Selling Your Montgomery County Home - Five Key Elements


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The Five Key Elements to Getting Your Home Sold. I'll make sure you have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the current real estate market. Educated consumers make smart and financially sound decisions.

Chris Highland, with The Highland Group, has been helping buyers and sellers navigate the real estate process in Central Maryland for over 20 years. Now is not the time to rely on a novice agent. Consulting, listening, negotiation, technical and marketing skills, as well as savvy use of today's internet marketing platforms, are no longer an option—they are a must to get your home SOLD.

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Selling Your Montgomery County Home - Five Key Elements

  1. 1. Provided by: Chris Highland Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! an AGENT an EXPERT you can count on at your side MARKETING it’s all in the DETAILS for maximum exposure SELLING YOUR HOME KEY ELEMENTS
  2. 2. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! The Five Key Elements to Getting Your Home Sold Knowledge Is Power I’ll make sure you have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the current real estate market. Educated consumers make smart and financially sound decisions. Compete to Win . . . Not to Tie People buy on emotion. You must ensure that your home is properly conditioned for the market: * Curb Appeal* * Buyer Ready* *Updated & Neutral* Price is Critical Proper pricing is crucial and cannot be ignored. Be realistic, put yourself in the Buyer’s position. They have lots of choices! May the Best House Win Incentives are a must—Buyer and Agent. Remember, you have a lot of competition and your goal is to win! The Right Agent Matters Give this serious consideration. Now is not the time to rely on a novice agent. Consulting, listening, negotiation, technical and marketing skills are no longer an option—they are a must to get your home SOLD. Houses are Selling in Today’s Market… but you must know, understand, and follow the rules that govern today’s marketplace. THE PROCESS
  4. 4. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Who Represents Who AGENTS WHO REPRESENT THE SELLER Seller's Agent: A seller's agent (commonly referred to as the Listing Agent) works for the real estate company that lists and markets the property for the sellers, or landlords, and exclusively represents a seller or landlord. That means that he or she may assist the buyer or tenant in purchasing or renting the property, but his or her duty of loyalty is only to sellers or landlords. Cooperating Agent: A cooperating agent works for a different real estate company then the Sellers Agent, but also exclusively represents a seller or landlord. The cooperating agent can assist a buyer or tenant in purchasing or renting a property, but his or her duty of loyalty is only to a seller or landlord. SELLER BUYER EXCLUSIVE SELLERS AGENT EXCLUSIVE BUYERS AGENT DUAL AGENT DUAL AGENTSAME COMPANY UNDERSTANDING AGENCY
  5. 5. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! AGENTS WHO REPRESENT THE BUYER Buyer's Agent (by written agreement): A Buyer’s Agent works with buyers or tenants in locating a property to buy or rent and exclusively represents the Buyer or Tenant. That agent assists the buyer in evaluating properties and preparing offers, and negotiates in the best interests of the buyer or tenant. The agent's fee is paid according to the written agreement between the agent and the buyer or tenant. If you as a buyer or tenant wish to have an agent represent you exclusively, you must enter into a written buyer agency agreement. Presumed Buyer’s Agent (no written agreement): When a person goes to a real estate agent for assistance in finding a home to buy or rent, the agent is presumed to be representing the buyer and can show the buyer properties that are not listed by the agent's real estate company. A presumed buyer’s agent may not make or prepare an offer or negotiate a sale for the buyer. If you as a buyer or tenant wish to have an agent represent you exclusively, you must enter into a written buyer agency agreement. DUAL AGENTS The possibility of dual agency arises when the buyer's agent and the seller’s agent both work for the same real estate company, and the buyer is interested in property listed by that company. The real estate company, or broker, is called the "Dual Agent" Or “Intra Company Agent”. Dual agents do not act exclusively in the interests of either the seller or buyer, or landlord or tenant, and therefore cannot give undivided loyalty to either party, however, they may provide the same services to their Clients as an Exclusive Sellers or Buyers Agent including advising their clients as to price and negotiation strategy. LISTING YOUR HOME
  6. 6. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Using a Listing Agent There’s good reason why over 80 percent of homes are sold with the help of a real estate agent… If you really want your interests represented, an agent will negotiate hard on your behalf, focus on services that benefit you, and is knowledgeable about the things that are important. . . . You need a Listing Agent. Your home may be your biggest personal investment. One of the most important decisions you’ll make when selling your home is who you will trust to assist you. You should put the sale of your home in the hands of an experienced agent who will produce results for you. To help sell your home quickly and for the best possible price, an agent must effectively manage the transaction from start to finish. This requires specialized knowledge and skills: KNOWING THE MARKET PRICING YOUR HOME CORRECTLY STAGING YOUR HOME, INSIDE AND OUT MARKETING TO DELIVER MAXIMUM EXPOSURE OF YOUR HOME NEGOTIATING THE OFFER TO DELIVER THE BEST DEAL NAVIGATING INSPECTIONS, APPRAISALS AND ALL THE DETAILS SUCCESSFULLY CLOSING THE DEAL I will put my experience to work for you to improve your odds of getting your home sold for the best price in the shortest time. an AGENTyou can count on WHY WORK WITH ME?
  7. 7. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Deciding who to represent you is the most important decision you will make in the home selling process. Strategic Negotiation Price is not the only consideration. Purchase offers are complicated and usually contain special clauses. I’ll help you understand and evaluate each offer and work hard to ensure you get the best price and terms possible. Understanding contingencies and closing loopholes are essential in getting your property to closing on time and without surprises. Navigating Inspections, Appraisals, and the Details In nearly every case, the most critical elements of a home sale occur after the Buyer and Seller have reached an agreement. These components may include home inspections, objections, resolution deadlines, mortgage lender appraisals, title searches, surveys and more. I will help you understand the process and keep the transaction on track. Higher Education Pays Dividends for You I continuously seek professional education and designations, which means I have expertise in specialized areas, including foreclosures, short sales, the luxury home market, working with seniors, and many other areas. With access to on-demand training, I remain up-to-date on current emerging trends and issues, which affect my industry. Close With Confidence You will be armed with the information, tools and knowledge to go to closing with confidence that you got the best deal, the best price and the best terms that the marketplace would allow. an EXPERTat your side WHY WORK WITH ME?
  8. 8. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Why Me? I’LL LOOK OUT FOR YOU. Today’s real estate transactions are very complex. My job is to represent and protect your best interest. Through educating and informing you about your options and choices, my goal is to sell your home in the shortest period of time, at the best price and terms. MY REPUTATION. Other Agents know I am a professional listing agent. That means when it comes to showing their clients property, they chose my listings over other listed properties because they know my listings are priced properly, they will be treated fairly, and their contract has a greater chance of going to settlement. I’M INNOVATIVE. I know how to use technology. This is especially helpful in today’s fast-paced world. Not only during the process of selling your home, but throughout the transaction, I’m happy to communicate and keep you updated in a way that works for you…Phone, email, scanned documents, texts etc… I’M EFFICIENT. Your time is valuable. Through my experience I will handle every aspect of the transactions professionally, timely and in an efficient manner. This saves my clients money and unnecessary stress and frustration. NEIGHBORHOOD KNOWLEDGE. I have a better understanding of what buyers want for their money in the neighborhood they want to live in. This helps me see your home from a buyer’s perspective and provide you objective and necessary advice and feedback before and throughout the entire sale. CLOSING ASSISTANCE. There are hundreds of details that go into getting your home to closing as planned. I’ll help arrange for all the necessary inspections, financing, and title work. In addition, I stay on top of all the many details and issues that arise on the way to closing to ensure deadlines are met. MY EXPERTISE
  9. 9. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! My Role as Your Listing Agent Act as your Marketing Manager  Guiding you in setting a competitive market price  Advising you on how to showcase your home and highlight its best features  Developing a professional marketing strategy to expose your property to the widest possible audience — from a yard sign to the Internet  Discussing the sales advantages of a home warranty Bring you Qualified Buyers  Informing buyers of financing options  Helping buyers get pre-qualified and pre-approved with a lender before making an offer Serve as your Experienced Negotiator  Advising you on the merits of the offers submitted  Representing your best interests in all negotiations Act as your Transaction Coordinator  Overseeing the entire closing process  Keeping you consistently informed on the status of the closing  Reviewing all documents for accuracy  Assisting you with calculating your proceeds after the sale When choosing a real estate agent, consider the following:  Experience  Knowledge of the local market  Knowledge of the buying and selling process  The types of marketing, advertising and sales tools available  Compatibility in working with you  Quality of service offered  References MARKETING ESSENTIALS
  10. 10. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! When your home is on the market you need to reach every potential Buyer that you can. Your home needs to stand out and be seen in a very competitive marketplace. Getting the Basics Right A yard sign is certainly one way to show your neighbors, family, and friends that visit you that your home is for sale. The Multiple Listing Service is another effective way to show other agents that your home is on the market. Beyond the Basics More than 89% of homebuyers begin their search on the Internet. Your home will appear on the most heavily searched real estate websites. MARKETING for maximum exposure FreedomSoft Gooplex Harmon Homes HomesBook HomeOnTheTube Homes By Lender HomeOurConnect HomeWinks IAS Properties FrontDoor Cyberhomes AOL Real Estate And More… MARKETING ESSENTIALS
  11. 11. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! MRIS is the largest MLS in the nation and is the leading online real estate information service for about 50,000 real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region, including the vast majority of Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, DC as well as parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Listingbook is your destination for real estate information YOUR WAY. Unlike other real estate search Web sites, Listingbook provides accurate and timely information about listings in your local real estate market. More than just a property search, Listingbook presents unique data about individual properties or an entire market that you can't get anywhere else. I’ll set up your Listingbook account so you will be able to get up-to-the-minute market changes affecting your property. Centralized Showing Service is a service to schedule and report on showings for your home. With your private login, you’ll be able to track your showing, get feedback, or change your showing instructions. CSS makes showing easier for agents and sellers which results in more showings and a faster sale. cutting edge TECHNOLOGY
  12. 12. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Premier Web Presence: Cutting edge SEO, Search Engine Optimization techniques allows me to design a professional webpage just for your home! A webpage that get's found by buyers, not one that's hidden on the 10th page of a search. This helps buyers connect with me as the listing agent, the one who knows the most about your home. This creates maximum exposure of your home across the Internet and to drive-by traffic in the neighborhood;  24 hours, 7 days a week advertising and virtual "Open House"  100% exclusive focus on your property  Automatically generated high-impact Virtual Tour Slideshow  'Smooth-flow' navigation gives consumers a slick professional web experience  Instant notification of a buyer's interest in your home. We never lose a lead for your potential buyers YouTube Video: Although video is the most powerful marketing tool in the online marketing arsenal, only 8% of Real Estate Agents use home videos. We prepare a professional video of your home, showcasing all of the best features that will attract buyers. Not only will your listing stand out in the world's second most popular search site, it will attract more attention from those who see it. This will ensure your listing is added at the top of their "must-see list". MARKETING ESSENTIALS
  13. 13. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! two one thre efour five What EVERY Seller Needs to Know About Pricing Five General Principles: Value is determined not by what you need or have invested in your property but by what a buyer is willing to pay. The higher above fair market value your property is priced, the fewer the number of buyers you will reach. Your greatest number of showings will occur when your property first hits the market attracting the immediate attention of buyers looking for properties in that price range. The closer you price your home to fair market value, the higher the selling price you’ll likely receive. Listings priced too high attract the wrong buyers and the right buyers won’t see your property. The length of time your property is on the market will affect the selling price you receive. In a buyer’s mind, too much time on the market indicates an overpriced property. Also it encourages buyers to make lower offers. The closer your list price to fair market value, the greater the probability it will sell quickly at the highest selling price. PRICING IS CRITICAL
  14. 14. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! When Showings Occur Appropriate pricing is important in selling your home because buyers tend to look at similar homes. If your home is priced higher than other comparable homes, they may disregard it, thinking it's out of their price range. Overpricing lengthens the time properties remain on the market. Buyers then assume something is wrong which leads to lower offers. As a result, overpriced properties take longer to sell and sell for less than properties priced correctly. NumberofShowings Number of Weeks PRICING IS CRITICAL
  15. 15. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Look at your house through the buyer’s eyes as though you’ve never seen it before. Eliminate obstacles between prospects and the true appeal of your home. Dress Your House For Success You never get a second chance to make a first impression. In real estate, appearance is everything. Staging and de-cluttering your home has become increasingly important. On average, staged homes sell twice as fast as un-staged homes…and for a higher price! When looking at homes, buyers are usually swayed by better presented well staged homes. Ask me about staging help and/or services. In the meantime, here are some tips for you to think about. On the Outside:  Enhance drive-up appeal by removing clutter and cleaning stains off the driveway.  You may want to scrub or repaint your front door.  Touch up your exterior paint where needed.  Keep your lawn nicely trimmed and edged.  Remove dead and dying flowers and consider adding color.  Trim bushes, add fresh bark or rock to flowerbeds for a fresh look.  Pick up toys, flowerpots, charcoal bags, garbage cans or any items that tend to leave a cluttered look.  Clean out gutters/roofs; make sure they are free of debris and moss.  Make necessary repairs to your roof if it leaks.  Check your fence. Repair and repaint it if necessary.  Keep windows sparkling clean and replace any windows that may have cracks in them. STAGING
  16. 16. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! On the Inside  Review the house inside room by room. Paint and make repairs to walls in any rooms needing it, clean carpets or drapes that need it and be sure windows are clean and sparkling.  Rearrange or remove some of the furniture (if necessary) to make rooms appear larger and allow buyers to imagine their own furniture in the room.  The two most important rooms to a buyer are the kitchen and bathroom. Remove stains in the sinks and tubs. Make sure the floors have been scrubbed, and that all appliances have been well-cleaned and are in good working order.  Clear all unnecessary objects from the kitchen and bathroom countertops. Set out matching towels.  Tighten cabinet doors and lubricate squeaky or hard to open/shut doors.  Fix leaky faucets and make sure the drains in your tub and sinks are not clogged.  Replace the shower curtain (if needed) and clean the tile around the tub.  Odors must be eliminated especially if you have pets or young children. If you are a smoker, consider smoking outside during the time that your home is on the market. You may not notice the smell but potential buyers do.  Maintain the home in ready-to-show condition with beds made, clutter removed, dishes put away and so forth. Then, you're always ready for a showing as soon as you get the phone call.  Showcase your home as if you are receiving guests – Place flowers in vases, light a fire in the fireplace if it’s cold outside, and play soft background music.  During showings open all blinds/curtains and turn on all lights.  Make sure your pets are confined to a safe and out-of-the-way place.  During a showing try to step out for awhile. The buyer will feel more relaxed if allowed to view your home without any distractions.  In some cases, silence is golden. If you are present for any part of the showing, it is best to reserve comments until the buyer has left your home. The REALTOR® showing your home knows what to point out.  You should put away your most valuable items such as jewelry and collectibles. STAGING
  17. 17. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Pillars of Service I promise to work with integrity, in a spirit of cooperation, and always with the clear vision of providing you with a rewarding and satisfying real estate experience that is convenient, comfortable, and exceeds your expectations. What you can expect when you work with me:  Dependable, continual, timely communication  Active listening to your needs and concerns  Clear, understandable explanations of each step of the process  Personal attention in which you and your goals are the priority  Confidence that you are being fully informed and advised with integrity  Superior problem-solving skills based on proven experience and knowledge  A real estate professional you can trust for all your real estate needs throughout the stages of your life Fair Housing  Our company will act at all times in accordance with all federal, state, and local Fair Housing Laws.  Our company will not discriminate against any person because of Race, Color, Religion, Sex, Handicap, Familial Status, or National Origin Equal opportunity and equal treatment . . . It’s the right thing to do MY PERFORMANCE PROMISE
  18. 18. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! About Me I have been a licensed REALTOR® since 1993. During this time I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of buyers and sellers. I love the real estate business and I have systems in place that will aid you in fully expediting the sale of your home. Once I show you the systems that I have in place, I think you will agree that I spend more time and resources on my clients than most other REALTORS®. The secret to an excellent agent, in my opinion, is not just being pro-active; however, it is about diligence in the approach and the willingness to do what it takes to get the job done. Some of the most effective techniques are not effective unless they are done over and over without pause....until the customer is satisfied. Sometimes it takes creativity and thinking outside the box to sell a home. It is my intent to use everything at my disposal to get the job done. I am a full time real estate professional that will negotiate in your best interest and walk you through the process with the least inconvenience. My passion is getting you results, saving you time, and building a friendship in the process. The agent that you select is of extreme importance. He or she will be the determinant of the success or failure of the home selling process. My business has been built on repeat customers and referrals. I am committed to your success. I can help. WHY ME? “I highly recommend Chris Highland as a real estate agent. I have worked with Chris during the sale of a house and the purchase of a new one. He made some recommendations to me that enabled me to sell my house in 2 days. He showed us houses in a very timely manner that we were interested in, thus a purchase of a wonderful home. During this process, we had many questions and Chris was “there for us” every single time. I would email him a concern and he responded rapidly with answers that eased any concerns we have had. Chris is a very professional agent and is informative with his knowledge. I totally trusted Chris to make our house search an easy process. ~ Cathy Van Norden
  19. 19. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Why Turning Point? WE’RE A REAL ESTATE SERVICES COMPANY Today’s consumers are more educated, savvy and demanding than ever before. What they expect normally far exceeds what they get; which is for their Real Estate Agent to take care of not only all the numerous details associated with the Real Estate transaction, but also help advise the rest of their move. We know that you want help with other services like home care and improvement services, property management, moving and self storage. Our multiple divisions (Commercial, Residential, Construction Services and Property Management) are structured to handle this either internally or through our Strategic Partnerships. Our quality Associates want to be a trusted resource for our clients to gain lasting customer loyalty. Turning Point Real Estate is an innovative organization where our highest mission is to fulfill the anticipated experience of associates, clients, and staff. We pledge to provide the finest level of ethical and professional services within an energized environment where ALL can expect commitment, integrity, and visionary leadership. We strive to embrace today’s ambitious life-style by creating an atmosphere which promotes sustainable balance and well-being. MISSION STATEMENT WHY TURNING POINT?
  20. 20. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! WILL MY HOME BE INSPECTED BY A BUYER? Probably. Most agents recommend their buyer perform an inspection because the cost of an inspection is a small price to pay for peace of mind about their purchase. On average, a home inspection takes about 2 hours, and is an impartial evaluation to not only determine if any defects exist, but also point out good features of your property. If an inspection reveals defects or necessary repairs, you’ll have the opportunity to negotiate performing the work, giving a credit to the buyers for the repairs, or cancelling the contract. WHAT ABOUT OTHER INSPECTIONS? There are many other inspections performed on a property when purchased, some as a requirement of the Lender, and others at the buyer’s request to ensure the home they want to buy is in good condition and is free of environmental hazards. Here are some of the most common inspections (based on the age, location, and type of property): Radon, Well and Septic, Wood Boring Insects (Termite), Lead Paint Sometimes other tests may be performed as the result of a home inspection or a Seller Disclosure by a Mechanical or Structural Engineer, Licensed Roofer, HVAC Mechanic or plumber to provide a second specialized opinion if necessary. WHAT IS RADON? Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. Radon typically moves up through cracks and other holes in the foundation. EPA recommends that you take action to reduce your home's indoor radon levels if your test result is 4 pCi/L or higher. Because radon gas is completely invisible to sight, smell, or taste, special detection kits are necessary to find a potential problem. Luckily, detection of radon gas through the testing kits is easy and relatively inexpensive to remediate. DOES THE BUYER HAVE 3 DAYS TO RESCIND THEIR OFFER ONCE IT’S BEEN ACCEPTED? No. This is a common misunderstanding. Although the Buyer will have some safeguards, or “contingencies” to protect them, a contract is a legally binding agreement. FAQ’S
  21. 21. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! HOW LONG AFTER CONTRACT UNTIL WE GO TO SETTLEMENT? On a case by case basis this can vary, but to ensure there is enough time to get everything necessary completed, (such as inspections, appraisals, title searches and loan approval) settlement generally occurs about 60 days following your contract acceptance. SHOULD I INCLUDE A SELLER WARRANTY? No. This is a common misconception. Depending on a home’s age, usually less than 10 years, there may be the remainder of a Structural Warranty offered from the original builder. However, with the exception of New Home Builders, Sellers are not required to warrant their home. This is another good reason for a Home Inspection. Resale homes are typically sold in the condition they are in when your contract is accepted. There are generally certain things that must be in working order at the time of transfer such as the plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems but otherwise, normal wear and tear is accepted. Because of this, we offer our clients a Home Warranty at a nominal Cost. WHAT ARE SELLERS OBLIGATIONS TO DISCLOSE PROBLEMS WITH THEIR HOME? Under Maryland law, all Sellers of Residential Property must complete and provide prospective buyers with either a Property Disclosure or Disclaimer Statement. Most Owners who live in the home they are selling will complete a Disclosure Statement, which answers a series of questions about the home’s condition along with any defects. This helps buyers in their overall analysis of a property when preparing to make an offer, and help them understand more about the overall history and general condition of the home. By law, buyers must receive a copy of this Statement prior to entering into a contract with the Seller, otherwise they will have the right to rescind the contract at any time prior to, or within 5 days following the receipt of the Disclosure Statement. Property being sold by Sellers who have not lived in the home or are unfamiliar with the property, such as Banks, Trustees, Investors and Tax Sales, complete a Disclaimer Statement whereby the Seller makes no warranties or claims about the condition of the property and normally sell the property in “as-is” condition. Signing a Disclaimer Statement does not relieve the Seller of disclosing latent or known defects in the property. At the time of listing, we can discuss whether you should complete a disclosure or disclaimer statement. FAQ’S
  22. 22. Trust the sale of your home to an EXPERT! Your Contact Info Name: _________________________________________________________ E-Mail:_________________________________________________________ Cell: _______________ Home: ________________ Work: ______________ Name: _________________________________________________________ E-Mail:_________________________________________________________ Cell: _______________ Home: ________________ Work: ______________ NAME THE TOP FEATURES THAT ATTRACTED YOU TO YOUR HOME: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ LIST YOUR FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT LIVING HERE: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ DO YOU HAVE SEASONAL PHOTOS OF YOUR HOME: ____ YES ____ NO LIST ANY MAJOR REPAIRS OR IMPROVEMENTS YOU MADE TO THE HOME: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ LIST ANY ITEMS THAT DO NOT CONVEY WITH THE PROPERTY: ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW? ABOUT YOU