Sold…What Really Works!

~ I wrote this article in the spring of 2006. Thought the information was still timely so decided to re-post here on my new Blog.  Ironically our local paper’s have each gone to 1 day/week publications and will probably be extinct very soon ~ Lori

The following information is so important for Seller’s to understand. Most agents are not willing to tell you the truth about where buyer’s really come from and how your home is likely to get sold (99.99%).  They just want you to be happy so they do what ever you ask no matter how ineffective or inefficient your request may be vs. presenting you with a proven marketing and business model that works. You shouldn’t have to tell your Realtor how to do their job. If you do, you need to find a new professional!

Do you want to know what really works to get your home sold?

 3  Most Important Things The Seller Controls:

 The Listing Agent: The best way to find an agent is by referral. Ask someone who has bought or sold recently. If they had a good experience they will happily refer you. There is no better endorsement for an agent than a referral. Choose an agent that is willing to be honest with you. An agent that wants to be respected more than liked is the one who will always be truthful with you. Once you’ve chosen the listing agent. The true goal of the listing agent is to market you home to other agents, not to homebuyer’s. After the initial sign goings up in your yard, flyers in the brochure box, internet marketing in place….networking with other real estate professionals is what gets your home sold.

Price and Condition of The Property: Both price and condition of the property are the two most important things the Seller is actually in control of.  The condition of the property must justify the price being asked. I will prepare a Market Analysis of your property and advise you as to what I believe you can sell the property for.  When a new listing comes on the market it is like a fresh loaf of bread coming out of the oven. Everyone is interested. After awhile it becomes stale. If time goes by and no offers are coming in then we must revisit the condition and or price vs. current market conditions, then be willing to address condition issues and bringing the price into a more competitive position.

 Marketing – Best to Worst

Best: First things first….The Lockbox goes on. The Yard Sign goes up.  Brochures placed in the home.

Best: At the same time….Your home is placed on the Multiple Listing Service. There are currently over 17,000 agents in our MLS. This is the primary database of listings. Every day agents working with buyers check their “Hot Sheet” for new homes on the market that would suit their buyer’s needs. Our MLS information is also available to the public via the website:

Best: A word about how your home is presented on the MLS. I make sure all of my listings have multiple photo’s and very descriptive text. A lazy agent will not bother with a photo or additional text.  Not all listings are presented the same. I feel this is my first opportunity to present your home to the audience that will ultimately sell your home to a buyer they are working with. I intentionally target a fabulous presentation on the MLS.

There is a 99.99% chance that another agent will sell your home to a buyer they are working. This statistic has withstood the test of time over and over.

Best: Internet presence….your home will have an extensive internet presence when listed with me. Your home will be seen as follows:

   the public access to our MLS

    as a “Showcase Home”

   Realty World Corporate site

   my personal website. One of the best website products  on the market.

   my Office website. One of the best website  products on the market.

Best: A word about the Internet. Studies show that over 80% of buyer’s now get initial information from the Internet. Please note…initial information. When they are actually ready to look at property they still pick up the phone and enlist the help of a Realtor®.

In fact, most buyers acknowledge two things:

1. Their agent was referred to them

2. Their agent actually found them the home they ended up buying

Best: Strong Contract Negotiation…..Once an offer comes in the work has just begun. Most offers come in full of vague details. I write an extremely strong counter offer in which I usually address a multitude of “housekeeping” items as I refer them. I want all parties on the same page down to when “all purchase contingencies” will be removed and which home warranty company being used. The home is not “Sold” until the escrow closes. How smoothly the escrow progresses is largely dependent on how well the contract was written along with the terms and conditions agreed too.

Best: All the buyer’s I work with were referred to me by other satisfied clients. This is the best kind of buyer by far!




Worst:  Print Advertising…..I know….I know….you’re thinking, what? Why do I see real estate ads running every week in my local paper? Here’s a little secret most agents don’t want you to know. When offices and or individual agents run ads for homes they have listed they want you to think they’re running the ad to actually sell your home. What they’re not telling you is the real purpose of the ad is to try and capture “a” buyer they can sell a home to, any home, not necessarily your home. In fact the statistics for selling your home off of an ad run for your home is less then .01%. Yes, less than one-tenth of 1%. So……I hear you asking “Why do agents and offices continue to use print advertising?” The biggest reason is they think you expect it of them. Secondly they don’t have the courage to tell you the truth, that ad’s don’t sell homes Realtors® sell homes and  because they don’t want you to leave them. They’d rather be liked than respected as a professional.

Here’s the real problem with print ad’s…It’s last century’s technology! Buyer’s now have access to every bit of information that Realtors® do via the Internet. You say, what about buyer’s that don’t have access to the Internet, well…..they call a Realtor® to help them with their search and ultimately to represent them in their purchase.

If you should interview an agent that relies heavily on print ads to sell homes then you need to ask the next set of questions:

1. How often does the actual ad for the home-sell the home? What are your statistics?

2) What kind of ad? Line Item, Photo- black and white or color?

3) How big of an ad- ¼ Page, ½ Page, The Whole Page…..obviously if small isn’t    

    working, bigger is better, right? When do you stop, I ask? At the whole magazine?

    Newspapers and magazines love Realtors because they will tell you if your ad isn’t 

    working you need to run a bigger ad and for a longer period of time! They laugh all the   

    way to the bank!

4) Which publications and why? Does any one work better than the other’s?

 I can guarantee that if you ask the obvious questions about print advertising almost every agent will not know their own numbers in regards to success rates.

 Here’s a great analogy for print ads…..You slave in the kitchen all day pouring your heart and soul into a new recipe you decided to try on your family. They come home and sit down to dinner. They dig in and here comes the ugly faces. Your new recipe tastes terrible. They take another bite just to give you the benefit of the doubt. Nope still terrible……..Bummer! So next week you decide to try again but this time you make a double batch…..Drat! They still hated it…..Of Course! It’s a “Bad Recipe!” Same thing goes for print ad’s. It’s the truth. Made you smile didn’t I!

 Worst: Open Houses……What, another misconception of the market! I’m afraid so! Open Houses serve a minimal purpose. In the beginning when your home is new on the market an Open House is practically an invitation that most of you neighbors, especially the nosey ones just won’t be able to pass up. So here’s why agents hold open houses….just like with Print Ads… of neighbors might also be thinking of selling their home and maybe, just maybe they don’t have a Realtor®. The statistics for selling your home by holding Open Houses is the same sad less than .01%. After a home has been on the market for any length of time an Open House is essentially useless.

Most agents have no training on how to sit an Open House so here’s what really happens.

They put up signs….(that brings in the looky-loos and tire kickers) they put out a nice try of cookies and maybe some bottled water and then they proceed to spend a nice Saturday afternoon at a house that’s usually nicer than the one they live in. When they get bored with catching up on paperwork and such they eat a few cookies and have a bottle of water. They chat up the few people that come through the door which by the way are usually very reluctant to give up any personal information to a “pushy” agent. If they haven’t eaten all the cookies by the end of the afternoon they pack those of for polishing off after they get home and pick up the signs and head home thinking well at least I caught up on my paperwork and note writing. Made you smile again! It’s true…

Oh By The Way®…..

 One more thought…..When you work with me you can rest assured that I have my business model dialed in. I chooseto focus my efforts on what I know gives me the highest rate of success. A 99.99% chance of success is pretty outstanding! My entire focus is on getting your home sold for the most money possible in the least amount of time