WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS IN CHOOSING A REAL ESTATE AGENT TO SELL YOUR HOME?
2. Professional Photographs & Photography
3. Pre-Marketing, Marketing, Marketing and More Marketing
4. Hiring a RESPONSIVE Agent
5. Negotiation and Communication Skills
How I Provide Legal Protection For My Sellers, What I’ll Do For You and Helping You Prepare To Sell
1. LEGAL PROTECTION
Real estate is serious business and there are severe consequences for fraud or mistakes. You don’t want your Realtor pretending to know how to do things and get you in trouble.
Here, I explain some of the marketing I’ll do for your home and what we’ll do together to prepare your home to sell, but first, and what I believe to be EXTREMELY important is law. I’m a HUGE stickler for protecting my Sellers legally, and of course, I hold the same standard of practice for my buyers. I study law as a hobby as I love it, but I also believe (and know) there is an obligation to understand real estate law when practicing real estate and handling such important documentation. Selling a home is usually one of the most important transactions you will be making in your lifetime. Even if you have sold homes before, it’s not an everyday task for you. I understand that and make sure there will be nothing that can come back and bite you in the you-know-what.
What always baffles and frustrates me about so many REALTORS in the State of Arizona is that they don’t understand the privilege us agents are given to practice real estate and real estate law, to a very large extent, along with the counsel we’re allowed to give. Combined with the responsibility that goes into writing our Purchase Contracts, Addendum’s and other forms that go with our transactions is greater than most states. There is a heavier burden of responsibility on Arizona licensed agents as we have many legal rights. So many states REQUIRE attorney’s to be involved with real estate transactions. Arizona does not. They rely on the expertise of the licensed REALTOR and most agents do not understand this, respect this or appreciated this, let alone take it seriously. I do. In a BIG way.
ALL paperwork, whether it’s initially executed by me or the other agent, is scoured by me with a fine toothed comb. Again, the legal rights Arizona Realtors are privileged to is often not taken seriously by a high number of agents who, as a result, are constantly putting their clients at risk. I believe this is irresponsible as it gets so I’m constantly making sure their paperwork is also up to par. I repeat this because we’re talking about legal and binding documents which are obviously extremely important to have done thoroughly and correctly in real estate transactions. I understand, respect, take seriously and abide by the fiduciary responsibilities given to us licensed agents. I cannot express this enough. Add on the complexities that can sometimes come with historic homes, and there are a lot of details that need attention.
2. PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
More than 90% of actual foot traffic to your home for sale will come from buyers who have first seen your home online.
I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when I see that the bulk of listings on the market have terrible photos! This is just not doing you, the seller, any justice but that’s not just my opinion! According to a study done by the National Association of Realtors and Redfin, professionally photographed homes tend to sell for more money and sell faster than homes listed with point-and-shoot cameras. The study also found that homes priced between $200,000 and $1 million sold for an average of $3,400 to $11,200 more than their list prices when professionally photographed than homes with amateur photos. For homes priced between $400,000 and $499,999, the study found that homes professionally photographed sold for $11,200 more! That’s HUGE!
Additionally, researchers tracking the eye movements of subjects who looked at online home listings found that more than 95% of users viewed the first photo, the one that shows the exterior of the home, for a total of 20 seconds. The study also found that homes that were professionally photographed also tended to sell faster by 21 days. This isn’t small potatoes and what I want for you! Like I always say, I don’t like leaving money on the table, and I won’t for you!
I HIRE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS TO TAKE PICTURES OF ALL MY LISTINGS
On every home that I represent for sale, my photographers take professional photographs throughout the entire home, property grounds and street shots. Using tripods, they use different lenses and lighting and then process the photos with high technology software. We take shots at various times of day and night in order to capture “twilight” shots in addition to natural light for daytime and evening shots.
I post a TON of super high quality pictures because it’s important and drives more traffic. Additionally, Buyers love it, other agents love it and I guarantee you will love it! Plus, real estate related websites like Realtor.com (for one example) have a higher indexing rate when more pictures are posted. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “… Listings with better photos command higher asking prices…” The only exception is if you’re selling a “fixer-upper.” But even then I provide a lot of pictures to give a true representation of the property for sale.
3. MARKETING & PRE-MARKETING
HELPING YOU PREPARE TO SELL
Before we can list your home for sale, it has to be in tip-top shape. If time is needed to accomplish this, that’s OK because I begin my pre-marketing.
First, knowing how to professionally spruce up your home is part of the preparation which I will help guide you step-by-step by while walking through your home with you. Yes, I give you a lot to do in order to help you get your home ready to sell, but the outcome is wonderful!
The longer a seller’s home is on the market, the less attractive the home becomes to buyers. The best home selling tricks are to prepare it for sale. price it right, hire the best listing agent and attract that excited home buyer who will offer top dollar in record time.
There are just a few things I’m going to strongly suggest and encourage you to do in order to prepare:
DE-CLUTTER AND DE-PERSONALIZE. Think of this process as a head-start on the packing you will eventually need to do anyway.
- Remove most books from bookcases
- Pack up those knickknacks
- Clean off everything on kitchen and bathroom counters
- Pack up those personal photographs and family heirlooms. Most buyers can’t see past personal artifacts so you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own photos on the walls.
REARRANGE BEDROOM CLOSETS AND KITCHEN CABINETS
Buyers who love to snoop will open closet and cabinet doors, plus, they’re looking at space size. When buyers see everything organized, they tend to believe that you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well. So, I suggest:
- Neatly stack dishes and cups
- Turn coffee cup handles facing the same way
- Hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction
- Line up shoes
MAKE MINOR REPAIRS
- If you’ve considered replacing a worn bedspread, now would be a great time.
- Replace burned-out light bulbs.
- Consider painting your walls neutral colors, especially if you have grown accustomed to purple or pink walls.
- Fix doors that don’t close properly and kitchen drawers that jam.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Patch holes in walls.
- Replace cracked floor or counter tiles.
MAKE THE HOME SPARKLE
- Wash windows inside and out
- Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior
- Clean out cobwebs
- Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
- Polish chrome faucets and mirrors
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Vacuum daily
- Wax floors
- Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures
- Bleach dingy grout
- Replace or throw out worn rugs
- Hang up fresh towels
- Bathroom towels look great fastened with ribbon and bows
- Deep clean and air out any musty smelling areas. Odors are one of the quickest ways to get someone to leave.
SPRUCE UP CURB APPEAL
If a buyer won’t get out of their agent’s car because they don’t like the exterior of your home, you may not get them inside.
- Keep the sidewalks cleared
- Mow the lawn
- Paint faded window trim
- Plant colorful flowers or group flower pots together
- Trim your bushes
HOME STAGING ADVICE
Staging is what you do after you’ve cleaned, decluttered, painted and made minor repairs. It’s all about dressing the house for sale and adding the small details. It’s a proven fact that staging a home properly helps it fetch top dollar more quickly! There are many approaches to this which I will discuss with you.
Even before agents see the listing in Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS), I do heavy marketing upfront. From letting your neighbors know (if you want me to) combined with getting the word out to buyers who are actively looking in your neighborhood, signage and a TON of social media, people will know that your home is about to go on the market and I’ll create a “buzz” of excitement. Several “coming soon” announcements will go out on all social media like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more.
PREPARING TO GO LIVE ON ARIZONA MLS
After your house is in the best showing condition as possible and I have a bunch of professional pictures, I put together a wonderful listing on Arizona MLS. I am a Journalist by trade, so my written descriptions of my listings a very unique, sassy, fun, upbeat and detailed featuring any & all selling points of the home. BUT STICKING A SIGN IN YOUR FRONT YARD AND GOING LIVE ON MLS IS NOT ENOUGH! I DON’T JUST LIST AND WALK AWAY!
Once Your Listing Is Live on Arizona MLS (Multiple Listing Service)
SYNDICATION OF LISTINGS AND HEAVY ONLINE PRESENCE
All of my listings have a VERY heavy overall Internet presence, and, have a HUGE presence on social media and are also syndicated which is the process of getting a listing’s information displayed on other sites around the Internet. You will get the most widespread on-line exposure possible with literally MILLIONS of viewers 24 hours a day, seven days a week and when I get an inquiry, I RESPOND IMMEDIATELY! Take a look at just SOME of the widespread visibility I make certain your listing will get visitors from:
FEATURING YOUR HOME’S LISTING ON MY WEBSITES AND ALL SOCIAL MEDIA
Each listing gets its own dedicated pages under my featured listings section of my website and cross-linked to many, many other pages within my site. I also send out blog posts and I consistently send out all of my listings and their pictures on Twitter, Google Plus, Linked In, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. I even run manual Craigslist ads which are more powerful than many people think. Call me today at (602) 400-0008 so I can go over all the additional marketing techniques I use in order to sell your home for the most money in the shortest amount of time.
4. HIRING A RESPONSIVE AGENT
Once your house is all spruced up and I’ve put a classy sign and post in your yard with custom riders, we go live on MLS. The calls from people driving by, and, from other agents begin coming in and the scheduling of showings begins. The first sign of how good an agent is, is whether they answer their phone or return calls quickly. The phone call from a potential client is one of the best leads for an agent, yet many agents ignore calls or take days to return calls even to fellow agents. This is so wrong and pathetic I cannot even begin to describe. I answer my phone at all hours of the day and night, 7-days a week, and if I’m on another call and someone leaves a message, I call back immediately. Period.
I then set up the showing(s) and continue working. I never, ever leave one phone call behind and quite often end up bringing the buyer to the table as well through my communication and marketing skills combined.
Once the showings begin, I keep track of each one and immediately follow up with the agent who showed your home. I email them requests with your listing (as agents often see many house daily) asking for detailed feedback from both parties and share that feedback with you, the seller. If they don’t email me back, I call them. Unfortunately, not all showing agents will provide feedback. I am successful in connecting with about 80-85%% of them. Sometimes this is through email and sometimes through direct dialog.
Until your home sells, I follow up with all agents who showed your home to see if there is any renewed interest from their buyer(s) and give them any and all updated information in your home, if any. Following through with other agents is very important and not all agents do so.
5. NEGOTIATION AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS
I love to negotiate! In real estate transactions, most negotiations are based on two factors: Price and Terms. I learn as much about the Buyer’s party as possible, and in particular their motivation for entering into the proposed transaction.
It’s important to note upfront that market conditions can play a huge factor in negotiating. If it’s a Buyer’s market where inventory is high, often the Seller’s have to give a little bit more. If it’s a Seller’s market, the Buyer may have to give a little bit more.
That said, many people think negotiating price is the most important factor. Price, of course, IS very, very important and I am committed to getting you the highest dollar amount for your home. I live by not leaving money on the table and I won’t for you. I am a tiger when it comes to negotiating price and do so with finesse, grace and class.
Many people don’t realize how negotiating terms can be used in their favor and negotiating terms begin the moment you get an offer.
There are many terms to negotiate but here are a few examples:
When drafting an offer, a buyer generally includes several contractual terms that protect the buyer at the seller’s expense. For example, there is a financing contingency, so if financing fails the buyer gets back his earnest money. There is an inspection contingency, so if the buyer is not satisfied with the condition of the property the buyer gets his earnest money back. I have an intimate understanding of these potential contractual terms and make sure that they are fair and ethical. Many terms are automatically spelled out in the Purchase Contract but everything is negotiable. Everything!
Another big and often underestimated set of negotiations are repairs requested after the Buyer performs their home inspections. This phase is called the Buyer’s Inspection Notice and Seller’s Response, or, BINSR for short. Sometimes Buyer’s are incredibly unreasonable and try to take advantage of the situation by making things seem much worse than they are.
One of my biggest pet peeves is dealing with those buyers who intentionally use a home inspection as an opportunity to re-negotiate the transaction. Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of times when a Buyer is justified in asking a Seller to make repairs for unsatisfactory conditions to major systems like the electrical, plumbing, roof and foundation.
A Buyer, however, that expects a home to be delivered like it’s new construction is not getting good guidance from their agent. You would not believe how often I get a punch list after a home inspection for some of the most benign things. The purpose of a home inspection is to find major defects that would cause a buyer not to want to move forward with the transaction or at the very least have these items repaired. If major problems are discovered that should be fixed then that is a different story. That is the real purpose of a home inspection.
A Buyer who is under the false pretense that a home inspection is for the purpose of creating a long punch list that will be remedied by the Seller is setting themselves up for a contentious sale. This can be upsetting to the Seller but I will make sure that this process is fair and ethical and that the inspection is not the Buyers opportunity to change the agreed upon contract terms.
Rest assured, I will not let a Buyer’s party take advantage of you during the Buyer’s Inspection Notice and Seller’s Response.
OTHER WAYS I HELP
There is a wide variety of additional ways I help make my clients life easier. For example, if your home is vacant or becomes vacant at any point during the listing and through the sale, I will constantly check on it to make sure all is well no matter where the home is which hopefully gives you a peace of mind.
Probably most importantly, the representation you will get from me is top notch. I have great relations with other agents, build positive rapports with other agents and people in general. I am an excellent, hard core, top-notch negotiator and will guide you through the transaction and strategy from beginning to end. I don’t just list and walk away.
Whether you’re buying or selling in Central or Downtown Phoenix, or just have some questions about anything at all in or about any one of the historic districts in Phoenix, I’d be very happy to help you! Just call or email me anytime and get your no obligation home valuation.
For the utmost, personalized service or to get some questions answered, I’m just a phone call away at (602) 400-0008.Let's Get Social: