I am at your Service!
If you’re getting ready to sell your home, finding a listing agent should be at the top of your to-do list. But just what is a listing agent?
You might have a vague mental image of someone who plants a “For Sale” sign on your front lawn and shows potential buyers around your place, but there’s plenty more to it.
Choosing the right agent makes or breaks your sale, and all agents are not all created equal! ~Meredith
Step 1: Price
How much is your home worth? That’s a hard question to answer. You can get an estimated value by entering your address on Zillow or Realtor.com but from there you'll need to dig deeper to position your home properly—and that’s where I take over.
And the stakes are high: Price your home too low, and you could lose out on a lot of money. Price it too high, however, and the picture isn’t pretty either. While it may be tempting to work with an agent who says he can fetch a fortune for your home, overpricing may mean your home languishes on the market for months or even years—making buyers wonder if something’s wrong with your home and lowball you anyway.
As your listing agent I have many duties and responsibilities, but at the top of that list is to properly price your home. I examine comparable homes and recent transactions, but also analyze other factors that will affect our marketing and pricing plan—jobs, schools, economic factors all come into play.
Step 2: Prepare.
As tempting as it may be to rush to put your home on the market, let's make sure we're ready to show your home to agents and buyers.
As your listing agent, I have an exhaustive checklist I'll follow and manage before we launch our full scale marketing plan—here is my short list of most important things we will do to prepare for your sale:
Clean, Clean Clean! No-one wants to visit, much less buy! a dirty home. Roll up your sleeves or let me coordinate a top-to-bottom cleaning.
Repaint the walls in neutral colors. As much as you love your dramatic red dining room, it could turn off a good portion of your potential buyers. So we'll repaint your rooms in neutral tones such as grays, tans, and whites that allow buyers to focus on the spaces, not the color of the walls
Get rid of bulky furniture. Your furniture should fit the scale of the room, so get rid of any extra or oversized items that could make your space look smaller than it really is. For example, if you have a huge sectional in your family room, consider breaking it up and use just the main sofa portion. I can coordinate temporary storage for your items while we're listed.
Organize your closets. Storage space is a huge selling point, and if your closets are stuffed to the brim, buyers will think you don’t have enough of it. Invest in some boxes, dividers, and other solutions that will help you organize your space, and remove items you don’t need (you can stow them away until you move). Want to blow your potential buyers away? Install an upgraded organizer shelving system.
Tackle that honey-do list. All those little things you’ve been meaning to do but never got around to? Do them. Buyers will notice minor flaws, and they’ll detract from the value of your home. So set aside a weekend to tighten those loose doorknobs, fix that leaky faucet, and paint over the scuffs from when you first moved in your sofa. Not handy? I'll have one of my handyman helpers come and take care of it all!
Do a faux renovation. Little tweaks can make a big difference in the overall feel of a room. Kitchen a bit outdated? Replace the fixtures, faucets, and hinges. Family-room furniture beaten up? Throw some slipcovers over it. Give each room a purpose. That spare room you’ve been using as an office/guest room/dumping ground won’t help us sell your home unless we show buyers how they can use it themselves. So pick a use (office, guest room, crafts room) and clearly stage the space to showcase that purpose.
Turn the bathroom into a spa. Create the feel of a relaxing, luxurious bath—for less than $30. Stack a few pretty washcloths tied with ribbon, add some candles and orchids, and buy bathmats and towels in coordinating tones such as light green, blue, and white.
Boost the curb appeal. Don’t spend all your time indoors. Buyers may decide to not enter a home based on its curb appeal, so make sure your home’s exterior looks excellent. Trim shrubs, weed flower beds, remove and refresh any peeling paint, and keep the walkway clear. Just adding a row of potted plants along the walkway or a cheerful wreath to your front door can make a big difference.
Step 3: Marketing
Our goal with marketing your home is to gain as much exposure in the market as possible. Increased exposure puts your home in front of the greatest number of potential buyers. The larger our pool of buyers, the higher the likelihood we have to field multiple offers. And, any time we receive multiple offers, we’re creating an atmosphere where prospective buyers will offer their highest and best price in order to compete with other offers.
My strategy will be to run a promotional blitz as soon as your home hits the market. Techniques we'll incorporate in this marketing blitz are:
Printed materials such as flyers, pamphlets, postcards, etc. that buyers can take home
Listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) complete with all descriptive details
Professional quality photographs and/or virtual tour of your home on the Internet
Featured listing on numerous websites such as Zillow, and my agency’s company website—the list of potential sites is quite long
Post the listing on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
Host a “Brokers' Tour” the first week on the market
Plus, a number of other tricks and techniques to ensure maximum exposure
If done properly, these marketing techniques can unleash a great deal of power and help to propel your listing above the competition. And while I am responsible for creating the lion's share of these items, the key to their effectiveness is your commitment to having your home properly staged.
Photos and video virtual tours should only be taken once your house is in pristine condition—I will manage that process for you.
We need everything to be perfect when we invite a group of agents to tour your home. Staging is of critical importance for both the interior and exterior of your home. If we stage your property well, you will make a good first impression—and there is nothing more valuable when trying to sell your home.
Step 4: Negotiate & Close
Once we get an offer on your home, it’s my job to present it to you and advise if any haggling needs to be done. For instance, if we get an offer way below asking price, your knee-jerk reaction may be to refuse in a huff. But I can negotiate with the buyers and bring that price up to a decent level—or, if the buyers truly can’t budge much, find other ways to sweeten the deal like a faster closing date or waived contingencies. These compromises can actually save you tens of thousands of dollars.
As your listing agent, I don’t receive a dime unless your home gets sold. If it does, the typical agent commission is 6% of the price of your home (which is split between the listing agent and the buyer’s agent). This price may seem substantial, but consider this: For every hour I spend with you, I will spend an average of nine hours behind the scenes working on your behalf. In other words, I work hard to earn that commission and get your home sold.