Our Seller Process
Our objective is to net you the high possible proceeds in the least amount of time with the least amount of problems and we have a proven track record. Every transaction is unique, but we consistently outpace the market by following our proven system. We are not winging things when it comes to such high dollar amounts for you. We follow the same process every time because it works.
Many home owners struggle with viewing their homes as a product. This makes sense. It is your home. You have lived there for years and have all sorts of memories in your home. As you begin down the road towards selling your home for top dollar it is very helpful to view your house as a product.
The key to successfully marketing your product is differentiation. How does your house compare to other houses on the market? This differentiation can come in price positioning, rare features, upgrades, staging, highlighting unique charm, better photos than the competition, etc. Bottom line, it needs to stand out.
Just to keep things organized I went ahead and arranged our process into 5 stages. The first 4 stages have to do with finding that perfect buyer. The fifth stage is about making sure the buyer that you contract with actually closes.
1) Preparing your house for market
2) Price at the right price
3) Show in the best light
4) Reach as many eyes as possible
5) Successfully close the contract
1) Preparing your house for market.
We quantify exact return on investment for possible projects. Make sure that your Realtor coaches you on what projects will have the highest return on investment and which small touches will differentiate your home from the competition. Many people choose to list their home “as-is.” Listing as-is should be an option that you choose, not just “the way” because your Realtor told you to get the house listed quickly. Differentiating your home is how you will get more buyers that saw your house online to want to schedule a showing. Small repairs to improve curb appeal and make your home show at a 10+ can be done cheaply. Others cost more, but give huge returns on your investment. You don’t have to differentiate on price. If your house presents better than the competitors, you are more likely to see multiple offers.
2) Price at the right price
This comes down to the sales comparison approach to market value, price bracketing and price positioning. The most reliable means of estimating fair market value of a given piece of property is through the comparison of recent sales and the competing offerings of similar properties.
Today's buyers are educated. Value is based on what other buyers have paid for similar products recently, and everyone has the same access to the information that you will use in your pricing strategy. Pricing significantly above market (in fantasy land) will result in your house sitting on the market for an extended period of time. Don't just assume that offers come in at a certain percentage under list price and price accordingly.
3) Show in the best light
Studies show that staged homes sell for more money than unstaged homes. Your house needs to show like a model home. After you have completed the small home make overs, make sure to stage the property. I give all of my seller clients an 82 point staging and repairs checklist and personally advise you on staging. Please put effort into showing off your home’s unique space. Sometimes this requires moving furniture around or putting some furniture into storage. Present each room in a way that will make it easy for buyers to picture themselves in this house that they will ultimately fall in love with.
B) Complementary professional photos
Professional photos should be the norm, not the exception, in this industry. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We hire professional photographers for our photography assets. We also use 3D Matterport Tours and video walk throughs so potential buyers can tour the home virtually.
Today's home buyers do their searching online. The days of MLS being the only tool to reach buyers via their agent are over. Your house needs to have staying power in the mind of a home buyer that is browsing online. I'll bet you know what I mean. As you scroll Zillow or Realtor.com your eyes glaze over as you browse all of the poorly presented primary photos. I see a lot of photos on the MLS that look like the agent rolled through the house with an iPhone snapping quick pics because the MLS requires Realtors to post at least 6 photos. Your home needs to look amazing. Lackluster photos just wont do.
4) Reach as many eyes as possible
More page views on all media=more interested buyers=more showings=more offers=higher probability of a multiple offer scenario=more money.
Satisfaction of demand
Satisfaction of demand is strategically posting on the Multiple Listing Service and syndicating to all search portals. If a consumer is online looking for homes, you had better be in the places where they are looking. MLS and price are still important tools that I love to use, but they are not the only tools that bring buyers.
Creation of demand
With advertising, first thing is first, you have to reach as many eyes as possible. MLS posting and posting on all online portals satisfies demand. A buyer expressed intent by actively searching for a home. Demand creation is a whole different animal. Create demand by reaching audiences that are not yet showing intent by searching on online search portals. There are scientific concepts in presenting advertising copy using story branding to highlight a home's differentiators, but at the very least you should be reaching tens of thousands of people through boosted (paid) social media advertising. Every agent will tell you that they have a Facebook ad strategy. Make them clearly explain what they do with this. How many people will their social media ads reach?... Ours usually reach 20K+ unique people. How many leads do they plan on getting?.... We typically get at least 50 leads from each listing promotion. We partner with a marketing agency called Curaytor to constantly be on the cutting edge of marketing
The purpose of these ads is to talk to buyers so we can sell your home's unique features. We need to collect contact information. Make sure agents show you their landing pages. How much info do they give upfront? Can people log in with Facebook/Google or do they need to actively fill out their info? Posting a recent listing to your friends and family is not a social media campaign.
In the modern Clear Cooperation marketplace we are only allowed to conduct our pre-launch campaign for one day. We have to have your house on the MLS within one business day of any type of advertising. You home should be marketed "coming soon" before it officially goes on the market. Our pre-launch is advertised to our huge Instagram following and also emailed to our 11K+ person database. This creates demand and provides marketing with a feeling of exclusivity to the people that see the coming soon ad. You don't have to allow showings during this period. Once on the market, we don't care if buyers are bumping in to each other as they tour your new hot property. We want showing traffic as high as possible.
Selling a home is a sales business and you are hiring a SALES PERSON. We have a 11K+ person database that is constantly growing. We track consumer behavior to know who to contact in our database via text and phone (in addition to the email blast mentioned above) that might be a fit for your house. The benefit of this is that we are proactively creating demand from sales efforts and not just marketing.
Listing launch day is a big day for our team. Selling your home involves talking to people and we believe that some of the best people to talk to are your neighbors. We circle dial the relevant radius around your house (our tech data mines phone numbers) to give your neighbors your just listed info and give them the opportunity to choose their neighbors (spread the word for us).
5) Successfully close the contract.
OK, we found the perfect buyer willing to pay top dollar and negotiated great terms. Guess what.... If your buyer is financing the transaction (they will be) there is still a 30 to 45 day escrow before closing. In that time frame the buyer is going to arrange financing, order a home inspection, probably demand excessive repairs that need to be negotiated to be reasonable, the lender will order an appraisal, and during this whole stressful time you are just hoping that the buyer performs.
Steps 1 to 4 are my favorite part of my job. The final phase of the escrow is more than half of why you hire a top level Realtor. Finding a buyer and negotiating the contract is very important, but post contract negotiation using tactical empathy and KEEPING THE DEAL TOGETHER is really why you want someone experienced in your corner.
A) Vetting the buyer
One question: Will this buyer actually close? Here is how we answer that question. First, talk to the buyer's agent. What is their story. Do they have a home to sell before they can buy? Find out as much about the buyer's story as possible. Can they actually buy the house? I talk to the buyer's lender to make sure that income and assets have been verified. It is OK if a potential buyer doesn't check all of these boxes but that is part of the risk analysis to review.
B) Negotiating inspection objections
Home inspections always come back with red flags. In all honesty, I tell my buyer clients that home inspections are negotiating tools first, and educational about whether you actually want to buy the house second. It is a second round of negotiation or a second bite of the apple depending on how you like to say it. A house is a big machine with lots of moving parts. Most buyers value perceived defects at a higher value than their actual repair price. Negotiating these objections to a minimum in an empathetic way is how deals stay together.
C) Hand holding the appraiser
Many of my listings sell for between 102% and 105% of market value. Lenders will only loan certain loan to values of the lesser of the appraised price or purchase price. They order an independent appraisal and getting these appraisers to agree with high values take some effort. We share advantageous property details and send appraisers comps to consider using in their reports that point to a high valuation.
D) Coordinating move out
You will already have your move out time negotiated from the day you go under contract. Typically possession transfers at recording. If you need to negotiate extra time for move out there are multiple ways to structure getting extra time.
Bottom line: There are a lot of moving parts involved in selling a home for top dollar. We are here to guide you through every step.
Back up options (not recommended but still offered)
I recommend being wary of iBuyer and Guaranteed Sales Programs. Please read the fine print.
If you find yourself in a position where it benefits you to sell your home privately we would love to buy it from you. We can pay a premium over the we buy ugly houses people and all of the wholesalers that send you "let me buy your house" mailers. We don't wholesale (assign contracts to a different end buyer). We believe strongly that if you go this route you should know and trust the person buying your home.