The Brandee Kelley Group Sellers' Guide

The Brandee Kelley Group believes in informing our clients about the ins and outs of selling real estate. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide with all the information you need to know about selling a home in North Texas!

To ask questions or obtain the latest information, please contact us [hyperlink] and we will be glad to assist you!

What Does the Home-Selling Process Look Like?

With the Brandee Kelley Group, the home-selling process is easy and stress-free. Here are the eight main steps of the home-selling process.

If you have a growing family, you may be in the market for a larger home.  Empty-nesters often desire a smaller home that’s low-maintenance and offers a convenient lifestyle.  The Brandee Kelley Group will work with you to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale of your home.

Your next objective should be work with us to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the onset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. In establishing the all-important listing price, we’ll take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area.

It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so our pricing expertise is invaluable at this step. We know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market.

Please remember that you’re always better off setting a fair market price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market price take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Usually, the seller has to drop the price below other comparable listings in order to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.

We want your home to show well and we’ll offer tips on highlighting the unique features of your home if it’s needed.  We love these words:  Clean up.  Brighten up.  Freshen up!!!
Inspect your home carefully and make minor repairs and replacements.  Get your home in tip-top shape, because the condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer.

First impressions are the most important and curb appeal will be the first thing a potential buyer sees.  Plan to invest effort to spruce up your foundation plantings and give your front door and entrance a little pizazz.  We’ll help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.

When you’re ready to sell, we’ll set up a marketing strategy designed specifically for your home. We market your home on the MLS, the internet, open houses, yard signs, agent-to-agent referrals and direct mail marketing campaigns to our extensive database of qualified buyers. Our proven marketing strategies bring the most qualified buyers to our listings.

When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, we’ll first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then we’ll review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. We will answer any questions or concerns you have about the offer, provide our recommendations, and make certain you understand the contract in its entirety.

Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. We will protect your best interests throughout the bargaining. We understand what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate.

Once you accept an offer to sell your house, we’ll guide you through the process of moving your transaction through escrow and to a successful closing.

Your home may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected and/or repaired. We will spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing.

The closing refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. We will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned.

How to Price to Sell and Still Make a Profit

The asking price you set for your home significantly affects whether you will profit in the sale, how much you’ll profit and how long your home will sit on the market. The Brandee Kelley Group’s knowledge of the overall market and what’s selling – or not selling – will be invaluable in helping you determine the correct listing price. The objective is to maximize your profit in combination with a realistic marketing timeframe.

Here are some points to consider:

Time.

Time is not on your side when it comes to real estate. Although many factors influence the outcome, perhaps time is the biggest determinant in whether or not you see a profit and how much you profit. Studies show that the longer a house stays on the market, the less likely it is to sell for the original asking price. Therefore, if your goal is to make money, think about a price that will encourage buyer activity.

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True Worth vs. Cost.

Pricing your home to sell in a timely fashion requires some objectivity. It’s important that you not confuse worth with cost – in other words, how much your home is worth to you versus what buyers are willing to pay for it. Don’t place too much emphasis on home improvements when calculating your price, because buyers may not share your taste. For instance, not everyone wants hardwood floors or granite countertops.

Keep it simple.

Because time is of the essence, make it easy for the buyers. Remain flexible on when we can schedule showings. Also, avoid putting contingencies in your sales offer because it could cause you to lose the sale altogether.

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Don't Make This Costly Selling Mistake!

Choose the right real estate agent to market your home. You must rely on your agent for accurate comparative sales statistics and pricing guidance. The experienced agents of the Brandee Kelley Group provides accurate facts to help you avoid the worst mistake you can make: OVERPRICING!

The right asking price is critical to the success of your sale. Sellers sometimes price their property incorrectly because they choose to list their home with the agent who quotes them the highest asking price. It’s a common and deceptive practice which insiders call “Buying the Listing”. Do not fall into this trap of listening only to what you want to hear!

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What Happens When You Price Too High?

  • The wrong buyers see your property when it is new to the market and “hot”. Buyers compare price, features, location, and condition of all the homes they inspect. If yours is priced too high, it will not compare favorably with others the buyers look at. Your competition has more to offer for the money.
  • Your home will not appraise at or near the asking price. Most buyers require mortgage financing and that means an appraisal by the lender. Appraisers look at similar homes in your neighborhood that have sold in the last six months. If you have a 3 bedroom ranch, it is not equivalent to a 4 bedroom colonial. No matter how much you love your house, the appraiser will not see it with the same nostalgia.
  • Your buyer can’t get a mortgage. If you price your house at $100,000 but it is worth only $90,000, banks will not lend the money for a mortgage. Even if the buyer wants to pay $100,000, he can’t complete the transaction because the bank won’t okay the deal.
  • You eventually sell for less than market price.

Picture this scenario – After three months at your too-high price and no action, your agent persuades you to lower the price. (This is the same agent who was so optimistic in the beginning!) By this time your house is no longer a fresh, new listing. Buyers who might have been interested three months ago at the current price have all found other properties. New buyers wonder what’s wrong with your house. Why has it been on the market for so long? What flaws did others see that made them pass up your offering? After three more months you lower your price again. Eventually a bargain hunter comes along and offers you bottom dollar. There are statistics to back up this phenomenon when you price yourself out of the market.

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How To Price Correctly

It is absolutely imperative to find a real estate agent who will tell you the truth about the market price of your property rather than the high price you want to hear. In choosing the wrong agent you waste precious time, experience anger and frustration over the lack of activity, and eventually settle for less money on your sale.

Practicing Good Seller Etiquette

When your house goes on the market, you’re not only opening the door to prospective buyers, but also possibly to unknown vendors, unqualified buyers and naive buyers. As with any business transaction, there is an expected protocol to how sellers, buyers and their respective agents interact. Should you find yourself in a sticky situation, alert us immediately so that we can address and remedy the problem.

The aggressive agent

When the Brandee Kelley Group puts your house on the market, all promotional materials state clearly that your agent is the primary contact for buyers and buyers’ agents. However, sometimes a buyer’s agent will contact a seller directly to try to either win over their business or cut the seller’s agent out of the deal. This is not reputable behavior and you should report it to us immediately if it happens to you.

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The unscrupulous vendor

Have you ever started a business or moved into a new house and suddenly found your mailbox full of junk mail? Unfortunately, this also can happen when you put your house on the market. When you sell your home, it necessitates all kinds of new purchasing decisions and less-than-ethical vendors are keenly aware of this. Though MLS organizations enforce rules on how posted information is used, some companies have found ways to cull information from various sources to produce mass mailing lists. If you find yourself regularly emptying your mailbox of junk, let your agent know. He or she can tap the appropriate sources to prompt an investigation into the matter.

Naive buyers

Yard signs, Internet listings and other advertisements can generate a lot of buzz for your home. Some prospective buyers will be so eager to see your home that they’ll simply drop by and ask to look at your home. If this happens, no matter how nice these unexpected visitors are, do not discuss your home or give an impromptu showing. Instead, politely let them know that your real estate agent is in charge of scheduling showings and give them our business card and ask them to contact us. If you attempt to handle these surprise visits on your own, you might inadvertently disclose information that could hurt you during negotiations down the road. And under no circumstances should you allow strangers without representation of a REALTOR® to enter your home.

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Understanding the Buyer

As the seller, you can control three factors that will affect the sale of your home:

The home’s condition
Asking price
Marketing strategy

However, there are numerous other factors that influence a buyer, and you need to understand these consumer trends when you enter into a seller’s market. The more your home matches these qualifications, the more competitive it will be in the marketplace. The team members of the Brandee Kelley Group can advise you on how to best position and market your home to overcome any perceived downsides.

Location

Unfortunately, the most influential factor in determining your home’s appeal to buyers is something you can’t control–its location. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, neighborhood quality is the No. 1 reason buyers choose certain homes. The second most influential factor is commute times to work and school.

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Size

While some buyers want to simplify their lives and downsize to a smaller home, home sizes in general have continued to increase over the decades, nearly doubling in size since the 1950s. Smaller homes typically appeal to first-time home buyers and empty nesters. Growing families need lots of space, casual living areas and generous storage.

Amenities

Preferences in floor plans and amenities go in and out of fashion, and we can inform you of the “hot ticket” items that are in demand by buyers in your market. If your home lacks certain features, you can renovate to increase its appeal, but be forewarned: That’s not always the right move. Using market conditions and activity in your neighborhood as a gauge, we’ll help you determine whether the investment is likely to help or hinder your profit margin and time on the market.

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Increase Your Home's Appeal

Prepare your home for the market. Most of us don’t keep our homes in showroom condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. It’s time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top shape.

The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important and it starts with curb appeal when potential buyers arrive for a showing. We will help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.

Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression. Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers, so clear out your clutter and minimize personal effects. Clear your kitchen and bathroom counters to create a fresh and clean appearance.

Listed below are suggestions that will help stage your home. Invest in those areas where wear is visible or where the effort and expense will enhance the home’s appearance and make it shine!

    Achieve Curb Appeal

    • Trim shrubs, hedges, trees and lawn
    • Rake up dead leaves and pick up dead tree limbs
    • Repaint or replace a worn mailbox
    • Repair and/or repaint the fence
    • Reseed worn patches in the lawn
    • Weed and feed the lawn and garden
    • Pick up all litter and trash
    • Pick up all garden tools
    • Pick up all toys
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      House Exterior

      • Repair or repaint siding
      • Repaint or touch up trim along the side of the house
      • Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows
      • Spruce up your front door with a fresh coat of paint and add visual interest to the entry
      • Repair a malfunctioning screen or storm door
      • Wash steps and railings
      • Replace a worn doormat
      • Put up new, easily recognizable house numbers
      • Remove old or dirty screens from windows
      • Wash all windows and let the sunshine in!

        House Interior

        • Freshen interior paints and finishes
        • Make your home look well-kept and inviting
        • Make sure all appliances are in good working order
        • Replace older appliances
        • Check and repair deficient plumbing or electrical systems
        • Replace worn carpets
        • Clean floor coverings
        • Make sure caulk around sink, shower, tub and windows is in good condition
        • Replace any broken light fixtures
        • Make sure each room is well lit
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          Roof and Chimney

          • Remove debris from gutters and downspouts
          • Repair or repaint gutters and downspouts
          • Check chimney flue and clean obstructions
          • Check flashing around vents, skylights and chimney for leaks
          • Check chimney for damaged chimney caps and loose or missing mortar
          • Install wire screens in roof ventilation areas
          • Check roof for leaks
          • Check roof shingles for sturdiness

          Does the Brandee Kelley Group Have Preferred Vendors?

          Yes! We keep an updated list of preferred vendors for various home needs and their contact information. If you have any questions about a vendor, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you!

          Let Us Help You Sell Your Home

          It’s not easy selling your house and getting the best price for it. We know the North Texas real estate market like the back of our hand. We’ll save you time and stress by handling all of the pricing and marketing, meaning your home will sell at top dollar in the shortest amount of time.

          For free information on the home selling process, please contact us today!

          Let us help you sell your house.

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