Our real estate adventure so far in 2013
This adventure started in late 2012 on a beach in the
On vacation…reflecting back, while looking head, and
casually asking where do we want to be, what do we
want to do for the next “xx” years.
The current house of the time would usually crop up in the
conversation. Accompanied by at our stage in life it’s a
little too big, and perhaps will be increasingly
demanding in the future.
We need to “lighten up” a bit on the house!
On a beach in the Caribbean’s lightening up on the house
is an interesting thought. To entertain the concept of
“lightening up”, and have intellectual discussions is the
How do these things actually start?
Innocently, on a Saturday morning in February 2013 we
see an ad on the MLS for an interesting smaller
home, in an interesting location, at what seemed like an
Lots of interesting elements, until we went to see the
home, and the interesting quickly deflated into a stark
In the meantime visiting what seemed like an interesting
house, was the catalyst that started our real estate
The initial discussion was: do you sell first and buy after or
buy first and sell after. In either case your intuition is
softly telling you that there will be hang ups.
In our case we opted to sell first and buy after.
Its usually an innocent
inquiry that initiates the
cascade of events.
Finalizing the decision to sell, especially a home that you
do not need to sell, has been the family residence for
over 20 years, is in an nice area of town.
This decision involves all the stakeholders in the
family, and will tug, at a full spectrum of emotions.
The reality: its a pragmatic decision, to convert your home
to money, to move forward into a new phase.
Words do not capture all the intellectual, and emotional
moments that are experienced in arriving at the final
decision to sell.
A real estate agent that quickly understands your
motivation and decision to sell is very helpful.
Now that the decision to sell is finalized.
The concept becomes a
Do not think for a moment that a real estate agent will sell
You are selling your house through a real estate agent.
Your daily routine is altered with staging, showings, open
houses, and a myriad of other activities that are
required to actually sell your home.
Get ready for a ton of opinions from all sorts of pundits.
Selling a home is a
We are all empowered by technology, which makes market
information, prices, readily available.
Especially with prices, there is a symmetry enabled by
technology, the seller, the agent, the buyer, the
buyer’s, agent, all have access to the same data.
This symmetry empowers a seller to remain abreast of pricing and
activity in the immediate neighborhood. While providing a
prospective buyer with the same information.
Technology enables individuals to assemble data in a fashion that
is responsive to their needs, objectives, agenda, and desired
Why so many individuals get caught up in a personal perspective
and quickly overlook the symmetry provided by technology is a
information, data, prices
Once the decision to sell if finalized, arriving at a price for your
home is the next decision.
As you can imagine “pricing” is fraught with opinions from a myriad
of pundits, and real estate agents.
At this stage its no longer your house, and you want to convert your
house to money by creating a buyer for your house.
Its worth repeating…converting your house to money by creating a
buyer/customer for your house.
What would you pay for your house?
What would you expect from a house in this price range?
What are the features of your house that are “inspiring”?
What is your tolerance for having your home on the market?
The start of the pricing
Part of the symmetry is the “composites” of what sold recently in
your area. Hopefully you also have a good idea of what sold in
your area, and at what price.
Be assured that everyone has an opinion: “the market is forever
rising, mortgage rates are low, everything is looking up. If you
start high you can always come down”.
Regarding price your real estate agent will often satisfy your ego
than deflate your ego with pragmatic reality. It’s a human
thing, lets stroke the seller’s ego to get a listing.
As the seller you need to convert your house to money, by creating
a buyer/customer for your home. Enhancing your ego will not
create a customer for your home.
The buyer is seeking a location, and inspiring features to justify the
price and value proposition.
Refining the pricing
As you progress in establishing a price for your home, keep in mind
that everyone is informed about kitchens, bathrooms, pot
lights, granite counter tops, laminate floors, and the latest
What is truly unique and inspiring about your house, compared to
the other homes that will appear on the composites?
How long do you want to take to sell your home 30 days, 60 days?
Your home gradually shifts from a “retail opportunity” to a
“wholesale piece” in the eyes of prospective buyers. After 30
days on the market your home is becoming a “wholesale piece”.
Is your strategy to price high and adjust after 20 days?
Is your strategy to price aggressively from the outset and sell
Do you want to sell your house or the other homes that are for sale
in your immediate area?
Finalizing the price
strategy for your house.
In our case from our auto retail business knowledge, as well as our
intellectual and emotional composure at the time (March 2013).
We opted for the following vector:
With the assistance of our real estate agent we arrived at a
realistic, aggressive price to sell the house in a 30 day time
We had a clear understanding that if the house did not sell in 30
days it was no longer on the market.
Set an aggressive selling price which is also the transaction price.
Establish a minimum transaction price just in case there arises
an element of negotiation.
Our strategy when we
priced our house.
Remain focused on the
outcome you desire.
You obviously have the best house in the area, and
neighborhood, you maintained your house, and no one else as
done as good a job as you.
If you have given yourself a 30 day time frame, your house must
convey that message.
Time is a great equalizer and it either becomes your assistant or a
Time is the equalizer for everyone.
Staging, is an essential part of selling your house.
Its similar to detailing a car that is offered for sale.
Yes…staging requires a financial investment, a level of grunt work,
and getting a storage unit.
Remain focused, you want to sell the house, its no longer your
home, and it has to appeal to the widest audience seeking a
house in your price range.
The more thorough the staging, the better your chances of selling
the house in a timely fashion.
Staging is a powerful competitive advantage.
Under no circumstance is your house placed on the market without
a full complement of photos, and virtual tour.
In the auto business dealers take at least 20 photos and videos to
sell vehicles that are a fraction of the price of a house.
You control how your house is represented, merchandised, and
marketed in the real estate market.
Start with the simple fact that the more photos the better, the better
the staging the easier it is for the photographers to take
inspiring photos of your house.
The easier it is to quickly convey a positive value relation to the
price of the house.
As an aside a new roof, furnace, hot water heater, garage doors, on
a 20+ year old house is maintenance, and a requirement to get
a good price, its not added value.
Be aware that your home is disseminated all over the internet with
a multitude of folks virtually walking through your home.
g, and merchandising to
sell your house.
With our time frame to sell the house in 30 days, the first open
house to prospective buyers should be the only one.
At the first open house, the quality of the staging, your grunt work is
what will make the difference. To convey a compelling message
that you are motivated to sell. Not that you simply listed your
As the seller you control the message, not the real estate agent.
Be assured that your emotions will be bouncing off the walls.
Do keep in mind that after you have read the various
articles, opinions, from a myriad of pundits.
The reality: folks that are ready to buy have options, and are
seeking a compelling price value proposition that will motivate a
Another reality: there are more homes on the market, than folks
that are ready to buy.
Define your appetite for showings, open houses, and all related
The moment of truth!
Your house meets the
Do expect to see an offer a few days after the open
house, this offer will usually be very best if its well
qualified by your real estate agent.
As you know there are a ton of books about the human
aspect of negotiations, and arriving at a desired end
You are seeking a qualified offer, from a motivated
buyer, that has the resources to conclude (close) the
Its that simple!
The simpler it is, the easier it is to make a decision.
Do understand why the offer was crafted and presented in
its context and conditions.
The result the work to
stage and market your
Most offers will have a few conditions to provide the
prospective buyer a level of comfort.
The first condition is a “home inspection” which is only
normal, usually the inspection is a few days after the
Any condition that is not win/win is usually not acceptable.
Be attentive to any form of financing or mortgage pre
approval which is fraught with grey areas and variables
often out of yours and the buyers control.They provide a level of
Yes…the house is
sold, and the