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PREPARING

TO SELL

EVERYTHING YOU NEED AND WANT TO KNOW


Phone:

Email:

406-539-5358 (Cell) 406-586-7676 (Office)

nicole.taranto@bhhsmt.com

Website:

NicoleTaranto.com

Address:

2001 Stadium Dr. Ste A Bozeman, MT 59715

Facebook:

NicoleTarantoRE

Instagram: nicoletaranto.realestate LinkedIn:

Nicole Taranto Daniel


THE SELLING ​PROCESS And Setting Realtor®/Client Expectations

1. First Meeting:​ I’ll come to your home.. I want to see all the details of your home and what you love most about it. This initial meeting is the best opportunity for you to ask me any questions you may have  and for me to learn more about you and your property. I will explain the services I offer and my  marketing proposal for listing your home.    2. Comparative Market Analysis​: After our initial meeting, I will find properties that have similar  characteristics to your home that have sold recently. I will use these properties to create a comparative  market analysis (or CMA) for your home to price it appropriately. We will schedule a follow up meeting  at my office to discuss pricing strategy and sign listing paperwork.    3. Prepare to List​: One we have a listing date in mind, it is time to get your home ready to sell. This  means decluttering and making the home as show worthy as possible for potential buyers.   1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Read through and complete any necessary items on our ​“PREPARING TO LIST”​ page in the Seller Brochure. I have a staging consultant available at request to provide suggestions for decluttering and  best preparing your home for sale.  Prepare your home to be photographed by completing any necessary items on the ​“PHOTOGRAPHY  PREPARATION”​ page in the Seller Brochure.  A professional photographer and videographer will be scheduled.  Matterport 3D Tour or Virtual Staging will be done if needed.  Soft Touch Brochures are made for the flyer box attached to the For Sale sign.   “Coming soon” video of the exterior posted on Facebook and Instagram 24-48 hours before your  property goes on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).  Sneak peek walkthrough video aired on Facebook live and Instagram Stories within 24 hours of your  property going on MLS.  Your property is added to the next issue of my bi-weekly email newsletter.  A For Sale sign and lockbox are installed at the house. Booties are put in the foyer.   A date and time frame is scheduled for your home to be on the BHHSMT Office Tour on Tuesday  mornings. ​Treat this like a showing to a potential buyer​, the majority of our office agents will attend the  walk through and provide feedback or possibly have a buyer client in mind. Be prepared to leave the  house from 9-11am unless otherwise stated.  

4. List the Property:​ Once the home is ready, it will be listed on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) where  every real estate agent subscribed to the Big Sky Country MLS can view it.  1.

2. 3. 4.

Any agents who have clients that are actively looking for properties like yours will be contacted immediately after the property becomes available on MLS through reverse prospecting.  Your property is advertised as described on the ​“PROPERTY MARKETING”​ page of the Seller Brochure.   Your home is scheduled for the next available MLS Tour based on your area (Thursdays 9am-12pm)  An open house is scheduled for Sunday (only if you would like one). 

5. Agent Communication:​ Every Monday, you will receive a weekly report via email with updates from  the previous week. This email will include feedback from any showings, what I did to promote your  home, view reports from Zillow, Adwerx and other websites and any new activity in your neighborhood.  I will also call/text (whichever you prefer) whenever time sensitive items need to be discussed or  relayed.   


6. Receive an Offer:​ I will navigate you through any offers and you can choose to accept, counter or reject them.    7. Under Contract: ​You will receive “next step” emails from me as earnest money is deposited,  inspections are scheduled, contingencies are released, etc. The buyers will deliver an earnest money  check to the Title Company and open escrow within the time frame stipulated in the buy sell  agreement. From there, they will schedule a home inspection (and any other inspections they have  included in the contract). After the inspection walk-through, they will submit an Inspection Notice to us,  stating any concerns or repairs they would like corrected on the property. Just like the offer process,  you can choose to agree, negotiate or reject their requests. Within 1-2 weeks of going under contract,  the Title Company will send us a Title Commitment for the property. This shows the Title Insurance  Policy and ​discloses to all parties any liens, defects, burdens and obligations that affect the property.    8. Release Contingencies:​ Once everyone agrees on the items in the inspection notice, repairs will need  to be made prior to closing and proof of repairs provided to the buyers. If the buyer is financing the sale,  their lender will order an appraisal for the home. In order to close, all the contingencies in the contract  must be released by the dates stated.    9. Schedule Cancellations:​ You will need to schedule service cancellations with any utility companies  you have. Plan on ending service on the day of closing. (Northwestern Energy, Trash Services, Water  Company, Cable, etc.)    10. Pack Up:​ In most cases, the buyers will be moving into the home after the deed has recorded on the  day of closing. Before closing day, your things must be removed from the home so the buyers can do a  final walk-through. They will make sure all the agreed upon items have been taken care of and that the  property is in the condition that was agreed to. Leave any keys to the property with your agent.    11. Closing:​ A few days prior to closing, you will receive a Settlement Statement from the Title  Company. Review the numbers and make sure it looks correct. On the day of closing, be sure to bring  your driver’s license with you to the Title Company. After you and the buyers have signed, the deed will  be recorded at the courthouse and the transaction is complete!   


FREQUENTLY ​ASKED  

How do you get paid? When listing a property, the agent and seller agree on a commission percentage that will be taken out of  the sale price. Upon closing, the listing agent and their brokerage receive a portion and pay out a  portion/percentage of that total commission to the selling brokerage and agent. Each brokerage has  different splits between them and their agents.    Do I really even need a REALTORⓇ?   That is ultimately up to you, but I of course think the answer is yes. As your agent, I look out for your best  interests and negotiate on your behalf. I also have knowledge and experience in the Bozeman (and  surrounding) market and can be an important resource for you regardless of whether you are buying or  selling. Would you build your own house, fix your own car or treat your own illnesses? Some of you would  say yes, and sometimes everything works out ok, but other times it won’t. As a buyer, you are getting a  FREE service, so why wouldn’t you utilize it!? As a seller, a REALTOR® has access to information that will  help accurately price your home as well as a much larger reach than you can achieve on your own to make  sure your home gets in front of as many potential buyers as possible. We keep the process going and  handle EVERYTHING that may come up.      Do I only put damages and repairs on the Owner’s Property Disclosure?  Think of it this way- If you were buying your house, what would you want to know? Damages and  repairs are of obvious things a buyer would want to know, but if you have taken great care of your  home, put all of those maintenance items in there as well. You can never disclosure too much. If you  don’t disclose something that could be a deal breaker for a potential buyer, you may end up finding  yourself in a lawsuit after closing. Nobody wants that, so it is better to have a buyer terminate early  than to have to deal with a lawsuit later.     Should I list my house at a high price and come down?  There are several different pricing strategies, but if you want to sell your home fairly quickly, pricing it  right is vital to reaching the optimum number of buyers. The first two weeks are very important for  marketing a home and price is a key factor.     Should I lock up my valuables?  If you would be more comfortable doing so, then yes. In order to access your property, the buyer’s  agent will need to present in order to access the keys via lockbox. While REALTORS® follow a Code of  Ethics and many clients are very trustworthy, we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads and things  could happen. Better to be safe than sorry if the item is important to you.     Why doesn’t your market valuation match Zillow?   Simply put, Zillow doesn’t know everything. Montana is a non-disclosure state meaning Zillow doesn’t  know what homes are selling for in Montana. It messes with the algorithm and very rarely produces an  accurate number. You can read more about it at:  https://www.zillowgroup.com/news/chronicles-of-data-collection-ii-non-disclosure-states/         


What should I do to prepare to sell my home? Remove the excess and clean! How you live in a home and how you sell a home are two different things.  Decluttering, cleaning and having good curb appeal are the big ones. For a more detailed list, refer to  the “Preparing to List” page in the Seller Brochure.    How long does a listing agreement contract last?  This varies, but I wouldn’t recommend anything under 6 months. For homes under $1 million, I would  prefer a year long contract. If the home is over $1 million, I would hope for closer to 18 months since  homes in that price range can take longer to sell. Ultimately, you and your agent need to come to an  agreement.   Can I cancel my listing agreement contract?  Although the contract is legally binding, If you are unhappy with my level of service, I will try to remedy  the situation in any way possible. I wouldn’t force a client to stay in a contract if it’s not in their best  interest. If you want to cancel the contract and your reasoning is appropriate, I am happy to cancel.   What happens if the appraisal is lower than the agreed sale price in the contract?  A few things can happen here. The buyer may elect to terminate the contract and get their earnest  money back (if they have an appraisal contingency in the buy sell that states what it must appraise for)  or they may try to negotiate with you to the appraised number or a compromise in between. If they are  financing, the bank/mortgage company won’t want to finance for any more than the appraised value so  if you won’t come down and they really really really want the house, they will probably have to come up  with the difference. In most cases, if the house doesn’t appraise for the agreed upon sales price, and  you don’t have a backup offer that is strong, it may be in your best interest to negotiate. It’s a case by  case basis.    What are all these contingencies in the offer I just received?  In the Buy Sell Agreement you will usually see, there are several contingencies. Contingencies are a way  for the buyer to terminate the contract and get their earnest money back if things aren’t to their level  of satisfaction.  Inspection Contingency: There are quite a few boxes that can be checked here and usually are.  This states that if they perform any of the inspections they choose and are not happy with what  was found, they can elect to terminate or negotiate the repairs with you.  Financing Contingency: If they are unable to obtain financing for the amount agreed upon, they  can get out of the contract.  Appraisal Contingency: If the home doesn’t appraise for at least the purchase price or another  number listed in the offer, they can choose to terminate.  Title Contingency: If there are any items in the Title Commitment they are unsatisfied with, they  can elect to terminate.  Insurance Contingency: They have to be able to get home insurance at a rate that they can afford.  “This offer is contingent upon…”: There are two blank sections where a buyer could write in just  about anything. This is where you would see something like the buyer having to get their current  home under contract prior to closing on yours.   

 


PREPARING TO ​LIST How to get your home show ready 

If you can’t do them all, the most important items are cleaning, decluttering and curb appeal.

1. Clean, clean, clean.​ Dust on top of the fireplace mantle and fan blades, polish your appliances and  faucets, and give the windows a thorough washing. If you’ve already moved out or if you’re too busy to  stay on top of things, consider hiring a cleaning service to stop by every couple of weeks. I can  recommend a cleaner if you don’t have one.  2. Pay attention to smells. ​Don’t cook bacon if you know you have a showing in an hour or two. That  smell lingers and while most people love bacon, they may not love a house that smells like it. Don’t  overdo the candles or incense or diffuser, you may love that smell but your buyer may not. Keep it  neutral.  3. Clear out the clutter.​ You want buyers to focus on how great the space is, not how messy it looks.  Not everyone can look past your personal items to see the potential in your home. Get rid of the pile of  shoes from the entry, that stack of mail from the kitchen table and anything else that detracts from  your home’s features.  4. Repaint the walls neutral colors. ​As much as you love your dramatic red dining room, it could turn  off a good portion of your buyers. So repaint your rooms in neutral tones like tans, whites or greys  that allow buyers to focus on the spaces themselves, not the color of the walls.  5. Keep the décor simple.​ To help buyers imagine themselves in your space, get rid of any art or other  décor that might turn off people with different tastes. A classic landscape painting? Totally fine. Your  zebra print leather couch? Might want to slipcover that.  6. Get rid of personal items.​ Buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home, so remove  anything overly personal, like family photos in the hallway or your kids’ artwork on the fridge.  7. Let there be light! ​Open up all the windows to let in natural light and add floor or table lamps to  areas that are dim. A bright, cheery room looks bigger and more inviting.  8. Bring nature inside. ​Potted plants or a few pretty buds in a vase can help bring energy into a space,  fill in empty corners and even draw attention to features you want buyers to notice. (If you can’t keep  plants alive to save your life, skip this one.)  9. Get rid of bulky furniture. ​Your furniture should fit the scale of the room, so get rid of any extra or  oversized items that could make your space look smaller than it really is.  10. Organize your closets. ​Storage space is a huge selling point, and if your closets are stuffed to the  brim, buyers will think you don’t have enough of it. Invest in some boxes, dividers and other solutions 


that will help you make your stuff look more organized, and remove extra items you don’t need immediately.  11. Tackle that honey-do list.​ All those little things you’ve been meaning to do but never got around  to? Buyers will notice them, and they’ll detract from the value of your home. So set aside a weekend to  tighten those loose doorknobs, fix that leaky faucet and paint over the scuffs from when you first  moved in your sofa.  12. Do a faux “renovation.​” Little tweaks can make a big difference in the overall feel of a room.  Kitchen a little outdated? Replace the fixtures, faucets and hinges. Family room furniture beaten up?  Throw some slipcovers over it.  13. Give each room a purpose.​ That spare room you’ve been using as an office / guest room /dumping  ground won’t help sell your home unless you show buyers how they can use it themselves. So pick a  use (office, guest room, crafts room) and clearly stage the space to showcase that purpose.  14. Turn the bathroom into a spa.​ Create the feel of a relaxing, luxurious bath — for less than $30.  Stack a few pretty washcloths, add some scented candles and faux plants, and buy coordinating bath  mats and towels in neutral tones.  15. Close the toilet!​ When it comes to both showing and photographing your home, this little trick can  make a surprising difference.  16. Turn the living room into conversation central.​ Help buyers picture themselves relaxing with  family and guests by grouping your furniture into arrangements that inspire conversation.  17. Keep the flow going. ​The last thing you want is people bumping into furniture as they tour your  home; it disrupts their focus and makes your space look cramped. Do a dry run as though you’re seeing  your home for the first time and tweak anything that interrupts the “flow.”  18. Boost the curb appeal. ​Don’t spend all your time indoors. Some buyers could decide not to even  enter a home based on its curb appeal (yes this is a real thing sometimes!), so make sure your home’s  exterior looks excellent. Trim your shrubs, weed your flower beds, fix any peeling paint and keep the  walkway clear. Just adding a row of potted plants along the walkway or a cheerful wreath to your front  door can make a big difference. 


PHOTOGRAPHY ​PREPARATION The way you live in a house and the way you sell a house are usually two different   things. Make it easy for potential buyers to see all the great (or unique) qualities   in your property by making sure the photos highlight your home’s features.

 

OUTSIDE​__________________________________________________________ ➢ Remove vehicles, trash cans, recycle bins, etc. from driveway and front of house.  ➢ Sweep driveway, walkways, porches, patios and decks. 

➢ Remove hoses, sprinklers, garden tools, children’s/pet’s toys.

➢ Mow the lawn; trim back shrubs/bushes from walkways and doors; remove weeds from  

flower beds and around shrubs/bushes.

INSIDE​____________________________________________________________ ➢ Open window coverings (curtains, drapes, sheers, blinds) to let in as much natural light as  possible. 

➢ Turn off ceiling fans—moving fan blades just look like a blur in the photos.

➢ If time and budget permits, have windows professionally cleaned. Clean windows let in more light than dirty windows. Consider removing window screens as well. 

➢ Make sure all light fixtures have the proper type of bulbs—do not mix fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. Replace any burnt out bulbs. 

➢ Eliminate as much clutter as possible, including children’s toys, clothing, piles of

newspapers/magazines. Remove anything from the floor that doesn’t belong on the floor.

➢ Remove toiletries and other personal items from bathroom counters; close toilet lids; remove/replace old or dirty towels, washcloths, etc. 

➢ Make all beds neatly (avoid wrinkles, lumps, etc.); clear dressers of personal items.

➢ If your child’s bedroom has his/her name spelled out on the wall or otherwise visible, you may wish to remove it.  

➢ At your computer workstations, stow or unplug dangling cables/wires; clear papers. Straighten up and/or remove items from bookcases. 

➢ In the kitchen, remove most, but not all, items from the counters. Items that can be left out

might include: decorative canisters, a colorful bowl or platter, no more than one countertop appliance. You want it to be uncluttered, but not sterile. Items to remove or hide from view  include: dish towels, pet dishes, trash cans. Remove everything (magnets, pictures,  calendars, etc.) from the outside of the refrigerator. 

➢ In the living room or family room, remove remote controls, magazines, stacks of books, toys, etc. Remove any throws from chairs or couches. 


IT COULD ​HAPPEN

THINGS TO EXPECT WHEN SELLING A HOME

While a lot of these things may not happen, knowing it COULD happen before it actually does makes for a much smoother and less stressful experience. Remember, we are all human and make mistakes, it’s probably  not personal and the world is not ending. 

 

➢ The buyer may negotiate 2-5 times on this transaction. They will negotiate the purchase price, the inspection, potentially the appraisal, the final walk-thru, etc. 

➢ The date on the contract will most likely change, it is a guesstimate and subject to many variables. 

➢ An agent will miss their showing appointment.

➢ Appointments will be made and cancelled at the last minute.

➢ Buyers will pull up to the house, decide it’s not for them and never even come inside. ➢ Some showings will last about five minutes and some showings will last hours. 

➢ There will be a day when someone wants to see your house, right now. They are probably already standing outside. 

➢ I am going to call you 3 minutes before a showing because they canceled. Sometimes it may even be 20 minutes after. Don’t shoot the messenger please :) 

➢ Agents are going to make appointments at the very LAST minute, even when you have requested night before notice. 

➢ People will drive by your home ​v e r y s l o w l y​. It may creep you out, but you don’t have a stalker I promise. 

➢ Expect lowball offers, no matter what the market is like.

➢ After closing, you may feel like you didn’t get enough money for your house (and the buyer will feel like they paid too much). 


DOs & ​DON’Ts

________________________________​DOs​________________________________

 

➢ Tell me if you are allergic to animals ➢ Be honest with your lender about child support, alimony, wage garnishments or any other  payroll reduction  ➢ Tell agents holding open house if you are working with an agent   ➢ Tell me if you need to sell your current home before buying another one  ➢ Realize it is possible to find what you are looking for the very first day you go out   ➢ Realize there are no PERFECT homes. You will always be limited by income, zoning, inventory  at the time, etc.  ➢ Be honest with your agent and lender  ➢ Be aware you may be under surveillance when viewing homes/properties. Assume you always  on camera  ➢ Get a home inspection - even if it is new construction  ➢ Get approved from your lender before you look at homes  ➢ Tell me what is most important to you in a home/property  ➢ Bring your Driver’s License to the closing  ➢ Realize this is a very big purchase, but it is also an ADVENTURE. Enjoy it.  ➢ Only spend what you are comfortable with. Just because you are approved for “X” doesn’t  mean you need to spend that much. 

______________________________​DON’Ts​______________________________

➢ Don't quit or change your job ➢ Don't buy any large ticket items, especially if you will need to finance (i.e new vehicles,  campers, furniture)  ➢ Don't make large deposits of money that can’t be traced  ➢ Don't talk to Sellers directly - that’s why you have an agent  ➢ Don’t lie to me about how you really feel. I’m here to help you find the RIGHT place, honesty  is important.   ➢ Don’t make any major purchases, like booking a vacation (yup- this is on here SEVERAL TIMES  so it really sticks)  ➢ Don’t hate on a property in front of the owners or while viewing it, you may be under  surveillance   ➢ Don’t call the Listing Agent listed on the For Sale sign if you have an agent  ➢ Don’t go home to “sleep on it” if you are in a hot market (If you sleep on it, you might not  sleep IN it)  ➢ Don’t co-sign on anything for anyone!  ➢ Don’t buy/order/sign up for things that will require a credit pull  ➢ Don’t change your name  ➢ Don’t have unrealistic expectations  ➢ Don’t tell people you bought a house before it has closed  ➢ Don’t believe everything you see on HGTV (most of that stuff is scripted or made up)  ➢ Don’t call me two minutes before a showing to cancel   ➢ Don’t get an out of state lender that doesn’t know our market (if at all avoidable) 


PROPERTY ​MARKETING   Professional Photography and Matterport Tour​__  In addition to interior and exterior photos of the  property, we also have a Matterport 3D virtual tour  and/or aerial video shot for your property. For unique  or larger properties, a 3D tour or video helps potential  buyers who are out of town/state get an idea of  layout and livability.  

Personalized Website on Our For Sale Sign

​_

We install a BHHSMT For Sale sign near the road and attach a flyer box with brochures. We also include a  personalized website on the sign. On the site, they  can view the photos, 3D tour and all listing  information while still standing outside your home.  They can also RSVP to an upcoming open house and  schedule a showing.   

Video Marketing

​___________________________ Video marketing is crucial in selling real estate today.  With over 90% of today’s viewed online content being  video, it is the most effective way to get people to  notice your home. Our video marketing includes a  “Coming Soon” video of the exterior, a “Sneak Peek”  brief walkthrough video just before it hits our  Multiple Listing Service and then we do a full walk  through video to create multiple marketing pieces to  distribute on social media platforms, my own  website, YouTube, LinkedIn and all of the syndicated  websites that allow video.    Berkshire Hathaway Weekly Office Tour​________  With close to 80 agents in our Bozeman office, about  ⅓ of our listings are sold by another Berkshire Agent.  Our weekly office sales meetings are very well  attended and many Berkshire agents will view your  home.   

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Tour​_____________ Very similar to the Berkshire Office Meetings, the  MLS Tour is a weekly tour that allows any agent from  any brokerage to tour new listings. With over 1100  agents in the Gallatin Association of Realtors, this is  great exposure for your home.   

 

Open Houses

​______ _______

Self explanatory- get people inside your home to see it in person! 

Just Listed! Postcard & ECard​ _________________  Within the first week of your home being on the  market, we send out Postcards to the surrounding  area announcing your home is available for sale.The  ecard is a digital flyer that is distributed to every  member of the Gallatin Association of Realtors.   (over 1300 people)   

Internet & Social Media Advertising​_____________ In addition to the websites that the MLS distributes  the listing information to (Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com,  etc) and the sites Berkshire Hathaway syndicates to  (CNN Money, Wall Street Journal, etc) that have  viewers all over the world, we also advertise your  property on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn  and Twitter.     

Digital Marketing with Adwerx & BOOST​________ BHHS has also partnered with Adwerx and Boost by  Homespotter to create exclusive digital advertising  for your home on sites like USA Today, ESPN, CNN,  Forbes, New York Times, YouTube and many more.  These ads are targeted to the local buyers in your  area. These ads are targeted to the demographic of  buyers that are looking at your home.   

Print Advertising​______________________________ Your property will be included in the Montana  Residential Real Estate Catalog that comes out each  month as well as in the Bozeman Chronicle when an  open house is scheduled.   

Property Brochure​_____________________________ BHHSMT has seasonal property brochures 3 times per  year that are widely distributed around Bozeman and  the surrounding area plus 6,000 copies are inserted  into the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. It is also available  online.   


DIGITAL DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS MARKETING TOOLS LISTHUB REPORT

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Montana Properties syndicates all of our MLS listings and we can provide you with a report showing how many people have viewed your property on the best performing websites.

CHALK DIGITAL

Your property will have a custom mobile ad and will be shown on the most popular apps on cell phones. We can target local and feeder market mobile devices for our ads.

SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

Your listing will be featured on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

LISTING SYNDICATION

Our robust network of listing feeds and website partners help to achieve maximum visibility for our homes. We are constantly monitoring and managing our network of over 750 websites to ensure quality and accuracy. Our extensive exposure helps ensure that we find the right buyer and best terms for every sale. Our website partnerships include:

Profile for Nicole Taranto

Preparing To Sell Guide  

Preparing To Sell Guide  

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