While you, the home seller, are actively getting the house ready to show, I am actively spreading the word that the property is available. Generally speaking, the listing is promoted to two groups: the real estate community and the buying public.
Many home sellers are surprised to learn that approximately 34% of all buyers come from referrals between brokers and their vast network of contacts. Approximately 23% found their home on the internet, 14% of buyers come from inquiries stimulated by for sale signs in yards. The remaining 29% of buyers come from a combination of the real estate company's reputation and image, open houses, and advertising or other promotional efforts. Obviously, the most productive source of buyers is working closely with other brokers, and this is where your listing broker begins.
Here are some things to keep in mind when showing your home:
I will enter a profile of your house in the Multiple Listing Service computer. This profile includes everything from location and price, to available financing and number of baths, from house style and heating system to special features and showing instructions. Now your house description is instantly available to the entire MLS membership. (MLS is a membership service available exclusively to brokers belonging to the Boards/ Association of REALTORS®.)
In addition, I announce the listing at regular office sales meetings, and points out noteworthy features. Real estate companies are invited to tour your home. (Without the lockbox, your house is inaccessible to this large network when you are not home.)
The yard sign provides additional exposure to the neighborhood and prospects touring the area. Signs often create high-quality inquiries because prospects like the area and the house and want to get a closer look inside. Your home, as well as homes similar to yours, will be advertised from time to time in major metropolitan and community newspapers and on the Internet for mass reach. Direct mail cards are used to target specific neighborhoods.
When Its Show Time
With all this activity, I and other selling brokers will be bringing prospective buyers to see your house. Brokers will make an appointment with the home seller, and will give you as much advance notice as possible. That will give you time to tidy up, make beds & light dark areas. Make every effort to accept all appointments - you never know when your buyer will walk through the front door. Also, have the property brochure available with utility bills, MLS profile, house location survey, etc.
If You are Home
If you are home, greet the prospects at the door and politely excuse yourself and leave the selling to us. (Perhaps take the dog for a walk.)
Buying a home may be the largest single purchase a family will make in a lifetime. It is a serious matter for them; therefore, too many distractions could spoil the sale. We have found over the years that a number of pointers make things a little easier for your Sales Associate and the buyers.
Too many people present during inspection may make the potential buyer feel like an intruder, which makes it difficult for selling broker and buyer to be at ease.
It is better that you and your children busy yourselves in one part of the house or outside, rather than tagging along. The broker knows the buyer's desires and can better emphasize your homes features.
Quiet is the ideal environment. Noise is distracting, so do not have the radio or TV on - the broker and the buyer need to hear each other!
It is better to keep pets out of the house. Buyers may be timid around an unfamiliar animal.
Chatting with a potential buyer may dilute the brokers ability to present your homes features in the best light. If asked a question, respond honestly, but diplomatically refer questions to the broker.
The lived-in appearance makes it a home. There is no need to apologize for its appearance. Let the trained broker answer any objections.
Many a sale has been lost by trying to dispose of furniture and furnishings to the potential buyer. Wait until after the sale is made.
Your listing broker is most qualified to bring negotiations to a favorable conclusion.
Do not discuss price, terms, possession, or other factors with the potential buyer.
If You are Not Home
Have the house ready and enclose pets in the basement, garage or back yard. Selling brokers may leave their business cards. Be sure to keep any cards and give them to your listing broker as soon as possible for follow-up. When an open house is scheduled, plan to be away for the afternoon. Make the house accessible to the listing broker and be sure to leave word on how to contact you.
Seller and Broker Team
During the listing period, I will periodically update the home seller on the mortgage market, new competitive listings and sales in the area, and progress in selling the home. The feedback between broker and seller is vital to exchange selling suggestions and maintain maximum marketability. I will follow-up with the other selling brokers and provide feedback to the home seller. This mutual teamwork becomes especially important later when negotiating offers to purchase.
Questions and Answers
Should I let anyone in to see the house?
If a prospective buyer calls or comes by unexpectedly without a broker, get their name and phone number. Do not show the home. Explain that it is not a convenient time. Call me so that the buyer can be qualified and identified prior to showing. This is for your benefit and protection.
If an offer is imminent, should we still show the home?
A property is either sold or available, there is no in between. However, if there is an accepted contract that contains a contingency, and back up contracts are invited, then this must be made clear, and the house should be shown. Refer the selling agent to your listing agent for details.
Next go to Offers and contract walks you through the contract process.