Selling My Home

Professional Presentation of Your Home

How much will my home sell for?

Your home’s price range depends on three factors:

  • the location of your home,
  • the condition of your home, and
  • the current real estate market in your area.

You’ve probably heard the real estate mantra “location, location, location!” This mantra is true — location is by far the best indicator of what your home can sell for. A “shack” in a desirable area will often sell for a higher price than a lovely, well-appointed home in a less desirable location.

Call us for a free listing appointment to discuss specifics for your home. We’ll assess the condition of your home, discuss the market in your neighborhood, and provide you with an analysis of your home’s likely sales price range. We can’t change the location of your home, but we can help you prepare your home and position it in the local market so that you get a price at the top end of its price range.

How can I get the best price for my home?

Here is our strategy to get the best price for your home:

  1. 1Research the local market and determine a strategic price point for your home.
  2. 2Prepare your home to make it as attractive and desirable as possible to potential buyers.
  3. 3Market your home professionally, focusing on both breadth and depth.

This strategy is simple in concept, but results can vary drastically depending on how the strategy is executed. Here’s how we execute our strategy:

Strategic Pricing

Determining a good price point for your home is critical to maximizing its sale price and selling it quickly. A well-priced home attracts multiple offers and sells for list price or higher. A home is generally well-priced if the asking price is close to the recent sales price of similar homes in the same neighborhood on a price-per-square-foot basis. When homes are priced too high, they tend to linger on the market and frequently become a good deal for buyers (sellers often feel pressure to lower the price). While the average number of days a home stays on the market varies by neighborhood, it’s critical to price your home at a level that will invite multiple offers in a timely fashion.

Determining a good price point for your home requires comprehensive knowledge of the local market. We track data at the neighborhood level in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, and Menlo Park, looking specifically at metrics such as:

  • inventory (number of homes on the market), and
  • sales performance (number of days homes stay on the market, how many offers homes get, and whether homes sell over or under list price).

We monitor this data not only in snapshots (the state of the market today), but also historically, so that we can spot trends that are critical to selecting a good price point and getting you a sales price at the top end of your home’s price range. Picking the right price point for a home can make a difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in the final sale price.

Skilled Preparation

You must make your home as desirable as possible before you put it on the market. When a potential buyer walks in, they should immediately be able to picture themselves living there. Your home will look its best and most inviting when it’s light, bright, spacious, and clutter-free. We use an interior designer for advice on facelift items like fresh paint colors and modern fixtures. We also recommend refinishing floors and sprucing up landscaping; these simple projects can make your home look polished and really stand out from other homes that are on the market in your neighborhood. Good staging is another hallmark of the homes that we list: Attractive, well-placed furniture can make your home look like it was featured in the pages of a design magazine, and helps buyers picture themselves living in the home. Call us to talk about “multipliers” — projects that can increase the sale price of your home by a multiple of the amount of money you put in.

We maintain close relationships with skilled contractors in our area, and can either put you in touch with them or hire them to work on your home directly. These contractors are professionals — they pride themselves on the quality of their work, and are also accustomed to tight schedules in situations where it’s imperative to hit the market quickly. We provide a high volume of work for these contractors, and they can often do the work for you at a discount (i.e., at below-market price).

Professional Marketing

We have two goals when we market your home:

  1. 1Make your home look superior to other properties in your neighborhood (it will honestly be in a different league than other homes).
  2. 2Make your home visible to all potential buyers.

To accomplish the first goal (making your home look superior), we use two tactics:

  • Prepare your home physically, making it look light, bright, and inviting (see preparation above).
  • Prepare elegant and distinctive marketing materials.

We draft all marketing materials ourselves to make sure your home’s value proposition is highlighted professionally. At the same time, we work with a graphic design firm to emphasize the aesthetic appeal of your home, and to project an image of simple elegance and high quality. Everything we do is designed to further the image that your home is stylish, elegant, and unique. We urge you to go to open houses in your neighborhood and compare homes that we and our colleagues at Deleon Realty market with properties marketed by other agents/brokerages. Ask yourself: Which homes look most attractive? Which homes would you be willing to pay more for?

To accomplish the second goal (maximizing your home’s visibility), we employ a strategy of both breadth and depth:

  • Feature your home prominently using multiple materials and media.
  • Target special groups likely to be interested in your neighborhood and home.

We feature your home in high-quality print marketing that is professional, distinctive, and eye-catching. At the same time, we emphasize your home’s exposure on the Internet, focusing on both social media and optimization for real estate search engines.

In addition, our background and prior work experience have enabled us to build extended personal connections within the Stanford community, within bar associations and other professional organizations, and within large employers in the area such as Google, Facebook, and Apple. If your home is likely to appeal to executives, clients, or other professionals in such organizations, we are not shy about using our connections to promote it in those circles.

How quickly can I sell my home?

How quickly you can sell your home is a function of:

While the first two items are critical, don’t underestimate the importance of the last item. Here again our background as attorneys can serve you well. We can help you:

  • Evaluate multiple offers.
    • Our objective is to help you accept the strongest offer, i.e., the offer that meets your goals and has minimal risk of falling through.
  • Negotiate with buyers.

    • We have extensive formal training in negotiation techniques, and pride ourselves on coming up with creative solutions to address issues that arise in the course of your sale.
  • Modify the purchase contract to fit your needs.

    • We have extensive experience drafting agreements. We can help you understand proposals put forth by buyers, and respond with counter-offers that meet your goals.
  • Follow through on your sale transaction so that it closes smoothly and quickly.

    • The closing process can be long and complicated. We pay close attention to the details of your transaction (completing necessary repairs, removing contract contingencies, etc.) so that there are no surprises and the closing proceeds on schedule.

How much do you charge?

Commission varies by location, and typically runs from 5% to 6% of the sale price. Sellers pay this commission to their listing agent, who customarily splits the commission with the buyers’ agent.

Do you charge more for two professional brokers?

We do not charge a higher commission despite the fact that we are two professional brokers. When you list your home with us, we both work on the sale of your home with our full attention and devotion. This really is a case of two-for-the-price-of-one.

Is the commission worth it?

The advice and service that we provide — strategic pricing, skilled preparation, and professional marketing — are all geared to one goal: attracting multiple offers for your home. When you get multiple offers, two things happen:

  • Buyers get into an auction mentality, and frequently drive up the sale price of your home, sometimes by several hundred thousand dollars.
  • Buyers try to make their offer more appealing (e.g., by not including contingencies in their offer). That results in higher quality offers, and enables you to select a strong offer that has a minimal chance of falling through.

What’s the alternative? Sellers who don’t put in the preparation that we recommend, or who hire an agent that is not capable of delivering the professional level of service that we provide, frequently leave money on the table, or end up having their home languish on the market for an extended period of time, or both (the longer a home sits on the market, the more likely the sellers are to lower the price).

Is real estate commission a lot to pay? It depends on the value that the broker adds to your home. We believe in the investment adage, “It takes money to make money.” Your home is a great asset. With our professional advice and service, you can maximize its value. We don’t just pay lip service to this adage, either — we put our money where our mouth is. When we list a home, we typically invest $10,000 to $15,000 of our own money to prepare and market the home. We believe strongly in the value that we add, and our results speak for themselves.

Call us for a free listing appointment to get started.

Call us today to set up a listing appointment. During this appointment, we will:

  • discuss the goals of your sale and your specific needs (price, timing, etc.);
  • analyze market trends in your neighborhood;
  • evaluate the condition of your home and give you an honest assessment of its likely sales price range;
  • recommend work you can do to maximize your chance of getting a price at the top end of your home’s price range;
  • discuss our general marketing strategy and provide samples of our professional marketing materials; and
  • recommend a marketing strategy for your specific neighborhood and home.

We look forward to helping you get the most from the sale of your home.

Andy & Lori Orion