Seller’s Guide


atlanta home seller guide

  1. Does the brokers’ “Performance vs. The Market ” record substantiate their claims of superior service?
  2. Does the broker’s “Sold” portfolio substantiate their claims about their ability to sell your luxury estate?
  3. Have you read the brokers testimonials from previous clients?  Do the testimonials give you comfort that any problems that arise will be solved quickly and efficiently?
  4. Can the broker give your home the marketing exposure required to sell the property?  Have you examined the Brokers marketing plan?
  5. Does your broker have the worldwide luxury network and affiliations to deliver maximum exposure for your home?
  6. Will your home be photographed by a professional photographer using the latest digital equipment?  This is essential to producing photographs that will effectively represent your home.
  7. Have you reviewed the photographs of other homes listed by the agent to determine the quality of the photographs delivered? Compare here.
  8. Does the agent have their own sophisticated website to display the photos, the image of which is consistent with the image of your home?
  9. Does the agent work with a company growing their market share in Atlanta or a company that is losing market share?  If no, why are they losing market share?
  10. Will the broker call you weekly to keep you informed of their progress and strategize on the next steps in marketing your home?
  11. Can the agent keep you informed about the market by providing you with monthly Real Time Market Statistic Updates for your neighborhood via email reports?  See sample report here.
  12. Does the broker have a team of professionals to back them up and provide Ritz Carlton service with Fed Ex efficiency?

If you hire a broker that can say “yes” to all of the questions above, we believe you will be happier with the results.

For more information or assistance, contact Dillard & Company at info(at)dillardandcompany(dotted)com or call us at


  • Set a competitive price
  • A Dillard & Company consultant will assist you in reviewing the latest market conditions, home sales in your neighborhood and in developing an
  • intelligent price. See the data on our superior pricing performance as compared to the larger market. See how intelligent pricing maximizes your return.
  • Establish an broad reaching marketing presence
  • Dillard & Company’s aggressive marketing plan is one of the most comprehensive and effective in Atlanta.
  • Arrange for the home to be shown when requested
  • Take steps to ensure that your home shows to its best potential
  • Our listing consultants are experts in helping you stage your home for sale, sell your property at the highest possible price and optimize your return on investment. Atlanta home sellers guide.

Dillard & Company’s clients are successful, busy, and always expect world-class customer service. See what these individuals are saying about their service experience with Dillard & Company. Testimonials


CMA stands for “Comparative Market Analysis.” – See Sample CMA

A CMA is an excel spreadsheet prepared by your real estate consultant that provides objective data comparing the features of your property to similar properties which are on the list, are pending sale, just sold, or listings that failed to sell. Click the link to request a CMA.

The CMA is developed in advance of listing your home for sale. This is a professional assessment of what your house is worth, but not a formal appraisal. The CMA will be employed during negotiations with buyers to demonstrate that your home is priced correctly. Atlanta home sellers guide.

lamp at the wall To gather data for a professional CMA, your consultant (agent) will inspect your property (pricing inspection) and list the selling features that drive and support their final price recommendation. This inspection deals with readily viewable features of the home. The consultant is not going to crawl under the house, nor does the house need to be cleaned and ready for an open house. It should be in such a condition that allows the agent to make an accurate assessment of its condition and worth. If you plan to make improvements before selling, inform the consultant during the pricing inspection. Atlanta home sellers guide.

Following the pricing inspection, the consultant will collect data on properties with comparable selling features through FMLS, use their market knowledge and contacts in the field to back up the data and when the analysis is complete, review the resulting CMA spreadsheet with you. Atlanta home sellers guide.

Other uses of the Comparative Market Analysis

Owners who are remodeling can consult a CMA to determine if the intended changes will “over-improve” their property compared to other homes in the neighborhood.  Atlanta home sellers guide.

Buyers should request a CMA for homes they are considering for purchase, to determine if the asking price is a true reflection of the current list condition. 


We’ve provide suggestions below that will help prepare your home for successful showing. Invest in those areas where wear is visible or where the effort and expense will enhance the home’s appearance, thereby making it more appealing, sellable.  Atlanta home sellers guide.


Most buyers form their opinion between the car and your front door, so let?s begin outside.


  • Trim shrubs, hedges, trees and lawn
  • Rake up dead leaves and pick up dead tree limbs
  • Repaint or replace a worn mailbox
  • Repair and/or repaint the fence
  • Reseed worn patches in the lawn
  • Weed and feed the lawn and garden
  • Pick up all litter and trash
  • Pick up all garden tools
  • Pick up all toys


  • Repair or repaint siding
  • Repaint or touch up trim along the side of the house
  • Check weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to a worn doorway
  • Repair a malfunctioning screen or storm door
  • Wash steps and railings
  • Replace a worn doormat
  • Put up new, easily recognizable house numbers
  • Spruce up the front door with potted plants
  • Remove old or dirty screens from windows
  • Wash all windows


  • Freshen interior paints and finishes
  • Make your home look well-kept and inviting
  • Make sure all appliances are in good working order
  • Replace appliances that are of older vintage
  • Check and repair deficient plumbing or electrical systems
  • Replace worn carpets
  • Clean floor coverings
  • Make sure caulk around sink, shower, tub and windows is in good condition
  • Replace any broken light fixtures
  • Make sure each room is well lit


  • Remove debris from gutters and downspouts
  • Repair or repaint gutters and downspouts
  • Check chimney flue and clean obstructions
  • Check flashing around vents, skylights and chimney for leaks
  • Check chimney for damaged chimney caps and loose or missing mortar
  • Install wire screens in roof ventilation areas
  • Check roof for leaks
  • Check roof shingles for sturdiness


Have your home inspected by a licensed home inspector with strong references. Make any repairs called for in the inspection. Atlanta home sellers guide.


June and Fred Smith were diligent about getting their home ready for sale. They ordered a pre-sale termite inspection report. The report revealed that their large rear deck was dry-rot infested, so they replaced the deck before putting the home on the list. Atlanta home sellers guide.

The Smiths also called a reputable roofer to examine the roof and issue a report on its condition. The roofer felt that the roof was on its last legs and that it should be replaced. The Smith’s didn’t want buyers to be put off by a bad roof, so they had the roof replaced and the exterior painted before they listed the home. Atlanta home sellers guide.

The Smith’s home was attractive, well-maintained and priced right for the list. It received multiple offers the first week it was listed for sale. Atlanta home sellers guide.

But the buyers’ inspection report indicated that the house was in serious need of drainage work. According to a drainage contractor, the job would cost in excess of $20,000. Fred Smith was particularly distraught because he’d paid to have corrective drainage work done several years ago. Atlanta home sellers guide.

Tip: If you get an alarming inspection report on a home you’re buying or selling, don’t panic. Until you see the whole picture clearly, you’re not in a position to determine whether you have a major problem or not. Atlanta home sellers guide.

What happened to the Smiths is typical of what can happen over time with older homes. The drainage work that was completed years ago was probably adequate at the time. However, since then, there had been unprecedented rains in the area, which caused flooding in many basements. Drainage technology had advanced. New technology can be more expensive but often does a better job.

The Smiths considered calling in other drainage experts to see if the work could be done for less. After studying the buyers’ inspection report, the contractor’s proposal and the buyers’ offer to split the cost of the drainage work 50-50 with the sellers; the Smiths concluded that they had a fair deal.

The solution is not always this easy, especially when contractors can’t agree. Keep in mind that there is an element of subjectivity involved in the inspection process. For example, two contractors might disagree on the remedy for a dry-rotted window: one calling for repair and the other for replacement.

Recently, one roofer recommended a total roof replacement for a cost of $6,000. A second roofer disagreed. His report said that the roof should last another three to four years if the owner did $800 of maintenance work. Based on the two reports, the buyers and sellers were able to negotiate a satisfactory monetary solution to the problem splitting the difference between the two estimates.

It’s problematic when inspectors are wrong. But it happens. Inspectors are only human. Here is another example: A home inspector looked at a house and issued a report condemning the furnace, which he said needed to be replaced.

The sellers called in a heating contractor who declared that the furnace was fit and that it did not need to be replaced.

The buyers were unsure about the furnace, given the difference of opinions. The seller called in a representative from the local gas company. The buyers knew that the gas company representative would have to shut the furnace down if it was dangerous. He found nothing wrong with the furnace, and the buyers were satisfied.


Sometimes unforeseeable issues arise just prior to closing the sale. Through negotiation, most of these have a workable solution.

Imagine that your prospective buyers are a couple with young children. They envision your unused attic as the perfect playroom for the kids but, before closing the deal, they request an inspection to see if the attic is safe and if they are able to install a skylight to provide natural light to the new space.

This inspection reveals that under the shingles, in good condition, is an older roof that will only last another year or two. The prospective buyers balk, not wanting to incur the time and cost of replacing the roof. Their plans were to move in and only spend time and money renovating the attic. The additional cost of the new roof is just too much.

At this point, we recommend sitting down with the prospective buyers and calmly discussing the situation and how it can be solved to the benefit of all. First, you agree to get a second professional opinion on what really needs to be done. Inspectors are only human. Once the extent of the damage is mutually agreed, decide jointly on a fair solution. While the buyers hadn’t planned on the expense, you might show them that instead of the limited roof life with most existing homes, they’ll have a new worry-free roof that won’t cost them in repairs for the next decade. Since the roof needed more work than you originally believed, you agree to lower the purchase price to help offset the cost of the new roof.

Through calm negotiations and considering possible solutions, what could have been a “deal breaker” can be turned into a win-win situation. In other cases, the most workable agreement for both parties might be to walk away from the deal. The seller can always find another buyer and the buyer can always find another home.

To protect yourself against last minute “buyer’s remorse,” make sure the purchase contract anticipates and closes as many loopholes as possible after all known defects have been fully disclosed.