Thinking of selling your Coronado home? It’s best to plan ahead, advise the principals of Jackman Realty, a Coronado real estate firm that is filling a unique niche in real estate sales that encompasses its full spectrum of building and interior design services.
“Everyone wants to list their home for sale in May or June,” noted company president Sheryll Jackman. “But the process for readying a house for sale really should begin many months before that, preferably in early winter.”
Those extra months of prep work and staging a home will reap sellers the highest equity potential for their property, she advised.
“Essential ‘pre-marketing’ will make that initial magic moment — where a buyer first sees and falls in love with a home — last,” she said.
Because Coronado is an upscale seaside resort, island homebuyers are sophisticated. “They are typically well off and seek out homes — often second or third homes — that fulfill their dreams. They want ‘move-in ready,’” Jackman said. “They do not want to inherit your ‘to do’ list!”
“‘Move-in ready’ are words that excite buyers and might get them to make a quick decision,” Jackman said. “A well maintained and cared for home carries a tremendous psychological impact with buyers.”
The benefits of a well-thought-out pre-marketing strategy, said Jackman, often lead to the highest possible sales price, fewer days on the market, the elimination of property condition contingences and a shorter escrow period.
For more than 30 years, Sheryll and her husband, builder Harry Jackman, have owned one of Coronado’s most established design/build firms, the Jackman Group, which has created some of the island’s most spectacular homes. The company has also designed and built or remodeled many of the city’s iconic businesses and buildings, including Primavera Ristorante (an American Society of Interior Designers first place award winning design for Sheryll Jackman) and the Spreckels Building, for which The Jackman Group received the city of Coronado’s highest award for design.
Sheryll Jackman is also acutely aware of the attributes of Coronado homebuyers and what motivates this discerning clientele. For 19 years she showcased her unique design style at her retail furnishings and lifestyle shops. She opened Island Provenance in Coronado in 1996 with her daughter Caylee Jackman Pinsonneault, and followed with Seaside Home stores in Coronado, La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe. Pinsonneault is a real estate agent and home stager with Jackman Realty She holds a degree in Urban Studies from UC San Diego and studied at the Design Institute of San Diego. In addition to developing two bayside properties (709 and 711 First Street), Pinsonneault was responsible for redesigning, remodeling and staging 937 and 941 J, 527 Ocean and the historic Spreckels Mansion on Ocean Boulevard. Through her work with the city’s historic resources board on the J Avenue and Spreckels properties, Pinsonneault acquired great insight into proper remedies to undertake when responsible for significantly important properties.
Sheryll Jackman, GRI, CSP, is a licensed general contractor. A graduate of the Design Institute of San Diego, she is also an NCIDQ-qualified interior designer. The GRI designation of the National Association of Realtors recognizes realtors who have in-depth training in legal and regulatory issues, technology, professional standards, and the sales process. She is a certified staging professional and also holds a RESA-PRO designation (Real Estate Staging Association-Professional Member), which requires several years of experience.
“In many respects, staging a home and staging vignettes in retail settings have similar objectives,” Jackman said. “They both invite the client to imagine themselves in a lifestyle of grace and coastal ambiance — and to ultimately buy the product!”
Jackman Realty begins its marketing campaign for every home with a complimentary pre-listing home marketing preparation study that creates a customized plan that “promises a graceful home within” for potential buyers.
The process starts with a walk-through of the house by Jackman and Pinsonneault.
Next, Jackman Realty facilitates a full property inspection by certified independent inspectors. Any remediation work, including code compliance, as identified in the pre-inspection report, can then be handled in-house by Harry Jackman.
“Our pre-inspections virtually guarantee there are no surprises after an offer is made,” Jackman said. “In fact, having a current report in hand that shows to a buyer and their agent that all remediation has been completed becomes a sales tool that eliminates one of the most common sales contingencies.”
The final step is the preparation of an inclusive staging plan.
“Staging is so important, not just for buyers who walk the property, but for marketing the property online and in print,” Jackman said. “Almost all buyers look online first, then they will drive by. For this reason alone, landscaping needs to be addressed well before the property hits the market.”
With an eye for space and proportions, simplicity, the incorporation of muted tones, harmony of color, timeless forms, light and an artful composition, the Jackman team creates interiors that present an “aspirational lifestyle.”
The firm will often use a client’s furnishings, “but we edit out very personal items or items exhibiting proprietary views,” Pinsonneault added. Sometimes, clients’ furnishings are simply rearranged, “which often surprises and delights a client.”
Proper staging, said Pinsonneault, needs to be the right look for the home’s architecture. “We look for clean, simple lines in furnishings that show off the possibilities of the house.”
Sometimes pre-marketing will recommend kitchen upgrades. “Kitchens are hot buttons for buyers,” Pinsonneault said. “We might suggest that we refinish the kitchen cabinets, or install new hardware or upgrade to stainless steel appliances. It’s amazing how some simple and inexpensive fixes can make a dramatic change.”
Proper staging can also tone down a negative design element, allowing the “dream” to supersede a property’s flaws.
“Every room needs a focal point,” Pinsonneault said. “Maybe it’s a beautiful backyard that is accessed by sliders.
“Lighting is really important,” she added. “Every room needs at least three lighting sources; one might include uplighting a plant.”
Proper staging addresses all the senses, Jackman said, but the most important by far is sight. “Close to 80 percent of our first impressions are based on sight,” Jackman said. “This is why professional photography is so important. Buyers look online first and if the property does not come across as something they are willing to take the time to look at, they will pass on it. The property must look good and that takes great staging, showcasing and excellent photography.”
Staging budgets range greatly, depending on the home’s current condition, but a good rule of thumb, said Jackman, is 1 to 3 percent of the listing price. “So a $1.2 million home might cost $12,000 to $36,000 for staging,” she said.
She noted that those costs are often recouped through quick sales. “Properly staged homes sell in one-quarter of the time of non-staged properties. In many cases, staging costs are less than mortgage payments.”
Jackman noted that the first 5 to 15 days of a home being on the market are crucial. “A listing becomes stale after 21 to 30 days, and that’s when the pressure to lower the price starts, she cautioned. “A properly staged house can change that dynamic and even lead to multiple offers and bidding wars.”
Proper staging yields big rewards
• 49% of Realtors say home staging impacts most buyers’ final decision.
• 96% of buyers shop online first (“staging” includes photos and videos that buyers see there).
• 76% of buyers “drive by first” (curb appeal is vital).
• 81% of buyers say staging makes it far easier to visualize a property as a future home.
• 63% of buyers are willing to pay more for a move-in ready property.
• 46% of buyers are more willing to walk through a home that they previously viewed online.
• 28% of buyers are willing to overlook a property’s faults when it is properly staged.
10 – The average number of properties that buyers will be willing to view based on photographs they see online
6 – The average number of properties that buyers will view before they make a decision