Home Selling Blueprint

Sell Right = Price Right + Show Right + Hire Right

If you’d like to sell your home at the optimal price, terms, and conditions, and within your desired timeframe, you’ll only need to follow these three rules:

  1. pricing your home at or slightly below market value;
  2. showing your home as best as possible to today’s modern, mobile buyer; and
  3. hiring a real estate agent who is seasoned, has marketing savvy, and is a great negotiator.

By following these three rules, you’ll:

  1. attract as many prospective buyers as possible (this is very important);
  2. stand out amongst the competition through stellar marketing and advertising; and
  3. have professional guidance at every step of the process (from getting your home ready to sell, to closing day).

Price Right

No other factor is more important to selling your home for market value and within your desired time frame than pricing it at or slightly below its perceived market value. Initially, sellers often feel that if they price their home slightly above market value, they leave some wiggle room for negotiation. However, this pricing approach is flawed, as evident in the graph below:

Listing your home above its anticipated market value drastically reduces the number of people who would even consider scheduling a showing. This can lead to decreased interest by prospective buyers, and longer time on market.

Finding Comparable Sales

To price your home correctly, you’ll want to compare it to similar and recently-sold homes in your neighborhood (within the last three months is ideal). Comparing characteristics include:

  • Property Type
    • Single Family
    • Duplex, Triplex, or Fourplex
  • Property Location
    • Corner or Middle of a Lot
    • Cul-de-sac
    • Main road
  • Size of Lot
  • Condition of Home
  • Age
  • Style & Construction
  • Size of Home
    • Livable Space Above Ground
  • Number of Rooms (Above Ground)
  • Number of Bedrooms (Above Ground)
  • Number of Full and Half Bathrooms (Above Ground)
  • Type of Basement
    • Walk-out, Full, or Half
    • Size of finished basement areas
  • Garage
    • Size
    • Detached vs. Attached
  • Type of Heating, Cooling, and Water Source
  • Unique Features
    • Patio/Deck
    • Porches
    • Fireplace
    • Swimming Pools
    • Built-in Shelves
  • Terms of Comparable Sales
    • Type of Financing Used by Buyer
    • Concessions Made by Seller

You can usually find this data in the Multiple Listing Service used by your Realtor. Some of this data is also available with your county’s auditor.

There are many sites that offer free home valuations, but the results should be taken with a grain of salt, as theses sites are only as good as the algorithms used, and by the data available for the valuation tool.

Click here for a free online home valuation on my website.

Once you’ve gauged your home’s market value, you can determine if it makes sense to sell at the present time. If that’s the case, the next important step to take is to ensure your home “Shows Right.”

Show Right

The likely buyer of your home will view it online for the first time on their smart phone.

Ensuring it shows well to this modern, mobile buyer must be paramount in your marketing strategy.

Your Ideal Marketing Strategy Should Include:

Professional Photos

Homes sold with professional photography sell for more money and in less time than those without.

3D Virtual Tour

    • Floorplans

Video Walk-Through

Targeted Social Media Strategy

Getting Your Home Ready to List

Think about the last time you walked into an Apple store. It was very likely that the floors were clean, the counters and shelves were clutter-free, and the merchandise was shiny and displayed to attract your eye, but not to distract it. If you wound up purchasing something that day, when you opened the package, its contents were clean, in good working condition, and were ready for your use.

Keep this in mind the moment you decide to sell. That mindset shift is important. Once you decide to sell, it’s no longer your home, it’s a product you must display to the public in the best light possible. It must look great online and in-person. It should be clean, uncluttered (buyers want to view a home that’s livable, but one that doesn’t have your “stuff” everywhere), and its parts should be in good working condition, except for rare circumstances.

Pre-Listing Checklist


If the buyer of your home will be getting financing, then their lender will likely need to ensure the following items are in order for the loan to be approved:

  • Roofs & Attics
    • Roof should have at least a remaining useful life of two years
    • No signs of leakage, structural deficiencies, or holes in attic
  • Kitchens & Baths
    • Must have working waters supply, and adequate source of water and fixtures
    • Toilets operate properly and free of leaks
    • No standing water
    • No Leaking or corroded water lines
    • Adequate water pressure
  • Basements & Crawl Spaces
    • No signs of water, dampness or structural problems
    • No signs of mildew or mold
  • Electrical & Safety
    • Minimum of 60-amp power consisting of circuit breakers or fuses
    • If electrical heat, should have at least 200-amps
    • No damaged receptacles, missing cover plates, or worn and exposed wires
  • Heating Systems
    • All habitable rooms must have heat source and receive adequate heat
    • Must be able to control heat by thermostat
  • Paint
    • If home is older than 1978, no chipping or peeling paint anywhere (interior or exterior)

Other Items to Review

  • Structural & Mechanical
    • Have your systems and structural components checked and fixed prior to listing. Common items include:
      • Heating & Cooling Systems
      • Roof
      • Foundation
      • Stairs
    • If you can’t afford the repairs, be up front about their costs (with written estimates in-hand) so that you and the buyer can negotiate accordingly
  • Exterior
    • Check for cracks in exterior walls and siding and address accordingly (replace, or paint)
  • Landscaping
    • If your yard looks gross – fix it. This should be the easiest item on your list.
  • Cosmetic
    • If light fixtures and covers look dated, replaced them.
    • Patch and repair any walls and trim, then add a fresh coat of paint to the interior.
      • White for kitchens and baths
      • Neutral tones for other areas
  • Kitchen
    • Consider new cabinet hardware
    • Consider adding or changing outdated tile backslash and updating appliances
    • If counters have seen better days, consider switching to a butcher block, quartz, or granite (may be less expensive than you think)
  • Bathroom(s)
    • Clean Clean Clean!
    • Steam clean grout or re-grout where needed
    • Consider new plumbing, light fixtures, and mirrors
  • Flooring
    • If wood floors, consider refinishing (less expensive than you’d imagine).
    • Clean or replace carpet
    • If tiled floors can’t be salvaged, consider a vinyl-style flooring for kitchen and baths.
  • Have home professionally cleaned prior to media day

To Stage or Not to Stage

Sellers often wonder if they should stage rooms that are currently without furniture. To save thousands of dollars, they should consider adding virtual staging, which I incorporated into a recent listing:

Dining Room [Virtual Staging Used]

What to do While It’s on the Market

While your home is on the market, you’ll want to show like it did for media day.

  • Keep it as clean as possible
  • Leave lights on and window treatments displayed for maximum lighting
  • Take pets with you during showings
  • Leave house during showings
  • Turn off the television and radios
  • Consider boiling cinnamon sticks to ensure it smells great

Hire Right

There are 184 tasks associated with selling your home, and data show that a great real estate agent will sell your home for more money (even including commissions) than if you were to do it on your own.

Signs of a Great Agent

  • They are well-networked within their community and amongst their real estate peers (agents, skilled-trades people, title companies, accountants, lawyers, insurance officers, mortgage officers, home warranty companies)
  • They work a specific niche
  • They blog regularly to communicate information to the public and its real estate consumers
  • They know the legalities and paperwork to protect their clients and the public
  • They work only with a contract to ensure they are focused on assisting those who value their services
  • They know how to say “no” to unqualified or time-consuming people
  • They understand the sales cycle
  • They are disciplined
  • They are active and engaging on social media – where consumers and the public are most active on the internet

I hope you found this useful. If you are considering selling your home, or know somebody who is, please don’t hesitate to contact me to see how I can provide even more value to the situation!