At Locality we offer full service listings for only 4% total commission. This means you get a professional Broker with a comprehensive marketing plan, expert negotiation skills, and the know how to get a deal done at 2/3rd’s the commission of a traditional agent. So why spend the extra money to pay for your Real Estate Agent to drive a fancy car, when you can hire a knowledgeable, hard working Broker at a fraction of the commission? Take a look at our 9 point strategy for getting your home sold.
Step 1: Expert Pricing & Market Advice
Pricing your home correctly is imperative for a successful result. While there are different strategies to pricing, the key to them all is having an accurate valuation. We provide all our sellers with an in home listing consultation where we can gather the key pieces of data to price your home accurately. From there, we use the Northwest Multiple Listing Service database, King County & Snohomish County Assessor records, and proprietary information from Realist to make sure we have all the data to provide you with a precise valuation.
Once we’ve completed our extensive research, we compile this data into a complete Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for your review. A CMA values your home the same way an appraiser does – by using nearby Active, Pending, and Sold comparables. From there we make adjustments for the differences in the homes and take an average and median price. This provides you with a very accurate valuation, often within 3% of the price your home will sell for.
Once we know what market value for your home is, it’s time to talk strategy. There are 3 valid strategies for pricing your home.
Strategy #1: Price at market value: As Goldilocks might say, this is the “just right” strategy. The goal here is to sell your home within a reasonable time-frame (usually within 60 days) at the listing price or very close to the listing price.
Strategy #2: Under-price your home: The strategy here is to under-price your home by 3% – 5% with the goal of soliciting multiple offers. This is a great strategy in a strong Sellers market and can often result in the home getting bid up above list price. The risk though is that sometimes you throw a party and no one shows up. If this happens its very difficult to increase the listing price of your home.
Strategy #3: Over-price your home: This can be a great strategy in a slower market or if you have a unique property. The nice thing about over-pricing your home is that you leave yourself room to negotiate. The downside is that if you over-price by too much many people will never come to look at it in the first place. Also, you run the risk of building a long “Days on Market” clock which can result in low-ball offers.
Step 2: Staging Consultation
Although staging can be a tedious project and can sometimes feel unnecessary, study after study has shown that it’s effective. At Locality we’ll provide you with a free staging consultation to make sure your home looks it’s best. If you decide not to hire a professional stager, that’s OK. We can give you the advice you need if you choose to go the DYI route. Here’s some general principals:
Declutter: Generally speaking, most homeowners have to remove 50% of their belongings to make their home show ready. This means putting away all the knick-knacks, hiding your toothbrush, and clearing the kitchen counters. Remember, you’re moving anyway so now’s a great time to start packing.
Depersonalize: This means taking down family photos (Buyers will spend their time looking at them rather than the house), hiding the liquor, and packing away edgy artwork.
Neutralize: A lot of people love reds, yellows, and robin blues, but a lot of people don’t too. As silly as it may be many Buyers can’t see past paint colors, so it’s time to swap out that neon orange for taupes and tans.
Give Each Room a Sense of Space: In reality we’ll often use a spare bedroom as an office/guest room/craft room. For staging, make sure each room has a clear sense of purpose – an office is just an office, a bedroom is just a bedroom, etc.
Make sure your Furniture fits the Space: This is where a professional stager can really come in handy. We often have furniture that is to small or too large for a room. In order to show off your square footage and the flow of your home, it’s crucial to have furniture that fits just right.
Step 3: Professional Photos
Today’s digital photography and post processing technology has taken real estate and architectural photography to the next level. As a professionally trained real estate photographer we use today’s state of the art technology to make your home show it’s best. First we start by using a high quality wide angle lens. This lets the buyer see the entire room, not just the corner of a bedroom or a toilet in the bathroom. From there we uses a proprietary HDR post processing method to make your photos bright, crisp, and vibrant. These professional photos are a $350 value, but are free when you list with Locality. Take a look at some recent examples:
Step 4: Online Marketing
With the majority of home buyers starting their home search online having a great online marketing plan is imperative. By placing your home on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service your home will be listed on Seattle’s top real estate websites. These include windermere.com, redfin.com, johnlscott.com, and coldwellbanker.com. We don’t stop there though, we also individually upload your listing to premium non-MLS websites including Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Yahoo Real Estate and Craigslist.
Step 5: On the Ground Marketing
Although almost everything is done online these days real estate has to be a hybrid of both online and offline marketing. After all, folks actually have to come see your home in order to buy it! Our on the ground marketing strategy has 4 parts:
Part 1: Professional Oversized Yard Signs with your Agent’s Cell # directly on the sign.
Part 2: Double Sided Color Glossy Flyers.
Part 3: Open Houses: We generally recommend doing at least one open house, but sometimes it can be great to do up to 2-3, especially for the first few weekends on the market.
Part 4: Silent Talkers: Show off the things that Buyers might miss with Silent Talkers. Silent Talkers are small signs hung throughout your house that point out things that aren’t obvious. Is the furnace extra efficient? Was all the electrical replaced last year? Silent Talkers are a great way to say so.
Step 6: Agent Follow-up & Feedback
Once your home is on the market, we’ll follow up with Agents who’ve shown your home to get feedback on the price and how it shows. By compiling the feedback from multiple agents we’ll be able to figure out the things that Buyers love about your home and what’s holding them back from making offers. From there we can make the adjustments necessary to get your home sold. Yes, sometimes this means a price reductions, but not always. Sometimes it means staging an unstaged home, getting rid of unwanted smells, or being more accommodating with showings.
Step 7: Negotiating the Best Price
Did you know there are some very simple strategies for making sure you get the best price for your home? For instance, did you know that you should never accept an offer on your home before it’s first weekend on the market? Strategies such as these, combined with individualized advice for your situation and tough but friendly negotiating skills set us apart from the competition. We know when to push and we know when to compromise. We also know the art of “getting to yes.” Sometimes this means compromising on one term of the contract so you can get what you really want on another term of the contract. In short, we’re by your side every step of the way to make sure you get the best price and terms for your home.
Step 8: Getting the Deal to Closing
Accepting an offer is just the beginning of selling your home. There’s still a lot of hurdles to jump through, and we’re going to help you with all of them:
Negotiating the Inspection: Did you know that many Buyers try to knock $5000, $10,000, or $20,000 off the purchase price during the inspection? Having an expert to navigate this process, help get bids for repairs, and negotiate with the other agent makes all the difference in the world.
Working with the Appraiser: Not only will we make sure the appraiser gets access to the home, but we’ll make sure to get the appraiser the information they need to appraise the home at the price it deserves.
Following up with the Buyer’s Lender: Just because a Buyer’s pre-approved doesn’t necessarily mean the loan will close. Sometimes an inexperienced loan officer can cause a deal to flip or close late. We know the loan process in and out and will follow up with the Buyer’s Lender every step of the way to make sure the deal stays on track and closes on time.
Step 9: More Money in your Pocket!
When it’s all said and done, the reason you’re selling your home is to unlock your equity and move on with the next stage of your life. Our goal is to help you do this, but with a lot more money going in your pocket than our pocket. As you’re thinking about selling your home, here’s the fees you’ll need to be aware of:
Real Estate Commissions: 4% Total Commission with Locality (Buy Side and Listing Side Combined)
WA State Excise Tax: 1.78%
Owner’s Title Insurance Policy: Appx $1200 – $1600 (depending on the price of the home)
1/2 the Escrow Fee: The Seller’s 1/2 is Appx $800 – $1500 (depending on the price of the home)
Paying off your Mortgage, HOA Dues, Liens, or Utilities: Varies from Seller to Seller
For Condos Only: Resale Certificate Fee (Usually $250 – $450) and Move-out Fee (Usually $250 – $500)
Capital Gains Taxes (applicable to investment properties and other special circumstances): Varies from Seller to Seller