Selling your North Shore home in today’s market takes more than installing the sign and hoping a buyer will come along. You need a top notch professional to manage all aspects and market your home for maximum exposure.
Thinking about selling your home in Wilmette, Glenview, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Northbrook or Evanston? This is one of the major transactions in your life, do not skimp, do not settle. Please take time to review the below resources which will aid you in selecting a Real Estate professional. Feel free to contact me should you have any questions or would like a complimentary consultation. I would be honored to serve you in the sale of your home.
Sign Up For Local Newsletter – View Sample
Lisa Does More to Get You the Top Price
Top Agent Network Distributes Your Listing to The Best Area Agents -Watch the video below to see how
Read more about the benefits of Top Agent Network
Top 10 Reasons to List with Lisa
An educated seller is a successful seller. This does not mean you need to dive deep into the legal and regulatory complexities of the transaction (after all, that is why you are hiring a Real Estate Broker in the first place), but you should have general familiarity with the process (it is constantly changing) and an expectation of what a highly trained and experienced Real Estate Broker like Lisa Finks can do for you.
This report provides the critical information you will need to make the best decision when hiring your Real Estate professional. I hope that after reviewing this information, you give me the opportunity to serve you in the sale of your home.
1. Responsiveness – When you first make contact, note how quickly an agent responds to your outreach. A top agent recognizes the importance of quick follow up with prospects and requests – if the agent is not responding quickly to you, why will they respond quickly to a prospective buyer? I make it a point to respond quickly to all email and telephone calls during business hours (and very often outside of business hours too).
2. Marketing – Expect a comprehensive marketing plan, in writing, outlining the Broker’s strategy to sell your home. Look for creativity and innovation in the plan that will make your home stand out in the crowd. Agents each have their own selling system and there are vast differences among those systems, even among agents at the same brokerage firm. With a myriad of ways to market a home, look for the agent that understands and embraces both traditional options, as well as the cutting edge technological ones. Also, be sure your home is marketed to individual buyers as well as other agents (who usually have access to the most qualified buyers). For a detailed list of some of the marketing strategies I employ for my sellers, click here.
3. Contract to Close – A top agent will make the selling process as easy as possible for you from the signing of the list agreement all the way to the closing and beyond. Evaluate whether your agent views you as just another transaction or whether they have the resources to simplify your life during the selling process? Will they slap a lockbox on your home, ask you to turn on the lights and then allow the buyer to stumble around your home, hopeful they notice its wonderful features? Or will they accompany each showing to ensure that the potential buyer sees the special features of your home and has their questions answered and then elicit feedback from them? Accompanied showings also provide peace of mind so you know that buyers are not left unaccompanied in your home at any time.
While the actual selling and showing of your home is the main event, the ancillary details are just as important too. You may need referrals for organizers, packers, painters, handymen, movers, etc. I have a team of trusted preferred professionals ready to assist with all aspects of your move. To request a preferred vendor recommendation click here. I welcome the opportunity to make all aspects of your upcoming move as easy as possible.
4. Pre-Market – A top agent begins selling your home the moment you sign the list agreement. Evaluate whether an agent has access to these resources and is using them. Utilizing off-MLS network opportunities creates a buzz and generates excitement for your home. Pre-marketing also allows for testing of pricing and staging decisions (e.g., should you remove that moosehead from the wall or not?). From Facebook ads to the @properties agent network to North Shore exempt lists and Top Agent Network, these pre-market strategies not only provide extra bang for your buck but provide important strategic information for when you go live.
5. Preparation/Staging – With the advent of HGTV and many of the reality TV home shows, buyers’ expectations have amplified to unbelievable levels. Buyers expect a showpiece and research supports that a home looking like the cover of “House Beautiful” will sell for more money and more quickly. While it is not practical to make your home look like the cover of House Beautiful (after all, you do need to live there!), it pays to stage the home to some degree. According to NAR, 87% of buyers use online sites to view home photos, thereby making the internet viewing your “first showing.” Your home must look its best online. Upon signing of the list agreement, each of my listings receives a complimentary consultation with a professional home stager who will prepare a full report for you with suggestions on what can be done to make your home camera-ready to garner top dollar.
6. “Buyer-Hunting” – It really does only take one! Your agent should leave no stone unturned when identifying potential buyers. Creative marketing and intense networking help find more buyers! I try to reach individual buyers directly through aggressive print, digital and other marketing efforts. I maintain a “buyer” board so that you, as a prospective seller, can check. Click here. A signed listing agreement yields access to my buyer board – perhaps I already know of someone who may be interested in your property.
I also work hard to identify agents currently working with relevant buyers. Reverse prospecting is one method I employ, as well as tracking down agents that are showing similar properties to my listings. I want my seller clients to have every advantage in the marketplace and believe my unique “buyer-hunting” strategies result in a greater pool of potential qualified buyers for their properties. These unconventional methods also provide additional options for the homeowner desiring privacy with an off-MLS listing.
7. Don’t Use a Discount Agent – The sale of your home is a major financial transaction, don’t you want the security of knowing you are working with a trained professional protecting your interests rather than working with an individual who is trying to handle more transactions to increase his own volume and pay? An agent dedicated to the sale of your home can create more appeal, attract more attention and garner a higher sale price. Hiring a discount broker for possibly 1%-2% off of the typical commission price, could cost you double if an experienced and dedicated agent could have produced a 5%-7% higher sales price. For more information, see this excellent article, “The Myth of Lower Commissions – How Lower Fees Actually Cost Sellers Money” by Steve Shull.
8. Local Experience – In every community there are nuances among neighborhoods, even among blocks! Using a local agent ensures that your home is priced appropriately for its area. A local agent also guarantees that your prospective buyers will learn all about the wonderful parks, schools and neighborhood amenities. After all, buyers seek a lifestyle more than just a house. Not only will a local agent provide a better strategy for attracting buyers, they are in the area so it is easier for them to accept requested showings and pop by for questions or issues that may arise.
I live on the North Shore will only accept listings in Wilmette, Winnetka, Glenview, Kenilworth, Northbook and Evanston. I want to ensure my clients have the very best representation and I cannot adequately service listings out of this area. If you do have a home you would like to sell in another area, I have a network of professionals throughout Chicagoland and the US to which I can refer you.
9. Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) – Make sure you receive a complete comparative market analysis of your home. This analysis should consider pending sales and recently sold homes near your own which have similar features and size. Since markets fluctuate, comparable sales within 6-12 months’ time are most relevant. If your home is unique, older comparative sales can apply. Do not make the mistake of hiring the agent who suggests the highest list price for your home. Sometimes agents will agree to any price just to get your business, you want to select the agent who provides evidence as to why the pricing suggestion is being made. Through it all, remember this is a conversation between seller and broker, Different circumstances can support a more or less aggressive listing price.
To view closed sales near you, click here.
To request a CMA, click here.
10. Communication – Communication throughout the process is essential. Nothing is more stressful than not knowing what is going on. Make sure an agent communicates with you regarding all showings and provides reports regarding the success of marketing efforts and results.