Windermere Professional Partners

Listing Your Home is Just the Beginning. Your Agent is Crucial in Making Sure Your Home Sale Makes it to Closing Day

March 22, 2021

Selling this stunning, custom-built home in the Puyallup Valley came with a unique set of challenges, and REALTOR® Erin Dobrinski of The Dobrinski Team at Windermere Professional Partners in Puyallup tackled each hurdle with ease and expertise! During August 2020, Erin sold this 4-bedroom, 3.25-bath home with an in-ground pool and sport court in Downtown Puyallup for $665,000.

Not only did Erin execute a high-level marketing strategy to make sure her seller clients maximized their investment, but she helped them navigate a tricky multiple offer situation with contingencies. Selling your home is so much more than listing it and watching the offers roll in—it’s about having a real estate expert on your side who can help you choose the right offer and get your home sale to the finish line!

REALTOR® Erin Dobrinski and her husband REALTOR® Tom Dobrinski work together, each bringing their own unique skill set and in-depth knowledge of the Puget Sound area to better serve their clients. Erin especially loves working in the Puyallup area, which is also where she and Tom have called home for many years now.

Erin was already familiar with this gorgeous 3,107-square-foot home in the Puyallup Valley when her seller clients contacted her. The sellers were past clients—she had sold their South Hill home back in 2015 and had helped them buy their Downtown Puyallup home. During this time, the husband had retired and the wife was able to work remotely, so they decided to move to Woodland, WA, which is close to where the husband had grown up. Part of their move was also because they wanted more property and privacy.

Can You List Our Home in Just 7 Days?

When the sellers first reached out to Erin, they shared that they wanted to list their home ASAP. They had already found a home in Woodland that they wanted to move to, and they had already made a contingent offer on that property which was still being negotiated in hopes of mutual acceptance.

“Once they reached out, I stopped by the next day,” shared Erin. “Since I had sold them the Downtown Puyallup home, I was familiar with the property. But I wanted to view the home to see if there had been any changes or updates made over the years.”

Erin brought her listing packet that has organized information about the home selling process, home preparation tips, information about the current market, and a suggested timeline of activities to do before bringing the home onto the market. Erin’s excellent organization and proven methods of selling homes are a big part of why she was able to get to work for her clients so quickly and efficiently!

Following The Four C’s for Home Prep Success

“Even though these folks were experienced buyers and sellers, the market is always changing and there's still a lot to review,” shares Erin.

“We talked about removing a few items to help the home show best, and we staged the home with their own items, meaning that we didn't need to bring in any additional items, we just thinned some things out.”

Erin is well-versed in advising her clients on the staging process—she’s taken staging classes, and she also often works with a stager on her listings. She rarely lists a vacant home that hasn’t been staged, and she’s very comfortable helping her sellers prepare their home using their own items.

“We talked about how quickly they could work to be ready for professional photos and video and they assured me they could work very quickly—which they did!” adds Erin.

For Erin, the #1 priority is to ask about the seller’s goals. In this particular situation, a big goal was to sell their home quickly. However, if a seller has time to make some improvements or repairs, this will allow them to attract a larger pool of buyers and list for a higher price.

“We always have these conversations, and oftentimes, a seller will quickly realize that taking a couple of weeks to adequately prepare their home—even if it's not necessarily doing a lot of updates—will serve them well. I talk about the ‘Four C's’ which are clean, clutter-free, color-appealing, and good condition. Having your home shine and show well is so critical!” advises Erin.

“It also depends on the current market conditions,” she adds. “In a market where buyers have lots of choice and there is more competition for sellers, it's very important to be one of the best-looking homes on the market. The Four C's serve you well, and if you have the time and funds, making some changes and updates—such as fresh interior paint, fresh exterior paint, cleaned carpets or new carpet or flooring, updated countertops in kitchen and baths, updated appliances, clean roof (or a new roof if needed)—will translate to a quicker sale and additional dollars in your pocket.”

And when it comes to prepping your home, you’re not alone when you work with The Dobrinski Team. Erin has been in the real estate business for 15 years, and she has tons of her own resources to share with clients whether you need to hire a contractor, a painter, an electrician, etc. Also, Windermere Professional Partners offers a Market Ready Program where we have contractors who are willing to give our clients priority and allow them to make payments that come out of funds from closing proceeds. (Click here to ask Erin more about WPP’s Market Ready Program!)

After the seller knows all of their options, Erin will work with you to identify which game plan is the best for you and the work you want to do. From there Erin helps you develop a timeline to get it all done!

Making Smart & Savvy Decisions About Your Home’s List Price

A big part of listing your home is choosing just the right listing price. Erin provides in-depth marketing information and knowledge to help her sellers understand things like:

  • How much inventory is on the market
  • What their competition will look like
  • How quickly homes are selling
  • If the market is competitive enough to be able to expect multiple offers

… and more.

“This is super helpful for sellers when we talk about a listing price range that makes sense,” elaborates Erin. “It's a team effort—it's our job to provide market information and perspective to our sellers, but ultimately it's their choice with regard to the listing price. In short, we provide the tools to help our sellers make good decisions about preparing and listing their home.”

Executing a High-Level Marketing Strategy to Sell Your Home

Once the home is in show-ready shape, Erin schedules her professional photographer and videographer to come and take photos and videos of the home. “Having beautiful photos and a video that showcases the floor plan and layout of the home is so important,” says Erin. “Whether it's a $200,000 home or a $2,000,000 home, The Dobrinski Team provides the same service and amenities.”

The first few days that a home is on the market are critical in any market, and The Dobrinski team makes sure to feature the home’s photos, the video tour, and a lifestyle blog post that highlights the home’s standout amenities all on the day that a home listing is activated. Erin’s blog is brimming with lifestyle blog posts that feature the homes she’s sold—take a moment to browse The Dobrinski Team’s blog here!

In addition to all of this, Erin also uses her robust social media network to share the listing, the video, and blog post on Facebook.

“I equate it to rolling out the red carpet for the Oscars—you only get one chance to walk the red carpet and you want to look your best,” explains Erin.

“With the listing, we add captions to each photo that describe the space, such as where it's located in relationship to other rooms, special features, etc. This is a great complement to the video. We also send out 100 "Just Listed" postcards to a radius around the home. Oftentimes, a neighbor has a friend or family member who wishes to move into the neighborhood—or in the case of a home with a pool, your neighbor might want it, as well! In short, our listings present beautifully from the very onset.”

Multiple Offers & Finding Just the Right Buyer

As soon as this custom-built Puyallup Valley home hit the market, it had immediate activity and many showings, along with strong interest from contingent buyers. However, as Erin’s seller clients were hoping to be in contract as contingent buyers on their new home, they had to obtain permission from the sellers of the Woodland home they had offered on in order to accept a contingent offer on their Puyallup Valley home.

Unfortunately, the Woodland sellers would not agree to Erin’s clients accepting a contingent offer, so her clients had to decline 3 contingent offers. Ultimately, this meant that the home had a 14-day market time, which is still considered a short amount of time!

Luckily, there was a happy ending for one of the contingent buyers after all—they listed their home and caught an offer super quickly, so they were able to come back into the picture as a stronger buyer for the Puyallup Valley home. They made an offer that was contingent upon the pending sale of their home, and the Woodland home sellers agreed to accept this scenario.

“We were able to communicate with the real estate agents handing the Woodland purchase and sale and assure them of the strength of our clients' buyers, along with the strength of our own clients. Communication is super important and critical to the negotiation process,” shares Erin.

Once this aspect of the home sale was settled, Erin worked to guide the transaction to the finish line. The inspection went well, and Erin always works with her sellers to get ahead of any potential problems—they assess the home prior to listing and work to anticipate anything that might be problematic in the inspection, which really helps sellers get ahead of the game.

The home sold for $665,000. This was $10,000 less than the listing price and 98.5% of the original list price, and the sellers and Erin all considered this a big success! Not only were the sellers able to list their home incredibly quickly AND achieve a top dollar price, but they were then able to successfully close on their dream home in Woodland, WA.

The Unique Challenges of Selling a Home in Puyallup and Pierce County Right Now

It might seem like it’s easy to be a seller right now—low inventory means that multiple offers is a common situation for many sellers, and it might seem “easy” to sell your home. But oftentimes in real estate, things are not what they seem.

Lately, we’ve been seeing some sellers leave money on the table (sometimes tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars) because they accepted an offer too quickly. Having a real estate agent who knows your local market like the back of their hand will help you choose the best timing to review offers, and they’ll help you choose the strongest, safest offer for you and your unique situation. And as we saw with Erin’s clients’ home, accepting an offer is just the beginning—there is a lot of communication that needs to happen when there are contingencies and multiple parties involved. As we can see, it’s a challenge to navigate, but with an agent like Erin, it’s completely possible for everyone to get what they want in the end!

What Does it Take to Compete in Pierce County’s Intense Real Estate Market As a Buyer?

The year before this particular Puyallup home sold, a home with a listing price of $675,000 often saw buyers who needed to sell their current home in order to qualify to purchase another home. “But in the past 6 months, we’ve been seeing this continue to change,” says Erin. “More and more buyers are willing and able to explore whether or not they can qualify to be a non-contingent buyer in order to increase their chance of competing in today’s market.”

“With already low inventory continuing to shrink at the end of 2020, in addition to the fourth quarter having been super strong with buyers continuing their home searches, the competition has continued to be fierce.”

Curious to learn more about selling your Puyallup home? REALTOR® Erin Dobrinski is happy to chat! You can reach out to Puyallup Real Estate Agent Erin Dobrinski at (253) 380-7702, via [email protected], or fill out this contact form!

You can also follow REALTOR® Erin Dobrinski on Facebook for info on her latest home listings, market updates, and more community info!