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What Happens Next?

Ursula Butler

Ursula Butler has been one of the top REALTORS in Cherokee County since she began selling real estate in 1996...

Ursula Butler has been one of the top REALTORS in Cherokee County since she began selling real estate in 1996...

Feb 7 29 minutes read

What to Expect Once You List Your Home

Now that we are ready to get going, here is some valuable information you must know

Top "Must Do's & Don'ts"

Our team usually achieves top dollar for our listings.

That can be contributed to the fact that we are not afraid to speak up and inform you on what needs to be done and how your house will be received by potential buyers.

We owe you honest feedback and a professional opinion on condition and pricing. Selling your house is not easy and there are ever changing market conditions, financial conditions, laws, ethical practices and practical considerations that you don’t want to learn by trial and error. It is not worth the risk. The steps below are “must do’s” if you intend to be successful in your selling goals.

• Define your goals, wants, needs and expectations. You must know in depth of their importance to you and their order of priority. What is your number one goal; highest price, a quick sale, a back-to-back move, etc.?

• Determine the best price based on what’s going on in the market right now. If your number one priority is speed of sale or top dollar, then you must price for the market. Remember, the market is hyper-local and fluid and changes continuously.

 Prepare your property so that it is in top selling condition.  You must look at your house from a buyer’s point of view, not yours.  Is there too much clutter?  Does the carpet need replacing?  Are there unfinished projects?   It may be a great option to hire a staging professional to help you out.  Of course, we are very qualified to give you opinions and suggestions also.

• Make it easy and pleasant to show your house.   Real estate agents love nothing better than to know that your house is always in top showing condition when they bring their clients.  When you leave for work, and/or school, you must always make sure your house is “showing ready”. If you are aware of a showing, leave every light in the house on, open blinds, make sure beds are made.

• Make arrangements for your pets during showings.   It is extremely difficult to concentrate on viewing a house when the family pets are running around and barking at buyers, they have to be afraid to open exterior doors in fear of a pet escaping, or a room is blocked because it houses a pet. The buyers may be afraid of pets. All areas need to be accessible to buyers. You may be able to find a pet sitter, whenever possible take your pet with you when you leave the house before a showing and if removal of a pet is absolutely impossible, the pet needs to be contained in a pet carrier. Hide litter boxes, pet dishes and make absolutely sure there is no pet odor detectable. Many buyers are allergic to cats and that can be an immediate deal killer.

Consider having your house appraised by an independent & certified appraiser.   An appraisal done by an independent appraiser is the best method of determining the worth of your house in today’s market and an excellent way to help you set a realistic price. This action does not completely mitigate the risk that a future appraisal can come in lower, but it does help with your pricing choices and provides valuable insight into the criteria a mortgage lender appraiser will be using to evaluate your house for a loan. It is also a great tool to show value for potential buyers. These factors should put it on the “must do” list. Remember, an appraisal is only valid for 90 days. The appraisal from 2 years ago is completely worthless now.

 •Use extreme care when completing your sellers property disclosure.   Every question must be answered. Anything you answer with a yes needs an explanation in the additional comments section. Try to stay away from the “don't knows”. That raises a red flag. Make sure you have all the information about your termite bond, transfer fee, renewal date, etc. The seller’s disclosure is there to protect you. Do not leave any blanks and make sure to write a short explanation in the additional explanation section every time you answer a question with a yes.

 • Please do NOT post the progress of an offer or anything about the sale on social media.   It is common nowadays for buyers to google the seller of the house they want to buy or search for them on Facebook.
It could be a detriment for them to find out that you are anxious to receive an offer, no matter what price, that the family has been separated for months and you cannot wait to be reunited, or that the buyers themselves are behaving unreasonably during the transaction. It could only weaken your position during negotiations.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Here are a few things you should consider prior to showing that will make all the difference in how your house will be viewed by potential buyers

  •  Air out your home
  • Eliminate pet odor - use an air freshener in each room
  • Clean carpets if it’s been over a year since done last
  • Clean and wipe down all woodwork including doors and cabinets
  • Replace or clean all A/C filters and A/C vents and intake grids
  • Make sure that all light bulbs work and upgrade wattage to highest level
  • Dust/Wash all light fixtures, fans, blinds and window sills
  • Remove any cob webs inside and out
  • Clean interior and exterior of all windows and glass doors
  • Remove personal photographs, eliminate refrigerator magnets, clear and de-clutter all surfaces - less is more

Tips for Knock-Out Photos


  • De-clutter—create a spacious look and feel by eliminating all clutter, inside and out.
  • De-personalize—allow potential buyers to project their life onto your living space by
  • Remove family photos and mementos from view. It’s only’ll display it all again in your new home. Think of it as an early wave of packing.


  • Lights—test all lights and replace any non-working bulbs with matching bulbs
  • Have all lights turned on and ceiling fans turned off!!!
  • Foyer—surfaces clear of mail, keys, shoes, book bags, leashes, outerwear
  • Stairways—clear of all items
  • Kitchen—dishes washed and put away, counters cleared, small appliances out of sight
  • Books—neatly arranged on bookshelves
  • Living Room—cushions and throw pillows neatly arranged, furniture arranged to maximize space and room flow
  • Paper—newspapers (current and to be re-cycled), magazines and bills removed from sight
  • Pet food/water bowls and toys—out of sight
  • Linens—towels, blankets neatly folded and arranged
  • Plants—water an hour before photos are taken, remove dead or wilting foliage
  • Toys—remove all toys, games and ride on toys
  • Walls—paint touch-up for minor scuffs and marks
  • Windows and Mirrors—quick wipe with Windex to remove fingerprints and streaks
  • Blinds and Shades—make sure blinds and window treatments are uniform (all open, all closed)
  • Floors—vacuum carpets, sweep floors, remove throw rugs in kitchen & baths


  •  Garbage cans—out of view
  • Entry/Walkway—swept, clear of mail and newspaper, fresh doormat
  • Lawns—recently trimmed & edged
  • Pets—clear yard and flower beds of all evidence of pets
  • Pool—water toys stored neatly, pool furniture arranged safely, pool cleaner removed from pool if possible, pools maintenance tools/nets removed from view
  • Remove pet food bowls and toys, and please contain pets
  • Remove cash, jewelry, valuables and prescription medication from view

Before the Photographer is Due to Arrive:

  • Turn ON all interior lights and lamps
  • Turn ceiling fans OFF
  • Toilet lids need to be closed, and toiletry items put away
  • Make the beds, clothes in the hamper, toys and clutter in closets
  • Empty trash cans or put them in the garage or closet
  • Small kitchen appliances need to be removed, if possible
  • Counter tops need to be clear to emphasize spaciousness
  • Clear off the refrigerator, doors, sides and top
  • Remove pet food bowls and toys, and please contain pets
  • Remove throw rugs from in front of sinks, in bathrooms and in front of doors
  • Remove cash, jewelry, valuables and prescription medication from view
  • Your listing agent or staging professional is the best person to ask about decor and furniture placement for the photo shoot (and future showings)
  • Please make sure the driveway is clear of vehicles, outdoor toys, trash can, garden hoses, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Are there things we should do to our home to help ensure the maximum list price?  Yes, there is a benefit to making sure your home looks its best prior to offering it for sale. There are also small remodeling jobs that will pay off at time of sale. We can advise you about specific improvements that will increase your home’s marketability and value.

  • How often will you advertise our property?  We don’t just list homes; we market them. We will make sure that your home is marketed to potential buyers around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will utilize the marketing plan that reaches the types of buyers most likely to purchase your home. We know how to maximize the power of the internet for our clients, while also using traditional methods including yard signs and direct mail.

  • Will you be present at all showings?  For showings, potential buyers will bring their own agent to see your house. Most buyers prefer only their own agents be present when evaluating a prospective new home.

  • What if another agent tells us they can get us more for our house?  Some agents will quote a higher listing price just to get your business, it is called buying a listing, but an overpriced house will not sell. If you choose to work with us, we will conduct a comparable market analysis prior to recommending an asking price for your house. We will explain how we arrived at the price, but ultimately the decision is up to you. We will offer our professional opinion on how the market will value your home.  Please keep in mind, ultimately you have to sell your house three times, once to the buyer’s agent, once to the buyer and then to the appraiser. The appraiser has very strict guidelines and is obligated to take recent comparables, including distress sales, into consideration.

  • Do we as the sellers have any responsibilities during the marketing of our house?  Your primary job during the sale of your house is to keep it neat and clean for showings. A large part of a home’s appeal involves staging, which is everything from furniture placement to home fragrance. We will advise you on how to stage your home well, giving you easy tips and quick fixes to maximize your home’s appeal.

  • What happens once we get an offer?  We will help you consider each offer and negotiate the best deal for you. Once you’ve accepted an offer, we will guide you through the entire closing process and ensure everything proceeds smoothly.

Do you bank online? File your taxes online? Ever need to sign a document while out of town?

When you choose us to represent you in your next real estate transaction, experience the convenience and ease of an electronic transaction.

Electronic Signatures  = Convenient — Simple — Secure

Say “goodbye!” to searching for a fax machine and those last minute appointments to get documents signed. No more initialed changes to smudged contracts, illegible handwriting, over-faxed contracts, and lost documents. Using our system, powered by DotLoop, every adjustment can be tracked and time stamped, creating one seamless clean document. Each field on the form has its own history attached to it, allowing users to see any changes made and by whom.

Integrated e-Signature Platform: Allows you to securely sign documents electronically. Anytime, Anywhere!*
Secure online documents: Documents are accessible for 7 years. Anywhere, Anytime.
Internet Connection is Required - **Interactive forms with historic tracking

Electronic Signatures are as easy as:
1) Following the email link from your agent. 2) Sign up for your secure document account. 3) Create your own unique e-Signature password. 4) Review and sign documents electronically.

We Need the Following Information from you to Get Started:

  • Copy of survey, if available
  • 2 sets of house keys, one for the lock box, one for the office
  • Copy of neighborhood bylaws, covenants and restrictions (if applicable)
  • Termite bond information (if applicable)
  • Any other pertinent information such as: appraisal, floor plans, etc.
  • Completed utility sheet (blank copy provided)
  • Completed sheet on ways to communicate (blank copy provided)
  • Completed sellers property disclosure statement (blank copy provided)
  • Completed community association disclosure, if applicable (blank copy provided)

Our Expectation of You:

1. Don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns.  If we don’t have the answer, we will find out or point you in the right direction to get it.

2. Timely return of phone calls, if any return information is required.

3. Timely return of all documents requiring signatures.

4.  Keep us informed of any changes, new email addresses, if you are going out of town, etc.

Meet our Support Team:

Kathy Mansell - Listing and Marketing Manager  

 Email: [email protected], Phone - Office: 678-569-1400 x 154, Cell: 678-986-1076

Kathy will be handling the marketing and primary communication during the listing period so we can concentrate on finding you buyers and negotiate offers.

She will be calling you to introduce herself soon and handle all the details of getting your home listed and marketed.  She will also come to the home to record all the details and features to market your home effectively.

Karen Lunney - Licensed Transaction Coordinator

  Email: [email protected] - Phone: 678-569-4044

Karen will handle everything from contract to closing and will be your main point of contact during that time period.

She will be in contact with you as soon as your property goes under contract.  She will educate on the processes in detail, collect what is needed and handle all the scheduling to get to the closing table.

Our 130 Point Marketing Plan

Prior to Initial Consultation

  • 1. Research tax records to verify full and complete legal information including : owner’s full name, recorded square footage, annual tax bills, and other property information
  • 2. Research and verify legal description by obtain warranty deed
  • 3. Research ownership, sales and mortgage history of the property
  • 4. Research the school districts, shopping, transportation and employment options of the area
  • 5. Obtain detailed information about the property to assist in analyzing property
  • 6. Research homes currently on the market that buyers will be looking at in addition to your home
  • 7. Research homes that have recently gone under contract in your area
  • 8. Research homes similar to your home that have recently sold
  • 9. Analyze the number of months inventory in your area and your neighborhood has been on the market
  • 10. Analyze the price and condition of the homes that were successful in selling
  • 11. Analyze why other homes continue to stay on the market day after day
  • 12. Analyze homes that expired (did not sell) and why they were not successful
  • 13. Call agents, if needed, to discuss activity on the comparable properties they have listed or recently sold in the area
  • 14. During initial consultation perform detailed needs analysis to include reasons for your move, how quickly you need to move, and address any immediate concerns
  • 15. Obtain information that will help us prepare listing, advertising, and marketing materials.  Questions will include:  What type of improvements have you done to your home in the past 5 years?

During the Consultation

  • 16. Give you an educated overview of the current market conditions including national, Metro Atlanta, your county and your neighborhood
  • 17. Present statistical information compiled by the National Association of Realtors that discusses how buyers are finding homes, how many homes they typically look at before buying, and features that are most (and least) appealing to buyers.  We will explain how this pertains to your marketing plan to get your home sold
  • 18. Discuss your competition and how you compare
  • 19. Review recently pending and sold comparable properties
  • 20. Explore a method of pricing your property to bring the highest number of buyers to you in the shortest amount of time
  • 21. Work cooperatively to determine a pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions
  • 22. Confirm lot size and dimensions from your copy of the property survey, if available
  • 23. Review current appraisal if available
  • 24. Discuss a pre-listing appraisal if appropriate
  • 25. Identify homeowner association, contact information, dues, and special assessments
  • 26. Ascertain need for a lead based paint disclosure
  • 27. If property is leased, obtain copies of leases, verify rents, deposits and inform tenants of listing and how showings will be handled
  • 28. Explain showing procedures
  • 29. Explain lock box functionality
  • 30. Prepare showing instructions for buyer agents, agree on showing time windows that are acceptable to you and how you would like to be notified of showings
  • 31. Complete a detailed checklist of all the features and benefits of your home to be used for internet data entry and marketing
  • 32. Obtain and verify accurate methods of contacting you
  • 33. Obtain utility, termite bond & HOA contact info
  • 34. Prepare a net proceeds analysis to determine the approximate amount you will receive or owe when the property closes.  Included in the analysis will be cost associated with the sale including closing costs, pro-rated taxes, HOA credits and commissions
  • 35. Obtain 2 keys to the property
  • 36. Review and explain all clauses of the Listing Agreement
  • 37. Explain the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement you will be completing and how it will help you avoid devastating setbacks and preserve your legal rights
  • 38. Discuss your purchase plans and determine how Ursula & Associates can assist you in your next purchase (local, new construction, investment property, or relocation) or if we can research and find a qualified agent assist you in your new location

Prior to Putting your Home on the Market

  • 39. Place a For Sale sign in yard
  • 40. Conduct a home staging consultation (if needed) to discuss constructive changes to your home to make it more appealing, to show exceptionally well and help it yield the greatest possible price to an interested buyer
  • 41. Provide you with home showing guidelines to help have the home prepared for appointments (lighting, soft music, etc.)
  • 42. Provide you with recommendations for vendors and contractors as needed (i.e. painters, flooring, home stagers, etc.)
  • 43. Take high definition, full color professional photographs of the exterior and interior of your home to be used for advertising
  • 44. Create a slide show of your home
  • 45. Order a home warranty, if you choose, to protect your home during the listing period through closing and for twelve months after the sale.  This helps reassure the buyer of the quality of your home
  • 46. Install a Supra Lock box that is electronically monitored and will allow buyers and their agent to view your home conveniently but does not compromise your family’s security
  • 47. Monitor Supra lock box to manage and keep track of how many times the home is being shown

Ready…. Set…. Go – You are on the Market

  • 48. Enter property data from profile sheet previously completed into the First Multiple Listing Service, the GA Multiple Listing Service and the Keller Williams Listing Service
  • 49. Write remarks in the MLS systems specifying how you want property to be shown and scheduling instructions
  • 50. Write the directions for agents on how to get to your property
  • 51. Prepare detailed list of property amenities to have readily available at your home
  • 52. Electronically submit your home listing information to the Multiple Listing Services for exposure to all active real estate agents in the area
  • 53. Immediately submit digital photos of the interior and exterior of your home to the MLS at the same time listing is input, allowing buyers and agents to view pictures immediately upon the listing becoming active in the system and being distributed to buyer search portals
  • 54. Proofread MLS listing for accuracy
  • 55. Provide you a copy of the MLS listing so you, too, can proof and request changes if needed
  • 56. Provide you with signed copy of Listing Agreement and supporting docs
  • 57. Upload seller’s disclosure and community association disclosure to the Multiple Listing Service to allow agents easy access when writing offers
  • 58. Enter your property into our feedback system to track showings and request feedback from each and every agent that showed your property
  • 59. Capture feedback from showings through consistent follow-up
  • 60. Create a “Virtual Flyer” in our Voice Pad System
  • 61. Place rider on your For Sale sign with a direct number buyers can text or call for property information.  When information is requested, our sales team receives an email with the prospects phone number.  We will promptly follow-up on all these calls and see if we can get the buyer into your home
  • 62. Place regular weekly update calls and emails to you to discuss all showings, marketing, and pricing
  • 63. Research weekly sales activity, market condition, interest rates, etc. as it relates to the housing industry, and specifically how it impacts the sale of your property.  Notify you of any conditions.
  • 64. Notify you immediately of any offers, potential offers, or needs
  • 65. Discuss feedback from showing agents with you to determine if changes will accelerate the sale
  • 66. Market your home on real estate specific websites including,,,,
  • 67. Market your home on all Ursula & Associates websites including,
  • 68. Market your home on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest and Linkedin
  • 69. Create a blog post for your home
  • 70. Provide you with detailed internet traffic reports from the main internet sites such as and Zillow
  • 71. Discuss marketing ideas with the team members at Ursula and Associates
  • 72. Provide links of advertisements to you for your review
  • 73. Provide email updates of activities completed for your listing by our team through
  • 74. Help you prepare the Homeowner’s Information Sheet which includes information on utilities, termite bond and HOA info
  • 75. Use other marketing techniques; such as targeted and boosted Facebook ads, blog post targeted to buyer prospects, etc.
  • 76. Prepare a financial sheet with several financing plans to educate buyers on methods to purchase your home
  • 77. Follow up with all the agents who have shown your home with a personal phone call to answer any questions they may have
  • 78. Call our data base promoting the features and lifestyle benefits of your home.  Often neighbors know of friends or family members who are thinking of moving
  • 79. Prepare a monthly market analysis update of any activity in your neighborhood (i.e. new homes on the market, homes that have sold, etc.)
  • 80. Set you up on a MLS portal for your neighborhood that notifies you every time a new listing comes on the market and every time a home goes under contract so you can monitor firsthand what happens in your neighborhood
  • 81. Take all calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect you from curiosity seekers
  • 82. Discuss qualifications of prospective buyers to help determine buyer motivation, ability to purchase and probability of closing on the sale
  • 83. Refer any buyer prospects to our trusted lender for official pre-qualification
  • 84. Handle paperwork if price adjustments are needed
  • 85. Change price in all marketing and internet sites
  • 86. Re-market your home on social media sites after a price reduction

Negotiation and Closing

  • 87. Receive and review all Offers to Purchase Contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ Agents to determine best negotiation position
  •  88. Contact buyers’ agents to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer
  • 89. Present all offers to you
  •  90. Counsel you on offers.  Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer
  •  91. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a “net-sheet” on each for you for comparison purposes
  • 92. Obtain pre-qualification or pre-approval letter for buyer
  •  93. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer
  •  94. Negotiate highest sales price and best terms for you and your situation
  • 95. Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer’s agent
  • 96. When an Offer to Purchase is accepted and signed by you, deliver offer to buyer’s agent for the binding agreement
  • 97. Obtain copy of buyer’s earnest money
  • 98.  Provide an executed Purchase and Sale Agreement to you
  •  99. Provide and executed Purchase and Sale Agreement to our office for compliance review
  • 100. Provide a copy of executed Purchase and Sale agreement to Lender
  • 101. Provide a copy of executed Purchase and Sale agreement to Closing Attorney
  • 102. Schedule the closing with the Closing Attorney
  • 103. Advise you in handling any additional offers that may be submitted between contract and closing, i.e. back-up offers
  • 104. Change status in MLS systems to “contingent-due diligence”
  • 105. Change status in KW Listing Service to pending
  • 106. Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable, and follow-up as necessary
  • 107. Coordinate home inspection
  • 108.  Coordinate termite inspection if applicable
  • 109. Receive amendment to address concerns after home inspection
  • 110. Handle negotiations regarding repairs or concessions requested in the amendment to address concerns
  • 111. Handle execution and distribution of amendment to address concerns
  • 112. Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track
  • 113.  Assist seller with identifying trustworthy contractors to perform any agreed upon repairs
  • 114. Schedule Appraisal
  • 115. Provide comparable sales to Appraiser before the appraisal takes place
  • 116. Follow-up on Appraisal
  • 117. Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent, lender and closing attorney
  • 118. Verify that closing attorney has received all necessary from buyer/seller for closing
  • 119. Assist with obtaining a Specific Power of Attorney if applicable
  • 120.  Confirm closing date and notify all parties
  • 121. Assist in resolving any closing issues
  • 122. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s final walk-through prior to closing
  • 123. Provide utility information to buyer’s agent for transfer of utilities
  • 124. Request final closing figures from closing attorney
  • 125. Receive and carefully review closing figures on CD statement to ensure accuracy of preparation
  • 126. Attend your closing
  • 127. Arrange transfer of keys, warranties, garage door openers, community pool keys
  • 128. Have a “no surprises” closing and present seller a net proceeds check at closing
  • 129. Change MLS listing status to Sold.  Enter sale date and price
  • 130. Answer questions about filing claims with the Home Warranty if requested

Dear Clients,

Thank you for your business!  We appreciate the trust you have put in us and we look forward to working with you. 

Communication is extremely important.  During the listing period we need to be in continuous communication with you.  Selling a house takes a lot of team effort and you are on our team now.  

Our staff will be checking in with you regularly, once a week at minimum, more often if there is news to relay.  You can choose the day that fits best for you. 

Our agents will be in touch as well and will be presenting and negotiating your offers.  We are committed to keeping you informed throughout the process.

 If there are ever any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.  My team and I will be happy to answer them.

Feedback is always welcome and can only help us improve our systems.



Jason Wilson & Ursula Butler

Ursula & Associates


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