Q: How can I get as much for my property as you got for my neighbor?
A: As I told one neighbor recently, I know that sometimes it looks like I pulled a rabbit out of the hat to have sold the house for more than others of a similar size, but I am really not a magician! The magic comes from a perfect combination of style, amenities, location and price - as far as the house itself is concerned. But there is more: it also takes a team made up of the seller and the agent.
The seller has to have a certain sense of style to either create or maintain such a special environment (or hire someone who does! Here is some information on staging that could get you started). S/he also has to be open to strategizing with the agent regarding the pricing and marketing and showing the property. We want to create or emphasize the best atmosphere to encourage a buyer to fall in love with the home. We want to create an urgency as well, to result in an I-have-to-have-this-house attitude. This means the house must look its best for every showing and open house.
The agent has to understand the current real estate market and how to use price, staging, photography and marketing to position a property to look its best.
The houses I've sold for the highest prices this past year were all very special houses on, for the most part, very special lots. Seclusion, space, great landscaping, privacy, and a California-lifestyle indoor/outdoor entertaining space are all elements that bring out the swoony feelings in buyers who are willing to pay a premium for a special place to call home.