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For Sellers

How my 1.5% Listing Program Works

"Selling Your Home"

I have an awesome listing program that can't be beat! We work really hard to sell your home- you have two of us working on it- we advertise twice a week on Craig's List, it's featured on realtor.com, it gets all the regular advertising most realtors do- the sign, the lock box, the flyers- it's on rmls- we are available to answer our cell phones all day every day and one of us can always show your house..and you only pay us 1.5% How is that possible?

I've been doing it now for 3 years- before Haskin even got famous! And it works really well. Here is a more detailed list of what I do and how I do it

What do I do for 1.5%?

  We list your house for just 1.5% About 25% of our listings we sell ourselves! So our sellers pay a total of 1.5% How do we do this? Here is our business plan- what we do- and below that, you will find out what my business strategy is - that your house will be sold quickly, easily- and cheaply!

The most important thing that I do is that I put at least 20 high quality photos of your house on my website- www.PortlandCreativeRealtors.com Then I direct everyone to my website- through lots of different types of advertising- so they will see the extra photos. Everyone wants to see more photos if they can easily click on them, so we always have a lot of hits on our website..between 3000 and 6000 hits per day! Then when the people get to the website- and see the cool photos, they usually email or call us with questions, and we schedule a showing!

How do I get people to go to my website so they will ask me to show them your house?

•  The sign and flyers tell people to go to website to see more photos

•  We advertise on Craig's List twice a week and have a link to my website to see extra photos

•  We advertise on Portland Back Page and direct people to my webite to see extra photos

•  I pay $1700 per year to have my listings featured on realtor.com which gives people a link to my website to see extra photos

•  My website gets between 3000 and 6000 hits per day and we put at least 20 photos of your house on it- plus the address, description and the rmls number!

•  We put it on trulia.com - a really cool new website

•  We are just starting to put it out on Zillow.com because they are now allowing realtors to put their listings out there on it! We are always trying new things- so if you know of another internet advertising site- let us know and we will try it!

•  My husband is my webguy and keeps busy putting on all the new photos of my listings and keeping everything up to date

•  We check twice a week on everyone who has shown your house- we register the lockbox on rmls so we can see which realtors have been there- we email them the listing and ask for feedback- we mail you any feedback we get so you can keep your finger on what is going on

•  We just started doing Virtual Flyers- which are really cool- and have room for lots of photos. We put these out on Craig's list plus they are sent out to Google and other search engines.

•  We just paid a lot of money to have our website sent out to all the major search engines- so it will get even more traffic.

•  I co-list all my houses with one of my daughters- so you will always have 2 of us available to answer questions and do showings.

Here are the other important things that most other realtors do and we do them too

•  Put it out on RMLS, realtor.com and all the other realtor sites- like Coldwell Banker, John L Scott, Windermere etc etc.

•  Put up a sign, lockbox, flyer box, take high quality digital photos edited with Photoshop, make high quality color flyers

•  Show your home, negotiate all offers, qualify buyers, handle the inspection, repair negotiations, escrow, appraisal, and all paperwork and all the problems!

What can I offer that is so unique?

I have been a realtor for 10 years- am a multimillion dollar diamond producer , am a go-getter and am willing to work 24-7 to make sure your get awesome service!

  • I work all over the Portland Metro area- have experience in N, NE, SE, and the West side- including the suburbs- have lived here for 14 years.
  • I am a professional/amateur photographer , and a writer by trade- so you get awesome photos and write-ups!
  • I've remodeled and made money on a lot of houses myself- doing the electrical, plumbing, sheetrock, woodworking, additions etc. I worked at the Tigard Home Depot for 5 years and taught classes on electrical, plumbing, and all kinds of remodeling - even teaching the Electrical class at Home Depot University. And although I would never presume to be an expert, or to take the place of a professional Home Inspector, I have a good eye for problems and potential, and can help you decide what repairs will add value to your home, and which ones won't.

What else will I do for you?

    • I handle the showings- If you list the house yourself- you have to be on call at all times, and let strangers into your house! It's kind of a scary prospect! If I list your house , I handle all the showings . Either I will show it, or another realtor will show it. You don't have to be there at all! I also put up the sign, put on the lockbox, make the flyers and keep the flyer box full! You can just relax and get on with your life!
    • I have been an avid photographer since I was a kid- use both a Cannon Rebel and a 4 mega-pixel digital with video capacity. I edit the photos in Photoshop or Fireworks- am very picky about the quality- and thus show your home at it's best both online and in the flyers. I think it's the photos and write-up that bring the buyers! And I make sure my photos are top notch! 8 of the photos go on the realtor website- the rest go on my website- which is linked to it. This gives both realtors and buyers access to all the photos right from their computer!
    • I am also a writer by trade ! So my descriptions are vividly descriptive! Both buyers and realtors can get a good idea of all of your home's best features by reading my ads.
    • I also do lots of creative advertising - and get a lot of action that way.  I have been selling homes really fast!  Over the winter I sold 24 homes!!!  I make sure they are marketed right- so they sell quickly!
    • I do all the paper work, negotiations and handle all the problems that invariably come up. I am a trained and experienced professional , and will be handling one of your most valuable investments. It takes a lot of expertise and experience to make sure everything goes ok. In today's world, there is so much more to selling a house and closing it. Inspections are rigorous, lenders and appraisors are more particular, and many times the Title Company has issues that have to be dealt with at the last moment. I am used to all of this- and stay on top of it to make sure your home will close on schedule and your interests are protected!

Conclusion

  If you list your home with me, you will get high quality service for a super discount price. I can probably get you a much higher price for your house than you would get doing it yourself- and I handle all the nitty-gritty, leaving you free to live your life! If you would like me to come out and take a look at your house- and discuss how I will market it- just let me know! You can call me at 503-998-4429 or email me at

helen.hoyt@comcast.net

 

My Business Plan and Philosophy- how I came up with this idea

There is a method to my madness! I spent so much time for several years doing the things that all realtors have been doing for a long time- that we all know just don't work or pay off anymore..like sitting at Open Houses, putting in an expensive black and white ad in the Oregonian that doesn't show anything..or in one of those little real estate guides. It's something that is expected- and it is why most realtors have to charge so much.to pay for all the useless things they feel they have to do. Plus most of them have a high desk fee, or franchise fee to pay- and their overhead is really high. Thus you have the 6% listing that realtors feel they have to charge.

I've always been a free thinker, a free spirit...creative! So I sat and thought about all this as I used to sit at those open houses no one came to. I realized that real estate has changed in the past few years- it's a whole new ball game. It's so easy and convenient to go online and click on links that will bring up clear color photos, maps and links. And most of it is free! So my wheels started turning, and I realized the thing that best gets people to go see a house is if it has really good high quality color photos that bring out it's best features.

My husband and I sat down and designed my website- with the goal of having a minimum of 20 really good photos of each of our listing right on my website- and to drive people there by using Craig's List and other internet advertising. Then, once they are there, we would make sure we are available to answer all inquiries promptly - both phone calls and emails, and be always willing to show our listings as soon as the clients want to see them. Then- I decided to try doing the 1.5% listings- and promise that if I sold the house, the seller would only have to pay 1.5% total. Other realtors thought I was crazy- but I've been doing it now for 3 years- and it is awesome! We sell about 25% of our listings ourselves-meaning the seller pays only 1.5% total! And if another realtor brings the buyer- the seller pays us 1.5% and the other realtor 2.5% for a worst price scenario of 4%

Some people ask me- why would I show my own listings if I only get 1.5% total whether I sell it or someone else sells it. There are 3 good reasons

•  It is my reputation! I have my own family company that I hope to have for a long time and pass on down to my daughters. I have promised to do this- it is my ethical responsibility to do this- and my reputation will grow and spread if I do what I say I will do.

•  I may sell my listing- which is awesome!

•  If they don't like the house, they may want to see other houses- so I have a good chance to get buyers too.

It's a Win-Win for both of us. And it has been working really well for the past 3 years.

 

How can listing with a realtor save the seller money?

Buyers are smart- they know that if you don't pay a realtor, your house should be 6% lower than houses that use realtors!  They expect to pocket at least half of that savings!  Since I only charge between 1.5% - you are spending a lot less than that- and will end up with even more in your pocket!

  1. When I list it on RMLS- it goes onto realtor.com and all the other realtor websites-including Coldwell Banker, Windermere, John L Scott etc. You will get alot more action and showings than you would if you go For Sale by Owner- because lots more people see it! And because alot more people are seeing it, you may get multiple offers. A lot of homes right now are being bid up- and actually sell for a little bit over the asking price!  The last house I listed- which had been a FSBO - had been listed for $199000. I put it on for $219,000- and it sold the first weekend for full price!  
  2. I take care of all the negotiations- both the initial offer- and those that come from the inspection. I can help you get a higher price initially, and then be your advocate when it comes down to the repair issue! The repairs that buyers demand can sometimes add up to a lot of money- and many deals fall through because the buyer and seller can't agree on the repairs. I do really well in this aspect, because I have a very good knowledge of all remodeling issues- and am a good negotiator. Having a mediator helps keep emotions down, and helps the buyer and seller come to an amicable agreement! Also some inspectors are way too picky- and I can help point out what is fair and what isn't- and help you negotiate a reasonable repair addendum. This helps the final sales price remain high!
  3. You also have to factor in all the For Sale By Owner fees- signs, advertising, flyers, etc. And your time and safety!

More Things Sellers Need to Know

Here are some good questions I found on an "Advice for Sellers" website that are good questions you should ask a realtor when you are interviewing him/her about selling your house!

  1. What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you? What unique marketing plans and programs does you have that will make my home stand out? And what do you offer that is different than other agents?

  2. What is your company's track record and reputation in the market place? How many homes did you sell last year? If one agent is selling a lot of homes while another is selling only a handful, ask yourself why this might be? What things are these two agents doing differently? You may be surprised to know that many agents sell fewer than 10 homes a year.

  3. What are your marketing plans for my home? What kind of advertising do you do?

  4. What has your company sold in my area? Agents should give you a list of what they have sold- and also do a comparable market analysis of your home and give you proof as to why he set the price he did.

  5. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price?

  6. On the average, how long does it take for your listings to sell?

  7. How many Buyers are you currently working with? Obviously, the more buyers your agent is working with, the better your chances are of selling your home quickly. Ask them to describe the system they have for attracting buyers.

  8. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact? Ask to see this list, and then proceed to spot check some of the names.

  9. What happens if I'm not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold? Can I cancel my listing contract? Be wary of agents that lock you into a lengthy listing contract. How confident is your agent in the service s/he will provide you? Will s/he allow you to cancel your contract without penalty if you're not satisfied with the service provided?

  10. Is it just you that will be working to sell my house, or will others be working on it too? What happens if you go out of town? Will anyone be there to handle it with care?

Evaluate each agent's responses to these 10 questions carefully and objectively. Who will do the best job for you? These questions will help you decide. As you probably know, my answers are well thought out. That is why I have this list on my website! I have tried to make sure that I do all these things well!

What are the steps we take when we list your home?

  When your interveiw a realtor, make sure you get in writing what they plan to do to sell your house so that you both know what to expect. I have my list right here on my website- so you will know exactly what I do and how I work. Here is a basic outline of how it works:

  1. The first thing we do after you decide to list your house with me is we have to sign all the listing paperwork- and fill out all the Property Disclosures. It is important to get all the disclosures filled out as soon as possible. Not only does it give me the information I need to answer buyer's questions, but if you get an offer, I need to send the Disclosures to them as soon as possible - because they have a 5 business day Disclosure period that gives them the option of backing out once they get the Property Disclosures. If I give them to them right away- the 5 days starts then. If I wait a week- it gives them extra time to back out and get their earnest money back.
  2. As soon as you sign the listing contract, I get right on it. I take the photos right away- edit them, get them on rmls- and get the listing out there. We make the flyers within a day- call to get the sign up, and get a lock box on within the day. We try to get it out onto Craig's List within the first 2 days- and go on from there. It gets onto all the public sights- (like realtor.com, mls, Colwell Banker etc) within 24-72 hours-depending on which sites - it is automatic once it goes onto rmlsweb.
  3. We try to get the photos onto my personal website within a couple of days. My husband is the web guy- so it depends on his schedule- but we try and get it done as quickly as possible!
  4. If we get an offer, I will call you right away and arrange to present it to you. We can talk about it and either accept it, make a counter or reject it. We will look at price, earnest money amount, down payment, closing date, contingencies, personal property asked for etc,
  5. If the offer is accepted, the buyer has these time periods to deal with
    • He has to get the earnest money check in within 3 business days
    • He has 5 business days, after getting the preliminary title, to back out and get his earnest money back
    • He has 5 business days after receiving the property disclosures to back out and get his earnest money back
    • He has usually 10 business days to do a property inspection and can back out within that 10 day period and get his earnest money back
    • He can also back out and get his earnest money back if his loan doesn't go through
    • He can also get his earnest money back if the appraisal is low

    Once the inspection is done, the buyer will send us a request for repairs- not always- but usually there will be something. You and I can talk about it and decide what you are willing to do. Sometimes inspectors are really really picky, and sometimes they don't really know what they are doing- and bring up things that are not even there. I will fight for you if there is something they are asking for that is not right- and you and I can discuss the other issues.

A funny story of one inspection I had to deal with

Here is a good story of what I had to do with one of my listings that will show to what extreme I will go to fight a faulty inspection! I was representing the seller. The other realtor had an inspector come through that made crazy claims. He said that both bathrooms had dry rot- the chimney was collapsing and there was water under the house. They wanted $10,000 credit. I looked at them- and said- that I knew there wasn't dry rot in the bathrooms- and I could tell the chimney was fine. So I told them I wanted them to take me under the house and show me. When he took me down in the crawl space- through the water and mud..crawling to the back corner of the house where the two bathrooms were. I stuck my screw driver up into the wood- there was absolutely no dry rot! We went to the other bathroom- same thing! The other realtor was, meantime, groaning about crawling through the mud- but I was glad I had gone down! We crawled over to the chimney and the concrete block base was perfect- just a little mortar had come out from between the blocks. And as for the water- it was dripping out of the air conditioner tube- which wasn't draining outside- but instead - went under the house! When we got out- the realtor sheepishly admitted that everything was ok- and the seller came out laughing- he was listening at the heater vent! So basically no repairs were ordered except to extend the PVC pipe for the air conditioner!

It doesn't always work out like that- but this, and other examples of things I've been through, shows that I will be there for you- and if what they are asking for doesn't sound right- I will do my best to help you prove it!

Cruising to the close!

So- now through the final days- once the inspection is agreed upon - it is usually smooth sailing to close. I have had things happen at the last minute that made it impossible to close- once the buyer lost her job so her loan didn't go through- and another time an appraisal came in too low. But usually those things don't happen- and we go right on through to close

At closing, the Escrow officer will arrange a time for you to come in and sign. It doesn't take long for the seller to sign- it's the buyer that has to sign the huge stack of papers! Don't forget to bring your driver's license to prove who you are! Your closing costs should be only about $1500 unless it is a really expensive home. And it should only take 24 hours from the time you all sign to the time that it funds and you get your money!

So that is how it goes when we sell your house .

If you would like to meet with me and talk about how much your house should sell for, or what we do, just email me or give me a call and we can set up an appointment! If you want to give it a 30 day trial- I'm find with that. Just give me a call and we can get started!

  1. What makes you different? Why should I list my home with you? It's a much tougher real estate market than it was a decade ago. What unique marketing plans and programs does this agent have in place to make sure that your home stands out favorably versus other competing homes? What things does this agent offer you that others don't to help you sell your home in the least amount of time with the least amount of hassle and for the most amount of money?

  2. What is your company's track record and reputation in the market place? It may seem like everywhere you look, real estate agents are boasting about being #1 for this or that, or quoting you the number of homes they've sold. If you're like many homeowners, you've probably become immune to much of this information. After all, you ask, "Why should I care about how many homes one agent sold over another. The only thing I care about is whether they can sell my home quickly for the most amount of money." Well, because you want your home sold fast and for top dollar, you should be asking the agents you interview how many homes they have sold. I'm sure you will agree that success in real estate is selling homes. If one agent is selling a lot of homes while another is selling only a handful, ask yourself why this might be? What things are these two agents doing differently? You may be surprised to know that many agents sell fewer than 10 homes a year. This volume makes it difficult for them to do full impact marketing on your home, because they can't raise the money it takes to afford the advertising and special programs to give your home a high profile. Also, at this low level, they probably can't afford to hire an assistant, which means that they're running around trying to do all the components of the job themselves, which means service may suffer.

  3. What are your marketing plans for my home? How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus the other agents you are interviewing? In what media (newspaper, magazine, TV etc.) does this agent advertise? What does s/he know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?

  4. What has your company sold in my area? Agents should bring you a complete listing of both their own, and other comparable sales in your area.

  5. Does your Broker control your advertising or do you? If your agent is not in control of their own advertising, then your home will be competing for advertising space not only with this agent's other listings, but also with the listings of every other agent in the brokerage.

  6. On average, when your listings sell, how close is the selling price to the asking price? This information is available from the Real Estate Board. Is this agent's performance higher or lower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how high a price you will get for the sale of your home.

  7. On average, how long does it take for your listings to sell? This information is also available from the Real Estate Board. Does this agent tend to sell faster or slower than the board average? Their performance on this measurement will help you predict how long your home will be on the market before it sells.

  8. How many Buyers are you currently working with? Obviously, the more buyers your agent is working with, the better your chances are of selling your home quickly. It will also impact price because an agent with many buyers can set up an auction-like atmosphere where many buyers bid on your home at the same time. Ask them to describe the system they have for attracting buyers.

  9. Do you have a reference list of clients I could contact? Ask to see this list, and then proceed to spot check some of the names.

  10. What happens if I'm not happy with the job you are doing to get my home sold? Can I cancel my listing contract? Be wary of agents that lock you into a lengthy listing contract which they can get out of (by ceasing to effectively market your home) but you can't. There are usually penalties and broker protection periods which safeguard the agent's interests, but not yours. How confident is your agent in the service s/he will provide you? Will s/he allow you to cancel your contract without penalty if you're not satisfied with the service provided?

Evaluate each agent's responses to these 10 questions carefully and objectively. Who will do the best job for you? These questions will help you decide.

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