Selling Your Home

People usually have 4 questions when they seek my help in selling their home. How much is it worth, how long will it take to sell, do you think I can sell my home, and why should I choose Bob Henson & Keller Williams?


Before we get started I wanted mention something. My mom was 94 and still drove (she lived in a small town). I moved her down to Austin, and used an Austin moving company. I know how difficult it is to move as you get older. If you are a senior or have parents that need help moving, I will take great care of them. I have gone thru this process and understand what is happening in your life.


KELLER WILLIAMS SELLS MORE HOMES THAN ANY OTHER COMPANY IN AUSTIN! In fact we sell twice as many homes as our nearest competitor. This is according to the Austin Board of Realtors, not Keller Williams.

You’ll find that while most of our competitors talk about “page views” or “visitors on their website”, we talk about sold homes.

In fact that is a great question to ask. Can the brokers claim of performance vs the Austin market record, be substantiated?

Don’t be fooled by wild marketing claims. I saw an article by a competitor boasting that they had almost 100,000 registered users. Austin only sold about 20,000 single family homes in 2010. The 100,000 is 5 times the total number of homes sold. What does that tell you? Well that company is spending a lot of time and dollars marketing to people who won’t buy your home. A hundred thousand names on a list won’t help sell your home.

We have the best marketing campaign available to you in Austin today. And we have more agents in more offices to help you.

• We do the basics right…we actually have a real person answer the phone. From 8am to 6pm during the week one of our great staff members answers the phone. After they leave depending on the time of the year, a KW associate may continue taking your calls. And Keller Williams associates answer the phones on weekends & staff our offices. We don’t close on Saturday & Sunday. Notice many of our competitors list their weekend hours as “by appointment only” We work on the weekends too. So if you come into Austin from Tampa Florida and want to see some homes, we have a live person that can help you right on the spot. Not many companies can say that.

• We have more signs, in more front yards than any other company in town. We sell lots of homes, from people who called to get details on a home they were driving by. Yes, even in the internet age, people still drive thru a neighborhood to see what it looks like in person. There is still no substitute for “seeing the look and feel” of a neighborhood in person. We have more signs, so we get more calls than our competitors do. Our competitors have a few signs sprinkled around town. We have hundreds of signs in yards all across Austin.

• We have professional offices with modern equipment, and the support staff to run them. Our office is not in an old house with a leaky roof or in a strip center next to a nail salon. When you chose us, you will be represented in a professional manner.

• My DESIGNTOSELL program will tailor a marketing plan just for your home. Each home is different, so let’s approach it that way.

• I have been involved with over 800 home sales. There are not too many situations that I have not seen. I can many times anticipate a problem and deal with it, before it ever affects you.

• I will contact you on a weekly basis and update you on showings and market activity in your neighborhood.

• Just to give you an example of how my system works. Most agents send a long form email after you have shown one of their listings. Most agents fill these out in about 2 seconds, if they fill them out at all. And you get no useful help for the seller. I try & personally call every agent who shows one of my listings to get the real feedback first hand. My calls may discover some valuable information to help sell your home. It may take me 20 minutes to call 5 different agents, where I could email all 5 in a couple of minutes. But little things like this help sell homes.

• I will work one on one with you to sell your home. You won’t be passed off to assistants, buyer specialists or seller specialists. Most teams are revolving doors, staffed with newer agents who leave as soon as the experience level allows them to.
This is not the way I want to do business. Real estate sales are complex transactions, I like to personally stay involved at all times to head off any potential problems.


To start with I will do at no cost or obligation a Competitive Market Analysis for you, a CMA. This is similar to an appraisal. I will take the homes that have sold, are currently under contract, & those for sale, and compare them to your home. We will look at price trends in your neighborhood, inventory absorption rates, average selling price/to list price ratio, and many other items. I will sit down with you and give you my opinion on what I think it will sell for.

At some point in time almost everyone brings up what their home is worth on their tax statements. We don’t really care…the county isn’t going to be buying your home. The County has to give a price on tens of thousands of properties so they don’t have to be as accurate as we need to be. We are establishing a price using the most up to date data for right now.

Before we get started I like to take you out and show you the homes currently on the market that you will be competing against. I want you to see homes as a potential buyer sees them. Remember you are a seller, but we have to think like a buyer.


How long will it take to sell my home? Obviously the price is one of the biggest factors in how long it takes to sell a home. Almost everyone will buy a home priced under the market. And many people will buy a home priced fairly in the market. But almost no one will buy an overpriced home. That’s why I want you to see the competition, we must be priced right. People comparison shop, it is that simple.

There are a number of other factors that will determine how long it takes to sell your home. What condition is your home in, has it been updated. What is the financial climate in Austin and the country. The time of the year will also affect how many people are looking for homes. These are just a few of the things we must think about. Some factors we have some control over, others we don’t.


The short answer to this question is YES! I believe there is a buyer for every fairly priced home. If you have tried to sell your home in the past without success, I will give you my honest opinion on why it didn’t sell. And I will come up with a plan to help you sell it now.


Congratulations you have just opened a retail business! Your home is your store. Some of you have owned your own business before and know what that takes. Selling your home involves some of the same things. What makes a successful retail business? Think for a minute about the stores you go into on a regular basis. Now what would make you not return to a business?

One of the first things most people would mention is cleanliness. So you need to have “spring cleaning” even if it’s not spring. If you are too busy to do it, we can hire a professional crew. They will make it spotless in a few hours. I have had a number of clients who walked into a home and said something to the effect that they could never live in this home, because it’s too dirty. So we must be clean.

We all have lots more “stuff” today than just 5-10 years ago. We all have some electronic gear that was state of the art in its day. But that time has passed. We all have clothes that we have not worn in years, thinking one day I will lose a few pounds and they will fit again. Let’s be realistic, if we lose those pounds we are going to celebrate by buying new clothes! YEA!. So let’s toss the old stuff.

Have a garage sale. The purpose of the sale is not to make money. The purpose is to get rid of stuff, lots of stuff. So put low prices on things so they SELL. If they don’t buy it we still have to dispose of it.

After the garage sale, items that are left can be donated to a charity that will come and pick them up. Goodwill or the Salvation Army will come and pick up many items. Remember you probably going to pay a moving company to move anything we don’t get rid of. Storage is an important feature in a home. We want your home to appear to have good storage. That means the closets need to have just the right amount of stuff in them.

Next we need to look at “the clutter” we all have. This may be hundreds of old books in the shelves or the pictures of all the family members all thru the home. Remember you may have the cutest kids/grandkids in the world. And the people walking thru may think they are cute too. But we want them to look at the home, not the kids. I can’t tell you the number of times I show a home and the potential buyer looks at something other than the home while we are walking thru. It is easy to distract potential buyers walking thru your home, but we don’t want too.

I often tell people to visit a builder’s model home and see how it looks. We want to achieve the same look.


If you want to get top dollar for your home, we may need to do some repairs/remodeling. Oh I can hear the groans now. Don’t worry, I can sell your home any way you want to do it.

But remember we can’t get the same amount of money for your home, as your neighbor’s homes. If he just spent $78,000 remodeling it before it went on the market, and you have done no remodeling. Remember how I said I wanted us to go and look at homes that we will be competing with, this is one reason why.

If you want to get top dollar for your home, you will probably have to “spend some money to make some money”. Since I was in the building business I can help you quite a bit in this phase if we do any repairs or remodeling.

At this time I want to go over something that people say to me all the time. And you probably are thinking about the same thing or will. “Bob, why not wait till we get a contract and we will give the buyers an allowance for carpet or paint or whatever needs replacing. That way the new buyers can pick out exactly what they want and we won’t risk buying something they don’t like”.

On the surface this sounds very logical and reasonable. And sometimes I will agree that that is what we should do.

But here is how the real world of real estate works. Let’s just say for example that your flooring has not been replaced in a long time, and we are willing to give an allowance. The buyer is going to go down to their flooring vendor and start looking at carpet, tile or hardwood floors. Human nature now takes a hand here. The buyers are moving into a new home and want it to look great, just as you would. So they want nice flooring…more expensive flooring than we bid. So very quickly the buyer finds that our allowance won’t cover the flooring they want, and they are going to be out more money. They may be out a lot of money. So they may decide not to go thru with the contract or ask for more money.

Let’s now look at another example. Instead of giving the buyer an allowance, we replace the flooring. We put in a “reasonable priced neutral color carpet” and we put some hardwood floors in one room for some “sizzle”, staying within our original budget. Everyone coming thru notes our “new” flooring, and there is never an issue about replacing the flooring or going over budget. Most people cannot tell how much your flooring cost, once it goes in. I have a vendor who will replace your flooring and not charge you for six months or the home closes, which ever is first.

One valuable lesson I have learned and want to share with you is this. Almost all buyers over estimate how much it cost to repair or replace something. I have been in a lot of open houses and hear people comment as they walk thru. If a repair/remodel item is going to cost $10,000, most people will guesstimate double or more. This is a reason homes in top condition get big dollars and sell fast. Many people don’t have the time or resources to fix a home up, and are willing to pay for a home that is.

So you tell me what you want to do, and I will come up with a plan for you. I will go thru your options, and give you my opinion on the pros and cons of each option. See what you feel most comfortable with after all the options are laid out.


Walk thru any builder’s model home and they have all been staged. Why, because they sell for more and sell faster. So why don’t we use some of their same techniques? As a manager in the new home business, we hired an interior decorating firm for every new set of model homes we built. I sat thru many meetings with the decorators, and listened to their presentations. I also walked the model homes as they were staging them. I still have that knowledge. I will give you a free staging consultation and walk thru, when you market with us.

And if you would like to, we can still get a staging company to come in and look at your home. What is a staging company? Usually someone with an interior design background, and a flair taking your belongings and making them look their best. Stagers are usually good at getting rid of the last bits of clutter and pulling things together. We want to look as close to a builder’s model home as we can. And many times a stager gets us to that point.