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Preparing Your Home For Sale in Austin, Texas.

Ryan Rodenbeck

Ryan started in Austin real estate as an investor in 2001. He looked at all investment opportunities — Austin foreclosures, condos, homes for sale...

Ryan started in Austin real estate as an investor in 2001. He looked at all investment opportunities — Austin foreclosures, condos, homes for sale...

Feb 26 16 minutes read

Preparing Your Home For Market

If you want to get top dollar for your Austin home, it's important to present the property well. When getting a home ready for market we at Spyglass Realty have a system. If you want to know how to get top-dollar for your property, watch the video below! 

Preparing Your Home For Sale. 


Ryan Rodenbeck:  Have you ever wondered what steps you need to take to prepare your home for market? My name is Ryan Rodenbeck. I'm the broker for Spyglass Realty and this is my associate Matt Edwards and we're going to cover that on today's show.

Matt Edwards: Now that the client knows that they want to sell their home, what is the first step for them and their agent to do to prepare the home to be listed?

Ryan: Yeah, so the first thing that you want to do is get your timeline set, figure out what day you're going to actually want to sell and the reason this is really important is because you know, if you're following our advice, we like to list most of our properties throughout the year between January to May, ok? And if you look at it, the seasonality or market report and that'll be in the description box below the video. There is a seasonality of the market consisting of the best time to sell in Austin, which are February, March, April and May, ok? So you want to get that timeline set.

Matt: What then needs to be done to start preparing, you know, do they need to start like six weeks out, four weeks out, you know, what's kind of the timeline and what's kind of that first initial step to get this done?

Ryan: Yeah, that's a great question. We like to air on the longer that you have, the better. The very first thing you're going to get done is, schedule the staging consultation. We are big believers in the staging process and you know, at Spyglass Realty, we’re such believers in this process and we included with our service at no additional cost. So the very first thing you do is schedule the stager, come out and do the staging consultation.

Matt: Staging house station up. What does that entail?

Ryan: So the stager is going to go in and I like to call this kind of like a business plan for your home, right? And what she's going to do is go through, you know, first work at the curb appeal on the home, on the very outside of it. Things that need to be done, you know, as far as flower gardens and landscaping and painting doors, things along those lines and then she's going to go into the house and go room by room and she’ll have a page of things that need to be moved, things that need to be repaired or things that need to be upgraded if there's a budget for that, ok? And you know, when it comes to staging, you know, the more that you can do the better. If the stager has communication with the listing agent on, you know, what the situation is with the seller, you know, the listing agent probably already talked about this. They're already got some kind of idea. Then what would the stager's going to do is let's say it's, you know, the House has been remodeled 10 years ago and it's got this granite that couldn’t be replaced, right? She's going to communicate with the listing agent and they're going to see, alright, if we were to spend $5,000 on replacing the granite counters, how is that going to impact the sale? OK? So the way that we look at things is, you know, she will take them the staging consultation form and put everything that needs to be done on there. Communicate with the agent to see if these three things can be done, is it going to affect the price? Is it going to, is a return on investment going to be worth what they put in.

Matt: Deployment via staging is to maximize value in the home, right?

Ryan: Yeah. It’s to maximize the value, it's to eliminate any objections. You know, our stagers are certified in psychological staging, ok? And what that means is we want them to go in and imagine, we want the buyer to go in and imagine themselves in that home, right? So they don't want to see anyone else's family and this is, the studies have shown that this really works and we've seen it time and time again. We want to depersonalize the home. We want to remove religious paraphernalia, you know, this is a multi-cultural city. There's lots of religions that are coming here that may not be in line with your own. It would just take all that out and we're going to show it like a model home, right? And then make sure it's decluttered as well. Less is more in most cases.

Matt: So yeah, definitely, so it sounds like definitely declutter, organize, and then stage.

Ryan: Yeah, that's right.

Matt: Say somebody's watching this in home and they don't have access to the Spyglass and our interior designers and the consultation. What two rooms, should they focus on putting money if they wanted to try to tackle this on their own and they didn't have the resources available to them?

Ryan: Well, yeah. So you know, with staging with us, a lot of renovation comes with it, right? So I think if you're going to put a budget into, you know, what renovations are going to make the most bang for your buck is definitely going to be the kitchen and the master bath, right? Those are things that people who really want to see updated if possible and that's where the, you know, most of your money goes to make a big impact.

Matt: What do you do or how do you work with the sellers to coordinate, you know, the work getting done on time, on a budget, things like that.

Ryan: So that's tough when you don't have experience with it. With our company, we facilitate all that before the client and they don't have to worry about it, right? We don't push that on them. We don't make any money on that, right? We only make the money when we sell the home, but we've also found that if we were to give our customers is big list and say here, go hire a contractor. It's overwhelming, so we want to take them from an A to Z on this process. So we use our contractors that we've used time and time again. It's not a perfect process, 100% percent of the time, but in almost every case it's going to be better than the homeowner trying to figure this out themselves. So they answer your question. We do it for them and if you're working with a different agent, I think you need to be, have the expectation that agent's going to be able to guide you in that process.

Matt:  You know, go in and figure out what needs to be done, you know, hire the appropriate contractors. All the client has to do is pay that bill-

Ryan: Yeah.

Matt:-we coordinate everything and then as far as staging goes, what type of staging services, you know, you provide any furniture or anything like that?

Ryan: Yeah, good question and so the answer to that is when we stage a home that's occupied, what we'll do is we try to use, the seller's furniture first, ok?

Matt: Ok.

Ryan: And the way that we do that is we'll go through and see what other furniture works and we've gone to homes where people just don't have that sense of style and we've only taken a couple of things and we said, look, move everything out to the garage or a storage unit and we'll cover the rest and if we're working with a homeowner that does not have any furniture, maybe they moved or they want to move to apartment while they are looking for a home, that happens, then we'll stage it for them. A lot of times at other companies there's a cost associated with that. With us, there's not but you just need to know about that.

Matt: Good, because that was my next question. How much does it cost? So it sounds like it's included in the listing under it.

Ryan: It is included with us. Now I will tell you that it's becoming more common for a consultation to be included but with most companies, it's a very limited consultation. They don't do any renovations or they don’t do much but with us we cover all of that stuff and quite frankly, you said something about, you know, being turn key. It's not always turn key but with a top producing great real estate company, it should be. So, you know, if you're not in Austin and you're looking for a company that's going to do the best job for you, you know, consult this video and ask questions about what's included because not everything that we include is going to be included everywhere else but the agent you should you hire should be able to guide you through the process of the renovation, the staging and all of that, and they should have vendors. That's what a top producing quality agents does.

Matt: So you know, for out of state, the people watching this video, it sounds like they should definitely interview multiple agents, find out what services-

Ryan: Services are included in the listing.

Matt: -included, yeah, listing and I guess not necessarily focus on what agent comes in and says, “Hey, your home's worth $10,000 over the next staging.” You know, it sounds like the goal of staging and getting it ready to sell is to generate awareness for the home.

Ryan:  Absolutely value. You'd get a whole another discussion about pricing but when it comes to preparing your home, the basics are you’re wanting to hire an agent, that’s going to help you from A to Z, right? It's not going to give you all a whole bunch of stuff. You have to go figure it out on your own, right? And you can find that in any market in the country.

Matt: Homes ready to go.

Ryan: Homes ready to go.

Matt: What's next? What's the next, you know?

Ryan: Yeah. So the next step is you complete all the items on the list. I mean, you do have your own, we don't do everything for you. We don't, you know, remove all the stuff. We don’t have furniture movers, although the girls do move their furniture in but we, you know, you're going to have to find a place to, you know, take your pictures and store them and you know, the furniture that we're not going to use, you're going to put that in storage

You're going to declutter, depersonalize, you're going to make sure that the vendors have access to the house for painting or anything that we do along those lines and then after that, the very next thing is to schedule the photos and the videos.

Matt: Everybody in today's world has an app, Zillow, you know, by far the Zillow's the highest traffic, real estate, website app out there on the market and we've all come across homes with bad pictures or no videos. How important is it to get a professional photographer and video done?

Ryan: Yeah, it's the most important thing you can do, right? I mean, you don't even, you know, don’t even get a staging appointment if you're not going to follow it up with great photography and great video. So, you know, when it comes to video, that's a pretty new thing, you know, it's been building in real estate in the last two or three years. We've become big proponents of it for several reasons.

 1. you know, homes on a website that have video or homes on Facebook or homes on YouTube have a 400% higher engagement rate, ok? Which is very, very important.

Matt: That's huge.

Ryan: Yeah. Another reason that we do that is because Zillow is going to push the listings to the very top with the video. Now here's the difference. Any agent can get the Zillow premiere app and walk through the home with their iPhone or Android, but it's going to be shaky video, right? So what we do is we get, we either get a production team in there and they're going to shoot a high-quality video or even a lower priced listings. I’ve got a 4k go pro with a stabilizer so that we can at least get high-quality image that isn't shaky so that when the video is pushed to the top with Zillow that people actually want, you know, they like it, they see as high quality, they want to click on the listing and get more information that gives you more exposure on your own. Now we're talking about scheduling the photos and the video. You can't put the video onto Zillow until it's actually listed, ok?

Matt: Ok.

Ryan: So in the last thing that we do in the preparing your home process-

Matt: Alright.

Ryan: -is you know, you're wanting to allow five to seven days for coming soon pre MLS status.

Matt: What do you do in the lead up to the going live day?

Ryan: Yeah.

Matt: Then how does that translate into opening weekends?

Ryan: Yeah. So the reason, first of all, the reason we do coming soon is not so that we can let people in your house and sell it off in the market. In fact, we adamantly advise against that, right? You'll see a lot of agents saying, I sold a home off-market. That's really nothing to brag about because it doesn't give the market a chance to respond to the property. What we're doing is building demand, ok? We used to do it two weeks in advance. Now we do it five to seven days in advance. So we target that day that we're going to list, which is always Thursday afternoon. We've been doing this for five years, there has been about three articles come out in the last two years that say Thursday is the best day to list because the automatic searches that agents have by default and it's not changing, doesn’t change, manually has the listing's going out the next morning at 5:00 AM. So if we list Thursday afternoon, they get it Friday morning. If you list Friday afternoon, they get it Saturday morning, so we list on Thursday afternoon and so you back from their five to seven days and you do the following things, ok?

You're going to do a Facebook ad that brings traffic to the site. You're going to do an E-flyer to as many agents as possible in that area, ok? You're going to list on Zillow as coming soon, which has to be done manually. Your agent has to have a premier account, right? It's not automatic. And then, you're going to list in Facebook agent only groups on Facebook. OK? And then the last thing that we do, we do a blog with the photos, the video, and the five things we love about this home. All right? The reason we do that is that we want to build an audience and Google analytics so that if we don't sell that home the very first weekend, then we can retarget that. Kind of like when you go to Amazon or home depot and you look at an appliance and it starts following you around. We're doing that with listings. It’s very cutting edge. I mean, the idea was we want the whole coming soon, is it we want to build the demand and that when we open that floodgate hopefully on Thursday afternoon that we have people running into each other, but we also want to take the steps that if we don't sell it that first weekend we can properly retarget and everyone looked at it. That makes sense?

Matt: It does. It does.

 And so the home goes live on Thursday. All the pre marketing's done. Open houses that weekend.

Ryan: Yeah.

Matt: Do or any ads, run or anything, what's done to kind of help promote the opening weekend open houses.

Ryan:  Well, ok, we're going to go over that, you know, I'm glad you said that's a topic we’re going to go over that in our next video before we take off for the day. I want to show you that, we have the five essential tips for selling your home in the description box. You can click on the link right here to go to our next video, which are the steps to list your home that you and your listing agent need to take. So we will see you right here on this channel in the very next video.


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