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As we enter the last month of 2016, my thoughts are turning to how I can better serve my clients in 2017. Over the years it has become apparent there are a plethora of ways an agent can enhance their clients’ well-being in financial matters as well as from an emotional point of view.

Let’s face it selling a house is stressful even under the best of circumstances. Preparing a property to go on the market can take weeks of planning and work if not months. There are so many decisions to make–should you paint, replace the carpet, refinished the wood floors or even delve into remodeling the kitchen and a bath or two.  The exterior landscaping must be assessed.  The local real estate market must be studied and marketing a property is an ongoing 24/7 job in this Age of Social Media. Selling a house can tax both the wallet and nerves of prospective sellers.

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Preparing a property for sale is one of the most valuable services a real estate professional can provide. Deciding what improvements will enhance the sale price and attract buyers is critical. Pricing the property “right” is the key to finding qualified buyers and not languishing on the market for many months. Many sellers know what online sites say their property is worth, but those “experts” have never stepped inside your house. They know nothing about the interior condition or even the view, or if there is a view. They are using a formula, and there are lots of unknowns in their equation. The value they give is at best an educated guess. Sometimes they are fairly accurate; sometimes they miss by a million. It’s not a quote you can trust enough to offer your valuable asset for sale at their suggested price. You need a local real estate professional to help you pinpoint the price.

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Your agent’s negotiating skills can either add to your side of the balance sheet or subtract dollars from your pocket. The more familiar your agent is with recent sales (and the condition of those properties) the more beneficial her knowledge will be to you. By the time closing day arrives most agents have earned their commission several times over by putting their market knowledge and experience to work for you.

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Here are two recent case histories to prove my point. A client was torn between selling her house “As Is” or painting it top to bottom, replacing carpeting and having it professionally staged. The neighborhood justified making the improvements.  Although it took two months, the difference to the seller was a net gain of more than 10%.

Keeping tabs on the local real estate market is crucial for top representation and overall market knowledge. I’ve tracked the market for many years with my Little Yellow Dot Market Snapshots.

In the second case, I represented the buyer. We negotiated hard on the price but offered excellent terms.  After an extended period of negotiating the buyer purchased the property for $200,000 below the asking price. An experienced agent knows when to push and when to pull back and give the other party a reason to accept an offer, and that’s a very valuable ability to have on your side of the negotiating table.

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Call me at 310.493.8333 or email Norma@CharlemagneProperties.com for more information on maximizing your property and your profits.