Selling your Home

Showing Your Home

First Impressions Count

From the first step a buyer takes into your foyer, their perception of your home is set. Flowers or a pretty plant on a foyer table can light the way.


On cold days, a cozy temperature will help sell your home. If you have a gas fireplace, turn it on. On hot days, set the air conditioner cooler than normal. In moderate weather, open windows for fresh air.

Bring Light In

Open all shades, curtains and blinds. Turn on all lights including lamps and overhead fixtures-- even for daytime showings. Make sure you have replaced any dim or burned out bulbs.

Open Pathways

Buyers need help understanding how spacious your home is. So, make sure there are no distractions or obstacles that block their view or passage.


Put away cash, jewelry, valuables and prescription medicine. Keep these items out of harm’s way.

Odors & Aromas

If the temperature allows it, open windows and air out the house every morning. Some odors, such as baking bread, apple pie and cookies have a positive effect on people. Other smells, however, don’t. If you or a family member smokes, please don’t smoke inyour home. And, don’t allow guests to smoke while your home is on the market. Sometimes stale tobacco odors can be masked with some odor sprays.


Make a plan to remove your pet while the house is being shown. If necessary, crate your pet while buyers view your home. The best situation is for your pet to visit a friend on the days heavy traffic is expected. If you have a dog, please clean the yard on a daily basis. If you have a cat, change the litter box daily, and consider moving it to the garage. Realtors cannot be responsible for the safety or security of your pets.

Market Conditions

It is important to monitor the market and its trends. You determine the asking price of your home. The market determines the sales price. You decide if you want to sell at market price.

The Economy

Global, national and regional trends—from unemployment and job creation, to taxes and deficits, to international events—have significant impact on the psychology of the real estate market.

Consumer Confidence

Sorting through all the information available, we think consumer confidence is best expressed in the number of new contracts written every month. What price ranges and locations are faring best?

Interest Rates

Undoubtedly, the cost of mortgages has a huge impact on the national and local real estate markets. It’s not just today’s rates—it’s what the forecasts say that determine how many buyers will be in the market when your home goes on the market.

Buyers’ Market vs. Sellers’ Market: Supply & Demand

Everything from major construction projects—like the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the Springfield Interchange and the InterCounty Connector—to local taxes and elections, schools and traffic patterns, help determine where people are buying.

Local Markets

We look at trends in our local market every day ... what’s settled, what’s new, what’s changing. In addition to our specific conversation about your home and your neighborhood, you can always get an update on our view of the overall market conditions by looking at our MarketWatch© newsletter. The most recent issues can be found at

Closing & Moving Checklist

• PEPCO 202.872.3432. Electric utility service & accounts.

• Washington Gas Co 703.750.1000. Gas utility service and accounts.

• Water & Sewer Authority. Most settlement companies will transfer these services for you. Please ask your settlement officer for instructions.

• Verizon (local telephone service) 202.954.6262. Allow 2 weeks.

• Long distance, cable, internet & cellular providers. Notify these well in advance.

• Post Office. Provide forwarding address well in advance.

• The Washington Post 202.334.6100.

• Have cash and personal items readily available. Hint: Tip movers, helpers, doormen.

• Notify alarm service company, and plan to re-key locks in your new home ASAP.

• Publications and subscriptions. Notify directly via 800 numbers to change address.

• Friends and family. Let them know your moving schedule or travel plans.

• Your employer & office mail center. Provide new home address.

• Credit accounts, banks & financial institutions. Arrange for new checks, deposit slips & notify companies with automated debits/credits on your accounts.

• Insurance companies. Life, health, auto, disability & homeowners insurance providers.

• Driver’s license & auto registration and residential parking zone sticker, if needed.

• Membership & mailing lists. Gym, clubs, organizations, etc.

• Voter registration. Check your voter card for instructions.

Pre-Settlement Checklist

For Sellers:

• Consider maintaining several days of overlapping homeowners coverage on the home you are leaving.

• Make a plan for leaving house “broom clean” and removing all trash and debris from entire property prior to buyer’s final walk-through (don’t forget garage & attic).

• Leave appliance manuals, warranty information and spare keys in house, or bring to settlement.

For Buyers:

• Start shopping for homeowners (also known as hazard) insurance immediately. Obtain coverage for your new home at least 15 days before closing.

• Obtain cashier’s check several days in advance of closing, made out to the title company handling your settlement. If you are liquidating stocks or other assets, you must allow sufficient time for funds to clear your brokerage account.

For Buyers & Sellers:

• Bring driver’s license or other form of photo ID to settlement.

• For condos and co-ops: Schedule your move-in and move-out well in advance. Check your condo or co-op documents for moving rules and restrictions.

• In D.C. only: Most title companies will notify the Water & Sewer Authority to open or close a water service account for single-family homes.

• Review personal insurance coverage for moving and plan accordingly.

• Please plan thoughtfully for transporting and comforting your pet.

We provide full clarity into the transaction timeline

Introduction to offer


• Sign and complete all necessary paperwork.
• Provide a copy of the keys.
• Address all recommendations to prepare your house to shine. Stage home if needed.
• Professional photoshoot
• Design brochures and other marketing collateral.
• Brochures are placed in home with additional listing information.
• Determine showing instructions.


• Listing goes live in MLS and online marketing commences.
• Select print ad (if applicable).
• Email campaign begins.
• Open House is hosted.


• All leads are tracked and follow-up communication is recorded.
• Brokers Open if appropriate.
• Agent feedback is tracked and follow-up communication is recorded.
• Communications report will be emailed to you to view initial traffic and feedback.
• Weekly consultation with your agent.
• Additional Open House sessions are hosted.


• Consultation with agents includes an assessment of the market response in first 30 days.
• The goal is to have an offer or outline a strategy to attain an offer in the next 30 days.
• Update listing with revised strategy.
• Continue to gather feedback from agents and potential buyers.
• Obtain an offer.

Receiving an offer

• Review the offer.
• Agent will contact other interested parties looking for multiple offers.
• Contract is negotiated and ratified.
• You receive a copy of the ratified contract.

Under Contract

• Appraisal & home inspection (if applicable) take place.
• All contingency periods are closely monitored.
• Contact utility companies to discontinue service on the day after settlement.
• Plan accordingly to have all things moved out before settlement.
• Make sure that your place is broom swept before the final walkthrough.


• Review closing disclosure with your agent and keys are handed over to new buyer.

Post Offer

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