License # 00925213
Sellers


REASONS TO SELL YOUR HOME


In the real estate business, it's well known that there's a story behind every sale. Everyone has a reason for wanting to move.  It could be moving-up, moving-down, transferring or just fell in love with another home!  Make sure you really want to sell.  Have you considered what would happen if someone offered you a significant incentive to move out in 15 days? Where would you go? Have a plan.better yet, have several plans.

On one end of the spectrum, some of these situations can be characterized as casual, leisurely, unhurried; the Seller doesn't need to sell, and is content to wait until the right buyer or the right circumstances come along. At the opposite extreme, you might hear words like "motivated Seller" being used in connection with a Seller's situation, or "fixer-upper", "great potential", or "as-is" being used in connection with a property's condition.

In all cases, Buyers (and their agents) will consider such factors in their value perceptions, offers, negotiations, and decision-making process. For Sellers, it's important to deal from a position of strength where possible, by presenting a property that's attractive, desirable, and free of any such negative implications, and by projecting an image that portrays the Seller as a credible, informed, willing, able, and cooperative party with whom buyers would likely interact in a reasonable, businesslike fashion.


PRICE
A home is ultimately worth what someone is willing to pay for it, not necessarily what a Seller wants for it. Everything else beyond that is just an estimate or opinion of value. Your asking price is typically based on a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), which represents an estimate of the value of your house at a given time and under specific circumstances, using different but related information sources.

A comparative market analysis (CMA) will compare current/recent data for several homes in your area with comparable square footage, land area & characteristics, features and amenities. This correlates your house to other very similar homes that have sold in your area. In Lamorinda, it is more difficult, as we do not live in a "tract" development. Each home in our area is "custom" and there will be trade-offs in the analysis. This is a FREE service as part of the listing process, providing you with a frame of reference with respect to properly pricing your home.

If you are evaluating more than one real estate firm for listing your property, be aware that you may receive some unexpectedly high "estimates of value" and corresponding "suggested list prices" from overly zealous agents who either (a) don't understand the market and its dynamics, or worse, (b) want to "buy" your listing by leading you to believe that they can get a higher price for you than the competition can. This latter tactic is intended to get you to "sign on the dotted line", creating a binding & irrevocable listing contract between you and that agent's firm. Then, after weeks or months of little or no interest/activity, you are asked to reduce the price to something closer to the actual market value (where it should have been priced in the first place). However, this typically means that you would have lost the "window of opportunity" as a new listing on the market; other agents would already have disregarded your "overpriced" property, and would not necessarily be inclined to show it to their buyers. Unless you're prepared to wait for the market to "catch up" to your elevated price, don't fall into the overpricing trap; while you're waiting, your expenses and mortgage payments continue, and the price of your next house may be escalating beyond your reach.

It is always prudent to have at least three opinions of value. If you are uncomfortable in finding three qualified agents that are top in their company, I will be happy to put together a list of recommended agents and assist us in obtaining additional opinions. If the resulting opinions are more then three percent apart, I would suggest choosing the AGENT you feel that you are the most comfortable working with and the PRICE that best represents the mean. They may not be one in the same! If they are dramatically apart, it would be advisable to obtain a fourth opinion as a tie-breaker.


MARKET CONDITIONS
The market is always changing, so is important that we change with the market. Markets can change in as short a period as two weeks. It is important that if you have had a market analysis done prior to placing your home on the market. you may consider a re-evaluation of your position in the market a few days before you place your home on multiple listing.


CONDITION OF YOUR HOME
The better the condition of your house in relation to your asking price, the greater buyer interest and appeal it will have, the faster it will sell, and the more likely it will be that it sells at or very near your asking price.

Every home has its unique nature. Some have steep driveways but great privacy; others have small bedrooms but are long on charm, not enough yard but a panoramic view. They are as different as our children and we love them for all the right reasons. But when introducing both children and houses to someone new for the first time.It is always nice if they look their best!


EXPOSURE
You can't say enough about the right exposure. Once your house is correctly priced and in its best presentable condition, it's time to tell the world about it. You might have the most beautiful home at the best price in town, but if no one knows about it, or if it's not marketed effectively, neither price nor condition will matter! I will work with you in developing a personal marketing campaign to broadly expose your home to potential buyers.  This will be accomplished through open houses, broker open houses, the Internet (where over 90% of prospective buyers begin their search), newspaper, promotion in area-specific real estate publications, and by listing it in MLS (multiple listing service). These techniques (and much more), coupled with many decades of collective local area experience, are just part of the service and benefit derived from my more than 25 years of experience in the business.


SELECTING THE BEST

Pacific Union is the leading luxury real-estate brand in Northern California. For us, "luxury" is measured by the quality of our people and our service, not the price of aproperty. Whether you are buying or selling a home in the Bay Area or the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region, Pacific Union is committed to providing you an extraordinary experience. We pride ourselves on exceeding expectations at every turn, whether it's with our unparalleled neighborhood knowledge, our willingness to go the extra mile, or our unmatched professional expertise and experience. With more than 30 offices in the Greater Bay Area and the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region -- more than any other independent realestate firm -- we offer a full range of personal and commercial realestate services, including buying, selling, and relocation. In addition, our exclusiverelationship with Christie's International Real Estate, the property division of the legendary auction house, enables us to market our sellers' properties to more buyers in more places than any other brand.

We know there are discount brokerages out there, which purport to provide full service with reduced commission rates. Simple arithmetic and basic business sense dictate that with reduced income (but consistent costs) per transaction, something must be sacrificed. What typically suffers is the overall service level, particularly in critical aspects of marketing ("exposure"). a distinct disservice to Sellers and Buyers alike. A few dollars saved in commissions paid can be severely overshadowed and offset by missed sales opportunities, extended market time, other ongoing Seller expenses and diminished attention to the negotiation process, likely resulting in fewer dollars in the Seller's pocket when all is said and done.

Sherrie has been a full time Real Estate professional for over 25 years.  She consistently performs in the Top 1% Nationwide. Sherrie has been a Top Producer in Lamorinda both at PrudentialCalifornia Realty and Pacific Union –Christie's International Real Estate.

A final word about "Level of Service and Expertise", we strive to provide the highest levels of professionalism and client support and service in return for commissions we earn. In short, you get what you pay for, and we strive to meet your needs and exceed your expectations!


PREPARING YOUR HOUSE FOR SALE

Now that you have made the decision to sell, preparing your home for sale:


FIRST IMPRESSIONS
First impressions are extremely important when you're trying to sell your property. A first impression is exactly that-- one-time opportunity--there's no such thing as a second first impression.

You want a good impression to greet and be memorable with potential Buyers, not just from the street, but also throughout your property. There are many quick, easy and inexpensive things you can do to assure that a Buyer's perceived value will match or exceed actual market value, and/or support your asking price, resulting in a timely sale. Sherrie can provide you with guidance & recommendations for things you can easily do (usually at little or no cost) to greatly enhance the all-important "first impression", overall appeal, and the ultimate salability of your home.


LAWN and FOLIAGE
Have your lawn, foliage, plants and landscaping well-groomed, making the property appealing and inviting. Mowing, pruning, weeding, and trimming cost virtually nothing, but can contribute significantly to the overall impression that a well-maintained yard & landscape implies that the same is true for the house as well. 


CLEAN AND TIDY
Making sure that your house is clean & tidy before showings can make all the difference in the world. Pay special attention to all windows (inside and out), and everything in the kitchen and all bathrooms, since these are areas where Buyers tend to make significant value and acceptability judgments. 


INVITING AND COMFORTABLE
Establish an inviting and comfortable ambiance. Soothing, pleasant but light aromas can help make a house feel more like a home. The sense of smell can greatly influence a home's appeal, with stimuli such as fresh, clean air, floral scents, mild incense, potpourri, and other subtle aromatic items. Avoid harsh chemical & medicinal smells, eliminate offensive odors (pets, tobacco, etc) and pay special attention to bathrooms. Also, soft background music can subliminally influence a Buyer's "comfort" level, making it feel warm, cozy, secure and "homey". These small touches can make a big difference!

You'll often find that when Realtors® talk about "buying", they'll refer to the purchase as a "home." Yet when selling, they'll refer to it as a "house." The reason is that buying real estate is often an emotional decision, whereas selling requires you to remove emotion from the equation. Think of your house as a marketable commodity. Property. Real estate. Your goal is to get others to see it as their potential home, not yours. Failing to recognize this distinction can create a situation where it takes longer to sell your property.


MAKING IT ANONYMOUS
Consider a new subdivision with many new homes being offered by a volume builder. What you'll typically find are some tastefully furnished models that anyone could live in. They are "generic" or "anonymous", with nothing that feels like "personal" items. There may be "personality", but no person. You'll want to make your home "anonymous" so that buyers will feel that they've walked into their potential home, not visiting or intruding into someone else's personal space. Minimize your own expression of "self" by putting away family photos, sports trophies, collectible items, knick-knacks, souvenirs and the like, all of which can be distractions from what you want them to really see. the home itself. Don't just stash such items in a closet or storage space, because another important part of preparing a house for sale is to minimize "clutter".

This issue can be difficult for Sellers because of an emotional attachment to virtually everything in the house. Years of living in the same home allows clutter to accumulate in ways not obvious or objectionable to Sellers, but it can dramatically affect how buyers perceive the home.

Over time, clutter collects everywhere. in drawers, closets, cabinets, garages, attics, basements, storage spaces, sheds & barns, porches, workshops, on shelves, counter tops, floors & walls, tabletops, window sills, stairways, to name just a few. It can consist of excess or tightly arranged furniture, accumulations of personal memorabilia, souvenirs, knick-knacks, or simply miscellaneous "stuff".


KITCHEN
Clear the counters. Everything. toasters, blenders, can openers, everything. Put all such items in cabinet & drawers and take them out only when needed. If you find that you don't have enough cabinet/drawer space to store everything, re-arrange or clear them out as needed. Dishes, pots, pans & utensils that are rarely used should be neatly relocated in a separate storage area.

Why all the fuss? Buyers will open your cabinets and drawers, especially in the kitchen. They'll want to see if there's enough room for their "stuff." If your cabinets, pantries & drawers seem jammed full, it creates a negative impression, diminishing any sense of plentiful storage space. If you have a "junk drawer," eliminate the junk. Do this with every cabinet, drawer & kitchen space. Let Buyers find an abundance of extra space for "their stuff".

If you have large amounts of foodstuffs crammed into the shelves or pantry, begin using them - especially canned goods - they're heavy and you don't want to be lugging them to a new house anyway - or paying a mover to do so.

Under the sink is important too. Make sure this area is as empty (and clean) as possible. If there are any tell-tale signs of water leakage, take care if it now.


CLOSETS
Closets are very efficient clutter gatherers - boxes full of "stuff", rarely worn clothes & shoes, you name it. Do without these items while marketing/showing your property, as they can create the illusion that "the closets are too small", or "there isn't enough closet space in this house".


FURNITURE
It's common to have too much furniture in certain rooms - perhaps not too much for your own lifestyle, but enough to diminish the illusion of space that buyers want to feel. Consider re-arranging or eliminating any pieces that you can live without, with the intent to create an impression for the buyer that "there's plenty of room for our stuff here". Less is more.


STORAGE AREAS
Closets, storage rooms, garages, attics, basements, cabinets, lockers and sheds accumulate not just clutter, but junk as well. Such areas should be as empty as possible, giving Buyers the impression that there's more than enough extra storage space available for their needs. Is it time for a yard sale?

There are many places on your property that may need a little extra attention and TLC in preparation for listing, showing and selling. Every situation is different, but keep in mind that sometimes the tiniest detail can "make or break" the likelihood of getting an offer. Consider objectively evaluating (and possibly correcting or improving) the condition, appearance, impact, functionality and appeal of your home. 

Don't leave anything to chance. if it's something you would notice when looking for your new home, now is the time to acknowledge and deal with it. 


SHERRIE'S ROLE AS YOUR PROFESSIONAL AGENT


Sherrie will apply her more than 25 years of knowledge and expertise in marketing luxury properties to successfully market your particular property.  Look into Sherrie's portfolio of Sold Properties - Experience Counts and Results Matter

Your Real Estate needs, objectives and concerns are Sherrie's top priority.
Sherrie will discern those things that are of the utmost importance to you and apply them to our marketing.

Sherrie will work for your best interests at every stage of the real estate process, from the design and implementation of a comprehensive Marketing Plan, through the review and negotiation of a purchase offer, to handling details required by me for the completion of your transaction. Sherrie is known for her persistence and "can do" attitude.

Communication is very important. Sherrie will establish a system for regular contact, so that we can discuss any and all activities related to your property and its sale. You can reach Sherrie at (925) 766-3030.

Sherrie will provide you with reliable information and solid advice so that you can make informed decisions. Please feel free to ask questions at any time.

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