|P re s e n t e d B y :
Pa u l et t e B e z a z i a n
Ke l l e r Wi l l i a m s Fox & A s s o c i a t e s
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10 Steps to selling your home
*Receiving an Offer
*Negotiating to Sell
Our Home Sellers section will walk you through the 10 Steps to selling your home. You will learn about pricing your home to
sell, negotiating to make the sale, and much more.
Your home asking price
This is the number-one factor in the sale of your home. Our sales and marketing program provide exposure to a large segment of
potential buyers. The actual market value is then determined by what a buyer is willing to pay.
The second most important factor in the buyer's mind is location. The proximity to area amenities and schools is typically a
concern. In addition, street traffic, proximity to express ways and public transportation are considerations.
Buyers look at the structural and mechanical integrity as well as the upkeep and cosmetic appeal of a property.Neutral decor,
including floor and wall coverings, appliances and fixtures, offers the broadest appeal to potential buyers.
The terms of a sale can make or break the contract. House sale contingencies, closing dates, and exclusions of accessories or
fixtures should always be handled clearly, up front, in order to avoid any confusion that could affect the sale.
Interest rates, competition from other proptition, the economy and consumer confidence all influence the sale of your home.
Each of these factors is beyond our control, so we must respond to these conditions with the appropriate marketing and price
Critical elements of a sale: Positioning your home in the marketplace
Higher prices attract fewer buyers
Lower prices attract many buyers
Number of Buyers
The pricing triangle represents all of the potential buyers in the market for a given home. The higher your asking price is on the
triangle, the lower the percentage of buyers who will be interested in purchasing it. As the asking price increases toward the peak
of the triangle, the number of potential buyers who are willing to pay a premium price for the home declines, until the buying
public perceives that the price is so high that no prospects are attracted at all. As the asking price declines toward the base of the
triangle, the home is perceived to be a 'bargain', and the number of potential buyers increases. Ideally, you should price your
home in the range of actual fair market value. Your sales associate can help you determine this range with a Comparative Market
Analysis. Setting a fair asking price helps you obtain the maximum selling price for your home.
Especially in today's market, pricing is critical. We are in competition with foreclosures and short sales, all of which have a
downward effect on pricing.
"Couldn't we try this price for a couple of weeks?"
Sales agents are constantly on the alert for new properties to show to their active, qualified buyers. As a result, the majority of
showings by sales agents on a new listing occurs when the house is first placed on the market. This group of agents and buyers
has seen the property, showing activity decreases to only those buyers new to the market. Therefore, it is important to position
your home at the best price
during the first market exposure.
A new property on the market generates a high level of interest. Peak market awareness during the first two weeks on the
market. Declining awareness and interest as other new properties arrive on the market.
The Drawbacks of an overpriced property
Many sellers think that an overpriced property simply can be reduced if it doesn't sell. The danger with this approach is that by
the time the property is finally reduced to its market value, it may have been on the market so long that buyers perceive it to be a
tainted property. Buyers then question how long the home has been on the market and why it hasn't sold. Their offer to
purchase, based on that knowledge, may be below its actual value. In the eyes of a potential buyer, the question becomes, 'I
wonder what's wrong with this property?'
As real estate professionals, we use market research to arrive at an initial price that is both realistic and fair to you as the seller
but also attractive to buyers. This pricing process takes into account a number of key factors which include the property location
and condition, and the market history and current activity.
Sales Myths Uncovered
Selling a home can be a bit like having a baby- everyone gives you advice that you may or may not have asked for, in spite of
the fact that the experience is unique teach individual every time. And just like having a baby, there are many myths and 'old
wives' tales to be de-bunked. Among the truths are the following ten:
1. Myth: You should always price your home high and gradually correct the sales price downward.
Truth: Pricing too high can be as bad as pricing too low.
Your strategy in listing high may be that you will always have the chance to accept a lower offer. But the truth is that if the listing
price is too high, you'll miss out on a percentage of buyers looking in the price range where your home should be. Offers may not
even come in, because the buyers who would be most interested in your home are scared off by the price and won't even take
the time to look. By the time the listing price is corrected, you may have already lost exposure to a large group of potential
buyers. Your real estate agent will be able to offer you a comparable market analysis for your home. This is essentially a
document that compares your home to other similar homes in your area, with the goal of helping you to accurately assess your
home's true market value.
2. Myth: Minor repairs can wait until later. There are more important things to be done.
Truth: Minor repairs make your home more marketable, allowing you to maximize your return (or minimize loss) on the sale.
By and large, buyers are looking for an inviting home in move-in condition. Buyers who are willing to tackle the repairs after
moving in automatically subtract the cost of needed fix-ups from the price they offer. You save nothing by putting off these
items, and you may likely slow the sale of your home.
3. Myth: Once potential buyers see the inside of the home, curb appeal won't matter.
Truth: Buyers probably won't make it to the inside of the home if the outside of your home does not appeal to them.
Many buyers today will drive by a home before deciding whether or not to look inside. Your home's exterior will have less than a
minute to make a good first impression. Spruce up the view of the home by keeping the lawn mowed, shrubs and trees trimmed,
and gardens weeded and edged. Clear the walkways and driveways of leaves and other debris. Repair or resurface cracked
driveways and sidewalks. You can also add additional appeal by placing potted flowers out front, hanging a wreath on the outside
of the door, positioning new street numbers, and putting out a pleasing welcome mat.
4. Myth: Once potential buyers fall in love with the exterior look of your home, you put interior improvements on the back
Truth: Buyers have no qualms about walking right out the front door within 60 seconds if the home doesn't look like it could be
Remember that most buyers are looking for an inviting home in move-in condition. You might consider spending a few dollars
on: painting, if the existing paint is in bad shape or an unusual color; carpeting, if it shows excessive wear or an outdated color or
style; refacing kitchen cabinets; scrubbing bathrooms until they are sparkling clean; or several other key repairs or replacements.
Although you may be uncomfortable with spending a few thousand dollars on your home right before you sell it, it's not
uncommon for the right work to more than pay for itself in a higher selling price and shorter marketing time. Your real estate
agent will consult with you about the repairs and replacements that will benefi t you most.
5. Myth: Your home must be every home buyer's dream home.
Truth: If you get carried away with repairs and replacements to your home, you may end up overpricing the home.
At some point, improvements that you make to your home can rise far above and beyond what is customary for comparable
homes in your area. For instance, there may not be another swimming pool in your entire neighborhood. After spending $20,000
to install an in-ground swimming pool that you hope will lure buyers, you may find that it only raises the market value of your
home by $10,000 because there are no other comparable properties to support the market value of the pool. As a rule of thumb,
if your improvements push your home's value higher than 20% above average neighboring home values, don't expect to recoup
the entire amount of improvements. Your real estate agent can advise you as to the scope of projects you might consider in
preparing your home for sale.
6. Myth: Buyers are unswayed by sellers that offer creative financing options.
Truth: By offering flexibility in financing options, you may lure even more prospective buyers.
You might consider offering seller financing, paying some of the buyer's closing costs, including a one-year home warranty, or
other buyer incentives. Your real estate agent, who has professional knowledge of local market activity, can help you decide
what incentives, if any, to offer.
7. Myth: You are better off selling your home on your own, thus saving the commission you would have paid to a real estate
Truth: Statistically, many sellers who attempt to sell their homes on their own cannot consummate the sale without the service of
a professional real estate agent.
And those sellers who are successful in selling without a real estate agent often net less from the sale than sellers who do use a
professional real estate agent. You probably visit a doctor when you are in ill health. You also likely take your car to a mechanic
for repair and maintenance. When you require legal advice, chances are that you seek the services of an attorney. Doesn't it
make sense that you should contact a real estate professional when you are preparing to sell your biggest asset?
8. Myth: Good sellers are available to guide prospective buyers through thehome, giving the whole process a more personal touch.
Truth: Prospective buyers will feel more that 'this house could be their home' if the current owners are not there.
The presence of homeowners and/or their family members in the home while it is being previewed can make buyers feel like
they are intruding. They really do need to be able to visualize this house as their home, which can be difficult to do when they
are acutely aware that it is still your home. Your real estate agent will be happy to look out for your home during open houses or
9. Myth: Successful sellers insist that the terms of the sale happen their way or no way.
Truth: If you approach the sale of your home as an adversary for the buyer, you risk losing a perfectly solid buyer for no good
Always remember that both you and the buyer have the same basic end goal: for you to sell your home and for the buyer to buy
your home. Your real estate agent will join you in approaching negotiations in a positive frame of mind, which often results in a
win-win proposition for both you and the buyer. And if both parties are satisfi ed with the outcome of negotiations, very few
things will come between you and the closing date.
10. Myth: When you receive an offer, you should make the buyer wait. This gives you a better negotiating position.
Truth: You should reply immediately to an offer!
When a buyer makes an offer, that buyer is, at that moment in time, ready to buy your home. Moods can change, and you don't
want to lose the sale because you have stalled in replying.
Get your home ready to sell
In preparing your home to sell, ask yourself over and over if your home looks like someone else's dream home. Homes in
move-in condition tend to be inviting to buyers; homes that are in like-new condition typically sell fastest and procure the best
price because they outshine the competition.
With that in mind, here are a few things to consider as you look over your home when getting ready to sell:
Remember the sixty-second rule: that's all the time you have to create a good first impression! Mow the lawn, rake leaves, trim
trees and shrubs that keep light out of the house, and remove dead plants. It will probably be easier to sell your home if the buyer
can see it, outside and in. Pick up tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys, and building materials and store them neatly in a storage area.
Replace broken or missing roof shingles, and straighten and clean the gutters and downspouts. Clean all windows and mend torn
screens. Paint your home, if necessary. This can probably help improve curb appeal more than any other fix-up! If you decide
against painting the entire house, at least consider painting the front door, window frames, and shutters. Seal or resurface the
driveway and repair broken steps and walkways. Paint or replace your mailbox. Dress up the front yard with some simple
Clean, Clean, Clean
Step back for a moment and look at your home as if you were seeing it for the first time. Every room should be neat, spotlessly
clean, dusted, and uncluttered. Steam clean the carpets and wax the floors. Wash the walls, windows, and light fi xtures. Tighten
loose stair railings and clean all woodwork. In the event that you feel a project of this magnitude is better left to a professional,
ask your real estate agent to recommend a professional cleaning service.
Use bright light bulbs in the foyer and throughout the home. Fill the home with a pleasant aroma, such as berries in the summer
or cinnamon in the winter, or some other fresh scent.
Replace the carpet if it's old or worn. It costs money, but you may fi nd that you will more than recoup that cost when the home
sells. Patch cracks and nail holes in the walls, and repaint walls in neutral colors, such as white or ivory. Nail down creaking
boards and stair treads. Lubricate any sticking or squeaking doors. Open all curtains, and replace them if they are getting old.
Add lamps and lighting if the home is dark. Set out fresh flowers.
Rearrange or move furniture to make your rooms look more spacious. Discard worn furniture and move extra furniture to a
storage unit. Remember, too much furniture and too many knick-knacks make rooms look cluttered and small. One or two
decorative items per surface is plenty, so pack the rest away. Visit model homes for decorating ideas.
Kitchen and Baths
These rooms should sparkle! Clear off counters, and clean all appliances and fixtures. Scrub the fl oors and walls. Re-caulk tubs
and showers. Clean these rooms thoroughly, and be sure they smell fresh!
Take those things to Goodwill that you'll have to discard anyway when you move. Organize shelves and straighten shoes. Be
sure that sliding doors operate smoothly on their tracks and knobs on drawers are secure.
Dust and wash off lint from the washer and dryer. Dust and wash off the water heater.
Light and Bright
Do everything you can to brighten the interior. Replace wallpaper with white or off-white paint, and repaint shabby or dark walls.
Open the blinds, and replace broken windows and window seals. Always maintain a comfortable temperature inside the house,
even if you are away for an extended period of time.
Aggressive Internet Marketing
Your property will appear on many different web sites ensuring maximum exposure to potential buyers. Some of these are:
MetroChicago Real Estate
The Chicago Tribune
The Keller Williams National Web site
The Keller Williams Mid-America Region Web site
*The Keller Williams Lincoln Square Website
*My personal website (www.realinchicago.com)
The Multiple Listing Service
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a technologically advanced property information service for Realtors. Every home listed
for sale through member companies becomes part of the MLS inventory. Through our participation in this service, your home is
exposed to over 27,000 real estate agents in our marketplace, and buyers have instant access to each home in inventory.
The following is a sample of the detailed information available through MLS:
Photograph and/or optional Virtual Tour for added $
Number and size of rooms
Size and description of lot
Real estate taxes and assessments
Heating and air conditioning information
Chicago Lincoln Square
2156 W Montrose Chicago,
with the subject header
"Real In Chicago"
from (your name)
|Info for Sellers