Marie McLaughlin - Century 21 Alliance realty
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Frequently Asked Questions About Selling Your Home

Find the answers to your questions about selling a home in Spring Hill, and beyond.

Are you selling a home in Spring Hill or Hudson?

There are many questions you need answered to get the best price for your home. Over the years, I've worked with many sellers. Below are a collection of questions that come up almost every time. Browse through these resources to help you understand the selling process better. If you don't see the answer you are looking for, let me know and we will help you understand your situation better.


Q: Should I get a home inspection prior to listing?

Yes you should. A pre-listing inspection helps you understand problems with the home that could prohibit a potential buyer from getting a mortgage. Issues like GFI non-compliance, roof leaks, etc. should be identified and dealt with in advance. This will help you understand what your home is worth and avoid delays in the closing process.

Q: Should I be home for showings?

Preferably you should not be home. Putting away valuables, kenneling pets, and stepping out for a walk allow the perspective buyer to see themselves as the homeowner, not you. Most home showings only take a few minutes. Usually going for a walk, a drive, or sitting on the porch with a neighbor are easy ways to give the potential buyer space to experience the home for themselves.

Q: What do I do to prepare the home for showing?

Make sure the home is clean and in good order. If possible, go for a walk or a drive before the buyer arrives. Otherwise, your Realtor® will suggest any specific preparation needs for your unique home. Sometimes, if the home is empty, staging might be required. Soft music and good smells can make a difference, but don't cause yourself any stress over it. Most of the time clean and orderly homes are all that is needed for a family to see themselves in your home.

Q: What is the timeframe for closing, once there’s a contract?

Closing times can vary, based on the type of sale. Cash transactions can close as quickly as 14 days later. Mortgage transactions typically take 30-60 days. When an offer is made, we will talk together about what type of buyer the offer is coming from and how long it will likely take to close as a result.

Q: What’s the process once I get a contract?

Once your home is under contract there are a lot of activities that will happen very quickly. Some of those are:

  • Home inspection
  • Septic inspection
  • Termite inspection
  • Mortgage processes (like the appraisal and survey).

I will be there to help every step of the way. Guiding a contract to closing is one of the most important reasons to work with an experienced Realtor®. Many things can happen between contract and closing. It's my job to help each step in the process go as smoothly as possible.

Q: How secure will my home be, once it’s listed?

Your home will be secured with a lockbox that is programmed not to let anyone into your home except during the hours you agree on with your agent. The lockbox access is provided and approved through the Realtor® Association. Every time someone accesses the lockbox there is a log of who they are and what time they entered. You can feel confident that every precaution has been taken to keep your home and your family safe. 

Q: How qualified will potential buyers be?

Most real estate professionals will make sure that buyers are pre-qualified before showing your home. However, a pre-approval or a pre-qualification are not a guarantee that the prospective buyer can purchase your home. 

Q:  How long will it take to sell?

We have to give you our best lawyer answer here: It depends...

The state of the market, your listing price, where your home is, and many other small variables go into understanding how long a home will take to sell. If you work with me, we will talk about expectations when we list your property.

Q. Do I need to upgrade/update in the home?

That depends on your goals and the type of home. 

The more move-in ready your home is, the faster it will sell. Pricing right is key here. If parts of the home are out-dated or in need of repair, you will often need to discount accordingly. The more higher end your home is, the more updates will matter. Look realistically at what you can afford, what the return on repair is, and what the market is currently like. Often, a fresh coat of paint is a better investment than a whole new kitchen. Your Realtor® can help you better understand what the right updates are.


Q: How do I determine the listing price?

That's what I am here for! One of the most important things your Realtor® will do for you is carefully study the area, market trends, and specifics of your home to help you determine a listing price that gives you the best chance of selling quickly. 

Q: How does it work if I am an out-of-town seller?

It can be a little stressful to sell your home from out-of-town, but don't worry. I have worked with many families in this situation. We will keep your home secure, help secure resources to remove items from the home, and check on your property regularly.

Q:  Are you going to put a sign out?

Yes we are! Drive by traffic is still one of the most powerful marketing tactics for selling your home. Prospective buyers often drive through the neighborhoods they are considering before asking to see homes. The sign helps buyers identify potential places to look. There will be a handsome and easy-to-spot CENTURY 21® sign in your yard and we will place a digital lock box on your door.

Q:  What’s included in your marketing?

Our marketing plan includes both national and local marketing. You will receive listings on multiple real estate websites, through the MLS system. In addition, we market your home through social media and email too.

And we haven't forgotten the traditional channels!

Ultimately, buyers want to experience the home. We have a call center team who will schedule showings with buyer agents and automatically ask for feedback from the prospective buyer. This system helps keep everyone up-to-date and ready to adapt to the needs of your unique situation.

To learn more about the specifics included in marketing your home, contact me for a free consultation.

Q:  What do I do when I am Not hearing from my agent?

If you're not hearing from your agent on at least a weekly basis, it might be time for concern. Regular communication is key to a good partnership. You should look for multiple contacts from your agent each week. When you are working with me we send out three reports each week via email. If email isn't your thing, we can even print them for you. Our seller partners receive the following reports each week:

  • Golden Ruler Wednesdays
  • Home Tours Reports
  • Flex Report

Q:  How is working with Marie any different then other seller's agents?

We get it. Every agent thinks they are the best, right? So what makes me any different? Here are three things:

  • I am a member of two different real estate associations (Pasco and Hernando). That means you will have access to multiple MLS systems and a broader marketing channel for your property.
  • My team is backed by the power of CENTURY 21® Alliance Realty. The most trusted real estate company in America has only one Hernando County location. We've been here since 1979. Pairing my background in the area with the power of our seller system is a winning combo.
  • Spring Hill roots and a strong network. After over 20 years in the area, I have both a strong network of professionals to work with and deep roots in the area. 

Q: How do i interview agents?

Choosing your real estate agent partner can be tricky. Here are a few steps to help you when choosing an agent:

  • Make sure you are comparing apples-to-apples. Not all agents have the same resources. Look beyond the agent herself to the company backing her. What resources are available? Is there a proven system for her to work off of? When you work with a real estate professional, you could be working with one individual or a whole team. Know what you're getting before you decide.
  • Consider chemistry. Working with a Realtor® is a partnership. You should like each other.
  • Be realistic about the price. If you interview multiple agents and only one thinks you can get the price you are asking for, be wary. An agent who will tell you, "I'm sorry, I just don't see it selling for that at this time," is an honest agent. You want to work with someone who will tell you the truth.
  • Ask questions about HOW the home will be advertised. Your agent should use both modern tactics (like social media) and traditional ones (like a sign in your yard). 
  • Look for experience and history in your area. An agent with roots in your area will have an easier time selling your home. 

Q: Is Everything selling closer to list price right now?

Some listings are and others are not. A more useful question to ask yourself is, "When I look at the listing range for my area, is my property priced right for what it is?" This is one of the reasons working with an experienced Realtor® is so important. She will keep you up-to-date on where the market is right now, not just for the whole region, but for your neighborhood. This will help you set a listing price that attracts home buyers easily.

Q: How do I  know what i am getting as a seller?

Sometimes understanding what you are getting, as a seller, can be tough. Every real estate company handles the sales process slightly differently. Luckily, when you work with me, you are working with a licensed Realtor® backed by the power of CENTURY 21®'s internationally recognized brand. By working with me you will receive a proven process for helping you get the most out of your home sale.