Tag: selling your home


Choosing A Realtor Part 4: Real Estate Marketing

Real Estate Marketing

Tip #4: Real Estate Marketing

When choosing a solid real estate professional to help sell or buy your next home, there are many factors to consider. We are sharing with you the tips we feel are most important in deciding who to hire and have already covered a few of the basics: does this person work full time or is he just a hobbyist? Is he/she a true neighborhood expert? If this person is related to you, is he/she just as qualified to do a great job? If not, it’s important to ignore family pressure and don’t let it weigh upon your decision regarding who to hire. Always remember that real estate is most likely the single most expensive investment you will ever make. Who to hire to help navigate the process is extremely important and shouldn’t be entered into lightly.

Supermarket- Before hiring a potential agent to sell your home, it’s crucial for you to learn about his/her real estate marketing plan and get all of his promises in writing. A good agent will be able to articulate where and how he advertises your property. Every licensed agent has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which is essentially the bible for buyers and sellers. This is the most current and up to date tool that agents will use to share with buyers, sellers and other agents what properties he has for sale. So, putting a property on the MLS is a no-brainer that everyone will do. But dig deeper. Who is taking the pictures that will show your property in the best light? Who is writing the description that will highlight all the features that will help get your house sold?  Ask who the agent currently uses for these services. If he says he does all of that himself, move on to the next candidate (unless he has a background in both photography or professional writing- but the chances of this are slim). If he claims to use other people to help in these areas, ask who they are and whether or not you are responsible for paying their fees (a good agent will not expect you to pay for these services. The only thing you may be on the financial hook for during this process is if there are damages in your home that would appear in the photos. You will likely be responsible for paying to patch up a hole or two or repaint a wall if it’s truly awful.  If a professional stager is brought in at your request, you may be expected to cover that cost, as well).

And what advertising will your agent do beyond the MLS? This is important for you to know up front so there are so surprises down the line. Strong agents will be able to show you examples of how he/she markets your property in a variety of different ways, AT NO COST TO YOU! If an agent starts the sentence by saying, ‘Sure I can do that handsome, all color flyer hand delivered to the entire neighborhood but it’s going to cost you a few thousand dollars…’ just do yourself a favor and move along to the next candidate.

You have the right to have your property marketed as widely and extensively as possible. Anyone who claims to do this should feel confident to put it in writing. Anyone who does less should not earn your business.


How to get your home sold quickly – part 10

your home

For the last few weeks we’ve talked about prepping your home for sale and the ten easy steps to make your home as desirable as possible in order to sell it quickly for the most amount of money. That brings us to our final tip to ponder. You know the old adage: the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client? Or doctors make the worst patients? Well, the same can be said for selling your home.

It’s no secret, agent!

When it’s all said and done, the best defense you have in the home selling and buying business is an experienced, reputable agent. In other words, do your homework! Ask around to your friends, neighbors and co-workers about who they have worked with in the past and what their thoughts were about using him/her. A neighborhood specialist is important because this agent really knows his immediate market exceptionally well. If you are familiar with a particular person’s marketing, call him/her in for an interview and ask the questions that are important to you. Nickel and diming over commission should not be the goal, here. You really want to work with someone that you feel a connection with and someone you trust. The commission is earned, especially if a deal becomes difficult or contentious. You want someone fighting and negotiating and arguing on your behalf. Everyone with an armchair interest in real estate thinks he/she can handle a transaction as well as the professionals but that’s like saying anyone who enjoys watching Law and Order could effectively argue a case in court or solve a murder mystery crime. Do yourself a favor and put your trust in someone who is working hard on your behalf. Protect your largest investment and asset by using a professional that you respect and let him do what excels at:  Selling your home for the most money possible.

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How to get your home sold quickly – part 9

home sold

We’ve been going through the 10 easy steps outlining how to get your home sold quickly. We are almost at the end of our journey and have saved the best for (nearly) last.

Just a spoonful of sugar

Nothing says home-sweet-home nicer than delicious treats baked from scratch. One surefire way to give your home that little something extra while it’s open to the public is to have some freshly baked goods available, straight from the oven. People walk in to look at your home and are immediately transported by the delicious aromas. They taste a treat while looking around, savoring something delicious. Selling a house isn’t just about the physical and structural building. It’s crafting a whole imagined life for the buyer. It’s appealing to all the senses at once and inserting pleasure while experiencing that first impression. No time to bake? Heat up a few tablespoons of vanilla in the oven half an hour before open house time. Not so delicious to taste but the aroma will for sure help ignite the senses and ultimately sweeten the deal.

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How to get your home sold quickly – part 8

How to get your home sold quickly


It’s not hard to get ready to get your home sold! In fact, we’ve been going through the first of ten easy steps that you can do to get your house in tip-top showing shape before it hits the market. The goal is always to get the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time and these steps will help you achieve that. Today’s tip may be the easiest one yet!

Lighten up!

Before you get your house on the market, go to every room and make sure the light bulbs are alive and raring to go.  Make sure the windows are scrubbed and clean so all that beautiful, natural light can stream right in. Psychologically speaking, buyers respond much better to bright, airy spaces than darker ones so don’t be afraid to take stock of your lighting situation before you hit the market. That is the time to address it, certainly not on the day your home is making it’s open house debut!  So, take the time now when you’re in prep mode to triple check and make sure all the bulbs and switches are working and your windows are sparkling clean. These small and easy acts help ensure that a successful sale is the light at the end of the real estate tunnel.

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How to get your home sold quickly – part 7

your home sold quickly

To market, to market

We’ve been giving you the easy, mostly DIY steps you need to take to get your home sold quickly.  In steps 1-6, amongst other topics, we’ve also covered repairs, staging, easy showings and great photography. Now we’re ready to talk about marketing and advertising your property.

Full Exposure:

Selling a house is definitely not your grandma’s game anymore. Technology has brought the business to a whole new level of marketing and it’s one the Ben Lee Properties team has thoughtfully researched and (we hope) conquered.  There is the traditional way to market and we certainly still do all that encompasses: (using the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS; mailers, signs, banners, flags, newspaper ads, etcetera). We also have created community newsletters that get mailed to 9000 neighbors every month.  But the real trend in marketing is happening on line. This year I actually hired a new member to join our team and her sole goal is to get your property properly marketed on the internet. In addition to advertising your home extensively on my professional website, we are equally active using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get your home as much exposure as globally possible. All of our listings appear on the websites that armchair home enthusiasts actively browse (Redfin, Zillow, etc.) and being affiliated with the largest brokerage company in the world (Coldwell Banker) means our network shares images and descriptions of your home to the farthest corners of the globe. No matter who you choose to work with to get your home sold, it is important that you ask about his/her marketing plan up front and throughout the entire process. You can’t successfully sell a home and know you’re getting the most money possible without absolutely full exposure and if your agent isn’t providing this, you need to find someone who does.

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How to get your home sold quickly – part 6

getting your home sold quickly

For the past week we’ve been providing tips on getting your home sold quickly in ten easy steps.  Now that your home has been decluttered, staged and all those pesky little problems have been finally fixed, your home is finally ready for it’s close up.

Tip #6: Picture Perfect!

One of the key distinguishing factors between getting your home sold quickly and having a home that sits on the market a lot longer is how it’s presented to the public. A professional photographer truly makes a huge difference in accomplishing your goal to get your house sold fast and for the most money.  Trust me- a few hastily snapped shots from your iPhone will not do the trick.  Your home is now a supermodel and with that comes professional lighting, touch ups and a punishing diet (just kidding on that last part). The only way to treat a model of your home’s caliber is to hire a team of experienced professionals to shoot it well and portray it at its best.  These photos are the first things potential buyers see so the goal is to make them as picture perfect as possible.

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How to get your home sold quickly – part 5

get your home sold

What’s the smartest strategy get your home sold quickly and efficiently in ten easy steps? We’ve already covered steps 1-4:  You’ve priced it well, gotten it staged, fixed small problems and skipped inspections.  Today we’re covering the fifth step so that is good news! You are already half way to a successful home sale!

#5: It’s show easy:
One of the most important roles you have as a home seller is to make your property easy to show. Often times, potential buyers need to see a house without a lot of notice. This can be tough on a seller but it’s a crucial element to getting your home seen by as many interested parties as possible. One way to make a house easy to show is to declutter and simplify your furnishings (which you have already done in previous steps) thereby making tidying up a lot less daunting.  Of course, a trustworthy broker never would send potential buyers to your property unaccompanied and it’s easy to explain away a little mess here and there (please- I understand what it’s like to have a house on the market with small children. Even decluttered, it’s next to impossible to keep clean and show-worthy!)

But it’s important to remember that every time a seller says: “No, sorry, it’s just not a good time for me right now- the house is a mess and I don’t feel ready!” A realtor hears: “I don’t really want to sell my house too much after all.”

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How To Get Your Home Sold Quickly – Part 4

How to get your home sold quickly

So far we’ve covered the first three steps our “How to get your home sold quickly” series : you’ve gotten it staged, priced it appropriately and made some minor cosmetic fixes. The fourth thing you need to do:


  1. Do not bother with Inspections:

This is a touchy area and here is why. Every inspector will find something ‘wrong’ with your home. This is normal. Everything that is found during an inspection, though, whether small or large needs to be disclosed to any buyer.  Keep in mind, anything you have knowledge of that a buyer would consider material in their decision making process needs to be brought to their attention. You might as well not bother with getting an inspection because any buyer during their due diligence period will discover the details about your home via inspections anyway. Why waste money ‘fixing’ these problems in advance of the sale if the buyer’s inspector might mind fault with the way it was repaired and ask for it to be redone?  At this stage of the game, it’s better to put your home on the market “as is” and deal with the findings of the buyer’s inspections once you are in escrow.

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How To Get Your Home Sold Quickly – Part 3

How to get your home sold quickly - part 3

When it comes to how to get your home sold quickly, ten easy steps are really all it takes to bring your property to market. We’ve talked about the first two steps already: pricing it well and getting it staged. That leads us to today’s tip:

  1. Make Cosmetic Repairs:

While your stager has just addressed major design and appearance fixes, now it’s time to call your handyman (and we know of several who are smart, trustworthy, efficient and inexpensive) and deal with all those little problems that you’ve lived with for years. You know what I’m talking about!  All those tiny holes in the walls left behind after rearranging framed artwork? It’s now time to patch them up.  It’s also your chance to tighten loose doorknobs, replace fixtures, repaint major scuffs, address long ignored dead lightbulbs, stubborn doorjambs and figure out why some of those light switches stopped working.  It’s pretty embarrassing as a realtor to show a home and not be able to open up closets or doors because someone didn’t come through to fix all of those quirks beforehand. Especially, too, because they’re often so fixable! It’s crazy to not address these small issues because once a potential buyer thinks something ‘doesn’t work,’ then psychologically he’ll think the house isn’t worth asking price or just walk from the deal before even making an offer. So make a list, check it twice, and fix it up well before bringing your house to market.

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How to get your home sold quickly – part 2

10 easy steps how to get your home sold quickly

We’ve been exploring in 10 easy steps how to get your home sold quickly. Yesterday we talked about step number 1 which is pricing it correctly. The second step to successfully selling your house is:

2. Get it Professionally Staged!

When an actor prepares for the stage, he wears a costume, right? Well, this is really no different. When we live in our own house, it’s easy to get comfortable with its little quirks and nuances.  The way our furniture has always been laid out, the stacks of newspapers in the corner we’ve been holding on to for too long, the treasures and mementos gathering dust on the shelves… a professional stager (and I work with and can recommend some excellent ones) is like a fresh pair of eyes that can quickly size up what needs to be done cosmetically and aesthetically to get your home ready to be put on the market. Maybe it’s nothing more than some paint touch-ups and a few strategically placed throw pillows. Some jobs may require more extensive intervention and still other homes may be so darn perfect the stager wouldn’t have to do anything at all.

The bottom line is this: when preparing your home for sale, it’s extremely helpful to get an outsider’s nonbiased and expert opinion on how to brush up and polish the interiors. You would never take the stage without a costume, right?? Well, your house shouldn’t either!

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