The road to achieving the best price for your home
a) Consult and hire a real estate agent
As you consider hiring an agent to represent you in selling your home, ask yourself, are you working with someone who you are comfortable with being your face to the potential buyers and the real estate community. One purpose of the listing presentation is to see how your personalities fit together and to learn more about the agent’s professionalism and work habits/style. You will be in constant communication with your agent; make sure you choose an agent that you trust and value. Here are the qualifications of an effective agent:
- Market Knowledge
- Neighborhood Knowledge
- Organizational Skills
- Communication Skills
- Negotiation Skills
- Comfort with technology
b) Establish price for your home
Buyers will purchase a property when they perceive value. Pricing your property properly will generate the greatest volume of traffic through your home in the initial marketing stages (first 14 days). Setting the price of a property before market dictates its value, is a process of looking at the following items and putting the pieces together:
- Current homes on the market
- Homes recently sold
- Homes that failed to sell
- Local real estate market
- Preview comparable properties
- Condition of your house and recent updates
- Your desired timetable to sell
- Determine the best time of year to put your property on the market
c) Prepare your house for sale
Once you list your house with an agent, the agent will take photos and list it on the MLS (Multiple Listing System). Hundreds of agents and homebuyers will view your property online. Creating the right impression and showing your property in its best light is important. Take a step back and view your property objectively; imagine you are the buyer and evaluate your home. Your goal is to attract as many buyers as possible in the shortest amount of time. Here is what I recommend:
- De-clutter and minimize: Pack up and store clutter, clean out closets and cabinets, minimize the amount of furniture in a room.
- Organize and stage your house: I am big fan of design and I work with many stores and designers in the area. Most people are visual and first impressions matter. You will be surprised what a few simple additions/deletions and moving of furniture will do to your house. Most people are visual and first impressions matter.
- Repairs and improvements: Some repairs and improvements bring your home up to “selling standards.” A new coat of paint, new carpets, newly stained floors can make a world of difference. Your house should look, smell, and feel clean and updated. I recommend choosing neutral colors to appeal to a wide range of buyers.
- Curb appeal: Curb appeal is the attractiveness of the exterior of a residential property. Clean windows and gutters, paint the front door, power wash the exterior of your home, trim trees, plant flowers.
d) Marketing your house
Exposure is crucial in selling a home. Gone are the days that you would stick a “For sale” sign in front of a house and sell a home. Since 90% of home shoppers use the Internet as part of their home search, a comprehensive online marketing program is essential to reach the widest audience of potential buyers. More buyers = better chance of finding one that is willing to meet your terms, price and desired closing date. I use every means to reach the potential buyers – all mediums 24/7. Here is a sample of what I will do for you:
Professional photography and Virtual Tours
I will make your home stands out with professional photos, videos and virtual tour. Research shows that home listings featuring 6 or more photos are viewed 299% more often than homes without multiple photos. MLS allows us to post up to 30 photos. I will help your home rise to the top of the search, above other homes, by adding more photos.
- Professional photography included in my marketing budget; at NO expense to you
- I work with the top real estate photographers
- I will send you a link to the photos and virtual tour for your approval
Your listing will be exposed to more than 15 million buyers on over 550 websites every day, including:
- MRIS: The Metropolitan Regional Information System is the area’s multiple listing service. Once your property is entered in the MLS, it would be viewed by approximately 45,000 registered agents.
- Other popular websites: Trulia.com, Zillow.com, Realtor.com, Homedatabase.com, Washingtonpost.com, and many more.
- Email Marketing: I will send a customized email detailing your property to all the agents in my database in all brokerage firms.
Open Houses and Yard Signs
Open houses help us to get a good feel about issues we can address and general reaction to property. I will post your Open House on all the websites and all social media platforms, signage, and office advertising. I will hold:
- Broker Open House: First Tuesday after the listing has been entered in the MLS.
- Public Open House: First Sunday after the listing has been entered in the MLS.
- Yard Sign: Still an important part of marketing your house
All my marketing materials is produced by a professional graphic artist. Putting a well designed and informative fact sheet in their hands would help them remember their positive experience when they sit down to make a decision. I send out “Just Listed” postcards to the neighborhood. Those who know the neighborhood may have friends who are looking to buy in the neighborhood.
Social Networking and Mobile Marketing
When they search homes via mobile devices they contact the listing agent (text, email, phone call). It is very important to be available and responsive. I guarantee a timely response to all online/mobile inquiries about your home. Your house will be featured on:
- My Real estate Facebook page
- My website and blog
e) Follow-up and communication with you through the process
You will receive a “Weekly Listing Report” from me which would include the following:
- Feedback from local agents and brokers
- Number of showings
- Number of online views on various websites
- Market updates: new listings, price reductions, sold properties
f) Evaluate offers and negotiate
Online and paperless transaction or the traditional way; whichever you prefer. I use DocuSign for a faster and smoother transaction. You can learn more about these below. Here is what we will do together in this phase of the process:
- Review the qualifications of the prospective buyer
- Call the prospective buyer’s loan officer and confirm financing approval
- Prepare counter offer
- Coordinate home inspection, appraisal, and survey
- Review and negotiate home inspection items
- Recommend resources to you (contractors)
- Guide you through all the deadlines in the contract
- Update you on buyer’s loan status
- Provide the buyer with HOA/Condo docs, if applicable
- Schedule settlement and coordinate with the buyer’s agent to provide all the necessary documents to the settlement company
- Schedule and set up the final walk-through
g) Close and move out
- Coordinate closing date, time, location
- Follow up on details to ensure smooth closing
- Review HUD-1 statement with you
- Provide copies of all closing documents.