Selecting a Selling Agent
You’re ready to sell your property. And, while you’re looking forward to seeing the word “SOLD” posted from the curb, you know there’s a lot to consider along the way. One of your first decisions is to select a real estate agent who’ll join you in the process.
You deserve much more than a sign in the yard, fliers in a box and an occasional open house. You deserve an agent who will be at your side, from listing to closing, ensuring that your property sells smoothly and you get the most money possible from the sale.
Our local real estate market expertise means we’re able to interpret all data that dictates the optimum pricing strategy, so your property will be priced to sell. We dig deep to learn the unique selling points of your property and neighborhood. So our marketing plans and staging strategies will effectively target and attract your potential buyers. It’s a formula for success.
And, of course, we’ll take the time to listen, understand your challenges and goals and answer any questions you may have along the way.
Our real estate business has been built around one guiding principle:
It’s all about you, our client.
Our entire focus is on your complete satisfaction. In fact, we work to get the job done so well, you will want to tell your friends and associates about it. Maybe that’s why more than 85 percent of our business comes from repeat customers and referrals.
Your needs always come first. We provide the service we agree to, in the ways that work for you. Whether once a week or once a day, by phone, email or text message. That’s how we’ll do it.
You’ll always be kept in the loop. From listing to closing, you’ll know the status of our marketing efforts the offers on the table and the steps leading to a successful closing once an offer is accepted. We’ll agree on the communication method that works best for you.Experience and Expertise
The complexities of your real estate transaction will be well-handled. Smoothing the way for your listing and sale, we will capably remove many potential challenges before they have the opportunity to appear.
Your home will get the exposure it deserves. Our marketing systems maximize your property’s exposure to buyers. Neighborhood tracking tools and automated buyer calling systems allow us to reach active buyers who want to know about your listing.
Your home will be priced right, adjusted as needed, and will sell quickly. With a keen understanding of both the big picture and the very latest local and neighborhood listing and sales data, the information you need is at our fingertips.
Your home will put its best foot forward. Homes sell because of correct pricing and great presentation. We know what it takes to make the terrific first impression that will get your home sold.
We’ll guarantee your satisfaction. Our relationship is dependent on meeting and exceeding your needs. We identify those needs together, and our cancellation guarantee protects your right to end our relationship if you’re disappointed.
In the meantime, we hope that you’ll take the time to review the attached information before our appointment so that we can get your property listed right away and get you on the move!
Questions to Ask Your Agent
Are you a full-time or part-time agent?
What is the average number of days your listings are on the market before selling?
Will you service our listing personally or will we be working with your assistants?
How many sellers and buyers are you currently representing?
What is your Internet marketing program?
What is your policy on responding to phone calls/emails/text messages?
How much of your business is generated by referrals?
What references can you provide?
Do you offer an “easy exit” listing so that I can end our agreement if I am not satisfied?
Preparing to Sell
The Home Selling Process: Getting Ready to List
It can feel like the details are endless when you’re selling a property. It is our job to streamline the process for you, ensuring everything is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Here’s an overview of the steps we’ll be taking along the way.
Communication makes all the difference.
You’ll always know what’s going on behind the scenes while your property is listed.
We will solicit feedback from each consumer and agent who views your property, passing their comments on to you.
We will work together to formulate a price adjustment strategy that sees us through your listing period. You’ll receive regular progress reports, delivered as frequently as you request. Whether you prefer a phone call or an email, that’s what you’ll get.
Preparing for success. Prepare your home for the sale.
More and more sellers today are seeing the value of investing in a pre-inspection on the property they are preparing to list. Whether or not you are confident in the condition of the home, an inspection can either give us professional, third-party validation, or reveal issues you should attend to before listing your property – issues a buyer inspection could surface later, making them part of the final price negotiation.
We will evaluate the current state of your property and arrange home staging. Any repairs or improvements needed to maximize your home’s value and appeal will be identified and scheduled.
When everything’s in place, we’ll put a lockbox on your property.
Preparing Your Home for Sale
Did you know well-placed furniture can open up rooms and make them seem larger than they are? Or that opening drapes and blinds and turning on all lights make a room seem bright and cheery?
It’s a fact: acquiring the highest market value and elevating your home above others in the same price range often comes down to first impressions.
Here are some inexpensive ways to maximize your home’s appeal:
• Keep the grass freshly cut.
• Remove all yard clutter.
• Apply fresh paint to wooden fences.
• Paint the front door.
• Weed and apply fresh mulch to garden beds.
• Clean windows inside and out.
• Wash or paint home’s exterior.
• Tighten and clean all door handles.
• Ensure gutters and downspouts are firmly attached.
• Remove excessive wall hangings, furniture and knickknacks (consider a temporary self-storage unit).
• Clean or paint walls and ceilings.
• Shampoo carpets.
• Clean and organize cabinets and closets.
• Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.
• Clean all light fixtures.
• Turn on all the lights.
• Open drapes in the daytime.
• Keep pets secured outdoors.
• Play quiet background music.
• Light the fireplace (if seasonally appropriate).
• Infuse home with a comforting scent like apple spice or vanilla.
• Vacate the property while it is being shown.
The Home Selling Process: Determining Value of a Property
Let’s begin with this direct statement:
We are not the one who decides how much your home is worth. The market does.
It tells us exactly where to price your property to sell and how to approach the marketing of your property. Here are the factors that will affect the value in today’s market:
Pricing your home properly from the start is the deciding factor on how long it will take to sell it.
Location is the single most important factor in determining the value of your property.
The condition of the property affects the price and the speed of the sale.
As prospective buyers often make purchases based on emotion, first impressions are important. We’ll be able to help in optimizing the physical appearance of your home to maximize the buyer’s perception of value.
Prospective buyers are going to compare your property – both the condition and the price – to the other listings in and around your neighborhood. Those buyers will determine value, based on properties that are listed or have recently sold in the area.
Property values are affected by the current real estate market. Because we can’t manipulate the market, we’ll collaborate on a pricing and marketing strategy that will take advantage of the first 30 days your property is listed. It’s the window of opportunity when buyers and their agents discover your property and are most likely to visit and make offers.
Pricing Your Property
This is about strategy.
We will base your recommended price on:
• A detailed, custom market analysis
• The unique characteristics of your home and its setting
• Our expertise in the real estate market
Our primary goal is to net you the most money possible.
We believe this pricing plan, matched with my 14-step marketing plan, will draw agents and buyers to your home and position it as a highly appealing, highly competitive property.
Our 14-Step Marketing Plan
Designed to capture the maximum exposure for your home in the shortest period of time, we’ll implement our proven 14-Step Marketing Plan.
- Price your home strategically so you’re competitive with the current market and current price trends. (80% of the marketing is done when we decide on what price to list your home. If you are unwilling to list at current market value, you would be better off not putting it on the market at this time.
- Stage your home to cast a positive light on the features most important to buyers: uncluttered rooms and closets, fresh paint, and terrific curb appeal.
- Place “for sale” signage, complete with property fliers easily accessible to drive-by prospects.
- Distribute “just listed” notices to neighbors, encouraging them to tell family and friends about your home.
- Optimize your home’s internet presence by posting information in the Keller Williams Listing System (KWLS), as well as in local and global MLS systems, including plenty of photographs and a description of your property.
- Hire professional photographer to photograph your home and capture it’s best features and benefits.
- Produce a 360° virtual tour of your home, placing it on multiple Websites to attract both local and out-of-town buyers.
- Create a home book, comment cards and fliers to place inside your property.
- Target my marketing to active real estate agents who specialize in selling homes in your neighborhood.
- Include your home in our company and MLS tours, allowing other agents to see your home for themselves.
- Advertise your home in my real estate magazine and neighborhood newsletter as well as in direct mail campaigns, email campaigns and social media.
- Create an open house schedule to promote your property to prospective buyers and market those open houses.
- Target active buyers and investors in my database who are looking for homes in your price range and area.
- Provide you with weekly updates detailing my marketing efforts, including comments from the prospective buyers and agents who have visited your home.
The Home Selling Process: Staging Your Home
Three things to remember:
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
A review of over 2,800 properties in 8 cities found that staged homes, on average, sold in half the time that non-staged homes did.
Most buyers make decisions about the property they see within the first 15 seconds of entering the home.
What Can Staging Do?
|Location||Cannot be changed|
|Size||Difficult to change|
|Amenities||Can be changed|
|Condition||Can be changed|
Adding cost-effective amenities and improving the general cleanliness and condition of the home is what we call “staging.”
When a seller stages their home, one of two things happens:
- The home becomes more valuable than other comparable properties in that price range.
- The home gets moved up in price and becomes the lowest priced in the next higher price bracket or category.*
*Based on the national best-seller
SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times by Gary Keller
The Home Selling Process: Closing and Beyond
Coordinating Your Sale to a Successful Closing
All potential buyers will be pre-qualified, so valuable time isn’t wasted.
Each offer will be presented and discussed with you.
We will negotiate the details of your transaction with the other agent.
Closing will be prepared, coordinated and finalized for you.
Beyond the Sale
Do you need an agent to assist you in your relocation?
Need a recommendation for a moving company?
Would a moving checklist help?
We’re happy to refer you to great providers of other real estate-related services.
We’re here to make the sale of your home as smooth and stress-free as possible.
The closing process finalizes the sale of your home and makes everything official. Also known as settlement, the closing is when you get paid and the buyer receives the deed to your home.
Here are a few things to bring to the closing:
• House keys
• Garage door opener(s)
• A picture ID
What can you expect?
The closing agent will look over the purchase contract and identify what payments are owed and by whom; prepare documents for the closing; conduct the closing; make sure taxes, title searches, real estate commissions and other closing costs are paid; ensure that the buyer’s title is recorded; and ensure that you receive any monies due to you.
What are your costs?
Sellers commonly pay the following at closing:
• Mortgage balance and prepayment penalties, if applicable
• Other claims against your property, such as unpaid property taxes
• Unpaid special assessments on your property
• Document stamps (or taxes) on the deed
• Real estate commission
• Legal fee or title insurance premium
After the closing, make sure you keep the following for tax purposes:
• Copies of all closing documents
• All home improvement receipts on the home you sold
Selling for Top Dollar
Six Simple Steps You Can Take to
Ensure Your Home Sells at Top Dollar!
Step 1: Pricing
It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value right when you list it. The market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell. It is interesting, but your first offer is usually your best offer. Here are some reasons for pricing your property at the market value right from the start in order to net you the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.
An Overpriced home:
- Minimizes offers
- Lowers number of showings
- Lowers agent responses
- Limits financing
- Limits qualified buyers
- Nets less for the seller
80% of the marketing is done when we decide on what price to list your home. If you are unwilling to list at current market value, you would be better off not putting it on the market at this time.
Step 2: Cleanliness
Most people are turned off by even the smallest amount of dirt or odor when buying a home. Sellers lose thousands of dollars because they do not adequately clean. If your house is squeaky clean, you will be able to sell your home faster and net hundres, if not thousands of dollars more. If you are planning on moving, why not get rid of that old junk now so that your house will appear larger? Make more space. Odors must be eliminated especially if you have dogs, cats, or young children in diapers or if you are a smoker. You may not notice the smell, but the buyers do!
Step 3: Easy Access
Top selling agents will not show your home if both the key and access are not readily available. They do not have time to run around town all day picking up and dropping off keys. They want to sell homes! The greatest way to show a house is to have a lock box accessible to real estate agents and allow access to the home when requested.
Step 4: Showtime
When your home is being shown, please do the following:
- Keep all lights on
- Keep all drapes and shutters open
- Keep all interior doors unlocked
- Leave soft music playing
- Take a short excursion with your children and pets
- Let the buyer be at ease and let the agents do their job
- Make sure that the agent showing the property uses the lock box to enter your home even if you are still home when they arrive
Let us know whenever your home is shown by any agent who does not use the lockbox and leave the showing agents name, real estate office, day and time of showing. Our listing coordinator will immediately contact the agent for showing feedback which will give us useful information to use in marketing your home.
Step 5: Paint and Carpet
Paint is your best improvement investment for getting a greater return on your money. Paint makes the whole house smell clean and neat. If your house has chipped paint, exposed wood, or the paint looks faded, it is time to paint. If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated, or an unusual color, you may need to seriously consider replacing it. Many houses do not sell because of this problem. Don’t think that buyers have more money than you have to replace carpet. They don’t. They will simply buy another home.
Step 6: Curb Appeal
Your front yard immediately reflects the inside condition of your house to the buyer. People enjoy their yards. Make certain that the trees are trimmed so the house can be seen from the street. Have the grass mowed, trimmed and edged. Walkways should be swept. Clean away debris. Remove parked cars. This all adds to curb appeal. If a buyer doesn’t like the outside, they may not stop to see the inside.