Years ago selling a house was a much simpler affair, things moved slower and the paperwork was two or three pages. Now, with property values higher and liability issues more numerous mistakes can be costly. More than ever you need a professional with experience, fighting for you and watching out for you through out the process.
I have been in this business for seventeen years, and I’ve seen all the pit falls, and there’s not much now, that I don’t see coming. My job, and commitment is to get you best value for your home in the current market in the fastest time possible.
Most of my business comes by referral. I do very little splashy media advertising. The bulk of my my business comes by word of mouth from my happy clients, so I MUST do the best job possible for you. When I list your home I will treat you like you’re my only client. I promise to always be in contact, anticipate problems, and always tell you the truth.
Listing presentation. Our first meeting will be a listing presentation. Here I will explain the way I do business, how I will market your property with the many resources my company has available, and what you can expect in the entire process.
How I market:
1. Property preparation.
2. Online exposure & traditional campaigns
3. International and local networking
4. Custom direct mail advertising and marketing materials
Your home becomes a product. Before we go on the market, it’s important to realize we are offering a product for sale in the market place. It must be presented in the best possible way, which includes staging, cleaning, decluttering, and small repairs. Sometimes buyers will agree to take a price credit for deferred maintenance, but I highly recommend the seller do this work as much as possible for two reasons: Buyers usually will ask for credit on work needed that is MUCH more than what the seller can do himself. Also, we want the house to function as well as possible when the buyer first sees it. First impressions matter with buyers.
Curb Appeal. Buyers are 95% visual. If nothing else gets done, you want the entry of the home to spectacular when the buyer first walks up. Weeding, grass mowing, paint, cleanup translates into BIG differences in the purchase price. Remember buyers will see things that you have grown used to. It’s now a product to be dressed up!
Cleaning. Nothing interrupts excitement of a prospective buyer like dirty walls, junk laying around, and SMELLS. If you want the maximum sales price, you must address these issues. Your house must be like a fresh hotel room where there is no hint that someone else has lived there.
Staging. The new trend in real estate marketing is staging a house, and this makes all the difference. A stager (home designer) will re-populate the house with furniture, colorful accessories, artwork, lighting and make it a showplace (think department store show room).
Stagers are brilliant at design, and do magic with furniture arrangement, and a few interesting pieces, and just about any property benefits with this approach.
Contract. When we list we will sign a contract that binds us to certain amount of time, usually three to six months, although properties will usually sell within six weeks if priced right.
Pricing. Choosing a listing price is part science, and part experience. I have been 98% accurate on my recommendations (although the client always has final word). First, I make an extensive study of comparable sold homes in the area. Not just square footage, but homes as similar as possible that have sold in the last six to twelve months. I then consider the home’s assets, upgrades, appearance, age, locale (is it next to a freeway?) and other issues that might affect a price one way or another.
We then will decide on a price point that is more on the lower side, than high side. Pricing a home too high will eliminate qualified buyers, and a lower price with generate excitement, and possible bidding. Pricing is a delicate determination, and I have many years of trial and error experience, but I will NEVER insist on a price, I will only make recommendations based on my knowledge and experience. Remember though: A home that remains on the market for longer than six weeks because of over pricing becomes STALE, and soon buyers (and realtors) make the assumption is that there is a reason for it not selling. OVER PRICING IS DEADLY. After a while the majority of buyers at that time will have seen it, and may or may not re consider it again. Then, when the seller makes continuous price reductions they are chasing the market down, often ending up lower than what would have been a fair price to begin with.
When a property is first listed, there is excitement and buying frenzy that must be seized and exploited. The biggest mistake sellers make is over pricing their property and losing the “sweet spot” of the first two weeks of a listing. There is always a certain limited amount of buyers in the market at any giving time, and when they all pass on your listing you have missed your opportunity. The listing price is not the amount YOU WANT, it’s the amount the MARKET IS WILLING TO PAY FOR YOUR HOME. Maximize this value with preparation and strategy.