Experience Matters:

It may seem like selling a home is a straight forward ordeal, but it rarely is.  There’s more to selling your home than just planting a sign and hoping for a sale.  As a Realtor, I’m here to help you through that process, so you don’t have to stress about it.

These days, 90% of transactions start on the Internet.  The perfect buyer for your home could be around the corner or around the world.  As a result, you need a Realtor who is ready to handle anything.  I spent twenty years in the military and I learned about leadership, responsibility and managing both people and situations.  For me, this is not a part-time job or a hobby.  Real Estate is my life.

When it comes down to getting the job done, I believe you treat everyone with a level of respect and give people the benefit of the doubt.  It’s my business to handle the real estate transaction for you and that’s exactly what I’ll do.  Whether you are as far north as Castle Rock or as far south as Pueblo, I’m here to provide you with an honest real estate experience.    If you are interested in a no-obligation listing presentation, you can contact me by clicking here.

The Definition of Sales Success:

As a client, there really are only three ways to measure success when it comes to selling a home.  You want the top price, you want the timing to be right and you want to sell your home with the least possible inconvenience.  At the beginning of this process, we’ll discuss pricing, timing, and convenience.

Buyers are created, not waited for:

Buyers are created, not waited for.  What this means, you need to take every advantage you can, when it comes to listing your home for sale.  According to the National Association of Realtors, 90% of real estate transactions start on the Internet.  As a seller, what this means, is that image is everything.  How your home is presented online will make all the difference in the world.  In fact, it could make a difference whether you get full price or a lower offer.

I will create sales material for the sale of your home, that will maximize your ability to be seen by potential buyers.  This includes marketing to other Realtors I know, presenting your listing at the Local Realtor Board, and putting out the word on social media.

Buyers also come from other places as well.  These places include: from other Real Estate Brokers via MLS and yard signs.  You may even get buyers because of open houses, print advertising, magazines, and television ads, although they are becoming less and less likely.

The Marketing Plan:

Every home is different, so your marketing plan may differ slightly from what I outline here.  However, the basics will be the same.

  • Before we start marketing your home, I will do a walk through with you, to point out what I see, and what the buyer’s may see when then come through your home.  Buyers and sellers see things differently.  I state this up front, because I don’t want you to think I’m personally coming after you for something.  I’m not.  It’s about making you aware, so that we can address any issues that might come up.
  • I highly recommend staging your home and bringing in a professional photographer.  This is an expense that I build into my process.  I have a number of professional independent photographers that I work with, as well as working with a number of services.  My experience is simply this.  Great pictures attract buyers, showings, and offers.  Even the smallest place or a place that is empty can benefit from professional pictures.
  • Every property I list goes into MLS.  This may seem obvious, but let’s talk about the differences.  When I meet with you about listing your home for sale, not only am I going to ask you a bunch of questions (you’ll be tired of me when you are done) about your home, but also I’ll be asking you a bunch of questions about your home.  The reason for this, is in order to write an appealing description of your home, I need to get inside your head and learn about your home from you.  I can then take that and transform it into a beautifully attractive description of your house.  This will compliment your home’s pictures to attract the perfect buyer.  It’s also important that as much information as possible is included in your listing.  The more information you provide, the better the listing, the more likely it is to sell.
  • I’ll advertise your home on 60 other major real estate listing sites.  This helps because the more exposure your home gets, the more likely it is to sell.  These sites include:  Zillow, ReColorado, Trulia, Realtor.com, HGTV Front Door, AOL Real Estate, Homesnap, Homefinder.com, Comcast on Demand, CNN Money, RealtyTrac, RedFin, Homes.com, and Yahoo Real Estate.
  • I may personally visit the Board of Realtors and present your home to the Realtors present at the marketing meetings.  Every week, Realtors from all over Colorado Springs meet to network and present their listings to other Realtors.  This is a great opportunity to bring attention to your home to a large amount of Realtors in a short period of time.
  • I’ll place a yard sign to attract people in the neighborhood.  I’ve actually sold several houses because potential buyers saw the yard signs and called to inquire and then eventually bought the home.  Never underestimate the power of a yard sign well placed.
  • I’ll notify my networks of Realtors about your home for sale.  I have three different networks of Realtors.  I have a personal list of over 400 Realtors that I have worked with in the past that I can notify about your home for sale.  I have access to a network of between 2,000 and 4,000 Real Estate Agents and Realtors I work with, that I can notify within a few days, highlighting your home and why they should consider bringing their buyers.
  • I’ll announce your listing across social media platforms, including Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • I may produce and distribute a video of your home, utilizing YouTube.
  • I believe in over communicating, so I will communicate with you frequently, in the style you prefer, either text, email, or phone calls, regarding the status of showings, and the process of selling your home.
  • I will provide you with feedback from showings on a regular basis, on the status of the sale of your home.
  • When offers come in, I will evaluate all offers, negotiate on your behalf and negotiate a final agreement to protect your best interests.
  • My team and I will coordinate the entire closing process for you, to minimize your stress.
  • I will personally attend closing and review all closing documents prior to close to advise you, should it be necessary.

My 100% Guarantee:

As a Realtor, I take great pride in my work.  I do meticulous research, I study properties and sales charts and I geek out on the analytics of figuring out how much I think your home can sell for and I make a plan accordingly.

As a result I guarantee my work 100%.  If you don’t like what I’m doing or you think it’s not working for you, we can terminate our agreement.  I never want to work with a client because a piece of paper says they have to.

If we don’t work well together, then I will release you from the contract.  At the same time, if I don’t feel like you are taking my advice and working with me, I may also terminate the contract.

My Job As A Listing Agent:  What I do for you.

As your Listing Agent, it’s my job to market your home, so you get the best possible price for your home.  If there is ever a question, ask.  I will input a complete listing into MLS.  This includes not only writing your listing, but also including pictures, as well as the most up to date information available.  Ideally we want at least 25 pictures.  The more pictures and the higher quality, the more likely we are to attract buyers.

I’ll install a For Sale sign.  This is so we can attract drive-by buyers and other people in the neighborhood, whom might be interested in either purchasing your home or telling someone they know about your home.  As discussed previously, I’ll implement a marketing plan based on your needs and wants.

Perhaps one of the most important responsibilities I have, is discussing pricing strategy with you.  I take a very in-depth analysis to this process.  With my background, I love looking at the data and finding the information that best fits your home.  As a result, I will spend a good deal of time studying your home, also your neighborhood and the sales in your neighborhood, to help determine the correct price of your home.  Often times, I can usually predict the price of the home within a couple thousand dollars of the actual selling price.

I will prepare all the advertising for your home, including flyers, and electronic marketing as necessary.  When people come through your home for showings, I’ll provide you with their feedback as they state it.  I will help you take this feedback and use it to your advantage, if it should become necessary to change anything in your listing, depending on the feedback.

Finally I’ll provide guidance on staging of your home and reviewing and negotiating contracts on your behalf.  

Your Responsibilities as a Seller Are:

As someone who is selling their home, you ‘have skin in the game’ as well.  As your Realtor, I can market your home to as many people as possible.  I can make I get people in the door.  However, there are a couple of responsibilities, that you as the owner are responsible for.  When we meet, we’ll need to talk about showing your home.  “Showing” is the process where other Realtors and Real Estate Agents bring their clients through your home, so they can consider buying.

Through this process, you will want to make any and all repairs you can to your home.  Remember, what you see as character, your potential buyer will see as something to be fixed.

Keeping the home as clean as possible should be your top priority.  Homes that are super clean sell faster and for more money.  This also includes ‘staging’ your home so it looks like a place someone would want to live.  Remember, they are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on average and you may only get one shot to make the right impression.

This is a going to sound bad, but you need to lock up your valuables and your prescriptions.  Remember you have people you don’t know coming through your home to look at your home.  Though most people are honest, there have been incidents of sellers missing jewelry and/or drug prescriptions.  You are better off locking those things up, rather than take the risk that someone might take them.

Finally, keep any marketing materials out, so that potential buyers and agents can pick them up.  If you know anyone, friends, family, acquaintances that might want to purchase your home, give me their information and I’ll reach out to them for you.  If you have questions, your job is to call me.   Above all, when a call for a showing comes in, make sure you are not at home.

Remember, as the seller of a home, you control only so much.  You control the property condition, the availability for someone to show your home, the price you are asking for your home, and whether you want to offer a home warranty.  Similarly, as the seller, you don’t control the competition, whether it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, what the interest rates will do, and when the perfect buyer will walk through your door.  So better to be ready at all times.  You never know, the next buyer to walk through your door, might just be ‘the one.’

Home Warranty Option:

Imagine you are considering buying one of two different properties.  They are similar in every way, except one comes with a home warranty.  As a seller, you may see a home warranty as an expense, but consider your buyers for a second.  A home warranty is basically a low cost insurance plan that protects against some of the risks a new homebuyer may face.  It could be the tipping point of why a buyer chooses one home over another.  Case in point, one of my clients last year purchased a home that came with a 14 month home warranty.  Six months after purchase, the water heater went out.

Instead of costing the buyer a great deal of money, the water heater was covered by the home warranty.  For the price of the deductible, $50, the new homeowner got a completely new hot water heater.  That’s the power of a home warranty.  Home warranties vary in what they cover, some will cover heating, plumbing, electrical, water heater or appliance breakdowns.  There are others that will cover you while your home is listed for sale.  Simply put, offering a home warranty can be an effective marketing tool.

Setting the Price:

Perhaps one of the hardest and most misunderstood concepts in Real Estate is pricing.  Now I may sound like one of those talking head economists here, but it’s the truth.  The market determines the price of your home.  No one goes out to buy a home and pay more than it’s worth.  Think about it, you may pay a little different price for a little bit of convenience, but no one is willing to pay astronomical prices for things they
can readily get.

That why when you go to fill up your car, the prices are all relatively the same, within a few cents.  It is because the market regulates prices.  People who are priced too high won’t sell anything and people who are priced too low, won’t have anything to sell.  Basic economics.

So, how do we set the price of your home?  By doing research.  As a Realtor, I love research.  As a result, I spend a lot of time researching my client’s properties.  I’ll want to take a tour of your home and see what your home looks like.  It’s likely that I’ll tour other homes for sale in your neighborhood, to see how they stack up to yours.  I’ll drive the neighborhood to see what it’s like during the day and at night. I’ll dig into the research and see what homes have sold in your neighborhood in the last three to six months.

What homes have sold for in the past three to six months is generally a good indication of what your home will sell for.  I’ll take into account the condition of your home against the condition of ones that sold.  From there, combined with my research, I can generally arrive at a number.

Keep in mind, what you paid, what you need, what you want, what your neighbor says, and what another real estate agent says have no determination on market value.  Arriving at a market value is an analytical process and anyone who tells you differently doesn’t know what they are talking about.  Just like the price of anything, people aren’t going to be willing to overpay, and they are not likely to underpay either.  The closer you get to fair market value, the faster you home is likely to sell.

If you want to know what your home will sell for, look around at the recently sold homes.  They will give you a good indication.  Homes currently under contract don’t count, because the deal may not close.  Homes that are up for sale don’t count, because you can ask anything you want for a home, it doesn’t mean it will sell for that.

So leave it to me and I’ll do the research and by happy to show you how and why I suggest a selling price for your home.

How long will it take to sell my home:

When it comes to selling a home, the first ten days are the most important.  The first ten days are when you home is new to the market and people haven’t seen it yet.  You might hear Realtors talking about how they have clients who have been looking for a long time and they have seen everything on the market and they don’t like anything.  These are more of these clients than you think.
Also, with the new technology that is available to both clients and Real Estate Agents, both can be notified as soon as a new property comes on the market.  As a result, as soon as your property is listed for sale, you need to be ready to have Real Estate Agents showing your home.

A common misconception among sellers is that a lot of showings will equal a lot of offers.  That’s not always the case.  In fact, your best chance to sell your home is in the first ten days of your home being listed for sale.  So, since we properly researched your home and came up with an appropriate price, the fact that you might get a quick offer around the price we set for your home doesn’t mean you should wait for a higher offer.  It means we priced your home right and as a result, a buyer agrees and is making an offer.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because an offer came in fast, means you should reject it.  Sometimes the best offers come in the fastest.  That’s why you have me.  I’ll read over and examine any offers you get and make a recommendation.  Ultimately the decision is yours, but if we did our homework correctly, a quick sale is not a sign that the price was too low.  It’s a sign the price was just right.

When you get an offer:

Usually, this is when people have one of two emotions.  They are either very happy or they are very offended.  Let me tell you, in Denver, there are a couple of agents who will bid obscenely low on every property that has gone on the market.  My first advice about bids, don’t take them personally.

I will make the same advice about a bid that comes in obscenely higher than asking price.  That’s equally not good.

Just because someone bids on a home, doesn’t mean that the home will actually sell for that price.  That’s why as your Realtor, I’m going to advise you on how you should react, depending on the situation.

As a seller you have several options.  If someone has toured your home and is willing to make an offer, consider the offer.  If you don’t like it, or there are issues with it, you can always counter-offer.  In other words, negotiate.  Negotiation is like playing poker.  Just because their first offer doesn’t have everything you want, doesn’t mean that you should reject it out of hand.  My suggestion, let’s talk and consider the situation and if possible offer a counter proposal.

Of course if you like the offer, you can accept it, and provided the terms are followed, your home is under contract and well on the way to getting sold.  What I almost never suggest is taking no action at all.  Always allow me to respond to a potential buyer, even if it is to say no thank you.

Remember, the highest offer isn’t always the best, just as the lowest offer isn’t always the worst.  There are things to consider like concessions and time frames.  But perhaps the biggest enemy is the overpriced bid.  When an offer comes in significantly above asking price, it’s not always that the home is underpriced or that I didn’t do my homework.  It’s a tactic used by buyers to freeze out other buyers from the process.  Let’s say your home is worth $300,000.  Then, let’s say you have multiple bids between $290,000 and $315,000.  Then, someone comes in and offers you $375,000.

Most people’s reaction would be to cancel any contact and accept the $375,000 offer.  But what happens if the house appraises lower than $375,000.  What’s going to happen is the buyers will come back and say something about how the house only came in at the lower number, and because of that the bank won’t finance their higher offer, so they want you to agree to the lower number for the house.  But they got the house, and you told other buyers to go away because of it.  Don’t get caught in that trap.  That’s just one of the reasons you’ve hired me to protect you from this.

After the contract is accepted:

Once you have accepted a contract, now a lot of work will begin, that you may or may not be aware of.  Usually the next step, after we disclose some paperwork, is the buyer’s will want to have your home inspected quickly.  The inspection usually runs between $200 and $500.  Keep in mind, the inspection is there to find problems with your home and a good inspector is going to find something.  Otherwise he can’t justify
his job.

Remember this:  the inspector’s job is to find problems. This will be part of the negotiation process.  Depending on how the negotiations went, will usually determine how the inspection goes.  If the negotiations were pleasant, expect the inspection to be to.  Once your home passes inspection, then the buyers will begin the process of getting approved for their mortgage to purchase your home.  There’s really nothing you can do, other than prepare to move out.  The buyers will be going through the mortgage process, which includes processing, underwriting and approval.  Most likely the mortgage company will ask to have the home appraised.  This is standard and you should expect an appraiser will be by in a couple of weeks.

After the appraisal is done, the final process is to transfer title of your home, at the closing.  The closing is when you officially turn over ownership of your home in exchange for money.  I’ll be there and I’ll be monitoring the process to make sure everything goes as planned.

With the final closing your home transaction on the selling side is complete.  As always, if you have questions, please click here to contact me.