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MAXIMIZING THE SELLING PRICE OF YOUR HOME AND WINNING THE NEGOTIATION GAME If there’s one key to getting the highest price for your home, it’s exposure. As with selling anything, the more customers who are willing to pay for a product, the higher the price the product will demand. In addition to the number of buyers who go through the home, the features, benefits, and condition all have an effect on what a buyer is willing to pay. Buyers who see your home as being different, unique, or special are willing to pay more for it to outbid other buyers. So the two biggest questions that your real estate agent should be able to answer are:


HOW DO I GET THE MOST PEOPLE THROUGH MY HOME TO GET THE BEST OFFER POSSIBLE? $

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Every qualified buyer who walks through your home is a chance to sell. This means that the more qualified buyers that visit your home, the better your chances of selling and the higher price you’re likely to get. This is where your agent comes in. A skilled professional will have a strong real estate marketing plan to get buyers excited about your property and motivated enough to make in person visits. The number of in person showings is the key number in determining the quantity and quality of offers a property will receive. Agents need to know the numbers for specific markets in order to know when to adjust. For example, in the Arcadia real estate market, that number is 5-8 showings per week for a good chance of selling quickly. Any less and the chances of getting an offer declines, but more may mean you might even get multiple offers. My marketing plan is specifically design to encourage as many buyers to enter and tour the property as possible.


HOW DO I MAKE MORE OF THE BUYERS WHO VISIT FALL IN LOVE

WITH MY HOUSE?

So you’ve gotten the right number of showings, how do you turn more of those showings into offers? I’ve had clients who listed their home with another agent and started with over 15 showings per week and finished with less than 1 per week after being on the market for over 6 months, all while receiving zero offers. A few months later, after listing with me and preparing the property for sale, the owner received a full price offer in two short weeks. What made the difference? Pre-listing preparation. Preparing a home for sale is one of the most overlooked and important considerations before selling your home. Preparing to sell your home is much like preparing to sell a car. Before you sell a car, you wash it,


vacuum the inside, remove the clutter, and show that it’s been kept in good condition, and it’s the same with a home. Most of the homes I list, even newer ones, need some amount of preparation to be in showing condition. The exact amount varies from home to home, but you only have one chance to make that first favorable impression on a buyer’s mind, so make sure it’s completely ready before buyers see it. Otherwise, you may risk losing that buyer who would have been willing to pay the highest price. Your agent should not only provide a list of things to do before you put your home on the market but should also be able to refer you quality professionals to get the job done, if it’s required.


NOW THAT YOU’VE GOTTEN TONS OF VISITORS AND AN OFFER OR MAYBE EVEN MULTIPLE OFFERS, HOW CAN YOU MAKE THE MOST OF THE SITUATION?

$ So you have an offer on your home, great! What’s important in the offer and how can you make the most of it? The Negotiation Starts Before the Offer is Written The truth is that even though two offers that may look exactly the same on paper, they can have very different amounts of negotiating room and very different chances of even closing. It’s important to understand the buyers who are making offers on your property more deeply than just financials and a loan approval. A couple good starting points are:


DO THEY

have a timeline? Maybe because of a job transfer or because of a new baby on the way

WHY

are they moving? Are they upgrading/downgrading? Why? Is it because they have a new baby on the way or because their youngest just got married and they’re downgrading from a larger home? Are they moving because of a job transfer?

WHY did they choose your

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specific home? Is it the area? Are they moving for the schools or a single school in particular? Do they have relatives nearby? Maybe even on this street?

WHAT

do they do for work? Are they self-employed or do they work for someone? Where is their place of business?

HAVE they made a lot of

offers? On which particular properties? Why did they not get those properties? Your agent should know why that property sold, a rough idea of how much activity was on that property, and how their offer compared to the offer that was eventually accepted.

THESE

questions can serve as a starting point for why they like your home, their motivation to purchase, and an idea of their financial ability to close the transaction. Once they do write an offer, there are a few important factors to consider when you consider an offer.


PRICE IS ONLY ONE FACTOR!

! Most of today’s contracts are very sophisticated and usually include detailed terms that may have a substantial effect on the smoothness and ability to close the transaction. A good Realtor will address these 5 important factors when negotiating on your behalf: Price, Down Payment, and Deposit – Price is always important, but the price won’t matter if the transaction doesn’t close. In today’s market, loans are much harder to qualify for, which means the amount of down payment is a huge factor in whether a buyer can even obtain a loan. Experienced agents will know down payment and income requirements for current mortgage loans


and will be able to spot any red flags before you start negotiating, especially in multiple offer situations. The deposit amount also shows how committed a buyer is. If a buyer intends to complete the transaction and the deposit goes towards the down payment, why not request the largest deposit possible? Contingencies – Buyer’s will have a period of time, 17 days by the standard C.A.R. contract, to inspect the property for any defects, request any repairs to be done, obtain an appraisal and to get their loan approved. During this period, the buyer can cancel the contract for the reasons above without risking his deposit. Usually, the shorter


these time periods are, the better it is for the seller since once these periods are up, they can feel safe planning their next move. Sometimes buyers will make offers contingent on the sale of their home, which typically isn’t favorable for sellers. Condition of the Property – The standard contract we use in my market states that all sales are AS-IS. However, in the majority of all transactions, a buyer will do an inspection and request repairs to be done on the property. Sometimes these can be minor repairs but there are many cases where these repairs will cost thousands. This is another instance where a little bit of foresight can save you money. If your real estate professional knows about the items in your home that aren’t in good, working condition, he can address those issues up front during the counter offer stages when the buyer is more willing to make concessions to save you repair costs later on. In some cases, you may even be able to have the buyer do an inspection and accept the complete condition of the house


Closing Costs – Both buyer and seller pay closing costs to complete a real estate transaction. The common practice in my market is that the seller will pay their portion of escrow fees, owner’s title insurance policy, transfer taxes, a natural hazard report, mandatory termite work, and a 1 year home warranty for the buyer. In some cases, buyers will request the seller also credit some money for closing costs or in multiple offer situations, may even offer to pay for some of the costs that sellers typically pay, such as termite or home warranty. Closing and Possession – The date you close escrow is when all the funds are distributed to sellers, buyers, the title company, and service people and may differ from the possession date, which is when you actually hand the property over to the buyer. Make sure these fit your timeline, taking into consideration the time you need to find your next home or rental, and the time you need to physically move.


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