Knowing what to expect when your house goes up for sale can be half the battle of getting through the transaction. Most people are a bit excited when they put their house on the market. Hopefully, they are moving up to a better home or off to new challenges in another city.
Here’s a look at what you can expect once you sign a listing agreement:
Out of the gate
The first thing your agent will likely do is place your home in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This notifies all other agents in the area that your home is for sale. Soon, a for-sale sign will appear in the yard and a lockbox will be attached to your house, most likely on the front door. The lockbox allows local agents access to the house when you aren’t home. It may seem a bit unsettling, but it’s important to allow agents to show your home when you are away, especially in a slower market. If you don’t have a lockbox, many agents will put you at the bottom of their clients list of homes to see because it’s a headache to track down your agent, who must track you down to find out when you’ll be around, which may not fit into the buyer’s schedule.
Your agent will want to have a couple of open houses as soon as possible, which is why it’s not recommended to list your house until everything is ready for a good showing. This means you’ll likely be swamped with last-minute touch-ups and clean-ups to get the house ready.
It is best if you are not present during open houses because buyers want the freedom to peek into closets and make comments. That’s difficult for most people to do it you are present. When potential buyers come for a viewing, try to step outside while they tour your house.
Keeping your house in tip-top shape, especially if you have kids and pets, is one of the more difficult parts of selling your home. But remember, buyers will walk into your house and try to imagine themselves living there.
Most people don’t have the vision to look past toys scattered throughout the house, dirty dishes in the sink or pet food spilled on the floor. It doesn’t matter that they probably live the same way.