We Help Sellers get Top Dollar.
Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy. But remember, just because an agent has a lot of listings doesn't necessarily mean that they actually get homes sold, let alone sold for a good price. It means that they are good at convincing home owners to list their homes with them. With enough homes listed, the agent knows that eventually the homes that happen to be priced at market value will sell. The ones in poor condition or the ones that are overpriced will eventually be reduced in price and then sell. They just hope that they still happen to have the listing at that time. Then they take a chunk of their commission and spend it on some more expensive image advertising to get more listings.
Don't waste your time on all the hype and spin. Quit dreaming about the agent with the special "secret". Find someone you can trust to give you good advice.
Find the agent who will help you face the facts and help you do what's necessary to get your home ready to be sold at top dollar. Marketing and negotiating are just half of the equation. Price and condition are the things that will determine how fast your home sells.
The following are the steps we use to help you get your home sold. It's a collection of the small things that together give your home the best chance of being sold for top dollar. Sometimes it takes a little luck but most of the time it takes old fashioned hard work. Create the right strategy and then execute it properly.
Creating the Game Plan
Before we meet, we'll send you a package of materials that will help you be prepared for our meeting. We give you a checklist of all the items we'll need to get started. We'll also send you some background information so you'll know all about us. That way we can concentrate on developing strategies that will get your home sold.
To really help you, we are going to have to get to know you pretty well. Why are you really selling? What are your expectations? Can we trust each other? At the end of our one hour consultation we're going to make sure you know what your options are. Sometimes we might advise you not to sell at all.
a past client called us over to list their home because they were having a
difficult time balancing their budget. They thought that they had to move
to a less expensive home to make ends meet. We were excited about helping
them and earning two commissions, one for selling their home and one for helping
them buy another home. But after listening to the details we
convinced them not to sell. Since current interest rates were 1.5%
less than their original mortgage rate, they could refinance a higher mortgage
amount, use the extra cash to pay off their car loan and credit cards and have
their total monthly debt payments decrease by $800 per month. We didn't
make any commissions but we felt good about helping a past client make a good
We recommend getting an inspection done before you list your home. Sure, a buyer probably will still hire their own inspector but they will have a greater comfort level and will probably be more willing to risk the time and money of putting in an offer. Most buyers hate the thought of spending $300 to $500 on a home inspection that reveals problems that they aren’t willing to deal with. They want the inspection for their peace of mind and are hoping nothing bad is found.
If they get the impression that a house might have problems, they won’t waste their time and money putting in an offer and getting an inspection. Also, if there are problems that are revealed, you are going to spend a lot less money doing the repairs yourself than what a buyer will estimate that it will take to fix. If there is a leak in the 10 year old roof it might cost $50 to patch it before you put your home on the market. If that leak is found during the buyer’s inspection, right away the buyer is thinking that the roof is ready to go and it’s going to cost them $10,000 to replace.
We have an inspection
company that does pre-sale inspections and will give a one year guarantee to the
buyer. The buyer’s inspector is
going to be less likely to bring up frivolous items because he knows he will
most likely have to explain them to another inspector.
Most likely the buyer’s inspector will use your inspection report as a
guide and basically confirm that any problems initially revealed have been
corrected in a professional manner.
Getting children in
on the game also helps a lot. We
have some tips and a video to help in that area.
How about paying the kids $100 at closing if they have their rooms in tip
top shape every day until the home is sold. It would be the best $100 you ever
spent. The agent can bring 50 buyers to see a home but if the seller sets an
unreasonable price or doesn’t keep the home in excellent condition there just
isn’t going to be a sale.
If your home is in top shape, and enough people see it, the only other factor is the price. Too low and you miss out on thousands of dollars there for the asking. Too high and buyers move on to other homes and your home starts to get "stale" and begins to get stigmatized for being on the market so long. Buyers just assume there must be something wrong. So setting the right price is critical.
Most real estate agents do a CMA (comparative market evaluation). They find what comparable homes have sold for and try to make adjustments up or down depending on differing features.
Others agents just wait to see how much the seller wants and just go along with it no matter what. If it’s too low they figure it will be an easy sale. If it’s too high they figure eventually the seller will lower the price. In the mean time they’ll have a chance to pick up a customer who calls off the sign in the yard.
We go the extra
yard to set the right price
At HomeAtlanta we do
our homework and tell it like it is. We
do a detailed CMA and walk you through an analysis.
This is what a buyer is going to do so you might as well be prepared.
If you price it higher than the CMA suggests you’re just hoping that a
stupid person will come along and pay you more than it’s worth.
Sometimes that happens but it’s not a strategy to depend on.
One extra service that seems to help out a lot is taking our sellers on a tour of 10 comparable homes that will be competing with theirs. You get to see first hand what buyers are seeing and usually it is very easy to see where your home fits in. You can see what you need to do to make your home be the number one choice on a buyer’s list. Sometimes you get used to living a certain way and get used to many flaws in your home. If your home is on a noisy street you block out the noise. If the paint and carpet get run down you get used to it. Many times it’s a real wake up call when you see competing homes that look like decorator showcases.
Remember, no one can talk someone into buying a home. The more people feel pressured by fast talk the quicker they run away. You have to make your home sing to buyers and make them feel that if they don’t act quickly someone else will beat them out of a great home.
A good listing agent
acts as a consultant and coach. More
like a player coach. They set the
game plan and execute part of it. But
selling a home requires all players to cooperate and do what’s needed to get
the job done.
Lots of Exposure
It seems simple but the right signs can really draw more attention to your home. Many buyers feel more comfortable when they see a familiar sign in front of a home. RE/MAX has spent a lot of money enhancing their image and this transfers over to the homes that have RE/MAX signs in front of them.
The other purpose of a sign is to get buyers to stop and take notice of your home. We have found that two signs grab more attention than one. We use a directional, a lenders sign or a home inspection sign to get more attention. It really doesn’t matter what sign is used except something that will make people slow down and take a look.
are also very important especially if you live off the beaten path. There are buyers out there every day just driving around
looking for new signs. You need to
make sure they’re directed to your home.
flyers also go into a flyer box in your front yard.
They try to entice a buyer to take the next step and see the inside of
flyers also reduce the number of curiosity seekers.
The lookie lues are directed to your home’s web page where they usually
can get all the information they want. It’s a hassle showing your home so you
don’t want nosey people inconveniencing you.
Many of our listings attain a high ranking for several good key words in Google and Yahoo. Do a search for "Atlanta home listings for sale" and one of our listings come up #3 in Google. Do a search just for "Atlanta home listings" and a listing of ours comes up #6. You probably found our site doing some sort of search.
If we can't get your home page very high in the natural rankings, we'll do some pay per click advertising in Google and Overture. These are the small ads at the top and side of the search engine results. You can really target buyers with these ads and get great exposure.
Once a web page is created for your home, we can link it to a variety of places: emails to agents or possible buyers, Internet sites such as, Excite.com, Lycos.com, Realtor.com and Microsoft's Homeadvisor.com, and others. Also, when advertising in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, we can use hot links in online classifieds.
Following are the places on the Internet that your home will show up.
home is given a “Grand Tour” on www.remax-greateratlantaga.com
which consists of 6 pictures. This
site gets 20,000 hits per month with 83% of buyers looking at homes that have a
Your home is also given a “Grand Tour” on www.Realtor.com . Many out of town buyers go to this site. More and more Internet sites are using Realtor.com as their source for their own home search sites. www.Excite.com and www.aol.com use Realtor.com. So having a good presence on Realtor.com provides a very broad exposure on the Internet.
home is also placed on MSN's www.Homeadvisor.com real
Weather permitting, we can take pictures on the same day as we list your home and have pictures uploaded to the MLS that same day. The nice thing about multiple photos in the MLS is that when an agent emails a listing to a buyer, the buyer receives all eight pictures. When a buyer gets sent an email package of 10 homes and only yours has more than one picture which one do you think will get looked at the most? Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
A flyer of your home is sent to at least a thousand agents in your market area. Agents working with out- of- town buyers usually are the buyers who will make you the best offer. They’re on a fixed time table, are usually well qualified and have to decide quickly.
We try to hold an open house within the first two weeks when it's a fresh new listing. Usually that's when you attract the most people. If you're lucky in attracting a real prospect, having many people looking at once can sometimes motivate them to act quickly. Although "for sale by owners" rely on open houses as their main marketing effort, not too many sales actually result from them. Once in a while someone will walk into an open house and actually buy it. But that is usually the exception. Most Realtors hold open houses to try to pick up new clients. They're hoping to meet a neighbor who is going to sell in the future or maybe they'll meet a buyer who needs the help of a Realtor. There's nothing wrong with this but a seller should know this ahead of time. It takes a lot of time and effort getting a home ready for an open house.
usually spend Tuesday afternoons touring other agents' listings. They call
this caravan time. Some hold luncheons and drawings to entice agents to
come and look at their listings. Unless your home is being shown by
appointment only, most agents who have any client that might be interested will
probably have taken a look at your home already. The agents who attend
just for the free lunches are usually the ones who have nothing better to
do. It doesn't hurt to have your home on caravan but usually the money
spent on lunch and drawings is better utilized elsewhere.
one of your favorite restaurants that you refer many of your friends to.
It usually not only has great food but it also has great service.
You are treated with respect every step of the way.
If the food is great but the waiter is rude the experience isn’t going
to be something that you rave about to your friends.
Consistency is also key. If
the service and product depend on who is working that day, you probably will be
cautious about recommending the restaurant.
The key is having systems in place that ensure consistent results.
constantly work on creating systems in our business that will create a
predictably world class experience for every client.
Our goal is to deliver service beyond your expectations because we know
that’s what it takes to earn your referrals.
Most real estate agents run their business like a taxi service. They are always looking for the next fare. They get you to your destination and then say "next". You probably will never see them again. It's an experience that you don't go out of your way to tell a friend about.
We run our business more like a limo service. For about the same amount of money as a taxi, you get a great experience on your way to your destination. If we perform as planned, you'll probably have such a pleasant experience that you'll want to recommend us to some of your friends. The next time you want to take a "trip" you'll probably call us instead of looking in the yellow pages for just an ordinary "taxi".
allows us to put our time and money into providing great service and allows us to
keep improving our systems.
The unpopular truth is that any time you're dealing with people you are dealing with uncertainty. People sometimes feel they are protected by some words on a contract. But the truth is that business only takes place if both parties are willing.
have closed hundreds of transactions and can usually anticipate problems or
"turbulence" and take steps to avoid it. If
something unexpected happens we usually have seen it before or at least have
heard about it happening to someone else. We know what to do and who to
call. We'll give you a list of 88 types of turbulence that we are looking out
for. If something happens, we'll give you a call and tell you what number
we're dealing with. We'll tell you what changes we need to make to our
flight plan and then we'll buckle up and deal with it. Don't worry.
We won't bail out on you but we'll ask you to stay seated and allow us to do our
I've heard it more than I'd like. Home sellers says that their agent was very nice at first, put a sign and lockbox up and then never was heard from again. When any complaint is made about their house not selling they are just given the same old line. "You need to lower the price".
Setting realistic expectations up front it critical to a good selling experience. If we puff up your home just to make you feel good, who are we really helping? Sooner or later you are going to have to face reality. Why not from the beginning?
Do you want to talk to us everyday or every week? Different people have different needs. Just let us know yours. Do you like phone calls or email? You might want to know every minute detail or maybe you just want to know when to show up for the closing.
us how and when you want to be contacted and we'll create a system to make it
If you read all the way to here we must have connected with you in at least a small way. It's tough deciding who to trust or not. Most of the time a face to face meeting answers that question. Let's set up a time to meet for an hour and see if we can help each other. Click here