I’d like to let the cat out of the bag today and tell you exactly how it’s possible to get more money from your home sale. This is not intended to be a sales pitch; I simply want to show you how we have managed to break price records this year for our clients.


In real estate, there are essentially two very simple success principles: the first is aggressive marketing and the second is skillful negotiation. There are really only two reasons why a house doesn’t sell, and they are directly correlated to these principles—marketing and price. If people don’t know about your house, then obviously nobody will be able to make an offer on it. On the flip side, if your home is marketed well but is overpriced, then nobody will want to make an offer on it.


The more people that know about your home, the more showings you’ll get. More showings mean more offers, and more offers will allow you to negotiate up to the highest possible price on your home.


Let’s talk about marketing first. How do we ensure that everyone out there looking for a home in your neighborhood and in your price point knows about the home you’re selling? By now, we all know that at least 95% of buyers begin their home searches online before they even speak with a real estate agent. Clearly, it’s important to advertise your home all over the internet. However, there is another piece to the internet marketing puzzle: your home needs to be intriguing enough to catch those buyers’ eyes and make them want to click through and learn more about it. How do you accomplish this?


First, you must have professional photos taken of your house. Intriguing professional photos may use a twilight shot or a night shot to show your home in the best possible light and make it stand out from all of the other homes out there. Video is also a crucial part of marketing your home online. More buyers will watch videos than will look at pictures. Recently, we’ve even instituted new 3D technology for taking these photos that will allow the buyer to walk through the home online and see the entire house.


Another important element is targeting the right market online. We only have so many marketing dollars that we can use, so it’s important to spend that budget in the right places. There are many ways to target people who are likely to move, have sufficient income and good credit, and it’s crucial to be able to capitalize on that.


Staging your home is also a vital piece of the puzzle. Who wants to walk into a house that feels empty or like nobody wants to be in there? Making a home feel like it’s been cared for, loved, and lived-in will make a major difference in the kinds of offers you will receive on it. The problem with a lot of staging companies is that many of them use the same furniture kits for all types of homes, regardless of the way that the furniture fits into the home. This doesn’t work. The furniture needs to fit the home and represent its character as well as the type of buyer that wants to live there. We have a designer on our staff that helps us do exactly this.


Now let’s move onto the role that skillful negotiation plays in the sale of your home. Negotiation is more of a science than it is an art, but many people don’t treat it that way. There are massive amounts of data out there that will provide you with quality information to help you position your house correctly. Because the goal is to get you the highest price possible for your home, neither overpricing nor underpricing are the solution.


There is more to a negotiation than simply agreeing on a price. Most people typically get into negotiation on price and some terms, then get into escrow only to find out that there is a secondary negotiation. This negotiation usually pertains to repairs, and it’s where a lot of money can be lost or gained.


Here is what I recommend: rather than waiting for the buyer to make inspection appointments and put in requests for repairs based on those, consider having an open and transparent negotiation with the buyer in order to maximize your leverage. We will usually get all of the inspections performed before listing the property, then present all of that information to the buyer during the first negotiation so that we know all of the repairs they need up front. We have saved clients literally thousands of dollars this way. We’ve even had buyers remove their contingencies at the time that they write the offer.


These are just a few strategies that we employ and encourage you to use in order to sell your home for top dollar. If you have any other questions about selling your home for the most money possible in today’s market or anything else related to Northern California real estate, give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to help you!