Selling your Home on the MLS Series, Part 1
How do you sell your home on the MLS? The first step is to contact a licensed Real Estate Agent (Realtor) to represent you and list your house for sale. Only licensed Agents can list properties for sale on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Once you’ve contacted an Agent and signed a listing agreement with them, they will publish the sale listing for your house, and begin the process of staging and scheduling showings.
Staging involves cleaning your home and making it “showing ready,” for your potential buyers. You might use the furnishings and decor you already have to achieve this, or if you’ve already started packing and moving for your new home, you may need to rent furnishings and decor to make it appear inviting (and to make it easier for people to imagine themselves living there after they’ve purchased it). It is often better to attempt to modernize the aesthetics of your home as much as possible, to appear current and updated. You want to appeal to as many people as possible, to encourage multiple offers, and to ultimately receive the best price for the sale of your house. Some Agents might go the extra mile for your showings and include small personal touches or treats and refreshments.
It is also important to consider the first impression of your home beyond just the sense of sight – smell is also a huge factor, so be sure to leave air fresheners of some kind, and to keep them refilled throughout the sale process!
Once the staging and cleaning has been completed, it is time for potential buyers to start touring your home. Generally these will be scheduled as individual showings through their own Agent (Buyer’s Agent), and diligent Agents will send feedback to your Agent (Seller’s Agent) after the showing has wrapped up. This can include good AND bad feedback, so be prepared to hear some criticism about your home during the showing and offer process. It can be something small and subjective, such as personal styling choices, or it can be something that will actually need to be addressed, like a failing HVAC system or ailing roof.
Showings can also be done via an open house, which is usually done on the weekend as a window of several hours. Your Agent will be at the home to greet and welcome people interested in seeing your home, and to answer any questions they might have about purchasing it. There are pros and cons to an open house, so not every Agent will host one. You’ll need to speak to your Agent to see whether or not they advise putting on an open house for your home.
While all of the showings are going on, if you’re not still living in the home, you’ll want to stop by every few days to make sure the home is still clean, and to replace any air fresheners as needed. If the weather hasn’t been great, there might be dirt or mud tracked into the house. If it’s winter, there could also be slush or salt, which could damage some types of flooring over time. Most of the time, you won’t need to do more than vacuum or mop to make things shine again for your next set of showings. Again, speak to your Agent about this, as they will often do all of this for you.
When your Agent receives an offer to purchase your home, they will notify you about the offer and explain its terms to you. It’s common for offers to include requests for various concessions, and you may need to negotiate through your Agent to reach an agreement with your buyer. Read our article about Negotiations, Concessions, and Fees to learn more about what those are, and how much they may cost you.
It might take weeks, or even months, to find a buyer through the MLS for your home, and weeks and months longer to actually close on the sale. The time investment can be a source of frustration and stress. There are also the holding costs to keep in mind – you’ll need to maintain insurance on your home throughout the entire process, continue to pay property taxes for it, and pay for its general upkeep (lawncare, landscaping) AND pay for all utilities. This is less burdensome if you are still living in the home, but it can put a significant weight onto your shoulders in terms of lining up your next home, and knowing WHEN to start looking for it, or even when you might be able to close on it.
Or …Get a Fair Cash Offer Now!
Rather than putting yourself through all of the unnecessary hassles and uncertainties of an MLS sale, you can contact a local real estate investor to purchase your home instead. Local homebuyers will give you a cash offer for your home, and do their best to make the process as smooth and simple for you as possible. No need to bother with cleaning, repairs, showings, appraisals, lenders, and the constant storm cloud over your head of “will we actually close or will the sale fall through?”
Ohio Cash Buyers is a local homebuyer and investment company that is family-owned and operated. We’re local to the greater Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan areas, with our home office located in Middletown/Franklin. Our team lives across the region, and we’re very familiar with it, as we’ve been renovating homes as licensed General Contractors for nearly two decades here. Give us a call or fill out one of our forms to see what kind of cash offer we can provide to you!