I recently decided to sell my own home which was a great exercise and reminder of what it’s like to be a seller. Luckily, with some hard work I was able to get my home under contract in 11 days with an over asking price offer. Below is a step by step guide of the process I took to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.
Here's how I did it...
1. Hiring the Right Brokerage & Agent: Obviously I hired myself! But, when interviewing brokerages and agents, most importantly make sure you hire an agent you feel you can wholeheartedly trust and who will keep an open line of communication. I believe boutique brokerages are better if you’re looking for a more hands on, white glove service approach to selling your home. That is exactly what I aim to provide.
2. Pricing: “Numbers don’t lie” is an overused phrase that generally tends to stand true. The same logic applies to your local real estate market. On Long Island, “Comps” should be given to you by the agent you hire going back no more than 6 months and within the same school district of your home. As a seller, in a seller’s market, it is in your best interest to price your home with a proper market value and let the market bring the price up should the buyers feel your home is worth more. Keep in mind, more buyers = more offers = more options with different terms which you as a seller might find even more valuable.
3. Photography, Videography & Floor Plans: The golden rule of real estate is “Location, Location, Location”. The golden rule in selling real estate is “Presentation, Presentation, Presentation”. We only use the highest of quality photographers and videographers for our listings. Together, myself and the photographer come up with a plan on how we are going to properly present your home to the highest caliber. Lighting, angels, staging, videos, drone work and floor plans really play a big part of making sure we are presenting your home in its truest and best form. Generally, after I show our clients photos of their home after we are done, their go to line is “Now I don’t want to sell it!”.
4. Renderings & Staging: Did you not finish a room in your home but have a vision for what it could have been? This happens all of the time. Life gets busy and by the time you go to list your home, sometimes a room is left alone from when you initially bought it. See my kitchen photo'd for example. This is where beautiful and lifelike renderings can come into play to give a room some new life! Buyers generally lack a vision, especially if the home is unfurnished. Renderings and staging are a great way to show your potential buyers of what a room or home could look like with a little bit of imagination. Photo: Rendering by Brendan Tadler of nyarchitecturalrenderings.com.
5. Social Media Promotions & Instant Lead Follow Ups: We can’t give all of our secrets away on how we have sold over $100,000,000 in real estate in the Huntington Township since the spring of 2015, but we can be transparent and tell you a lot of it has to do with our marketing and social media engagement. Love it or hate it, social media is not going anywhere and your buyers are actively using it. We are consistently in buyers faces via social media and follow up with every single lead that comes through. Sounds time consuming… It is! But it is also worth it to get you the highest and best price for your listing.
6. Broker Open Houses: After my marketing is in place along with a unique and strategic plan on how we will get your home sold, the next step is inviting all brokers to a broker open house allowing them to see your listing and preview it for any buyers they may have in mind. Some agents decide to hold listings as an exclusive, but how do they know they are truly getting the highest and best price in today’s market for your home? If someone is willing to pay full ask, I’d bet that we can get someone to pay over ask. We are mass marketers and do not hold our listings as exclusives unless our sellers specifically ask us to. Even then, we will encourage against it.
7. Consumer Open Houses: Show time! Now we are live on the market after blasting out newsletters, direct emails, social media campaigns, coming soon teasers, photos, videos and so much more. This is when the personality of your agent will really matter. It is so important that potential buyers that come to the open house get the same sense of trust that you got from your agent when you initially hired them. I do my absolute best to properly represent your home as if it was my own, studying all the facts and updates done so I can speak confidently during the sale.
8. Accompanying All Showings: There will never be a lock box on your door if you list your home with me. I will be at every single showing, opening up the door for any potential buyers even if they are being accompanied by their own agent. It is so important that you feel safe as a seller and we will validate every buyer who’s looking to see your home prior to them coming there. I do not want to waste your time nor do I want to waste my own! Time is money!
9. Keeping an Open Dialog: So, your open house went well? Great news! Now it is important for your agent to make sure not only are they following up with potential buyers, but also the agents who came to see your home. Feedback is very important to you as a seller and to me as a listing agent. We need to listen to the market and really make sure our plan and strategy is working.
10. Negotiating: Everyone has their own tactic when it comes to negotiating. Some more aggressive than others, some more persistent. Make sure that the agent you hire (at this point I hope I’ve convinced you to work with me) keeps you informed throughout the negotiation process. There is strategy when it comes to this aspect of the deal and generally, allowing too much time between responses can easily kill deals.
11. Hiring the Right Attorney: Now we have an accepted offer! The buyers pre-approval has been validated, the home inspection went perfectly and now we need contracts to be drawn up and sent out to the buyer’s attorney. Hiring an attorney you can trust is equally as important as the agent you hire. Communication will play a big role in getting this deal closed and it is so important to make sure you have an attorney who will take your phone calls, respond to your text messages/emails and also keep your agent informed as well of what’s going on. We have a list of wonderful attorneys that we have used in the past and are happy to share them with you.
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