John Kelly
(651) 238-5649

Why Did These Homes All Sell?


I thought it would be helpful to show you several homes that I've sold recently, and discuss the reasons that buyers chose these houses over other similar homes.

Recently I sold this home near Lake Nokomis in South Minneapolis.  I have stagers who help make homes look great, but these sellers didn't need that.  When I met with them to list their home, they were already prepared for my professional photographers to come through.  According to the buyers, the stunning online photos are really what got them interested in this home.  They saw the pictures on one of the thousands of websites that index my listings and immediately called the Prudential Sundial Realty agent who was representing them.  They wrote an offer within 2 days of listing the home.  It didn't hurt that my reduced fees allowed the sellers to price this home competitively.  Also, my sellers knew that they would be receiving a cash rebate upon buying their next home, so they were in a position to price this home where it would sell, and still have plenty of cash to make their purchase of a larger home make sense for them.  For pricing their home for a little less than other similar homes, my sellers were rewarded by receiving multiple offers, selling their home in 2 days for more than list price, and receiving a cash rebate on the purchase of their new home in Mendota Heights.

Here's another South Minneapolis home with a similar story.  It was an Edina Realty agent representing the buyer, and it took all of two weeks to sell.  Like the other home, it received multiple offers, sold quickly for more than full price, and the buyers mentioned the photos they found online to be instrumental in generating their interest in the home.  Again, because these sellers were paying much less than other brokers would charge, they were able to price their home to sell while neighboring properties languished.

Wow, here's another one from South Minneapolis.  That's not bad for an agent who doesn't really specialize in Minneapolis.  I specialize in Saint Paul and it's surrounding suburbs.  But this next home helps prove the point that my low commissions and full service can help my clients sell their home in any community.  Like the other two South Minneapolis homes, this home sold very fast, attracted multiple offers, and received more than full price.

The following home on Saint Paul Avenue is an interesting story.  It shows that I'm not done learning from my clients.  My seller wanted to list this home with a home warranty on it.  I used to sell a lot of home warranties back in the 1980's, but I had stopped selling them.  They cost $425, and until recently my listings were selling well without a warranty.  I believed that buyers would just purchase their own warranty if they really saw a lot of value in having one.  Of course most warranties also protect the seller while the home is listed, but when my listings were all selling in less than a month, that portion of the warranty wasn't as valuable as it is today.  After all of my objections, my seller really wanted a warranty, so I lowered my commission by enough so that she could have the protection at no cost to herself.  To make a long story short, she was right and I was wrong.  Because of the warranty rider at the bottom of the for sale sign, I received way more inquiries than I was getting on similar properties.  Then the buyer mentioned that the home warranty was one of the reasons he looked at this home.  Not only did the warranty help sell the home, it saved my seller from a large repair bill, and a delayed closing.  The day before the closing when the buyer and his agent (from Edina Realty) were doing the final walk through, they noticed that the gas stove in the 4 season porch wasn't working.  Because of the warranty, we were able to quickly and affordably take care of the issue.  Currently I am placing HMS Warranties on all of my listings at my expense.  It has been shown to help homes sell faster and for more money, and to protect my sellers from large bills and delayed closings.

The next property was an estate sale, and it required more than a discounted commission to sell.  Before listing it, my stager spent extensive time with the sellers.  She helped them choose paint colors, carpeting, tile, and countertops. Then my photographer got some great pictures of the interior.

Until recently, having a nicely staged property with plenty of good pictures online was enough to generate a lot of interest.  But in this market, homes have to be priced to sell.  This particular property was a beautiful one level townhome in Eagan, but it only had one bedroom.  There were absolutely no recently sold comparable properties to use to establish a listing price.  We did the next best thing, which was to see what similar homes in this development sold for a few years ago, and then we priced the home at what we thought was a significant discount.  It didn't work.  Not only wasn't it sold, we weren't getting the number of showings that appropriately priced homes get.  We knew we needed to get more agents through the home.  Even if they didn't sell the home we wanted their feedback.  To get more agents through the home, I did two things.  I held a well advertised broker open house.  And I offered a $1000 bonus to the selling agent.  I had over 50 agents from several agencies come through the open, and we used their feedback to price the home more appropriately.  The new price and the selling bonus got us an immediate increase in showing volume and the home sold soon after to a buyer represented by Edina Realty.

This next home sale provides an example of my flexible commission structure selling a home. 

When you list with most companies, you are obligated to pay a commission (usually 6%) regardless of how the buyer is found.  This is a big turnoff to FSBO's, and other sellers who think they might be able to help find a buyer themselves.  All of my listing contracts can be canceled at any time for any reason.  So if you find a buyer while your home is listed with me you have two options.  You can cancel the contract and be free to work with your buyer, and owe nothing to me.  Or I will handle the negotiations, paper work, and all other aspects of the transaction for 1% of the sale price.  I can afford to do this because I am not paying another agency for finding the buyer.  In this Eagan townhome, the seller found a buyer at her place of employment.  The buyer wanted to offer about 3% less than what I had the townhome listed for.  But she was a preapproved buyer who could close at my sellers convenience, and with a 1% commission all of the numbers made sense for my seller.

The next three properties have a lot in common.

You might be wondering what a large two story in the Evermoor Development in Rosemount, an older home in Mac Groveland, and an almost new townhome in Highland Park could have in common.  All three properties were purchased right before home prices began to fall.  And all three owners needed to relocate.  Maybe the properties don't look similar, but the needs of the sellers were almost identical.  All three sellers knew they had to list their homes for less than they had invested.  They interviewed other agents from more expensive companies and got the same advice--"you need to price your home competitively."  All three sellers found it ironic that the fees these agents were going to charge made it impossible to take their very good advice.  By using my reduced fees all three sellers were able to sell their homes fast.  They didn't make any money, but they were able to relocate and move on with their lives.

Please call me at 651-238-5649 if you have any questions.  My low fees, aggressive marketing, and free home warranties can help you sell your home.
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