Listing Your Home? Get the Ultimate Checklist & Q&A
Updated: Mar 1
There is a reason why when Sean and Blanca sell a home, they're selling for over 100% of the list price over the past 2 years! Our sellers are well prepared and it makes a huge difference. It's a team effort!
Here is a checklist/action-list to help you get ready for listing your home.
Please save or print this as a reference moving forward.
Part 1 - Preparation
Preparing is the most important part of the sales process. Some of our clients need 12-18 months to prepare. Some need to move FAST! Either way, we're here to help every step of the way.
Book your consultation with Sean and Blanca
This is a good 1st step. It's free and there is no obligation. Your home won't be ready (cleaned, decluttered), and that's normal. Even if you end up NOT selling - that's OK. This is not a sales pitch, it's just a consultation. What's great about having Sean and Blanca tour your home is, they'll provide you a detailed market report, a seller net sheet, and a bunch of ideas and options that you might not have thought of.
Example of the Market Report
Schedule your Design Consultation
Sean and Blanca have an amazing designer that will visit your home (either virtually or in-person) and get some ideas going. This service is included for free for our clients who list and sell with Sean and Blanca!
Schedule the initial consultation - click here
The Designer will tour your home and advise you to make recommendations for each area of your home.
Does your city require a Truth in Housing / Point of sale Inspection?
If you live in one of these cities, you’ll need to get a city inspection and complete all the required repairs in order to sell you home. These repairs are safety and code items only. Contact your city and order the point of sale inspection. Here is the list of cities that require this inspection. This will cost you $150-$300 depending on your city.
>>Click on your city to be routed to the inspection page.
#Homework Fill out the Seller's Disclosure Statement
Seller's disclosures are an important part of the Listing process. You don't need to worry about over-disclosing. The rule of thumb is, "if you're wondering IF you should disclose something - you should.
A well-written Disclosure statement will help build TRUST with potential buyers. Be detailed and take your time while filling these out. I've created a how-to video here, just click on the image below.
The main purpose of the seller's disclosures is to tell them anything about the home that could affect the use or enjoyment of the property.
Filling them out by hand is best but if you'd like to use an online program you may. When you are finished, you can scan and email them to me or I can pick them up at the house later. This should be done by the time we hit the market, please.
#Important Preparing for the photoshoot
Things that you need to realize about your photoshoot:
This will sound a little rude, so I apologize in advance. The house needs to be 100% ready and preferably - empty. Imagine this is your 1st day hitting the market. If the photographer arrives and the home is not ready (people running around, dogs are at the home) they will reschedule. This will delay the launch date and Sean and Blanca will be charged $150.
The best scenario is that no one is present during the shoot. Even the homeowner should not be there so the photographer can focus and do his job. We also steer-clear and out of the way.
The photographer is not there to stage your home or give you advice on changing things or moving things. He will not move or touch anything in the home, especially furniture, rugs, towels or staging items.
The timeframe (ETA) for the shoot is a 2-hour window. Not a set time. We will send you a calendar invite.
Don't forget about your yard and the exterior of the home. Ensure that the lawn looks good, garbage bins, flag markers (from the sign install) are stored/removed and any toys or items are picked up from the yard. Download the checklist below.
If you'd like, you can turn on all of the lights for the photographer.
Watch the video and see the Blog post here How to get the best real estate photos for your listing (Video)
#Question Are there any assessments, taxes, or liens attached to your property?
In some cases, there could be a city assessment cost or tax (like a road improvement) attached to your property. Or if you have a 2nd loan, or lien on the property - WE NEED TO KNOW. Provide whatever documentation that you have. We are also here to help. The title company will find anything that is attached to the home and in most cases, you'll end up paying for those costs (especially if we don't know about them).
#Homework Help us gather your home's Updates and Features
We can work on this together (over the phone, in person or on a Zoom call). We want to show the prospects what you’ve done to the home over that last few years. Please add relevant updates and features like new additions, renovations, improvements, new appliances, etc. We also like to add nice features (these do not need to be improvements that you’ve done) like, solid oak doors, tiled bathroom shower, insulated/heated garage, irrigation, garden, fire pit… Think about things that will save buyers money, like LED bulbs, adding insulation, green products, rain barrels, nest thermostat. Anything that will add value to the home. Get a Copy of that document here.
#Homework (optional) Write a compelling Seller letter
If you have time and you're willing to write 2-5 paragraphs about what you loved about your house, the area, fun things you like to do, and anything interesting that you'd like to share with prospective buyers. View an example letter here - Seller Letter here
#Homework Do you live in an Association/HOA? (Yes/No)
If so, you'll need to contact your association and order your Resale documents, Rules, and Regulations. Most of the time, there is a login on the association's website where you can order these and they will send you a link to the documents. This has a cost, usually about $85-$150.
Secure your valuables
It’s rare but sometimes things could be stolen during showings or open houses. Make sure to remove or secure your valuables and prescription drugs.
#Question Do you have a Well, septic system? (Yes/No)
Please provide documentation. If you don't have any information on your well or septic system (or any environmental concern), that's ok. Just notify us of what you know about your system and when it was serviced last etc. Find your well here.
Part 2 - Going on the Market
How will the showings & feedback work?
Great question. Showings can start on the day we hit the market so be ready! If we’re doing a “Coming Soon”, we cannot allow any public showings.
To receive and manage all of your showings, get the app here and use your email to set it up. https://www.showingtime.com/mobile-app/ . You’ll be notified via email and notifications on the ShowingTime app. It’s super easy. Use your email to sign up.
If you’d like to block certain times or days of the week, just let us know and we’ll make sure to set that up on the back end.
Showings will be an hour window. It’s standard for the homeowner to leave the house. If you have pets, please bring them with you or have them kenneled. Cats can be left at home but some cats are escape-artists so please make the proper arrangements.
Feedback: After agents have shown your home, we will ask them for feedback 3 times. Most agents will take the time to write feedback. Some will not. We will forward you all feedback when we receive it.
What Personal Property would you like to keep or take with you?
The short answer is, it's your property and you can keep anything that you'd like. BUT you must understand what the purchase agreement states. I've attached a screenshot of the personal property section of the purchase agreement. Please review.
Sometimes sellers don't understand that any item that is attached to the home, structure or to the ground should stay. You can exclude anything you'd like (the buyer must also agree) but you need to communicate that with us and the buyers clearly. If you need to make a list of items that you will exclude, that might be a good idea. Take some time, walk through your home, garage & yard and create a list of your excluded items. Send that to us and we'll add that to the MLS so it's included with any purchase agreements. If you want to review a blank copy of a purchase agreement, click here
Here is a list of common confusion of what to leave, what can go:
Mounted TV's - the bracket is attached so it should stay but then you should patch the holes. You can leave the bracket and technically, that's fine. I like to ask the buyers about this.
Window treatments are attached and should stay (or exclude them in writing)
Appliances - any appliance should be listed on the disclosures as working or not located in the property. If you intend on removing any appliance, we need to exclude it.
Shelving or storage items - if it's attached, it should stay. Don't forget about the garage shelves..
Play-sets, trampolines, storage sheds, fire-pits our any outdoor items that are attached/freestanding
It's normal to leave current paint cans/colors, extra tiles, wood flooring pieces or relevant and helpful items. Do not leave a bunch of old paint or debris inside or outside of the house.
Please note, if you leave the walls full of holes and scratches, some buyers will become very upset when they go to the final walk. If your walls are beat-up you might want to make a statement that you'll either patch, paint the walls, or leave the walls as is.
How to have the best outcomes for showings?
Have the home as clean as possible inside and out (obviously). Don’t forget about the windows ;). On the rare occurrence if not having the house clean and ready for a showing, just let us know and we’ll notify the showing agent - the buyers will understand. It’s best to show the home rather than canceling a showing. They may never return if we reschedule them.
You can turn the lights on if the timing makes sense.
Allow as much natural light into the home. Open shades and window treatments.
Ensure the home is set to a comfortable temperature (around 72-74 degrees).
Smells: Don’t over-do it with Febreze, plug-ins or defusers.
It’s optional, but you can leave a note to the buyers and maybe some treats or small water bottles.
Part 3 - Getting ready for the Closing
After you receive an offer and pass inspection you are in the headed to the finish line! Now it's time to prepare for the closing. Here is what to expect.
The appraisal is a 3rd party evaluation of the value of your home. The appraisal will take place 2-3 weeks after you receive an accepted offer. In most cases, the property will be valued at or above the sales price. In rare cases, the appraisal comes in under the sales price. If that happens, you have a few options and we can discuss that if that happens.
#ToDo Canceling/Moving your utilities
Remember to call your utility companies 2-3 weeks prior to the closing date. The water service is the only thing that is attached to the address (not to you). The closing company will call on the day of closing and get the payoff for the water bill. You'll pay for that remaining balance at closing - super easy. You are responsible for canceling or moving the other services. You'll also need to change your mailing address.
Expectations for Cleaning and transfer of the home to the buyers -
We've had a few ugly closings due to the sellers not cleaning the house or leaving debris behind. The buyer will not accept a dirty house or leftover debris. If the house is dirty or there is debris you can expect them to delay the closing or charge you for cleaning or trash removal. This could be a $200-$1000 cost to you. The house doesn't have to be professionally clean or spotless, but here are the general expectations.
The home, garage, and yard should be empty.
The appliances should be cleaned and whipped out
The floors should be vacuumed and swept
If you have items that should stay in the home (current paint, screens, etc) that's OK.
The Final Walkthrough
On the day of closing (or the day before) the buyer will schedule the final walkthrough.
Congratulation - how exciting! On the weeks leading up to closing, you'll receive detailed instructions from our closing company. She will provide you with the time, location, and details.
Don't be shy to ask your friends for help because it will be a busy day. Maybe you'll need a moving company? We have a great contact for that, just let us know.
Get ready for an amazing sale!!
Sean - 651-336-7612 - Sean@SeanandBlanca.com
Blanca - 651-503-1302 - Blanca@SeanandBlanca.com
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