Now that your home is officially on the market, you might be tempted to sit back and relax. And while most of the difficult work is done, there are still a few things you need to keep in mind as potential buyers start touring your property. Here’s what to expect during the home-selling process!
1. Expect to maintain a “show-ready” home
You may have done a significant amount of cleaning and decluttering in preparation of listing your home. Potential buyers will want to see a home as it appears on the listing photos. It’s important to keep it clean and tidy to meet potential buyers’ expectations. There will be times when you will be unable to do a thorough deep clean. Having a ‘show-ready’ plan will help save any concerns about the look of your property during showing appointments.
Tips to maintain a clean house for showings:
- Meal prep or order takeout to limit the amount of time spent cooking and cleaning in the kitchen
- Keep a designated space for shoes by the door to avoid tracking dirt and mud throughout the house
- Set a daily or weekly cleaning schedule and stick to it as much as possible
- Establish quick clean-up routines for each room, such as: making the bed each morning, vacuuming the floor, and cleaning the bathrooms daily.
- Hire a professional cleaning service to give your home a deep clean every couple of weeks.
2. You will need to be flexible with showings.
In addition to maintaining a “show-ready” home, you will need to be flexible with showings. Showings are when prospective buyers come to tour your home with a real estate agent. Most property tours are scheduled well ahead of time. You’ll typically be given a couple of hours notice before your home will be shown, but this may vary from situation to situation.
When buyers come to tour your home with their agent, they’ll be interested in both the property and the lifestyle that comes with it. They’ll want to see how the layout works and get a feel for the space. They’ll also want to imagine themselves living there. That means the buyer may look in cabinets and closets, peek into cupboards, and open doors. It’s important to allow them to do this without feeling like you’re hovering over them.
The best way to make buyers feel comfortable is to leave the house during showings. If you’re not there, buyers will have more time to look around and talk to their Real Estate Agent. If you can’t leave, try to stay out of the way and let them explore on their own. It is important to remember that you are trying to sell your home, so you will need to try to be accommodating to those who are interested in buying it.
3. Negative feedback after house showing
Expect to hear critiques and criticism from buyers after the property tour. As a seller, it is important to be prepared for this so that you can take the feedback constructively and use it to your advantage. Potential buyers are not trying to upset you; instead, they’re attempting to imagine their home as yours. Your real estate agent should help to buffer criticism. They’ll be able to take ideas from potential buyers and pass them along to you in a useful and constructive manner.
Some of the common critiques and criticisms that you may hear from buyers after a property tour include:
- The home needs work/updates
- The layout does not work well
- There is not enough storage space
- The home is too small/big
- The home does not have enough natural light
- The home is in a bad location
- The home is overpriced
Use this Feedback to Your Advantage. If you are giving feedback from buyers, it is up to you to decide how you want to use this information. You may choose to make some of the suggested changes so that your home is more appealing to future buyers. Alternatively, you may decide not to make any changes at all.
4. You will need to be patient.
Selling a home takes time, so it is important to be patient throughout the process. It may take weeks or even months to find the right buyer, so don’t get discouraged if your home doesn’t sell right away. Be patient and work with your real estate agent to come up with a selling strategy that works for you.
5. Expect Contingencies
You’ve done it! After weeks (or maybe even months) of showings, you’ve finally received and accepted an offer on your home. Congratulations! But the work isn’t quite finished yet. Here’s what you can expect from the home-selling process from this point forward.
Most offers are going to come with contingencies, which are conditions that must be met for the sale to go through. The two most common contingencies are financing and inspections.
The buyer will usually have a set number of days to get their financing in order. If they’re not able to secure a loan or they decide they don’t want the home, after all, they can back out of the contract and you’ll be free to accept another offer.
Home Inspection Contingency
The inspection contingency is in place so that the buyer can have a professional inspector come and take a look at the property to look for any major defects or issues. If any problems are found, the buyer can then negotiate with you to have the repairs made before moving forward with the sale, ask for a price reduction, or back out of the contract entirely.
I recommend having a budget in mind for potential repairs. Every house will have issues. Establishing a budget at the beginning will help to minimize the frustration during the repair negotiations process. Once the contingencies have been met and both parties are still interested in moving forward, it’s time to start scheduling a closing.
In conclusion, selling your home can be a long and stressful process, but it is important to be prepared for what to expect. By being patient, working with your real estate agent, and being open to feedback, you will be one step closer to successfully selling your home.
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