What Do I Do Now
You’re moving! You’ve decided to list your home with a real estate agent and you’ve set your list price. You’ve decluttered and depersonalized. You’ve scrubbed, cleaned, painted and staged. While a lot of hard work has gone into getting your house ready for sale, it’s the time now, in between going “live” and accepting a contract, when you may be thinking, “Ok, what do I do now?” The answer? Be Ready. The first two weeks after a listing goes “live” are generally the most active, and it’s during this window of opportunity that buyers and their agents discover your property and are most likely to visit and make offers.
Be ready for showings at any time: days, nights, evenings and weekends. Flexibility is important here, to accommodate a potential buyer’s schedule to see your house. The fear is that if your schedule and the buyer’s schedule don’t jive, they’ll go and find another house to look at and put an offer on that one instead. There may be times when you may get a notification that there’s a buyer who’d like to see your house right away, so be prepared.
Be ready to be open to feedback. After the completion of each showing, a real estate sales person may offer feedback with how the home showed and price point and what the potential buyer did, or did not, like about the property. Be cognizant of patterns of feedback. If you’re getting the same negative comments about the property, and it’s something that is within your power to address, it may serve you well to listen.
Be ready to negotiate any offers that come in, even if it feels like a “lowball”. Sure, those “lowball” offers may be hard to swallow at first. You may feel that your list price was reasonable, and your first inclination might be to feel frustrated and not consider the offer at all. Negotiation is how selling a home happens, and a “lowball” offer is better than no offer. You never know, with a little negotiating it might turn into the perfect deal.
Be ready to adjust the price. Property values are affected by the current real estate market, and the market changes…daily. A general rule of thumb is that 10 showings without an offer, or two weeks without a showing, your house is overpriced for the current market and needs a price adjustment.
So often, after putting in all the hard work to get a house ready for sale, sellers don’t consider fully the very critical first few weeks that their listing is “live”. They may feel overly-optimistic that because of the initial high-level of showing traffic they experience, that that level of activity will be ongoing. The truth is, activity and showing requests begin to fall after the first few weeks of being on the market. Being ready, and capitalizing on that initial high level of showing activity of your house, is instrumental in getting your house sold for the highest amount of money, in the shortest amount of time.