THE HUNT IS ON...THE AUDIENCE.
THE GOAL OF THE FOX & RILEY MARKETING CAMPAIGN
FOX & RILEY Marketing Campaigns are crafted to increase the audience opinion of the price and enhance the perceived value of the property. Every home has a story, and it is our mission to position your home as a “Best Seller.” Negotiations begin at the first impression.
BEYOND THE BUYER POOL
Along with the targeted direct buyer pool, we strive to satisfy the buyer’s extensive list of consultants: Parents, Friends, Relatives, Colleagues, Agents, Lenders and Appraisers. These consultants play a critical role in fostering a positive view of the Buyer’s Choice throughout the transaction. In today’s online sharing environment, we strive to obtain crowd appeal for your property. FOX & RILEY wants the Buyer to broadcast their pride in the home they have chosen.
REACHING REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS
Planned professional cooperation is essential to an aggressive home marketing campaign. FOX & RILEY tracks the REALTOR’S reaction to your home. That first impression of the campaign leads to Agents submitting your home to their Buyer or eliminating it from the Buyer’s search. The planned reaction of the professional real estate community and the consumer is instrumental in obtaining the greatest buzz for your home.
THE HUNT IS ON...THE LOOK.
THE MARKETING LAUNCH BEGINS
The FOX & RILEY first step is the visual assessment. This includes editing, space-planning, staging, and possible enhancement to position the home’s elements and features for extreme buyer impactand greater Seller returns.We plan for rave reviews and results.
The FOX & RILEY key to editing is the careful balance of highlighting the home’s features without creating a cold canvas. Clutter is best defined, as anything that competes with a major element of the home. At times, what clutters a photo opportunity is an object that needs to be moved, rather than removed. Editing often goes hand in hand with the packing and preparing for the move.
FOX & RILEY understands that space planning is essential for the photo shoot, as well as buyer tours. The first task in every room is to determine the viewing points for the buyer tour. Those initial views should be orchestrated for the optimum first impression of each room. Mis-placed furniture can take a potential “Wow” to a “Whoa.”
FOX & RILEY frequently develops a Soft Staging Plan to simply enhance with a minor investment in accessories, linens, and bedding. The items selected are used to soften and update the home’s look or energize a space that needs interest. The soft stage material soften find a home in the seller’s new residence.
FOX & RILEY Blended Staging is achieved using select Owner’s furnishings, along with items from a professional stager. Frequently, the new Buyer may purchase items from the Seller and eliminate the need for the Seller to dispose of the items.
COMPLETE HOME STAGING
FOX & RILEY believes that Complete Home Staging is an investment that can catapult the Buyer’s Impression of the property and obtain significant gains for the seller through a higher sale price and shortened cost to carry.
FOX & RILEY has demonstrated that strategically planned Property Enhancement can elevatethe price point of the home well beyond the enhancement investment. Properties that have deferred maintenance, dated appeal, aging appliances, personalized decor, worn floor coverings, can obtain a great return by enhancing the property and positioning the home as a strong retail contender. There are options to fund this investment that may be paid at the closing. Estate properties are often prime candidates for an enhancement plan.
THE HUNT IS ON...THE PRICE POSITION.
BEWARE OF GUESSTIMATE MACHINES
Quite simply, algorithm pricing is based on tax records and size. Imagine going into a store with the same price tag on two boxes that you cannot open. The size of the boxes is identical and are on the same shelf in the store. One box contains a tired well-worn piece of costume jewelry and the other has a new Tiffany bracelet. In the eyes of the guestimate machines and algorithms, these boxes are the same. FOX & RILEY believes that it is dangerous to compute values without opening the door. We opened the door to some and were awed. We opened the door to others and wanted to run. Opening doors is essential in determining the right price for your home.
YOUR HOME IS UNIQUE
It is impossible to say that a home is comparable to your home. FOX & RILEY believes that properties can be compared; the features, elements, esthetics, maintenance, location, and appeal must be “quantified” to adjust for the differences between the SOLD property and your home to arrive at an adjusted value of your home. If you are comparing 5 homes, you should have adjusted values for each property. Rarely, is the adjusted value the same as the comparison property’s sale price. The SOLD property that is at the highest point in the range of your market may be lower priced than the correct marketing position for your home. FOX & RILEY believes that using “SOLD PRICES” without adjustments can be dangerous and misleading.
FEATURE AND ESTHETICS IMPACT
FOX & RILEY has experienced that Features and Esthetics have vastly different returns in different neighborhoods. The 3 Car Garage could warrant a $20,000 to $100,000 adjustment, depending on the neighborhood and market conditions. What once were “wish list” items for buyers are today’s “Must Haves.” Buyers are willing to pay for the features they are seeking. What they will pay for a key feature is often beyond the initial cost of that feature. That initial up- charge of $50,000 for waterfront in a Lake Development may be returning more than $200,000 today.
THE HUNT IS ON...THE STORY
THE STORY BEGINS…
Your FOX & RILEY story unfolds through precise ad copy, photo arrangement, and photo captioning. The first impression is critical in positioning your property to compete, succeed, and reap the greatest return. Your online presence has never been more important. The copy, along with the visual presentation, are chosen to develop an emotional reaction from the audience.
THE STAGE IS SET
The FOX & RILEY property photo shoot is an essential step in the production. The photos selected are chosen to attract the maximum Buyer Pool. Photos are carefully arranged to create a build in anticipation of personally touring the property. Key photos should not be diluted by mediocre photos of every nook and cranny. Too many photos may distract from the emotional build of great photos. Less can truly be more.
THE POWER OF PHOTO CAPTIONING
FOX & RILEY uses photo captioning to ignite photos. Captions can propel a photo, while using mundane labels, can result in a real “YAWN.”
Consider a photo of a Dining Room with a label of “Dining Room” or the same photo with the caption “Can you imagine hosting a dinner party in this setting?” Which is more likely to create a reaction from the Audience.
Using simple label for obvious spaces can be offensive to the audience. Consider the photo of the Laundry Room with an apparent washer and dryer. Do you need to call it a Laundry Room? Consider the Laundry photo captioned. Consider two options with captioning for the same photo. “Room for everything and better yet – no stairs to climb.” or “They will be fighting to do the laundry in this space.” Carefully crafted captions create reaction and connection.
THE REACH OF MARKETING REMARKS
FOX & RILEY adheres to powerful marketing remarks, styled similar to a book cover, minus the movie-star hair. Like the book jacket, Marketing Remarks are designed to lead the audience to act. Our goal is to create a desire for a personal tour of the property. Like the book jacket, we do not want to disclose the whole story. We want to invite the audience to a personal exploration. The Buyer will discover the Real Story – “The Life-Changing Benefits of Your Home.”
THE HUNT IS ON...THE NEGOTIATION STRATEGY
IDEAL CLOSING AND MOVE
Plan for your ideal calendar of events. Consider the ideal time frame and move requirements you are seeking. These dates can be just as important as the price. Every offer should be evaluated for critical dates, contingency satisfactions, and building inspection resolution dates. Will there be time to book a mover from the last contingency date resolution? There are times when offers contain open dates up until the physical closing. Without date tracking, a Seller could be packing, arranging for movers, and vacating before they know they have a firm closing. If your goal is avoiding a double move, the offers must be analyzed for this critical element to a ensure smooth move. The FOX & RILEY “CRITICAL DATES TRACK” clarifies all the timelines for you to consider. Possession is often just as critical as price.
We recommend sharing the move desires with the Real Estate Community using the private Agent Remarks in the MARIS System. If you have an ideal closing date in mind, this is the perfect place to share it.
YOU WANT TO SELL, BUT ONLY IF YOU CAN FIND A HOME.
FOX & RILEY has a strategy for you that can work for highly desirable properties. Buyers will consider waiting for a Seller to secure their next home within a specific time period. This allows the Seller to write on a home with the peace of mind and power that their home is under contract. The Seller’s next dream home may come on the market tomorrow or 2 weeks from now. Buyers are willing to wait for a special property and understand that an exceptional home is often owned by someone searching for another exceptional property. The Seller will not part with their current dream home without the replacement in hand.
For most Sellers, FOX & RILEY does not encourage off-market, pre-market, coming soon, or restricted buyer pool sales as a Seller advantage. This strategy is sometimes employed to create a dual sided transaction with the listing brokerage representing both the Buyer and Seller. FOX & RILEY believes the full value of your home is best achieved through full market exposure. Obviously, that includes FOX & RILEY represented Buyers. Our Buyers should be prepared to compete with Buyers from all brokers. The FOX & RILEY Buyer may not always be your best buyer. Sellers should be aware of the danger in accepting an offer in the coming soon, pre-marketing phase of a listing without experiencing the power of a well-crafted market debut with full market and full brokerage exposure.
PRIVATE BUYER TOURS
The most valuable tours of your home are with Buyer Represented Clients in a private showing environment without the distraction of other Buyers in the property. While crowd exposure can create a frenzy, it can be a circus for the serious buyer. Serious Buyers need private time to feel what it would be like to live in the property, place their belongings, and make an emotional connection to the home. This time allows the Buyer’s Agent to summarize the advantages of your home to the other properties the Buyer is considering.
Allowing the public to have general access through an open house is a way of creating mass exposure in a compressed time period. This exposure can electrify buyers or cause some buyers to be repelled and confused. A problem with public exposure is the lack of control of the comments broadcasted during the open house. Consider the walk-in with a $300,000 budget in a $400,000 home, giving their opinion to all within earshot that the home is over-priced, when the real story is it is beyond the person’s budget. In a competitive market, open house attendees being overly critical of a home are sometimes attempting to dissuade other interested parties from writing an offer.
THE RISK OF TIME FRAMES
FOX & RILEY believes that there are advantages and dangers to placing arbitrary dates on contract presentation and acceptance. Recently we have experienced more properties publishing an offer consideration date, contract submission deadlines followed with,”We do have the right to accept an offer at any time.” The danger occurs when Buyers believe they have time to submit an offer, only to find that the home is under contract well before the published contract review date. Imagine the stress that this places on your potential “Best Buyer” who may be flying in to tour your home. Consider Buyers spending thousands of dollars on air fares and hotels, for a shopping trip to “Buy” a house. All three of their housing options have the same published offer presentation times. They leave town writing on one of the three and must wait days for an answer from the Seller. Do they keep flying in week after week to play this game? Are they forced to blind buy?
THE HUNT IS ON...ANALYZING OFFERS
“REAL CASH” OR “APPRAISAL RIDER CASH”
Don’t be confused by the term “CASH” in the real estate contract. There are many Buyers today writing CASH, because they know they can obtain a loan and pair it with an appraisal rider that requires the property to appraise at the sale price. FOX & RILEY does not consider this to be “REAL CASH” since it is contingent on a third party blessing the price. This is not vastly different from a well-qualified buyer submitting an offer with a finance contingency.
THE HIDDEN RISK OF THE LONE APPRAISAL RIDER
Without a finance contingency or lender involved, the appraiser selected is at the whim of the Buyer. The selection of the appraiser can create vastly different results. FOX & RILEY has experienced appraisers with low-cost opinions killing deals, when their experience is not within the marketplace. Local Lenders usually select appraisers that know your market. The Appraisal Rider, untouched, allows the Buyer free rein to select the appraiser, sometimes based solely on the fee structure.
FOX & RILEY views this strategy to be best for the Buyer without real commitment to a price. The typical escalation clause contains three critical elements: the base purchase price, the bump amount, and the cap. The base price is the best determiner of the Buyer’s real opinion of the property. The Seller must keep in mind that this buyer is only committed beyond this base amount if someone else is offering more. This buyer does not have the stamina to commit to an aggressive offer, without a push by another Buyer. The Base Amount is the best indicator of the Buyer’s real comfort level of the price.
The Bump amount is simply the amount they are willing to exceed another offer. The Escalation Buyer is wishing to never be bumped. This is similar to the strategy some contestants play on “The Price is Right.” One contestant makes a very educated opinion of the value and another exceeds it by one dollar. The base amount should be center stage when comparing offers. For example: Buyer Number One submits an offer with a straight cash offer of $500,000, ($50,000 over list price.) with no escalation clause. Buyer Number Two submits a cash offer at the $450,000 list price with an escalation clause that caps after the bump at $505,000. Which one of these Buyers is the most confident about the value of your home? Buyer Number One who came at $500,000 or Buyer Number Two who was bumped and kicked up $55,000. Who will be most committed to closing the sale and negotiating the building inspection?
This Buyer could be pushed repeatedly by multiple offers. They could also be pushed quickly by dualling escalation clauses and often this Buyer has never considered that as a possibility. Please consider that the lower the base amount, the more likely the Buyer is positioned to be bumped or pushed up in price. FOX & RILEY has experienced that the base amount is the real indicator of a buyer’s opinion of value of your home and should never be downplayed by bump amounts and caps.
The cap, this is the broadcast of the Buyer’s breaking point. This is the amount where they have been pushed to their max. Do you think the Buyer is happy with this amount? Do you think this could be the first symptom of Buyer’s Remorse that might surface at the time of the inspections? Consider that Escalation Clause Buyers are not committed to their opinion and their Agent’s opinion of the value of your home. The Escalation Buyer needs a stranger to force them to increase their offer. There are options to consider, rather than riding the bumpy train of escalation clauses.
COUNTERING AN OFFER
In the era of multiple offers and bump clauses many people have side stepped a highly effective strategy that only involves the Buyer and Seller, forget about third party intervention. Consider a simple counter to the Buyer, this includes the buyer who led with an escalation clause offer. Why not look at the cap in their escalation offer and counter at their cap? This is also a good strategy of their commitment to the cap. If they are comfortable with the cap, they should be comfortable with you countering at the cap amount. If they don’t accept the cap amount counter, they were never comfortable with the cap amount. Better to know it now, rather watch it evolve into a serious case of Buyer’s Remorse.
There is nothing more dangerous than the common practice of going back to all offers and telling everyone to come back with their “Highest and Best Offer”. FOX & RILEY warns Buyers and Sellers that this strategy has a basic assumption that all of the offers should be treated the same and Buyers assuming that none of the offers were acceptable to the Seller. This is a practice that was employed during market downturns with foreclosed properties and investors. This practice was used by Agents and Bankers who did not want to take the time to compare, counter, or accept the best offer.
Consider that you are the highest offer of all the offers submitted. You placed the highest value you could on the offer and had another property as a possible back-up. You need to buy a house. You assume that the offer you made wasn’t good enough for the Seller. You could simply take your offer off the table and move on to house Number 2 that you could really buy without playing games. During one of these situations our Buyer simply did just that, they directed us to pull the offer and move on to another house. When we called to inform the listing agent of the withdrawal, there was an audible gasp. Followed by, “You are the highest offer!” Our response was “We are sorry that wasn’t acceptable to your Seller.” In minutes, the Seller wanted to accept our original offer.
PRETEND AUCTIONEERS – SHOPPING THE OFFER
Auctioneers must be licensed auctioneers in Missouri. Selectively informing agents the amount of the current highest offer is questionable practice.. An uninformed broker shared their negotiation strategy with FOX & RILEY on a very desirable FOX & RILEY listing. The agent, who was writing an offer inquired, “What is your highest offer?” Shockingly, we responded with,” all offers are under consideration.” He then openly shared that he always tells what the highest offer is when people are considering submitting an offer. We inquired, “If we were your highest offer, would you inform us that you were sharing our price with all the interested parties?” The answer was simply “No”, because we were the highest offer. We believe that with the Seller’s permission you could employ the highest bid strategy, but also believe that you should also be holding a Missouri Auctioneer’s license. This is simply intending to auction, without the credentials.
BLIND BUYING – ABSENTEE BUYING
When considering an offer in an aggressive marketplace, it is important to determine if the Buyer or all Buyers have viewed the property. The frequency of blind buying has ever increased with market conditions. It is apparent that there are risks for everyone in this blind transaction. Are the Buyers relying on the photos, the videos, and someone’s view of the property? The Buyers have not felt it, touched it, or smelled it. They haven’t driven down the lane. They may have navigated the google street views. They might have Face Timed it, but have they really experienced the home? FOX & RILEY has closed many blind transactions with great success, usually aided by accurate photo imagery.
Others have stumbled through the blind buy process, because one of the buyers did not see all the homes that were considered and didn’t tour the home under contract until inspections. At all times, it does not benefit anyone to have a Buyer with second thoughts. Buyer’s remorse can interrupt the Seller’s Marketing of the home and foster doubt with future buyers. The Buyer’s commitment to the property is just as important as the price to a successful closing. The Fact that a Buyer has not viewed the property should be weighed at the time of the offer presentation.
BUYER’S REMORSE – ESCAPE LANGUAGE
You have the perfect home - A Perfect Home Inspection. You completed your municipal Inspections. What do you have to worry about? FOX & RILEY looks carefully to see if the escape language is in play with the offer. Tucked into the Building Inspection Section of the contract is the “Escape Provision.” For no reason, the Buyer can walk away without a penalty after completing inspections. They can walk, even with a perfect inspection with the entire earnest money. We believe the concept of escape by the Buyer, must be seriously considered by the Seller, when comparing offers. This can be especially risky in the blind buy.
THE HUNT IS ON...RISK REDUCTION
PLANNED “POST CLOSING” PEACE OF MIND
Limit your liability after the closing. That “As Is” transaction could be an open door to future litigation. The highest risk transaction for a Missouri Seller is the transaction where a buyer does not hire a professional home inspector. Missouri law dictates that we must disclose any adverse material facts regarding the property. Selling a home “As Is” does not allow you to escape the requirement to disclose adverse material facts before a contract is accepted. When a buyer hires a professional home inspector, all parties may rely on the expert the buyer hires.
The Home warranty can be attached to any offer and be funded by the Buyer or Seller. The Home Warranty never replaces pre-listing conditioning. The Home Warranty is never a guarantee that everything that is wrong with the home will be covered. It has been successfully helped many Buyers and Sellers with unforeseen repairs. This is an effective risk reduction tool for Buyers and Sellers.