Do you believe that homes sell themselves in today’s hot seller’s market?
If you do, I recommend you continue reading. While there is a severe housing shortage and many listings sell in just a few days, it takes a lot of experience and effort to get top dollar and find a reliable buyer who will not back out of the contract and close on time.
Let me give you a behind-the-scenes look into a recent sale I just closed in Dublin for $556,378. The house was listed for $485,000, but I was able to net the owner an extra $71,378 above the list price.
Here’s how I did it:
The Pre-Listing Consultation
It all begins with a winning plan. During my initial consultation with the owners, I recommended several high impact upgrades to their house. I wanted to make sure they would not over-improve the property.
Instead, I suggested items that produce the best return on their investment, such as painting, new light fixtures, door handles and minor repairs.
Aggressive Marketing for Maximum Exposure
The typical agent puts a sign in the yard, loads the property on the MLS, and waits for buyers to show up.
I believe in aggressive marketing to promote your home to the largest audience possible. The more buyers who see your house, the more offers you will receive, and this will likely ignite a bidding war.
First, I hire a professional photographer to capture high quality pictures, both inside and out. I always create a 3D virtual tour. Only 3.5% of all listings offer virtual tours, so that’s very unique.
Virtual tours help us pre-select buyers. In today’s market there is little time for live showings. With a virtual tour we give buyers a chance to preview the property, without wasting their time driving to a house that does not meet their needs. This leaves more showing time slots for serious buyers.
For this listing I mailed 1,942 jumbo color postcards to surrounding neighborhoods.
I launched a paid Facebook ad campaign that was seen by 1,027 users; 84 of them clicked on the ad to see property details.
I also ran online ads on the Google advertising network that resulted in 1,364 additional views.
Finally, I sent an email blast to 2,744 potential buyers, created a property website, and promoted the listing on all real estate websites, such as Zillow, Realtor.com, RE/MAX global, and, of course, on our local MLS.
My marketing strategy guarantees that everyone who’s looking for a home in Dublin will see your listing!
Our marketing campaign generates a lot of interest in your listing. Buyers and their agents start lining up to see the inside as soon as the listing goes live.
I usually launch the listing on Thursday morning and keep the property open for showings for 4 full days, until Sunday evening.
I use an online service to schedule showings in 30-minute segments without overlaps. You will know exactly who’s going through your house and at which time.
I receive email feedback from agents after each showing, which helps us address concerns immediately and uncover their motivation to make an offer.
For the Newgrange house we had 43 showings in 4 days. The homeowner left town for a few days to avoid the hustle of back-to-back showings and keep their home in pristine condition.
As the listing agent, it is my responsibility to communicate with all showing agents. I request feedback after a showing, answer their questions, uncover buyer motivation, and solicit offers.
I am constantly on the phone while showings are happening.
I can’t overstate how important it is to communicate with the buyer’s agents.
It is my opportunity to explain to them how to write offers and the terms that are most beneficial for my client (the homeowner).
Collecting Offers without Cutting Showing Times
After the first day of showings, we received an incredible offer for $50K above list price. The agent asked if we would accept it and cancel further showings.
We did not.
I honestly did not anticipate that we would get any better offers. However, we did not accept it right away as I promised other agents to keep the listing open for showings until Sunday.
All too often agents and their sellers accept the first offer and take the property off the market, sometimes mere hours after going live.
I don’t believe this is in the best interest of the seller, because it limits the number of qualified buyers who can view the property.
As we then discovered on this listing, the first offer is not always the best. The best offer was submitted on the last day of showings for a substantially higher price and better terms.
Presentation of the Offer Matrix
Altogether, we received 7 written and 3 verbal offers. The verbal offers were not competitive, so the agents did not want to put them in writing.
Seven offers with different terms are confusing for most homeowners.
Therefore, I prepare an offer matrix to highlight the specific terms of each contract, such as: price, type of financing, cash to cover an appraisal shortage, waived contingencies, waived inspections, waived remedies, closing at the seller’s date of choice, and extended possession for the seller.
I consider it my duty to advise the seller on the risks associated with each of the offers. After all, 30% of contracts never close.
When I have the offer matrix ready, I start negotiating for more favorable terms with the individual buyers agents.
For this house, the buyers waived the appraisal contingency in its entirety and provided proof of funds that they were able to contribute the additional money if needed. Basically, the sellers were guaranteed to receive a full offer price from this buyer.
The winning offer had the highest sales price and no contingencies.
Contract to Close
Once the contract is signed the buyers apply for financing. As there were no contingencies in the contract, all we had to do was wait for closing day.
During this time, I remained in constant contact with my clients, as well as the buyer’s agent to ensure their financing was on track.
All went well and we closed according to plan.
The sellers were very excited about this transaction. Not only did they net an extra $71,378 over list price, they also did not have to worry about inspections or remedies or contract deadlines, as I managed the complete transaction on their behalf.
What’s Important When Selecting a Listing Agent
Most agents will not dedicate that much time and money when they list your house.
Discount agents cannot afford the extensive marketing campaigns we implement. They certainly will not spend the time to negotiate aggressively with every single buyer to get the very best contract for you.
Here’s what matters the most when you select an agent:
- Extensive local experience
- World-class marketing
- Proven negotiation skills
- Dedicated to detail
- Communication 24/7
If you are thinking about selling, please take a few minutes to read my client testimonials.
Then give me a call or text me at (614) 975-9650 to schedule a free consultation!
I promise to deliver an exceptional selling experience and protect you from the emotional roller coaster many sellers experience when they work with an inexperienced agent or try to sell by themselves.
Note: This article turned out a little longer than anticipated. There’s just a lot to do when you sell a house.