Before you take the leap, make sure you know where you stand
You plan to sell soon, and you’ve already chosen your agent. You are in the middle of cleaning, painting and prepping the home. As the listing period approaches, it is time to dig deeper into the final pricing, sales and marketing plan. The ultimate list price or go-to-market strategy may change based on inventory levels and the competition. As you get closer to finalizing the listing, there are some questions you’ll want to ask your agent.
What’s the highest price my home could attain given its size, location and space?
You can’t up and move your house to a better location. And a fourth bedroom or a second bath isn’t going to appear magically. So there will be a limit based on your home’s layout, square footage, number of bedrooms and baths, as well as the lot size. Better understanding what a fully renovated home with broad market appeal would sell for will help inform your price, and you can work backwards from there.
Based on our list price, how long can I expect to wait before receiving an offer?
Coming up with a list price should be a transparent and ongoing discussion. Your price will determine how long it takes to receive offers. If you chose to price it low, expect to see offers within the first few weeks, if not days. If you go for the high-end of the price range, expect six weeks — maybe longer — and also plan for a potential price reduction along the way.
What is the open house and broker’s open house strategy?
Every market is different, so what worked for your Uncle Bob in San Francisco may not work in your smaller suburban town in the Midwest. But find out what does work. Agents should have at least one broker’s open house or broker’s caravan and a few Sunday open houses in the beginning.
Many agents will tell you that open houses don’t work. Others will advocate for them every weekend. Find out what other sellers are doing by studying the market yourself. One-size-fits-all may not be the best approach.
If you have not narrowed down a listing agent at this point, use these questions as interview topics for potential agents. If you hear the same answers multiple times, chances are that is the best approach. If you are a serious seller, motivated to move your home and working with an experienced local agent, these final discussions should put you on the path to success.