The dog days of summer are officially upon us. What exactly does that mean? Technically speaking, the ‘dog days’ refers to the hottest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Ironically, what is considered the hottest time of the year when it comes to weather is typically the coolest time of the year when describing the real estate market. No one really knows why this is the case but common sense dictates that hot summer months mean buyers rather sit in an air conditioned movie theater than slog through Sunday Open Houses. Also, hot weather inspires more people to travel, which makes the number of individuals buying and/or selling dramatically decrease. Despite this pattern, however, I’m pleased to say our local market is strong. Some houses are sitting on the market longer than we’d like but others are bought and sold without even one Sunday Open. Price point and location are still the predominant driving forces behind what makes a house sell vs. sit for a while and while weather may play a tiny part in the process, I’m not seeing a higher temperature matter much when it comes to moving real estate.

So, knowing that Google is moving into the neighborhood and the threat of a lowered interest rate looming, now may be an excellent time to sell. Let’s say you’ve been thinking about putting your house on the market and are overwhelmed as to what to do or how to even start the process. I’ve put together a list of first steps. Keeping in line with our hot summer travel analogy, let’s set sail on the seven C’s (without even getting C sick!).

Here we go:

Call Ben Lee- Your first priority is to call a true neighborhood expert and that’s me. Per the MLS, last year in Beverlywood, I handled nearly forty three million dollars in transactions (thirty seven million more than the agent who came in after me) and had roughly 62 percent of the market share. In Rancho Park and Cheviot Hills, I bought/sold almost sixty three million dollars worth of properties (44, 719,888 more than the guy nipping at my heels) and handled 14.64 percent of the total volume of business. This number doesn’t even include all sales handled off market. I can say with absolute confidence that I know every detail about every house that’s been sold in our neighborhood. I’m basically the ‘Rainman’ of Cheviot/Beverlywood/ Rancho real estate and know how to price and sell your property better than any agent or broker working today.

Clean up- Next order of business is to have a set of fresh eyes help you spruce up, possibly stage, maybe declutter your home and yard. My team and I will come in and, free from the emotional attachment to anything you may love, help you edit some furniture, décor and artifacts to make your home more universally appealing to the masses. Don’t worry, though. This is all temporary until after your home sells. Your grandmother’s needlepoint couch pillow will be fine in the garage for a few weeks.

Camera time- Now that your home is spic and span, we will pay for a professional architectural photographer to come in and take exquisite pictures of your property. Nervous an old closet or laundry room hasn’t been updated? No need to worry, we only take pictures of areas meant to be marketed and like any good supermodel, you’re free to nix any photos that don’t pass muster.

Compose the description- this is another area that you don’t need to worry about. I have a professional writer on my team and she will create a unique, attention grabbing and thorough description of your home with enough style and flair to entice buyers to come over and see for themselves how fabulous your home is.

Create the marketing plan- we expose your home as widely as you could imagine. In addition to placement in the multiple listing service and L.A. Times, my biweekly E-blast hits about 7800 inboxes. This newsletter goes to about 10,000 residents. My website and the Coldwell Banker fleet of resources reach tens of thousands more. There’s the social media push that includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram as well as all the real estate related sites. Your home is front and center everywhere in the cyber and terrestrial universe.

Count and counter all offers- next comes the fun part. Once we’ve marketed your home, we’ll expect a lot of interest and ideally multiple offers. Some may be lower than you want (don’t get insulted- I’m legally obligated to share them all with you even if they’re not what makes you happy) but once we have more than one, we can get all parties to go as high as they feel comfortable. Even if only one offer comes in, we can still counter with favorable terms that will in turn see more money in your pocket. I didn’t graduate from law school and work as a real estate attorney for many years without honing my expert negotiation skills. Once we enter this phase of the transaction, you will see that side of my personality emerge and just be glad you’re not on the receiving end of it. Warm, cuddly Ben makes way for the freight train and by the end of the negotiation, they won’t even know what’s hit ‘em. BAM!

Celebrate a successful transaction. Hooray! We’ve done it. We’ve sold your house for the highest price imaginable and it wasn’t has arduous a task as you may have thought it would be. I hope you’ve enjoyed working with me as much as I’ve had the pleasure of your business. Now we handle a few more details on your behalf (entering into escrow, setting up inspections, potential leaseback, final walk-throughs, etc.) and at the end of the escrow period, we present a bottle of fabulous champagne and toast to a huge milestone in your family’s life.

So, there you have it. Once you set sail on the seven C’s you never have to worry about selling a property again. Smooth selling from beginning to end with your trusty Captain Ben. Hope these dog days of summer aren’t too unbearably hot and you have a happy and healthy August. Ahoy, matey!