One of the first things I will do before putting your house on the market is prepare your house for sale. I want to show your house off in its best light to maximize your earning potential. I will tour your house with the eye of a buyer – what works, what doesn’t work.
Does your house have curb appeal? Can we give it a little more pizzazz to draw the buyer in? Would a bit of touch-up paint add dollars to the sale? What about the garden? Is the lawn in order and neatly edged? Are trees and bushes neatly pruned? Are flowers in bloom? If not, it may be time for a garden upgrade. Adding colorful annuals to the front garden will make a big difference. Remember, creating curb appeal will add dollars to your house’s final selling price.
As I walk in the door of your house, I will ask myself, “Will this house say, ‘Welcome home’ to a buyer?” Looking through the eyes of a buyer, I will recommend changes that will enhance sales appeal.
I’ll help you eliminate anything that gives the appearance of clutter. Countertops should be free and clear. Knickknacks, souvenirs, family photos, refrigerator artwork – it’s gone. We need to “de-personalize” the house so buyers can imagine it as their home.
Closets and cupboards should appear large and roomy. It’s time to make a donation to a local charity or store belongings at a friend’s or family member’s home.
Reviewing your home room-by-room, I will make recommendations that impact the sale. I’ll point out the pieces of furniture that should be removed, rooms that need new paint, carpet that needs to be changed, fixtures that need polishing, windows that need cleaning, and any other improvement that can easily be made to promote the sale.
Setting the Stage
Before the first buyer walks in your door, I’ll show you how to set the stage. We want to engage the buyer’s senses. Lighting is critical. We’ll draw back curtains, open blinds, change light bulbs and add lighting where needed to welcome the buyer. We’ll enhance the ambiance with music playing lightly in the background and insure a pleasing aroma emanates from every room.
What is a Listing Contract?
Also referred to as a listing agreement, the listing contract gives a licensed real estate professional authorization to act on your behalf in the sale of your home. Listing contracts come in all shapes and sizes, but there are characteristics which are common to all. Among the elements of any valid listing contract are:
Writing – All real estate contracts must be in writing.
Employment – The listing contract is a personal services contract between you and the broker. It contains all of the terms and conditions of employing the broker and authorizing the broker to represent you in marketing and selling your home.
Compensation – For any contract to be valid, there has to be compensation. The listing contract will specify the amount and timing of payment to your broker. Typically, payment is an agreed upon percentage of the sales price, payable at closing. It is important to note that your obligation to pay your broker may not absolutely depend on a finalized sales transaction. For example, if the broker finds a bona-fide buyer who is willing to pay your asking price and agree to the terms you have offered, but you get cold feet at the last moment and decide not to sell, the broker has done his job and is entitled to be paid under the terms of the listing contract.
Title – All listing contracts will ask who has title to the property. Property can’t be sold unless everyone with holds title interest in the property are part of the sale.
Termination date – You shouldn’t sign any listing contract without a specific termination date. The most common duration is 180 days. If the contract has an indefinite duration such as until sold, or no duration specified at all, dont sign it. The listing contract is a legally binding document and you don’t want to get locked into one with no clearly defined termination date. If the contract expires before your home sells and you still want to keep using the same broker, you can simply sign a new contract.
There can be and often are other elements to a listing contract. As with any legal document, you should read the listing contract very carefully and be sure you understand exactly what you are agreeing to before signing. If you have any questions about your listing contract it would be wise to consult a lawyer for clarification.