Tradition Sales

A traditional sale, or equity sale, means you have equity. After paying off mortgages, liens, and closing costs you walk away with a profit! Of course, it should be the job of every REALTOR® to get their clients the most money, and do it as quickly as possible with the least amount of headache. But the approach and details of how you get there can make a big difference on outcome and experience.
Prerequisites for Hiring any REALTOR®
There should be certain criteria that every REALTOR® meets. We can confidentially say that we check off all the boxes.
This may be one of the most overused words in all of business, but it encompasses – communication, human interactions, promptness, dress, and so much more.
Would you hire someone to sell the most valuable procession in your life that has never sold a home before? Every transaction is different, and only after years of work has one built a base. You want someone who can get the job done and experience may be your best indicator of this.
Try this: cold call 10 random Realtors and see how many answer the phone. The result might surprise you. Answering the phone and responding to text and emails promptly should be a no brainer.
Be different…really
Hopefully, picking a REALTOR’S® name out of a hat will give you someone who can communicate and is professional and experienced, but you should want more than that. Here are just a few examples of how we do things different that result in us getting higher sold prices.
Pricing Strategy
Getting your list price right might be the most important part of selling for top dollar. We recommend determining the fair market value and then pricing slightly below, keeping in mind buyer price brackets. When done, this typically generates multiple offers. When combined with our negotiating strategy, offers usually far exceed a list high-price reduction strategy.
Picture Strategy
Many REALTORS® boast amount virtual tours, drone footage, and VR. But we can the opposite approach. Less is more here. The goal of marketing should be to get a showing. When you’ve left nothing to the imagination there is little reason to view the home. By selection a handful of only the best professional photographs, you give potential buyers a reason to view the home.
Picture Strategy
When you only have one buyer you have little leverage and negotiating can be challenging. That’s why we always strive for multiple offers. An example: If we have 2 offers, one at $660k, and another at $682k, we state to agents who call that “We have multiple offers in and are in the high $600’s”. The other agent may think 3 or more offers and a price close to $700k. We’ve told the truth, yet dramatically increased our chances of a much higher offer.

Traditional FAQ

What is a traditional sale?

A traditional sale, or equity sale, is simply a “normal” or “regular” sale. This occurs when the homeowner with equity and sells their home. They walk away with a profit after all mortgages, liens, and closing costs have been paid. There are no complications to the sale such with a probate or short sale.

How long does it take to sell a home?

How long it takes to sell a home can vary depending on a few factors. First, the more expensive a home is the longer it usually takes to sell, because there are fewer buyers, especially with multimillion dollar homes. Also, current market conditions will dictate some of the timing. Are we in a buyers market or sellers market? The time of year also plays a smaller role (there is a drop in activity around November-December). Lastly, is the seller motivated, is the home priced properly, and has it been marketed aggressively?


In a strong sellers market with homes priced around the median that are priced appropriately the market time can be short, a week or so. The escrow period typically lasts 30 days, but it could be 45 or even 60 days. If there are no complications or delays with escrow the optimistic timeline could be just 5 weeks from the start to finish. But considering all of the other variables and conditions it could also take weeks longer.

How much is my house worth?

While many homeowners use websites like zillow, trulia, or redfin to view estimated home valuations, in a lot of cases they aren’t very accurate. The websites use algorithms that use recent area sales and price per square to estimate values. The algorithm does not know the condition of your home, nor does it know any special features, views, etc. They tend to skew values high.

The best way to determine the fair market value is to do it the old fashioned way, have a REALTOR® or appraiser look at it. With residential condos and homes the sales comparison analysis method is used over the cost and income approach.

How do I know if I have equity?

First, the fair market value of the home needs to be determined. A REALTOR® or an appraiser can determine this. Once known, all mortgage balances, equity lines of credit, liens, and closing costs are subtracted. The remaining number is your equity!

If I list my home for a certain price does that mean I have to sell if for that? What is the difference between the list price and sold price?

The list price and the sales price are two different things. They can be the same number, but often are not. The list price is best viewed as a marketing tool. It the number that you advertise to the buying public. And it should be a tool to get buyers in the front door. The list price does not mean that is what you want to sell the house for. The list price is not the price of what the home is worth. And the list price is not the price your REALTOR® thinks it’s worth. When a buyer submits at offer at can be at your list price, below it, or above it. The seller is not obligated to accept ANY offer. With proper pricing strategy, marketing, and negotiating it is often possible to sell for a price well in access of your list price.

How is the real estate market now?

Depending upon the time this is written and the time you read this the market will have likely changed. Therefore, the best thing to do is talk to a REALTOR®.

What does it cost to sell my home?

There are several different parties involved in selling a home. Generally, there is a title company, escrow company, appraiser, terminate company, home inspector, mortgage officer, buyer’s agent, and listing agent.  We refer to these expenses as closing costs.  Some are paid by the buyer and some are paid by the seller. For the seller, we estimate the closing costs (minus commissions) at about 1% of the sales price. REALTOR® commissions are typically 6%, although all commissions are negotiable.  From this 6% a portion is paid to the buyer’s agent (agent representing the buyer). The remaining portion is paid to the listing agent (representing the seller).

When should I sell my home?

When one should sell their home is difficult to answer. Usually, changes in our lives dictate when we move. People get married, divorced, have babies, become empty nesters, relocate for jobs, relocate for family, win the lottery, etc.  If the question relates to timing the market, that can be tricky, but a REALTOR® might have some insight.  Also, timing within the year be a small factor.

I’m concerned about showings and having strangers in my house.

There are different ways to handle showings. On one extreme a house could be viewed only with an accepted offer.   And on the other end the house could be vacant and on lockbox, allowing REALTOR®s and buyers to view it anytime. Where you fall in that spectrum can depend on circumstances.  Generally, the easier it is to view a property the better, but there are many considerations, like homeowners or tenants living in the home, pets, working schedules, etc.

One option is scheduled open houses.  This allows all interested buyers to view the property at one time, and it minimizes the inconvenience of the occupants.  If done property this may only have to be done once or twice before offers are received.

What do I need to do to get my home ready to sell?

There are a few approaches a homeowner can take when selling. A home could be sold as-is, with absolutely nothing done, no repairs, no painting, no cleanup.  On the other hand, one could remodel from A to Z.  Obviously, the better the condition of the home and the better it shows to potential buyers the higher the price it will sell for.  But how little or how much is done is a question best tackled by a REALTOR® once they have seen the property.  Every situation is different.

Can I sell my home as-is?

Sure. Selling a home “as-is” is appealing to some sellers because it eliminates all hassle. No fixes. No repairs. No remodeling. If there are “issues” they can often be addresses with buyer credits.  However, the better a home’s condition and the better it shows the more homes sell for. Talking to a REALTOR® is the best way to decide.

Should I upgrade my kitchen/flooring/windows etc before selling?

Determining how little or how much to do on a home before selling can be a tricky issue. Return on value varies depending on what is done. Time and money are also a factor.  Discussing this with a REALTOR® is the best way to move forward.

Can I do a short sale?

A short sale occurs when the bank allows the sale of a home for less than the amount owed. Short sales do not apply to properties with equity.

What happens with liens on the property? Child support? IRS?

All liens must be paid in order to clear title and sell a property. So, if there are liens, small or large, the parties behind the liens must be contacted for a payoff.  Sometimes there can be negotiation in dealing with the balances of these liens. If there is not enough money to pay off all liens and/or no agreements are met then a home cannot be sold.

I’m not happy with my agent. What can I do?

A listing agreement is a mutually binding contract. This means that both parties must agree to end the agreement.  It is a fiduciary duty of a REALTOR® to serve their client and put their client’s interests above theirs.  But sometimes relationships don’t work out.  Professional agents should not want to work with a client who doesn’t want to work with them.