Updated: Jul 21
Above, photo from a former listing of mine in Poquoson. Image courtesy American Real Estate Media
I wanted to share more details to sellers about acquiring a comparative market analysis (CMA) on your home in a listing appointment.
How Sellers can make the meeting most effective
For this meeting to be most effective, it's important that:
1. All seller(s) & those with substantive influence on your home sale decision are present or able to join live via video. If you/they weren't planning on it, it's best to reschedule to a time when you/they would be.
2. If you have someone that regularly does a wide range of repairs/improvements/maintenance on your home, it's a good idea for them to be at your house during the home shift recommendations section of the CMA, although not critical. To see more on financing repairs prior to closing if you don't have the liquid capital to do so, see more on that here. I also help those selling as is, although typically don't recommend that if the seller has a viable means to not lose as much money by doing so, with most as-is sales leaving money on the table in terms of net proceeds to the seller. One of the main ways "flippers" make their money is by buying as-is properties, fixing them, and selling them for a profit.
3. My fiduciary duty to my clients compels me to be forthright to sellers about the means by which I believe the seller will gain the highest net profits. In some cases, sellers are emotionally invested in changes that they made to the house (even in the past year) that may, in some cases, hurt the sale if not reversed. It's very important that even in those cases I am honest about my professional opinions. In other cases, sellers may have in mind changes to a home that may positively impact the gross price of the home, but would negatively impact their net profits. It's critical that I am honest about my opinions in this regard as well, even if a seller is convinced in their mind about something. Ultimately, the seller makes the decision, and I can only advise.
4. It's a good idea to see if there are any discrepancies between what the tax records for your city/county state and the actual home.
5. I try to keep better hydrated than most. It's best if sellers let Adam know in advance if the water is off so that he can allocate time for a bathroom stop if that's the case prior to an appointment if needed.
6. In the event that you need to cancel or reschedule for any reason, please try to let me know at least 2 hours prior to our appointment via call or text at 757 879 9651.
7. It's a good idea to check the following pages prior to the meeting if you have time:
8. Provide Adam with advanced authorization regarding aerials. If you have tenants in place, be sure to inform them prior. While aerials don't always occur at Adam's listing appointments, they're a standard feature when time permits and when a manual FAA waiver isn't necessary (which typically takes a few days after the request for the FAA/ATC to process).
Related: Adam's Aerials
What Adam will be sharing during the meeting
In this meeting, I plan to share the following:
I tend to focus on this aspect of things first more so than most agents. To maximize your net profits, typically I'll have some suggestions, no matter how seemingly immaculate & well kept the home. Some sellers who take great pride in how they've kept the home or who have an emotional attachment to the home (i.e. those inhering the home from relatives who have passed) can take offense to my suggestions because they feel that nothing should be done to the home and that they've done a great job. Try not to take offense through this process. If you'd like to skip it because you'd like to sell as is, please let me know in advance so that I can avoid most repair/cleaning tips I'd have.
(for in-person appointments below if time allows, or these can be tabled until our next meeting) 2. The current market. If you'd like to shorten or skip this section to maximize our time together, you can check this page in advance & let me know if you have any questions or we can skip the discussion if you're already familiar.
3. Comparable sales
4. My marketing plan & what I offer
Pictures at Meeting
As long as alright with the seller(s), I plan to take pictures of the home for personal notes. These pictures from the ground won't be used for marketing purposes in most cases (with certain exclusions, i.e. flowering bushes that don't flower any more when the professional photos are taken), but I try to not rely on memory when pricing a home and inputting information into MLS data input sheets that are later required prior to sale. While I don't always have time & sometimes I encounter restricted airspace, if time allows, I like to also use a drone for aerial photography during CMA's that won't be released to the public until the time your home is listed. If the lighting, weather, or season significantly impair the quality of the aerials vs closer to when the home is listed, those can be retaken, but the exterior environment's variation means it's best to take the opportunity when available. By doing aerials, I'll also be able to get a better idea about possible roof issues, even on relatively new construction.
After this meeting, Adam plans to share in the next meeting:
A range that your home might sell for if I were to list it based on comparable properties & what you plan to do (or not do) prior to listing. Even appraisers, whose sole job is to evaluate home values, will differ on this number, and a range rather than a single number is important. Even the best appraiser can be wrong about what it will sell for. I've seen where an appraiser said a home was worth $408k, only for it to sell around a month later for $435k with no trouble appraising shortly after another property sold close to that number. The number it would sell for can differ by agent depending on how well they are able to market the home but keep in mind that if receiving multiple Realtor estimates, some agents can inflate value because they know that many sellers are duped into picking the agent who gives them the highest valuation rather than the one who consistently provides solid marketing. Also, the price can vary based on local market conditions & current events. The same house looking to be sold in December could likely sell for more in May.
Also what it will sell for can differ as well if you are putting it on multiple MLS or not & which MLS it's put in. It will be virtually "invisible" to many agents and some buyers who rely exclusively on the feed from their agents if you aren't putting it on the MLS that the agent uses (most agents only have 1 or 2) with their buyers. Around 90% of buyers use a buyer's agent, and most of those agents are feeding their buyers with properties. I have seen where a listing of mine in Hampton had agent/buyer interest from an agent in Richmond where other listings in the same neighborhood was invisible because while on the primary MLS for Hampton, they weren't on the Richmond primary MLS. I've also seen where a property was put only into an MLS that received less than 1% of the MLS coverage for a particular city/county, virtually eliminating if not completely eliminating the typical exposure it would get to buyer feeds from agents.
Keep in mind that I am an agent, but not an appraiser. Even if I was an appraiser, 3 appraisers will typically give 3 different numbers on what a home is worth. Also if they're not each giving a range of value, they could easily all be wrong.
What agent you use and what marketing they perform can have a high impact on the sales price. For instance, an agent that doesn't put your home on the primary MLS of a location & doesn't have good photography won't receive as high of a value as one with >99% MLS exposure on multiple MLS including the top 4 MLS of a location, includes aerial photography, includes professional still photography, includes a Matterport virtual tour (all of which are available with me), etc. My CMA is based in part on my confidence in my marketing strategy. I once listed a property where over the course of listing we received 3 offers, all below an asking price which was above what I felt the home was worth. Against my recommendation, the seller rejected the highest offer. Soon after, it was listed by another agent. That agent had it listed for around a year and did multiple price reductions. Eventually it sold for a sales price $40k less than the offer that had been rejected. That agent was one of the top agents in VA. If they had listened to me, they may have saved much hassle and money.
How long will the appointment be?
I typically take longer than other listing appointments. I like to be thorough and detailed in all that I do.
While I can accommodate seller's preferences if they want things to go shorter or longer, my in-person listing appointments typically run:
between 2 & 3 hrs for homes 1.5k or less sq ft,
between 2.5-3.5 hrs for homes 1.5k-3k sq ft
between 3-4 hrs for homes 3k-6k sq ft
between 3.5-4.5 hrs for homes 6k-9k sq ft
between 4-6 hrs for homes 9k+ sq ft
Appointments tend to go outside of these timeframes if:
1. They tend to run shorter if I or the sellers have a tight schedule
2. A seller would prefer to ask a higher than typical amount of questions
3. I or the seller would prefer to table discussion on some items to another time (i.e. comparable sales, my marketing plan, etc.)
4. Many issues are present at the house and the home is not being sold as is
5. If running into the evening
Appointments to run shorter if:
Virtual appointments where the seller(s) isn't present.