Your Home is Live on the MLS: What Happens Next?
You worked so hard to prepare your home for sale, and now launch day is finally here! Making your home “live” on the MLS means Realtors® will be able to see the photos, watch video tours, read about your home’s features, and request showings. They can share the listing with their buyers. The listing will also syndicate to other online real estate websites within a few hours of the launch, including Zillow and Realtor.com. So what can you do to ensure success at this point? We share answers to commonly asked questions and expert tips below!
When is the Best Time to Launch a Home on the MLS?
The Heartland Network-Mid MO’s listing department pays close attention to market trends. We tailor our procedures to ensure that our listings are seen by every interested buyer. In today’s media-saturated world, there is an art to capturing people’s attention and avoid being lost in online traffic.
Our statistics show that launching a home early in the week but not opening it to showings until closer to the weekend allows our listings to be seen by more buyers and builds momentum. Giving a few days for buyers to view the home’s photos and videos, research the neighborhood, and share the information with others increases the level of excitement. When their Realtor® schedules a showing, we believe they might have a more serious interest level than someone who happened upon the listing and scheduled immediately. It also helps ensure that a wider audience of buyers has time to learn about the home. Since more sellers are working from home these days, reserving showings until closer to the weekend limits the disruption to sellers’ lives as well.
What is the Seller’s Role?
When a home is visible to the public on the MLS and other online real estate websites, sellers should be prepared for showing requests to begin. Our team uses ShowingTime to make this process convenient for our sellers as well as potential buyer’s agents. Through email, text, and app notifications, our sellers control the approval of showings and are able to keep track of when showings are scheduled.
Those First Days on the Market are the Most Important.
The first weekend on the market is generally the busiest, which means it can be the optimal time for securing a contract on a home. All of our work…the strategic pricing analysis, professional marketing campaign, and thorough online presentation…is designed to culminate in the first days on the market leading to lots of activity. In a balanced market where there are an equal number of homes on the market compared to buyers who are looking for a home, some experts say that during the first 7-10 days on the market, a home priced below a luxury threshold ($400,000 or less in mid-Missouri) that is located in a geographic area that is popular should have at least 10 showings and receive at least 1 offer. In the recent sellers’ market we have been experiencing in Boone, Callaway, and Cole Counties where the number of buyers looking for homes far exceeded the number of homes for sale, the pace of showings and number of offers was usually much higher than that. We keep our fingers on the pulse of the current real estate market to help give our sellers realistic expectations going into listing their property.
It can be hard for sellers to manage their home life with all of this activity going on those first days on the market. Some sellers choose to take a mini-vacation once showings begin to limit the disruption for the family and give buyers maximum flexibility to view the home. This also keeps the home in show-ready condition, since no one is cooking, showering, or sleeping in the home. Everyone’s goal is to allow as many buyers as possible to see the home and for them to get a great first impression, which leads to a better outcome for our sellers in a shorter amount of time.
Who Fields the Questions from Buyers and Their Agents?
One of the advantages of working with a real estate team rather than a solo agent is that there are more people to answer calls, texts, and emails immediately. Being responsive to buyers and agents is incredibly important for a successful home sale. Buyers and agents can be turned off by the frustration of a slow response and may move on to another home.
Our listing agents and listing coordinators gather as much information as possible from our sellers before we launch so we can field questions quickly, including information about updates and repairs made to the home, the age of appliances and systems, rules and regulations for the neighborhood homeowners’ association, and the like. If a question is asked that we don’t have an answer for, we will call or text sellers to get the answers. We make sure everyone on our team has the information they need to quickly help interested buyers.
Our client care department will field questions from buyers who are not represented by an agent and will schedule showings for them to see the home, once they make sure they are financially ready to make a purchase.
Your listing agent may recommend setting an offer deadline so that every buyer who has interest in your home has the opportunity to see it. This allows you to relax and feel more in control of your schedule. This deadline gives you the advantage of reviewing offers in an organized fashion with a predetermined timeline, which can take some pressure and uncertainty out of the process. The Heartland Network’s highly trained and experienced listing department will advise you on the current market conditions and best strategy for your situation.
What Happens if You Receive Early Offers?
In the recent market that greatly favored sellers, buyers were forced to become more aggressive with their offers in order to be considered. Sometimes that meant submitting a sight-unseen offer or one with a very short response deadline, even if the seller had indicated a different deadline for submission. This can really create stress for sellers, as they don’t want to turn down an attractive offer, but also don’t want to sell themselves short and miss out on something even better down the road. This is one of the times when having experienced representation matters.
Our listing agents will be able to guide you through this decision after having a conversation with the buyer’s agent and learning more about the buyer. Knowing not just the price offered, but also the other negotiable terms, such as closing date, inspection, appraisal, financing contingencies, and the like, will help our sellers analyze the strength of an offer. While early offers are often very strong, that doesn’t always mean they are the best.
What Happens if You Receive Multiple Offers?
While it sounds like a dream come true, receiving competing offers to purchase your home can be confusing. Our experienced listing agents will break down the terms of each offer so that an apples-to-apples comparison can be made. By looking at all facets of the offer, sellers can understand the net proceeds as well as the other facets that impact their situation. What is important to one seller may not be as important to another. For some, it comes down to strictly the bottom line of net proceeds. For others, their preferred closing date might be equally important. Someone else might be attracted to no inspections or repair requests. Whatever your circumstances, the expert guidance of an experienced and thorough listing agent can assure that you are making the decision that is right for you.
No Offers Are Made to Purchase a Home
Our listing department analyzes the data behind the scenes for every home we sell. We not only know how many showings a home has had and the feedback those agents have shared, which we make available to every home seller in real-time, but we also know how many views a listing has received on each online platform and we analyze the pace of sales of competing homes. This information is very important in two scenarios:
Many Showings but No Offers
If a robust number of buyers are touring your home through private showings and open houses, yet no offers are being submitted, our listing department will work to gather feedback from the buyers’ agents to discover what is preventing them from making an offer. If their lack of interest is related to things that a seller can change, the listing agent will advise sellers to consider making reasonable changes. This might include replacing worn flooring or freshly painting some rooms, for example. We have many examples of affordable updates that sellers chose to make that resulted in a successful home sale.
If buyers are turned off by things that are outside of sellers’ control, such as an unappealing yard, location on a busy street, lack of amenities that a buyer demands, or unsuitable layout, a pricing adjustment may need to be made to attract buyers at a different price point. The listing agent will advise sellers so that their home ranks well when compared to homes of a similar price point so that buyers see the value in the home.
Lackluster Number of Showings
If a listing is being seen by a wide online audience, it should be getting a high number of showings and a relatively quick offer to purchase. If a listing is not getting many showing requests despite being seen by a wide online audience of buyers, there is a disconnect in the product we are selling and the way it is being received. Buyers may not see the value in a home compared to its competition, which means the list price may need to be adjusted. This is a conversation your listing agent will have with you after your first week or so on the market.
In the end, success comes down to experienced and trusted representation. Don’t leave one of your most valuable transactions in the hands of someone who has limited knowledge or experience. That can be a costly and regrettable mistake.
Our team prides itself on providing "Simply Exceptional Service" through a robust and professional full-service real estate experience. If you are considering selling your home in Columbia, MO or surrounding areas, we would love the opportunity to discuss your goals and share more information about our unique pricing strategies and strategic marketing plan. Contact us or simply fill out the form below and a team member will be in touch!