The Selling Process

Steps to Selling Your Home for the Highest Possible Price.


Initial Meeting

Step #1 Working Relationship

Let’s get together to discuss the selling process and see if we are a good fit to work together. When we meet, we will determine your key objectives, review the marketing plan, strategize how we will negotiate offers up to the highest possible price, and discuss the right pricing strategy for your home.

You may also want to meet with your tax professional and consider some of the following:

✓ What am I going to do with my money?
✓ Who is on title?
✓ Have I talked to my CPA about selling?
✓ What taxes will I owe?
✓ Capital gains?
✓ 1031 Exchange?
✓ What are my current loan commitments secured by this property?
✓ Have I paid my property taxes?

Step #2 Home Preparation

I love selling turnkey, fixer-uppers, and everything in between! But getting your home ready to sell can often be very overwhelming. I will help you prioritize what improvements, if any, will generate the highest return on your investment and my team will help coordinate and oversee the preparation process from start to finish. We will get bids, develop a timeline, track the budget, and follow up with vendors.

Order Inspections – The most common inspections performed are the home, pest, and sewer lateral inspections. If any issues are found during these inspections, you can choose to disclose and repair them or only disclose the issues. Any issues disclosed upfront cannot be negotiated later in escrow by the buying party, therefore, I find it very beneficial to perform inspections at this time. You can find a list of my trusted inspectors here.

Complete Planned Improvements – Before professional photos are taken and your home goes on the market, you’ll want to complete any planned improvements such as landscaping, cleaning, painting, or new flooring. View a list of my preferred vendors here.

Home Staging – After any improvements are completed, you may want to consider home staging or hiring a design consultant! Staging your home can be the very reason why buyers are able to visualize themselves at home in your property. Click here for a list of my staging partners. If you’re still living at the property during the sale, check out these helpful tips on how to prepare your home.


Step #3 Disclosures

Providing complete disclosures and reports of your home is an important strategy when selling your home and prevent the need to negotiate any unforeseen issues during escrow. Seller disclosures can be completed in person or via Glide and should include information regarding property history, improvements, and the current condition. Also included in my listing package is, which is a cloud-based tool that stores all the disclosures and reports and is also accessible to home buyers and buyer’s agents. easily compiles disclosure packages with drag and drop organization and allows controlled distribution with customized invitations and alerts. Knowing who is serious about buying your home with real-time data gives us a competitive advantage when negotiating multiple offers.

Step #4 Marketing Components

Once inspections and pre-listing work are complete it’s time to start the marketing portion of selling your home! As your agent, I offer an inclusive and extensive marketing package that includes:

✓ Professional Photos
✓ Virtual Tour
Aerial Photography and Videography
✓ Floor Plan Rendering
✓ Descriptive Marketing Copy that Highlights your Home as Well as its Location
✓ Single Property Website with Custom URL
✓ Paid Facebook and Instagram Just Listed Ad
✓ Email Marketing to over 10,000+ agents in the Bay Area
✓ Social Media Marketing

Weekly Marketing Review

To ensure that our marketing is effective and the buyer feedback is positive, it is important that we monitor the analytics for your property. Each week, until the property is in contract, I will follow up with agents who have shown the property for buyer feedback and compile listing analytics from the property website,, broadcasted listing websites, and private showings.

Step #5 Offers & Negotiations

After showings, I will follow up with the buying agents to gauge their client’s interest in making an offer and to gather their feedback on the property. Whether we receive one or multiple offers there is always room for negotiation to ensure you are getting the highest possible price.  Some examples of terms that can be negotiated in a counteroffer include escrow length, price, who pays for the home warranty, seller in possession, and rent backs just to name a few.

If we are countering more than one offer, we will counter it with a Seller Multiple Counter Offer. This form notifies the buying party that you are countering multiple offers, though the terms in the counteroffer can be different for each party.

Once one party accepts the offer or counteroffer you are officially in escrow and the countdown to close begins.

Escrow Period

Step #6 Escrow

Once you have accepted an offer, we will enter into the escrow period. During the escrow period, my team will:

✓ Create an escrow calendar for important dates
✓ Ensure the buyer and buyer’s agent have received all the disclosures and reports.
✓ Review and negotiate any backup offers.
✓ Review documents and confirm that they are properly signed and acknowledged.
✓ Follow up on the progress of the buyer’s loan application, appraisal, and time frame.
✓ Ensure contingency removal dates are met, review, and negotiate any request for repairs (if applicable).
✓ Schedule a final walk-through for the buyer.

Sign Off and Closing

Step #7 Closing

You’ve made it through the preparation, listing, and escrow stages and now it’s time to close! In the last week before closing escrow, you will:

✓ Review the closing statement from the title company
✓ Schedule and confirm the sign-off date
✓ Sign-off at the title company

Once the loan is funded, the buyer’s name is recorded at the County and escrow will close. I will exchange keys with the buyer’s agent and you will receive a copy of all the disclosures and reports electronically. That’s it, you did it!

If you are selling an investment property, I can help you facilitate a Tax-Deferred 1031 Exchange. I invite you to get in touch with my preferred Wealth Manager and CPA with any other questions about selling.

Seller Reviews

First of all, I have to say that my time with Sam Bird-Robinson and Savannah and all the others at their office in Santa Cruz was my best realtor experience ever and probably my best customer service experience of any kind. It was not easy letting go of an old family home but they were always available and empathetic, making the experience as easy as possible. From the long process of preparing the home for sale to the sale itself, they were always there to help, always offering suggestions but always leaving the final decisions to me. I could tell I was in the hands of true professionals who were sincere in their desire to help me attain the most I could for my house. Thank you Sam and everyone else involved!

Robert S.

Seller, Santa Cruz

I have bought and sold 8 different homes in the past 33 years, and this was by far the best experience. Sam was incredibly patient with me as I waited for the right time to “pull the trigger”, and he kept me informed and updated on market conditions for several months, never once pressuring me to do anything that wasn’t right for me. When the time came to sell, Sam gave me great advice for staging and had a comprehensive marketing plan in place that was way beyond anything I expected. His advice was spot on and we sold the house for well over asking within a week with 7 offers. Sam did everything he promised and then some. He was always available and a complete professional. Sam had my best interests in mind from day one and the results were amazing. I’d give him 6 stars if I could.

Jeff M.

Seller, Santa Cruz

I had to sell my first house under a very stressful circumstance and I cannot highlight enough how fortunate I was to work with Sam and his team throughout the whole process. Sam is a very empathetic and genuine person. He cares about the client’s goals and plans but also is very knowledgeable about the market. It was really helpful when going over his data analysis and discussing the strategies with him. His team’s marketing tools/skills are top-notch. It’s Amazing how they put it together for the market. Sam is really communicative and I was able to trust and rely on him 100%. You won’t regret working with him!

Heeyoun Y.

Seller, Capitola

Sam and Savannah were amazing throughout the entire sales process. I was new to selling a home, but they helped ease the stress by guiding me through each step and effectively communicating along the way. They were consummate professionals while still being flexible enough to customize their approach to my unique needs. Their teamwork and expertise were, without a doubt, the reason this sale was such a success. I can’t thank them enough!

Christiane S.

Seller, Santa Cruz

I worked with Sam as my Realtor® when I sold my investment property and he helped me get the property ready for sale by arranging the painters, cleaning crew, landscapers and handyman. I was very impressed with the marketing and when we received multiple offers, he made sure we negotiated the best price and terms and closed the transaction smoothly and on time. I consider him an expert in the Santa Cruz Real Estate market and will be quick to call him when I need a real estate agent in the future!

Manooch P.

Seller, Aptos

I found Sam through Yelp. From the first day, Sam was an absolute professional, a great communicator, and I always felt he was 100% committed to doing the best job possible. His attention to detail and budget management was amazing, he brought in to do flooring, repairs, cleaning, painting, yard work, and inspections were all solid. In the end, he sold the property in a week for over the asking price, and I can’t thank him enough for it. I definitely, recommend Sam if you need to sell a house in Santa Cruz.

Victor B.

Seller, Santa Cruz

I referred Sam to my Mom when she was ready to sell her home in the Santa Cruz area. She interviewed 4 real estate agents and ended up selecting Sam. She had lived in the home for over 30 years, so getting the house ready for the sale ended up taking longer than expected, but Sam was patient with our family as we got the house ready. He marketed the home with a drone, walk-through video, virtual tour and custom website that really made the house stand out from the competition! We received an offer within the first week of having it on the market and he negotiated the numerous counteroffers until my Mom was comfortable with the final sales price. He also negotiated for my Mom to stay in the house for a few months after the close of escrow at no cost, which was a big help. Sam demonstrated a good understanding of the Santa Cruz real estate market, sophisticated marketing tools, and effective negotiation strategies that made us know we made the right choice in choosing him as our Realtor® for the sale!

Mike B.

Seller, Boulder Creek

We found Sam 5 years ago when we were looking to purchase a condo in Santa Cruz for our children to live in during college. At that time it was a challenging buyers market yet he made it happen quickly for us! 5 years later it was time to sell. Not only did he coordinate painting and carpet for us (we live in So Cal) he made sure everything was done right from first to last! Literally days before we were to go on the market the world stopped with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. He made what was a traumatizing and frightening situation into one we felt comfortable navigating through. He kept in constant touch and reassured us with his vast knowledge of the area and market trends that we would make the sale happen. We listed in May and had a buyer within 10 days! Closed in 30 and we are so grateful as we are now in escrow for our dream cabin home. I can not recommend Sam highly enough as a Realtor®. He is sharp, empathetic, and very thoughtful in how he transacts his business. I would refer him to anyone and if we ever are back in NorCal would use it again!

Debbie D.

Seller, Santa Cruz

Sam Bird-Robinson is the best Realtor® we have ever worked with (we have bought and sold multiple houses over the past 30 years). He worked as both a property manager and real estate agent for us. We found him to be one of the most responsible and ethical businessmen we have ever worked with. His communication skills are excellent and he always followed through on his promises, and then exceeded our expectations. When it was time to sell the property, he not only prepared it for sale for us, since we lived out of town but had it sold in one week at the above-asking price. Who could ask for more?

Jill R.

Seller, Santa Cruz

Sam was perfect from beginning to end, and my wife and I could not have asked for more. His marketing with the video and professional brochure was excellent and the open houses were well planned and brought in lots of traffic even though the weather was rainy. We were very impressed with his skill in handling multiple offers and negotiating the best price for us! Closing moved flawlessly, and everything wrapped up from the day we visited him in Santa Cruz until the money arrived in our account in less than a month! Sam is the best Realtor® we’ve used in the last 40+ years over multiple transactions. He was earnest, always listened to our requests, and delivered a lot more than we expected. I will definitely recommend Sam in the future.
Gene H.

Seller, Cupertino

Always Here For You

Being your trusted advisor is a privilege. That’s why I do business in person from start to finish.

1108 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060