How We Work with Sellers
Mabry & Cox Realtor®, offers full service seller representation. This means we represent our sellers’ interests throughout the entire process of selling their home or property – from the point at which we agree to work together through settlement.
Every home is unique, and the plan to sell it should reflect that and the sellers’ needs in the transaction. If we agree that Mabry & Cox should represent you in the sale of your property, we will develop a plan and assist you in each step of the process. Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for you with only very necessary modifications to your day to day life during the time your home is on the market.
Selling a property involves a lot of steps. This section includes general information and a discussion of the very basic services we provide at various points in the process when Mabry & Cox is your Realtor® of choice.
Agency and Representation- Protecting your Interests!
In Virginia, agents involved in any step of a real estate transaction must represent someone, either the seller or the purchaser. Clearly, once you choose an agent to list your home and represent you in the selling process, that agent represents you and your interests and protects your confidential information. Therefore, it is important to realize that when you interview agents that do not yet represent you, they are not bound by the client driven rules of law. This means that you should not share critical information with agents who don’t yet represent you, information such as your motivation for selling and other confidential information that could be used against you in a negotiation. Remember, the agents you interview and do not choose could bring a buyer to your property! All of this information should be discussed only with the agent you choose to represent you and who will disclose it only with your permission and as needed to promote your interests.
When you contact us to discuss selling a property, if we agree that we are a good business fit and you choose us to sell your home, we will work with you on the terms of a listing agreement. This is a written agreement that spells out the terms of our representation of you and your interests in the sale of the property. As your representative we are bound by Virginia Law and by our Realtor® Code of Ethics. We are also bound by recognized best business practices and by our dedication to doing the best possible job of selling your property, to making the transaction as smooth and professional as possible, and to achieving your goals. We are proud that many of our clients refer new customers to us and work with us again and again as their needs change and we know this reflects the quality of our work on each transaction.
Market Preparation Assistance
In any market, preparation of the property is an important part of the process. Proper preparation – or lack of preparation – can mean thousands of dollars in the sale and weeks or months in the length of the process.
We want you to understand the very important role of this process starting with the outside appearance of your home or property. The appearance of your property when a buyer first drives by or comes to view the home is critical. This is called “curb appeal.” Market research has shown that a buyer frequently makes up their mind about how much they like a property within the first 15 seconds of viewing the property and they take that opinion into the property with them as they look inside. The value of great curb appeal cannot be overstated. Getting the entry way looking sharp with a fresh coat of paint on the door, making sure railings are secure and look sharp, even putting hardware on the door are valuable fix-ups if time and use have taken their toll on your entry way. Weeding and mulching, edging flower and landscaping beds, and making sure household items such as hoses and trashcans are out of sight are good uses of your time.
Inside the property, the goal is to make it less “your home” and more of a home in which a good prospective buyer can “see themselves” living. This means packing away collections, clearing surfaces, and usually removing some furniture so that prospective buyers can easily walk through the property and the rooms appear spacious. Less furniture and decoration is better when selling your home.
Preparing a home also means removing special paint colors and neutralizing, cleaning floors and carpets, caulking bathrooms and painting doors. The kitchen and bathrooms are crucial rooms; prospective buyers do not usually want to purchase a home and immediately tackle major projects like redoing a kitchen or bath. Often, a good but somewhat dated kitchen can be quickly updated with new cabinet knobs, a little painting and removal of items from the surfaces, or perhaps a new countertop and floor. Bathrooms can be quickly updated with a new vanity and mirror, perhaps new glass shower doors.
The goal of this process is to remove potential objections or obstacles to buyers making an offer. The goal is to make the property appeal to as many buyers as possible and to make them want to live there! Read more about this in the Pricing section!
We will carefully review the marketability of your property, and provide you with a prioritized list of items we consider to be important in the preparation of your property for the market. We can also provide lists of service providers who have a track record of good work. If you need help, you want reliable help. We will work with you throughout this process and want you to understand that doing this process well is a crucial part of the process. Done well, market preparation can earn your dollars and shorten the selling process.
Determining the price is a crucial part of the listing process. We use the most current sales data and our strong knowledge of the current market to help you determine the appropriate price range for your home. This data must be analyzed and the unique factors of your home considered. Our years of market experience give us a very valuable perspective and crucial information to share with you.
Pricing a property for sale is both science and art. It is science in that current market information and the sale price of comparable properties must be considered. In most cases similar property sale data is available, but since no two properties are exactly alike, it is important to evaluate the differences and consider them in pricing. The art form aspect of pricing is more difficult. It reflects the particularly appealing attributes of a property and is hard to quantify. Agent experience with buyers’ reactions to certain property characteristics is crucial in evaluating this aspect of pricing, as is preparation of the property for the market, and in some cases going beyond the norm in getting a property market-ready. It is all well worth the work!
Properties that are properly prepared for the market and priced in the right range for that property will sell within the normal market time or even sooner in some cases. Agents who are working with ready buyers – buyers who have been looking and know what they see and its value – will find a well-prepared and well-priced home and show it to their ready buyers. Our job is to give you the information you need to set the price for your property and to get your property in front of these agents. Your job is to price the property correctly using the information we compile for you to review and to get the property ready for the market, again with our advice and assistance
Marketing VS Advertising – The Marketing Plan
At Mabry & Cox, we put your property IN the market, not just ON the market. There is a lot involved in this process. During the listing process we will discuss our thoughts about the best way to tap into the pool of possible buyers for your property. This could involve multiple venues, from our distinctive sign in front of your property to various internet venues. While some form of print media is involved, print advertising is only one part of the total marketing picture.
One part of our listing process is to formulate a plan for marketing your property. Buyers search for properties in multiple ways. Our goal is to have your property marketed in a variety of ways so that we have the greatest probability of grabbing the interest of a possible buyer and getting them to contact us to see your property….or contacting their agent if they have one.
Because we know that the sale of our properties result from many different forms of marketing we are constantly analyzing the effectiveness of our marketing and working to have visible, recognizable marketing in the most valuable places. When you see our distinctive signs or our distinctive logo in our print advertising, you are seeing our marketing campaigns at work. Our distinctive color property brochures, direct mail cards and flyers are marketing. Newspaper and magazine advertising is another part of our marketing program. This internet site is a crucial part of contemporary marketing.
If your property does not sell within the expected time period, we will start from ground zero and re-analyze and re-position your property for marketing. Frequently this involves multiple steps, from a new price analysis, through property preparation. We are patient and willing to work with you throughout the process, knowing that our success means your success and satisfaction.
Constant Communication & Transaction Management
We believe that the best business relationships involve strong, frequent communication. We also believe that you can do your best evaluation and decision making if we bring your good information and provide insights to help you determine your course. We constantly monitor the effectiveness of our marketing and the feedback from buyers who view your property. Bringing this information and feedback to you so that we can work together to keep you property correctly positioned in the market is an important part of the process. It is a lot of work for you, the seller, and for us as your Realtor®, to have a property on the market. The better we all do our jobs, the sooner we will have a good buyer and be able to move on to the next phase of the process.
Negotiating The Contract & Getting To Settlement
One of the many major strengths we bring to our clients in this process is our strong knowledge of the market and negotiation process. We also pride ourselves on strong contract knowledge and techniques. We want our clients to be knowledgeable about their options, about each stage of their unique transaction, and to have in-depth discussions with us about their options before they make a decision and we carry it out
Once an offer is made, we will review it with you in detail and discuss your options. We will discuss best-case and worst- case scenarios so that you feel well prepared to made a decision. Once everyone agrees in writing to all terms (ratification) we get to work on the processes involved in satisfying contingencies and getting to settlement. If there are contingencies, this part of the process can be intense because everyone hopes each step will work out to their advantage. Sometimes problems or issues arise that could never have been anticipated up front. Surprise home inspection issues, buyer finance issues, and sometimes even title and survey problems can arise during this part of the process, requiring all of the skills of a good, experienced Realtor®. We pride ourselves on working hard to resolve issues and make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible for our seller clients.
Again, good communication and information from us about the process will help you, the seller, do the best job of moving on with your plans and your life.