Your Comprehensive Home Seller’s Guide
Are you considering selling your home? Or maybe you’re just curious about its value?
This blog post is intended to help you get ready and understand the selling process so you can make the best choices for yourself and your family.
In our experience, many homeowners think that all REALTORs® do the same thing. If you’ve talked to more than one REALTOR®, then you probably have a similar perception.
But at our real estate firm, it’s not just about what we do that is different… it’s also how well we do it. We use innovative strategies that are proven to sell your home and get you the results that you want.
In this guide, we will outline the skills, strategies, and actions that enable us to achieve these results. Read on, or for a personal conversation about your specific situation, reach out to us for a free consultation.
TIMELINE OF A HOME SALE
Most people have a general idea of what happens in a home sale, but we’ve found that these assumptions can have costly consequences. For example, you may think that you need to remodel your bathroom before you can go to market, but in fact that renovation could result in wasted time and money if your target buyers won’t value it.
Your best bet for a successful home sale is to lean on our experience and expertise, which is why we recommend that you reach out to us first as soon as you think of selling. We’ll then guide you through the rest of these events:
- HIRE A REALTOR® – Hire a professional who knows how to list, market, and sell your home. The sooner you connect with us, the more time we’ll have to craft your ideal home selling strategy.
- ASSESS HOME VALUE – We use market knowledge and prices of competing homes to set the list price of your home. Learn more about our pricing strategy later in this guide.
- PREPARATION – Get the home ready for staging, photography, and showing. We’ll consult with you to ensure you only focus on the projects that will net you the best return on your investment of time and energy.
- MARKETING – Start marketing the home using a thorough property marketing plan. You’ll see later in this guide what kind of marketing activities we use to net our clients more on their home sales.
- SHOWINGS – Buyers will tour the home, ask questions, and determine if your home is the right fit for them. We’ll analyze their feedback and suggest adjustments to your listing if necessary.
- NEGOTIATE OFFERS – We will help you evaluate the offers on your home, then negotiate to get the best based on your criteria. Some sellers prioritize price, but you may find that the closing date is more important to you, for example.
- MANAGE CLOSING – We work with the buyer’s agent, lawyers, and title to legally finish the sale. Once the paperwork is complete, you’ll be ready to move!
PRICING A HOME
You may have heard that there is not much housing inventory right now, which means that prices are high across the board. This is great news for you as a home seller! The timing is perfect for you to get a strong return on your investment in your home.
But even in today’s market, there are still homes that sit, waiting for an offer, for months and months. This time spent on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) means that you are still making payments on your mortgage and you are still not getting equity out of your home.
Perhaps even worse is what buyers and buyer agents think about homes that have been on the market for too long. A buyer’s first impression about a property that has been listed for a long time in this hot market is “Something must be wrong with that home.”
That thought will scare away many buyers, and it will prompt the ones who remain interested to try to lowball you when they submit an offer on your home.
But why are those homes still on the market in the first place? It’s because they are often priced “out of the market.” Take a look at this graph to see what we mean:
The intersection of the two axes — price and preparation — represents homes “in the market.” These are properties that are priced competitively and prepared nicely, and these are the homes that will net the most money for their sellers.
As you move farther away from the intersection, the homes become too pricey and in too much disrepair. These homes show poorly and are basically guaranteed not to sell.
The homes hovering near the middle of the graph, represented by the question marks, are in a sort of “limbo land.” They are priced just a bit over their market worth, or they are not adequately prepared to show. These properties are the ones that will stay on the market for months and months, ultimately selling for way under the initial asking price and causing their sellers a lot of time and frustration.
If this sounds complicated, don’t worry. We have a specific strategy that will help you avoid the dreaded limbo land of home sales and keep your home “in the market.”
FREE HOME VALUE REPORTYour home’s market value includes its features, condition, location, and level of competition in your local area. Ask us for an expert Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to see how your home stacks up and get an estimate of how much you will earn on its sale today.
Just as first impressions are important for people, they can also be make-or-break for a home. When potential buyers walk into your house, they will start to evaluate everything they see. Their impression will ultimately determine how much they are willing to offer on a property… or even if they’ll be interested in buying it at all.
Therefore, in order to get you the most money possible for your home, we put a ton of care into its preparation before we put it on the market. Quality preparation that will leave buyers with the best impression of your house involves three elements:
There are several reasons to complete repairs on your home before you put it on the market. Ultimately, buyers will pay more for a home to avoid the work of fixing it, and they will pay faster.
Moreover, any money you invest into repairs before you list — when you have time to price-shop and to use a little bit of elbow grease — will be far less than the quote from the home inspector or the concessions for which buyers will ask.
The good news is that most repairs are merely cosmetic and fairly inexpensive. Think of the things on your to-do list: that leaky faucet and the cracked bathroom tile were bothering you when you lived in the house, and they’re going to bother the new owners too.
You wouldn’t want your mother to come over when your house was dirty, would you? And you’re not even trying to get her to shell out thousands of dollars for the place!
Buyers are easily distracted, and they will tend to focus on the negatives instead of the positives of each home they tour. Each dish left in the sink or dust bunny in the corner is going to detract from the perceived value of your home, which means a lower offer amount and more time on the market for you.
According to a recent study by the National Association of REALTORs®, 96% of buyer agents reported that staging had some effect on their clients’ view of homes. They said that staging made it easier for their clients to visualize the properties as a future home and that they were more likely to overlook property faults.
And these effects turned into cash for sellers like you. The survey reveals that 52% of buyer clients were willing to offer more on a staged home than a similar home that was not staged — as much as 20% more than asking price!
In the “old days,” real estate agents marketing their sellers’ properties would simply put a sign in the yard, put a listing in the MLS, and pray that it sold. Even today, there are a lot of real estate professionals who think syndicating listings to portals is a job well done.
And that might actually be enough to sell your home in today’s hot market. But if that’s all an agent does to market your home to potential buyers, then they’re not fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to you — to get you the most money possible for your home.
You see, you have a distinct advantage in wanting to sell your home right now: there is not much inventory, but there are a ton of buyers. A smart agent will use this classic example of supply and demand to create an auction environment for your home.
Getting multiple offers on your home will allow you to choose the best one for you — the one that has the right price, the right timeline, and the right conditions. And the key to creating this auction environment to get multiple offers is marketing.
We employ a strategic Property Marketing Plan that uses the latest technologies to seed the marketplace, optimize for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and position your home for the best possible impression right out of the gate. For example, we pen compelling marketing narratives to help buyers envision living in your home and we utilize advanced video marketing tactics to showcase your home’s best features.
And our efforts don’t stop once your home has been listed. We use our national network of agents to continuously promote your home to people wanting to move to the area and we run targeted social media ads to help get your home in front of the most people.
Check out a quick list of the type of marketing activities you can expect when you list your home with us:
Sign Posted in Front Yard Once at Start Property Landing Pages Published to Website Once at Start Property Tour Video Added to YouTube Once at Start Photos & Videos Posted to Facebook Business Page Weekly Photos & Videos Posted to Instagram Business Account Weekly YouTube Ad Campaign to Active Real Estate Searchers Ongoing Facebook Ad Campaign to Real Estate Interested Ongoing Instagram Ad Campaign to Real Estate Interested Ongoing Google Display Ads to Active Real Estate Searchers Ongoing New Listing Email Announcement to Email List Ongoing Listing Posted in Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Ongoing Listing Syndicated to Popular Home Search Sites Ongoing Postcard Mail Drip Once at Start Open House Campaign & Event Monthly Agent Door Knocking with Printed Flyer Once at Start Metrics Evaluation & Campaign Adjustment Weekly Agent Feedback Report from Buyer Tours Monthly
Selling your home is a huge emotional and financial undertaking. You need a professional listing agent on your side who is a master negotiator with the skills and experience to get the job done right.
We are home sales experts in our local market, and we are confident in our ability to handle your transaction and any surprises that may pop up along the way to the closing table.
So if you are considering your home in today’s market, we invite you to reach out to us at the contact information below. We would love the opportunity to learn more about your specific situation and explain to you in more detail what we do differently to sell homes faster and for more money.