Pricing

The first thing we do is review the market. We search similar comparable homes in your immediate area that are similar in age and characteristics. We review active, pending, and sold comparable homes in the past 6 months, and give you a detailed number that your home will sell for.

In this step, we provide you with a net sheet so you will know exactly, to the penny, what you will walk away with after your home sale and after all closing costs and commissions. This is the most critical step as it will define how the process will move going forward. If you are priced too high, you will sit on the market and ultimately lose value every day.

Pricing it right will get you the most money possible out of the sale and can potentially spark a bidding war to drive the price up, depending on current demand. There is no such thing as pricing too low if you’re in a seller’s market. If you’re too low, a bidding war ensues every time in a seller’s market! Overpricing however can be detrimental to your bottom line.

If you are in a buyer’s market, pricing is of utmost importance as a low price could cost you, and a high price will most certainly cost you in the end.

Condition

Making repairs/updates/Home Inspection

Your home’s condition makes a huge impact on how much a buyer will pay. If you have obvious blemishes on your home, it can drastically affect the ultimate end price. Simple fixes such as paint, flooring, and landscaping can go a long way in helping you get the top end of market value for your home.

If you don’t want to do any repairs or updates that is fine, it just needs to be reflected in your asking price so buyers can understand the reason for the discounted price. We will provide you with an as-is price, and “as-updated” price so you know if it makes sense to update.

We highly recommend having the home pre-inspected to isolate any unknown issues so you are not surprised when the buyer comes back and says your roof needs to be replaced for example.

The more you know about your home as far as its detailed condition, the more money you will net, and the better you can begin to budget your money for after the sale.

Staging

Staging does not necessarily mean you need to bring in furniture or other props to stage the home, but it means properly setting up the home to be viewed by potential buyers. It should be de-cluttered, countertops as free of belongings as possible, professionally cleaned is ideal as well, and furniture set up traditionally as it should be to promote the best traffic flow in the house.

If you use a room in another way than it’s traditionally intended, then it makes sense to set it up the way buyers would expect to see it. All these things go a long way in making the home feel clean, well kept, and as large and open as possible.

That in turn will put more money in your pocket.

Marketing

Activating workflows/Marketing activities

Once we have agreed to do business together, our listing coordinator will activate the listing workflow with all activities in our Realvolve CRM. There are a series of email and text automation we have pre-built that are triggered on specific days or after specific events to notify you, our staff, title representative, buyers agents, lenders, and anyone else that may be involved along the way, step by step process reminders and updates. Your listing agent or client care representative will remain in contact with you weekly during the duration of the listing and closing process.

What happens first is we schedule a time for pictures. The key to the listing starts with quality photography.

We do all our own photography and have professional equipment and photo editing skills to display the best possible images of your home, including a 3d 360-degree tour of your home including a digital dollhouse, and a 2d floor plan, produced using Asteroom.

That’s not all! We introduced drone photography at the end of 2020 and are looking to ramp that up in 2021 and beyond purchasing the DJI Mavic Pro II drone that is top of the line for drone photography and video.

Some listings, due to time of year or location, may not be able to be photographed by a drone.

We now build the MLS listing with accurate details, including proper schools, tax information, and listing details.

We also write an attractive description touching on all aspects of the home, neighborhood, ages of mechanicals, list of updates and finishes, etc. We will send an automated email when we get started for your assistance with this information.

We always email our seller clients with the “rough draft” of the MLS listing so you can look over everything and catch any mistakes we may have made, and offer any suggestions you may have, etc.

After that approval, we set up the Showing Time system with your contact information.

Showing Time is a 3rd party company that handles the coordination of the showings. We set you up with your preferences of how you can confirm showings. Text, email, or call are the options or all of the above. You will have the option to download an app that tracks the showing times and feedback from agents.

After the showing is completed, agents are emailed a request for comments or feedback from the showing. The system auto sends the request daily for 5 days to the agent until the response.

We follow up manually if not received from the agent. In our experience, if you don’t have an offer or feedback within 1 day of the showing there is not a lot of serious interest. Their comments however if negative is still helpful, which is why we continue to pursue them.

After Showing Time is set up we are ready to rock on your listing!

It takes 24 hours for the 360 tour to be ready, so you can normally expect we will have your listing in the MLS 1-2 business days after the photo date. Once it’s activated on MLS which then in turn, syndicates your listing to the world and populates on all IDX website feeds. An IDX website feed is the avenue that takes the listing data from our local MLS system and populates it on all websites that have the ability to search the entire MLS. Any agent from any company can show your listing to a prospective buyer. It generally shows up on public sites within 15 minutes depending on each website.

After syndication, we share your listing on social media.

We post it to our Facebook business page, share it on our personal page, and tag you if you have a Facebook account so you can share it with your friends. We do the same on Instagram, and then we run paid ads on both platforms.

We run ads to a 15-mile radius of your home with an ad that directs prospects to our website to view the listing. We run a 2nd set of ads to prospects who have been on our website in the past 180 days via retargeting ads on Facebook and Google as well.

We have a tracking pixel on our website that tracks the activity of visitors to our website and allows us the ability to market back to them through these 2 platforms. I am sure you have searched Google for shoes, for example, then you start seeing different shoe ads following you through various platforms. That is what is referred to as re-target marketing.

As a seller client of ours, you will benefit from our ongoing buyer recruitment system.

We have been marketing to buyers for several years with paid Google and Facebook advertising, direct mail postcards, phone prospecting, and Video marketing. We have a strategic follow-up plan consisting of phone calls, emails, and text messages to find out a buyer’s timing and motivation. These buyers are segmented on our database and we can very easily pinpoint buyers searching now and in your area. We send a mass email out to those buyers alerting them of your new house listing along with weekly and bi-weekly email updates that include all of our listings.

Currently, we have over 2500 in our database. We can dial this up or down at any time as we know exactly what it costs to obtain and buyer lead or a seller lead.

Starting in February of 2021 we have launched a new marketing campaign with iHeartMedia that consists of 1 email per month to an opted-in database of 100,000 homeowners in and around Dane County.

These are all consumers who have opted-in to receive advertising emails from iHeartMedia. The open rate is 10-15%, and the click-through rate is 1-2% on average. That narrows it down to 1000-3000 prospects on average clicking through to our website each time. We will display your listing on that email and consumers will be able to click through and view all the details of your home. Home ads or pictures generally increase the traffic to the site versus non-house image ads in our experience.

In addition to the email marketing, display ads run on various local and national websites with branded ads that are consistent and recognizable further bringing brand awareness and driving traffic to our website. The email list base is the targeted group that is marketed to through the display network so we know those ads are reaching the people we want to see those ads. When prospective buyers arrive on our website, our featured listings are displayed prominently on the home page.

The final piece of our iHeart Media marketing package to further our brand is radio advertising over the streaming radio network, and in the podcast network. These 15 and 30-second ads run daily on these platforms, including pop-up image ads that allow clickable links to our website. On the streaming network, we average 13,000 spots per month, and on the podcast network, we average 2300 spots per month.

As I am sure you can imagine, we get TONS of direct calls, emails, texts, social media messages, Google business profile inquiries, and website leads from all the various advertising sources. We have a team of 5 currently that we divide the leads and follow up consistently with a strategic follow-up plan, scheduled reminders and, automation to further nurture the lead through the sales process. Most internet leads are 6-12 months away from buying or selling a home so it takes a process with a dedication to details to follow up and convert. Direct calls, emails, and texts are generally much quicker but all prospects are monitored and followed up with accordingly.

All of our marketing points to our website or people linking through from our Google business profile page.

You can type in any combination of our company name, broker/owner name, or shortening of our name including some miss spellings and our business profile comes up all the time.

The brand is pretty easy to remember and easy to find. During 2020 we had 2-4k users on our website every month. The number of direct users which are people that specifically typed in my website address averages over 200 per month. That’s a lot in one month to give you some perspective.

The other top two categories were from paid digital media. We expect these numbers to be significantly higher in 2021 and beyond as we grow and add more advertising and eventually more agents and staff. We use bit links to track the number of clicks our listing ads receive.

A recent listing of ours is less than 3 weeks on market and has 482 views from our marketing.

We have utilized video marketing over the past 2 years and look to enhance that further in 2021 and beyond.

We utilize videos through BombBomb that can be emailed or texted directly to prospects, and also utilized to produce screen recordings to use both internally and externally with clients. We post, market reports and content videos to social media platforms providing the public with good information about our services and about the real estate market in general. We post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, and YouTube primarily for now.

Those ads are posted on our profiles and then paid advertising including retargeting ads to consumers who visited our website. We have recently done extensive training on how to enhance our YouTube platform and create more organic traffic and will be enhancing that further in 2021 and beyond as well.

Our business plan going forward is to be as transparent as possible with this content you are reading now along with other good content that buyers and sellers are looking for to help aid in their decision-making process. Video helps consumers get a good feel of our personality and if we may be the right fit for them.

Negotiation

We will go over every offer we receive on your house with you in great detail and make sure the terms of the offer are in your best interests, and that everything is accounted for so there are no surprises.

Every situation is different and we use our experience and expertise to take the best course of action to respond to the offers and will give you our advice on how we feel is the best way to handle it. Negotiating is an important skill that the majority of real estate agents lack badly. According to the National Association of Realtors 2019 statistics, the median income for an agent is 49k, the average yearly sales are 12 (Only 10 in our local MLS), and the average experience is 9 years.

In our local MLS, 3000 of the 4200+ licensed agents had less than 10 transactions in 2020, and 50% of them had 2 or less. Why would you put your biggest asset in the hands of an inexperienced agent who is desperate for a commission?

We will never put our personal interests ahead of yours. We will discuss our negotiation tactics more in person when we meet if you have further questions.

Communication

We will schedule a weekly follow up email to you updating you on the progress and providing any data numbers on the market, our marketing efforts, discussing feedback, and reviewing price.

It’s extremely important to stay on top of the pricing and what your other competition may be in the area. If it’s something we feel requires further discussion we will call you, otherwise, we invite you to call, text or, email us anytime you have a question.

We are available 7 days a week 365 days a year to answer your questions. If it’s not super urgent we may not respond until the next business day. If it requires immediate attention any day we will respond to you quickly. We monitor all texts, calls, and emails every day including nights and weekends.

Also part of this step we will set you up on a sold home alert through our website to keep you up on all active, pending, and sold properties in your area. Each week when we follow up with you we will analyze the current market in your area, figure out which listings have gone under contract or are new listings since you listed your home, and diagnose any issues and determine if we need a course correction.

As mentioned above, when an agent completes a showing on your home they submit their feedback comments to the request that is sent out. When that feedback is submitted, a copy goes to the listing agent and also to the home seller. Some agents filter this feedback for whatever reason, but we do not. You get unfiltered feedback coming directly from the buyer’s agent who showed the home.

Not all are very constructive all the time, but we read every single one and respond directly with the agent to answer any questions or concerns and/or reach out to the home seller to get answers to questions. Sometimes you will see comments that could require an incentive to keep them moving forward. For example, the comment says “buyer is concerned about the flooring in the living room”.

After speaking with you and getting your approval we may respond and tell them the seller is willing to offer a flooring credit or even potentially have it installed prior to closing. Something like that keeps them moving forward and removing the objection from their mind.

Closing

Once we get an offer accepted the real work begins. Our Transaction Coordinator will enter those details into our system and launch the accepted offer workflow.

This plan consists of several tasks and emails, and is automated and runs just like the initial listing plan with a whole new series of tasks to be completed. In this step, we have various internal tasks that we complete to move the process forward.

We log the contingency deadlines, order title policies, set up closing, and ensure all parties in the transaction have complete copies of the signed contract. You will receive an email with everything you will need to know going forward and we will continue to contact you weekly with updates on the process.

We will always be monitoring the contingency deadlines and ensure all deadlines are met. Earnest money, inspection, radon or other tests, appraisal, and financing are the most common that you will see in every offer. Typically financing contingencies are the longest at 30-45 days after offer acceptance.

We check with the buyer’s lender every week for updates on the financing and report any issues back to you. Real estate transactions can have lots of drama and twists and turns to navigate.

We will be there to help you navigate any bumpy waters and put out any fires along the way.

Once all contingencies are met you are placed in pending status.

In this step we will remind you to take care of utilities being disconnected, movers set up, and prepare you for the closing by reviewing the numbers on the settlement statement and matching them to the numbers we provided you on the net sheet at the start of this process. Your job is easy when we get to the closing. You sign a few documents including the deed, settlement statement, and a few other title company disclosures. Once the buyer has completed signing their mortgage documents your home sale is officially closed and you receive your proceeds check from the sale.

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