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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Dotseth

The Very First Thing I Do With Every Listing -- San Diego Real Estate


woman in office at desk

Very few things are as exciting as a new listing. We make it a habit to never say no, so we've listed everything from the smallest home to estates.


Each listing is unique, but they all have the same game plan: Sell for the most money possible, make the seller's life easy, and do it all before the listing expires.


To start each listing properly, I have a few rules. One, I try not to list homes that are tenant-occupied. They are very likely to not sell because most buyers won't risk "taking on a tenant" who refuses to move out. Sometimes a tenant has been given notice and then we'll take that listing. As long as the tenant is cooperative to showings and entry. But often we need to know the day they are moving out for sure and we build our selling campaign around it.


Secondly, I start each listing with a quiet tour. I am typically alone with a note book. I am looking for big and small things, but mostly small things. Examples I will write in my book: Broken blind in the bedroom, damaged chain on the ceiling fan in the dining room, scratches on the baseboards, missing door knob on the heater cabinet, chipped porcelain somewhere -- and so on. My goal is to work with my seller to make the home free of these small issues, as it's these things that always catch a buyer's eye. And intuitively, the buyers take money off the price when they see them.


On this tour, I will start to figure out what I need to do. Have it cleaned, work with the seller on small repairs, ask the seller to paint, and/or consider staging positioning if it's in the listing agreement.


(My sellers on average get back 2x their painting investment. And it's the best money a seller can spend on their home that is about to be sold.)


These are my "hit the ground running" tours and require immediate action once I walk out and lock up.


How many light bulbs do I need to buy? What about the housecleaner, what's the schedule for trash, what about recycling, is the security system work, and so on.


I will return to my office and typically detail to a seller my findings in an email, work out who is going to do what and pay for what, and schedule next steps. Often a seller does nothing, especially our out-of-area sellers. The most important next step is really good communication. If the seller lives in the home, then we talk in person and it's imperative to be extremely respectful of all seller items. Example: we also make it a rule to never have a seller remove ANY personal photos or items. We say to them, "This is your home, we'll present with our touches and you present it with yours."


If the home is vacant, next steps could be booking a few appointments to make the house shine. We will get a plumber over to stop a slow drip. We'll get housekeeping in to make it shine, appliances included. We'll get a handyman to the home to replace a broken screen.


We don't count dollars here. I never keep a list of what I spend versus what I am being paid (except for full house staging, which is typically thousands of dollars for me). I spend money as if it's my own home and I take it very seriously that it look great, make a splash and big impression on the market, and that I blow every one away with the finished product.


It all starts with a quiet tour. San Diego real estate is not just selling.


If you'd like to know more about our listing system and exactly why we got our last listing, according to the seller, feel free to reach out. It's nothing in this post! We will be happy to have an honest and open discussion with you.


Happy Selling to us both!


Kimberly Dotseth, Broker and Owner, Blend Luxury Real Estate

California DRE License #01179760 Phone: (619) 261-1909

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