Now that your home is on the market, these are some of the questions that frequently come up. If you have any further questions, we're always available to help guide you through this process.
Some of this doesn't apply to you, but there is some information here you might find useful.
I am getting calls to show my house. How should I handle these?
Centralized Showing Service is set up to the specifications we discussed. They should be calling/texting/emailing based on our plan but if you run into issues, please let us know immediately and we will correct it.
Once you approve a showing, we are also notified and will track it. We'll also be following up with each agent.
Please let showings overlap. The more buyers we can get into your home, the better. Also, it's never bad for them to see other interest!
Should I be here for showings or should I leave?
We usually recommend you leave for as many showings as possible. Our job is to position your home in the best possible light and have experiencing answering most questions. We can always answer an agent/buyer with "I am not sure, let me speak with the seller and I will get back to you" where that is not an option for you!
Please remember that showing windows are set up so that agents can show your home any time within that window. We frequently are seeing multiple homes with clients, so these timeframes are set up to give us some flexibility in arriving and leaving your home. Most agents are conscientious of these windows, but unexpected items can arise. If possible, it's best to provide an additional 10 minutes on either side of a showing.
Will the buyers be supervised?
All buyers will be accompanied by a licensed agent or by us if they call off the sign and advertising. Agents are liable for the condition of your home during showings and we watch buyers for that reason/ However, it's best to note tempt fate and put away any valuable, prescription drugs and anything else that may be appealing to someone walking through your home.
How do we know who is coming in?
All showings will be approved by you unless we have chosen to manage it differently. Once that happens, we are provided with a notification and have access to the list of agents showing your home and when exactly that will happen. Furthermore, we typically use electronic lockboxes because they allow us to track exactly who comes into your home and when. We watch these so that they line up with the scheduled showings.
How clean does the home need to be day-to-day for showings?
Our goal is to offer the best first impression. We frequently work with you to set up a start to showings that will likely be busier for you and the time when the home should looks its absolute best. A few extra steps like putting dishes in the dishwasher vs leaving them in the sink, running a vacuum over carpets before you leave and making sure all dirty clothes are in a hamper can go a long way.
I love my pets. Won't other people?
It's hard to believe, but not everyone loves our non-human friends as much as we do! Some buyers do not want animals, are scared of them or simply allergic. It's best to remove all signs of pets if at all possible. Hiding bowls and food in cabinets, along with dog beds, treats and toys can help your home out shine the competition. If your friend does need to stay behind, let us know and we'll alert any agents coming into your home ahead of time.
How will we handle interest if someone wants to place an offer?
A lot of this will be based upon how long we are on the market once this happens. If an offer is coming in really quickly and a lot of other showings are scheduled, we may wish to hold off and set a date to review offers. We will discuss once a buyer expresses a desire to do this. The end choice is yours on when and what offer(s) we accept.
One practice that is coming under fire is the receipt of letters from buyers -- sometimes known as "love letters." While these letters can often provide additional information on the buyer it has become more apparent as of late that the ability for fair housing laws to be violated are causing issues for Sellers and Agents alike. Sadly, we function in a litigious society and in order to protect you from potential lawsuits, as of 4/8/18 our office has agreed not to accept these letters from buyers/agents when reviewing offers on your home until the process evolves without our market to review personal information without violating Fair Housing.
(This article does a good job of explaining the problem and the incidents that have occurred to bring us to this point. Please let me know if you'd like to discuss further.)
What if someone approaches me directly about my home? Should I show them around?
We don't know this person and it's likely you don't either! For your safety, please do not let them inside. Our phone number is on the sign outside your house. (We can also provide you with some of our cards if you'd like). Please ask the prospective buyer to contact us and we will speak to them ASAP, and if they are qualified, schedule a time to bring them into your home. Feel free to place the blame for any implied rudeness on your part on us.
What protection do I have during this process?
You also have the attorney approval contingency that the buyer has. Additionally, if the buyer asks you for any repairs/credits/price reduction/etc, you do not have to agree to anything. We will discuss what items may be likely to come up again, necessary for appraisal or important to consider based upon how showings and offers came in. All documents are sent to your attorney and they are a key partner in this process, so we should always reach to them for additional advice if need be. However, our experience selling 70+ homes/year means we have likely encountered most questions and issues that may arise.
When can I start boxing up and preparing for my move?
We want your home to continue to look its best for the appraisal that should take place 2-3 weeks after the inspection. However, they also understand you are moving and carefully placed boxes in the basement or a spare room should not affect the look of the home significantly. Come final walkthrough, buyers understand you are moving too. Your obligation for walkthrough is to let them view the home, attic and mechanicals as they did during the inspection. They will be making sure things are in the same condition. However, for closing your obligation is to have the home “broom clean.” Anything else you choose to do will surely be appreciated by the buyers, but this is your legal obligation.
When will I received payout from the sale?
Most attorneys are cutting checks approximately 2 days post closing. We suggest reaching out to your attorney directly if you have questions on this — in fact, many provide a list of ‘what to expect’ when you first sign on with them. However, we’re also happy to contact them if you feel it’s taking a while to be paid.