1. Why should I list with you rather than any other agent?
Because I am knowledgeable and savvy, I am super accessible, and I have great resources and connections. Tony Soprano is my cousin!

But seriously, you should choose an agent whom you know you can trust, as they will be your principal advocate during a major, life-changing process. Please call me to set up an initial consult, so you can see if we’re a match.

2. What is your strategy for selling a house?
A tutu… a sandwich board… I will do whatever it takes to give your house maximum exposure so we can sell it for the best price. I’m backed by all the marketing resources of Windermere, the powerhouse in Northwest realty. Ask me to show you my Master Marketing Plan when we meet for an initial consultation.

3. When is the best season to put a house on the market?
Spring is traditionally when more houses come on the market. In some ways it’s better to list in a less competitive time, though just before a major holiday is not smart as there won’t be too many folks around to see it—or they will be wanting to join you for Thanksgiving Dinner.

4. How much will it cost to sell my home?
The costs usually add up to 8 – 8 ½ percent for everything including excise tax, title and escrow fees, other taxes and the real estate fee. If you sell it on your own, you will have to lay out about 2 – 4 percent in taxes and fees, plus legal fees should the deal go awry.

5. What should I do to maximize the sales value of my house?
Make sure that your house is in good shape before you put it on the market. That may seem obvious but there may be many things that you have overlooked. If you have owned it for less than 10 years, dig up your inspection report and see if you did all the things your inspector recommended. Chances are you did not. Better still, have a new inspection so you can resolve all the issues before a pesky inspector calls them. You can leave the new report for prospective buyers to see, so they know you are up front about stuff.

However, if you have an old funky house like mine and don’t want to know all the problems or can’t afford to fix them, there is still a lot you can do to attract buyers and maximize your sales price.

  • The roof: Clean off all the moss, which usually congregates on the shadiest side of the house. Even if your roof is fairly new, moss makes it look old, not quaint. Laundry detergent is an excellent moss killer, and it’s non-toxic if you use the politically correct kind. You need to sprinkle it on the roof and leave it there for a few days, preferably when the weather is dry. It really works. Of course, you do have to scrape the dead moss off – it doesn’t just evaporate.
  • If you have a crawl space, make sure you have a thick black plastic vapor barrier covering the whole area and get rid of any debris, especially rotting wood.
  • There should be no earth-to-wood contact on the outside of the house, so move dirt and plants away.
  • If you have wood floors and they need refinishing, it can add several thousand dollars to the value of your house. It can also be a big hassle if you are still living there, so you have to weigh the pros and cons.
  • If you can create more rooms (i.e., finish the basement or the attic), that will add value.
  • Cosmetic touches go a long way – a fresh coat of paint, pots of flowers on the front steps and the deck, fresh flowers in the house, chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven! (Hey – you might even be able to buy a cookie-scented spray. Better yet, invent one—you’ll make millions!)
  • If the house is empty, have it staged. Even light staging can help with a house that is unoccupied. I have great resources for that.

6. What should I do to make the experience as low stress as possible?
Go away! Usually the first few days your house is on the market are the busiest, so that’s a great time to leave town. If you can’t do that for your own sanity, set specific times for agents and their clients to see the house, so you can keep some boundaries.

Sellers’ FAQs