Friday, February 23, 2024

Marty and Max: What to expect when expecting to sell your home

| February 17, 2023 1:00 AM

This week I am starting with a SHOUT OUT to the Lookout Lifties (Chair Lift): Corey, Wyatt, Fernando, Lillian, Trynide, and the gang are just amazing. Special Shout Out to Ski Patrol, especially Ron.

Selling your home is a process, and just like having a baby, there are trimesters or phases. The first step is to select a Realtor you trust to partner in selling your home. You may need to interview several Realtors. It is crucial to partner with someone whom you trust to put your interest first. In many cases, it is likely not the one who simply quotes the highest selling price or lowest fee.

Many years ago I wanted to build a home and gathered quotes from builders. As I reviewed the bids, I found a guy who could build my home for much less than all the others. By the time we had the sheetrock up, he was already twice the price of the others. He quoted a cheaper price to get the bid knowing I could not change horses in the middle of a race.

Fast forward to when I moved to Idaho from the south and was forced to sell my home remotely after the relocation. Since the relocation was not expected (due to a job transfer), I rented the home for six months. I trusted a real estate agent named Katy Stark. Katy handled so many challenges for us that she would have been cheaper at twice the price. Short story, we purchased the model home in the neighborhood. It was a three-year-old home that was beautiful, however, our renters trashed it. She knew what needed to be done to sell the home. We put our trust in her, and she was just like the mailman. She simply delivered! All day…Everyday.

Although there are many things to consider when selling your largest investment, make sure YOU understand WHY you are selling. Have you found a great parcel of land and you are going to build your dream home? Do you have a large amount of equity in your home and want to cash out? Are you going to sell and repurchase or are you going to sell here and move out of state to join the Sale & Bail club? You and your Realtor must be in lockstep. The first step is to choose wisely.

The next phase is getting your listing to the market, and keep in mind that there is a HUGE chance that the buyer will not be local. To reach outside buyers you will need more than “Cellphone Sally” who will take a few cellphone photos and slap them up on the MLS and hope for the best. List with professional images, and if the home has not sold, you will need a completely new set of marketing collateral when the landscape greens up. Make sure your Realtor will do this for you.

The next step in the process is to determine an estimate of the market value or Market Analysis. Your real estate agent can pull market comparables to show what similar properties are selling for and create an estimate for your property based on acreage, location, age, floor plan, features, trim, additional dwelling units (ADU’s), accessibility, upgrades, shop, views, etc. There are many things that go into this.

Have you ever noticed that dentists and doctors never say oops?

They say “now then” or something very similar. When you are in serious pain, many times all you hear is, now then. This is to make you feel comfortable and that your pain is normal and part of the plan. This is the “Now Then” chapter and this next part may be painful. Please re-read the first step because you need a Realtor who will help you accomplish your goal and some homes need more tough love than others. You need a Katy. Katy shared so much bad news. On one call it was, “you have a leaky pipe that flooded your master.” On another, it was, “I think they had chickens or rabbits in the house and the carpet needs to be replaced.” The next was, “the yard is horrible and all your beautiful landscaping needs work.” Katy communicated honestly, swiftly and effectively. She did not hesitate, she ripped the Band-Aid off and we were successful at selling at our price. She shared bad, costly news in a good way. I trusted her and heeded her expensive, painful advice. This is the phase where you have a professional walk your home and take the steps to prepare your home to get ready for prime time. I have been hired to do this for many Realtors and we offer a “Good, Better, and Best” approach. You need to trust your hired gun and this may be painful. You may need to invest heavily in sweat equity to maximize your return. Next week’s column will go into much more detail.

From the time you decide to sell to the actual listing date is between 15-60 days. If your plan is to list in mid-March or April, you need to start the process in the next week or two. If you plan to list in February or early March, then as Nigel says in The Devil Wears Prada, “You are already late.”

For a complete market report of your area, scan the QR code below with your phone. We have data for all zip codes in the U.S. Click on the webpage and select your city and a full market report will load for your specific city. If you do not see your city listed, scroll to the bottom and click to search for your city or zip code.

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Marty Walker is a licensed real estate professional and paid consultant. Information shared in this column is of a general nature. For specific questions in relation to your unique property, email to set a time for a consultation.

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