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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.