Book: The Ultimate House Selling Survival Guide

Book: The Ultimate Seller’s Survival Guide

Changing the Perception of your House’s Value so You Can Sell for What You Want

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Chapter 1 Supplement: Good vs. Bad Photos

Research shows that having over 20 high quality photographs will generate 15 times the views on your property’s listing (resulting in faster sales at higher prices). Here are some samples of good vs. bad photos and what makes the good ones so much better.

[Click on each thumbnail for full size version]

HDR

One technique professional photographers use is called High Dynamic Range (HDR for short).  Use your favorite internet search engine and you’ll find a variety of definitions.  We like this one:

It essentially takes a series of images, each shot with a different exposure from darkest to lightest. HDR combines the best parts of the overexposed, underexposed, and balanced shots to create a dramatic image with beautiful shadowing and highlights.

You can see it in action with the pair of photos above. The one on the left is not HDR. You can see that some of the room is exposed correctly, yet most of it is over exposed due to the light coming from outside.  The photo on the right is HDR.  Which do you think tells a better story about what this part of the house has to offer?  Which would you rather have to market your property.

Backlit

Exterior shots like the one above which are backlit present an interesting challenge. It takes a combination of the right equipment, camera settings, and post-processing work in the studio to NOT end up with the photo on the left and instead have the amazing photo on the right.

Staging and Lighting

As the photo above demonstrates, a good photo (dining room on the right) can tell a much better story than a bad photo.  Can you see what a huge difference it makes?  All it took was a little thought into how to frame the photo, staging the room, and proper lighting.  Wow!

Key Point: When interviewing agents (see Chapter 12 in our book or this article) be sure to ask who they use to take their photos for their listings.  Or better yet, just look at their current listings and see for yourself first hand.

Chapter 19 Supplement: Ultimate 57-Point Marketing Plan

We’ve referenced our Ultimate 57-Point Marketing Plan several times throughout the book. This is the plan that all of our sellers get, and is one of the main reasons our sellers bring in about 4% more than the average agent (in about ½ the time). If you’d like a copy, request it here and it will be emailed to you.  We want to make sure that it only gets in the hands of potential sellers (not our REALTOR competition).

First Few Pages / Introduction

Preface

Who is this book for? If you’ve tried unsuccessfully to sell your house, this book is for you. This book will teach you what went wrong and how not to repeat the same mistakes next time, whether that’s now, in a month, or in five years.

Why didn’t your house sell? The answer is simple: The market perceived that your house was priced too high. We are not saying it was priced too high. What we are saying, however is that there are plenty of very simple steps that we can take that will positively impact the market’s perception of your house’s value.

This book is also for you if you’re ready to sell your house and want to avoid some of the common pitfalls. There are many misconceptions on selling your house, such as: marketing, pricing, staging, repairs, et cetera; and if you follow the wrong advice, your property can linger on the market for a long time. When your property lingers on the market too long, you end up frustrated, and ultimately, with a lot less cash in your pocket. We would like to help you avoid that unfortunate situation.

How to Use this Book

We suggest that you use this book like a reference manual. Read the table of contents and head to the chapter on your specific area of interest. In each discussion, we will reference different chapters, directing you to relevant information throughout the book. You’ll also find a “Key Takeaways” summary at the end of each chapter and section to make finding key points easier.

Book Profits

We are animal lovers. Not only do we regularly contribute 4% of our profits from each real estate transaction to the Utah no-kill animal shelter of our clients’ choice, we are also donating all proceeds from this book to Utah no-kill animal shelters.

(From left to right: Joel, Indy, Ann & Jersey)

About the Authors

When not assisting clients with their real estate needs, Joel and Ann keep busy with an assortment of pastimes. Joel is passionate about outdoor recreation, like skiing and cycling (road, mountain, and fat biking). Joel is also a licensed private pilot. While Ann cannot keep up with Joel on skis or bikes anymore, she pursues her own interests, including classes at the local gym, dog walks, reading, and various church and community activities.   Ann and Joel have been married since 1989 and have had at least one dog most their married life. Their current pets, Jersey and Indy, enjoy hiking, walking, eating, playing Frisbee and as all dogs do, napping.

They are a husband and wife team of REALTORS. They hold Utah Real Estate Sales Licenses with KW Success Keller Williams Realty, South Ogden, Utah. They have personally owned over 170 houses since 2002. That level of ownership experience has afforded them a unique perspective on what it really takes to sell houses for the highest amount and in the fastest time possible.

They quickly learned that 99% of REALTORS take the same three steps in finding a buyer: snap a few photos, put up a yard sign, and list on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Then they simply wait for someone else to sell the house for them. Joel & Ann realized that to sell their houses for more money and faster, they needed a different plan, so they began to market their houses off of the MLS, and that marketing plan evolved into their current Ultimate 57-Point Marketing Plan™.

Today, they provide this exact same plan to all of their seller clients, which is part of the reason their sellers are earning, on average, 4% more and selling in about half of the time when compared to working with the average REALTOR.

A large part of that marketing plan is shared in this book.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Case Study #1

Case Study #2

Lesson 1: Lowering the Price May Not Be the Solution

Lesson 2: Three Factors Determine When and How Much It Will Sell For

SECTION I: MARKETING

Section Intro – Selling Your House without Lowering the Price

Chapter 1 – Quality of Marketing

Professional Photos

Aerial Photos and Videos

How the “Primary Photo” can Harm your Final Sales Price

Why Video and What Kind of Video?

Written Descriptions and Pretty Words

Website

Chapter 2 – Targeted Marketing (Directly to the Buyer)

Google/SEO

YouTube Video in Search Results

Google Paid Ads

Final Word About Google Results/Searches

Facebook Paid Ads

Open Houses – The only Time they work for YOU

Frenzied Price Strategy (a.k.a. The Bidding War)

Chapter 3 – Quantity of Marketing (Exposure)

KSL.com Classifieds

Craigslist

Facebook & Google Paid Ads

Organic Facebook Exposure

Google and YouTube Organic Exposure

Other Social Media

Marketing in your Yard

Your REALTOR’S Buyers Database

State-Wide Database

SECTION II: CONDITION/SHOWINGS

Chapter 4 – Preparing Your House to Show

The 1.5 Times Rule

Defining “Staging”

De-Clutter

First Time Prep:  50 Easy Ways to Make Your House Sell Faster (and for More Money)

Photos/Video Prep: Ideas to Prepare for Media Shoots

Last Minute Prep: How to be Ready for Last Minute Showings

Last Minute Prep: How to be Ready for Last Minute Showings

Staging a House with Pets

Virtual Staging

Market it Now or Wait?

Chapter 5 – Get Those Buyers Through and Learn What They Think

How Your REALTOR Helps/Hinders Showings

Feedback

Why Your Agent Shouldn’t Be at Showings

What Happens When You’re Present at Showings

How to Work as a Team with Your REALTOR

SECTION III: THE MARKET

Chapter 6 – What Exactly Is “The Market”?

The Market Doesn’t Care

Inefficient Market

Chapter 7 – Two Big REALTOR Pricing Biases and How to Avoid Them

The Under-Pricing REALTOR Bias

When Under-Pricing May Be a Great Strategy

Recognizing the Under-Pricing REALTOR Bias

The Over-Pricing REALTOR Bias

Recognizing the Over-Pricing REALTOR Bias

How to Avoid the Two Big Realtor Pricing Biases?

Chapter 8 – Pricing: Doing the Research

Seller Pricing Bias (Critical Read!) and How to Avoid It

How to Avoid the Seller Pricing Bias?

Comparative Market Analysis

Selecting the Right Comparables

Sold vs. Currently For Sale

Converting Those Comparables to a Value (The CMA Report)

Get a Listing Appraisal?

Zestimates from Zillow

Chapter 9 – Pricing: Determining the Starting Price

7 Deadly Sins of Over-Pricing

Speed of the Market

The Over-Pricing Urge

Pricing’s Two Schools of Thought

Get This in Your Head – Buyers Aren’t Stupid

Winter Selling Myth

Selecting the Starting Price: Is it a house or a box of aspirin?

Is It Priced Right?

Interest Level

SECTION IV: MUST-KNOW FACTS ABOUT THE REALTOR BUSINESS (AND HOW IT AFFECTS YOUR DECISION MAKING AND BOTTOM LINE)

Chapter 10 – All About REALTORS

How REALTORS Get Paid

The REALTOR Commodity Myth (Even REALTORS Believe It)

The Truth About REALTOR Education

Is Your Agent Better At Selling Himself or at Selling Your House?

Who Is Your REALTOR Working For?

Consultant vs. Sales Person

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Friend/Relative (Frelative)

Team Size Pros & Cons

Does the Brokerage/Brand Really Matter?

Chapter 11 –Alternatives to Full Service Agent

For Sale by Owner (a.k.a. FSBO)

Flat Fee Brokers

Average Agent

“We Buy Houses” Companies / Real Estate Investors

Chapter 12 – How to Interview Agents

General Considerations (for Selling or Buying)

Specific Seller Considerations

History of Previously Unsold Houses Going for Near or Above Price

Biggest Mistake You Can Make When Hiring

Pay Attention During the Interview

How to Avoid Being “Locked Into” a Contractde

How to Avoid Agent/Broker Junk Fees

How to Avoid the Biggest Hidden Junk Fee

SECTION V: NEGOTIATIONS

Chapter 13 – Vetting Your Buyer

What Happens When You Don’t Vet the Buyer

Cash Buyer – Proof of Funds

Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification

Potential Red Flag Language

Chapter 14 – Responding to Offers

Leveraging the Emotional Commitments Buyers Make

A Word About Earnest Money

What Is A Counter Offer?

“Let’s Meet In The Middle”

When Saying “No” is OK

Should You Pay the Buyer’s Loan Costs?

How Much Cash Will You Get at Closing?

Chapter 15 – Negotiation Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t Let Your Ego or Emotions Get in the Way

Do Learn the Buyer’s Motivation

Do Listen Five Times More Than You Talk

Don’t Spill the Beans

Do Leverage Buyers Against Each Other

Don’t Be Pressured

Chapter 16 – Responding to Inspection/Repair Requests

Your Options

What Repairs Should You Do

What Repairs Can You Say “No” To

Leveraging Buyer’s Emotional Attachment

Leveraging The Emotional Commitments Buyers Make

Additional Leverage – Did You Get Multiple Offers?

Chapter 17 – Alternatives to Taking House Off Market with Accepted Offer

Under Contract

Backup

Active with Time Clause

SECTION VI: CONCLUSION/WRAP-UP

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Ultimate 57-Point Marketing Plan™

Moving with Pets

Words That Sell and Words That Don’t Sell

Glossary/Common Terms

Links to Our Testimonials

How to Contact Us for an Interview