Top 5 Reasons My Listings Sell
…..When Others Don’t
I specialize in selling properties that other agents could not.
I typically pull the list of expired listings daily. These are homes that were listed, many for as long as a year, but failed to sell. It would not seem possible but every year there are thousands of properties in Pinellas County that were for sale, but did not sell. In a market that is so hot and in an area of such great demand, every month on average nearly 650 property owners’ listings expired or were withdrawn. That is a lot of disappointed and discouraged sellers. Most of them are left to wonder why it did not sell and they truly don’t know. But here’s the thing…..I do.
After years of experience, when I see an expired listing, I know almost immediately the reasons it did not sell. Interestingly, there seems to be a theme here because I see it over and over again. It’s not that the properties were unsellable. After all, I have sold numerous homes that others could not. No, the problem lies in 5 specific areas. The very areas I excel at, are the areas that most do not. Please read my customer testimonials and listen to their words. They are telling you loud and clear: “We Like Mike!” In the last 7 years my average listing has sold in 26 days at 99% of list price. I know of no other agent who matches that level of expertise. Here then is how I do it.
1. Gorgeous Photography
In today’s hurry up world, your listing has about 5 seconds to capture a buyer’s interest online or they are gone, never to return. The top way to grab them, Amazing, Professional Photography that shows the best parts of your house first. My motto: Identify the Sizzle and Sell it! When other agents’ listings don’t sell, they almost always have blurry and dark photos and in the wrong order as well. A typical expired listing might wait until photo #23 to show the In-ground Pool, while showing shot after shot of the side yard with the garbage cans or the outdated bathroom with the toilet seat up. Seriously? Yep, I see it all the time. I hire and pay the best photographers to make my listings Pop! It makes a huge difference and when a seller shockingly says to me, “Wow, that’s my house?!” I know we did it right.
2. Marketing Is Key
When I first started selling Real Estate in 1987 it was a different playing field. This was pre-internet and listings were put into an MLS book that we received once per week. Each listing had 1 tiny black and white photo and a small amount of data. In our office, like most, Tuesday was caravan day. That was a day for us to slip on our very stylish Gold Coats and drive to each new listing, just so we had knowledge of what the properties looked like.
Today, when you list your home with me, you harness the power and reach of the internet and its ability to Globally leverage your listing. Your home will be marketed on literally hundreds of websites to give your listing a local, regional, national and even international presence. While most of my listings sell to local buyers, there are a good percentage that are out of the area. So, if a buyer is in Florida, the Midwest or the Northeast, they will see it. Likewise, if a buyer is in Canada, Europe or South America, they will see it as well. And with my listings, they will see it in whatever language they desire. This is a very valuable tool and we sell homes because of it.
Yes, the internet has made our world a little smaller and a lot more reachable. Because all home websites harvest listings from MLS, they repeat them over and over again. Now for you this is great because, with me, your listing will be beautifully presented and grab buyers’ attention. The bad news is that if a listing is poorly presented locally, it also goes across the internet. So ugly photos and poor commentary locally means ugly photos and poor commentary across the world. Garbage In and Garbage Out pretty much sums it up.
Amazingly, every year I sell homes to buyers from other areas that did not even visit my listing but bought it sight unseen. In these times that may become even more prevalent. Not long ago it was a family in the Midwest, who were sitting in their home in minus 10 degree weather. My listing looked like paradise, the breathtaking photos showed an open floor plan, a lovely updated kitchen, a tropical pool, drone shots of the golf course, and all this just a mile or so from the beach. The commentary was compelling, read like poetry and spoke to them. All in all, it hit them in the Heart. To them, it was an easy decision. They bought it, they love it and it is now Home. The funny thing is, the previous agent could not sell it after having the listing nearly 6 months. Yet we sold it in about 30 days. The same house ….the same price! How is this possible? Because marketing matters. Excellence matters.
3. Perfect Pricing
Price is King. Always has been and always will be. You could do everything else poorly but still have a chance of selling if you price it perfectly. Conversely, if you ran full page ads across the country, hired a blimp to circle the house daily and had radio and tv ads 24/7, but asked $800,000 for a $400,000 house, you have Zero chance of selling. But let’s pretend a buyer from out of town agreed to pay the $800,000 because they are not familiar with the market. It still would have to appraise by the lender. And it would never appraise. Ever. Price matters. It matters when you are at a garage sale buying a bike or lawn mower. Think about it. If 10 people walk up to a lawn mower, see the price and walk away, they have a price problem. Likewise, if 10 people walk up and all 10 grab the lawn mower and won’t let go, there’s a pretty good chance they under priced it.
I am an Expert at pricing and I understand its importance to the entire sales process. From showings, to negotiating an offer, to having it appraised by the lender, the importance of a perfect price cannot be overstated. My Pricing System has worked for my sellers for many years and it will help me guide you through 3 key areas of data and research. I get my sellers top dollar because I understand ever changing market conditions, I know the appraisal guidelines, and I use both to your advantage. My research will tell you the absolute most a buyer will pay for your house and it still appraise. It’s one of the reasons my listings sell quickly, at 99% of list price and they actually close. On time. With no issues.
4. Tenacious Negotiating
I have a very distinct memory of a Murphy family Monopoly game when I was about 10 years old. Epic in length, outrageously loud and complete with tears, spitting, exorbitant rents and an overturned board. All in all-a typical game. Although I may not have won that day, I learned some valuable lessons. Not the least of which, it is not really acceptable to cry over a board game. Spitting though, apparently is fine. Today, I take great pride in getting the absolute best price and terms for my customers. It’s important and you should never forget that people buy on emotion. That means if your house has hit a buyer in the heart, there is a good chance they will be willing to pay accordingly.
Of course, I look closely at the buyers, the lender, the details of the offer, the contingencies, but I also listen. Closely. Every word that is said to me from the other side matters. When I counsel my sellers to accept an offer, pass on an offer, or more typically, counter aggressively, it is because I have done my homework. I know just how hard we can push the other side. Gently. Respectfully. But trust me on this-You Will Win. Other agents’ listings that failed to sell were often doomed because of a lack of this simple skill. Accepting offers that should have been rejected. Rejecting offers that should have been countered. Not doing their homework. Negotiating is a lost art and I love it.
5. It’s In The Details
You will probably be surprised as to the importance of hiring an agent that has an attention to the little things. There are two major ways a lack of attention to detail can derail a sale. The first has everything to do with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system and the second has everything to do with from Contract to Closing.
The business today is built on agents finding your listing when they put in a search in MLS. Real buyers are not just randomly searching, they have search parameters set up with a buyer’s agent. This can include, square footage, bedrooms, baths, garage, pool, schools, non-flood zone and things of that sort. The homes that get showings are those that Match the search. But what happens if a listing agent accidentally marks “above ground” in the pool section instead of checking the “in-ground” box in MLS? It’s a small error and common. Unfortunately, the listing will be hidden from all searches that look for an in-ground pool. It will be invisible to the very buyer and agent who is looking for that type of home. So that means if you have great photos, perfect pricing, fantastic marketing but incorrectly entered data…..you have Nothing. Is this rare? Nope, it is the most common error of all. Our MLS forms are 13 pages long. 13 Pages of tiny boxes to check or not check. Flood zone or Non-Flood Zone. Garage or Carport. Block or Wood Frame. Schools, Square Footage, and on and on it goes. Your agent must be flawless and do the hard work of double checking after the inputting is done. Unfortunately, very few are flawless. Very few do the hard work. Nearly every expired listing has errors like these.
Lastly, details matter in the contract phase. The contracts used today are typically around 15 pages long. I am a contract expert and I know what the small print says but very few agents actually do. I understand how important it is to look closely at every page to best protect my customer. Often, at first blush, an offer will look good but when I dig through the details it becomes clear that there are issues. There’s an old real estate saying that holds true today: “The Big Print Giveth and The Small Print Taketh Away” and boy is that true. I have seen offers that gave the buyer the right to cancel even on the day of closing. I have seen offers that were subject to the buyer’s house closing and the buyer had not even put their home up for sale. Or $10,000 in buyer costs that the seller was going to be charged, conveniently slid into page 4 of the offer where it would be overlooked. And would be, by most agents. You want a bad surprise on closing day? Choose an agent that is sloppy. But if you want a smooth transaction, with no surprises along the way and a happy closing where you net Exactly what you expected…choose me. I won’t let you down.
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J.R. & Bernadette trusted me with the sale of the family home.
Sweet Ruby is 91 and we just sold her house for $35,000 more than another agent said she could get.
Terry and Cathy are long time customers that have used me 5 times for buying and selling.
I have the best customers Ever!!