First of all, a shout out to Megan (FranklyRealty.com Realtor) for her most recent bidding war in Old Town Alexandria. Sold in 3 days, $13k over list. Photos at 1322Princess.com. One key to her success… Staging! (see bottom for before & after photos)
So, a buddy of mine in Chicago wanted to sell his place and he wanted my help deciding the best route to get the highest net.
He, like almost every person in the United States NEEDS that last $5-15k.
At first he wanted to “save” and sell it by owner. I, the oftentimes Anti-Realtor, told him NOT to take this approach (I guess I am more of an ANTI-SUCKY-ASS-AGENTS agent) read my Save $20,000 blog.
So I told him I’d find him a great Realtor (no I didn’t take a cut).
First I had him email me a couple agents that he knew of, and I did a stealth interview of the agent. There I was, an agent from Virginia, and this Realtor was still feeding me B.S.
Actual B.S. Ad:
His marketing materials boasted that they put your house on 600 websites and they put your house in front of 700 million home buyers. I recently read in BusinessWeek that India now has 50 million internet users. Thank God they can all see my friend’s condo! I hate marketing that is just short of flat out lying and meant to confuse customers, or to play the “I have a longer checklist than yours” contest.
Realtor Trick: Do not fall for the “my checklist is longer than his” trick.
Oh and that 600 websites… as I suspected (after calling him out on it), he only puts it onto this thing called the “M” “L” “S” (ever heard of it?) and the 599 other websites pull from the MLS and rebroadcast the data (in other words all Realtor get on the same 600 websites).
So I was on my own. I looked to ActiveRain to get a good Chicago Realtor.
I didn’t care too much for the agents that were on here in Chicago (no particular reason, nothing stood out), so what does one do….
I found the PERFECT solution for finding a great agent! GO TO A STAGER!! I went to a top stager and asked him “Give me some names of agents that have used you. By merely using you, they are 99% ahead of the game and they ‘get it’, and they will help my friend net more.”
Blog update 5-2-07: “Somebody asked me, what is a stager.” Staging is a trademarked word, you can go to www.StagedHomes.com for more info. Staging can include anything from nicely laid out nick naks (my stager is gonna kill me if she saw that as a definition to what she does) to light construction. You know how the iPod and Mac’s use design to attract buyers? Kinda like that! Bottom line is staging makes buyer’s drewl and BUY!
Sure enough, I found him a GREAT Realtor, and my buddy got the property staged. The agent was young, but sharp, he got it. And low and behold…
it sold in 4 days for OVER what he wanted (net) to get FSBO and it got bid up $7k – $10k over what he wanted.
More CA$H = he couldn’t be more excited.
Thank you stagers! How do we get more customers to take a HANDS-OFF approach and just say “Do what you need to do” and not debate every $500?
Sellers, call their references. So few people do this. If they are a good stager and they say that hardwood floors will sell your place, do it. That $2k-3k will come back to you 3-5 fold.
– Written by Frank LL0SA Broker FranklyRealty.com Virginia
p.s. Good photography was also a requirement when I was checking out agents.
Here are some before and after’s of Megan’s staging. For about $10,000 this house was transformed! Our starting price was $20,000 higher than the initial price target AND it got bid up $13k higher. While looking at the photos one might initially say it looks like a simple clean up job, but it was so much more. New paint throughout (not just any paint, but color patterns that make it jaw drawdropping), upgraded kitchen with granite (not just ANY granite!! and stainless steel appliances) and Megan would have to list the rest of the changes.