From “Listing Appointment” to “Active”: the process of listing your home for sale

Listing Process

In order to get your home listed with me, there are a few steps to follow and decisions to make. I will be with you at each of these steps, giving you all of the information you need to get your home sold quickly and efficiently.

Getting your home ‘photo ready’ by cleaning, de-cluttering and staging:

As part of a comprehensive marketing plan, a well-crafted description including photographs of your home will be posted on thousands of web-sites across the internet. Have you ever come across photographs of a home for sale and wondered if the house was used as a movie set for 1950’s horror flick? Those properties don’t typically get a lot of “followers” (for an example of what not to do, watch the video below). Put on your Teflon overcoat and invite the most honest feedback possible about how your house looks, smells, and welcomes visitors. Better to receive that feedback before you list it than after it has sat for months with no offer. A part of my service involves following up on every showing to secure feedback. Addressing things before listing can prevent the let-down of receiving feedback about issues you could have done something about from someone who would have written an offer “if only…”. It’s also necessary to determine how the home will be maintained in “showing condition”, especially with kids, pets, weather and other issues that take a home from model perfect to utterly lived in. Having a system or routine, and giving every family member a specific set of instructions for leaving the house ready to show can be very helpful.

Gather Mortgage and Title information:

Typically, I have a title agency with whom I work closely do a preliminary title search to determine if there are any hiccups on the title of the property that could present a problem after an offer has been accepted. Things like divorces, remarriages, quit claim deeds, judgments or liens are good to know about prior to listing your home so that you can address any issues that may arise. Additionally, having as close to exact a figure as possible concerning what is owed on your mortgage(s), helps you to plan for what you would net at various price points, and what your bottom line needs to be.

Listing Paperwork:

You will be sent copies of listing paperwork for review with plenty of time for discussion prior to listing. Depending upon your experience and comfort with selling property, you may desire to meet and discuss each form before signing. I am at your disposal to do so. While many of the forms are standard Arizona Association of Realtor forms, some are specific broker forms. Not all forms may be familiar to even the most experienced home sellers. Regardless of your preference in handling the paperwork formalities, your comfort with the process is paramount. Some of the forms you can expect to see include the Listing Agreement, Agency Disclosure form, Market Advisory, Seller disclosures and others as the situation requires.

MLS Profile Data In-put Sheet:

We will be discussing your homes features in depth so that a story can be told that attracts the greatest number of potential buyers. A listing data sheet will be filled out detailing each feature and providing information about everything that a buyer would need to know about your property such as HOA fees, utility and other services, feature up-grades, etc. This information goes directly into the MLS and is available to anyone searching for a property like yours. Some private information accessible only to agents is necessary as well, such as gate codes, showing instructions, or special remarks about the home.

Lockbox/Photo’s/Sign Post:

Once the paperwork is signed and the MLS data sheet is completed, I will arrange to have the lockbox placed on your home (I typically request that you provide two keys in the event that a showing agent inadvertently walks off with the lockbox copy) photographs of your CLEAN, DE-CLUTTERED, STAGED (basically the home you’ve always wanted to live in, but could hardly maintain!) home taken, and a sign installed. I will assist you to find service providers to help with any repairs or cleaning that you can’t do yourself. If you’ve decided to get a pre-appraisal (insert preappraisal link here), this should happen once the home is camera ready as an appraiser does take the condition of the home into account when determining an appraisal price.

Deciding how you want to handle requests to show your home:

If your home is vacant, you may want to give showing access without notification, to any agent with a lockbox key. The easier the home is to show to prospective buyers, the more showings you will tend to get. Each time your lockbox is opened, a report is sent to me, notifying me of the date, time, and agent who opened it, so there is a record of everyone who has been in and out of your home.

If your home is occupied, we must indicate how to notify occupants that a showing is requested. We can have the buyers agents contact the occupants directly via text, phone, email; or, the buyers agent can contact me, the listing agent, to arrange a convenient time to show the home to their buyers. I aim to provide the most convenience for my clients, so the decision will be that which works best for you.

Seller Property Disclosure Statement:

You will be asked to fill out a 7 page form, commonly referred to as the SPUDS, or more technically, SPDS. This is a questionnaire filled out at the time of listing, and required to be up-dated and delivered to the buyers within 5 days of a signed contract to purchase. It asks about nearly every detail of your home, from whether you’ve seen insects in the home, to any history of plumbing leaks; from how likely a buyer is to experience overhead aircraft noise, to the type of landscape watering system on the property. This is your opportunity to forthrightly and honestly disclose any material fact that may impact a buyers decision to purchase your home. It protects you from any future claims by a buyer such as, “I wasn’t told that the home was within 3 miles of an airport and it would be so noisy”. You will likely have questions as you fill this form out, and I am here to answer them.

Now that the home has been cleaned, decluttered and staged, a preliminary title search is begun, it has been listed and activated in the MLS, and it’s been marketed across the internet, the showings should begin.

More information regarding the sellers process after the purchase contract has been signed.