great online and in print, but there are much more options when it comes to the visual marketing of the home.
Virtual Tours have been around for some time now, and if you’ve looked at homes online, then you’ve most likely seen them. Poorly done, a virtual tour seems just like a power-point slide show, but a properly designed one can give the buyer a real sense of your home as a whole. Additionally, many photographers today employ drones. Using the drone, a photographer can take aerial shots of the home to give the buyer a better sense of the surrounding neighborhood. Drones can also take video of the home, and record a true virtual tour.
Life During Home Selling:
Keeping It Clean, Taking Care of Pets and Keeping a Schedule
If you are in the midst of selling your home, and still living in the home while you sell it, then you probably feel as though you are living in half of a house. If you followed the advice of your agent, you most likely de-cluttered and de-personalized your home, leaving all but minimal furniture so that potential home buyers will be able to picture themselves in the home. As you continue to live in the home you are trying to sell, here are some tips to keep your home show-ready.
Rent a Storage Unit
Don’t try to fit everything you aren’t going to use in the next 120 days into the garage. The main reason is that homebuyers will want to see the garage, storage space, or basement during their home tour. Items to pack away are those bulky or seldom-used appliances, seasonal clothing, and items related to any hobbies. Also consider limiting the amount of kitchenware, leaving out just enough utensils for each person in the house to use. This will not only open up space in kitchen cabinets,- but will also help keep the house clean in the day-to-day.
Cleaning Every Day
Even though you cleaned the house from top to bottom in preparation, you are going to have to keep cleaning while your home is on the market. For example, be prepared to wipe down the kitchen and the bathrooms every day, and to keep doorways, stairs, and counter-tops free of clutter. If you have a carpet, you aren’t going to believe how quickly they get dirty. Be vacuum ready all the time.
Send the Pets on Holiday
Puppy and Kitty are going to have to spend some time out of the house. How much time they spend away from home is up to you, but the tough truth is, the more the better. The less the pets are in the home, the easier it will be to clean and the easier it will be to get their smells out. Smell is something many homeowners forget about, but it can one of the first things new people to the property notice.
Some home sellers schedule their open houses or showings for the weekend, or bunched together during the week, and send the pets to family or friends just for that time. Others spring for the pet hotel/spa, and depending on how much the sale of the house is going to be, might be worth the cost.
Make a Schedule
Selling a home can be like owning a small business, and like any job, it’s important to keep a schedule. You know your life and availability, so talk to your agent and get smart about when you want to show your home. Don’t just be open to something like “everyday after work.” Instead, make dedicated space during the week and within your work schedule to sell your home, and make sure the home is looking its best when it happens. If you trust your agent enough to show the space while you aren’t home, then the home should look just as good, if not better, than it does when you’re not there. Remember: every showing is a performance.
Protect Your Valuables
While your agent will most likely bring around buyers that are honestly and genuinely interested in purchasing your home, it’s still always a good idea to be safe. While there are strangers in your home, make sure all computers and children’s touchscreen devices are password-locked and keep all valuables locked away safely. Also, make sure any mail that could have credit card numbers or bank information on it is out of view.
Day of the Open House
On the day of, turn on all lights and open windows and drapes/blinds. Remember: light is right. Also, make sure your house smells good; remove the trash and don’t burn candles or incense. Many people are turned off by fragrances, so opting for a neutral smell is best.
Shopper Feedback: Why Don’t They Love My House?
If you are living in your home for sale, and the home is languishing on the market, it can be important to get some buyer feedback. Feedback should be taken with a grain of salt, and sometimes can be all over the map, but if your agent is asking for feedback and keeps getting similar comments again and again, then pay attention. Many agents report that if they have a client they are having a hard time convincing of something, it can be that buyer feedback that allows them to say what they couldn’t say directly.
When it comes to feedback, many homeowners will be surprised by the general negativity of the comments. Part of this is because in the home hunting process, buyers are training their eye to spot problems and bad buys. Other times, the negativity is used as a tactic. Buyer’s agents will prep their clients to give an unfavorable impression of a house they love in order to give them a jump on negotiation. So, if you are truly puzzled as to why some buyers don’t love your home, there’s a chance that they actually do.