Listing Your Home
Putting your home up for sale is a big step in your life. Before you can do that, you should know what goes into the process of listing your house.
Who is Involved?
A listing salesperson/broker is a licensed Realtor who represents and assists a Seller in selling their house or property. They work in your best interest and not only market your house to attract multiple buyers, but also negotiate the terms and conditions favorable to you, the Seller. A listing salesperson is also referred to as a Seller salesperson/broker.
A selling salesperson/broker is a licensed Realtor who represents and assists a Buyer in purchasing a house or property. They work in the best interest of the Buyer and work with your Listing Salesperson to negotiate and come to the final terms and conditions that are acceptable to both the Buyer and the Seller. A selling salesperson is also referred to as a co-operating or a Buyer salesperson/broker.
The Listing broker, your Realtor, works with you to prepare and bring your house into the market for sale. Your Realtor markets your house to attract multiple buyers and other Realtors who are working with the Buyers. The Buyer brokers bring qualified and motivated buyers to visit your house to determine if the house meets their needs and wants.
Once convinced, the Buyer broker prepares the necessary documents to submit an offer package to the Listing broker who then presents the offer to you, the Seller. Both Realtors guide and work with their respective clients to negotiate and arrive at the terms and conditions acceptable to both you, the Seller, and the Buyer.
Selling a house is a process that involves multiple steps. Below are the details of the steps involved:
Step: 1 – Listing Appointment
The very first step in this process is setting up an appointment with the Realtor. This appointment is usually referred to as “Listing Appointment”. The purpose of this appointment is for the Realtor to visit your house and get to know both the house and you better.
During this visit, the Realtor would inspect your house is details trying to find the selling features and the drawbacks of the house. They would also want to talk to you to know more about your reasons for the move, your expectations from the Realtor and the sale and your likes and dislikes of not only the house, but also the area as a whole. For example, area amenities, schools, parks, library, community center, public transit, shopping, place of worship etc. Your Realtor can use this knowledge to highlight the features of the house in their marketing to attract potential buyers. You can use this opportunity to know more about your Realtor too. You can ask them questions related to their experience and their modus operandi.
Step: 2 – Comparative Market Analysis
Your Realtor needs to assist and guide you in determining the appropriate market value of your house. Realtors use a technique called Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to arrive at the logical market value of the house. This technique involves the following steps:
Study the subject property: Your Realtor inspects and studies your property for its features and drawbacks so they know the property inside-out.
Pick suitable comparables: Your Realtor will then research the local area market to locate suitable comparable properties that are similar to your property and have either sold in the recent past, or are currently available for sale or were in the market but did not sell. The focus is on the similarities between the properties.
Detailed Comparison: Once suitable three to four comparable properties are picked, your Realtor will do a detailed feature by feature comparison of each comparable property with your property and highlight the differences. The focus is the differences.
Adjustments: Each difference is then assigned a value. The value is based on what a generic Buyer would want to pay for that feature in that area. A sum of all the adjustments is then added/deducted from the sold price of the property to arrive at the Adjusted selling price of each comparable property.
Final Price Range: Your Realtor concludes the CMA process by arriving at a range of the selling price based on the minimum and maximum adjusted selling prices of the comparable properties.
Step: 3 – Listing Presentation
Your Realtor presents to you the outcome of the CMA as their analysis of the current market conditions. This presentation not only helps you decide the correct market value of your house, but also how the Realtor intends to market and sell your house. They will share their detailed marketing plan and the strategies they will implement into order to achieve the common goal of selling your house for the top dollars within the least amount of time.
Step: 4 – Listing Preparation
Once you and your Realtor arrive at the consensus regarding the market value and the marketing plan, your Realtor will guide you preparing your house for the sale. This involves education and recommendations on renovations, de-cluttering and de-personalizing, staging, photography and handling buyer visits.
Your Realtor will also need further details and documents from you to complete the required paperwork and their marketing. These documents might include property tax bill, current deed, mortgage details, property survey, floor plans, a list of items to include in the purchase price, a list of items to exclude from the purchase, any rental contracts to be assumed by the Buyer, utility bills, convenient hours for buyer visits etc. You sign the necessary documents to authorize the Realtor’s employing Brokerage to start marketing your house.
Step: 5 – Marketing
Your Realtor starts marketing your property by first uploading the listing to the local Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service (MLS). They then start to execute their marketing plan as presented to you earlier and thus providing your house listing the maximum possible exposure with the goal of attracting the potential buyers and the Buyer brokers. This leads to Buyer visits where you can expect multiple Buyers scheduling and visiting your house on a daily basis.
Step: 6 – Handling Offers
Once a Buyer shows interest in purchasing your house, the Buyer broker will prepare the required documents and submit the offer package to your Realtor, the Listing Broker.
Your Broker will then present every offer received to you and explain all the complex terms and condition in a manner that makes it easier for you to understand them. They go through these documents quite often and are very well aware of the intricacies involved. Your Realtor will guide and assist you in understanding the terms and conditions and determining if they are favorable to you or not. Your Realtor helps you decide how to react to the offer – Accept, Reject or Counter the offer.
Step: 7 - Completion
After the firm sale has been achieved by signing all the required documents by all the parties involved, your Realtor will assist and guide you to prepare for your move and the final handover of your house to the Buyer.
You will be required to retain the services of a Lawyer who will handle the legal requirements and will work with the Buyer’s Lawyer to have the Agreement completed and having you handover the house to the new owner, the Buyer.
You will need to notify your utility, insurance and mortgage companies to stop the charges as of the completion date. At the successful completion of the Agreement, you will receive the proceeds from the sale of your house and the Buyer will receive the keys and the possession to the house, legally making them the new owner of the house.
As you can see the whole process of listing and selling you house could be a detailed, complex and very involved one. Your Realtor will assist you on every step along the way and make this experience a memorable one.