Expect increased phone traffic from curious people who may or may not be interested in purchasing your home; always try to be polite and helpful, even when callers are abrupt or rude. You may be asked to carry an "Owner Contract," and you should consider this option carefully before deciding for or against it. Sometimes this is the quickest way to sell your home, but you should enter into such an agreement only after carefully weighing the pros and cons and, ideally, meeting with a contract attorney or real estate agent who specializes in writing up owner contracts.
Expect drive-by traffic. Home buyers will want to preview the exterior of your home, sometimes before they make contact with you. Be prepared for (and accept) this minor inconvenience. If possible, try to get them to examine the interior of the home, especially if they seem interested; however, it is highly recommended that you never show your home alone: have a relative, neighbor or friend assist you with showings. Be sure to have a highly visible sign placed somewhere on your property where drivers and pedestrians can easily view it.
Expect foot traffic. People will want to see your home; some will want to inspect it with a magnifying glass. Be prepared to handle both the serious home buyer and the casually curious lookie-loo.
Expect questions and be prepared to answer them. Some sample questions are: How old is the wiring (furnace, air conditioning, plumbing, appliances, etc.)? How long have you lived here? Who were the original (or previous) tenants? What is the neighborhood like? Which schools will my children attend? Why are you selling?
Expect impolite or negative comments about your home. Some people will be tactless; they will point out things that they consider to be wrong with your home. Be sure to allow them their opinions as politely as possible. Remember, it could be the rudest person who previews your home that ends up buying it.
Expect low or even ridiculous offers. Some people will test you to see how you respond to selling low. Be polite and bargain (when appropriate) with individuals who name a specific price for your home. If you have a minimum price, let buyers know what it is, then they can determine whether or not they want to continue negotiations.
Expect real estate companies and/or agents to contact you. If you advertise your home for sale, agents will probably attempt to procure your listing. Be polite with them if possible. You never know, if the sale of your home takes longer than expected, you may want to hire a real estate agent to handle it for you. However, we certainly hope you don't have to!
Expect the process to take time. You probably won't sell your home overnight (although you might!) so prepare yourself for the fact that the sale of a home takes awhile. If the sale takes longer than reasonable, you will need to consider a price reduction or the possible assistance of a real estate agent. If you decide that you do need an agent, contact Walla Walla Real Estate Company; we can help you save money over traditional commission-based real estate listings.