Chanhassen Real Estate Blog (IBR Realty)

7955 Stone Creek Drive

Suite 120

Chanhassen , MN 55317


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The primary source of real estate information in Chanhassen, this site is loaded with neighborhood profiles, featured homes, new construction reviews, photos, community events and market statistics.

Get to know Chanhassen Real Estate Blog

Independently serving Chanhassen since 1989

We're Kevin and Linda Sharkey. We've lived in the Chanhassen area since 1984 and are proud to call it our hometown. Both of us are Minnesota natives and are living proof that Swedes and Germans can live together peacefully (usually).

We raised both of our children in Chanhassen and they attended District 112 schools for their entire school careers. We've gone to countless ball games, dance recitals, and community events. We've coached our kids' teams and we've been saddened watching farms become townhome developments. We remember when Hwy 5 became a real road and swimming in Lake Riley before there were lifeguards.

We have been independently serving Chanhassen's real estate needs since 1989, and have worked with hundreds of buyers and sellers.  We know more about our town than pretty much anyone else.  We also know more about real estate than pretty much anyone, so it makes sense that ours is one of the largest independent real estate companies in Minnesota.

We believe in working hard and telling the truth. We try to do the right thing and take the high road. We admit our mistakes when they happen and take responsibility for our actions. We are quick to laugh and embrace the life we have been given.

But enough about us - what can we do for you?

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Real Estate Marketing No One Else Does

We have served the Chanhassen real estate market since 1989 and have come to the conclusion that effective marketing is the number one priority for home sellers. Everything else is important, but effective marketing is what sells houses. So here is what we do to market every home we list in Chanhassen:

1. Stage your home.

We want your home to look its best for prospective buyers. The better it looks, the better it will sell. That's why we hire a professional stager to do an analysis of your home and offer recommendations on how best to show it off. We pay for the initial consultation out of our own pockets because we believe staging is a critical element of selling homes.

We will probably encourage you to hire the stager or at least to follow their recommendations. And we don't get any referral fees when you hire any of our contacts. We just want your home to look great and sell fast.

2. Use professional photographers.

The MLS system, a Minnesota-wide online database where agents list homes, is still the main portal used to find homes and is responsible for the bulk of real estate sales. Homes that are visually striking get shown more often than those with substandard photography. The professionals that we use are paid to make your home stand out to prospective buyers and other agents alike.

3. Add Amateur Photography.

That's done by us. Kevin is a former wedding photographer with a degree in visual communications and has taught photography in a former life. We like to take dozens of photos of the inside, outside and all the other important details . Our goal is to tell a complete story of the home and to fulfill the potential buyer's expectations when they visit the home.

We also take photos and sometimes videos of the neighborhood. Buyers buy homes in a specific type of neighborhood so this information can be a critical element in persuading a buyer to set an appointment and view the home.

4. Perform Pre-inspection and Provide a Home Warranty

Many buyers look for reasons to not buy a home instead of  finding reasons to buy. For these buyers we recommend a thorough pre-inspection of the home. This is especially true for older homes or homes with deferred maintenance. We have several inspectors to choose from and post their inspection reports on the website as well as the MLS listing.

We also believe in providing home warranties to buyers for the first year of their new ownership. We do this at our own cost to further remove any doubts about the condition of the property and to protect our sellers from claims after the sale.

5. Develop single property websites.

We develop an elaborate, custom website on every property we list. These sites are loaded with more photos, 360-degree tours, and additional information on our clients' homes. Buyers spend more time looking at our listings because there is more to see.

These sites are syndicated to dozens of other websites and make it easier for prospective buyers to find our listings online. Some of our listing websites get their own URL's based on the street address making it even easier to be found.

Most agents shoot ten or less photos for the MLS system. By linking our property websites to the MLS we can post hundreds of high-quality photos, videos, and documents, providing more content into the same system. This dramatically increases the chances that our clients' homes will be seen and visited. Again, the more viewable content there is, the more time buyers will spend looking at the property. This dramatically increases the chance that the buyer will want to see the home.

6. Create 360-degree home tours.

Panoramic views of a home's interior allow viewers to better see how a home flows from room to room. Static photos don't convey spatial relationships between rooms, so we add the tours to the single property website to fill in the blanks for the prospective buyer. These tours are imbedded to the single property website as well as the local MLS systems. Our purpose is to tell such a complete and compelling story about the house that buyers want to see it in person.

7. Use better words.

Most agents tend to use flowery adjectives when describing a home. That's why all write-ups tend to sound the same. Our style is to use more verbs and stay away from adjectives. Buying a home is an emotional experience and verbs can be used to better convey emotion than can adjectives. We make compelling stories that attract attention both visually and by the written word.

We also use captions to describe the home. Every photo in the MLS has space for captions so we use them well. This is where we can describe, as well as show, the buyer why they should make an appointment to see the home.

8. Syndicate listings online.

Every one of our listings is syndicated to more than 30 national websites including Trulia, Yahoo, Facebook, Cyberhomes, Oodle, and more. We use the Point2 system as a primary source of syndication but also manually load our listings to Craigslist on a regular basis. A broad internet presence is a necessity for marketing homes online, and we do it better than most other agents.

Realtor.Com is still the dominant website that buyers go to for home searches. That's why we pay extra to get our listings, single property websites and virtual tours highlighted and enhanced.

We also create electronic flyers through Postlets.com and distribute them on a weekly basis to Yahoo, Google Base, and about a dozen more search sites.

9. Employ Viral marketing.

Many times our clients will use their personal contacts to help find a buyer for their home. For those clients, we use AnnounceMyMove.com to create an electronic flyer on their home and have them distribute it via email. The flyer has photos and descriptions of their home along with the request for help. The biggest benefit of this program is that our commission is deeply discounted if the seller provides a lead to us that results in the sale of their home.

10. Blog listings.

Every one of our listings gets a unique post on our Chanhassen Real Estate Blog that also links back to the single property website. This allows the site to be "spidered" and makes your listing get recognized quicker online.

This also allows us to put the property address, photos and descriptions into a format that is recognized on Google. (That's a very good thing.) Potential customers can simply enter the property address on a search engine and are taken to the home website and complete listing information. We have a strong understanding of how to use Search Engine Optimization to promote our listings. The majority of buyers search for homes online, so we make it easy for our homes to be easily found.

11. Table top books.

These are bound coffee table books with photos, details, and descriptions of the home. Think of them as being highlight sheets on steroids. The purpose of them is to give information on the home, but more importantly, to get the buyers to spend more time in the home. We want them to sit down and get comfortable with the surroundings. The more time they spend in your home, the more likely they are to consider it as a prospective home.

12. Text listing information.

Every one of our listings is assigned a unique text number so buyers can get detailed information on our listings at any time. The text number is displayed on the For Sale sign. Buyers can see photos of the interior and request a showing. Most 3G phones have this capability so this is one more way for us to promote our listings.

13. The same stuff everyone else does.

All of our listings appear in the state-wide MLS system, get a sign in the front yard, a lockbox on the door, colorful highlight sheets, notice for showings, and everything else sellers expect from an agent. We just do a whole lot more than the typical agent.