No matter what time of year you are planning to put your home on the market, it is important to understand the timeline that should be applied to the process. Many times, you may not be in a position to utilize the entire timeline as we are going to share with you, but in a perfect world, the following is an ideal plan for your timeline for selling a house.
As with any plan that has a goal at the end of it, it is important to work backwards from your goal date, to identify the appropriate time that each task will be given. In this instance, let's use the current calendar as our jumping off point. Because it is mid-winter, most homeowners who will be selling a house this year are likely to want to move over the summer.
Closing Date: June 20th
Whoa! That seems far off in the future, doesn't it? It's hard to imagine needing nearly six months in order to prepare a house to sell, but as you'll soon discover, a good Realtor team can utilize every bit of that time to maximize your home value and in the end, bring you the most money to your pocketbook! Let's get started!
Purging and Decluttering: January 1 - January 21
Even if you feel you are the most minimalist of people, there are always more things you can purge, declutter or pack away. Give yourself a solid 2-3 weeks for this task, going methodically through each room. We enlisted the help of some experts in this article on purging and decluttering.
Minor Repairs and Fixing Up: January 14 - January 29
It is sometimes a good idea to have a pre-listing home inspection so that you can be made aware of any easy fix items that you can take care of PRIOR to a potential buyers' home inspection punch list. Small items that you know you can fix should be remedied during this time frame. That may include loose shower doors, or drawer pulls that need to be tightened. It may be a time that you steam the carpets or the windows professionally cleaned. Other items to consider are loose stair rails, fully repaired water leaks that you always forget to paint, whether your front door needs a fresh coat of paint or faucets that need to be repaired.
Staging, Photo Shoot, Marketing Preparation: February 1 - February 15
Part of the service we offer our clients is a complimentary staging consultation. We bring in an expert in the arena to provide you with a thorough (but manageable) punch list of items to consider following to best use your space, present your home in the best light possible and really WOW those potential buyers. Read this article on staging for more in-depth information on the process.
We utilize amazing professional photographers for all of our listings (no blurry iPhone shots with 8th & Home!). Once you have had ample time to prepare your home and selected which staging suggestions you are going to implement, it will be time for the photo shoot! We give the homeowners a bit of time away from the house and the team comes in to preform their magic! In just a few hours' time, we will be all finished and within 24-48 hours, a lovely package of images as well as a walkthrough video will be ready for your review!
The next step is for our website development team (our gurus, if you will!) to put all of the pieces together to create the final step in our marketing plan. Each listing has a unique website that is the property address, which allows to really highlight your home, the neighborhood, amenities, etc. We have a very intense marketing strategy that includes targeted Facebook ads, very specific blog posts as well as creative events (not your typical open house on a Sunday afternoon!).
Coming Soon Status: February 18
Our local MLS allows Realtors to now list properties as "COMING SOON" for a period of 21 days prior to an active status. During this time frame, we are not allowed to schedule showings of your home, and it offers your Realtor a nice window of time to market the property, drum up interest and otherwise get the buzz going! A sale sign will be placed in your yard (we happen to really love ours!)
Live on the Market! March 10
All of the hard work will now start to pay off! The sign will now reflect "For Sale", your property may have flyers in the box and your Realtor will provide you with informational flyers and brochures at the house to keep handy for all showings.
Showings, Open House Events and Offer: March 10 - April 10
Once you are live on the market, your Realtor will ask you to always keep your home "show ready." This is not easy when you have young children, pets or if you work from home but we have great tips on how to make this process as simple and pain free as possible. Showings are typically scheduled with a bit of advance notice so that you can "sweep" your house quickly before you vacate the home for the showing. Depending on the size and property type, a showing can take anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour.
If you choose to hold open house events, most Realtors will do these on Sunday afternoons. We are happy to hold open house events on Sundays as well, but we also like to host a "neighbors open house" as well and bring wine and cheese. What better folks to bring in a new great neighbor than the ones that already live next door!
Depending on your market, the typical DOM (days on market) can fluctuate anywhere from 1-3 days up to 30 + days. For the sake of this timeline article, let's assume 30 days. When you are notified that an offer is coming, be prepared to always offer a counter if the price feels too low to you (never outright refuse an offer!) and look to your Realtor to provide you with a "net sheet" which will show you what proceeds you will receive based on the offer price.
Due Diligence Period: April 10 - May 1
Once both parties have agreed to the terms of the contract and it has been ratified, the due diligence period will begin. Every contract is different in terms of the number of days and length of this process, but typically the due diligence period will include the home inspection, radon test (if applicable), appraisal, HOA documents / violation review and financing/underwriting. This period offers additional negotiation opportunities should both parties not agree.
Settlement: June 20
Using the benefit of a well organized team (title company, attorney, lender, home inspector, etc.) you will hopefully smoothly sail to your closing date!
If you have questions about listing your home, or simply want to learn more about the current market value of your home (even if you're not ready to sell at this time), feel free to get in touch with us! We aim to serve our clients with amazing communication, stellar marketing and creative strategies and since we know what it's like to move homes, we walk beside our clients to help provide a stress-free experience!
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