Strategic Planning + Hard Work = Property IN CONTRACT

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825

We all talk about how we go above and beyond the call of duty in our businesses and there are many different opinions of exactly what that means. In a market that has been undoubtedly slow we have to be unique in our approach in doing the best we can for a Hawaii Home Seller and GETTING THE PROPERTY SOLD!

After viewing a property the Saturday before  it was obvious there would be MUCH to do as the property was a rental for MANY yearsThe listing was signed with the contingency that it would not be shown until all repairs and cleaning were complete. 

I started brainstorming and came up with a few ideas I thought would work to get it on the market and hold an Open House the next Sunday:

  • By the next morning- Sunday-  the painter started on not only painting but spraying new ceiling throughout the downstairs. (don't ask me how it got so many dings and scrapes...they may have been walking the ceilings?)
  • The painter finished up putting back the ceiling fans etc by Monday. The handyman started to do a few odds and ends and installed the new range hood.
  • On Tuesday we went in to do some cleaning to put a ‘woman's touch' on everything. Argh....that took 2.5 days and it was more than what I first thought. Also, the flooring guys came in to change the tile in both bathrooms and put new baseboards and the handyman came back to finish up some final work.
  • On Wednesday the new dishwasher was delivered, I put up the listing on the MLS with specific instructions that the first showing was at the first Open House on Sunday.  Added just a bit of staging (plants, rugs, table etc.) so the floor plan was evident.
  • Thursday and Friday screens were cleaned, additional caulking and open lanai painted (it had splotches of three different colors) and I added the listing to MULTIPLE sites and the final touch up cleaning through Saturday.

From Wednesday to Saturday many calls came in to view the property before Open House day but they were politely declined due to  ‘work being done' and told to please attend the First Open House/Showing on Sunday.

Sunday's Open House proved fruitful and it turned out to be a great strategy for a highly desirable complex........21 groups of people (about 50+ individuals) came through and only 1 person signed in the guest book that DID NOT HAVE AN AGENT.  By Monday morning (yesterday) we had an offer in hand.  By the afternoon we had other calls from agents saying their clients came to Open House and considering putting in an offer.

The property is now in contract and in escrow.

Moral?   Even though a lot of work in a short period of time (and at minimal price) went into getting the property ready.... it was well worth it to get the property sold!



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs, she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents.


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Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

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Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

Sally, I am amazed that you got so much done in such a short time but it is just a testament to your dedication to your work and service to your clients. It is essential that a home look it's very best at the beginning of the marketing period. In Austin, the rise in inventory has made this as crucial as at any time in the past. Nice work my friend!

Nov 04, 2009 12:34 AM #46
Michael Myers
King-Rhodes & Associates - Cherokee Village, AR

Hard work never hurt anybody. Having a plan and keeping everyone on task works. Good job.

Nov 04, 2009 12:39 AM #47
Yvonne Jaramillo Ahearn, Esq. (B)
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers - Kailua, HI

Congratulations on getting your property quickly into escrow! The hard work and preparationg certainly does pay off!

Nov 04, 2009 12:49 AM #48
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Sally, I have always told my sellers that they think arithmetically, while buyers think geometrically about cost of repairs. Plus, when people see the little things that have not been maintained they get suspicious that maybe big things have been neglected. The old cliche that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure applies here. 

Nov 04, 2009 01:05 AM #49
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

I have a listing right now that really is in sad shape because it was a rental for a year....OK ONLY A YEAR..yeah - two bachelors right out of college can do a lot to a place in a year!  I'm trying to convince the home owner it needs to be spruced up and staged.  I know they are in a world of hurt, but prices only started fall here late last year and we are still moving DOWN!  It needs to show well or it will sit long!

Nov 04, 2009 01:20 AM #50
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Sally -- Congratulations on the quick offer all due to your planning and hard work. You definitely have it down.  It's all in the presentation.  Most lisitngs can be cleaned, decluttered and spiffed up for minimal $$$.  The house is there to be SOLD, not to sit on the market.  First impressions are SO important. Don't forget the curb appeal, too!

Nov 04, 2009 01:36 AM #52
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ







Nov 04, 2009 02:07 AM #53
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

Thanks Sheldon :)

Barbara: Thank goodness the grounds are taken care of...:)

Ruthmarie: Try over ten on this can be done!

Joe: YUP!  The small things turn into big ones

Lisa: Of course!  And it looked great!



Nov 04, 2009 02:14 AM #54
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Wonderful post so glad you wrote about it.  Aloha, wishing you a wonderful 2010.  All the best

Nov 04, 2009 02:36 AM #55
Dawn Nuzzi
'Til Dawn Real Estate - Raleigh, NC

Excellent strategy! Congratulations!

Nov 04, 2009 03:00 AM #56
James Lyon
Vista Pacific Realty - Sacramento, CA

Congrats on all the hard work that ended up in a sale. So many times much of our work does not end up in a sale, so great job.

Nov 04, 2009 03:10 AM #57
Lottie Kendall
Pacific Union International - San Francisco, CA
Serving San Francisco and the Silicon Valley

Marvelous job! Doesn't it feel good to orchestrate such an event? Hope you got a stellar testimonial from your seller.

Nov 04, 2009 03:55 AM #58
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

I think that more agents and consumers need to realize that houses today have to be in GREAT shape AND priced right.

Nov 04, 2009 06:15 AM #59
Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

Great news!  It's so true that a little bit of work will go a long way in getting a property sold - especially in this market!

Nov 04, 2009 06:35 AM #60
David Selman
Selman Home Inspections, Inc. - Dallas, TX
Certified Master Home Inspector

Sally - I have enjoyed reading your post and the comments of all of the talented real estate agents. It looks like you are on top of things and truly "going above and beyond" to get home sold. I don't know the market in every state, but in my state (Texas), I beleive that "Seller" home inspections and "Move In Certified Home Inspections" would be a marketing advantage for any seller and Realtor. Just an idea, but you could go a step further for sellers by recommending a "Move In Ready Certification". Check out my post from earlier today...

Congratulations and thanks for your industry leadership.

Selman Home Inspections

Nov 04, 2009 07:38 AM #61
Vanna Siackhasone
Real Estate Brokers of Alaska 907-720-4663 - Anchorage, AK
Anchorage Real Estate 907-720-4663

That's great. Congratulations. Preparation is key!  

Nov 04, 2009 08:21 PM #62
Greg George
Mortgage Guru, Specializing in Jumbo, FHA and Conv Loans - Charlotte, NC

good job, and way to make it happen!  nothng like a reward for hard work!

Nov 05, 2009 01:31 AM #63
Kerry Lucasse
eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team - Atlanta, GA
Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant

Great post!  Often sellers just want to 'get it on the market' and will 'fix it later' and I always try to get them to delay listing it by a week or two, because you only have ONE CHANCE to make an impression!

Nov 05, 2009 02:00 AM #64
Hawaii Commercial Real Estates

Congratulations on a job well done!

Mark Bratton

Nov 06, 2009 02:06 AM #65
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

Great job Sally and keep up the good work. Congrats on the feature my friend.

Nov 08, 2009 12:45 PM #66
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