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Seller Recommendations

Selling your home shouldn't be a stressful ordeal. Making the smart move of choosing a REALTOR® is your first step to ensuring that your investment in your home pays off. My services and experience allow you to focus on your move while I manage your home sale from our initial consultation to the closing deal, and beyond. I pride myself on repeat business and hope you'll come to understand why. A list of my clients who have used my services can be found on this page.  Feel free to email or call them for their opinion.

What I will do for you
Recent Home Sales
Seller Etiquette
Prepping Your Home for Sale
10 Tips to Sell Your Home
Lighting Ideas for your "For Sale Home"
What to Do with Multiple Offers? 
Anti-Burglary Tips - Keep your Home Safe!
Getting the Highest Price
Closing Costs
Why Have an Appraisal?
What is the Difference Between an Appraisal and a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)?

More useful information is available in Essential Tips. If you need any help with the terminology in this website, feel free to consult the Real Estate Glossary

As Your Agent, I Will:

  • Complete a comparative market analysis that will compare your home's value to that of your neighborhood.
  • Compile a comprehensive plan detailing all the efforts I will employ to sell your home, including Internet and local media.
  • Present your home to as many qualified buyers as possible getting your home maximum exposure.
  • Help you stage your home and generate curb appeal to ensure you get the highest price.
  • Assist with obtaining offers and help you in negotiating the best deal as smoothly as possible.
  • Help you find your next home and answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.

       Want to know more? Read 10 interview questions for Michael Keller.

Recent Home Sales

What are comparable homes selling for in your area of the city?  Request a FREE Comparative Market Analysis from me.  This will show you what similar houses over the past 3-4 months have SOLD or are pending for.  It is price that make selling a home possible.  In order to find that one person who wants your house we need an accurate listing price.

Ten Tips to Sell Your Home

You may think that your house is perfect just the way it is, but a prospective buyer may not see it that way. to give your home "curb appeal" and make it more attractive to buyers, there are some tasks you complete before you place that "For Sale" sign in your front yard.

Many of these suggestions are simple, common-sense items; other will require some time and investment. but you'll reap the rewards when a buyer walks into your house and exclaims, 'This is the home I've been waiting for!" 

  • If your home needs to be painted, this is the time. The interior paint job should be fresh and clean and in a single, neutral color throughout. This is not the time to experiment with lilac walls in the bedroom. The same goes for the exterior. Don't forget shutters and windows. If your home has vinyl or aluminum siding, be sure it's clean. Moldy, dirty siding will tell a buyer that your home has not been taken care of properly.
  • The green shag carpeting still gracing your floors should be replaced. Old, matted carpeting will be a detriment to your home selling. Real estate agents all have a dozen stories of a home that sat and sat on the market until the old carpeting was replaced. Then, it sold immediately. If you have hardwood floors under old carpet, tear up the carpet to expose them; today's buyers love hardwood floors.
  • Make a list of all those little repairs you've let go. Then fix each one. The whole in the screen, the loose doorknob, the doorbell that doesn't work and the leaky faucet must all be repaired before buyers start looking at your home.
  • If your home's appliance, like the dishwasher, oven, refrigerator and washer and dryer, are old and outdated, it could pay to replace them. Buyers do not want to be faced with the possibility of having to replace appliances upon moving into a new house. Shiny, new appliances already in place will be a big selling point.
  • Clear your house of clutter and debris. Get rid of piles of old newspapers and magazines, the old clothes that don't fit, the closet full of small appliances that don't work, dust-filled collections of knickknacks, etc. Clean, open spaces make your home look bigger to prospective buyers.
  • Clean out closets so that they appear more spacious. Closets are an important feature to today's buyers so you want yours to looks as roomy as possible. If they're still too cluttered after cleaning them out, remove items you don't need now and put them in storage.
  • Minimize the amount of personal items and mementos in your home. Prospective buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home. Dozens of family pictures and your grandchild's finger painting cluttered on the refrigerator will make them feel that they're invading your home, rather than inspecting their future home.
  • Clean your house top to bottom including walls, floors, furniture and tabletops. Everything should be sparkling clean when a buyer makes that all-important first visit. Don't leave dirty dishes in the sink, crumbs on the counter or laundry stacked in the bedroom.
  • Take a long, hard look at your home from the street. Does it have curb appeal? Is it warm, inviting and well-kept? Make sure by mowing the lawn, weeding garden areas, trimming unruly bushes, resealing the driveway and sweeping the porch.
  • Pay particular attention to your front door. Repaint it if necessary. Polish the doorknob and knocker and clean the glass and screen door. When a buyer waits at the front door to enter, make sure he or she sees that your home way cared for lovingly.

Getting the Highest Price for Your Home

Curb appeal is key and could make a difference whether people stop and take a brochure, or drive right by. Here are a few tips to increase the curb appeal of your home. Staging your home is important. Many buyers will stay in your home longer if it's staged appropriately. I have compiled some ideas to present your home in the most effective manner.

Closing Costs to Expect:

  • Title insurance fees depend on the sales price of the home.
  • Broker's commission is a full-service fee and will cost 6%, 3% each going to the seller and broker of which the Realtors receive half.

            Selling Realtor receives 1.5%

            Buying Realtor receives 1.5%

            Selling broker receives 1.5%

            Buying broker receives 1.5% 

  • Local property transfer tax, county transfer tax, state transfer tax, and state capital gains tax are the charges that you'll pay for the privilege of selling your home. Credit to the buyer of unpaid real estate taxes for the prior or current year are variable and depend on when you close and when your taxes are due.
  • FHA fees and costs are all fees are now negotiable between an FHA buyer and seller.
  • Home inspections fees are in some circumstances paid for by the seller and include pest, radon and other inspections.
  • Miscellaneous fees can accrue from correcting problems noticed during the home inspection.

      How to calculate buyer's or seller's escrow fees.

Why Would a Person Need A Home Appraisal?

There are many reasons to obtain an appraisal with the most common reason being real estate ad mortgage transactions. Other reasons for ordering an appraisal include:

  • To obtain a loan.

  • To lower your tax burden.

  • To establish the replacement cost of insurance.

  • To contest high property taxes.

  • To settle an estate.

  • To provide a negotiating tool when purchasing real estate.

  • To determine a reasonable price when selling real estate.

  • To protect your rights in a condemnation case.

  • Because a government agency such as the IRS requires it.

  • If you are involved in a lawsuit. 

What is the Difference Between an Appraisal and a Comparative Market Analysis?

    Simply put, the difference is night and day. The CMA relies on vague market trends. The appraisal relies on specific, verifiable comparable sales. In addition, the appraisal looks at other factors like condition, location and construction costs. A CMA delivers a "ball park figure". An appraisal delivers a defensible and carefully documented opinion of value.

    But the biggest difference is the person creating the report. A CMA is created by a real estate agent who may or may not have a true grasp of the market or valuation concepts. The appraisal is created by a licensed, certified professional who has made a career out of valuing properties. Further, the appraiser is an independent voice, with no vested interest in the value of a home, unlike the real estate agent, whose income is tied to the value of the home. 

5 Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Add Value and Comfort to Your Home

If you've been thinking about increasing your home's value or just making your living space more comfortable, these ideas can help you start off simply. Before you start knocking out walls and renovating your roofline, consider these ways to make a big difference...cost-effectively!

1. Spruce up Your Curb Appeal

Buyers often decide whether to look at your house before they even get out of the car. So, before you spend a lot of time and money remodeling the inside, take a good look at the outside. Washing windows, repainting trim, planting flowers and small shrubs, trimming tree branches and overgrown bushes, fixing screens, resealing your driveway, and mowing the lawn can make a big difference. Start out by making a list of 4 to 7 simple projects and then set aside an hour or two each day. In just one week, you - and potential buyers - will be surprised how appealing and welcoming your house looks when driving up.

2. Does Your Entryway Invite People In?

A cozy first impression is crucial. Now that you've boosted your curb appeal, it's time to turn your attention inside - starting just inside the front door. To make sure your entryway invites people to come in - rather than turnaround and run - try adding a wicker chair and table outside the door along with a fresh coat of paint to your foyer.

For even more impact, replace old light fixtures and update the floor in your entryway with a throw rug or easy-to-apply self-adhesive linoleum squares. These projects are inexpensive and easy enough to do yourself in just a few hours.

3. Spiff up that Old Bathroom

Remodeling an old bathroom can make a big impact. You should start by simply de-cluttering the countertop. It's amazing how spacious even a small bathroom appears after the styling products, pictures and miscellaneous bathroom decorations are removed.

From there, you can freshen up the paint, replace that old shower curtain, add a new medicine cabinet on the wall, and even upgrade your faucet and shower head for very little money. With a little more money, you can also install a double sink or re-tile the floor.

4. Hot in the Kitchen

Renovating an outdated kitchen is practically a sure thing - as long as you don't splurge on extravagant items like hand-painted Italian tile or built-in espresso machines. Instead, focus on the basics: replacing the handles on your cabinets and drawers, freshening up the paint, installing new flooring, adding a backsplash, and painting or re-facing your existing cabinets. You can also make a dramatic impact by installing new countertops and even replacing your appliances. All of these projects will go a long way to making a new buyer feel at home.

5. Add a Second Bathroom

Perhaps no improvement makes a bigger impact on your family's comfort and your house's appeal than adding a second bathroom. The number of bathrooms is always a big sticking point for potential buyers, especially families with two or three children.

Although adding a bathroom costs more than simply fixing up your old one, it also increases the value of your house more. Plus, having that second bathroom may help you sell your house faster than if it only has one, which is an important point to consider in today's market. So, if you have a house with roughed-in plumbing just waiting for you to take the initiative, you may want to consider adding that second bathroom you've always wanted.

However, if your house doesn't have roughed-in plumbing or floor plans that called for a future bathroom, you'll definitely want to consult a Realtor to discuss how much a second bathroom will add to your home's value. After all, if you have to start moving walls and re-plumbing your house just to add a bathroom, you may find that your time and money are better spent on a handful of smaller projects that will ultimately add more impact.

Plan Ahead and Avoid Headaches

Overall, the best advice about adding value to your home is to start small, work your way up, and always plan ahead. You don't want to get halfway into a renovation only to find that you have to update your entire electrical system or that your time and effort was wasted on a renovation that doesn't add as much value as you thought. With a little planning and prioritizing, you can make your house more comfortable and valuable with very little time and money!

10 Questions to ask your potential Realtor

Source: How to Interview Your Real Estate Agent by Elizabeth Weintraub


Smart consumers interview potential real estate agents before deciding on whom to hire. Just as you are sizing up the potential for a good fit, rest assured that the real estate agent will likely be interviewing you, too. Be wary of agents who don't ask you questions and probe only for your motivation.  You wouldn't work with just any agent off the street, and good agents are just as selective about their clients, too.

When Interviewing A Listing Agent, 10 Questions To Ask:

1) How Long Have You Been in the Business?
The standard joke is there's nothing wrong with a new agent that a little experience won't fix. But that's not to say that freshly licensed agents aren't valuable. Much depends on whether they have access to competent mentors and the level of their training. Newer agents tend to have more time to concentrate on you. Some agents with 20 years of experience repeat their first year over and over. Other 20-year agents learn something new every year.

W. Michael Keller’s answer:  8 years and among the top 10-15% Volume Realtors.  Awarded the honor of being selected by the Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living Magazine as "One of the Top Realtors" in the Inland Northwest" for 2008 & 2009.

2) What is Your Average List-Price-to-Sales-Price Ratio?
Knowing the agent's average ratio speaks volumes. Excluding sizzling seller's markets, a good buyer's agent should be able to negotiate a sales price that is lower than list price for buyers. A competent listing agent should hold a track record for negotiating sales prices that are very close to list prices. W.

Michael Keller’s answerNegotiating for my clients is one of my best skills and my percentage rate will show that information upon your request.

3) What is Your Best Marketing Plan or Strategy for My Needs?
As a buyer, you will need to know:
How will you search for my new home?
How many homes will I likely see before I find a home I want to buy?
Will I be competing against other buyers?
How do you handle multiple offers?

W. Michael Keller’s answerThrough the Multiple Listing Service.  Allowing you to be on an automatic MLS email sending of reduced and new listings of any real estate that fits your parameters.  The number of homes is not predictable, but you will know when the “right house” is viewed.  Competing for a home is always a factor and that is why it is important to be pre-approved for a mortgage before looking at homes.  With the client’s permission, I recommend using a “bump clause” because that gives you the best chance to have the seller accept your offer.

As a seller, you will need to know:
Specifically, how will you sell my home?
What is your direct mail campaign?
Where and how often do you advertise?
Will you show me a sample flyer?
How do you market online?

W. Michael Keller’s answerThrough the MLS Listing Service, use of three personal websites, Windermere website, RealtyNow.com website, professional real estate signs at and leading to the home, professional flyer’s in the sign box, local newspaper ads, The Real Estate Magazine, Channel 12 Homes For Sale, Business Journal, open houses, Broker’s Open’s, out of State want ads, and electronic flyers to 1600+ Realtors.

4) Will You Please Provide References?
Everybody has references. Even new agents have references from previous employers.
Ask to see references.
Ask if any of the individuals providing references are related to the agent.
Ask if you can call the references with additional questions.

W. Michael Keller’s answerI would supply you with a list of buyer-sellers within the last four year.  Who you contact is your choice.  No relatives are on my list of clients.

5) What Are the Top Three Things That Separate You From Your Competition?
A good Realtor won't hesitate to answer this question.

W. Michael Keller’s answerEveryone has individual standards:  Honest and trustworthy in addition to being: Assertive
Excellent negotiator
Available 24/7
Good communicator
Able to maintain a good sense of humor under trying circumstances

6) May I Review Documents Beforehand That I Will Be Asked to Sign?

W. Michael Keller's answer: I will make all listing forms available to you for preview before you are required to sign them.

As a buyer, ask for copies of the following:
Buyer's Broker Agreement
Agency Disclosures
Purchase Agreement
Buyer Disclosures
As a seller, ask to see
Agency Disclosure
Listing Agreement
Seller Disclosures

W. Michael Keller’s answerI would be willing to explain every required document and leave it with you for you to study.  Upon my return, I am open to any questions.

7) How Will You Help Me Find Other Professionals?
Let the real estate agent explain to you whom they work with and why they choose these professionals. Your agent should be able to supply you with a written list of referring vendors such as mortgage brokers, inspectors and title companies. Ask for an explanation if you see the term "affiliated" because it could mean that the agent and her broker are receiving compensation from one or all of vendors, and you could be paying a premium for the service.

W. Michael Keller’s answerUpon request, I will supply a minimum of two recommended companies or individual support people.  It is against the Realtor Code of Ethics to be affiliated or compensated by anyone.  The final choice is up to the client.

8) What Kind of Guarantee Do You Offer?
If you sign a listing or buying agreement with the agent and later find that you are unhappy with the arrangement, will the agent let you cancel the agreement? Will the agent stand behind her service to you? What is her company's policy about canceled agreements? Has anybody ever canceled an agreement with her before?

W. Michael Keller’s answerI have a standard policy not to sign any agreements because I believe that the client should feel free to tell me “you're fired.”  Likewise, I allow myself that same privilege with a client.  Both parties need to feel comfortable that the goal is being met.

9) Now That You Have Done A Comparative Market Analysis On My Home.  What Is Its Selling Value?
Remember that there is a listing as well as a selling value that you should be aware of when discussing a listing price with a Realtor.

W. Michael Keller’s answerI will explain which likeable homes have sold in your immediate neighborhood within the last 1-4 months.  When determining the right Realtor you should not always go for the agent who suggests the highest price.  The Realtor may be only trying to get the listing and will worry about the price reduction later.  I will give you the price range and the final decision on the listing price is up to the client.

10) What Haven't I Asked You That I Need to Know?
Pay close attention to how the real estate agent answers this question because there is always something you need to know, always. You want an agent to take her time with you -- to make sure you feel comfortable and secure with her knowledge and experience. The Realtor should know how to listen and how to counsel you, how to ask the right questions to find out what they need to know to better serve you.

W. Michael Keller’s answerIt is my policy to give you advice and an opinion only when asked.  When asked, I will be “upfront” with my answer and give you the best knowledge and opinion so that you can make a wise decision.  I try very hard to be a good listener and that way I can give you good advice.

How to Determine a Home Sale Price
If you are thinking about selling your house in the near future, I can prepare a FREE Comparative Market Analysis of your home. In order to do the CMA, I need for you to give me a 15 minute window into your property through a visit while you are there. After this, I will go back to my computer source and compile homes that have SOLD within the last 3 to 6 months that are similar homes in your area of Spokane. 

If you want a free CMA then send me an email requesting such. mtkeller36@hotmail.com

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