Stand·by Ëˆstan(d)ËŒbÄ«/ noun. Readiness for duty or immediate deployment; for example, “Buses were placed on standby for the trip to Washington.”  The state of waiting to secure an unreserved place for a journey or performance, allocated on the basis of earliest availability.

“Standby” for travelers, military, etc. means waiting in an elevated state of preparedness for something to happen.

In real estate, it means . . . kind of the same thing — except the “thing” in question is typically for a homeowner to complete their home prep, and be officially ready to put their home on the market.

Proactive Steps

Fortunately, listing agents (representing Sellers) can often play a proactive role, both by helping to expedite the process, by connecting homeowners to appropriate professionals; and by prioritizing what needs — and doesn’t need — to be done.

Too, veteran agents have a more realistic idea of how long things take (hint:  longer than homeowners think).

Bottom line: on the agent end of things, it can be smart to wait to schedule photography, choose a final listing price, commence pre-list networking, etc. until the homeowner is truly close to being ready to go.

P.S.: Practice tip for new(er) agents: make sure the listing contract expiration date reflects all of the above.

See also, “Watching the Fall Calendar: What Realtors Mean When They Say “Let’s Get It On.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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