Once we survive the Inspection Period, the appraisal came as he wanted and all of the repairs, if any, are completed, be aware that if your buyer is financing the purchase, during the underwriting process it’s possible that your buyer’s financing could fall through. It could be caused by new debt, missed payments or an unforeseen change in employment that makes the bank feel like there’s too much risk in financing the home. It doesn’t happen often, but I have seen it. The silver lining if this happens, is that we have an inspection and repairs are done, which will be an added value to another buyer if your house goes back to the market.

Step 23:  Mortgage Approval and Clear to Close

Step 24:  The Final Walkthrough

Step 25:  Closing Day!

Step 26:  Review Me!





Back to the Start



Posted on March 25, 2020 at 5:00 am
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 1: Find a Realtor. Find Your Advocate.

Many homeowners start the selling process by looking at sites such as, Zillow, Redfin or Trulia to see what similar properties have recently sold for in their neighborhood to determine the current value of their home.

That’s fine and understandable, but keep in mind:

  • The sites aren’t 100% accurate as listings which were never listed in the BLC (Broker Listing Cooperative) such as pocket listings or For Sale By Owners will be missing.
  •  The information on the online sites is often out of date or not accurate as not every Realtor has to manually change their listing from Active to Sold in many of the online sites. Unfortunately, most Realtors are not good at updating this information regularly. Therefore, a property might show that it’s still Active on Zillow, even though it sold nine months prior.
  • When professional appraisers conduct an appraisal, they only take into account homes that have sold in a particular neighborhood within the last 90 days. It’s not possible to sort the data by date on the online sites, so it’s difficult to only look for properties that have sold within the last 90 days.
  • Many properties don’t list the square footage, so it’s hard to know if you’re comparing similarly sized homes, which makes a big difference when determining value.
  • Therefore, step 1 to selling a home should be to interview Realtors to represent you and ask them to provide you with a CMA (comparable market analysis).

Find a Realtor

How do you find a good Realtor? Hopefully, you’ll connect with me so we can see if we would be a good fit. Remember, not all Realtors are right for all people.

You need to find someone who is not only great at his or her job but someone you like and trust us you’re putting a big piece of your financial future in their hands. Ask friends and family for referrals. Contact those Realtors and set up initial phone screenings with them.

Notice how quickly each Realtor responds to your initial phone call or email. The Realtor should get back to you within 24 hours; if not, that’s a bad sign. This business moves fast, and deals can fall apart if your Realtor doesn’t respond quickly on your behalf to showing requests, offers, inspection negotiations, etc.

Initial Phone Screening

During the initial phone screening, find out if the Realtor knows your neighborhood and if they’ve ever helped a client buy or sell property in your area. Ask about their experience. If your gut reaction says this person might be a good fit, ask them to do a CMA on your home and set up a time to meet with them in person. Be prepared for the Realtor to ask questions about your home, how much you owe on your mortgage, and if any repairs are needed as they need this information to do an accurate CMA.

Meet in Person and Review the CMA

When you meet with the Realtor in person, ask them our important questions to ask BEFORE hiring a Realtor.

Go over the CMA, if he or she has one to show you. You will know what is that about, by reading ‘How to Use a CMA Comparative Market Analysis’. Ask them not only what they think your home is worth, but what the average days on the market are in your area, which is the number of days from when the house goes on the market until you have an accepted contract. If the Realtor doesn’t know this, move on.

Ask them what they charge, how much the closing costs will be, and what approximately you’ll net will be if you sell your home for X price.

Most importantly, be honest with each Realtor. If you need to sell your home for a certain amount of money or in a specific time frame, tell them. Only when Realtors have a complete picture can they come up with the best strategy to fit your situation.

Lastly, trust your gut.

Sign the paperwork

Once you’ve picked a Realtor, expect to sign a Listing Contract authorizing that Realtor to represent you. That starts the ball rolling to get your home on the market.









Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:

Posted on November 28, 2018 at 5:08 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 2: You’ve Hired a Realtor. Now What?

You’ve picked ME as your Realtor (Yey!).

Now what?

Now we need to get your home ready for the market. This involves:

More paperwork

Selling your home involves a lot of paperwork. Review Listing Agreement and Disclosures for the information you’ll be asked.


Did you peek at the Listing Agreement and Disclosures link? I know… that’s A LOT of paperwork, right? Don’t worry, you picked the right agent when you hired me.

I will introduce you to a unique solution called dotloop. It is an online workspace that connects everyone and everything needed to complete a real estate transaction in one place. dotloop allows us to edit, complete, sign, and share documents without ever needing to print, fax, or email. It helps us eliminate the paperwork and to keep your transaction organized. We save all the documents there, and you will be able to see the process in action while I do the work.

You will create an account and will be able to fill all of the forms needed, from the convenience of your phone, tablet or computer! You could also sign all of them in a secure and verified way.

It will speed up the process of selling your house, by giving you instant access to any offer we will get, or any other document that will need your approval and signature.

Top 10 List

Write a top ten list of reasons you love living in your house. We don’t want these reasons to be things the buyers can easily see for themselves such as your gorgeous kitchen. Instead, we want them to be intangibles that only you know such as the beautiful sunsets visible through your living room windows, that you have great neighbors, the farmers market down the street every Tuesday, and the area is much quieter than you thought it would be, are examples of a Top 10 List. I will use this list in our marketing of your home, and it will be a good started for you to write a Letter to Future Buyer.

Let us know what date you want your home to go live in the BLC

We need about one week’s notice before we can put your property on the market. Before it goes on the market, you need to declutter your home, fix any items that need to be fixed, and either clean it, or have your house professionally cleaned.

If your home isn’t going on the market within 48 hours, we need you to fill out a BLC Exempt Disclosure, saying it’s acceptable for your home to go into the BLC at a later date. If you don’t fill out this form, I can be fined $1,000.

Change the privacy settings on your Facebook page so only friends can see your posts

We don’t want potential buyers Googling you learning that you just got a big promotion at work, are moving across the country, or are buying a new house because you’re having a baby. All of these items can hurt my negotiation position; therefore, it’s imperative you change your security settings to make your posts and photos private to strangers. And while you can mention on your Facebook page that you’re selling your home, don’t say why.

Once you’ve completed the above, let us know, and we’ll send you your next steps.



Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:

Posted on November 28, 2018 at 4:36 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 3: Time to Declutter and Stage Your Home

Whitney Vredenburgh   |   Nested Spaces   |

Tips and Tricks from Nested Spaces PDF

I go above and beyond the average agent by hiring a professional photographer to shoot each home I sell. I pay a stager to provide the sellers with a detailed list of recommendations, for improving the home’s chances of selling.

Once all of the paperwork is complete, it’s time to get your house ready to attract those buyers! The magic word on this process is: declutter!

Review and print my Staging and Decluttering Check List. It will be a great help for you to get the staging process started.

Once the Staging Decluttering is done, our stager will walk through your home room by room with you to create a comprehensive list of remaining items that need to be done, furniture that needs to be moved, or put in storage.

Unless the property is vacant, we usually don’t need a stager to equip your home but to advise you how to take your home to the photography level.  We may recommend artwork or small pieces of furniture to augment the furniture you already have in your home. If your home is vacant and we do need a stager and furniture, I will also take care of that.

Remember, we’ll create a personalized list just for your home.  Let us know so we can schedule an appointment with our stager to ready for photography, and photographer to take professional photos of your home.



Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:

Posted on November 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 4: Conduct a Pre-market Inspection

I am a big believer in pre-market inspections, especially for single-family homes.

This means you pay an inspector to inspect your home before it goes on the market. The cost of this is usually between $400 – $700.

It allows us to fix any items that come up in the inspection report before the home goes on the market in a manner you are more in control of, not to mention you will not be as pressed for time. Sometimes buyers will even waive doing their own inspection if they can read your inspection report.

If you’d like to do a pre-market inspection, let me know, and we will arrange for it. If you want, I can even be present for the inspection, so you don’t have to take any additional time off work.







Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 8:28 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 5: Repair Time

If you did a pre-market inspection, we should already have a list of items that need to be fixed.

If you didn’t, and your dishwasher hasn’t been working for years or your AC unit has been making an unusually loud noise, we need to know. We can have those items repaired before your home goes on the market.  It’s better to get items fixed now, before they come up in an inspection report, and potentially scare off a buyer later.

We have access to affordable repair people, electricians, handymen, etc. and am happy to make repair appointments and even be at your home to let workers in and oversee the work.

I recommend that you:

  • Touch up the paint in your home
  • Install new caulk around every shower and tub
  • Hire a professional HVAC company to service and clean both your AC unit and furnace
  • Hire a company such as Stanley Steemer to steam clean your carpets
  • Make sure all light bulbs are working and that every light fixture contains the highest wattage light bulbs it can bear
  • Have chimneys professionally swept and add a rain cap.  If any brick is loose, have it repaired
  • Change outdated cabinet hardware in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Repair any broken window screens at your local hardware store
  • Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are functioning properly
  • Make sure downspouts aren’t improperly sloped or damaged in single-family homes. If they are, have them repaired
  • Repair any damaged, broken or missing roof shingles if you own a single-family home

See Service Providers We Trust to see our list of recommended service providers such as handyman, appliance repair people, etc.




Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:

Posted on November 27, 2018 at 8:21 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 6: Deep Clean

This should be done the day before or the morning of the photography appointment.

Your home needs to be sparkling clean, especially the kitchen and bathrooms, as nothing turns a buyer off more than a dirty home.

If you don’t want to personally clean your home checkout Service Providers We Trust.   All staging and repairs should be done before she comes over to clean.  Once she cleans your place, please do your very best to keep it clean going forward.

An idea of the difference between General Cleaning vs Deep Cleaning

General Cleaning VRS Deep Cleaning





Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:

Posted on November 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 7: Professional Photography

We’re so close to getting your home on the market! The last step is professional photography.

I’ll let you know a few days in advance when the appointment is taking place. The appointment itself will take between 1 – 2 hours for condos and 2 – 4 hours for single-family homes/townhouses, depending on the size.

You do not need to be home for the appointment.

I pay for the photos; there is no cost to you.

Here are our pro tips for ensuring great photos:

  • Remove any cats or dogs from the home or put them in a crate during the photography appointment
  • Hide any pet beds, bowls, toys, etc
  • Make your bed
  • Put all dishes away
  • Turn on all lights and make sure all light bulbs, especially those in lamps, are working
  • The day before the professional photo appointment, take your own camera or smartphone, and snap pics of your home. If a room looks too cluttered in your photos, declutter it even more.

During the photographs, we will likely move a lot of things in your home. We do our very best to put things back where they were but don’t be surprised if you come home to find a few things out of place. We apologize in advance, but we want your photos to look the absolute best they can look and this often involves moving items to get the best shots.

We often photograph amenities in the building, such as exercise rooms or parking garages, in condos or nearby amenities in the neighborhood, such as parks or playgrounds, for single-family homes.  If there is anything, in particular, you want to make sure we photograph, just let us know.

It usually takes 48 hours to get the photos back.





Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:


Posted on November 27, 2018 at 5:23 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 8: Pre-Market Your Home

While the professional photos are being edited, we’ll market your home to other Realtors before it’s even on the market (what’s called a pocket listing) by executing the below strategies. We’ll discuss which tactics make the most sense for your property and situation:

  • Advertise your home via Century 21 email and Facebook groups for pocket listings. This is a great way to expose your home to top Realtors before it goes on the market
  • Send just listed postcards to nearby homes in the community (who best to help us market your home than a neighbor wanting a friend, family member, or co-worker to live close by?)
  • Conduct a broker open (optional)
  • Schedule and advertise our first open house to take place on Sunday after your listing goes live in the BLC
  • Create and print professional brochures
  • Install a For Sale sign to in front of your building or in your yard
  • Hang professional flyers outside your property which passersby can take for additional information
  • Put a lockbox on your property for showings
  • Generally, the above takes 48-72 hours. After that, as soon as the photos are back from the photographer, your property will go live in the BLC!

Lastly, before your home is live in the BLC, I will send you a copy of the listing sheet to review. Please review it carefully and let me know of any errors. If you didn’t like how I phrased something, or feel we left out an important point, let me know as well.

Remember, we’re a team, and we want to get your house sold just as much as you do!





Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:

Posted on November 27, 2018 at 4:47 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |

Step 9: My Property is Live In The BLC


Congratulations, your home is now on the market!

All the hard work you’ve put in thus far should start paying off soon! So far you’ve done a lot of prep work to get your home market-ready.

Now it’s my job to bring you an offer.

Now What?

Generally, it takes 36 – 72 hours before we get our first showing request.  The Showing Time system will text you with showing requests. As much as we’d like to ask for 24 hours notices, we will miss a lot of showing opportunities if we do. Most of the time,  we will get showing requests in the morning, for that afternoon or evening. Therefore, when you leave each day, plan to have showings even if we don’t have one on the calendar.

If that is an issue let me know, and I can require 24 hrs notice.

Once a showing request comes in, you can approve it, deny it, or ask for a different day or time. Remember, the quicker we can get buyers into your place and the fewer showings we have to deny or reschedule, the faster we can get your place under contract. The buyer shouldn’t have to work around our schedule, which is why I always put a lockbox on every property I sell. We want to get buyers in as quickly as possible and, to do that, we need to work around their schedule.

How Do Showings Work?

Typically showings last 15-30 minutes. You’ll need to be out 15 minutes before the appointed showing time in case the buyer and his/her Realtor are early. Plan to be out of the home for 45 minutes for each showing request. For example, if a showing is scheduled for 5 pm, please be out by 4:45 pm and don’t come home until after 5:30 pm.

As soon as a showing is finished, the buyer’s Realtor will immediately get an email asking for feedback and if their client is interested in the home. Unfortunately, only about 30% of Realtors take the time to give feedback. If we receive feedback, I will immediately forward it on to you via email to review. Don’t be surprised when we don’t get feedback and don’t be offended by it either.

We’re looking for that ONE buyer who loves your home. For most, your house won’t be the right fit for various reasons, but we only need to find one.






Have any questions?

Call or text: 317.413.1360

Email me:

Posted on November 27, 2018 at 3:58 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Seller Step by Step |