Q: Why should we list our home for sale with you?

  • You should hire me for the same reason that sellers have hired us over and over again.  They know they can depend on us to get them the most money, in the shortest amount of time with the fewest hassles.
  • My No Hassle Listing Home Marketing system offers benefits that the ordinary agent doesn't.  You can cancel the listing at anytime.  Most agents will not give the consumer this right.   You might ask yourself why agents need to "lock you up for months and months on end."  Why should they be afraid to give you the right to cancel?  Our philosophy is that we would rather strive to earn your business every day.  We are confident that we can provide a superior level of service and care.  If we don't, we don't deserve your business.  It's that simple.

Q: Why should we use a team instead of an individual agent?

  • Because times have changed.  No one agent can be everywhere at the same time.  Let's suppose an agent has relocation buyer in town.  For three or four days they have to be with just that one buyer, a dream scenario for the agent, but not so for you.  They are unavailable to show your home, they are unavailable to get you feedback on showings, they are unavailable to negotiate contracts or inspection reports, and so on….  Also, most agents are either great at people skills or great at paperwork.  Rarely do they excel at both.  Unfortunately, today's real estate marketplace demands that the agent possess all of these skills.
  • Under a team scenario, such as ours, we have specialists.  We have a buyer agent who shows property.  We have a full time operations manager whose job it is to keep you informed of activity and feedback on showings.  And someone to negotiate and handle all listings and contracts.  Each of us is an expert at that specific job. Simply, we can and do provide a higher level of service to our clients than most agents can even conceive of providing.  Imagine you are the quarterback of a football team.  Would you rather have 1 player on your team or the power of the specialized roles each player has?

Q: You don't sell houses in this neighborhood so how can you help?   Shouldn't we pick the "area specialist?"

I get this question frequently because many people think that only someone who lives in the immediate area can sell their home.  In fact the core principles of a real estate transaction are the same no matter what area or price range:

  • location,
  • condition and
  • price all  have to be in alignment in order for a sale.

Because of the MLS, historical information about an area is rapidly available.  There is no magic formula for putting up a sign in any particular neighborhood but there is a solid formula for making sure the buyer finds that house!  That is the key difference in the way I approach getting a home ready for sale.

My goal is a sold sign in front of your house not just having a lot of signs up in a neighborhood!  Computers, the Internet and cell phones have changed the need to have an area specialist.  In fact, if you are going to hire a specialist, hire one who knows how to attract buyers!

Q: So how do you find buyers?

  • My website is highly ranked for local search and we do a tremendous amount of paid search to target traffic right where we want it.  Because the website is so sophisticated, we are able to see what buyers are viewing, what they've saved as favorites and even chat with them live on the site.  Our insight into buyers and their searching behavior is very good and as a result we think like buyers do and get the houses ready for them.  It's rare that any listing we have is on the market for very long.

Q: If the houses don't stay on the market very long, were they underpriced?

  • I know that is everyone's fear, but in fact the reason the houses are on and off the market quickly is because all the work was "front loaded" so that when the house hit the market it's showtime.  The entire goal is to minimize the amount of time on market and maximize the amount of seller profit.  By being completely ready for market the house will very likely be the next one sold, which is the result of a finely crafted plan.

Q: Well, if we price it higher to have room to negotiate then we'll know if we could get more.

  • The market self corrects for pricing which is lower than market and we often see multiple offers which boost the price up into the correct range.  But the opposite is deadly.  If the house is incorrectly priced, no amount of photos or marketing will bring in the buyers who will simply wait it out.  Until the price is corrected the house won't sell.  Often by overpricing to have the room to negotiate, what you end up with is no sale.

Q: What kind of staging do you do?

  • I keep a storage room with light staging items.  Lamps, artwork, pillows, dishware, chairs, bedding, bookshelves, lightbulbs, barstools, love seats, etc.  are all there and ready for usage as I need them.  Main rooms and kitchen/bath areas all look better if there is something in them to give a buyer a feeling of scale as well as warmth.  Generally we don't need whole house staging but if in that unique situation we felt it would benefit the sale, I do have a recommendation for a very good stager who can furnish every room as if it were a model home.
  • For extensive staging we need to bring in the pros.  The goal is to show the space, so often neutral furnishings in the right scale go a long way towards letting a buyer know how big the rooms actually are.  Vacant in really large homes is more difficult for many buyers because they can't see how the space will be used.

Q: Will you take pictures?

  • Good photography is critical to the success of the home sale.  Since the homes will be marketed in the digital world of the Internet, we really need to make sure we are capturing the attention of the buyers through photos.  They like lots and lots of them!  My photographer is a professional who photographs homes for a living and really knows both how to capture the best points and how to display to buyers eagerly searching the web for a new home.  This example of  a staged property highlights how well he does that.

Q: Those floorplans you do are nice.  Do buyers like them?

  • Not only do buyers love them, but appraisers do as well!  It gives everyone a great sense of the house when we can show a layout of the floors and how the house flows.  It's especially good for those homes with a lot of floors or a somewhat quirky flow.5102 Baltimore Floor Plan
Q: What is the best bang for the buck?
  • Probably clearing everything out and painting.  If nothing else it's a clean slate and at least buyers can see what is there.  It also eliminates one of the more costly items on their list, as whole house painting can cost $5000- $6000 for a mid size home.
Q: Do we have to remove the carpet?
  • If there are hardwood floors underneath that carpet you are losing valuable equity as well as marketing time by covering them up.  If every other home in the area has photos of beautiful floors the home covered in dated carpet will have to be priced at a discount to attract a buyer, who will typically over estimate how much it will cost to refinish.  Today's buyers like clean lines and no carpet.  Yes, you have to remove the carpet!
Q: Why can't the buyer just fix this?
  • Several reasons….  Homes in our area are expensive and require two salaries in many cases to finance the downpayment and afford the monthly payments, leaving little time for a buyers to manage the process.  Also, many buyers don't have the vision to see what a change could look like; they just see the outdated or disrepair and start adding up how much it will cost.
Q: We don't live here and have no time to manage any of this.  It's overwhelming.
  • That's where I come in.  I have a great network of contractors who can fix floors, paint, clear out the old, take to charity, install new appliances, fix roofs, correct plumbing, update electrical, tile floors, install windows.  Basically anything that needs to be done I have a resource who can do the work and I will be there to manage as a general contractor would.

Q: The packing.  Ugh.

  • I have the best resource of all for that.  A person who is great at sorting, packing, delivering, moving out for sale, reworking what is left and all with a smile on her face and an attitude which can't be beat.  My clients love her!

Q: So how do we hire you?

That's the easy one!  

You call us at 301-385-9213 or email at josette@skillingproperties.com and set up an appointment for us to come out.  We are happy get your home sold.