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The Simms Team at RE/MAX Metro - Specializing in Waterfront and Luxury Residential Real Estate

Each agent may have a different marketing plan for your home, which you should receive at the listing appointment. This will address some of the more common aspects.

The first step is to decide whether to hire a Realtor® or whether to market your home yourself. If a Realtor®, you must then choose one. Refer to the Interview Questions for questions to ask, then add any of your own.

Do any painting, repairs or planting needed to bring your home into top condition before putting it on the market. The first days and weeks are the most important and first impressions DO matter. Better to put off listing for a week or two than to have prospects and Realtor®s remember your home in its "Before" condition. See Preparing to List Your Home for some suggestions.

Once you've signed the listing papers, and given your Realtor® the key, the first shock will come when you see the FOR SALE sign in the yard - and yes, you should have a sign. Hopefully you'll notice people slowing down and writing down the number on the sign. Your Realtor® may have also suggested that you have a lockbox on the door.

Next come the prospects to look at your house. Although you like to know the day before the showing, try to be flexible if there is a last minute request for showing. Keep the house tidy and ready, just in case. See Preparing to Show for additional suggestions. Plan to be away for the showing. Your agent should be checking with the showing agent to get feedback and passing this on to you. It's good to have a third party (two of them, actually, the showing agent and your listing agent) who can follow up with the prospects without appearing too eager, and who have an opportunity to counter any objections.

Hopefully, one of the prospects will like your home enough to make an offer. Based on the sales prices of similar homes your agent will help you in evaluating the offer, including the terms and conditions, and will work with you on strategy.

Once you have a signed contract for the sale of your home, time starts to fly. The Buyers will arrange to have a professional inspection of your home - a process that may take 3-4 hours for the average sized home. Often the Buyers will be there for the inspection, as well as one or both of the agents. It's natural to feel a bit overwhelmed at all these people "taking over" your house. The buyers may want to bring in some contractors or salespeople at this time, too, to measure for some of the changes they want to make in the home - new carpet, tile, appliances… After they have received the written inspection report and have reviewed it, the Buyers will put in writing any items they feel are not in proper condition, or will remove the inspection contingency. Sometimes the main report will suggest an additional inspection(s): the roof, the pool, perhaps even a structural engineer. Your agent should help you through this entire process.

Meanwhile you should be making arrangements for moving, perhaps for storage, and perhaps looking for a new home as well. Wherever possible, add a clause in any contract you sign making it contingent on the closing of your home.

Arrange early for the utilities to be turned off on the day of closing. In many cases the Buyer cannot even order a telephone until you have called to order your service disconnected.

The process is much smoother if you can move out a day or two before closing. This allows you to check the property thoroughly after the movers leave, and to clean it or have it cleaned. It also lets the Buyers do their walkthrough when the home is empty. The purpose of the walkthrough is for the Buyers to check that all items which were to be left in the property are still there (ceiling fans, refrigerator, etc.) and that any repairs that should have been made have been made. (Keep your receipts from all of these repairs so that you can bring them to closing - don't pack them, and don't pack your garage door openers, the instruction books for your appliances, or those extra keys.) Then go stay in a nice hotel and relax, or spend your last couple days with good friends or neighbors. Relax a bit after the packing and rushing around, and be ready for a pleasant closing the next day. If you want to review all the papers you will be asked to sign at the closing, make arrangements to go in an hour or two before the closing, or early in the morning of the closing, to review them, then you'll be ready for a smooth closing. Remember to bring the garage door openers and the keys to the closing. You'll be turning them over to the Buyer when the papers are signed and you get your check. It is customary in this area that possession be turned over to the Buyers at the closing.

The Simms Team at ALVA International, Inc. - St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay area Residential Real Estate 727-866-0048
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