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What to Expect Throughout the Real Estate Transaction Process By: Maria Sapio, REALTOR® Carlisle, PA.

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams of Central PA RS334568

The timeframe between when a homeowner decides to sell their home and when the home becomes an active listing is referred to as the 'pre-listing phase.'  

The pre-listing phase should be thought of as similar to laying a solid foundation on a new home. The entire structure of the home depends on the strength of the foundation.  Likewise, when making the decision to sell your home, I highly recommend aligning yourself with a REALTOR® who will oversee this important foundational aspect of the listing process with the utmost care.  When I work with a client during the pre-listing phase, we discuss the plan that is tailored to them, based on their specific home, and aligned with their unique goals. This is not a cookie-cutter approach – every home is different, and every client's goals must be taken into consideration.
The big question is, "when should I contact a Real Estate Agent?" 

My recommendation is: as soon as you've made the decision to move.


Whether you want to sell immediately or have a long-term plan to sell in 3-6 months (or even a year from now), there will likely be a pre-listing phase where repairs may need to be completed, curb appeal is brought to its highest level, and the home is beautifully staged to highlight the best aspects of the space.

It is in your best interest to align yourself with the REALTOR® who will walk beside you through this process with care and understanding.  

What can I expect my REALTOR® to do during the pre-listing phase?

Each REALTOR® conducts business differently, so the list below is intended to be a sampling of what your agent may choose to do in preparation for a smooth transition to an active listing. I typically do the following:

Visit your home. I like to meet with clients as soon as possible.  The face-to-face initial meeting is an opportunity for me to tour the home, learn more about your specific goals, and discuss your anticipated listing time-frame.   

Conduct market research. As your REALTOR® I keep a close eye on the 'pulse of the market.'  This means I invest time into researching similar properties in your school district, township, and county that have sold recently, are under contract, pending, expired, and actively for sale.  This data changes by the minute so it is of utmost importance that these 'comparable properties' (comps) be followed closely and with attention to detail to stay ahead of the current market conditions.

Conduct repairs and stage the home to sell. Based on the length of time within the pre-listing phase, we may discuss some repairs that should be considered or projects that may draw the attention of more potential buyers.

Days on market data.  I will evaluate the time-frame of approximate days a home is on the market in your area before an offer is accepted and it becomes a 'pending sale.'  This data is relevant to you since we work to align your goals for your move with the best possible listing time frame.  

Communication. We will stay in continual communication so that I can offer ongoing, valuable insight regarding the preparation and enhancement of your home prior to being listed.

Moving plans. We will have a conversation about your moving plans so that we can commence the search for your new home, whether you're staying local or relocating.  If you're moving to a location beyond the parameters of my geographic area of Central Pennsylvania, I will oversee locating an excellent agent and work in tandem with you to provide a smooth relocation process. 

Communication is key.  I will guide you, educate you, address your concerns, answer questions, and provide excellent care throughout every step in the process.  

Documents.  I will provide you with all necessary documents that are needed to remain in compliance with PA laws. I will also send the necessary listing documents to cooperating brokers, agents, and potential buyers.  

Financing alternatives.  If you get multiple offers from various buyers, we will discuss the financing alternatives of each prospective buyer and the potential impact of each alternative on your sale.

Estimated proceeds.  I will review the estimated closing costs with you along with the estimated net proceeds from the sale of your home.

Multiple Listing Service. I will discuss the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as a tool to extend the highest level of property exposure.

Signage.  Once the home is an active listing, my nationally-recognized brokerage sign will be displayed on your property with my direct cell phone number listed.  

Lead Center.  Once your property is an active listing and a prospective buyer sends an inquiry, the Lead Center will connect me with the buyer immediately or provide me with the buyer's name and contact information, so I can contact them in a timely fashion.

- Property Description. I will prepare a well-written property description highlighting the key features of the property and the geographic location as a means to entice and invite potential buyers to schedule a personal tour of the home.

Open houses. Open Houses will be discussed and arrangements coordinated when appropriate in alignment with your best interest in mind.

Promotion. Each new listing is enrolled in my 'mega-marketing campaign' to reach the maximum number of potential buyers both near and far. This includes, but is not limited to, professional photography, social media, blog posting, internet home sites, brokerage sites, my website, mailings, and specifically-targeted marketing pieces. 

Pre-qualified/Pre-approved buyers.  I will emphasize the value of scheduling showing appointments for ready, willing, and able buyers.

Showings. I will provide buyer's agents access to a professional showing service, for ease of scheduling.

Showing feedback.  I will provide you with the seller report, offering feedback received from buyers after a showing has been completed.

Home-finder alert.  Your home will be added to the home-finder database, which will notify potential buyers of this newest listing.

Professional services.  I can provide recommendations regarding mortgage lenders, settlement services, insurance providers, and more at your request.  

Purchase offers.  I will review all purchase offers and assist in negotiating favorable pricing, terms, and conditions.

Closing the sale.  I will monitor the progress of the transaction to include satisfying the necessary contingencies and conditions, from contract acceptance through settlement.

To transition a home from Pre-Listing to SOLD is an intricate process with a multitude of moving parts. Finding an organized, professional, and caring REALTOR® who will guide you through every step in this process will make a significant impact on ensuring a seamless, orderly transition from the 'thinking-of-selling' season all the way to settlement day.

If you or someone you know is considering selling a home, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at 717.226.6857 or msapio@homesale.com. If you are moving to an area that is not in my geographic region of Central Pennsylvania, I would be happy to refer you to a reliable agent located in the area where you wish to move. Please don’t hesitate to call or email me and I will ensure you are in the best hands – whether you are moving across the street or across the country. 

Comments (28)

Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Your clients are definitely in good hands, you know how to look out for their best interests, that is for sure!

Apr 03, 2019 07:25 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Maria Sapio - You definitely know how to help a seller get from the pre-listing phase to the sold and closed phase. Your clients will be pleased with your attention to detail. 

Apr 03, 2019 07:48 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Maria Sapio,  You are such a great writer for us here in the Rain.  If it okay with you , I like to reblog this in May!


Apr 03, 2019 08:54 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

Thank you Michael Jacobs for reading my post and sharing your insight.

Apr 03, 2019 11:10 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - I always appreciate your splash of cheer in the Rain!

Apr 03, 2019 11:11 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

Brian England - Thank you for your kind words and utmost confidence in me!

Apr 03, 2019 11:12 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® - Thank you for reading my post and sharing your gracious comment.

Apr 03, 2019 11:12 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

Will Hamm - You are always welcome to re-blog my posts...and I am most appreciative!

Apr 03, 2019 11:13 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is excellent advice to share. We have been working on our home to have it ready to sell but have not yet found the home we want to purchase.

Apr 04, 2019 06:17 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Great list Maria! Really gives buyers and sellers a wonderful idea of what to expect. You are not only cute...but smart as well!

Apr 04, 2019 09:52 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

Roy Kelley It sounds like you and Chef Dolores have been busy... Are you planning to stay in MD or will you move elsewhere?

Apr 04, 2019 11:35 AM
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA. Mariasapio.com

Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty - If I could tap into the AR point system, I'll award you extra 'blush points' ... 

Apr 04, 2019 11:36 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty

Awwww.....post a picture of that  :):)

Apr 04, 2019 11:44 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Maria Sapio, listing a home is a lot more than putting a lockbox on the door and placing a sign in the yard. This is a great outline, your seller clients are lucky to have you as their REALTOR®. 

Apr 05, 2019 09:51 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Hi Maria, it is so nice to have a description of the home-selling process written for your Seller clients. It's a good reference in the pre-listing and later during the transaction. I am glad Carol highlighted that you have emphasized communication so well - crucial skill during the selling process.

Apr 06, 2019 12:06 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Maria Sapio,

I'm so glad that Carol Williams featured your post in her Second Chance Saturday series. What a great post! What a great description of the home selling process and an excellent reference for those thinking of selling their home!

Apr 06, 2019 04:53 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Sometimes, you just need a little bit of something to calm the expectations down a little bit and the anxiety of it all. Good post!

Apr 06, 2019 10:23 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Buying a home is one of the most stressful times in a lot of peoples lives I would say it’s about top three most stressful. Maria did such a good job! Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR

Apr 06, 2019 10:25 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

There is definitely a lot that goes into getting a home on the market, and then sold! Great overview!

Apr 07, 2019 04:57 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Maria:

There is so much that is involved in getting a home ready for the market, followed by the marketing, and then all the details once there is an agreement between buyer and seller...you've captured it ll so well. This is wonderful preparation for sellers!


Apr 07, 2019 08:50 AM
Karen Rice Madison AL Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Madison - Madison, AL
256-348-1527 Call/Text

Hi Maria Sapio You have a comprehensive list to take home sellers through the pre-listing period and beyond.  I agree that it's good to have a REALTOR involved as soon as a decision to sell has been made.   A REALTOR knows what buyers will notice about a home; good or bad.

May 02, 2019 01:06 PM