Do you wonder what a Realtor does to get a house for sale on the internet? Have you ever wondered how much work it takes to gather all the information and get it on the market?
From the initial interview to the final click of the mouse, to list a house properly takes many hours. Here is a summary of the steps to listing a house:
- Typically a Seller calls a specific Realtor whom they either know or has been referred to them, to set up an appointment to meet with the Realtor at the house.
- The first thing the Realtor should do, before walking through your house and discussing anything is to sit down with you and go over the The Vermont Real Estate Commission Mandatory Consumer Disclosure. This might be the single most important piece of information for you to understand. Before you sign a contract and hire a Realtor, you are not being represented by anyone and that is the purpose of this disclosure. You should not talk about or disclose anything you would consider to be confidential in nature. For example, your motivation to sell (I’m desperate) or what your bottom line is (I’ll take anything).
- Once that’s done, you can give the Realtor the house tour, explaining any improvements you’ve made and any problems or issues with the house, and asking for suggestions on improvements, repairs, rearranging of furniture, and the like.
- A trip to the town clerk’s office is the next step for the Realtor. There, he or she will get copies of the lister’s card (which includes the year built, square footage, and assessment), the deed (so we can confirm who actually owns the place and any covenants or rights of way on the property), a copy of the tax bill, and a confirmation of town water or sewer (or not).
- Next is a detailed search of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to look for properties similar to yours which have sold within the past 12 months as well as what is currently on the market.
- Then another meeting with the Realtor to go over their report. This information will help you and the Realtor determine a reasonable listing price. This is also the time to ask lots of questions and understand how your Realtor and their company work, their commission rates, marketing, etc. Are you two a good fit?
- Now here’s the hard part for the Seller. The suggested list price is almost never what you hope for or what you think your house is worth. How much you paid for it, how much you owe on the mortgage, how much money you’ve spent, what your town tax assessment is, what it was appraised for three years ago, what your friends say or your mother thinks, does not determine what a buyer is willing to pay for your house. Now’s the time to take a deep breath, get the emotion out of the equation, and look at the facts.
- Once you get past the hard part – the agony of reality – and you’ve decided who you are hiring and your list price, you will be asked to sign a Listing contract.
- The document is now signed. Congratulations, it’s time to get busy. Your Realtor, your representative, has much to do. Measuring rooms, making notes, taking lots of photos, in and out. Your house is getting ready to have its picture taken — in and out — and it’s going to be on the Internet. Before your Realtor begins, take a good look around with a critical eye. Can’t bear to do that? Have your Realtor do it — we aren’t shy and will be quite frank with you. Whether you like it or not — you are now inventory. Your house is a product to be sold and you must put your best foot forward right from the start. Before your Realtor takes those photos, make the beds, clear off all counter tops, tables and other surfaces, move the dog bed out of sight, and clean, clean, clean. Check out home magazines and see how beautiful those rooms are and how much is NOT in the picture. Not an easy thing to do but you’d be surprised at how important this is. If you need to put everything in a closet and shut the door to get a decent photo, do it.
- Are we listed yet? You signed the contract but you’re not on the market yet. So what next? Your Realtor will have a For Sale sign installed in your yard — very important. Then, it’s several hours at the computer entering the details about your property, uploading documents and photos. Your Realtor should email you a copy of the fact sheet so you can take a look at it for any necessary corrections. Once this is complete and your property is on the MLS, you are on the market. Congratulations! Now you can wait for that first call for a showing.
There is a lot of time and effort on your Realtor’s part to get your home on the market. Your goal and your Realtor’s goal is for a timely sale at a good price — the best possible outcome. Happy Spring!
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