Putting your house on the market can seem daunting and nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your real estate agent will be there to guide you and help you every step of the way.
Here are some of the things you can expect to encounter when you put your house on the market with a Realtor®:
MLS. Once the paperwork is complete, your home will be placed in the Multiple Listing System (MLS) almost immediately. This real estate database allows other agents and buyers to see that your home is for sale. Over 90% of home buyers begin their search for a home online, so it’s important that your home is listed in the MLS so it’s easy for them and other Realtors® to find it.
Yard sign. You can expect a “for sale” sign to appear in your yard shortly after listing. Often, potential buyers cruise through neighborhoods they like, looking for homes that are for sale. It’s also a great way to let other neighbors know the house is for sale- and you never know when one of them has a friend or relative that may be interested in buying.
Lockbox. Once your home is on the market, your agent will probably install a lockbox on the door. This way, other agents can access the house for showings when you’re not available. At first, this may make you feel a bit uncomfortable, but it’s important. If you don’t have a lockbox, other agents will be more likely to put your home last on their list of homes to show, because it’s a hassle to track down your agent and coordinate times for everyone to meet for a showing.
On the other hand, if you do have a lockbox, agents can make an appointment to bring their buyers to see your house- even if you aren’t available. Your agent will still know who is showing the house, and agents should never show it without prior permission.
Open houses. You and your agent will decide together whether open houses make sense for your particular situation. If you decide to have an open house, it will typically be open for several hours on a Saturday or Sunday. It’s best if you’re not present for the open house, because buyers tend to feel uncomfortable and like they’re imposing if the seller is there. You want buyers to feel comfortable opening closet doors and asking their agent lots of questions.
Showings. You’re likely to get most of your showings in the first two to three weeks your home is for sale, but don’t panic if it’s not under contract by then. 60-90 days on the market is typical for many areas. If you get beyond 90 days without a contract, it’s probably time for you and your agent to revisit the home’s marketing and pricing strategy.
Nearly everything becomes easier once you know what to expect, and listing your home for sale is no exception. Keep in mind that if you have questions or problems along the way, your Realtor® will be there to assist you. By knowing what to expect and having professional help, you can avoid home-selling stress.