Want to make sure you’ve got your listing ready to go before launch day? Use this handy checklist to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.

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This post was updated Jan. 30, 2024.

The past couple of years of a high-demand, low-inventory, up-and-down market has meant that some real estate agents have had sellers contact them with the expectation that they’ll have their home on the market as soon as possible — often within days or even hours. Time is always of the essence in real estate, of course, but for some sellers, the urgency became almost overwhelming.

Having a best-practices-plan in place for readying your listings ensures that you never forget any details, whether you’re working in a slow market where everything counts or a hot market where you’re getting listings onto the market on a tight timeline.

Once you and your listing clients have met and agreed on a price and listing date, use this checklist to keep yourself on track from the listing appointment all the way through to the open house.

Prior to listing

Make sure that all of your paperwork is in order, including the correct listing agreement, required disclosures, and affiliated company agreements, and that any government-mandated informational brochures have been received and acknowledged by the client.

Bring over boxes and packing materials and work with clients to identify areas that need to be decluttered. Alternatively, if you want to avoid having this conversation with the client, consider having a staging consultant walk through with them and make recommendations.

Work with the client to identify repairs and improvements that they are willing to make prior to listing and ensure that these have been satisfactorily completed.

Pre-listing marketing tasks

Schedule marketing partners including a stager, photographer or videographer, copywriter and other service providers and ensure deliverables are scheduled prior to the initial listing date agreed upon with the sellers.

Check signage to ensure all information is correct and schedule signage installation.

Create graphic marketing materials including flyers, postcards and other promotional items. Mail to the neighborhood or distribute via doorknocking, ensuring that you save some materials for open houses and buyer visits. Integrate QR codes to drive traffic to your website or to a standalone property website.

Reach out to buyer agents in your area and connect with them to see if your upcoming listing is a fit for any of their clients. Communicate with agents at your brokerage as well to make sure that your professional network is aware of the listing’s best features.

Launch day and opening weekend

Many agents believe that launching a listing on Thursday is the best possible scenario. It allows online buyers to get the house on their radar, allows buyer agents to schedule a showing, and allows open house visitors to add the home to their list. Whatever day you choose, make sure you are available to field calls and answer any questions on launch day.

Have your social media posts ready for listing day, including video walkthroughs or other content. If you’ve planned an open house for opening weekend, start promoting it on your social channels.

Consider various types of open houses rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. You could schedule an open house for the general public, one for the neighborhood and invited guests, and one for area brokers and real estate agents. This segmented approach allows you more time to talk with visitors and helps you develop a more targeted and compelling call to action for your conversations.

Be sure to capture contact information for open house visitors so that you can follow up for feedback after their visit.

Make sure that your sellers are ready and able to keep the home pristine through these first days of the listing process. If they have pets, ask them to consider having them boarded during this time to make pet-avoidant buyers more comfortable.

Christy Murdock is a freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. Connect with Writing Real Estate on Instagram and subscribe to the weekly roundup, The Ketchup, in either newsletter or podcast form.

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