PLANNING, PREPARATIONS, PRICING, & PRESENTATION
We begin by clarifying your desired outcome — what you hope to realize (both personally and financially) from the sale, where you expect to go after selling this property, how quickly you want to get there, and any other events that must occur first.
The following describes the way I manage the process of a conventional sale. Of course this will vary if you live outside Sonoma County or if the property is sold as a Short Sale (for less than owed on the mortgage) and therefore requires lender participation and consent — for information on this unique situation please visit the Short Sale page.
At a first meeting I typically assess the property's condition and make recommendations related to inspections, repairs, staging, timing — to maximize sale proceeds. We'll discuss how much time and money you're able and/or willing to commit to preparations and which details you expect to attend to yourself and which you'd like me to take care of. From this conversation we can develop a tentative action plan that suits your timeframe and personal resources.
I encourage you to choose a level of involvement that suits you — whether this means managing most of the property preparations yourself or delegating as much as possible to me. Whatever your preference, candid communication must be at the heart of the process, so that no matter what roles we play, we work as a team.
Unlike most agents, only after completing the above, will I complete the Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), used to arrive at a pricing recommendation. In order to make a meaningful comparison between your property and others currently on the market or that have recently sold, as a practical matter, I must first have much more information than age, square footage, and location. Your home's particular amenities, your willingness to complete recommended pest inspection work and any other needed repairs in advance and to do staging and make it easy to show, will all have a significant effect on its salability and on what you may then expect to receive at sale. Therefore I believe it my duty to take all factors impacting value into consideration before making a pricing recommendation.
At a follow-up meeting we can discuss my findings and recommendations. If you'd like, I can also give you a tour of the competition — homes recently sold and those currently on the market — so you can more knowledgeably and confidently participate in this discussion. In any case, we'll revisit the original action plan to arrive at a common vision of what exactly will be completed before putting the property on the market — including determining what you'll do, what I'll do, what will be performed by others and who will make those arrangements. This plan then becomes the basis of our marketing strategy.
Only after agreement on an action plan do I suggest executing a listing contract, which sets the time period, the list price, and the commission rate. Unlike many agents, I am not interested in your signing a listing contract at our first meeting —in hopes of arriving at some mutually agreeable selling strategy in the future— I want to be sure that we see eye to eye first.
MARKETING: Pricing and property presentation are steps one and two of marketing. Statistics show that the greatest interest and best offers occur during the first two weeks that a property is on the market. So completing all preparations and setting a list price that corresponds with the actual condition and appearance of the property before allowing agents or their clients to view the property is critical to successful marketing. As the saying goes, "you have only one chance to make a first impression", and I am committed to orchestrating the presentation of your property as carefully as if directing an opening night performance — to get great 'word-of-mouth' reviews — to generate an initial response that is enthusiastic and energetic, causing agents to scour their minds for who they might know who could be the perfect match for this great opportunity.
Online exposure is of the next greatest importance. Listing on the BAREIS (Bay Area Real Estate Information Services) website is mandatory. Commonly referred to simply as The MLS (Multiple Listing Service), BAREIS is the feeder site for all major real estate data packaging services, such as Realtor.com and GreatHomes.org. I also provide online exposure via participation in various social media platforms that drive traffic to my company website and blog. We can also utilize an address specific website — www.YourHomeAddress.com — on street signage and in print ,and include a video tour (which could also be posted on youtube), if desired.
Most important of all is getting buyers who are good matches to the property while it is fresh on the market. The best way to do this is by attracting those agents who work every day with buyers — whom they've already screened and qualified based on genuine commitment and financial ability to purchase such a home. Normally, posting in the MLS and attracting agents to a Brokers' Open House (which I recommend scheduling for the first few days that a property is on the market) will accomplish this. However properties with attributes that are not readily picked up through ordinary data searches — such as exceptional views, unique secondary structures or architectural style, or extraordinary privacy — may justify sending emails directly to agents, as well as real estate magazine coverage, to attract the attention needed.
OFFER REVIEW & NEGOTIATIONS: As offers are made I will assist you in analyzing and comparing their merits and determining the likelihood of particular offers succeeding. Is the buyer truly pre-approved? Are they genuinely committed to making an offer work, or are they just 'fishing'? Does the time frame they've indicated match well with yours? I query the buyer's agent for any details of interest not made clear in the offer's written terms.
What if an offer is close to working but needs some modification to genuinely please you? I work with you to create a counteroffer that addresses the changes you desire, crafting its wording so that it has a high likelihood of being positively received. I will also accompany this counteroffer with a cover letter or a personal call to the buyer's agent in support of and to advocate for your position — assertively negotiating on your behalf for acceptance from the other side.
MANAGING THE TRANSACTION: Once an offer is accepted I manage the process from beginning to end — monitoring compliance on both sides from the time of acceptance until closing -- making sure that the title report, your disclosures, and any other documents required by law or specifically requested by the contract are delivered on your behalf and returned from the buyer in accordance with the terms of the contract and on time.
If the buyer requests a concession after reviewing disclosures or conducting investigations — most commonly this would be in the form of a request for repairs, a price reduction, or a change in the closing date — I'll assist you in assessing the merits of the request and negotiate on your behalf for a win-win resolution.
CLOSING THE TRANSACTION: I will accompany you to the escrow office when it is time to sign final documents to assure that you are allowed whatever time you require to review this paperwork and to be sure that it accurately represents what you've agreed to.
If previously agreed that you will remain on the property for some period following the closing, I will assist you in coordinating delivery of possession to the new owners as promised and arrange for a final transfer of all keys.
SUCCESSFUL MANAGEMENT of the overall sales transaction is my business — pricing advice, staging guidance, assuring proper disclosures are made, developing and implementing a marketing strategy, inspection and repair work coordination, contract compliance assistance, assertive advocacy, and expert negotiation — my goal is to economize the use of your time and to make your move as smooth and profitable as possible.
I can assist you in deciding whether to sell your home now or later. I've worked with Sonoma County sellers for 17 years and enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience. I would be happy to have the opportunity for us to get to know each other a bit and to discover whether we might work together well. Give me a call.
Toll free 877-823-8329
Monday - Saturday 10:30am - 6:30pm
Sundays - 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Department of Real Estate License # 01169237