Home Sale Process: What to Expect After Listing Your Home

Your real estate agent has listed your home and it's now on the MLS, so what can you expect now? The home sale process is a challenge that can be drawn out over a long period of time, so understanding what to expect after listing your home will help the process seem more manageable. After listing your home, you can expect to go through the following five steps.

Getting Your Ducks in a Row Before Listing Your Home

At this point, you might have already done some legwork. You may have begun preparing your home for sale by trimming the hedges and putting on a fresh coat of paint; however, before your agent can start showing it off, there are some additional details you should be aware of. First, you should expect your agent to place a for sale sign in the yard. If you are near any major intersections, a sign may go at the intersection as well. You will also be asked to have a lockbox hung from your door so agents who want to show the home can access it if you are not there.

Hosting Open Houses

As soon as possible, after listing a house, the agent will likely recommend that you hold an open house.  The first open house will probably be for local brokers, followed by a public open house for interested buyers and curious neighbors.   The brokers' open house is usually held during the week to give local buyer's agents an opportunity to view  the property and see if it will meet the needs of any of their clients. Not long after this, your agent will likely want to schedule a public open house, which is typically held on a Sunday afternoon. You should plan to be out when there is an open house, so agents and buyers can tour the home freely.

Keeping Your Home Ready for Showings

Open houses may continue periodically after these initial ones, but the next step is usually showings. You may get little notice before your agent finds interested buyers who want to see your home, and you should plan to go somewhere else during the showing to give the buyer the freedom to really see your home.

You will need to keep your home in tiptop shape during this entire time because. Get into some sort of routine so you can pick up at a moments' notice and have the home ready for a showing.

Receiving Offers on Your Home

The most exciting part of the home sale process is when the interested buyers start bringing you offers. Typically, interested buyers will offer slightly less than your asking price in an attempt to get a bargain. Your agent should help you negotiate with interested buyers until you are able to reach a conclusion that is acceptable to all parties. Once you and a buyer have signed the purchase contract, you are ready to prepare for the next big step - the home closing

An Idea of What to Expect While Closing the Sale

There are many steps just within the closing process, however, one of the very last steps of closing on a home usually takes place at a title company or closing office (i.e. the closing appointment/closing date). At the closing appointment, you will sign over the home to the buyer, and the buyer will sign his or her title and loan documents as well. The buyer will also pay for the home either directly or through a lender. At this time, you will need to pay all necessary closing costs, which will likely include the title insurance and settlement fees, notary fees, realtor fees and any loan payoff costs from your existing mortgage. Once all the required documents have been signed by all the involved parties, the transaction should be recorded by your county recorder. Soon thereafter, you can hand over the keys to the buyer and the home selling process will be over.

From listing your home to the closing, you can expect to spend several months on the process. Working with a qualified real estate agent will help you stay aware of what is happening throughout this process, so you will feel less stressed and more connected to the overall process.