Our objective is to net you the high possible proceeds in the least amount of time with the least amount of problems and we have a proven track record. Every transaction is unique, but we consistently outpace the market by following our proven system. We are not winging things when it comes to such high dollar amounts for you. We follow the same process every time because it works.
Many home owners struggle with viewing their homes as a product. This makes sense. It is your home. You have lived there for years and have all sorts of memories in your home. As you begin down the road towards selling your home for top dollar it is very helpful to view your house as a product.
The key to successfully marketing your product is differentiation. How does your house compare to other houses on the market? This differentiation can come in price positioning, rare features, upgrades, staging, highlighting unique charm, better photos than the competition, etc. Bottom line, it needs to stand out.
Just to keep things organized I went ahead and arranged our process into 5 stages. The first 4 stages have to do with finding that perfect buyer. The fifth stage is about making sure the buyer that you contract with actually closes.
Here are the 5 stages:
1) Preparing your house for market
2) Price at the right price
3) Show in the best light
4) Reach as many eyes as possible
5) Successfully close the contract
1) Preparing your house for market.
A) Complementary pre-list home inspection.
-A pre-list inspection will alert you to safety issues in your home before any potential buyers discover them. You can decide what you want to fix, and can get estimates for actual repair price, not the buyer's perceived price. Buyers often don’t actually know how much things cost and they often blow small issues way out of proportion. They will demand concessions that are much higher than the repair costs of the perceived defect or even cancel their contract. The benefit here is that we limit post contract re-negotiation.
B) Pre-market beautification.
-We quantify exact return on investment for possible projects. If you are hiring a Realtor to sell your home, make sure that they coach you on what projects will have the highest return on investment and which small touches will differentiate your home from the competition. Many people choose to list their home “as-is.” Listing as-is should be an option that you choose, not just “the way” because your Realtor told you to get the house listed quickly. Differentiating your home is how you will get more buyers that saw your house online to want to schedule a showing. Small repairs to improve curb appeal and make your home show at a 10+ can be done cheaply. Others are not as inexpensive, but give huge returns on your investment. You don’t have to differentiate on price. If your house presents better than the competitors, you are more likely to see multiple offers.
2) Price at the right price
This comes down to price bracketing and price positioning. The most reliable means of estimating fair market value of a given piece of property is through the comparison of recent sales and the competing offerings of similar properties.
OK, it is a hot market. Keep in mind that today's buyers are educated. Value is based on what other buyers have paid for similar products recently, and everyone has the same access to the information that you will use in your pricing strategy. Pricing significantly above market (in fantasy land) will result in your house sitting on the market for an extended period of time. Don't just assume that offers come in at a certain percentage under list price and price accordingly.
3) Show in the best light
-Studies show that staged homes sell for more money than unstaged homes. Your house needs to show like a model home. After you have completed the small home make overs, make sure to stage the property. I give all of my seller clients an 82 point staging and repairs checklist and personally advise you on staging. Please put effort into showing off your home’s unique space. Sometimes this requires moving furniture around or putting some furniture into storage. Present each room in a way that will make it easy for buyers to picture themselves in this house that they will ultimately fall in love with.
B) Complementary professional photos
Professional photos should be the norm, not the exception, in this industry. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We hire professional photographers to take our photos, including twilight photos. Check out these examples of professional photography on kitchens used in Salt Lake Realty Group listings
Today's home buyers do their searching online. The days of MLS being the only tool to reach buyers via their agent are over. Your house needs to have staying power in the mind of a home buyer that is browsing online. I'll bet you know what I mean. As you scroll Zillow or Realtor.com your eyes glaze over as you browse all of the poorly presented primary photos. I see a lot of photos on the MLS that look like the agent rolled through the house with an iPhone snapping quick pics because the MLS requires Realtors to post at least 6 photos. Your home needs to look amazing. Lackluster photos just wont do.
4) Reach as many eyes as possible
More page views on all media=more interested buyers=more showings=more offers=higher probability of a multiple offer scenario=more money.
A) MLS and price are still important tools that I love to use, but they are not the only tools that bring buyers.
B) Targeted social media advertising
-With advertising, first thing is first, you have to reach as many eyes as possible. MLS posting and posting on all online portals satisfies demand. A buyer expressed intent by actively searching for a home. Demand creation is a whole different animal. Create demand by reaching audiences that are not yet showing intent by searching on online search portals. There are scientific concepts in presenting advertising copy, but at the very least you should be reaching tens of thousands of people through boosted (paid) social media advertising. Every agent will tell you that they have a Facebook ad strategy. Make them clearly explain what they do with this. How many people will their social media ads reach? What audience are they targeting? How many leads do they plan on getting?
The purpose of these ads is to talk to buyers so we can sell your home's unique features. We need to collect contact information. make sure agents show you their landing pages. How much info do they give upfront? Can people log in with Facebook or do they need to actively fill out their info? Posting a recent listing to your friends and family is not a social media campaign.
C) Coming Soon marketing
-You home should be marketed "coming soon" before it officially goes on the market. This creates demand and provides marketing with a feeling of exclusivity to the people that see the coming soon ad. You don't have to allow showings during this period. Once on the market, we don't care if buyers are bumping in to each other as they tour your new hot property. We want showing traffic as high as possible.
D) Post the listing everywhere
-Again, reach every single person that is looking for homes in your neighborhood and price point. We post on 88 different search portals and thousands of broker/agent IDXs. Most buyers find their next home online. Syndication is a great thing. If you google your address while your home is on the market you should see pages and pages of active listings on various portals.
5) Successfully close the contract.
OK, we found the perfect buyer willing to pay top dollar and negotiated great terms. Guess what.... If your buyer is financing the transaction (they will be) there is still a 30 to 45 day escrow before closing. In that time frame the buyer is going to arrange financing, order a home inspection, probably demand excessive repairs that need to be negotiated to be reasonable, the lender will order an appraisal, and during this whole stressful time you are just hoping that the buyer performs.
Steps 1 to 4 are my favorite part of my job. They are just so exciting. Step 5 is more than half of why you hire a top level Realtor. Finding a buyer and negotiating the contract is very important, but post contract negotiation is really why you want someone experienced in your corner.
A) Vetting the buyer
-One question: Will this buyer actually close? Here is how we answer that question. First, talk to the buyer's agent. What is their story. Do they have a home to sell before they can buy? It usually pays to research that agent's listings against county records to see if their client owns a home that is currently listed or under contract. Find out as much about the buyer's story as possible. I would rather contract with a buyer that has lost a few homes in multiple offer scenarios than a buyer that is brand new to the market. Can they actually buy the house? I talk to the buyer's lender to make sure that income and assets have been verified.
B) The pre-list inspection pays off
-Home inspections always come back with red flags. In all honesty, I tell my buyer clients that home inspections are negotiating tools first, and educational about whether you actually want to buy the house second. It is a second round of negotiation or a second bite of the apple depending on how you like to say it. A house is a big machine with lots of moving parts. The proactive approach is to know what the buyer is going to find. Most buyers value perceived defects at a higher value than their actual repair price. Suddenly that section of roof that could easily be fixed with those spare shingles in the garage is the some sort of unforeseen mega disaster. The minor issue is now a problem and the buyer wants you to re-roof the house or they are going to cancel under due diligence. Fixing a minor issue in advance would have saved you a lot of money, heart ache, and possibly the deal. The way to find out about these issues is to get a home inspection.
C) Hand holding the appraiser
-Many of my listings sell for between 102% and 105% of market value. Lenders will only loan certain loan to values of the appraised price. They order an independent appraisal and getting these appraisers to agree with high values take some effort. They need to know advantageous property details and I like to send appraisers comps to consider using in their reports that point to a high valuation.