FIRST AND FOREMOST…
In one of the most competitive markets in the world, having an experienced and well-connected real estate agent isn’t just helpful, it’s essential. Insights on demands and trends, access to an exclusive network of top agents, and innovative tools to give clients every advantage brings the freedom and empowerment to sell well.
Our signature transactions leverage unrivaled industry expertise with creative next-generation marketing that strategically positions clients for the best results. But beyond merely standing behind what we do and how we do it, we believe you’ll quickly discover a difference in who we are. By prioritizing relationships over transactions, we aim to make the journey through the real estate market feel less like a gauntlet and more like an adventure.
theFrontSteps Real Estate has key industry alliances to better advise clients in the negotiation and marketing involved with real property sales. Remaining at the forefront of real estate technology keeps clients a step ahead with up-to-the-minute information and vital market insights that can impact the bottom line.
Beyond the financial bottom line is the human one. This market is competitive, fast-paced, and even a bit intimidating, yet, behind the purchase or sale of every home is a real story of dreams and hopes of people we care about. We can’t wait to see where your story leads.
Alexander Clark, Realtor®
Pricing your property
YOUR PROPERTY IS UNIQUE
While it may be one of the first things you’ll want to talk about, the final decision about where to price your home will ultimately become clearer after we’ve done the work to make it market-ready.
Yes, the comparable sales figures for other homes in the area play a factor, but they might not be everything. We’ll look at all the variables, the location, the features, and the demand. But your property is unique and we’ll work with you to set a price that—
- Considers the best features of your home, as well as realistic drawbacks
- Gauges recent sales of comparable properties in your neighborhood
- Analyzes and reflects the price range that will attract the most qualified buyers
- Establishes your property’s fair market value in relation to current conditions
It is important to price your property correctly as it comes to market. Overpricing can pose significant challenges. If a reduction is later required, it can send a negative signal to buyers, even if the home is everything they’re seeking. When the circumstances warrant, we may consider an off-market period to test pricing which allows us to go public with a price we know will drive maximum interest.
WHO PAYS FOR WHAT
THE SELLER CUSTOMARILY PAYS:
- Real estate commission
- County transfer tax
- Document preparation for deed
- Documentary transfer tax (amount is dependent upon sales price)
- Payoff of all loans against the property
- Interest accrued on loans being paid off, reconveyance
fees and pre-payment penalties
- Home warranty (if specified in contract)
- Any judgment or tax liens against seller
- Property tax proration
- Unpaid homeowner’s dues (for condominiums)
- Bonds or assessments
- Delinquent taxes
- Move-out fees (for condominiums)
- Notary fees and recording fees
- Third party Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement & California Tax Disclosure Report
- Pre-sale pest inspection fee
- Underground storage tank report
- Energy & Water Conservation inspections & recording
- Miscellaneous charges
- City transfer tax:
More than $250 but less than $1,000,000,
the tax rate is $3.40 for each $500 or portion thereof; $1,000,000 or more but less than $5,000,000,
the tax rate is $3.75 for each $500 or portion thereof; $5,000,000 or more but less than $10,000,000,
the tax rate is $10.00 for each $500 or portion thereof; $10,000,000 or more,
the tax rate is $12.50 for each $500 or portion thereof.
What should I expect to pay in transfer tax?
THE BUYER CUSTOMARILY PAYS:
- Notary fees
- Title and Escrow fees
- Contractor’s and pest inspection fees
- All new loan charges (points, appraisal, document processing fees, etc.)
- Interest on new loan from date of funding to 30 days prior to the 1st payment date
- Home warranty
- Homeowner’s insurance for 1st year
- Earthquake insurance (optional)
- Private mortgage insurance (typically 2 months) if required by lender
- Private mortgage insurance impound account (1 year) if required by lender
- Property tax impound account if required by lender
- HOA account transfer fee
- Miscellaneous charges
- Sewer lateral bond
This list is a general guideline of charges and may not be wholly inclusive for your transaction.
Where buyers come from
What buyers deem very useful
Throughout the process of selling your home, we want you to keep living your life. Taking time off work or rearranging your schedule to accommodate a stream of vendors who will work to get your home market-ready is the last thing we want you worrying about. With your permission, we’ll gladly take on the role of coordinating projects, start and completion dates, overseeing work on-site, and ensuring tasks are performed to the highest standards.
Due to our high volume of listings, we are able to negotiate special pricing with many local vendors. These vendors are familiar with the type of work necessary to bring a home to market in the most cost-effective way. There is no markup or other referral fee from any vendor that works with our team and all savings are passed directly to you.
As part of our initial consultation, a well-considered plan for staging your home will help buyers love it for all the right reasons. Our top-notch list of qualified, talented designers and stagers know how to make a property shine. Investing in good staging can significantly drive up your sale price.
The importance of great pictures cannot be overestimated. When photography is done well, it conveys value, sets a desirable tone for your home, and compels discerning buyers to come see the space for themselves. Our skilled professional photographers know how to bring your home to life while making a great first impression on buyers in order to drive interest and demand.
Every effort to prepare your home for the market is designed to excite buyers and generate the highest possible price for your home. With this in mind, experience and statistics tell us that professionally staging your home is a must. Today’s buyer uses online search engines to quickly scroll through listings and photos for the places that catch their eye. The reality is, if your home doesn’t look amazing on a shopper’s screen, it may be passed over. The numbers are clear: Homes with staging spend 78%* less time on the market.
If the upfront cost seems steep, consider this: Well-staged properties typically earn back nearly twenty dollars for every one dollar invested. It’s the first and most important step you can take to ensure your listing gets the attention it deserves.
Good pictures should sell your home before a buyer ever steps foot in the door. We utilize a team of artistic photographers who understand how lighting, composition, framing, and details can bring a space to life. But the decision to purchase a home is almost always based on an emotional connection a buyer feels to the property. If the photos don’t make an impact from the moment your listing is featured online, we likely won’t get a second chance. From staging to photos, it’s all about helping your property stand out as something special.
Your Marketing Suite
Every piece of marketing reflects our passionate attention to detail and maximizes exposure in ways that make the biggest impact on buyers.
Your home’s property statements will be professionally designed and printed with an exceptional attention to quality and detail that sets your property apart from the competition.
Ninety percent of potential home buyers start their search online, both locally and abroad. Your home will be well- represented on every relevant online outlet including Zillow, Trulia, MLS, and others. We feature the best photos and create enticing written listing descriptions.
Listing syndication is a simple and efficient way to authorize distribution of listings to consumer-facing websites hosted by third parties.
OPEN HOUSE SHOWINGS
Busy open houses generate buzz and motivate buyers to jump quickly and aggressively on the home that everyone else seems to want. Our track record of successful open houses often contributes to a higher number of viable offers and boosts our strong sales statistics.
DESIGNED WITH BUYERS IN MIND
Our postcards are designed with buyers’ interests in mind. We know which features will pull people in with a desire to see more and we design the layout to reflect all the ways your home is exceptional.
HIGH QUALITY PRINTING
Our brochures are professionally printed on high quality paper. Special properties deserve marketing materials that stand out and let buyers know your home is unlike other, more ordinary offerings on the market.
A LASTING IMPRESSION
We print high-quality flyers in mass quantities to ensure that we have enough to display at open houses and mail to neighbors, past clients, and potential buyers. At the end of a long day of touring properties, we want buyers to remember your property as something special. The statements we hand to every person who walks through an open house will ensure your home stands out from the competition. From the professional photos to highlights of your home’s appealing features, our goal is to keep your property at the very top of buyers’ minds.
SINGLE PROPERTY WEBSITES
As we customize a marketing strategy for your home, we’ll consider whether creating a unique website with property details and photo galleries is beneficial. In this fast-paced market, these sites are often unnecessary. But if we agree that a devoted website would help build momentum and bring local and international attention to your home, then we’ll use our social media pages, network of past and potential buyers, and links on marketing materials to generate site visitors.
We’ll send an email alerting top agents in our area to your listing. Buyers’ agents jump to open these emails because they’re all trying to stay on top of inventory and get their eager clients into competitive properties ahead of the competition. We sell a lot of our homes through buyer’s agents we’ve known and worked with for years and as a result they pay attention when we alert them to an exciting new home on the market.
Ninety percent of home buyers start their search online, so you want your property to be seen all over the internet. As an added bonus for listing your property with me, you get the power of San Francisco’s most popular real estate blog working for you. theFrontSteps averages 400,000 readers annually, and its many followers include local news and entertainment writers, endless search engine traffic, and deep, industry-wide connections. Every listing posted on theFrontSteps gives you the type of market, media, and social networking coverage that’s just not available anywhere else. No other realtor offers you this service. My properties are consistently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, on SFGate, Curbed SF, SocketSite, and countless real estate forums and chat rooms that all lead buyers back to one place: a property that we need to sell for you.
NEW LISTING SYNDICATION NETWORK
No matter how stylish, easy-to-use and full of information a website is, the average real estate brokerage doesn’t get 5 million visitors a month. Those millions of website visits are amassed on national portals and search engines, such as the ones listed below. By syndicating your listings so they appear on those channels, your listings will get exposure to those consumers.
OPEN HOUSE SHOWINGS
Much has been written about both the benefits and drawbacks of open houses, but there is a lot to be said for showing your home in this way. Here are just three reasons that an open house might result in a sale:
1. It draws potential buyers who might not take the time to book a showing through their agent. Some buyers feel they should find something they love first, and then bring the agent in to lock down a deal. Open houses also mean casting the widest net possible in bringing people through the door. Your friends and family can mention the event to anyone they know who might be interested in taking a look at your home. Neighbors who drop by might just be angling to have someone they know move into your neighborhood. Add in advertising and signage, and you’re going to catch the eye of both casual and serious prospective buyers.
2. If you are still living there, you can set the scene – your way. When prospective homebuyers stop by your home for a traditional showing, they often do it with little notice, which is why it can be stressful keeping your home “show ready” for the entire duration that it is on the market. It can be very consuming to keep wastebaskets emptied and floors free of clutter, ensure that the laundry doesn’t pile up, and make certain that floors are routinely swept and vacuumed. With an open house, you’ll be able to prepare for an event that has the potential to bring in many prospective buyers with one fell swoop. It’s much easier to do some deep cleaning that will leave your home spotless if you know exactly when people will be visiting.
3. You could lock in that interested buyer. There’s likely a limit to the number of times even the most interested buyer is willing to ask for a private showing. If your house has already caught the eye of a potential buyer, he or she might be more willing to come back for a second look in a less formal setting. An open house gives that buyer the opportunity to bring friends or family along for their opinions. And as a bonus, walking through an open house provides a visitor with plenty of time to look around without feeling rushed – during the hours that you choose.
By working strategically with your real estate agent to schedule and organize a successful open house, you may just get a jump start on that sale.