Southern Maryland Best Buys


It takes a STRATEGY to sell a home for top dollar.

I particularly like the way this posts highlights the way sellers choose, even in a brisk market, to do the hard work to maximize the appearance and condition of their home to maximize their return on investment. Systems work! Sounds like this is a perfect plan to represent a Seller to the MAX!

Strategy and Marketing signThe Fair Oaks home market has gone berserk in the past 6 or 7 months.  We've gone from a tough, declining market with homes taking forever to sell (6 months average in April 2012), to one where gobs of buyers swarm every listing, vying for the right to buy - like salmon up a fish ladder.  Homes go into the MLS, only to flash the PENDING sign within hours. (Our average is now 23 days to sell!)

But is a quick acceptance the best way to get top dollar?  Heck NO!  In THIS market "Sold in 1 day!" means you had no strategy!

My last 7 listings sold within 10 days, and all sold WAY over the list price.  Way over the price that made sense.  And way over the appraisal, in most cases.

How did I do it, you ask?  Strategy!

First, I price them where they make sense.  I study the comps, the price per square foot, the competition.  I analyze the specific sold homes an appraiser would most likely use.  That's where I price them. Not high, but not low. Just right.

Then I bait the hook.  Staging, primping, decluttering, and professional photography.  They have to look sharp. Then I write good descriptions - written to entice. My listings look awesome in the MLS, and then are shotgunned out to a gazillion places on the WEB.  I'm all over the web! I usually will enter them into the MLS on a Tuesday or Wednesday, for optimal timing. I plan to look at offers the following Tuesday or Wednesday.

I schedule open houses for the first weekend - sometime two a day.  I want every buyer out there to have access to my listing that first week, with time to think about it, and time to bring Mom back, or their contractor.  I don't want a hastily written offer. Make sure you want it.

Usually by Friday I'll have my first offer.  Predictably low.  A bottom feeder.  Someone loking for a deal.  Or a big investment group. But something to work with.

Then I wait. I tell agents we'll consider offers the following Tuesday. Then I start reeling 'em in.

"Hi, this is Suzie Q Realtor, do you have any offers on Podunk Street?" Yep I got one. Presenting on Tuesday, so bring me your best and final offer by Monday night."

By the weekend, I'll have more, and by Monday night it usually shocks me.  This past Tuesday, I presented fourteen offers to my client.  Six were all cash, most had a pleading letter, and many were over the listed price.  The last offer began like this "My client is interested in Podunk Street, do you have any offers?" Yep, I got 13.  But you have time. I'm presenting to my client in 35 minutes, so make it good!

So think about it! You know that 13 other people like the house and want to buy it.  You better make it REALLY good.  And they did. WAY over the list price, no appraisal contingency, proof of a ton of money in the bank, and a self-imposed penalty if his loan caused any delay in closing! Now THAT was a strong offer.

And my sellers??? Over the moon happy.  "We picked you because you were the only agent we talked to who had a strategy. and you were RIGHT!  Your strategy WORKED!"

As my Dad would say, "It's like shooting fish in a barrel!"

But you gotta have a STRATEGY!




Your Fair Oaks Realtor for homes for sale in Fair Oaks and the Sacramento Area of California.... I'm your gal (Sally Dunbar). I'm occasionally knowledgable, periodically humorous, and always willing to tell you everything I know.  What more could you ask for?

Here are the newest listings for Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Carmichael

Sally's Website at to search for all homes in the MLS, and for tons of information for buyers and sellers.  You'll find schools information, market statistics... you name it, I got it!  Come visit me.More Blog posts by Sally Dunbar at



Sally Dunbar, 30 year Broker Associate, Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks, CA (916) 535-0356, "Your Fair Oaks Realtor"


You'll "Retrieve Golden Results" with Cheryl Ritchie, RE/MAX Leading Edge, for all your Southern Maryland and Anne Arundel County Real Estate Services.
OR Call/Text Cheryl at Cell 301-970-7566 OR EMail for the Golden Results YOU Deserve.
Visit my Digital Business Card at

Or Visit my "Golden Results" Social Networking Sites

RSS Feed
Comment balloon 4 commentsCheryl Ritchie • June 14 2013 03:01PM
It takes a STRATEGY to sell a home for top dollar.
I particularly like the way this posts highlights the way sellers choose, even in a brisk market, to do the hard work to maximize the appearance and condition of their home to maximize their return on investment. Systems work! Sounds like this is a… more
My Guardian Angel
This post stayed on my mind a few days. We each have our stories. I can rattle off a few that put goose bumps on you. How about you? Sometimes the only way you can explain an incredible experience is to frame it this way. There is no other… more
My Best Techo Secret for Real Estate Seminars
I've been thinking about this concept but this agent is already doing it. I was thinking in terms of taking the Apple TV device to a consumer's home to demo a Listing Presentation. I was stumped on the awkward hookup step to their TV set. This… more
Check out the list of stressors in this well written post. I have had a lot of Senior clients the last few years. It takes extra patience, slowing everything down, listening better and toning down the tech tools so you are speaking and presenting… more
What Will The Buyers Focus On? The Great Vaulted Ceilings Or
Remove the deer head, the collectibles, the clutter, the things that put YOU in the house but leave everybody else out. No distractions from seeing the home is a good policy. Neutrals needed. Nothing political. Nothing visceral. Think about… more
Oh, You Don't Eat Gluten… So You Think You're Better Than Me.
This is really an interesting post. I am reading a book about this plus trying to do the outside perimeter of the grocery store. In other words, fresh fruit and vegetables. Gone are the boxes and bags with lists of ingredients. After a while, fruit… more
It can be just ONE thing that makes the sale
That's the WOW moment. That's tha ooooooohhhhh sound. That's the awwwwwww time. No matter what the exclamation, you know when you have found the home. When that is missing, the right home is still not found yet. You each just know because you are… more
Can Using Video In Real Estate Help Set Your Offer Apart From Others?
Now this is interesting! This is the first time I have heard of a video presentation before on an offer to purchase a home. It sure would make one stand out in a multiple contract scenario. This trumps a letter for novelty. Have you tried this… more
Top 5 Features Buyers Crave Most in a Home
This most make you realize the importance of making sure these five items are aLos highlighted boldly in the listing for the home. The cable tv and Internet last line item especially made me realize this point. The garage importance is … more
The technology "secret" I will share with you…
This is a really good idea to use with a child leaving school or an agent leaving to show lots of properties. What ideas would you add to the list? Think of the safety of this concept. It could routinely be used with family members. It could also… more