“That Sure Went Fast”

“The harder you work, the luckier you get”
–Samuel Goldwyn

One of the things that can happen when a home sells fast — like my listing near Lake Calhoun two weeks ago — is that people attribute it to luck.

Well, actually, no.

I like to tell clients that, to a realtor, a listing is like an iceberg: the part below the water consists of all the things that happen, behind-the-scenes, in the weeks (and often, months) leading up to the home’s formally coming on the market.

The part sticking out of the water is what’s visible to the public once the home is actually for sale.

In that vein, here is a partial list of things I did in my capacity as listing agent to ensure that my clients’ Lake Calhoun home would fetch top dollar, quickly:

–Promoted the home via email to 3,000 Edina Realty agents in early September, to let them know about the home and that it would be coming on the market in early Oct.

–Had the home professionally staged; coordinated with the stager to have the home profiled in the Star Tribune real estate section the week it hit the market.

–Had the home professionally photographed, complete with a virtual tour using streaming photos for people browsing real estate listings on the Web.

–Featured the home on my Web site (https://rosskaplan.com/) and this blog.

–Did a mailing (1st class postage) complete with a cover letter and marketing literature to 150 neighboring homes in late September, giving them a “heads up” that the home would be coming on the market in a week, and inviting them to the first Sunday open house.

–Got 50 real estate agents to attend the Tuesday broker open by heavily promoting it beforehand with voicemail and email, and at Edina Realty City Lakes office meetings.

–Carefully priced the home after touring nearby, competing homes; soliciting colleagues’ price opinions; and analyzing sales activity and trends nearby the past three years.

–Ran ads with photos in three publications promoting the new listing, and the first Sunday open house.

–Collaborated with a professional desktop publisher to design custom marketing literature highlighting the home’s unique architectural features.

–Encouraged my clients to buy a home warranty covering their functioning-but-dated mechanicals and appliances, then incorporated that feature into the home’s marketing materials.

Note that all those things happened before the first prospective Buyer walked through my clients’ front door.

So what happened next? My clients got a strong offer the first two days, which they ultimately accepted after a brief negotiation.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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