What to expect once your home is on the market
By Todd Lewys
So, you’re thinking of putting your home up for sale on the MLS® market.
And naturally – having never done it before – you’re wondering what you might be getting yourself into by putting a For Sale sign on your front lawn.
In short, you’re in for a roller coaster of an experience.
That’s because selling a home is no simple task.
Essentially, the process consists of four parts: preparing the home, showing the home, reacting to the feedback provided by prospective buyers and – if necessary – using that feedback to come up with a new sales strategy that will help sell the home as soon as possible.
1) Preparing the home
Simply put, this isn’t a spontaneous process. Preparation must start a month or two before the FOR SALE sign goes up. That means enlisting the services of a professional REALTOR®, setting a realistic selling price – and physically preparing the home for sale. That will involve cleaning, repairs and possibly performing some renovations. Ideally, any issues inside or outside the home need to be dealt with prior to listing the home. The idea is to have the home in tip-top shape to minimize any issues that might cause homebuyers to strike your home off their top prospect list.
2) Showing the home
This is where things can get complicated – and emotionally challenging. Once your home is officially on the MLS® market, it’s available to be shown at any time. Consequently, the home must be kept clean and tidy 24/7. Moreover, there will likely be a lockbox on your door. Showings can often happen at the drop of a hat, so you’ll be required to vacate the premises quickly – usually after doing quick touch-up jobs to make things presentable. In a nutshell, life as you’ve known it will cease for as long as your home is on the market.
3) Reacting to buyers’ feedback
Seeing as most homes take anywhere between 30 to 90 days to sell, feedback on the home will trickle in gradually. Initially, there will be a good deal of activity (showings) for three weeks. If the home hasn’t sold in six weeks, it’s time to take stock of where you’re at. Doing that requires asking some tough questions. Is the home’s listing price set at the right price point? Do improvements need to be made to the home in a certain area (or areas) to make it more attractive?
4) Creating a new sales strategy
This can be tough to do, as this requires objectivity. This is where it’s critically important to rely on your REALTOR®’s advice. If they suggest lowering the price, do it. If they tell you to de-clutter, paint a room or make a repair, follow their advice. They have your best interests at heart and, like you, want to get the home sold ASAP. There’s no room for sentimentality when it comes to selling a home. You’re in a highly competitive market and must do what needs to be done to sell it.