A Step by Step Guide

Selling your home can be overwhelming, and you’re right to want the very best results for all the time, love and money you’ve invested. I’ve done it myself more than once and have helped countless people with their moves. I truly appreciate the trust you're putting in me to handle selling one of your most valuable assets.

My role as your realtor means being an advisor who listens first, speaks with transparency and ensures you benefit from expert, real-time guidance and insights about the market, as well as an
extensive network of trades people, designers, stagers, photographers and other realtors who trust, like and respect me.
I promise to make the process transparent, more predictable, less painful and ultimately as successful as possible. From prepping and pricing your house, giving it maximum selling exposure and negotiating the very best price and terms, it’s about delivering you the most profitable, efficient and smoothest experience possible. Your peace of mind is paramount.

Initial Consultation

Initial Consultation - Selecting the Right Agent

In our initial meeting we will discuss your motivations and expectations and I will explain my selling process and marketing strategies so you know what to expect. I will bring a Comprehensive Market Analysis to review with you to inform how much to list your property for and how long it should take to sell.

We will walk through your house and discuss suggestions on how we can enhance its presentation and I’ll advise you on any pre-listing inspections.

When you're ready to move forward together, we’ll collaborate on a listing calendar and timeline, which I will project manage from start to finish, and strategize for a faster sale and a strong selling price.

To make your home selling process easier, I recommend thoughtful consideration of these points before you embark on the journey.

  • Why are you selling your home? Downsizing, Upsizing, Retiring or Job Related?
  • What is your ideal timeframe? Are you in a position to be flexible?
  • Have you discussed the financial and tax repercussions of a potential sale with your accountant and/or tax advisor?
  • Will your home need minor or major repairs to get it into the best shape for a sale?
  • Do you plan on staging your home?
  • Are you prepared to move out of the home during the sales process, or do you want to buy before you sell?

Disclosures & Inspections

Disclosures & Inspections

Both the Seller and the Listing Agent are required to disclose all known material defects, repairs and alterations made to the home. Disclosures give a Buyer the opportunity to review available information prior to writing an offer.

A home inspection is a visual examination done by a licensed professional. A thorough inspection will examine the interior and exterior structures, systems and components of the structure including the roof, basement or crawlspace, foundation and structure, heating and cooling, plumbing, electrical, fireplace, attic, insulation and ventilation, doors, windows of a residential property.

Examples of things that need to be disclosed and provided to the Buyer:

  • Roof age and warranty paperwork, if applicable.
  • Furnace age and manuals, if applicable.
  • Central Air conditioning age, warranty, and manuals, if applicable.
  • Hot water heater age, warranty, and manuals.
  • Age of any included appliance, manuals, and warranties, if applicable.
  • Dates of any home improvement projects or remodels. This could include the kitchen bathroom(s) window installation, carpet and flooring, and outdoor amenities.
  • Dates and reports on any repairs made to the home.
  • Permits or Certificates of Compliance that apply, which could include decks, sheds, and fencing.
  • Written and verbal estimates of work to be done.
  • Anything that may affect the value or desirability of the property.
  • Title report showing clear title and loan balances.

Why up front inspections are important

We live in a competitive marketplace that requires a highly proactive mindset to sell a property at the most optimal price. If a Buyer is considering multiple homes similar to yours, it is to your advantage to have material facts presented up front so there are no surprises when the time comes for an offer and possible negotiations.

It is important to note that a Buyer may want to do their own inspections for a deeper understanding of the condition of the property. This is a normal practice.

Pricing Your Home

Pricing Your Home

Many people like to think that pricing can be narrowed down to Price Per Square Foot but he right price for your property is determined by many variables. In addition to the unique intrinsic factors of your home, what is happening in the world, especially in your local real estate market will have an impact.

Market conditions vary, based on everything from supply and demand issues to buyers’ attitudes. When determining your pricing strategy, you should take into consideration:

  • Nearby Schools (which are often the primary reason for housing decisions)
  • Listings and Sales of similar homes in your neighborhood over the last six months
  • Days on Market
  • Inventory Levels
  • List-to-Sale-Price Ratios
  • Seasonal patterns
  • Current market indicators such as Federal Reserve monetary policies that affect interest rates

You’ll see that I account for all these factors and more when I share and review with you the comprehensive Comparative Market Analysis I prepare for your home. This will provide you with the right data and insight for the best pricing strategy.

It’s important to keep in mind that overpricing can negatively impact the sale of your home. Your property will get the most interest when it first hits the market, and if it’s priced below or at market value, it will generate the most showings. If priced too high, your house could miss the initial excitement and we’ll have to drop the price later, causing it to sell below market value. Our goal for you is a well-priced home which will create interest, generate competitive offers and lead to a timely sale at the highest possible price.

Preparing Your Home

Preparing Your Home -The Importance of Staging, Upgrades and Repairs

Studies show that making your home as welcoming and neutral as possible creates optimal conditions for a Buyer to “mentally move-in.” In today’s competitive market, the small house details (lighting, hardware, paint, landscaping, etc.) can make a house really stand out, resulting in fewer days on market, attracting more buyers, and greater return on value.

It is highly recommended that you have a home inspection right away to identify and address problems before the house goes on the market. Cleaning, painting, remodeling, repairs, improvements, and staging can help eliminate buyer objections before they arise as well as help buyers visualize the maximum functionality and appeal of your property.

I understand how important first impressions are to potential buyers here in Silicon Valley. Along with my team of professional service and design experts, I provide you with interior and landscaping design consultation and will recommend the highest ROI projects to help your home show its best side and earn maximum value.

Together, we’ll develop the best preparation strategy and establish a timeline, which I will project manage from start to finish, to prepare your home for optimum sale.

Marketing Your Home

Marketing Your Home Successfully

Pre-Market Networking

In addition to exposing your property to my own pool of qualified buyers, my affiliation with Sereno Group means I have the advantage of access to a large professional network of some of the highest producing buyers’ agents in Silicon Valley. I regularly share my coming soon listings with them and they in turn market those properties to their clients to generate demand for your home before it even hits the market.

Reaching Buyers Where They Are

I target my marketing strategy and resources to match where buyers are finding homes right now and appeal to their discriminating standards. Along with my in-house marketing and design team, I’ll ensure your listing shines and gets in front of potential buyers where they’re searching with:

  • High Resolution, Storytelling Photography
  • Aerial Drone Footage
  • Videography
  • Matterport 3D Virtual Tours
  • Detailed Floor Plans
  • Professional Home Staging
  • Elegant and Professional Print Collateral
  • Street & Home Signage
  • MLS Listing
  • Broker Tours & Open Houses (Live or Virtual - depending on County SiP Guidelines)
  • Co-Marketng through Company-wide 360+ agent network
  • Print advertising in local newspapers and magazines, where appropriate
  • Email Campaigns
  • Direct Mail Campaigns
  • Dedicated Property Website
  • Digital Presence on Social Media Platforms
  • Exposure on Agent Websites and Home Search Portals like Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, & LuxuryHomes

Whether it’s through an online search, word of mouth, print ad, open house, broker tour, or private showing, my mission is to get every qualified buyer and agent in your price range to come see your home. The more places your property is marketed, the more buyers see your property, the faster it sells.

Negotiating the Offer

Negotiating Offers

When a potential buyer is serious enough, they will put together a purchase offer with their agent who will then present the offer to me, your listing agent. It is customary to allow 2-3 days for a seller to notify the buyer of their response but this is negotiable.

As a Seller, you have four choices when responding to purchase offers:

  1. ACCEPT as written. If you do this, you are “in contract” to sell the property.
  2. REJECT the offer.
  3. COUNTER an offer with a revised purchase price, length of escrow, contingency period or other terms. Once you receive a counter offer back from a Buyer, you can then ACCEPT, REJECT or COUNTER the counter. This can go on until both parties come to an agreement.
  4. Offer a BACK-UP position behind an accepted offer.

It is important to consider how the market is responding to the list price and adjust accordingly.  I will work with qualified agents and buyers and set a deadline to review offers. Rarely does an offer get accepted as presented. There are usually terms that need to be revised which are addressed through the counteroffer process.

Should there be more than one interested buyer, there could be a multiple offer situation. This creates live competition among buyers and helps increase price by initiating counter-offers.

The highest offer isn’t always the best offer. Not all offers are equal. Factors such as all cash, a request to rent back, home warranty, date of closing and pre-approval letter all affect the value and it is important to discuss how any of these might make one offer more beneficial for you as the Seller.

You accept an offer only when you’ve covered all of your selling costs, and when you know you’ve gotten the best possible price for your home.

As part of my fiduciary duty to you as your agent, I will thoroughly explain this process, discuss the best negotiation strategy for all offers, and provide you with the best information to help you make a well-informed decision.



Once the contract is signed, the escrow period begins. Escrow is the time period between your offer being accepted and close of escrow. Think of escrow as a neutral zone, like Switzerland. Funds are held by the Escrow company so that both parties have time to comply with the terms of the contract and the transfer of title can be prepared. The length is written into the offer and varies. Typically, escrow is 30-45 days however it can be much shorter in all-cash deals.

Why do we need Escrow?

It is important that no funds or property change hands until the instructions in the transaction have been followed and completed. This is for the protection of the buyer, seller, lender, and borrower. The escrow holder is obligated to safeguard the funds and documents while in their possession and disperse funds and convey title ONLY when all provisions of the escrow have been satisfied.

The escrow officer is a third and entirely neutral party and does not represent the interests of anyone in the transaction.

Several things need to be accomplished during a typical escrow and we’ll be by your side to interpret the documents and guide you through the process.

  • A refundable deposit (usually 3% of the purchase price) is placed and held by the escrow company.
  • Buyer’s lender prepares loan documents and collects necessary information for approval.
  • Review and sign disclosures (some may be provided by the Buyer’s agent).
  • Any inspections mandated in the offer are performed.
  • Property appraisal completed by the lender.
  • Title documents are signed and Seller provides pay off information.
  • Contingencies removed to meet deadlines.
  • Final walk through to make certain that the property is in the same condition as it was when the Buyer signed the contract.
  • Escrow closes and the property transfers when all conditions have been satisfied.

Closing The Sale

Closing The Sale

The escrow officer will furnish all parties involved with a settlement statement, which summarizes and details the financial transactions enacted in the process. When the buyer has signed off on the loan documents, the escrow officer will send them back to the lender for the final review and funding. Once escrow receives all the funds from both buyer and lender, the sale is recorded with the county and your ownership is conveyed to the buyer. The seller should arrange to have all property keys and any other important information for the buyer at the closing, so that the buyer may receive these items at this time.

Congratulations! This is an exciting milestone worth celebrating, however my service to you does not end with close of escrow. It is my great privilege to assist in the search and purchase of your next home as well as continue being of service as you settle in and become a part of a new community.

Other areas I might be of assistance:

  • Moving and Relocation Services
  • Refinancing
  • Remodeling consultation to maximize your return on investment
  • How to buy investment properties
  • Assisting family members purchase or sell properties, even outside the area

Work With Mark

Residential Real Estate sales representing buyers and sellers. Hyperlocal knowledge and love for this beautiful enclave of Silicon Valley.

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