Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, it’s time to find a real estate professional to list it on the market. Listing your home requires a few key tasks: signing a listing agreement contract with your chosen realtor, coming up with an appropriate listing price according to the current market, and prepping your home for showings.
Your home will likely be placed on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which essentially lets all other agents in your area know that your home is available for sale. This is a very important place to have your home listed as it will allow your agent to distribute information about your home with prospective buyers, making it a powerful marketing tool.
But once your home is officially up on the market what happens next?
If you want to maximize the number of buyers who visit your home while it’s on the market, you should absolutely have a lockbox. These tools are essential for allowing buyer agents to show your property to their buyer clients when you are not home. Instead of relying on your presence to let buyers in, they can visit your home with their agents at any time without you being there.
This may seem distressing at first, considering the fact that complete strangers will have access to your home, but it’s recommended that sellers vacate the premises when buyers have an appointment to view a listed property. This will allow prospective buyers to freely view the home without feeling self-conscious about the seller watching or listening to them as they scope the place out. Buyers will feel more at ease and free to open all doors and make comments without being worried about how the seller might react.
Keep in mind that only buyers who are accompanied by licensed agents will have access to your home. These agents will be making appointments to your agent’s office, at which point the lockbox code will be given. This helps to control who goes in and out of your home. You can always change the code every so often in order to minimize the odds of the code getting into the wrong hands.
Lockboxes provide the flexibility for buyers to access the property with their agents without sellers always having to be available to provide the key. It’s a win-win for all parties.
For Sale Sign Planted
One of the more obvious steps when listing a home on the market is placing a For Sale sign in the front yard. This is a classic way to advertise a property for sale and helps get the attention of people who pass by. Any interested buyers will be able to take down the contact information detailed on the sign and use that information to inquire about the home if they so choose.
Open House Held
While not mandatory, it is customary to hold an open house shortly after a home hits the market. It’s during the first few days of a listing going live that interest is very high. This period of peak interest should be taken advantage of, and an open house can provide the perfect opportunity for people who may or may not have an agent to visit your home.
Open houses usually take place on a weekend, either on a Saturday or Sunday, or both days. But before this public open house takes place, your agent may want to hold a broker’s open house first, usually during business hours at some point throughout the week. This event will allow listing agents in the area to come and check out the home to see if it would be of interest to their seller clients.
Just as with scheduled showings, it’s not advisable for sellers to be present during an open house, so make some plans to be out of the house for a few hours while your agent hosts it for you. If necessary, more than one public open house may be scheduled to maximize the attention your listing gets.
Cleanliness and Tidiness Maintained
As the seller, you’ll want to make sure that your home is in pristine condition. While you may have already prepped or even staged your home for the market before listing it, it’s still important to be diligent about tidying up and cleaning.
Throughout the selling process, it’s important that your home remains clean and free of your personal belongings. You just never know when a buyer will schedule a showing, and it may be when you’re out of the house and unable to do any last-minute cleaning or tidying up before buyers arrive. This is especially important if you’ve got young children or pets.
Your Agent’s Job Behind the Scenes
While it may seem challenging to have to constantly keep your home clean and frequently vacate your home to make way for buyer showings, your agent’s got a lot to do as well. There is plenty that goes on behind the scenes while a home is on the market.
Your agent will be tasked with continuously marketing your property, scheduling and coordinating buyer showings, following up on buyer feedback, communicating with buyer agents, and making any necessary adjustments if any issues pop up.
Traffic May Slow Down After Awhile
After the first week or two, interest in a listing tends to die down. Many sellers often become distressed about this and may wonder why no offers have come in after the initial rush. If this happens, it’s important to stay patient. A slowdown in traffic is normal and shouldn’t be anything to fret about, unless the slowdown lasts for weeks with no bites.
This brings us to our next point.
If No Offers Come in …
If the initial interest and excitement of a listing have died down and no offers are coming in after weeks on the market, it’s time to take action. If you’re in a hot market, your agent might take steps even earlier.
At this point, it’s important to meet with your agent and talk about what the potential problems may be and make any necessary adjustments to your listing strategy. The market tends to change very quickly, so even after a couple of weeks, it might be time to make some changes.
The first thing that should be looked at is the listing price. Perhaps it might be time to tweak it to ensure it falls in line with what the current market dictates. You might also want to consider whether any improvements should be made to the home that would boost buyer interest.
Your agent may also want to re-evaluate the target market and focus on a different group of buyers when marketing your home. Different marketing channels may also be looked into to boost the number of eyes on your property.
The Bottom Line
The ultimate goal after listing your home is to get a handsome offer, negotiate a deal, complete escrow, and close on time. But knowing what to expect after your home has been listed on the market can help you keep your nerves at bay and take the proper steps to maximize the odds of an effective sales process. If you’re adequately prepared, you can be an active participant in the successful sale of your home.