After you have the repairs done and the home is ready to show fill out the contract with your agent and get it up on the MLS and out to the internet. Also, be sure to always do a quick clean before every showing to make the best first impression.
Hey everyone, it’s Andrea Lutz, and I’m here today to talk to you about selling your house.
Today I am talking about getting your house all ready to go into the MLS and getting ready to show it. The last thing we talked about was doing all the things you needed to do before you signed that contract and got it on the interwebs. Now, we’re talking about the final steps: determining price, filling out the contract, and then getting your house ready to show.
We’ll start at the very beginning when we’re talking about the contract, the purchase price, the terms. A listing contract, at least here in Indiana, is pretty straightforward. Really, you’re talking about when is it going to start, how much are you going to sell it for, and what’s included. Those are the three really big ones.
So, start at the beginning, when is it going to start? Here, we need to make sure that, if you’re going to have the start date of your contract, let’s say it’s on July 31st, well then it has to be in the MLS that day. You can’t say on the contract you want it to start in July, but then mid-August say, “Okay, we’re finally ready, you can take some pictures.” You’re going to have to modify that contract if you don’t actually list it on that date. So make sure you think about that when you fill out that contract, or just wait to fill it out until you’re totally ready.
When you come to the point where you’re thinking about purchase price, this is really, really crucial. There’s a very fine margin there where people are actually going to consider your home. Let’s say your home is actually worth $200,000, and you think, “Man, wouldn’t it be great if I got 250?” Of course it’d be great, everybody wants more money for their home than it’s actually worth. But it just doesn’t really work out that way, with a few exceptions.
What you want to do is really think about what is it really worth, and your agent should tell you exactly what that number is, or at least give you a range. Now, you can go up to the top of the range, you can add maybe $10-15,000 to that price just to kind of give it some padding for negotiation, but don’t go bonkers.
If you overprice your property, it’s not going to get the attention it deserves. It’s going to sit there, and it’s going to fester on the shelf, and after a couple weeks of being on the market with no activity people are going to start thinking, “What’s wrong with that place? Is it really gross, is it dirty, does it smell bad, are there bad repairs to be done?” You don’t want anybody to have to think about that, you want the house to be ready to go and priced right so you can sell it in that first month of it being listed.
One other thing to think about when you’re talking about determining the price of your property is there’s only that couple of weeks that people are really going to stay interested. The higher you price it, the smaller amount of people are going to see it. The lower you price it, the larger the amount of people that are going to see it. So that really helps to figure out, you really want to get it right in that sweet spot so you get just the right amount of people to come through, it’s not a bonanza, and then you get the price you want, and you can move on.
Once you decide what that price is, and when you’re going to start the contract, your agent is going to have to come in your house, measure and photograph at the very least. A lot of agents, myself included, will also do a video and do some other benefits like make a list of all of the updates that you’ve had in your house in the last couple of years, also thinking about what your average utility costs are, and any of the information that can be helpful for your buyer.
Writing a little note about why you love your home, that can really help people too, you can leave that on the counter and when people go through the house they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t know there was a park so close, it’s so cute to know that this has got a good yard for gardening and I get full sun all year.” Writing some of those things down for your future buyer is also a really good idea.
But let’s go back to measuring and photography. Your agent is going to come in the house and they’re going to measure all the rooms and make sure that they have all the measurements right for the MLS. They’re also going to photograph all of your rooms. Now, a good agent should be able to take care of this for you, and they should make suggestions that are going to be helpful so that you have the best photos, but do yourself a favor and make sure that your house is photo-ready when your agent comes by.
Open up all your windows, open up all your blinds, spread the curtains open, let the light in, that’s so important. Turn on all the lights, declutter, we talked about that in the last video, get extra furniture out, get extra personal items and chachkies and keepsafes, get them out of the room.
Really what you want is a very clean, very open, decluttered room, and the more open and spacious that photo looks, the more people that are going to look at that picture and say, “That room looks pretty nice, I think that kitchen’s big enough for me,” and they’re going to come by. Do all of that work before your agent gets there, so when they come in, they can snap, snap, snap away those pictures, and everything looks great.
Now it’s ready to go on the MLS, and just in case you don’t know, the MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service, and that is what us realtors use to put it onto the web and make it available to all your buyers. We put it into our local MLS, but then that spills out into all of these other sites like Zillow and Trulia and HomeFinder and all of those other sites out there. I think ours goes to almost 1,000 at this point in time. So you can rest easy knowing that your home, when it’s ready to sell, will be available to all those people on all those different sites.
So now it’s out there, now people are going to want to see it, so be ready for that. Depending on who you’re working with, they’re going to let you know how that’s going to go. My clients will get a text and it’ll say when the people are interested in seeing their home, and they can either accept or decline that.
Now, when you know somebody’s coming to your home, let’s say it’s Tuesday and you have a showing at 2 PM, well you’re going to be at work all day and you don’t know what state the house is in. Do your best to get home at lunch, tidy things up, put away the dirty dishes, get all of the doggy and kitty stuff out of sight, and get the dogs out of the house for sure, or crate them in an area that’s away. And then turn on all the lights, open up all the drapes, and make the house ready to go.
I am serious, you would not believe the difference it makes to just clean a little bit right before they come through. Get out your cleaning supplies, wipe down the counters, clean off all of the surfaces, and even the smell of that cleaning product will make people feel like, “Wow, somebody cares about this house, it’s really been well cared for, and it smells great in here, and everything’s clean and bright.” It makes all the difference in the world.
Really that’s it. Get good photos, you have the measurements, you have your utilities, you have a list of updates, everything in the MLS. Be sure that you list it right, that is so important. You can’t change the location of your house, and you can’t really change too much about the layout and things like that. You can make repairs, we talked about that in the last video, but really the condition of the home, as long as you’ve done the repairs and the updates, that’s there, the location is there. You can determine the price, and if it’s right, it’ll make all the difference.
Once you have that up on the MLS, be prepared to show. Know that you’re going to get requests, it’s going to start spilling in, and keep the house tip top. Keep it clean and keep it smelling fresh and keep it light flowing in all the windows and doors.
I hope this video helped you guys out. Please, if you’re interested in knowing a little bit more about selling your home, I have many more videos to watch, check me out on YouTube, and don’t forget, subscribe, and we’ll see you next time.