Lauren's Blog

Home Listing Basics with Daisy Grattan

Daisy Grattan
Daisy Grattan

Thinking about putting your home on the market? Well, you’ve come to the right place! 

Our very own Daisy Grattan (@housewitchpdx) joined me on an IG Live (watch it here!) where we spilled the deets on the ins and outs of our process when it comes to listing your home. 

We delved into crucial topics such as: 

  • The best time to (statistically) list your house
  • Common mistakes we see sellers make
  • What to do if you can’t move out during viewings
  • Our secret to effective staging
  • How we find that sweet spot when is comes to pricing your home

PLUS our step-by-step process of everything you can expect when listing your home with us. Phew, we’re covering a lot of ground. 

Let’s Go!

If you’re new here, I’m Lauren Goché — a Portland realtor with a decade of experience backing me up. Which means I’ve weathered more than a few market shifts over the course of my career, and specialize in making sure you can make the most of the market for your goals. Read more about me here.

Daisy Grattan

Meet Daisy Grattan:

Daisy (@housewitchpdx) is one of the trio that is Team Goché! She’s our go-to for listings, the selling/buying process, and our certified green thumb 🌱

With a background in fine arts, her eye for aesthetics is *chefs kiss* — she just knows how to make your home visually POP in a sea of listings.

Whether it’s transforming your house into a buyer’s dream or identifying that mysterious plant in your backyard, Daisy’s got you covered!

Our Goal When Listing Your House

When we’re listing your home, our job is to create a fantasy for the buyer. We don’t do crazy overhauls or giant repairs, we pick the low hanging fruit like updating lighting fixtures or choosing the right paint color—those are the things, when done right, that make your home instantly stand out to buyers.

If you want to do a deep dive on our philosophy on this, head over to our blog on why you should Buy Ugly and Sell Cute!

When is the Best Time to List Your House?

When it comes to listing your house, there’s definitely some misconceptions out there about timing. A lot of folks think summer is a good time, but that’s actually not the case here in Portland.

In reality, the hottest housing market months are early spring through May. That’s when folks are itchin’ to get outside and start looking at homes. Then things start slowing down once summer kicks in, since no one wants to be cooped up house hunting when the weather’s nice!

The weeks after Labor Day through Thanksgiving see another rush for listings. Winter, from December to February, is another slow time when buyers aren’t quite ready to make buying moves until the end of February again for the next season… and so the cycle continues. 

So in summary, if you’re looking to get top dollar and avoid a slower sellers’ market, aim to list sometime from February to May, or early fall.

Thinking of Selling Your House? — Here’s Your First Step: 

Call us.

Seriously. Don’t touch anything before that.

What you perceive as things that need to change in your own house are filtered through your subjective lens of living there for years. That means you’ll see every little fault within every nook and cranny and think you have to fix it before listing your home. 

Whether it’s re-doing tiles, getting new countertops, or replacing all the mismatching doorknobs — often, ya just don’t need to do it. Those are really hard but often unnecessary things when it comes to making your home listing ready. 

You don’t even need to do most repairs. We are of the mind to let the buyer pick their pain when they are in their inspection period. You don’t want to end up paying $20,000 for a new roof and come to find out the buyer wants a different costly repair done instead. 

That also includes any expensive renovations. Doing a complete remodel on your kitchen or bathroom right before selling just doesn’t make financial sense. For example, if you remodel your kitchen for $50,000, that does not mean we can list your home for $50,000 more. Smaller updates like a fresh coat of paint and upgrading the faucet can go a long way for only a few hundred bucks. Most big remodels need time to season, before we can recoup those large expenses. 

Bottom line is: Hold your horses and wait until we do a walkthrough of your home. We’ll tell you exactly what needs to be done.

Step 2: The Walkthrough

This is where we come over and really start digging and assessing each room individually. Daisy and I will go room by room with you and prepare a list of things that need to be done.

We’ll point out quick-fix upgrades that make a big visual impact, such as new paint, replacing hardware or light fixtures, and overall cleanliness (especially those windows!). Outwardly, we check for curb appeal elements like landscaping and tidying up the backyard.

By the end of our walkthrough, we’ve identified any problem areas and gathered all the intel needed to create a customized staging and prep plan. We’ll then provide you with quotes from our extensive network of vetted vendors.

From this point on, you’re free to put your trust in us and simply let us take all of the above on. We’ll handle, manage, and coordinate repairs, staging, and contractors from start to finish. 

This is a part that most of our sellers are grateful for. We simply take so much off your plate.

Step 3: Some *Killer* Staging

To elicit an instant “I must have this home or I’ll regret it forever” emotional response from the buyer, staging is our weapon of choice. 

Daisy always says one of her favorite aspects is transforming a home into a dream for potential buyers. And it’s true — as sellers, it’s challenging to view your own house objectively after living there for so long.

That’s where we step in. Our aim is for buyers to walk in and immediately see themselves living there. So, each room is meticulously styled. From new light fixtures, furniture, artwork, and paint colors. We’re essentially creating a little fantasy for buyers — although it’s not uncommon for sellers to fall back in love with their home after we’re done with it! 

What’s equally important to creating a fantasy is depersonalizing your home. That means a thorough deep clean and removing any personal touches. By neutralizing scents and memories, buyers feel like they are stepping into their future home, not someone else’s

A Lil Note on Our Theory on Color:

In case you haven’t noticed by our listings, we don’t believe in neutral palettes. Our theory is that a pop of color stops buyers from scrolling past your listing for the teeniest millisecond. Even if that buyer is someone who only loves neutral colors!

Just take a look below at one of our favorite home transformations. Daisy picked out the exterior colors on this one, and although the sellers were a bit nervous, they ended up loving the results.

Want to see more magic? Take a peek at some of our other out-of-this-world staging transformations.

Before and After Transformation

What If You Can’t Move Out First?

Let’s say moving out during staging doesn’t make sense. We’ll come in with a roll of painter’s tape and mark what we’d like for you to edit down in your home. 

The goal is to “edit down” your house and remove anything too personal. This could mean temporarily storing everything in the garage or renting out a couple of large storage units.

Luckily, our team is well acquainted with this scenario. Daisy even managed it with kids and pets! If you want to learn more about what your options are, check out our blog on The Buy/Sell Shuffle.

Step 4: Pricing Your Home

Nailing down the asking price is crucial for a successful listing. Daisy and I always start with some ‘pre-gaming’ on pricing by tapping into the wealth of knowledge and experience of our colleagues over at Think Portland.

We dive into recent comparable sales in the neighborhood through the MLS, looking at factors like square footage, updates, and lot size. But pricing is an art form too—factors such as proximity to busy streets, parks, and schools, or a home’s layout have a huge impact on pricing.

That’s where our team’s deep neighborhood expertise comes in. With years in the local market, we truly understand the micro-dynamics that algorithms can’t grasp. We blend algorithmic data with our real-world knowledge to strike that ‘magic spot’ with confidence and maximize your home’s selling potential.

Step 5: Getting Your Home on the Market

Once we’ve completed the staging and prep work, it’s time to get your listing live on the market. First, we’ll take professional quality photos that really showcase the home in its best light.

Next, we utilize multiple marketing channels to generate maximum exposure. Your listing will be promoted across top sites like Zillow, and our brokerage website. We also create social media posts (Lauren has a freakishly large social media following) and ads tailored to each platform’s audience.

Of course, open houses are a big part of our strategy too. On weekends we’ll hold showings to allow potential buyers to experience your home in person. This personal connection can often seal the deal. We make the process stress-free by handling everything from sign-in to cleaning up after.

Step 6: Review and Negotiate Offers

When working with us, our goal is to get offers on your house the first week it is on the market. A majority of our listings get offers by the first weekend. 

When we get to the phase of reviewing and negotiating offers, our main priority is communication. It might sound simple, but so many realtors miss this and it really makes all the difference.

Our team has made a name for ourselves in the industry for our commitment to clear, consistent communication throughout the entire listing process. When buyer agents bring in offers, they know we will be prompt, transparent and easy to work with. Because of this, it’s rare we don’t see an offer go through.

Contentious negotiations aren’t our style either. Our goal is simply reaching a collaborative agreement that leaves everyone involved to walk away feeling confident.

Wrapping Things Up…

Can you tell we’re pros at listings? We hope you learned a thing or two about our process. Here are some of our key takeaways:

  • Timing Matters: In Portland, early spring through May or early fall is the best time to list your home.
  • Don’t touch anything until you give us a call: Most renovations or repairs are unnecessary for getting your home market ready. Call us and we’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to get the best return.
  • Staging Magic: Great staging can make buyers feel an instant emotional connection with your home. 
  • Color Theory: A pop of color will stop buyers in their tracks, making your home stand out in a sea of listings.
  • Communication is Crucial: Throughout the listing process, clear and consistent communication is our priority. From hiring contractors to negotiation, we keep you informed every step of the way.

And please, just do what we say. It will work out in the end. Afterall, we’re your realtor moms.

Considering parting ways with your abode? Come sell your house with us! Get in touch super duper early so we can start preparing you way in advance.