EXPIRED Listing Insider

What you need to know when your listing expires

Nelson Vianna

Published by LA Execs Publishing Copyright © 2020 LA Execs Publishing All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. DISCLAIMER AND/OR LEGAL NOTICES: While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither the Author nor the Publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. This publication is not intended for use as a source of legal or accounting advice. The Publisher wants to stress that the information contained herein may be subject to varying state and/or local laws or regulations. The reader of this publication assumes responsi bility for the use of these materials and information. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, including advertising and all other aspects of doing business in the United States or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the reader. The Author and publisher assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever on behalf of any reader of these materials. If your property is currently listed with a Realtor, please disregard this notice. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other brokers. Printed in the United States of America

Table Of Contents

1 1. Why should you read this book 2. Why your listing expired and didn’t sell 3. Use the 80/20 rule 4. Why this rule matters with hard-to- sell-ho m es 5. Why is so easy to sell your home for less than it’s worth 6. How to sell a home that didn’t sell without dropping the price 7. Grabbing any buyer’s attention 8. Real estate horror stories 9. Is your real estate agent meeting your needs 10. Finding a great real estate agent 11. Housing market changes 51 2 5 2 9 31 3 5 3 9 4 5

3 13

1 7

12. How COVID changed the way to sell a home 13. Getting your home sold, faster 14. First impressions: Presentation is everything 15. Details win home sales 16. Increase value with simple upgrades and repairs 17. Why good pictures matter 18. Common negotiation mistakes 19. Negotiation tips and tricks 20. Challenges in selling your home 21. Additional options – Auctions 22. Conclusion

5 5

5 9

6 7 73

79 8 5 91 9 7

10 7 1 13

11 5

Foreword When I first ventured into the real estate industry years ago, I did so with the hopes of helping buyers and sellers to achieve their real estate goals while avoiding the headaches often a ssociated with the home buying and selling process. In my years of experience, not only have I helped alleviate the stress of selling for numerous clients, but I’ve also accumulate years of knowledge and experience to help them to sell their home for more money and in the least amount of time. Over the years I’ve helped many clients to sell their homes and have learned the best ways to prepare a home for sale, the best marketing techniques to attract the right clients, and the best negotiation strategies to produce great offers that turn to a close. I’ve decided to write this book to share all of my expertise in one place with potential clients, especially the ones that had their properties in the market for some time but didn’t sell, for one reason or another. I want to help you have the best possible home selling experience, and by that I mean, I want you to: 1. Get you the most money possible for your home 2. Sell your home in the least amount of time 3. Avoid the headaches most commonly associated with the home-selling process This book contains inside advice on the home-selling process that I’ve have used to successfully sell many homes, and that will help you to achieve your ultimate real estate goals including: • Advice on how to prepare your home to appeal to today’s buyers • Strategies to sell your home for more money

• Marketing techniques employed by top listing agent s • And much, much, more… I hope this book can help you better understand the selling process of homes that didn’t sell the first time around.

Happy reading!

About Nelson moved to the South Bay area of Los Angeles right after he finished college. As a teenager, Nelson had aspirations of being an Architect, but didn't happen that way. Never in a million years did he think he’d stumble into the real estate industry, but you can’t always predict where or when you’ll discover what you’re meant to do in life. Nelson was taught at a young age that if you want something in life, you have to work for it. So that’s what he did, and he worked very hard. Nelson always been involved in sales and customer service businesses. Early in life he saved for buying his first property and that became a passion for him. But he never wavered in his resolve to become the best version of himself. Nelson kept looking for, finding and buying good properties, and became a real estate investor. Nelson’s passion always was to help people, and with his experience as a real estate investor he them decided to become a real estate broker and help other people to realize the American dream of owning their own home and investing in real estate. As his career advanced, Nelson found his stride working with residential real estate properties and investments. He's an expert in buying and selling single family homes, luxury homes and investment properties. Nelson loves to work with the fascinating people that he gets to meet on a daily basis and help them to achieve their goals of owning or selling their homes or investment properties. But the highest compliment comes from his clients who come back for repeat business and refer him to their family and friends.

Throughout his career, Nelson has earned numerous designations, including:

· CRS - Certified Residential Specialist · SRS - Seller Representative Specialist · ABR - Accredited Buyer Representative · PSA - Pricing Strategy Advisor

· CNE - Certified Negotiator Expert · GRI - Graduated Realty Institute · CIPS - Certified International Property Specialist · SRES - Senior Real Estate Specialist · RSPS - Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist

He's currently a member of several organizations, including:

·ILHM - Institute of Luxury Home Marketing ·PLMC - Premier Luxury Marketing Consultants ·NAR - National Association of Realtors ·CAR - California Association of Realtors ·SBAOR – South Bay Association of Realtors ·REBAC - Real Estate Agents Buyer's Council

Nelson is a long time resident of the South Bay area. In his free time he loves to play golf, walking on the beach, enjoy the good company of friends and relatives, and he and his wife are avid travelers.

Reviews Here is what some of the clients that Nelson has worked with recently are saying: “With Nelson’s help the house sold in 25 days and for more money than we had listed before. Working with Nelson was very easy and we totally trusted that he would do a great job, and he did! Nelson is very professional, prompt, and highly knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him to anybody that had an expired listing”. - Shaw W “Our house was in the market for about a year and it didn’t sell. We found Nelson through a common friend referral and couldn’t be more happy. With his advice and help we were able to sell the house in less than a month and for more than what we had it listed before. Thank you for all your help”. - John and Linda G “We had a lot of realtors contacting us after our house listing expired. When Nelson contact us, he was extremely professional and was not pushy as some realtors were. Talking to him we saw that he had a genuine interest in helping us, gave us great advice, and we felt that we could trust him to sell our home. We followed his advices and once we re-listed the house it sold with multiple offers. Thank you for a great job!” - Mark and Diane J “Nelson did a great job in selling my house that was in the market for a while and it didn’t sell before. I appreciate all of the tips on preparing the house for sale. I didn’t realize a difference that makes. I highly recommend Nelson if you’re planning to sell your house.” - Chris P "Nelson is outstanding! My wife and I were unable to sell our home with a previous agent so we decided to lease it for a year.

We met Nelson around the time we had to evict the tenants for not paying rent. He was extremely helpful for us every step of the way. He put our home back on the market with him and we closed inside of four weeks. Thanks to Nelson, what would have been a stressful time was quick and painless. He is a true professional and we highly recommend him." – Dwayne and Christine J “We were struggling with selling our home, had 2 realtors list the house but it didn’t sell. Nelson was referred to us by a good friend and we are very thankful for that. Nelson is a great professional and knows his craft. From home p reparation, s electing a price point, marketing the property, to the negotiation with the buyers, he was target and on top of everything. We would be more than happy to refer Nelson to anybody that needs a great realtor.” - Steve and Alma F “My house was in the market for over 6 months and it didn’t sell. I was getting discouraged and wondering if the house would ever sell. When I met Nelson he was very good in explaining what I needed to do to sell the house. At first I w as skeptical but after talking to him I understood what he was saying. I invested a little on the preparation for the sale and the house sold shortly after went to the market. I recommend Nelson to anyone that had a house that didn’t sell, he knows his trade. Thank you” - Geoge B

CHAPTER 1 Why should you read this book Ever wonder why one house sells quickly, while a similar house doesn’t? Or one home sells and another one sits on the market and doesn’t sell. Why does one house sell for one price, while another house that’s identical in every way brings in much more? It just doesn’t seem to make any sense. The truth is, similar homes sell for varying prices all the time. It takes place all over the country. It happens in markets large and small. Surely, there must be some reason! Houses do not sell for more money by accident. No magic trick helped one seller get a better deal than the other. On the contrary, higher prices and quicker sales are the direct result of careful planning and preparation. Sellers can command higher prices for their homes if they use the right techniques. A few simple strategies, known only to the best sellers and the best agents, can make a huge impact on the success of your sale. The following chapters break down these secrets. See how each strategy translates into real-life examples. Houses brought to market with these tactics consistently sell quickly, and for more money — even if they failed to sell the first time around. Gather the information you need to apply the same formula to selling your home. When you’re ready to sell, you’ll be able to take advantage of these techniques. Carefully follow the same formula to sell your home quicker and for the most money. 1

Thanks for taking time to look through this book. I sincerely hope it will help you make more money on the sale of your home. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’d be glad to help.


CHAPTER 2 Why your listing expired and didn’t sell Your well-kept and decently priced home was on the market and expired. So, what went wrong? Chances are, there was more than one factor at play. But just because your home expired, doesn’t mean you can’t sell it. Don’t give up! Read on to learn: 1. Home-selling mistakes that can cost you; 2. The worth of a good real estate agency; 3. Changes you can make to increase your chances of selling; 4. And negotiating and closing the deal. The truth is, similar homes sell for varying prices all the time. It takes place all over the country. It happens in markets large and small. Surely, there must be some reason! These houses do not sell for more money by accident. No magic trick helped one seller get a better deal than the other. On the contrary, higher prices and quicker sales are the direct result of careful planning.

First, let’s take a look at the most common reasons for unsuccessful listings:

• Price • Condition • Presentation


• Lack of Showings • Housing Market • Location

• Marketing • Your Agent


It seems obvious, but price is one of the key points for a make-or- break deal. Listing your home correctly and strategically—at the right price and the right time, works like a magnet. It attracts customers. Selecting a real estate expert that understand current market prices and how other properties are selling in your area. A detailed market analysis of your neighborhood should help you see what homes are selling, why they’re selling, how fast they’re selling, and for how much they’re selling. Be realistic about the features of your home when compared to other homes. If you find out that prices are higher than you anticipated, and you’re in a hurry to sell, don’t set a price too low. It’s a myth that a lower price means a quick sale. That’s not always true, and it can be dangerous, costing you in the end. A too-low price can have many negative consequences, such as: • Incorrect evaluation of your house — A low-end price is considered suspicious, and buyers might think you want to hide serious problems. As a result, potential buyers pay extra attention and become suspicious. • Negotiation of the final price — Suspicions on a low- priced home lead to lowball offers, and if you’re in a hurry to sell, you will lose a lot more money than you expected. Further, as soon as your home is listed, changing it to a


higher price later might lead to no sales. So you’re either stuck with the low price or don’t get a buyer.

Setting a price too high will get you not many showings and no offers, or low ball offers. If after a period of time you have no offers, the only thing you going to be able to do is to lower the price to find where the market is to your home. However, if your home is not well prepared for competing with other homes in the market, you’ll will have to lower the price substantially to finally find someone that will be interested in buying it. Knowing how important prices are, it’s best to leave it to an expert. Don’t take a risk on something as major as a house sale!


Condition mainly has to do with appearance; it’s the first thing that captures the eye of any potential buyer. Maybe your home didn’t appear to be in good enough condition. Your house should be sparkling clean; don’t leave a mess or clutter in your home or in the yard. Make sure the air is fresh, and the lighting shows off your house’s best features and unique qualities. Even outside, everything should be in order and arranged accordingly. Take care of any upgrades, repairs, modification, etc., before putting the house up for sale. You don’t have to make the repairs or modifications yourself, unless you’re a D-I-Y expert. Call a professional and make sure everything’s in good shape. It’s worth the small cost, as prospective buyers will take you more seriously and be more likely to offer you what your home is worth. One room in your home that’s worth updating is the bathroom. Think of updates to the bathroom as an investment. You want 5

people to see themselves using that room every day, and not whatever unpleasantry is distracting them. An outdated, unfinished, or unclean bathroom might drive buyers away, even if they like the rest of your home. Be sure it’s in its best shape! Bathrooms, along with kitchens, can be deal-breakers (or makers).


Maybe you skimped on the presentation of your home. Presentation is about first impressions. First impressions are critical and can make or break a sale. You want to attract buyers, and the biggest attraction is a well-presented property. After all, your house isn’t the only one for sale, so you can’t act like it’s the only choice. You’ll be competing with numerous properties—all with different advantages and challenges. You want people to see your home and think “Wow! This is where I want to live.”

Presentation is everything, as you’ll see in another chapter.


Have you seen other homes and properties comparable to yours selling after a short time on the market, receiving the asking price or higher, yet yours remained on the market and expired? Why didn’t people look for your house? Why did nobody seem interested? A lack of showings could be an indication. You need people to actually come see your home—showings—in order to make the sale and seal the deal. Perhaps you didn’t use the right real estate agency, while the successful home sellers did. Real estate agents worth their salt will get your home not only listed but seen! This


can make all the difference.

A professional might be just what you need. If they can get you more showings and a higher price, you won’t even worry about their commission. Today, people make purchases based on what they see online. They check ads, pictures, prices, then compare, and only later decide to call for a showing on a few of them. Professional agents have an established Internet presence, access to networks, and information that you likely don’t. Online advertising sometimes come with small loan calculators. Potential buyers will check the price, use the loan calculator, and consider whether the offer is feasible.


Your home is subject to housing market prices. There’s both supply and demand, and your home will sell only if there’s demand for it. The market can change anytime. It’s influenced by several factors, such as: • The national economy: If people are concerned about the future, they don’t spend money and the real estate prices drop lower and lower. • The local economy: If your location is in a good economic season, and it has some important universities, consistent job opportunities, good schools in multiple places, and a sound infrastructure, then it’s a perfect opportunity for a higher selling price.


If the market is offering plenty of homes, it means the buyers have more choices, and yours must appear to be a higher-quality property, at a better price. In that case, it’s difficult to sell for a good price in a short time—especially if you do it by yourself. However, if you call an agent to sell your property, your house will be advertised in the best possible locations, including many real estate websites. If you’re selling an expensive house, you can advertise in niche publications that target doctors, lawyers, and other well-paid professionals. Or, if you’re selling a single-story ranch house, market it in publications servicing senior citizens appreciating the architecture. Bonus Tip: To improve the presentation of a property, update rooms like kitchens and bathrooms, then create some “highlights,” such as an LCD TV and some furnishings. Buyers are attracted to properties by seeing themselves living in that space. So, features like big flat screens and new comfortable furniture are worthwhile investments. And then you get to take those new items with you when you move! Another tip is to have your house available to open showings as much as possible, to any potential buyers. A virtual tour of your home will ensure to bring the interest up and schedule some in person showings. You can arrange details with your agent.


Perhaps you didn’t consider location when you first put your home on the market. It’s ideal to be located near the city, or at least near public transportation. Location matters. Highlight all the potential positive aspects of your home’s current location. For example:


• If you’re near a cute downtown area, then mention the holiday season—the small shops, music, lights, events, and people, all creating a perfect Christmas atmosphere. If the buyers have children, they might consider this a great experience. Family-oriented activities foster a sense of community and happiness. • Is your house close to the ocean or sea? That’s ideal during the summer and other warmer months. Play that up! You can explain how relaxing outdoors, walks, swimming, surfing, running, and outdoor sports are favorable in the hot season. • Does your view include mountains and forests nearby? Talk about it! Many people are drawn to these types of landscapes and exceptional views. • Is your house close to several schools? Many parents will be interested in having their choices of schools nearby. • Is it close to supermarkets, biking trails, stadiums, or major shopping centers? All things to consider when considering your target buyer. You must discover and highlight the positive aspects of your property and use them to give value to your sale, attracting different buyers for different reasons.


Many people are afraid of marketing and find it overwhelming, which can actually prevent them from selling their home. But marketing doesn’t have to be scary. If you’re an expert marketer, you already know the tips and tricks to find buyers, to communicate with them, to use the right words, to advertise properly, and so on.


If you’re not an expert yourself, don’t pretend to be one. Just call the real experts!


A real estate sales professional helps you sell your house without your involvement. In fact, you pay them because they work for your best interest. Some people choose a real estate agent based on the one that offer the lowest commission, or the one that promises to sell your home for the highest price, in reality, that will cost you money in the long run. A good agent is, first, an expert professional marketer who knows and uses marketing tips and tricks. A good agent will do many things, including: • Will give you advice on how to prepare your home for sale. • If needed, will suggest that you consult a professional stager to spruce up the looks of your home prior to placing it in the market. • Hire a professional photographer and videographer to get some professional photos and videos of your property. • Will prepare a virtual tour and/or 3D tour of your property. • Will do a professional floor plan of your home. • Look for potential buyers and keep them engaged. • Network with many brokers and agents to increase the number of potential buyers. • Use the web and other tools to create a virtual tour for the purchasers. • Provide answers to buyers’ questions immediately and manage the visits of your house.


The agent will also become an expert on your property and ask you questions to know the best features of your home and to increase the probability of selling at a higher price. Further, the agent is able to understand the character/nature of potential buyers only after a few phrases, and then they can use the best way to communicate with them. This is a key point, because too often, if you use the wrong words, you lose the potential buyer. Communication is very important. The agent also knows how to set up the visual aspect and presentation of the property. They know what to look for in prospective sales, and they can approach buyers professionally. The following chapters break down those secrets. See how each strategy translates into real-life examples. Houses brought to market with these tactics consistently sell quickly, and for more money — even if they failed to sell the first time around. Gather the information you need to apply the same formula to selling your home. When you sell, you’ll be able to take advantage of these techniques. Carefully follow the same formula to sell your home.


• Homes sit on the market and expire for many reasons. • Price, condition, presentation, showings, the market, location, marketing, and the agent are all factors. • Learn what may have contributed to your home expiring and not selling, and what you can do differently.


CHAPTER 3 Use the 80/20 rule

The key to the successful home-selling approach is a revolutionary finding discovered by an Italian economist. His name was Vilfredo Pareto. The most important thing we can learn from him is the “Pareto principle”, better known informally as the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule applies to all aspects of life.

In 1906, Vilfredo found an intriguing correlation. He noticed that 20 percent of the pea pods in his garden held 80 percent of the seeds. Studying the seeds prompted him to take a closer look at this ratio. In one of his initial discoveries, he realized that 80 percent of the land in his area was owned by 20 percent of the people. After detailed study, he observed this ratio held true in many aspects of life. The Pareto principle—or the 80/20 rule—is a result of his findings.

The 20 percent is vital, and the 80 percent is trivial.

For example: • 80 percent of your income is derived from 20 percent of your work. • 80 percent of a business’ income is derived from 20 percent of their customers. • 80 percent of your value to an employer is derived from 20 percent of your work. 13

You might wonder what all of this means. In a nutshell, it means some things are substantially more important than other things. In other words, things aren’t equal. Approximately 20 percent of what you do matters. The other 80 percent is insignificant. How can you apply the 80/20 principle to selling your home? Understanding this concept can save you time in selling your home. Unfortunately, many sellers buy into the false idea that more is more. They completely ignore the Pareto principle. Now that you know what the 80/20 rule is, you’re probably wondering how it applies to selling your home. When you use the 80/20 principle in selling, you stop trying to sell people on the entire home. Based on the rule, only 20 percent of your home’s features are important. The remaining 80 percent are trivial. That’s because they are the same features many other homes in your neighborhood have. Instead of focusing on those trivial features, you need to focus on the vital features. When you sell your home, focus on unique features to grab the attention of buyers. These features make your home different from other homes. These features will make it easier to sell your home for the full asking price. Let’s look at a few real-life applications and examples of how the 80/20 rule can have an impact on selling your home.


• According to the 80/20 rule, approximately 80 percent of effects come from 20 percent of causes. • Following that principle, buyers will focus on 20 percent of your home’s features. The other 80 percent are probably 14

common to other homes.


CHAPTER 4 Why this rule matters with hard-to- sell-homes Imagine a buyer in the market for a three-bedroom, two- bathroom home. The agent found him five houses to preview. Each meets his general criteria, and is located in the area he hopes to live. He and his agent drive out to look at the five houses. They all have very similar features. The prices are comparable. In theory, you might think the buyer will have a hard time deciding between houses. But no matter how similar they may seem, no two houses are exactly alike. In real life, however, that’s not the case. The 80/20 rule comes into play. Imagine four of the houses don’t have a pool, but one does. He isn’t aware of this, though, because the agent didn’t mention it. The buyer sees the four houses that don’t have a pool. He isn’t particularly interested in any of them. Then he sees the fifth house and the pool! Suddenly, he is ready to make an offer. He may even pay full asking price, even though this house is more expensive than the others.

THE 80/20 RULE IN ACTION: Buyers focus on unique features


His offer isn’t based on the 80 percent of features this house shares with the rest. Instead, his bid is based on one unique attribute: a pool. The 80/20 rule predicted the sale of this house. Unfortunately, much time was wasted in finding the “perfect house.” Had the agent known to look for the 20 percent difference, this may have been their first stop. As a seller, you can use this rule in your favor. Draw attention to unique characteristics of your home. Here’s a real-life example. A real estate agent had a client visit from out of town. He didn’t have a list of criteria; he just liked the area. She drove him from house to house. In each case, this buyer suggested offers 10 to 20 percent below the asking price. He would not budge. She began to worry; the whole day was turning into a big waste of time. As the sun set, they stopped at one last house. It did not have a lot of curb appeal. It was not a good-looking home. She was out of options. Nevertheless, this house managed to break the tough negotiator down. He was suddenly willing to offer the full asking price! You might wonder what set this house apart from the others. It wasn’t because he appreciated ugly houses. Nope. The 80/20 rule kicked in again.

THE 80/20 RULE IN ACTION: Buyers pay more for unique features

This agent and her client had spent the whole day looking at houses that shared 80 percent of the same features. He didn’t care about any of those details. A bedroom was a bedroom as far as he was concerned. He fell in love with the one remarkable feature of this house.


This ordinary home had something special. As you walked into the great room, there was a large window. The house sat atop a hill with a gorgeous view. And to top it off, the sun was setting below the distant tree line. That view sold the buyer. The other 80 percent could be improved. He didn’t buy the house because he liked the floor plan or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. His decision was completely based on the hill and the view. That view caused him to stop negotiating and offer full price on the spot. Such is the power of the 80/20 rule! Learn how to tap into this rule, and you will not have to settle for less than your asking price. Leverage a unique selling point. Buyers who fall in love don’t haggle over pricing; they make good offers.

THE 80/20 RULE IN ACTION: Buyers search for unique features

In some cases, the 80/20 rule even helps people make a sale without conducting a showing. This is a huge time saver. The house in this next example had languished on the market for months. Unlike the previous house, this place was not ugly. Rather, it was a brand-new custom custom-built home. But nobody seemed to care. It sat on the market for seven-plus months without a single offer. The builder was baffled. His fancy new house wouldn’t sell. He ended up firing his agent and hiring a new one. Fortunately, the new agent knew the importance of finding that special feature. He drove out to give the house a thorough investigation. What he found changed everything. The house had


a gorgeous five-acre yard. Other houses being sold in the area were all on one- to two-acre lots. Not only was the yard bigger, but it was more private than other lots available. The new agent focused on marketing the five acres. He mentioned details and a description of the house. But the lot, not the house itself, was the focus. In no time, his phone rang! A buyer was relocating. He had noticed the house was for sale, but it hadn’t caught his eye before. That changed when he learned it was built on a five-acre lot. Suddenly, he was very interested—so interested, in fact, that he submitted an offer from 1,000 miles away. He had never even seen it in person. He was afraid someone else would buy it before he could, and he would lose out on the perfect house. That sale happened in 45 days. The builder was amazed! His house had been on the market for nearly eight months without so much as a nibble. Suddenly, it was sold. Purchased sight unseen, all because of the 80/20 rule.

Here’s another example about how a yard affected a sale:

A buyer once paid extra for a townhouse simply because of its location in the complex. Most of the surrounding homes didn’t have a yard. However, a few shared a large half-acre “yard area.” One of the owners whose townhouse backed up to this yard area was able to sell his townhouse for a higher price. It set his property apart from others on the market. His home had a characteristic shared by fewer than 10 percent of the others. He had the only available listing offering that feature. With this easy point of difference, the house sold for a higher price.


Another townhouse seller (in the same complex) found a different unique feature. He didn’t have a yard, but he was still able to use his location to his advantage. His property backed up to a lake and fountain. That extra feature helped him sell his townhouse quickly, and for a great price to boot.


Don’t create an advertisement similar to every other house in the area. Instead, turn a spotlight on something different, something unique, something special, about your home and property. You will attract interested buyers—interested buyers will want to come see your home and are often willing to pay full price. As a result, you’ll stop wasting time showing to people who are not interested in your home specifically. Instead, you’ll be showing your home to buyers who are motivated to make a purchase. You won’t have to show quite so often. You also won’t have to sift through lowball offers from apathetic buyers. Less stress for you! With that in mind, it’s important to highlight your home’s most attractive and interesting features. Compare your home to other houses in the neighborhood to see what makes yours different.


Each house will have its own unique features. You may already have some in mind for yours. If not, these ideas should help: • Hilltop views are an excellent defining feature. Like the example from earlier, a high vantage point comes with a spectacular view of the surrounding area. • Maybe your home looks out on an open field frequented by wildlife. Many people would appreciate that view. 21

• Your house might even have an unobstructed view of the sunset. That would interest potential buyers. • Ocean or white water view. Many people like to have that feature in a home. And this alone will get you premium prices compared to other homes in the neighborhood that don’t offer this feature. • City lights or panoramic view. That’s a feature that attract many buyers, and again that will increase the price of your home. • Patios and decks are another great feature. Maybe the rest of your neighbors don’t have patios or decks, or their patios and decks are smaller. That vital feature could help you sell your home. • Location is something else that can set your property apart from others. (Not your addressed location, but rather your location compared to the surrounding homes.) • You might have a unique backyard. If you have a larger backyard than your neighbors do, use that to your advantage. A shady backyard can also help you sell your property, as can a fenced-in backyard, which will appeal to buyers with children and/or pets. • Walk-in closets, kitchen islands, a wine cellar, bonus rooms, additional storage, large garages, separate living quarters, nearby ponds or fountains, and swimming pools are all features that can help homes stand out from the others. Look for the 20 percent difference in your own home, and find a way to market it. That’s how you’ll get results. You can’t just throw the information into your listing, though. You have to take the right approach.



• No matter how similar they might seem, no two houses are exactly alike. • Buyers search for, focus on, and pay more for, unique features. • Unique features could be almost anything—a big lot, great view, pool, in-law unit in the back, swimming pools, even a distinctive yard or patio. • Look for what makes your home unique, and then advertise that to potential buyers. This strategy will help you attract interested buyers.


CHAPTER 5 Why is so easy to sell your home for less than it’s worth At a certain point, many home sellers feel like throwing in the towel. “I’m just going to drop the price and get rid of this house,” they think to themselves. Fortunately, reason (usually) prevails. The temptation to “throw in the towel” tends to increase the longer your home sits on the market. It even happens to highly intelligent people. Here’s an example: In 1997, entrepreneurs Larry Page and Sergey Brin were looking for a buyer for their Internet search engine. They called it BackRub. The two were seeking $1.6 million for the new online portal, and were working a deal with Excite, a popular search engine at the time. The problem for Excite was that BackRub was far too effective a search engine. Users were finding what they wanted and moving off the site too quickly, which would be bad for Excite’s advertising business. Page and Brin cut the price dramatically by more than 50 percent. They offered to sell BackRub for $750,000. Excite considered the offer, but ultimately balked. There was no deal. BackRub’s co-founders decided to commercialize and release the product themselves. First, they renamed it.


They called it Google.

Less than 20 years later, Google is now worth roughly $360 billion. Excite was eventually sold to Bottom line: Fight the temptation to drop your price. Just because something isn’t selling does not necessarily mean it isn’t worth the price you’re asking. That clearly was true for Google, and it’s probably true for your home, as well. While the buyer of your dreams hasn’t yet emerged, it certainly doesn’t mean they won’t. Selling a home for top dollar fast is actually pretty simple. You just have to find the one person who’s willing to pay more for your home than anyone else. If they want it more than anyone else, then they will be willing to pay a higher price than anyone else.

What Stops “Perfect Homes” from Selling

Have you ever thought the following? “Why won’t anyone buy my house? It’s a great house!” Fortunately, there’s an answer to this question: “You can’t throw a great product out on the street and expect people to gobble it up.” This rule applies to inventions, homes, and even movies. Yes, even great movies need to be sold! Here’s an example of a great movie that didn’t do well when it was first released. On September 23, 1994, the movie, The Shawshank Redemption, was released to the world. Adapted from a short story by legendary author Stephen King, the feature film centered on a pair of imprisoned men.


The film, based in a prison but built on the idea of friendship, hope, and dreams, was nominated for seven Oscars and won more than a dozen awards. The film was immediately a critic’s favorite. Over 20 years later, The Shawshank Redemption is now considered one of the greatest movies of all time. In fact, on well-known and respected website Internet Movie Database (, it’s ranked as the best movie in cinema history, ahead of the likes of The Godfather, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and Schindler’s List. Another movie came out that year. The Flintstones, a live-action remake of the 1960s cartoon show, starred John Goodman, Rick Moranis, and Rosie O’Donnell. The Flintstones, perhaps needless to say, was not nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. “It falls flatter than a granite slab,” noted a national film critic. Though the film was praised for its costume and set design, it also won “Razzie Award” for Worst Female Performance and Worst Screenplay, and was a nominee for Worst Movie of 1994. Its user reviews are roughly half of what The Shawshank Redemption receives, and it’s rated by users as one of the worst movies of the 1990s. A team of salespeople masterfully marketed The Flintstones to its targeted demographics. The result? The film grossed $131 million in the U.S. and $358 million worldwide. That’s the power of targeted marketing. On the flip side, the people at Universal Studios, who promoted The Shawshank Redemption, admitted they couldn’t figure out how to sell the movie to the public. They had a great product;


they just didn’t know how to sell it.

It grossed only $28 million in the U.S. box office and $60 million worldwide. It ranked 51st in box office success in 1994—two spots behind In the Army Now, starring Pauly Shore. Look at those numbers, then look at them again. Still don’t believe good marketing and salesmanship matter? The folks at Universal learned their lesson—even the best products need to be “sold.” Is your home a great product that wasn’t marketed properly? You just have to find the one person who’s willing to pay more for your home than anyone else. If they want it more than anyone else, then they will be willing to pay a higher price than anyone else.


• Many sellers get frustrated and reduce their price prematurely. • If your house isn’t selling, it means you haven’t found the right buyer yet—the buyer who wants your home enough to pay top dollar. • Having a great product (house) isn’t enough. • Whether you’re selling films or houses, you can’t beat the power of targeted marketing!


CHAPTER 6 How to sell a home that didn’t sell without dropping the price It is entirely possible to sell your home without dropping the price. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The standard approach is all wrong . It’s based on the faulty premise that if you tell enough people about your house, someone will buy it . While having more people look at a home does increase the odds of it selling, this doesn’t actually sell the home. The bottom line is that not everyone wants to buy your home. Yes, they’d love to buy it for a bargain basement price. Even if they hated it, they’d still buy it for half price—only to turn around and sell it for a quick profit. The key to getting top dollar is finding that buyer who wants your home badly enough to pay full price. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a buyer who’s willing to pay more than full price. Yes, that does happen. The problem is, most people are so focused on telling everyone about a home for sale that they forget about the most important thing. You have to find that one special buyer . The question is, how do you find the perfect buyer?


First, you need to understand a universal rule we are about to discuss and the role it plays in bringing in those ideal buyers.


• The standard selling approach is based on the faulty premise that if you tell enough people about your house, someone will buy it. • In truth, you must find the one buyer who wants your home so badly, he or she is willing to pay full price.


CHAPTER 7 Grabbing any buyer’s attention Appeal to your target market. Having the information you need to advertise your property is an excellent first step. However, it’s only the first step. Once you have the information, you need to put it in your listing. Simply adding it in isn’t enough. You need to make sure people see it, or it will not help you.


When people visit a real estate website, it takes them just a split- second to decide whether they’re interested in a property. That’s because they see a picture of it. Before they even know it, their brains tell them “yes or “no.” If their brains tell them “yes,” they click on the listing. If their brains tell them “no,” they move on to the next property. It’s your job to ensure people’s brains say “yes” when they see your picture. You do that by photographing your home’s unique feature and using it as the display picture. Make sure the photo is high quality. Of course, some people won’t be interested, even after they see your display picture. That’s okay. Remember, you want to focus on appealing to those who will buy your property—not to the masses. You’re just wasting your time if you appeal to people who are not interested in your unique features. 31


Focus on your description. Put one or two special features right at the beginning of the description, so people will see them immediately. You can also put them in your headline. This will help attract the right people. If you do this, you’ll notice the quality of your leads improve. You will show your home to people who are ready to make a purchase. You will also get more offers close to, or at, your asking price. While all of this is great news, you still have one more thing you can do to increase your sales.


Nothing kills a sale like a big negative. Fortunately, you can often turn a negative into a positive. Consider this example. Let’s imagine you own a house built 10 years ago. You want to sell your home, but there’s a problem. A nice, new development recently opened in the area. Builders are selling brand-new houses. The houses are roughly the same, but the current price for the new properties is about $40,000 more than the asking price of your home. Nevertheless, you’re certain buyers will choose the brand-new houses, just because they are new. They hold a greater perceived value. Buyers don’t stop to consider that in five years, it won’t matter. Their house will be five years old, and your place will be 15 years old. But that’s not all.

Their five-year-old place will not fetch an extra $40,000,


compared to your 15-year-old house. When the buyers of the no- longer-new house decide to sell, they will actually end up losing money. The appeal of a new house is gone, and they won’t recoup the extra $40,000 they spent buying new. Show them what they are missing. Fortunately, you can educate buyers and get them interested in your house. You just need a way to capture their attention, and highlight the positive aspects of your property. Create an ad with a headline that says, “Don’t buy a new house in (Development Name) until you see this house.” Then, you could go over reasons people would benefit from buying your home. The cost is an obvious reason you should certainly include. It’s far from the only reason, however. Jot down a list of every feature you can think of for both your house and the newer ones. Then, compare different perspectives. For example, compare yards. Newly built houses typically don’t have established trees or landscaping. They might have freshly planted grass. That requires more work and more money. Here’s another idea: Think of the traffic and commotion in a new development, where homes are still under construction. Focus on the positive by talking about how quiet your neighborhood is. Mention a peaceful home. Some buyers will see this as a point of attraction. These are just a few examples. You can turn any negative into a positive by reframing it. Remember, you control your story. It’s up to you to feature your home in a positive light. Do a good job of attracting buyers specifically interested in features your house offers, and you no longer have to compete against those new homes!


Instead, you’ll be working with buyers already excited about something in your home. Taking this approach cuts out the competition, speeds up the sales process, and makes you more money. Just keep the 80/20 rule in mind during the selling process, and look for a point of difference to feature in your home. Focus on what makes the most impact, and you’ll be successful.


• For your advertising, photograph your house in a way that emphasizes its best unique features. • Highlight desirable differences in your ad in descriptive terms. • Even a negative feature can help differentiate your home from others on the market.


CHAPTER 8 Real Estate Horror Stories

Life is stranger than fiction, even in real estate. Thanks to the Internet, there are thousands of stories out there detailing anything and everything that can go wrong with a real estate deal. Some things are scarier than a listing expiring. Maybe an agent takes a bunch of lousy pictures or takes two or three days to return calls. Other times, mistakes are made that cost new owners thousands of dollars. Still other times, the stories can get downright weird and scary. Just imagine finding out the home has an infestation, or was the scene of a crime, and your agent didn’t mention it. Or maybe your agent screwed up with an appointment, and suddenly buyers are checking out your home while you’re in the shower. If you’re a seller who’s wondering what kind of problems to look for when hiring an agent and listing and selling your home, here’s a handful of stories to show just what could go wrong if you’re not on top of things.


A couple was trying to unload a vacant rental house in Reno, NV. The home was on the market for four months with a number of showings, but no one was biting. Finally, after realizing the home was going to foreclose if something wasn’t done quickly, the owners made the drive to Reno to see what was going on. What they saw was more than a little surprising. On one of the main walls in the house was a giant, 12-foot-long painting of the devil—something that would certainly turn away prospective 35

buyers. So, what should have happened here?

Before allowing any showings, during an initial walkthrough of the home, the agent should’ve called the owners immediately about the “giant devil,” giving them a chance to paint over it, resulting in a much quicker sale and far fewer awkward moments for the agent. Ultimately, the agent was fired and the owners returned to renting out the property.


File this one under the “what you don’t know can hurt you” department. Ms. Turner had owned her Tennessee home for two years before deciding to sell. It was only then that she found out that a previous owner was a meth cook. What she didn’t know cost her—a $16,000 decontamination process fee! In this case, Ms. Turner’s agent could simply have done some research on the home and its history. He would’ve discovered that the home had been auctioned off by the state or been in foreclosure due to the meth cook likely going to jail. A little digging would’ve uncovered the reason and allowed the agent to warn any prospective buyers.


What do you do when you want to sell a house quickly? You price it low. What does your buyer want? A lower price. What does the buyer’s agent want? An even lower price. What about your agent? He/she should be aiming for a higher price, and, more importantly, to make you happy. Mr. Foust, who was trying to sell his home quickly, had a different (and unfortunate) experience. Rather than try to negotiate a better deal, his agent chose to join the buyer’s agent in encouraging Mr. Foust to accept a lowball offer. Why?


Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108 Page 109 Page 110 Page 111 Page 112 Page 113 Page 114 Page 115 Page 116 Page 117 Page 118 Page 119 Page 120 Page 121 Page 122 Page 123 Page 124 Page 125 Page 126 Page 127 Page 128 Page 129 Page 130 Page 131 Page 132 Page 133 Page 134

Powered by