Your Home is Listed – Now What?
Showing Your Home
With your property on the market, you will now start getting calls from Realtor® s seeking to show your home to prospective buyers and to look at the home on their own. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Any Realtor® May Call Once your property is listed and entered into the Multiple Listing Service, (MLS) you may be called directly by any MLS member Realtor® who would like to show the house. This cooperation among REALTORS® permits even greater exposure of your property to additional potential buyers.
Preparing For The Appointment
Now that a Realtor® and perhaps a prospective purchaser are on the way, take a walk through your home and be certain it looks its best. Tidy rooms, lots of light, and some soft music will provide the viewer with the best possible perspective of your home.
When a Realtor® comes by with a prospective purchaser, it is best for you to let them look at the property on their own. The real estate Realtor® knows the buyer, and knows how to assist in the decision making process. Often, if a seller is too close at hand, purchasers will be reluctant to share their thoughts about the property with the Realtor®, and the sales process is disrupted.
The “No Show” Appointment
It shouldn’t happen but it sometimes does. Occasionally, a Realtor® who has set an appointment with you, will not show as scheduled. Courtesy dictates that you should get a call from that Realtor® informing you that they will not be coming. Be aware, however, that this may not always occur. The buyers may have been tired, found a house they liked or just be running behind schedule. In any event, try not to be upset.
Questions For Buyers
Refer all questions about price, terms, possession, etc. to your agent. . . so you won’t say the wrong thing. This will give you an opportunity to think the questions over clearly.
Contract Presentation & Negotiations
You and your Realtor® are working together as a team towards getting an offer on your property. When that offer comes in, it is important to understand what will happen. Any offers that are prepared will be presented to you. You will have three options if the offer differs from the price and terms you were asking:
I. You can “counter offer’ by changing terms in the buyer’s offer to terms that are acceptable to you, and see if the buyer is interested in your terms. Remember, once the buyer’s offer has been changed by you, the buyer is not obligated to buy the property, even at the terms the buyer originally offered.
- You can reject the offer outright. This option occurs least of all because usually a seller will attempt to change terms with a counter offer to the buyer. Occasionally, under some circumstances, such as inadequate buyer financial qualification, an offer may be rejected outright.
- You call accept the offer at the price and terms offered.
During the presentation of the contract, you will be informed of the following:
- details on the deposit – amount and form
- the buyer’s financial qualifications
- price, terms, and conditions of the sales contract including details on any contingencies
- special considerations
Your agent will typically review each of these areas to assist you in making an informed decision. Do not hesitate to ask questions about anything you do not clearly understand. Its important to remember that getting to the closing table and getting an offer are very different things.
Multiple Offers on Your Home
Occasionally, more than one prospective purchaser will make an offer on your home at the same time, resulting in a dual or multiple presentation. This can be a very good thing. When this happens, all contracts will be presented to you prior to your taking action on any of them. The offers are normally presented to you in the order in which they were registered. Once all have been presented, your Realtor® will assist you as necessary in selecting the one that best meets your needs, and you’ll decide whether to accept or make a counter offer. You may also elect to counter offer the next best contract as a back-up. If accepted by the prospective back up purchaser, this contract remains on standby so that in the event the primary contract falls out any reason, the back-up contract becomes the primary.
Contracts can be contingent upon one or more things. Some of the more common contingencies are:
Whenever new financing is involved, a contract is contingent upon its approval. The financing approval may involve a number of elements including buyers financial ability, the appraisal of the property, required repairs, if any, an acceptable title report, and a termite inspection.
Sale of another property
Occasionally the purchaser will want to contract to buy a home subject to the sale of their present home. Special added provisions can provide for performance standards and seller flexibility in the event of another offer, a very important thing to consider.
Most buyers will want to purchase a home subject to their approval of a home inspection report made at their own (purchaser’s) expense. These inspections are made by people familiar with the standard components of a home.. The report can provide a buyer with an informed analysis of the present condition of a property at a cost of approximately $150 or more, depending on the price of the home. The contingency is usually done in no more than 5 or 7 days and typically requires that the purchaser submit a statement indicating acceptance of the report within a specified time frame or they can lose the right to conduct an inspection.
Other contingencies may exist and must be evaluated carefully. Your Realtor® can assist you.
Price vs. Net
One final note. Be sure to consider all the elements of the offer and don’t be overly preoccupied with just the offering price. Your primary concern should be directed toward achieving the highest possible net return. Sometimes that can occur with an offer at less than list price. Factors such as financing, points, date of settlement, market activity and contingencies must be viewed in total when determining the attractiveness of an offer.