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Preparing for a Successful Sale

Presented by Mary Lee & Associates

SELLING YOUR HOME? Selling a home can be one of the most stressful and challenging experiences people will undertake in their lifetimes. Mary Lee & Associates understands the enormous amount of pressure and uncertainty they can feel when selling their home and we want to help relieve that stress for you. When it comes to selling a home there are several complex tasks that must be completed and we will help you every step of the way. From making your home look its best with professional staging and eye-catching marketing materials, to determining the appropriate price, to negotiating the best possible terms and finalizing the sale, we are committed to providing you with exceptional service before, during, and after the sale of your home. In this detailed guide, we have included a breakdown of everything that goes into the home selling process and explain how a real estate broker can ensure the sale goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. I thank you for considering our team. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise with you before, during, and after this important decision making process.

Mary Lee Owner & CEO Mary Lee & Associates

425.941.4229 Mercer Island Office: 2731 77th Avenue SE, Suite 205 Mercer Island, WA 98040

Bellevue Office: 505 106th Ave NE, Suite 210 Bellevue, WA 98004


Who We Are..............................................................5 to 6

Our Track Record......................................................7 to 8

Our Recent Sales....................................................9 to 10

Buyer Profile..........................................................11 to 12

What We Do..........................................................13 to 14

Pre-Inspection..............................................15 to 16 Preparation..................................................17 to 18 Pricing..........................................................19 to 20 Promotion.....................................................21 to 22

Negotiation...................................................23 to 24

Home Sale Timeline..............................................25 to 26


Mary Lee & Associates is a team of real estate professionals in the Puget Sound Area. We are dedicated to providing a high level of service to our clients in order to create an enjoyable real estate experience. Our team approach benefits our clients by bringing a wide range of knowledge and experience to each situation. Our vast backgrounds and competency, coupled with our enthusiasm and humor, always keeps our clients smiling! As members of the Keller Williams Luxury Homes International Division, we are part of the largest, fastest-growing real estate company in North America, with over 154,000 sales associates and 800 offices. Keller Williams is at the forefront of technology, training, and culture, and is committed to having a positive impact on the people and communities we serve.

Mary Lee

Luxury & View Home Specialist P: 425.941.4229 E: Certifications and Recognitions • • • • • • • • • • •

Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)™ Certified Results Professional (CRP) Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE) Certified Results Agent (CRA)™ Accredited Seller Representative (ASR) Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designee Luxury Home Specialist Designee Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) Certified Real Estate Instructor Certified New Construction Sales Professional (CSP)

Mary has been a licensed Realtor® since 1987 and has since become a prominent agent on the Eastside. In 2005, Mary created The Ultimate Home Selling Success System™, an exclusive results-oriented system that creates the best home selling experience and results for sellers. Through her innovative marketing and negotiation expertise, her sellers enjoy a smooth and stress-free home selling experience WITHOUT the normal buyer contingencies. This innovative process creates a faster sale, higher price and typically with multiple offers - giving sellers their choice of buyers, price and terms.


Carmel Duerr

Sales Associate P: 206.992.4656 E: Since becoming a licensed broker in 1996, Carmel has been in various roles including HOA Portfolio Manager, Property Management, Residential Leasing Agent, Transition Specialist for Developers, and Design Consultant for New Construction. Her diverse background and vast experiences influence her great work ethic and allow her to bring a wide variety of insights to the team. In addition she is a highly regarded sales associate who goes above and beyond expectations to help her clients.

Gillian McDonald

Director of Marketing P: 425.941.5389 E: Gillian has an extensive background in marketing and graphic design which allows her to produce beautiful, custom marketing that creates a strong response from the market. In addition, she has over two years of Real Estate experience. Gillian also works closely with Mary on other aspects of the home sale process and managing the office.

Jeff Shaffer

Sales Associate P: 425.941.4900 E: Jeff has been a licensed Real Estate Agent since 1995 and brings a wealth of experience to help home buyers find just the right home. Jeff’s expertise in home construction and wide knowledge of many neighborhoods and cities throughout Seattle and the Eastside gives buyers peace of mind that they are getting the right home in the right neighborhood and at the right price. Jeff also works closely with Mary and the team with listings, and open houses.


OUR TRACK RECORD Knowing an agent's track record is crucial in determining if the agent has the skills and business strategies to get a home sold. Mary Lee & Associates believes in sharing our track record and testimonials to show our proven process and results.

Agent Comparison

Average Days on Market


23 Typical Agent 6







Avera ge Days on Ma rket

Sa l es Pri ce Percent

List Price to Sales Price Ratio 108 107 106 105 104 103 102 101 100 99 98



Agent Comparison Mary

Typical Agent

Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service Matrix Eastside Stats December 2016


24% Above Asking in 6 Days Twenty four offers and $200,000 over listing price! It’s easy to see how Mary has earned her sterling reputation as the consummate marketing real estate agent. And, this well-earned reputation is why we selected her to market our house. These numbers attest to the competency and professional marketing skills of Mary who sold our house in 6 days. Her marketing methodology removes much of the drudgery of selling one’s house, including no long listing periods of constant interruptions by agents wanting to show the house. The selling period, due to her marketing approach, reduces the on-sale period to just a matter of days and creates maximum market exposure and the best chance for multiple offers.

- Dennis and Katie Edlund

16% Above Asking in 5 Days When we decided to sell our home, we interviewed three highly-regarded agents. We selected Mary & her team to represent us because they presented a proven system for selling which minimized our risks while maximizing our profits. In summary, Mary’s team made the staging, the showing, the selling, and the signing easy for us, and their results were outstanding! We wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone planning to sell their home.

- Michael and Kitty Mahon

13% Above Asking in 5 Days Mary arranged a seller’s inspection to avoid an inspection contingency. She reviewed the inspection report with me, to help me decide which fix-ups would make my house more sellable and which were unnecessary. To help with the fix-ups, she found inexpensive contractors who did great work on short notice. She arranged for staging, to highlight how a buyer might use the space. She produced attractive signs to post all over the house, each one highlighting a feature that a buyer might not notice. And she produced gloss high-quality marketing materials for buyers to take home after a viewing, to help them remember what they saw and to keep them excited about it. In a word, Mary is outstanding. Hiring her as my agent was one of my best business decisions. I recommend her and the team very strongly. Hire them. You’ll be glad you did.

- Philip A. Bernstein

10% Above Asking in 4 Days After 25 years in our home, we decided to downsize and purchase a smaller new construction home. We are so thankful that we hired Mary and her team, who helped us every step of the way. Their expert knowledge of the market, and proven marketing plan for creating a strong response from buyers allowed us to have our choice of buyers and sell our home without the normal buyer contingencies. We received a 200% return on the strategic improvements in the home that they suggested, and we were able to sell the home over our asking price and close our new home on time. Amazing! - Ken and Theresa Esemann





BUYER PROFILE FIRST STEP DURING T HE HOME BUYING PROCESS First Step Buyers Take During the Home Buying Process 44% Looked online for properties for sale 17% Contacted a real estate agent 13% Looked online for information about the home buying process 7% Contacted a bank or mortgage lender 6% Drove-by homes/neighborhoods 6% Talked with a friend or relative about home buying process 3% Visited open houses 7%

4% Other Source: National Association of REALTORS 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Criteria Buyers Use to Select a Home • Area • Schools • Price • Condition • Floor Plan • Visually Appealing 11












The Old Way of Doing Business Most real estate agents use the traditional strategy of selling a home known as the 4 P’s, which include: 1. Put it on the MLS 2. Put a sign up 3. Put a keybox on 4. Pray Although this strategy can sometimes work, sellers can miss out on maximum market exposure because they are not receiving a targeted and comprehensive marketing plan. Therefore, they are not getting the best buyer and possible outcome. In 2005, Mary reverse-enginereed the home sale process to address the common problems that occur in the sale of a home by creating the The Ultimate Home Selling Success System™.


The Ultimate Home Selling Success System™ The Ultimate Home Selling Success System™ creates a ‘Seller’s Market’ regardless of market conditions and the best opportunity for multiple offers, which gives sellers their choice of buyers, price, and terms. Our exclusive home selling process removes the normal buyer contingencies including the problematic home inspection contingency. Mary has been successfully selling her listings without a buyer’s home inspection contingency since 2005. This strategy has also resulted in her listings selling in a shorter time frame, higher sales price and often times with multiple offers. The extra profit she creates for her clients can truly be life changing!

Home Selling Success System Steps




For Sale





When selling a home, sellers have two options - they can either know the condition of their home up front or after the buyer has them under contract. If they wait until the buyer has them under contract, they’ll be at a disadvantage and risk a second round of price negotiations, where the buyer asks for expensive upgrades and repairs. When buyers estimate the time, materials, and costs required to fix something, they typically overestimate the actual cost by 2 to 4 times. For example, what appears to be an expensive plumbing leak might be fixed by tightening a fitting or replacing a washer.

SELLER BUYER In the worst case scenario, the buyers can change their mind and cancel the sale. In this event, sellers will have lost valuable market time. It is also rare that a seller gets their price again, causing sellers to lose thousands of dollars in lost profit. And they run the risk of being seen as a stigmatized property in the market.

Benefits of a Pre-listing Home Inspection Buyers typically feel more confident about making an offer on a home that has been pre-inspected, since they have all the information they need to feel comfortable moving forward. By disclosing the complete condition of the property, sellers establish trust and credibility with the buyer. A pre-inspection will enable sellers to make repairs while they are in control. They will be able to get multiple estimates and to negotiate pricing. Savvy sellers choose to put their home in top condition to generate the best response from the market. Sellers can also sell their home as-is and price it accordingly.


Most Common Home Inspection Issues 1. Faulty wiring—ungrounded outlets, open junction boxes, low amperage, and double tapping. 2. Poor grading and drainage—spongy soil around the foundation, signs of leaking in basement. 3. Faulty gutters—clogged or bent gutters, water not channeled away from house. 4. Basement dampness—water stains, powdery residue on walls, mold or mildew. 5. Roof problems—brittle or curled shingles; broken or missing flashings. 6. Foundation flaws—cracks in foundation, sloping floors, sticking doors or windows. 7. Faulty plumbing—inadequate water pressure, slow drains, galvanized plumbing. 8. Poor ventilation—extreme heat in attic, vapor condensation. 9. Defective furnace—cracks in the heat exchanger; carbon monoxide leaks. 10. Deferred maintenance—broken window seals, old appliances, dated carpet and fixtures.



Proper preparation of a home provides the seller with a quicker sale and a higher sales price. Typical steps in home preparation include:

1. De-Clutter The more uncluttered and unencumbered floor space the buyer can see, the larger and more inviting a home will feel. It is also important to neutralize the space and remove all personal photos. The goal is to help the buyers envision themselves in the home.

2. Clean A good deep clean is an absolute necessity after the clutter has been removed. This involves cleaning both the inside and outside of the home.

3. Repair Home buyers generally suspect that homes with small items in disrepair will have bigger items that have not been addressed. We strongly encourage sellers to complete any minor and cosmetic home repairs that sellers can afford to fix.

4. Replace Some items in a home cannot be saved even after cleaning and trying to repair. Installing new carpet or giving the walls a fresh coat of paint can make all the difference to a potential buyer.

5. Stage While de-cluttering, cleaning, replacing and making minor repairs will help prepare your home for sale, professional staging helps create the ‘model home’ look and makes the home more appealing to buyers.

Top Areas To Stage

62% of Listing Agents

1. Living Room 2. Kitchen 3. Master Bedroom 4. Dining Room 5. Bathroom

Say they offer some level of home staging as a service to sellers.

96% of Buyers Agents Say that staging has an effect on how buyers view a home.

81% of Buyers

52% of Buyers

Say it is easier Say they are willing to visualize the to PAY MORE for a property as a future staged property. home when staged.

Source: National Association of REALTORS 2015 Profile of Home Staging




3. PRICING The Parade Only Comes By Once

Days on Market The first thing a buyer is going to ask their agent when they become interested in a home is “how long has it been on the market”? The reason a prospective buyer wants to know is because they are determining how they will negotiate with a seller. If a home has only been on the market a few days or a couple of weeks, the buyer will assume there won’t be much room for negotiation. If they truly want the house, they will be more inclined to make a strong offer. Conversely, if a home has been sitting on the market for several months, the prospective buyer will use the home’s ‘days on market’ to negotiate against a seller, creating a ‘buyer advantage’ in negotiations.

The Risk of Overpricing As already stated, the longer a property is on the market, the less negotiating power a seller will have with potential buyers. The number one factor that keeps a home from selling is pricing the home above market value. An overpriced home: • • • •


Minimizes exposure during the initial launch Decreases the number of showings Decreases the number or potential buyers Limits qualified buyers

• • • •

Increases days on market Causes financing issues with low appraisals Nets less money for seller Helps sell the competition

Most buyers consider homes that have been on the market a long time as ‘stigmatized property’ and will assume that something is wrong with the home since it is still available and hasn’t sold. This is why it is so important for sellers to put themselves in the best possible position to create a sale within 30 days after coming on the market using a proper pricing strategy.

Proper Pricing to Maximize Profits While sellers may have a list price in mind, market value is ultimately determined by the buyer and market conditions. Therefore, it is imperative for us to do thorough research on the local market and discover exactly what buyers are currently paying for similar homes.

1. Evaluating The Home We will gather information about the home through county records, touring the home, and collecting detailed information from the sellers on capital improvements, repairs, and upgrades.

2. Gathering Information on Local Market In addition to collecting details on the property, we will gather information on the current active and pending homes, as well as the recent solds in the area that are similar in size, age and features.

3. Create a Price Analysis & Market Study Comparing the home to similar properties that are currently for sale or were recently sold is important to understanding the current market conditions. This side-by-side comparison report of homes is critical to determining the true market value of the property.

4. Setting a Price After reviewing gathered information, the next step is to determine the price. One strategy we use is even-number pricing. When sellers pick a price like $905,888 they may miss exposing potential buyers to the property. Only buyers who are looking in the $900,000 - $950,000 range will see the property. Buyers who are looking in the $850,000 - $900,000 range will be less likely to find the home in their search. By pricing a home with an even number, we effectively double the number of property searches the home will be in (over 90% of buyers start their search for a home online). This extra exposure could be the one thing that brings enough additional buyers to secure an offer, or create multiple offers.


4. PROMOTION Team Approach







Property Site

HD Photography

Our Websites

The Mary Lee & Associates team is highly trained in all aspects of the home sale and purchase process.

First step to making the home look beautiful is getting rid of clutter and tiding up. This simple step is essential.

Something as simple as new paint or carpet is all the home needs to give it that “brand new” feel that buyers love.

A staged home creates that “model home” look and helps buyers imagine themselves living in your home.

The first time most buyers see the home is online. Professional photography helps highlight the home.


Professional videography makes the home stand out to buyers, especially international buyers.

From outdoor signage to special feature cards, we make sure to highlight the best features of the home.

The Multiple Listing service is where we post information about the home. This is how agents search for homes for their buyers.

We build a customized site for the property that features details about the home, photos and video.

We feature the home on our main website as well as our other websites such as our neighborhood specific site.

KW Network

Our office has over 200 agents that are directly notified when we list the home. This network is a great way to expose the home.

Direct Mail

Just Listed

We create direct mail pieces to send out to the neighbors and to agents in the area that may have interested buyers.


Brokers Open

Social Network

Neighbor Invite

Email Blasts

Open Houses

Print Material


With KW’s Listing Service each property gets wide exposure on over 900 sites including Zillow, Trulia and

In addition to creating buzz by posting on our business pages, we pay for targeted marketing on social sites.

We send agents that typically sell in the area a personalized email with details about the home.

We will create beautiful custom brochures and flyers for the property that will help the home stand out.

A Broker Open House allows agents to preview the property for their buyers.

People typically only move within 10 miles of their home. This is why inviting the neighbors is key. They also love to tell their friends!

If comfortable, we will conduct several open houses to expose the home to the maximum number of buyers.

After agents tour the home, we send them a survey asking them what they and their buyers thought about the home.


5. NEGOTIATION Expert negotiation abilities is one of the most important skills home sellers want their agent to have when representing them in the sale of their home. Mary has her Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE)™ designation, and only 625 agents out of 1.1 million have this advanced training and classification. Mary’s negotiation skills will ensure that sellers have the right buyer at the right price, AND one who truly loves the home and is 110% committed to closing the deal. In addition to Mary’s proven negotiation skills, we have developed innovative strategies to create a successful home sale. These strategies include:

Selling Agent Packet In order to make sure all of the information about the property is available to potential buyers and their agents, we create a customized selling agent packet. In this packet, we provide all interested parties with the information needed to make an offer including contact information, seller’s procured inspection report, receipts for any work that has been completed on the house, and instructions on how to submit the most competitive offer.

Offer Review Date & Time Selecting a date to review offers allows all potential buyers to see the home and make an offer if interested. This is a top-tier strategy that allows sellers the best chance for multiple offers, and a higher sales price.

Multiple Offer Strategy Our proven marketing and follow up systems ensure that the home has maximum market exposure and the best chance for multiple offers.

Offer Improvement Call When we receive more than one offer on a home, we let the buyer’s agent know that we received multiple offers and allow them an opportunity to have their clients improve their offer (including price and terms) before we meet to review the offers.


Here are some of the terms we encourage buyers to improve: • Narrowing gap between offer price/cap • Increasing escalation amount and/or cap • Increasing earnest money amount • Making earnest money non-refundable • Removing any contingencies • Providing proof of funds • Providing loan approval • Using your preferred closing date • Offering a post-close rental to seller at no cost

Offer Review Once we have finished our opportunity and contract cleanup and the offers are complete, we will meet with to review the offers together. We will carefully analyze the following criteria: 1. Final Sales Price (including escalation clauses) 2. Financing and other contingencies 3. Closing and possession dates 4. Included/Excluded items Once you select a buyer we will prepare a Seller’s Estimated Net Proceeds Sheet at your final sales price.



Pre-Listing • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Schedule Strategy Session with Seller Tour Home Collect Market Data Meet and discuss Price Analysis and Market Study Determine Pricing Strategy Sign Listing Agreement Order Title Schedule and attend Pre-Inspection Establish Sales Price Stage Home Complete Professional Photography and Videography Design Team Walkthrough Create Marketing Materials Prepare Listing Paperwork Prepare Selling Agent Packet Install Signs, Feature Cards & Flyers

Sellers Responsibilities: • Clean and Declutter Home • Make Repairs from Inspection


Listed & Active • • • • • • • • • •

Post listing on NWMLS Post Selling Agent Packet Posted Launch Property Website Listing Syndication Email Targeted Agents Direct Mail Campaign Social Media Campaign Brokers Open House Public Open House Follow Up on Showings

Under Contract • • • • •

Open Escrow Contract to Escrow, Title, and Lender Meet Appraiser Follow Up on Buyers Financing Attend Closing

Home Sold/Closing

• Coordinate Key Exchange with Buyer • Property Ownership Updated on Title • Verify Funds Release

We look forward to creating a “Success Story” for you!

Mary 26

Mary Lee & Associates A New Level of Service & Results 425.941.4229 | MARY@MARYLEEREALESTATE.COM | WWW.MARYLEEREALESTATE.COM

Preparing for a Successful Sale