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Ultimate Prelisting Handbook 2014_revised

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Here is a copy of my Ultimate Prelisting Handbook that I share with home sellers before I meet with them to provide an overview of the issues they need to be aware of as home sellers, and to learn more about how I run my real estate business. The Ultimate Prelisting Handbook provides information about pricing your home correctly and why that's important, marketing strategies I use to provide your home for sale with the most online and offline exposure, and so much more.

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Ultimate Prelisting Handbook 2014_revised

  1. 1. Acknowledgments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Home Selling Process Flow Chart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 What is Most Important to You? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Benefits of Proper Pricing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Price It Right from the Beginning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 How Much Will a Buyer Pay for a Home Like Yours? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Make Your Home Easy to Sell: Availability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Make Your Home Easy to Sell: Exposure in the Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Buyer’s First Impressions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Sellers: Don’t Sabotage Your Home Sale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Some Reasons Homes Get Overpriced . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Need to Vacate Your Unsold Home? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Marketing: Some Competitive Advantages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Proposed Internet Presence for Your Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 The Value of Blogging and Social Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Your Home Information Request . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Neighborhood Information Request. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Expanded Marketing Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Concierge Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Seller Forms Checklist. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Expected Seller and Buyer Fees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Meet My Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 About Me. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 How We Are Compensated for Our Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Success Stories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 What is a CRS? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Explanation of My Designations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad TABLE OF CONTENTS
  2. 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This Seller’s Handbook is dedicated to all the clients I have had in the past, who trusted me to help them achieve their real estate goal of selling their home and moving to a new one, and to those yet to come. Selling a home is a team effort between homeowners and myself, and in addition to my own experience of selling 10 homes, I have learned a great deal about the emotions, the concerns and the excitement facing every seller from working with a broad range of clients. Each home is unique, as are its owners, and each transaction carries with it a host of challenges and problems to solve in order to reach the close of escrow. Working with sellers to overcome these challenges and find appropriate solutions is a big part of being a REALTOR®, one which I enjoy immensely. The photo on the front page was taken by me at the Batiquitos Lagoon in the Aviara area of South Carlsbad, a favorite place of mine to take walks in the Carlsbad area. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 1 Jeff Dowler ABR, CRS, e-PRO, SFR, SRES, REALTOR® CA BRE Lic. # 01490977 SOLUTIONS REAL ESTATE 2055 Corte Del Nogal Carlsbad, CA 92011 direct/text (760) 840-1360 efax (501) 621-8494 www.JeffDowler.com www.CarlsbadRealEstateNews.com www.RelocationA2Z.com www.FirstTimeBuyerCentral.com www.AtHomeInCarlsbad.com
  3. 3. WELCOME TO MY SELLER’S ULTIMATE PRE-LISTING KIT You are thinking about selling your home, or perhaps have made that decision, and now you have some critical choices to make. First, you need to hire the right REALTOR to help you understand the current local market conditions, and determine the right listing price so your home will be viewed as the best value, and not help sell other homes in the area. You will also need help with marketing, advertising, and coordinating the myriad details and pieces of paper that are part of a real estate transaction. You need someone who knows the local market trends and conditions, who has a significant on-line presence, and who will provide you with a written marketing plan to get your home sold for the best possible price. You have to get your home ready for sale, inside and out, and in showing condition for the first open house, ON THE INTERNET. My Seller’s Ultimate Pre-Listing Kit will answer many questions you may have, and hopefully convince you that I am the right person to help you achieve your goal of selling your home quickly and for top dollar. I look forward to speaking with you so we can discuss your needs, my marketing plan, and how to correctly position your home for sale in today’s competitive market. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 2
  4. 4. HomeSellingProcess MARKETRESEARCH LISTINGSIGNED OFFICE MULTIPLELISTING CONTACTPROSPECTS SHOWINGS OPENHOUSE OFFERRECEIVED OFFER CONTRACTACCEPTED INSPECTIONS BROKER’STOURGRAPHICSOFFICETOUR MLSCOMPUTERMLSMEMBERS TRANSACTION PROCESSING NETSHEET COUNTEROFFER EARNESTMONEY MLSTOURS BEGIN PROCESS
  5. 5. Please indicate how important each of the following is to you. Your questions deserve and WILL be answered! not important very important Please indicate how important each of the following is to you. Your questions deserve and WILL be answered! 1 2 3 4 5 1. Trust and honesty 2. Pricing 3. Showing schedule 4. Buyer qualifications 5. Respect for personal, work, and family schedule 6. Open Houses (public and broker) 7. Client/agent communication 8. Big name brokerage 9. Marketing plan (written) 10. Use of technology (business and communication) 11. References and testimonials 12. Lockboxes and security 13. Virtual tours, photos, and videos 14. Internet advertising 15. A unique URL for my home for marketing 16. Property brochures 17. Staging information 18. Closing costs and net proceeds 19. As quick a sale as possible 20. Professional fee for services 21. “Payday” 22. Salability in today’s market 23. Property business cards 24. Custom Homebook for my home’s showings 25. Single website for marketing my home 26. Willingness to educate me and answer questions 27. Knowing the competition and the market SELLERS, WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU? Each person’s concerns are different. This will help me understand YOURS! It will be very helpful to have this completed when we meet. © Jeff Dowler - All rights reserved (760) 840-1360 - www.JeffDowler.com
  6. 6. BENEFITS OF PROPER PRICING FASTER SALE: When your home sells faster, you save mortgage payments and other ownership costs (You have monthly costs even if you own the house outright!). Every day the house is on the market is costing you $$$. A quicker sale creates less inconvenience for you. If you've moved before, you know the energy it takes to prepare for showings: keeping the home clean, making child care arrangements, and altering your lifestyle. Proper pricing reduces these demands on you, by helping your home sell faster. At market value your home will gain exposure to more prospects who can afford the price, not just the one buyer who MAY be willing to pay a higher price. INCREASED REALTOR® RESPONSE: When REALTORS® are excited about a home and its price, they make special efforts to contact all of their potential buyers. Knowing that it is priced properly for its market, they expect it to sell soon and encourage their prospects to act quickly. Their excitement will be contagious with their buyers! BETTER RESPONSE FROM ADVERTISING AND SIGN CALLS: Ad calls and sign calls to REALTORS® turn into showings when price is not a deterrent. Most serious prospects are well educated about asking prices (and sold prices) in the areas they are seeking. They will not waste their time on a home they consider overpriced, especially when the inventory is large and similar properties are a better value in the buyers’ eyes. HIGHER OFFERS ATTRACTED: Buyers fear they might lose out on a good home when it is priced right. They are less likely to make "low ball offers." Better pricing can attract multiple offers, too! And you will probably avoid the “bargain hunters” who will lowball your high-priced home just to see what price they can get. MORE MONEY TO YOU: If a home is priced correctly, the excitement of the market produces higher sale prices. You net more in actual sale price and reduced carrying costs. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 5 The RIGHT price will encourage SERIOUS offers from SERIOUS buyers who know the value; a HIGH price will encourage cost-cutting from tire-kickers who want a bargain!
  7. 7. PRICE IT RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING You Will Get the Best Sales Price, Within a Reasonable Time Frame, if you position it correctly in the market from the very beginning. The following schematic illustrates what can happen if you price your property incorrectly. Too high and you miss the majority of the buyers who are looking for a home in your price range; too low, and you short change yourself. Less Time A ONE IN A HUNDRED POSSIBILITY: To find the single, unique buyer who’ll pay this price is possible,...but not likely...now or later. A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF THE BEST QUALIFIED BUYERS: Price your home in the suggested market range where a good, fair offer may be expected in a reasonable time. A FAST SALE...YOU WILL MISS TOP DOLLAR: Price your property below the market. That will create more interest, more quickly. The result, a faster sale. By pricing your property correctly you are more likely to get top dollar. A property priced too low may preclude the opportunity for getting top dollar. Overpricing your property discourages showings and tends to eliminate the most likely buyers from viewing the property, especially in the first 2-3 weeks after your home goes on the market and there is the greatest amount of interest. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 6 More Money
  8. 8. How Much Will Buyers Pay For a Home Like Yours? It Depends… There Are Many Factors The amount buyers are willing to pay for a home like your will depend upon many factors. As part of my services, I will provide you with a professional Right Price Analysis to position your home correctly in the market. It will evaluate recently sold homes that are comparable as well as homes that are your present competition. This report will indicate a market range that will allow you the opportunity to sell for top price without pricing yourself out of the market. The following chart illustrates the many factors that can impact what buyers are willing to pay for your home. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 7
  9. 9. MAKE YOUR HOME EASY TO SELL: AVAILABILITY Are you interested in knowing how to make your home easy to sell? It's not that difficult, even in today's market. You just to need to have the right ingredients.The most obvious is MARKET POSITION. If you position it correctly, it will sell. But there is another factor that bears more discussion: How AVAILABLE is your home to buyers? There are 2 components to this issue 1) exposure to the target market, and 2) availability for showings. Exposure is really your agent's responsibility. For now, let's focus on your job, making your home available for showings. Here are some quick tips. What you SHOULD DO: • Be flexible in regards to the showing schedule; allow lots of time for showings • Honor last minute requests • Remove pets, if at all possible • Turn on the lights and open the curtains to allow as much light as possible • Have your home in showing condition at all times, just in case • Have a lock box installed to maximize showing access • Make sure the house keys WORK and easily • Be welcoming when you get a call about a showing What you SHOULD NOT DO: • Don't run the washer, dryer, or dishwasher, if you can help it • Don't put Fido in the yard - buyers can't appreciate your wonderful yard • Don’t stay in the house when buyers come through • Don’t light every scented candle and install air freshener plug-ins One last thing. You can't control this but IT’S IMPORTANT. If buyers (or their agents) need to call your listing agent, that's fine, although it's even better if it’s not necessary in order to tour the home. But your agent needs to return the call PROMPTLY to give them access. If your agent is not responsive, the buyers may move on, because there are other choices. I RETURN ALL CALLS PROMPTLY TO MAXIMIZE ACCESS. Does the listing agent need to accompany? That’s limiting too, especially if the agent is busy. For some homes, especially high end, this may be important, and some listing agents want to be there to provide a personal tour and share information. But there are ways to maximize availability even in these situations. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 8
  10. 10. MAKE YOUR HOME EASY TO SELL: EXPOSURE IN THE MARKETPLACE In a competitive housing market such as ours, with many homes in your area that are like yours in price and condition, maximizing exposure to the targeted pool of buyers is necessary so you have the best opportunity to sell your home. A large part of exposure is the responsibility of your agent. So it's important that you pick the right person...someone who clearly demonstrates to you, in writing, a marketing plan that will provide the most exposure for your home to today's buyers. We know, however, that if the price is not right, all the exposure and marketing in the world will not sell your home. Plastering an over-priced home all over the Internet and in the papers is only going to make your competition look like a better value...and guess what home the buyers will purchase. Yours? Probably not! Here are some things that must happen: • Appropriate signage in the yard for drive-bys including cellular technology • Broker Open House • Public Open House(s) • Identify the target market of Buyers for your home • Customized written Marketing Plan • Online Marketing and Internet Exposure • Appearance -the FIRST Open House is online • Print Advertising • Networking • Reverse Prospecting Exposure is key, after price of course, to selling your home. Make sure the person you hire can tell you exactly what they are going to do, when, and why. A mediocre attempt at exposing your home to buyers will have that same effect - mediocre. Make your home easy to sell. Keep in mind that NO amount of exposure will sell an overpriced home. It just advertises the fact the home is overpriced. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 9
  11. 11. SOME REASONS HOMES GET OVER-PRICED Many homes end up being over-priced relative to the current market conditions. Here are some common reasons why, and some things you should think about as a seller: OVER-IMPROVEMENT This can happen when owners have recently made improvements on their home and want to recoup those costs. Ask yourself – if you knew you were going to sell the home when you made the improvement, would you have done it? The value to a buyer is usually not as much as the cost to you. NEED Often a home’s price is the result of the seller NEEDING to get a certain amount of money. This has no real bearing on the value of the home – what you need and what a buyer is willing to pay are completely unrelated. BUYING IN A MORE EXPENSIVE NEIGHBORHOOD Sellers are often selling to move up to a more expensive home and neighborhood and set the sales price accordingly. Unfortunately what you want to buy has no bearing on sales price. If you were selling your VW to buy a Mercedes, would the VW buyer pay more for your VW than if you were buying another VW? No. ORIGINAL HOUSE PRICE WAS TOO HIGH Another factor that has no bearing on the market today. Ask yourself - if you had inherited the home for $0, would you sell it for $0? What you paid for the house has no relationship to the current value. LACK OF FACTUAL DATA Setting a home’s list price without knowledge of the market conditions (inventory, average sale prices) is a big mistake. BARGAINING ROOM Sellers sometimes think a higher price will give them more bargaining room. What it usually means is no showings or offers at all. Buyers want to bargain too, so they will offer an even lower price since they know you have room to bargain MOVE ISN’T NECESSARY If you don’t need to sell, why are you bothering? If you aren’t really motivated, buyers won’t be either. Setting a price that will enable you to “move if we get our price” wastes your time, buyers’ time, and agents’ time. EGO AND EMOTION Understandably many sellers believe their home is special, which warrants a higher price. What you think is special and what buyers are willing to pay are vastly different. Emotions and ego can get in the way of considering the facts of the market. REMEMBER – the market will determine the price at which your home sells. Not you, and not me. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler. All rights reserved
  12. 12. NEED TO VACATE YOUR UNSOLD HOME? HERE’S WHAT TO DO... Sometimes sellers need to move to a new location even though they have not sold their current home. How can you handle this situation and protect your investment? Discuss the situation with me and reach an agreement regarding checking the house regularly, especially after bad weather. Be sure to discuss release of liability, but it may be best to have a neighbor, good friend, or family member check on the house. Have them check the bathrooms in case they have been used by buyers touring the home, and watch for leaky pipes and sinks. They can also check the heat and AC in case buyers or agents turn them on and forget to turn them off. Make SURE this is a neighbor you trust and one who will safeguard the key from teenagers, etc. Turn off the water to the washer if there is one in the house. Keep the utilities on – yes, it will cost a little, but it is not impressive to show a home without lights, especially on a cloudy day or in the evenings. And cold homes are unwelcoming for buyers who are touring your home in the winter. Consider some staging so your home continues to look lived in. It could help from a safety standpoint but also makes the home show better than when empty. Consider having a cleaning service in periodically – buyers are not keen on seeing lots of dust balls floating around and cobwebs hanging in their faces. Hook up at least 1 lamp to a timer so lights come on in the evening – this can help from a safety standpoint by making the home look lived in. Hire a neighbor or a service to come in regularly and trim the grass and keep the yard looking neat - curb appeal is so important for showings, and will create the impression the home is occupied. Maintain your homeowner’s insurance for added protection - check with your provider on the appropriate coverage. Some insurance policies change dramatically when a home is vacated, especially after 30 days, and your coverage may be very different, or even lapse. Don’t assume you are covered just because you are paying premiums. Make sure all mail is forwarded and newspapers are stopped – piles of papers in the drive are a tell-tale sign no one is around. Consider letting the police know the home is vacant; they may patrol more frequently. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler. All rights reserved
  13. 13. BUYERS’ FIRST IMPRESSIONS Buyers’ first impressions of your home are critical, and something you cannot avoid. And we know from a variety of sources that within a few seconds the first impression is formed. And once there is a first impression, you don’t have much of a chance of changing it. As much as we may not want to think about it, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And these days with the Internet, and most buyers searching for homes on websites before they go to see homes, that first impression is on-line! So what do buyers look at when they first enter a home? What are the things that make the greatest impression on them? And which of these things are in your control, and which are not? Conditions under your control are highlighted in BLUE Those not under your control are in RED Thus about 72% of the buyer’s first impression is governed by things that you can control or easily remedy when getting your home ready for sale. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 10 Buyers’ First Impression of Interior
  14. 14. SELLERS: DON’T SABOTAGE YOUR HOME SALE Some sellers are sabotaging their home sales in this market. They are doing things, either intentionally or not, that are making it hard, if not impossible, to sell their home in a reasonable time frame and for top dollar. They are not doing the things they ought to do to facilitate a sale. And they make other homes look like a better value. Here are these sources of sabotage to avoid: PRICING No matter how nice the home looks, or how much marketing is done, if the price is too high the market will reject you. You wouldn't overpay for something you see in a store you know you can get elsewhere for less money would you? SOLUTION Price it to sell NOW. Forget what your neighbor got 2 years ago or what your friends tell you your home is worth. They aren't selling it, YOU ARE. AVAILABILITY TO SHOW Most people have busy lives, small kids, and other issues which make it tough for showings. And it’s tough to keep it clean all the time. Limiting showing times will hurt your chances of maximizing the number of potential buyers. SOLUTION Be flexible in the showing schedule. Ask for notice so you have time to prepare but try not to limit daytime or weekend showings. INTERIOR CONDITION If your lifestyle tends to result in a lot of personal stuff laying around, or your home just does not look inviting inside (need for paint, need for repairs, dirty carpets, etc.), it might make buyers want to run the other direction. Even if the price is reasonable, buyers may to look the other way. They will start subtracting dollars from a potential offer, and will be concerned that there is a lot of deferred maintenance to take care of. SOLUTION Get RID of clutter, pack all your personal belongings, hire a staging professional, take care of the repairs, clean the carpet, paint, etc. Your home should be “Open House ready” all the time. CURB APPEAL Does your home encourage buyers to want to see the inside or does it make them decide to keep on driving? Is the yard a mess? Bushes and grass not trimmed? Junk all over the yard? Will buyers see it as a place that will require a lot of elbow grease in order to make it presentable? Would they be ashamed to be the new owners? SOLUTION Be critical, objective, and clean up what needs it. Get rid of stuff, trim the bushes, cut the grass, add some flowers, paint the front door. A staging professional may have some good ideas too. Make buyers WANT to come in the front door to look. If you are really serious about selling, then your actions need to show it. These examples of sabotage send a message to buyers, perhaps unknowingly, that selling or selling at market value, may not be your objective. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 11
  15. 15. NEED TO VACATE YOUR UNSOLD HOME? HERE’S WHAT TO DO... Sometimes sellers need to move to a new location even though they have not sold their current home. How can you handle this situation and protect your investment? Discuss the situation with me and reach an agreement regarding checking the house regularly, especially after bad weather. Be sure to discuss release of liability, but it may be best to have a neighbor, good friend, or family member check on the house. Have them check the bathrooms in case they have been used by buyers touring the home, and watch for leaky pipes and sinks. They can also check the heat and AC in case buyers or agents turn them on and forget to turn them off. Make SURE this is a neighbor you trust and one who will safeguard the key from teenagers, etc. Turn off the water to the washer if there is one in the house. Keep the utilities on – yes, it will cost a little, but it is not impressive to show a home without lights, especially on a cloudy day or in the evenings. And cold homes are unwelcoming for buyers who are touring your home in the winter. Consider some staging so your home continues to look lived in. It could help from a safety standpoint but also makes the home show better than when empty. Consider having a cleaning service in periodically – buyers are not keen on seeing lots of dust balls floating around and cobwebs hanging in their faces. Hook up at least 1 lamp to a timer so lights come on in the evening – this can help from a safety standpoint by making the home look lived in. Hire a neighbor or a service to come in regularly and trim the grass and keep the yard looking neat - curb appeal is so important for showings, and will create the impression the home is occupied. Maintain your homeowner’s insurance for added protection - check with your provider on the appropriate coverage. Some insurance policies change dramatically when a home is vacated, especially after 30 days, and your coverage may be very different, or even lapse. Don’t assume you are covered just because you are paying premiums. Make sure all mail is forwarded and newspapers are stopped – piles of papers in the drive are a tell-tale sign no one is around. Consider letting the police know the home is vacant; they may patrol more frequently. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 13
  16. 16. MARKETING: SOME COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES Here are the competitive advantages and services I offer to sell you home for the best price: ✓ Pricing based on local market segments, inventory and buyer demand ✓ Detailed written Marketing Plan customized for your home ✓ Expanded Marketing Service with personal letters to seller contacts, friends, and neighbors as appropriate ✓ Your Home Information Questionnaire ✓ The Neighborhood Information Questionnaire ✓ Customized HOMEBOOK with community information and area amenities for showings ✓ Individualized WEBSITE with unique URL for marketing your home with photos, videos, virtual tours, and detailed information ✓ Multiple virtual tours, photos, slide shows, and videos ✓ “Just Listed “ Postcards or flyers OR Neighborhood Letter ✓ Significant Internet presence – Realtor.com, Trulia, personal websites, Backpage, Google, Yahoo, Craigslist, Zillow and many others ✓ High-quality informational flyer for brochure box and in home ✓ Listing business cards for home display, in a brochure box, handing out to neighbors, friends and family Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 14
  17. 17. PROPOSED INTERNET PRESENCE FOR YOUR HOME There are numerous places to list your home – I’ll use the ones that make the most sense! And of course I’ll be using these, too: Sandicor MLS (the San Diego County MLS) & syndication to multiple sites such as Vast, Frontdoor, HotPads, PropSmart, Yahoo! Real Estate, GoogleBase, Trulia, Oodle and LiveDeal ePropertysites custom single property website PropertyTube video JeffDowler.com ActiveRain.com customized blog post Craigslist.org (updated weekly) VFlyer & Postlets syndication Houselist.com • Homescape.com • Geebo.com • Edgeio.com • Realbird.com • NationalRealEstatePages.com Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 15
  18. 18. THE VALUE OF BLOGGING & SOCIAL MEDIA The blogging I do about your home and your community, and marketing your house through a variety of social media venues, is our opportunity to gain a competitive edge in today’s market, and to reach buyers online as well as REALTORS® working with buyers who may be looking for a home just like yours. We know that about 90% of buyers start their search for a home online, and a good percentage actually find the home they ultimately buy through their searches online. It is critical to make sure we expose YOUR home and neighborhood to as many people as possible on the Internet in addition to more traditional marketing. I will write an article about your home that will appear on ActiveRain, the largest on- line real estate network with over 320,000 members. AR receives over 2 million unique visitors per month, which means that buyers looking for home such as yours are more likely to find it through the searches they do when we use a strong descriptive title for your home (e.g., 4-bedroom home in Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad). I use other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to market my listings. This increased exposure puts your home in front of other prospective buyers, and those who know people looking to buy, who are online. This increased online presence also helps to ensure your home will be found on the first page of Google, further increasing the chances of buyers seeing it when they are searching with particular key word. YouTube, the second-most used website behind Google (and also owned by Google), is another critical place for your home to be found on-line. I post videos of each of my listings as well as the neighborhoods they are in. Videos are a powerful way to attract buyers who are looking not only for a home but a neighborhood, and are one more effective way to provide your listing with the broad on-line exposure it needs. You should, of course, help in these social media marketing efforts by sharing links to your home’s listing and videos on-line (I will provide these) on your Facebook page, on LinkedIn, and elsewhere if you have other profiles so everyone in your personal social network will be aware you are selling your home. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler. All rights reserved
  19. 19. YOUR HOME INFORMATION REQUEST The following information will provide a competitive edge over other less-informed sales agents representing other properties. The more information we can provide about your home the more appealing and exciting it will be to prospective buyers. Your assistance in gathering this information is much appreciated. 1. What amenities in your house do you feel will appeal to buyers? Please be a specific as possible (i.e., what did YOU like about the house when you bought it?). Please include things like family room or other bonus rooms, security system, office space (either separate room or alcove), cathedral or other unusual ceilings, skylights, fireplace (gas or wood), finishings (granite, marble, travertine, slate, ceramic tile, hardwood flooring), moldings including crown or dentil, cable and/or CAT5 hook-up, spa or hot-tub, pool, fountain, pool, separate laundry room, extra storage facilities, roofing, siding, landscaping, etc.) ___________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 2. What improvements have you made to your home since you bought it? ______ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 3. What appliances and other features will remain with the home (e.g., refrigerator, microwave, stove, dishwasher, wine cooler, washer, dryer, window treatments, lighting) ____________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 4. What items are to be excluded from the sale of your home (BE SPECIFIC)? ___ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 17
  20. 20. NEIGHBORHOOD INFORMATION REQUEST The following information will provide a competitive edge over other properties and get buyers excited about living in your home. Your assistance in providing this information is much appreciated. 1. What makes your home a special place to live? What would you tell potential buyers? What are the neighborhood features you feel will appeal to the buyers? What do you like about the neighborhood in general, and why did you decide to buy? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 2. Please comment on the nearby schools (all levels) – what schools are nearby? How are the in-school programs? Are there any after-school programs and if so what are they and what grades are offered? Any awards? ____________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 3. Are there school bus stops nearby or do children walk to school? __________________ 4. What are the youth activities in the area? Please be specific! ______________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 5. What are the public recreational areas nearby (public parks, pools, playgrounds, etc.)? _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 6. Are there other services nearby that you find appealing? (e.g., seniors programs, golf, walking/hiking trails, biking trails, swimming, art classes, continuing education) _______________________________________________________________________ 7. What is the nearest shopping area? How far away is it? ___________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ 8. What other amenities are nearby that will appeal to the buyers (e.g., restaurants, fast food establishments, wine & liquor stores, fish markets, appliance stores, etc.)? _______________________________________________________________________ 9. What is the nearest public transportation (type, distance)? ________________________ 10. What is the nearest medical facility? Approximately how far away is it? ______________ _______________________________________________________________________ 11. Are there any hidden features in your home that buyers might overlook? ____________ _______________________________________________________________________ 12. COMMENTS (additional information you feel will be helpful for buyers to know) _______________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Thank you for your helpful information! The buyers will appreciate it! Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 18
  21. 21. EXPANDED MARKETING PROGRAM Here is your opportunity to gain a competitive edge in today’s market. As part of my marketing efforts, in addition to Agent Networking, Open Houses, the MLS, and the Internet, I will promote your home to people who may already know about it and how desirable it is. I will send my property brochure and call any of the following: • Friends • Neighbors • Family Members • Co-workers • Social Contacts • Doctor, Dentist, Accountant Anyone else you can think of? NAME ADDRESS PHONE 1. __________________________________________________________________ 2. __________________________________________________________________ 3. __________________________________________________________________ 4. __________________________________________________________________ 5. __________________________________________________________________ 6. __________________________________________________________________ 7. __________________________________________________________________ 8. __________________________________________________________________ 9. __________________________________________________________________ 10. _________________________________________________________________ Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 19
  22. 22. CONCIERGE SERVICES I provide a number of free services to my Seller clients as part of my overall offering. I hope you will find them helpful in making the sale of your home the best possible experience. And if there is something else I can do to assist, like the concierge at a fine hotel, please ask. I will help if I can. Moving Boxes I can provide a number of moving boxes to you in different sizes, delivered to your home (if you are local). Almost all of these are genuine mover boxes that I recycle. You are free to use them as needed to help prepare your home for showings or to move. And when you are done I will pick them up so they can be recycled again, or feel free to keep them. I also have bubble wrap and wrapping paper I can share. Staging Services Many homes are in beautiful shape for showings, but some can use a little guidance. I can provide the consultation of a staging professional who will share thoughts on what you can do to maximize your home’s showing potential. Presenting your home in the best light possible to all buyers is critical in this market so they can imagine living in your house. Additional services are available from the staging professional at your cost, and may be very worthwhile and a good investment of minimal money to help your home standout from the others. Absentee Owner If you are absent and need something done at your home, let me know. Perhaps a handyman needs to come by, or you need to allow access to a carpet cleaner, moving professional, or some other vendor for estimates. Are there deliveries or something to be picked up? Simply contact me and I will arrange to cover for you. I can’t make your decisions but I will be happy to chat with you about what’s going on in your absence, and send along any paperwork you need. Vendor Referrals If you need suggestions on vendors for various services (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, handyman, painting) I am happy to share the names of people I know, or do some research for you. I won’t “recommend” someone I haven’t worked with or have direct knowledge of through colleagues and past clients. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 20
  23. 23. SELLER FORMS CHECKLIST Here are some of the forms you can expect to review and sign as part of the typical residential real estate transaction. Not all forms will be applicable in your situation. LISTING DOCUMENTS  Residential Listing Agreement – Agency (RLAA)  Disclosure Regarding Real Estate Agency Relationships (AD-1)  Disclosure & Consent for Representation of More Than One Buyer or Seller (DA)  Seller’s Advisory (SA) SELLER DISCLOSURES  Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) - REQUIRED  Seller’s Affidavit of Non-foreign Status (AS)  Mold Disclosure (MD-11)  Insurance Claims Disclosure (C.L.U.E. Report)  Water Heater & Smoke Detector Statement of Compliance (WHSD)  Seller’s Additional Disclosures (SAD)  Seller’s Property Questionnaire (SPQ)  Supplemental Statutory and Contractual Disclosures (SSD)  Statewide Buyer and Seller Advisory (SBSA) OFFER TO PURCHASE  Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (RPA-CA)  Buyer’s Inspection Advisory (BIA)  Disclosure and Consent for Representation of More than One Buyer or Seller (DA)  Contingency for Sale or Purchase of Other Property (COP) if applicable  Wood Destroying Pest Inspection and Allocation of Cost Addendum (WPA)  Addendum to the Purchase Agreement (APA)  Counter Offer No. ___ (CO-11) Use as many as needed PROPERTY INSPECTION  Agent’s Visual Inspection Checklist (AVID- Seller and Buyer)  Request for Repair No. ___ (RR) from Buyer  Verification of Property Condition (VP-11) Used at final walk-through CONTINGENCY PERIOD:  Contingency Removal No. ___ (CR) Use as many as needed  Extension of Time Addendum (ETA) Use as needed Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 21
  24. 24. EXPECTED SELLER AND BUYER FEES Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 22 The Seller Will Generally Be Expected To Pay For: ‣ Real Estate commission per the brokerage contract ‣ Title and Escrow fees (escrow usually split 50/50 with buyer) ‣ Notary fees for seller’s documents ‣ Title insurance premium covering loan policy (ALTA) ‣ Document preparation fee for Deed ‣ Document recording charges that affect the seller ‣ San Diego County Transfer Tax ‣ Termite inspection and repairs according to contract ‣ Any city transfer/reconveyance tax ‣ Special delivery/courier fees ‣ Payoff of all loans in seller's name ‣ Interest accrued to old lender, statement fees, reconveyance fees and any prepayment penalties ‣ Homeowner's Association transfer fee and prorated dues ‣ Home warranty according to the contract ‣ All delinquent taxes; any judgments, tax liens, etc. against the seller ‣ Tax proration, if any (as of closing date) ‣Recording charges to clear all documents of record against seller The Buyer Will Generally Be Expected To Pay For: ‣ Notary fees and document preparation fees – buyer’s documents ‣ Tax proration, if any (depend on date of closing) ‣ Other prorations as applicable (e.g., HOA fees) ‣ Impound fees (taxes and interest collected up front by lender) – varies by lender and date of closing ‣ Inspection fees (roofing, geological, property, etc. as buyer’s choosing) ‣ Special delivery/courier fees ‣ All new loan charges (except any required by the lender for the seller to pay) ‣ Interest on new loan from date of funding to 30 days prior to first payment date ‣ Homeowner’s Insurance premium for the first year ‣ City transfer/reconveyance tax according to the contract ‣ Preliminary change of ownership fee, if any ‣ Beneficiary statement fee for assumption of existing loan, if applicable ‣ 1 month HOA dues in advance (if applicable)
  25. 25. MEET MY TEAM JEFF DOWLER, Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Visit my on-line profile at www.ActiveRain.com/Blogs/Jdowler to learn more about me, and my services and background. I am happy to answer your questions at any time. ESCROW & TITLE Corner Escrow and Fidelity Title Tim Szucs and his team will coordinate the entire title and escrow process from start to finish, including all paperwork and buyer deposits, and ensure everything is done according to the contract you negotiate with the buyer. If you prefer another escrow company that’s fine too (normally the seller chooses the service providers for escrow and title). TRANSACTION MANAGEMENT Jennifer Terry • Provides required disclosure forms, including any pertinent regional/state disclosures, making certain that the forms are completed in a timely manner • Provide you with government mandated booklets or website links regarding Earthquake Preparedness, Environmental Hazards, Mold, and Lead-Based Paint. • Order Home Warranty and Natural Hazard Disclosure report • Ensure all required paperwork gets to the right people and there is a complete file at the conclusion of the transaction, with copies of all documents provided to you PEST INSPECTION There are several firms I have used frequently but you are welcome to select any pest inspection company you prefer to perform the termite inspection and repairs, if required. HOME WARRANTY First American Home Buyer Protection Normally the seller is asked to provide the home warranty to the buyer. Generally this costs less than $400 but can be more depending on the size of the home and the desired services HOME INSPECTOR If you should decide you want a home inspection before you list your home, I have several I can recommend, but you are welcome to choose whoever you wish SOLUTIONS REAL ESTATE BROKER Mark Schultz ADMINISTRATION & MARKETING Ilima Martinez Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 23
  26. 26. ABOUT ME Jeff Dowler Certified Residential Specialist In early 2002, I made the decision to follow my dream of selling real estate. I took the required real estate course in Massachusetts, passed the exam, obtained my license, and joined RE/MAX Destiny in Cambridge, home of MIT and Harvard University. I have personally bought and sold 13 properties in 4 states (10 primary homes, 2 vacation homes and a business condo), and have relocated a significant distance 4 times, most recently to California, so I understand the issues of buying, selling and relocating from the consumer’s perspective. Indeed, relocation is one of my specialties! My business experience includes 15 years in Corporate Human Resources in 4 different industries. In my last position, I was VP of Human Resources for an Internet advertising start-up, joining the firm as the 6th employee and helping to grow the company to 105 employees in 3 offices. Most of the portfolio of business was dot com business, and when that sector crashed, the company was not funded again by our VCs and was sold. My wife and I then started an art gallery in Cambridge which remained in business 3 years until our relocation. I joined RE/MAX Moonlight Beach in Encinitas once I received my California license in June of 2005, and moved to my current brokerage, Solutions Real Estate in Carlsbad, in January 2011. The majority of my business now comes to me through the Internet and by referral, including clients and agents I know from around the country. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 24 MISSION Combining old- fashioned service with today’s technology to provide client-focused real estate services, tools, education, responsiveness and guidance. Enable you to reach your unique real estate goals with a minimum of hassle and frustration, and have you feel you are my only client. To treat all prospects, customers, and clients with respect, compassion and sincerity
  27. 27. HOW WE ARE COMPENSATED FOR OUR SERVICES I believe you should know how the professionals associated with Solutions Real Estate are compensated for their services. We work for professional fees and are not paid a salary. We are independent contractors and only paid when a transaction is closed and the title has transferred. When we earn a brokerage fee (which is always negotiable), it is first divided between the real estate companies in the transaction (the brokerage that has the listing contract and the brokerage who supplies the buyer) in accordance with the terms and conditions of the listing contract. Usually this is 50/50 but it is negotiable and something I will discuss with you. At Solutions Real Estate each agent pays a fee for the services the brokerage provides as well as the cost of E and O Insurance. Even if we work at home there are fees to be paid to Solutions Real Estate for services they provide us that help us to be successful, and to help cover the costs of office space, equipment, technology, and advertising. Like all U.S. citizens, we must pay taxes, which include State and Federal income taxes, FICA taxes, and any other obligations as self-employed professionals. At Solutions Real Estate we are each responsible for all for our marketing and advertising costs, as well as our signage, business cards and other operating expenses. So out of the original professional fee (check) we receive but a portion of that money. When we are working for you, we are investing our time to help you sell or acquire a property, in some cases many hours. Time is our greatest commodity. Your loyalty to us is highly regarded. A completed transaction will be mutually beneficial – you will move into the home of your dreams, or sell your home so you can move elsewhere, and we have the satisfaction of helping you achieve that goal. Your satisfaction, as evidenced by referrals of friends, neighbor, business associates and family, is the ultimate compliment and sign of gratitude you might demonstrate to us. Here at Solutions Real Estate we continually strive to provide the highest quality personal service and offer every technological advantage you should expect. Your loyalty and business are appreciated. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 25
  28. 28. SUCCESS STORIES Here are just a few comments from recent Seller clients! I am happy to provide a list of references you may call. We searched online for a Realtor to help us find a temporary rental home, as we planned a cross-country, work-related move to California with our two daughters. We were disheartened by the general unwillingness to assist in finding a rental property (having no commission incentive) and a couple of Realtors actually discouraged us to move to this area (as if we had a choice)... UNTIL we stumbled upon a YouTube real estate video by Jeff Dowler. When I contacted Jeff by phone, I couldn't believe how incredibly warm, welcoming, kind and unbelievably helpful he was!!...When we were ready to purchase a home, we let Jeff know our criteria and were spoiled by the same amazing attentiveness, prompt response time and HONESTY we came to expect from him. Jeff treated us like we were his only clients and made us and our daughters feel like we were visiting with an old friend, each time we met to view homes. We encountered many hurdles throughout the lending approval process, and Jeff masterfully navigated us through all of it with unwavering patience and professionalism. I can't say enough how much of a Gem this man is!! Jeff is not only an extremely knowledgeable real estate expert, he is a kind, caring person with INTEGRITY. Jeff exudes warmth and compassion and has a wonderfully calm, unassuming demeanor. We feel extraordinarily lucky and blessed to have had the privilege to work with him. - Melissa and Chris, relocation buyers My sons and I were recently faced with a sudden and tragic death in our family and I had to quickly sell a home in Carlsbad that was part of the estate. But the problem was that I no longer lived in Carlsbad; I lived in Colorado, so the logistics looked daunting. I immediately put the word out to friends in Carlsbad for a good Realtor and Jeff’s name popped up. He came to our first meeting thoroughly prepared and his references were stellar. I hired him for the job and the house is now sold. This was an emotional and stressful time, but Jeff made it so much easier. He helped me get the house ready for sale and then essentially functioned as the Project Manager Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 26
  29. 29. once we were in Escrow, managing appointments, work assignments, and paperwork and keeping me in the loop throughout the process. Jeff consistently went beyond the call of duty, from scheduling and supervising work, to picking up mail, moving cars, mailing keys and even paying for some things out of his own pocket. And he did it all with graciousness, a sense of humor, and always a kind word. He proved himself to be a tech-savvy and knowledgeable real estate professional who knew what he was doing and who patiently helped me to understand what was happening all along the way. He was dependable, conscientious, and consistently responsive. He did what he said he would do, when he said he’d do it. He maintained exceptional levels of communication. When tragedy strikes it is often hard to believe that there is any silver lining to it. But having had the honor to meet and to work with Jeff Dowler was just such a silver lining for me. Thank you for the honor, Jeff . - Linda, out-of-state seller Jeff did a superb job all around. He researched comps in our area that helped us price our home right. He also created a detailed marketing plan that brought lots of traffic to our house. As a result we received an offer within 6 days. Jeff answered calls and questions promptly and with great expertise. He represented our interests well while being diplomatic during negotiations with our buyers. He went above and beyond the call of duty assisting us with all the paperwork and logistical details that went along with the sale of our house. I highly recommend Jeff. - Pam and Christian, relocating sellers My wife and I wanted to express how much we appreciate all of your diligent hard work. It’s been our pleasure to have worked with a true professional. From the beginning, you were organized and had a direct marketing plan that met all our needs. Thank you again for always being available and communicating with us as if we were your only client. - Drs. Mark F. and Kari N., sellers Outstanding, dedicated service to YOUR needs! Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 27
  30. 30. WHAT IS A CRS? The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is the highest Designation awarded to sales associates in the residential sales field. The CRS Designation recognizes professional accomplishments in both real estate experience and education. Since 1977 the Council of Residential Specialists has been conferring the CRS Designation on agents who meet its stringent requirements. Currently, there are more than 30,000 active CRS Designees [BUT, that only represents about 3% of all the Realtors in the United States.]. A CRS is like having a Ph.D. in real estate. WHY USE A CRS? Today, home buying and selling are faster, more complex, and more competitive in every way. My goal is to make the process a little easier for you. The first step is choosing the right REALTOR®. Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 28 EXPERIENCE T o e a r n t h e C e r t i f i e d R e s i d e n t i a l Specialist (CRS) D e s i g n a t i o n , every REALTOR® m u s t h a v e s i g n i f i c a n t experience and volume of real e s t a t e t r a n s a c t i o n s d u r i n g a specified period o f t i m e . Yo u cannot earn this c o v e t e d d e s i g n a t i o n simply by taking a class. TECHNOLOGY EXPERTISE T h e t r a i n i n g available to CRS D e s i g n e e s includes a strong f o c u s o n technology and its applications in the real estate b u s i n e s s , f o r home searching, marketing and selling a home, daily business operations, and communication. ETHICS E v e r y C R S D e s i g n e e i s r e q u i r e d t o m a i n t a i n membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and to abide by its strict Code of Ethics. FOCUS ON HOME BUYING & SELLING To help make the home buying and selling process more rewarding, e v e r y C R S Designee must have a proven track record in the business, as well as advanced e d u c a t i o n i n related areas like f i n a n c e , technology and marketing. Work with the top 4 percent.
  31. 31. EXPLANATION OF MY DESIGNATIONS Have you ever wondered what the letters next to my name stand for? Here’s an explanation of how my designations benefit you as my client. “REALTOR® ” All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. “CRS” – Certified Residential Specialist The Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) is the highest Designation awarded to sales associates in the residential sales field. The CRS Designation recognizes professional accomplishments in both experience and education. Since 1977 the Council of Residential Specialists has been conferring the CRS Designation on agents who meet its stringent requirements. “ABR” - Accredited Buyer Representative The Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®) designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation is awarded to real estate practitioners by the Real Estate BUYER'S AGENT Council (REBAC) of the National Association of REALTORS® who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria. “e-PRO” An e-PRO is a REALTOR® who has successfully completed the e-PRO training program for real estate professionals. Endorsed by the National Association of REALTORS®, the e- PRO course teaches professionals the nuts and bolts of working with real estate on-line: Web sites, e-mail, on-line tools, and most of all, what today's consumer really wants. “SRES” - Seniors Real Estate Specialist Seniors Real Estate Specialists® are REALTORS® qualified to address the needs of home buyers age 55-plus. The SRES® Council awards the SRES® Designation to those members who have successfully completed its education program. “SFR” – Short Sales and Foreclosures Resource Designed for real estate professionals at all experience levels, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification, or SFR for short, provides me with a framework for better understanding how to: (1) Direct distressed sellers to finance, tax, and legal professionals; (2) Qualify sellers for short sales; (3) Develop a short-sale package; (4) Negotiate with lenders; (5) Tap into buyer demand ; (6) Limit risk ; and (7) Protect buyers. This is key in this market where many properties are either short sales or REOs (foreclosures). The REALTOR® you choose should provide nothing less than exceptional service and expertise Copyright © by Jeff Dowler, Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad 28

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