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What to do months before you sell your house

The idea of selling a house to buy a new home is so exciting! For many, the selling of a home often is a result of a transition in one’s lifestyle and marks a major inflection point in one’s life. The reasons I hear most frequently for home owners to sell their property are a relocation for work or retirement, upsizing to accommodate a growing family or downsizing after the kids have flown the nest. In any event, selling a house is one of those landmark moments and reference points in the timeline of our lives. While the experience goes down in history as a memorable moment, living the experience in real time can be overwhelming...on top of the responsibilities we each have in the day to day lives we live (kids, parents, pets, jobs, careers, hobbies, traveling, sports teams, lessons), you throw in the added tasks of selling a house which can throw a wrench in to your routine. Putting a house on the market creates urgency to finish half completed projects, to keep a lived in house clean while your house is being marketed (stay off that freshly shampooed carpet, little johnny....noooooo!) and shown to prospective purchasers and to suddenly have to vacate your house in a moment’s notice to accommodate a last minute showing request. Given the consistency of such anxieties among home sellers, Ross Real Estate has developed the “Whisper Listing”, a trademarked expression that describes our unique marketing process to help alleviate a lot of the pressures associated with listing a house for sale. A “Whisper Listing” gives a home seller the advantage of an extended marketing period, prior to actively listing their house for sale. Leveraging Ross Real Estate’s online presence and marketing expertise, a home seller can start “pre-marketing” their house to build up demand leading up to the date their house is actively listed. By securing their house as a “Whisper Listing”, a home seller is not expected to show their house to prospective buyers, to keep their house clean or to have completed those long time ignored projects. The Whisper Listing period is designed to give a home seller time to complete those things, in the meanwhile allowing their Ross Real Estate agent to prime the market for when the house is ready to be listed actively. Say the Smith’s know they want to list their house for sale in May of 2019 but before they do they need to complete a bathroom renovation, declutter their house and they want to wait until their garden is full of colors and the house looks its very best. In a conventional listing or marketing plan, the Smiths would simply wait until April to pick out an agent, put in a “coming soon” listing for two weeks after some professional photos are taken and actively list their house at a predetermined price to test the market beginning on May 1. If the Smith’s utilized the “Whisper Listing”, they could engage their Ross Real Estate Realtor right away, say as early as January. By having the Realtor to their home months ahead of time, the Smiths will get the benefit of professional advice on how to prepare their house for market (allowing them to finish projects a little bit at a time) and in the mean time, the Ross Real Estate Realtor can begin priming the buyers for the house’s introduction to the spring market months ahead of time without impacting the day to day life of the Smiths. The “Whisper Listing” eases the home seller into the listing process and can even help with strategic pricing. As evidence shows, pricing a house too high leads to extended days on market and ultimately a lower sales price than if the house is listed appropriately on Day 1. It may sound counter intuitive, but when home sellers understand that by listing a house for less, they often sell it for more. By listing for too much, they often sell for less. As skilled as agents are in strategic pricing, in areas like Fauquier where houses can be so unique form each other, finesse is often involved in doing an evaluation of a home and with a “Whisper Listing”, feedback from pre-marketing can often be utilized to best strategically price a house for sale. During the Whisper Listing process the seller has had ample time to complete projects and staging with the influence of their professional Realtor, they get the benefit of feedback from those who receive the pre-marketing and perhaps most importantly, build momentum for the day their house is listed actively, which has a designed intention of concentrating buyer foot traffic in the first 10 days of the listing (after which, buyer foot traffic dramatically tapers off - thus the importance of a “perfect” introduction to market with staging, pricing and timing). The ultimately goal is for your house to be listed for 10 days or less before earning an offer, thus reducing the time you have to have the house “show ready” and streamlining the time to be ready to move!


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