The process is not always pretty.  You have no clue how he got there.  But Bob knew.  He knew all along how the painting would turn out and you didn’t.  This is the same thing we do when we sell your home.

Article By:  Neil O’Donnell

Most people don’t realize, and most agents don’t talk about it, but depending on the month anywhere from 5-10% of listings either get cancelled/expired because they haven’t sold.

Yes, even in this market.  Selling a home the RIGHT way, to maximize your profit, is not for the faint of heart.  It takes hard work.  It takes dedication.  It takes planning.  It takes the entire Value-Driven approach to produce profits for sellers when selling a home.

I was at a friend’s cottage in Long Point recently, and they had on PBS (no satellite so back to good old tv antenna) and this guy was doing a painting.  You remember the dude with the afro who would paint on PBS while telling stories?  I literally had to Google “the dude that painted on PBS with an afro” in order to remember his name and sure he enough he popped up:  Bob Ross.

If you remember the show, you know he showed you a finished painting, and he was going to show you the steps on how to paint it.  He started with a blank canvas and began to paint.  As he painted, talking to you in that soft monotone voice, you thought to yourself ‘there is no way this is gonna turn into what he is talking about”

But then, sure enough….

Something would click.  Might be half way through the painting.  Maybe it was near the end.  However, something would just click and you’d think “Damn it, Bob was right, this turned out exactly as he said it would”

The process is not always pretty.  You’d have no clue how he got there.  Bob knew all along though how the painting would turn out and you didn’t.  

This is the same thing we do when we sell your home.

There is a vision and a purpose for everything we do.  You might not always see it, but at some point it will click and you’ll say ‘Ahhh, that’s what Neil was trying to accomplish.  I get it now.”

Sellers always want to tell you how ‘their house is different and better than the one down the street.’  That might be true in some instances but most likely, it’s not.  That house has other features that yours doesn’t and vice versa.

However, each home does have a certain feel and ‘story’ to it that we try to enhance during the ‘Pre-Production’ process lets call it – yes, I just made a new term for real estate – but think about it – your home, once we unveil it to the public – has a story.  We do our best to share this story when we allow potential buyers into  your home for a showing.  This is a theatrical event where the public will come and give you immediate feedback on how you have done with properly presenting your home and its story.

My sons, Conor and Rogan were part of a Christmas play at school a few years ago.  Now those of you that have attended these know that each performance only lasts 10 or 20 minutes.  Want to know how long they have practiced for that 10 minute performance?  Since just after Thanksgiving.  Dozens of hours of ‘Pre-Production’ preparing for a 10 minute show.  All of that practice to make sure everyone knew their lines, positions, the sets are ready and the timing is perfect.  Two months to get prepared for the ‘Big Day’.

Think of your home in the same manner:  

Preparing for the ‘Big Day.’  You go ‘Live’ and potential buyers – your audience – can come and see your home.  

If done correctly, there will be an immediate emotional connection between the buyer and your home.

How do you do this?

The first step is to make sure you avoid fundamental mistakes and there are specific steps to overcome any potential barriers to sale.  Most of these steps are done in the ‘Pre-Production’ of your home.

Let me give you a couple examples.  

These 2 examples mirror each other so closely that I’ll combine their stores for the sake of space here.

Two sellers, both young couples, one with 3 kids and the other with one, both need a bigger home with more space for their families.

They contacted us as they were referred by a friend who had used us earlier and they read about our processes and what we go through with each Seller to properly prepare their home.

They each spent a couple months in Pre-Production.  Painting, sprucing-up, cleaning, decluttering and then near the end scientifically staging (with Colleen and Lynn consultation of course).  We went to each home multiple times during the process to help create the ‘Story’ that we wanted to ‘Paint’ for their homes so that we could engineer emotions in potential buyers.

Everyone sees the end result:

  • That these homes were on the market for 2 and 4 days respectively
  • That we had 12 people through the home on the first day and multiple offers on the second day – and the public thinks ‘man that was easy’
  • That they listed their house and then got offers in the first couple days
  • That the agent made ‘easy money’
  • That the sellers were so lucky

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

What the public doesn’t see is the months of PREPARATION – the ‘Pre-Production’ process.  All the public sees is the final school play, they don’t see all the sacrifices the sellers made and the hard work.  The late nights preparing, the constant tidying up behind the kids, weekends not going out while getting their house ready.

That is why I tell everyone, selling a home sucks, selling a home correctly is even more difficult.

But the end results are worth it!

Like Bob Ross painting a picture, like Conor and Rogan preparing for a 10 minute show, selling your home is an EVENT.  Creating emotional attachments to your home is choreographed months in advance.

If you are thinking of selling, it’s never too early to start the ‘Pre-Production’ process.

Any thoughts or questions?  Share them with me at

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