Get The Most From Today's Market


80% of your best outcome is determined before you enter the market - good or bad This is the time to fix up, clean up, clean out and put your best foot forward. When you plan to sell your house it pays to know what buyers want and are willing to pay top dollar for. We all know location, location location. You can’t change location, but there are so many more things you can do.  

Make all repairs now
Because buyers demand excellent condition

            Buyers don’t want to have to fix anything. They either don’t know how, don’t have the cash or don’t have the time. They will expect deep discounts for homes that need repairs. Inspect each room (the basement, garage and exterior, too). Turn on and off every faucet and light to check for leaks or other repairs. Look under cabinets for signs of old leaks. Check the ceilings for stains. Operate every window. Check the doors for easy operation of handles and especially the locks. If the roof is older than 10, have a roofer check it. Have the sprinkler system, furnace and air conditioner serviced and save the receipts. Finish the “Honey Do List” that’s been laying around the house. Clean the gutters. If your municipality requires any inspections run them now so you have time to make repairs and can then promote your home as having passed them. All these things will be inspected by the buyer as part of the contract process.

Maximize curb appeal
Because buyers decide to include or exclude your house from the front photo

            Give the lawn and plants a crew cut. Put down fresh mulch. Fertilize, water and edge the lawn. Trim the trees. Replace dead or dying bushes and plants. Make sure nothing is in the way of taking a superb front photo. You may need to cut down that tree blocking the view of the front door. Add color in the beds and a pot of greens or flowers on the porch. Paint the shutters and wood trim as needed. Remove the screens from the front of the house and wash the windows. Builders never have screens on the windows. Homes show better that way. Patch any sidewalk or driveway cracks. Make it sparkle. 

Because buyers want to see there is room enough for all their stuff

            Many of the things we call clutter are precious to you. They are simply visual distractions to your buyer. They take buyers’ eyes away from seeing the space, the flow, the view. They are especially problematic in photographs which are only two dimensional. Packing them now protects them from breakage. Clean out every closet, cabinet and drawer. Be ruthless. It costs money to pack and move stuff you don’t need. Remember the garage and basement. Wash the cabinets and drawers at the same time. Buyers want to see that your home will hold all the things they bring with them. You will also be ahead of the game when it is time to pack and move. Doing this makes it easier to keep your home showing ready, too.

Clean like never before
Because buyers want it to be spotless - actually they want it to look like new

            Wash every light fixture and increase to the maximum wattage. Put the glass in the dishwasher (if it is safe). It will sparkle. Wash or oil all cabinets and furniture. Apply stain to worn out wood. Clean the return air vents that are up high on the walls. Vacuum the ducts. Touch up the paint on baseboards and window trim. Have carpets professionally cleaned & stretched just before entering the market. Turn on all the lights for showings. This is not the time to skimp on electricity. Sweep out the basement and garage and wash those windows, too. Wash the doors and frames and all the switch plates. Scrub bathrooms thoroughly. Make it smell good, too. Clean up after pets inside & out. Smell is the most primal and influential of the senses.  

Professionally stage
Because buyers want it to look like a display home

            How you live in a home and how you stage it to sell can be very different. Moving furniture to create a more convenient traffic pattern makes a difference. During showings there may be 3 people walking in a space normally used by only one person. Color is one of the ways to make a house show itself off. Today’s colors may be different than yours. If a change of color is needed it is the best move you can make. Fresh paint sells houses. The same goes for flooring. If carpet is worn, dirty or out of style it is very much worth the expense and trouble to replace it. Relocation companies routinely paint, replace carpet and install professional staging furniture to make vacant homes feel and look better and SELL. Builders spend many thousands professionally staging their displays and they wouldn’t spend that money if it didn’t pay off for them. Professional staging costs less than your first price reduction. 

You might do some minor updating
Because buyers want today’s updates

            You don’t need to put in a new kitchen or bath, but replacing those gold faucets, outdated light fixtures, removing old draperies and window treatments really pay off. Walk through with your agent and evaluate where making some improvements makes sense.

Choosing the right price makes you more money than anything else
Because buyers know right away if the price is perfect or not

            Have your agent prepare a well documented price analysis and choose a price that puts your home in the best position for your market. Get solid, written evidence of actual sale prices of homes like yours. Do not rely on any source where they have not personally seen the inside and outside of your home. Make allowances for the plusses and minuses of your home and be realistic. Choosing an asking price that puts you squarely ahead of your competitors from day one will make you more money than anything else you can do. A house that is priced right with few days on market attracts higher offers than one that has been reduced several times. Buyers have access to the same sales data as sellers.

PROFESSIONAL photos pay for themselves
Because buyers decide which homes to visit by the photos

            Poor photos can make even the finest homes appear lacking in space, size and charm. Work with your agent on advertising copy and photo selection. There are lots of homes on the market and buyers can’t see them all. They choose by the photos and the copy that is presented. There is no substitute for a professional photographer and the copy must be enthusiastic about the best points of your home.

Make your home say, “Welcome”
Buyers judge your home by their first impressions

            Buyers enter through the front door. The lock and door must operate flawlessly. This is part of their first impression. Have the lights on and pets secured. Do your level best to accommodate last minute showings. Sometimes buyers want to come back for the third or fourth time and it can be very frustrating. Having your home on the market is not fun. The goal is to sell it quickly. Put a small dish of hard candy by the sign in sheet. That little touch says “You are welcome here”. Make it smell good and play some quiet background music. This sets the stage for buyers to feel at home.

What we would do when selling our own home
Because we want the most money with the least inconvenience in the shortest amount of time

            We would run professional inspections - building, termite and radon. The buyer will run a building inspection, too. It may find different things, but having our own gives us the best opportunity to make repairs and disclose any known defects. Then we would do all the staging recommended above and have professional photos taken. We would price it better than the competition. Then we would move to the Residence Inn until it sold and let it be shown anytime.



“A picture is worth a thousand words” was never truer than when selling your home today.

Buyers shop online and decide what they will view from how it looks in the photos 

The right space, the right colors, and the right photos have a major impact on your ability to attract showings

When buyers make an in person showing appointment they have most likely seen it online four or more times

Every live showing is at least a second look

These before and after photos tell the story

The only things that have been done to the rooms are;

Remove visual clutter & some furniture

Re-arrange furniture

Enhance lighting

Professional wide angle photography 







Almost all sellers want to sell for the highest price they can get.
Your agent wants you to sell for the highest price, too.
Why? So I can boast to your neighbors and earn their business, too.

Buyers think they want to pay the least they can. NOT TRUE
Buyers really want to know they bought the BEST home for them on their BEST terms 


Most people are motivated by FEAR OF LOSS versus desire for gain.
A price that makes them want to buy your house BEFORE anyone else sees it motivates them to


Choosing an initial offering price that puts you squarely ahead of the competition
Makes you more money than anything else you can do. 


Why Zillow® or Any Other Web Based Value Estimators Are Wrong


The public loves Zillow® for their Zestimate® because it gives them what they want - a fast easy way to estimate value. The same goes for all other sources that haven’t seen your home. They just do the math using zip code averages, price per square foot and other reported statistics. They can’t tell the difference between a lot with high tension wires in the back yard versus a cul de sac lot with mature trees surrounding it. They can’t know how your updates compare to others. Only a professional with local knowledge can help you evaluate where your home wins or loses over your competitors. 

Buyers have actually seen your competition. Maybe you should, too. Have your agent give you a tour.
The person most able to be “spot on” with price is the person who just saw the competition.

Researching & Determining the Highest Market Value today 

1. Verify the statistics - location, square footage, style, school district, community and more.

2. Research the number of comparable active, pending and sold similar homes for the past 6 months 

3. Determine the supply and demand based on the number of comparable sales

4. Research the number of days on market

5. Research the list to sale price ratio

6. Examine every listing and sale of similar style competing & sold homes in depth

7. Make location, amenity, update & condition adjustments to the comparables

8. Make similar adjustments to the subject property

9. Determine the best price to get fast action



 Who controls price? 

Agents don’t control price
Appraisers don’t either
Not even “The Market”

Only the buyer controls price 

You control the price you will accept

Therefore you can see that choosing an offering price that gets buyers excited makes good sense. Smart buyers will recognize the value of your home and be impressed that it is  priced perfectly. An attractive price will motivate them to put their best foot forward in their offer, maybe even asking or better. 

“But, I don’t want to risk getting less than…”
“But, I NEED to get X in order to move”
“But, I want to TRY for X and can always come down later.”

The risk in substantially overpricing is actually getting nothing at all. Buyers just won’t come. 

Need based pricing has no validity. You can only sell any item for what buyers are willing to pay. No one cares what the seller needs. Do you care what the store needs to get?

The highest list to sale price ratio is on homes that sell quickly - less than 30 days. After that price reductions of 3% to 5% must be made and buyers always ask how long a home has been marketed. Buyers are looking for a way to pay you less.

Choose a smart price and make them want to pay you the most.