At the start of this Seller Orientation, we want to give you some information about what you can do before your listing consultation that will help you and your agent have a more productive meeting. At your consultation, your agent is going to be asking you questions about your understanding of the process, your goals for selling your home, and any questions or concerns you may have related to your sale. Your agent will also prepare materials for your review, including an overview of our marketing campaign, an explanation of our service philosophy, and a comparative market analysis to show you what is selling (and not selling!) in your market area.
You will have a more productive meeting if you do a few things in advance. Here is a short list of some of the things you should keep in mind as you prepare for your listing consultation with your agent. You have no obligation to do any of these things, but you’ll find that most of them will help you prepare yourself:
First, you should think about issues involving your home that could affect its showing, marketing, or delay your closing:
•Have you had any work done on the home since you purchased it? If so, do you have the updated certificate of occupancy demonstrating that the work was done in compliance with building codes? If not, issues concerning your “C of O” are likely to delay your closing.
•Do you currently have a STAR exemption on your property taxes that are reflected in your tax bill, and have you grieved your taxes since you purchased the property? That is information your agent needs when marketing the home.
•Can you think of any special showing considerations your agent should be aware of, things like pets, young children, or anyone else who might be living in the home and inconvenienced by showings? If so, let your agent know so he or she can put together specific showing instructions for other agents.
•Do you have any alarm systems in the home that you will be turning on while your home is on the market? If so, make sure your agent has contact information for the alarm company, and your alarm codes.
•Can you think of any relatively dangerous conditions in the home or the exterior, things like steep stairs , uneven flooring, or tripping conditions in the backyard?
•Do you have any valuables that you will need to keep safe for showings and open houses? If so, discuss with your agent how you should protect them.
•Very important: are there any light fixtures, appliances, or window treatments that are attached to your home but which you would like to take with you when you leave? If so, you need to let your agent know so they can be excluded from the sale.
Second, it would be helpful if you started to gather some information and documentation that you will need for the marketing and sale of your home.
Even if you are not certain you are going to list during the consultation, you will eventually need all these things anyway, so you might as well get them together as early as possible. Here’s what you need:
•An extra set of keys to the home, so that your agent can quickly start setting up showings and attach your lockbox (if you want one).
•Your most recent mortgage statement, tax bills, and utility bills, which are helpful in assessing your situation and marketing the home.
•Your paperwork from your purchase, including your deed and contract, which you will eventually need for your attorney.
Finally, we would ask you to think about some important questions that should come up in your listing consultation with your agent:
•What is your time frame? How soon do you need to be moved out, and how soon do you hope to be moved out?
•What are your expectations for your agent? Have you had bad or good experiences with real estate salespeople in the past, and what are you looking for now?
•Where are you moving to? If you are relocating to another part of the country outside our market area, we can help set you up with a great agent to assist you.
•Finally, what are your contact preferences? Some clients like to hear from their agent every day, some every week, some only when there is news. And some like text messaging, some email, some phone, some only like to talk in person. Let your agent know how often you want to communicate, and how.