EXCELLENCE IN REAL ESTATE

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1 HOUSE SELLING SECRETS Sell Your House FAST! For The Most CASH!

2 The key to selling your house for top dollar is to reach and impress the most buyers. Houses that sell the fastest are the ones that are seen the most and make the greatest impact on buyers. One of the easiest methods to do this is to price your house below market value, thus creating a great deal for the buyer. Doing this will bring in a lot of offers but probably won t provide the top dollar offer that you re looking for. The only way to reach the most buyers and bring in top dollar offers is through thorough preparation and aggressive marketing and advertising. Advertising is the process of notifying buyers that your house is for sale. The more thorough your advertising means that more buyers will know your house is on the market. Marketing is the process of creating interest in your house. The better your marketing means more buyers will come and see your house. Preparation is the process that will put top dollar offers in your hands. The more prepared you are to sell your house will allow your house to stand-out from the competition. In this article I will explain how to successfully Prepare, Advertise and Market your house to sell it FAST! And for the most CASH! Eighty percent of all houses sold use a Realtor to facilitate the transaction. On-average houses sold through a Realtor sell for $65,000 more than houses sold by the owner. The most important aspect of selling your house fast and for the most cash is to use a competent Realtor. Not only do houses sold through a competent Realtor sell faster and for more money, but the homeowners report the experience to be less stressful and more enjoyable. A competent Realtor is not the Realtor that you know from church or that has sold the most houses in a year. It s not the Realtor with the biggest team or that drives the nicest car. A competent Realtor is the one that has a successful House Selling Strategy that incorporates thorough preparation with an effective advertising and marketing plan. A competent Realtor will also have excellent communication and organizational skills and strong business ethics. All Realtors will place your house in the local Multiple Listing Service database and put a For Sale sign in your front yard, and they may even take a few pictures with their digital camera to upload to the MLS database, but the Realtor you will want to work with will have a written step-by-step strategy that starts before your house is put on the market and ends after the sales transaction is closed. The National Association of Realtors has created a list of 184 items that a Realtor should do when selling your house. You can find this complete list on my webpage titled Realtor s Responsibilities under the Home Seller Information link. A complete presentation of my House Selling Strategy can be found on my webpage,, under the Home Seller Information link titled Seller Information Packet. PREPARATION Preparation is the process of getting you ready to sell your house and getting your house ready to be seen by buyers. The Preparation steps are most important when selling your house for the most money. Below are my keys to successfully preparing yourself and your house for the home selling process. Property Condition the houses that sell the fastest and for the most money are the ones in the best condition. If a house is more than 10 years old it probably needs some updating. Not only do the obvious items like carpets, paint and appliances need updating but many times the structural items such as roofs, air conditioners and water heaters need to be replaced. The exterior of the house gives the buyer their first impression. Fresh paint, replacing rotted wood around windows and doors and manicured landscaping goes a long ways in selling your house.

3 Cleaning your house needs to be spotless from floor to ceiling. I recommend bringing in a reputable cleaning service to knock out the cleaning quickly. The areas that buyers will focus on and homeowners seem to overlook are baseboards, ceiling fans, A/C vents, the underside of the vent hood over your stove, ovens, grout on tile floors and walls, tops of cabinets, garages, closets and pet areas. Every area in your house needs to be clean, dust free and organized. Most homeowners believe that showing their house is a visual thing but what a buyer smells is just as important as what they see. Pet odors and cigarette smell are the #1 turn-offs for buyers. You need to get your house looking and smelling clean and then keep it that way until the day you close the sale. Professional Staging the difference in staging your house yourself or having it professionally staged is like washing your car yourself or having it professionally detailed. A professional stager is experienced at arranging your house so it shows at its best. Most people struggle with removing personal items and clutter from their house. A professional stager will assess your house and help you to arrange your furniture and personal items so your house appeals to buyers. Upgrade List these are the items that you have upgraded since you bought your house. Buyers need to know if you spent $10,000 remodeling your kitchen last year or how much the deck and swimming pool cost. When a buyer sees how much money you ve spent on your house they are less likely to try to lowball the price of the house. Seller s Disclosure Document this is the form published by the Texas Real Estate Commission that all homeowner s must complete before selling their house. Having it completed and available for potential buyers gives them valuable information about the condition of your house and allows them to make a more informed offer. Seller s Readiness Checklist I provide my listing clients with a detailed checklist of items that need to be completed before we are ready to put their house on the market. This list includes the documents that must be completed and signed, how to ready the house for showings and what information to make available to buyers. Pricing the biggest decision that you and your Realtor will make is what price to put on your house. Pricing it too low and you will receive many showings and offers but probably will not sell your house for the highest price possible. Pricing it too high and you will not have many showings, if any at all, and will not receive any offers. Your Realtor will provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis of recent home sales in your area. From this report you should get a good idea of house values in your area and what price to list your house. If you want an unbiased, professional opinion of your house s value then invest in a home appraisal. This investment of $400 will allow you to price your house at the true market value thus giving you peace-of-mind that you re not overpriced or underpriced. Competition Reviews it s always a good idea to know your competition and the best way to do this is to go look at other houses that are for sale in your area. By touring the competition you will see how other houses show versus your house. You can determine if your house needs updating and is comparably priced to your competition. Your Realtor should be willing to spend an afternoon touring several houses with you.

4 ADVERTISING Advertising is the process of telling buyers that your house is for sale. Effective advertising will peak a buyer s interest in your house and make them want to find out more about it. Multiple Listing Service this is the official Realtor s database of houses that are for sale. All Realtors place their listings on the MLS database so other Realtors can share the information with their buyers. The more information that is available gives buyers and Realtors a better overall picture of your house. Only licensed Realtors can access the MLS database. Enhanced Online Listings many home buyers use real estate websites like Trulia.com, Realtor. com and Zillow.com to search for houses. Enhanced listings put your house on top of the search order so buyers see your house before they see the competition. Enhanced listings offer other benefits such as more pictures, upgraded descriptions and the ability to upload video. Pre-Listing Announcement one of the best avenues for finding buyers is using your neighbors. Most people love their neighborhood and know of friends or family members who would love to live in the neighborhood. Pre-Listing Announcements are mailed to all your neighbors so they can give the information to their friends. Neighbors are a great source to find buyers because it s in your neighbor s best interest to help find the right buyer for your house. Yard Sign the yard sign needs to display a phone number that is answered all the time along with a Lead Capturing information phone number. MARKETING Marketing is the process of creating interest in your house and getting buyers to come see your house. Effective marketing will make your house stand out from the competition. Professional Photos a buyer s first impression of your house is usually through pictures found online on various real estate websites. Shouldn t those pictures be of the highest quality? Less than 10% of listings use professional photographs so by using high-quality professional photographs your house stand out from the competition. Open Houses many buyers will begin their search for a new house without the help of a Realtor and the only way for these buyers to visit a house is through an Open House. The key to a successful Open House is advanced advertising. In 2010, 7% of all home sales were the result of an Open House. A good Realtor will hold the first Open House within a few weeks of your house coming on the market then at least one a month until your house sells. Personal Home Website the online real estate websites only allow a very small amount of information to be uploaded about your house, but with a Personal Home Website you can upload hun-

5 dreds of pictures along with detailed information about your house, the neighborhood, the schools and the area that you live. By providing all this information you re bringing in the buyers who WANT to see your house. Professional Printed Brochures a must for all showings and open houses, a professionally printed color brochure gives the buyer beautiful pictures and detailed descriptions to help them remember your house. Property Lead Capture most Realtors will place flyers in the front yard for people to take as they drive by. With a Lead Capture System potential buyers can send a text and connect to your Personal Home Website on their smartphone. Their cell phone number is then captured for your Realtor to contact and follow-up with. Showing Service buyers won t make offers on your house if they can t visit it. By using a showing service to schedule showings Realtors can quickly schedule appointments to show your house. Sales Incentives these are used to give your house more appeal to a buyer over your competition. Many times the Sales Incentive is the deciding factor when the buyer is deciding between several houses. Some of the more popular Sales Incentives are: Seller s Contribution To Buyer s Closing Costs: most buyers are asking for help with closing costs. Lenders allow the seller to contribute up to 6% of the sales price. Buyer s Agent Bonus: giving the buyer s agent a bonus above their normal 3% commission will entice the agent to show and sell your home. 1-Year Home Warranty: every buyer wants a home warranty. Lawn Care: 1-year of lawn care can be used for houses with large yards. Redecorating Allowance: only for houses that need updating. MY MARKETING AND ADVERTISING PLAN Realtors are independent contractors with their broker and as such each Realtor runs his or her business differently. Some Realtors go above and beyond the norm to sell their listings while others will do little more than stick a sign in the front yard and put a few pictures on MLS. All successful Realtors have a detailed Marketing and Advertising plan. When interviewing Realtors it s important for you to know and understand what each will do to market and advertise your house. If a Realtor does not have a Marketing and Advertising plan in writing then move on to another one. Below are the highlights of my Marketing and Advertising plan that I ve included in this report for your reference. Professional Photography: I use Shoot-To-Sell, Dallas premier real estate photographer and videographer to shoot professional quality photos of your home. Listings that utilize professional photography attracted more attention, have more showings and sell 65% faster than listings photographed by the listing agent. This is a $500 value that I provide free for my clients.

6 Professional Home Staging Consultation: staged homes will, on-average, sell within 33 days of being listed and for 10%-15% more than non-staged homes. I bring in one of several professional home stager for a home staging consultation of your home. We walk your property inside and out, from curb to backyard fence and make recommendations on what is needed to improve the showing response to your house. These recommendations include interior and exterior repairs, exterior changes to enhance curb appeal, interior furniture placement, de-cluttering, simplifying and de-personalization. All this is done to make your house stand head-and-shoulders above the competition. This is a $350 value that I provide free for my clients Enhanced Online Listing: Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com are the top real estate internet search site in the country. Together these 3 companies account for over 75% of real estate search traffic. An enhanced listing brings attention to your house by showing it first when a buyer searches your area. Enhances listings also include additional pictures, video tours, detailed property descriptions and Open House announcements. Statistics show that houses using enhanced listings sell faster than houses that don t. This is a $300 value that I provide free for my clients. Personalized Website: your house receives its own professional website. With vertually unlimited storage we re able to upload pictures, video, detail descriptions, city information, school ISD information, maps, community photos and other information so that buyers want to come see your house in person. I also ask the homeowner to write a personal letter to potential buyers talking about their time owning the house, their neighbors, the neighborhood and activities in the area. This is a personal touch that always gets great feedback from buyers. This is a $200 value that I provide free for my clients. New Listing Announcements: getting the word out to Realtors that your house is on the market is important when quickly selling your house. I send out a virtual New Listing flyer to over 20,000 area Realtors so they know your house is on the market. This is a $100 value that I provide free for my clients. Open House: today s buyers start looking on the internet long before they contact a real estate agent. Many of these buyers have not started working with an agent yet so the only way for them to see a property is to call the listing agent to set up a showing or to attend an open house. I have found that open houses are a great way to attract the just-starting-to-look buyer. I ve actually written several purchase contracts at open houses so I know it s a great way to tap into buyers. I typically hold one open house on the second or third week after your house is on the market then another one two-to-three weeks later. This is a $150 value that I provide free for my clients. Professional Full-Color Sales Brochures: using our professional pictures and detailed descriptions of your house I have high-quality sales brochures professionally printed on 48# high-gloss paper. This is a $150 value that I provide free for my clients. Other services that I provide for my listing clients free of charge are: Property Lead Capture: automated texting system that provides information to a buyer s

7 smartphone and captures the buyer s telephone number for follow-up. Yard Sign: the yard sign will have a QR code to allow buyers to view the video tour on their smartphone. MLS Listing: full 25 pictures allowed and a well written, detailed description. Social Media: I ll show you how to put your home on the social media websites so all your friends and all their friends know your home is for sale. Property Condition Report: my assessment of the condition of your home and what needs to be done to attract the most buyers and the best price. Seller s Readiness Checklist: completion tells us we re ready to sell your home. Centralized Showing Service: allows buyer agents to easily schedule showings. Electronic Keybox: agents can enter your home without you or I being there.

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