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Home Selling Guide

If you are interested in selling your home, you may consider either listing the home with a Realtor, or selling it yourself as a “For Sale by Owner.” The Following is a “behind the scenes look” at the Home Selling Process, so you can be more informed about the aspects of a real estate agent’s significant role in this transaction. Or watch a video on How NJ Homes are sold.

Before the house is listed, the agent will:

Research other properties in the local area that have been:
a) recently sold NJ properties
b) available NJ homes on the market
c) NJ homes expected to be on the market in the near future
(builder homes, renovations, new condo & townhome developments,etc.)

Analyze recent sales activity taken from the Garden State MLS and New Jersey MLS.
Compare: days on market, sold and listed home price, price per square foot and other information.

Create a CMA Report to allow the home seller to see where their house fits into the market.
Verify ownership and deed type as well as public property records.
Provide an assessment of the house identifying staging and showing opportunities.
Explain the public school intrinsic value.

Provide the homeowners with a listing presentation outlining marketing recommendations,
listing contract, staging and marketing opportunity areas.


During the home listing presentation, most Realtors provide:

the summary of the comparable market analysis,
review the condition of the New Jersey housing marketplace,
provide their own credentials,
discuss the details that will need to be put into place to sell the home,
such as holding open houses, and personal marketing plan,
Garden State MLS listing details and other various advertising tactics, explain the
homeowner’s warranty and other options that could be considered during the house sale.

The listing appointment is key to the home selling process. It usually is a 1-2 hour appointment at which time the realtor explains step by step “How they intend to find a buyer for your home”. Once the property is actively listed, the agent’s role and responsibilities become even greater.


To prepare for the most effective house listing, Realtors will:

Review the property title,
Prepare a list of the property’s amenities,
Prepare a list of what’s included and excluded in the property sale,
(kitchen appliances, washer / dryer, fixtures, etc.)
Prepare a known issues disclosure form,
Prepare a list of house repairs to be made,
Obtain a plat map, which will show the different divisions of a particular piece of land,
Arrange a lockbox to be placed on the property so it can be shown to prospective home buyers,
If the home has any rent units- tenants need to be notified prior to all showings.
Place listing signs
Arrange open houses
Create property brochure and listing sheet for distribution and begin your specific
marketing plan(e.g. mailings, custom website like realtor.com or trulia.com, newspaper and
magazine advertising, Internet marketing advertising and listing exposure, etc.)
Assist you in staging your home for photos
Arrange a photographer for your home’s listing photos
The agent will also prepare disclosure packages.

When you home is officially “listed” for sale, a real estate agent’s action include:

Place the listing on the Garden State MLS system as well as the New Jersey MLS
Include accurate details, quality photos and well written copy to accompany the MLS listing
Distribute your home’s information to local Realtors
Determine showing times
Coordinate and hold general public and/or broker open houses
Market your home online through their website
Create a custom website for your property;
Gain additional internet marketing distribution with frequent posts to places like Craigslist,
Google Base, Microsoft Live and other online listing repositories.
Coordinate and accompany showings
Create and distribute flyers
Compare the property with other MLS listings
Notify the Network Referral Programs they are affiliated with
Create feature cards highlighting the main points of interest in and around the property
Receive and respond to emails and faxes

Speak with interested parties and Realtors representing interested parties to obtain showing instructions, ask for mortgage information, analyze any homeowner association fees as well as complete and send homeowner warranty information, place homeowner warranty information on the MLS listing, and review utilities and get appropriate inspections.


Once offers start to come in for the property

The agent handles these contracts and provides information to the seller and the buyer, or the buyer’s agent. Once an offer is received, the seller’s agent will analyze the net sheet, and offer advice on the prospective house contract. They will then provide the buyer with the seller’s disclosure sheet and get a pre-qualification letter from the potential home buyer.

The realtor will work with the seller and buyer regarding counteroffers and amendments, and they will deliver offers of purchase. They will provide advice and support with escrow accounts, and update the listing with a “sale pending” status. They will also review credit reports and deliver any property information that has not yet been shown. If needed, they will order inspections pertaining to well flow, termites, and mold. They will work with any lender’s to confirm the loan agreement, the buyer’s employment, and loan approval. They will then remove any loan contingencies from the offer to purchase.

The agent will then work to coordinate any inspections that will be done on the property. They will arrange for a home inspector to come in and then review the report with the home seller and home buyer. They will also confirm that any repairs still needed have been done and meet with the appraiser who will then come to perform another inspection. The realtor will provide both the buyer and seller with the appraiser’s report and then remove any contingencies on the offer relating to the home inspection and the appraisal.


Once the house has been sold

All home inspections are complete and financing is in place, the realtor still has a few more things to do. They will ensure that the home contract is sealed and organize closing procedures. They will make one last walk-through of the property to ensure that it can be turned over to new home owners, and make the homeowner warranty available. They will coordinate any final deposits that need to be made, update the MLS listing as “sold.” They will finish any details left on paperwork and finally, give the new home owner the keys to the property. That completes the home selling process and now you can relax in your new home.

Gerri Leventhal