The Value Driven Approach to Sell Real Estate. How Thinking Like The Great Warren Buffett Can Help You Bank An Extra $30,000 in Profit When Selling Your Home!

From the Office of Robert Caruso:

Have you ever wondered, like I have, "why must MY house sell for what my neighbor’s house down the street sold?" You see, this is what is called a Price-Driven Approach. This approach is where agents base what you can sell or profit from your home on a fixed priced based on “others” homes. This is an inferior and outdated approach. I refer to this as an Elementary way to sell and price a home. After studying Warren Buffett and his philosophies when he invests in or purchases companies, he takes a totally different point of view. He takes what is called a Value-Driven Approach. He can look at a company’s Value NOT Price, and he can find hidden ways to increase the value of that company. Just like Buffett does with companies, we do with your home. We find ways to increase the Value, or better said, the Perceived Value of your home. This approach is a higher level, a Graduate School or “value” is there. We do this by hitting emotional triggers with perspective buyers. What I have found, is that when buyers can make a decision based on emotion, they are much more likely to make a better offer.

I have written this article describing how we teach our clients to take a Value-Driven vs. a Price-Driven Approach when preparing your home for sale. What we have found, is that by enhancing the perceived value of your home that clients have sold their home for up to $30,000 over similarly priced homes on the market.

Here are the features that we offer to get your home sold.


It is a simple fact. Bluntly stated, we want buyers making emotional decisions, not logical decisions. The more traffic we can generate, meaning more showings, the higher the likelihood of finding that person who doesn't just like your home, but LOVES it. This is why it’s important your home tells a story. And captivates potential buyers before they arrive in person. This is the secret to more showings and higher profits. Here’s how we do that: Since 92% of home-buyers begin their search online for a new home, photos—what people see about your home—can make or break your success. This is why we hire THE BEST photographers around. What they can do with a camera is incredible. I’m always thrilled when I see other agents out taking their own pictures, with their cheap cameras and poor lighting, of the competing homes in a neighbourhood. The end result is like watching a 1950’s black and white TV versus today’s color TV in crystal clear stunning High Definition. There’s NO comparison. And it’s not just the camera and the lighting, what Professionals do with these photos once they pick out the best 25 or 30 best photos that tell your home’s story is nothing short of magic. Sometimes they take 200 to 250 different shots! I’m not a photographer so I can’t tell you what they do—overlays, stitches, brighten, lightens, whatever it is. But they, at what they do, are genius. I’m just honored to have them on my team, working their skills on behalf of my clients. Not long ago it was proven to me just how powerful their work is, and just how big of an effect it really does have. At a recent showing, we had a woman doctor, who lived in Hamilton; send her husband up to view one of my client’s homes. As he was touring the property, I overheard the phone conversation between he and his wife, she asked, “Does the house look anything like the photos?” He assured her that it did. Within 2 hours, I had a full-price offer on the home. It wasn't until a week later that the wife finally laid her eyes on the actual home, and she was still IN LOVE. Now, to be fair, I doubt it was the photos that sold this client’s home—but, without the photos, I can’t help wonder… would this couple have noticed my client’s home online? Would my client’s home have stood out and captured this couple’s attention, in the sea of thousands of homes on the Internet? I don’t think so… This is why I hire a Professional Photographer to help me (visually) tell your homes story in stunning and vivid full HD detail –not the out-dated 1950’s black and white. Trust me, a photo is not just a photo. And they're not cheap. But they are the best. And their ability to tell my client’s homes story, time and time again, has proven to yield more showings, thus, bigger profits. I obviously don’t know the exact value of extra dollars in profit this represents, as every home is different—but conservatively—an extra $5,000 to $10,000 can pretty easily be expected.


It is a well known fact. Once buyers can visualize themselves in a home, can see how the layout will work for their family, can feel the openness and love; you have lowered their resistance to making an offer and have vastly increased the likelihood of getting a strong offer. When buyers can openly see a house, as their HOME, not one that is lived in by another family then the buyers start—as we want them to – making an emotional decision, not a logical one, and an emotional decision always brings higher profits. This is why, and you may not know this, builders spend so much time studying the science of staging homes…correctly. Little things like this matter.
This is exactly why we hire THE BEST stagers around. Have you ever seen the show "Love It or List It?" If not, it’s a simple premise. First, there is a homeowner. This homeowner, usually, is a person who’s grown somewhat bored with their home and is now considering selling it. Then, their interior designer, Hilary Farr, and real estate agent David Visentin—these are the characters of every episode begin their roles. While Hilary attempts to restore the homeowner’s excitement about their home by “transforming” their current home, real estate agent David tries to find them the home of their dreams. Once all of the work has been completed and all potential homes have been viewed, the couple must decide whether to “love their home” or list it. About seventy-percent of the time – the homeowner chooses to “love their home” and keep it rather than sell it.
This demonstrates how the proper use of SCIENTIFIC STAGING, can be powerful and be a huge motivator in making a buying decision. This works on a behavioral level. Scientific Staging pushes buyers from just comparing beds, baths, and square footage, to being emotionally connected to a home in which they can see themselves living, resulting in a higher sales price. This is why I hire home stagers on behalf of all the clients in my Program. They, like Hillary Farr, can transform your home from a “lived in” home that is comfortable and fits your family needs, to one that could be mistaken for a model home.

I don’t claim to know Staging Science – so I bring in the very best.

There is an old adage that says “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is especially true when selling your home. Just as we do with our photographers, we depend heavily on Home Stagers as part of our team, to help tell your home’s story. This “buzz” created from the total package makes your home stand out, leading to quicker and higher priced sales. And this is not just my opinion. It has been proven. A recent study by ASP® said that staged homes sold 5 times faster than non-staged homes. (The average was 29 days for staged homes vs. 145 days for non-staged homes)

Of course, and it goes without saying, it must be done right, there is a Science to this. A lot of real estate agents will claim to be “stagers” – I don’t – so be careful and cautious about these claims. The Stagers I use are the best, and they do it brilliantly…

The ugly part is, for a non-staged home or incorrectly staged home, that additional time on the market (statistics say an extra 112 days) means that the homeowner is likely to experience one to as many as 3 price reductions and, typically, most agents push for at least a $5,000 to a $10,000 per reduction drop. This can get costly; that’s $15,000 to $30,000 in lost profits, not to mention the 4 extra months of mortgage payments, property taxes, utility and maintenance bills, 4 months of extra stress, frustration, being inconvenienced, and having people traipse in and out of your home – in your personal space. This is why we operate the way we do, and have carefully chosen (and invested in) the team that we have.
Now paying to transform your home is NOT cheap, but my Home Stagers are worth it – and as a client, this is included. When it comes to your largest investment, as Creator and Innovator of ‘The Value Driven Approach to Sell Real Estate,’ I refuse to cut costly corners. Some agents will and do. Not me. I don’t. I refuse. We've seen our clients pocket as much as an additional $10,000 to $15,000 more just from the science of staging alone – buyers making emotional decisions rather than logical decisions. This is the end game, WE WANT TO WIN!


This isn't brain surgery. If we can increase the number of “eyeballs” that see your home by ten-percent - something we've discovered through our research - there’s a 90% chance we’ll find the highest paying buyer for your property. Herein lies the challenge, then, right? How do we get that EXTRA ten-percent? In a minute I will explain, but first a cautionary note:
Every agent you will speak to - maybe you've already spoken to a couple - will claim to be an “Internet Marketing Expert." They will tell you they put client’s homes on ’30 different websites’… then they will list out the online websites…. They will then tell you, “Nobody gets more exposure for you home than my marketing plan will get you." And, on the surface, this sounds good, right? 30 websites. That’s a lot. You may find this impressive. You may even find yourself being tempted into being “sold.” In reality, though, this kind of exposure is standard practice. Any agent you choose, upon entering your home in the MLS: Multiple Listing Service, the details of your home are automatically syndicated to all those different sites—due to syndication contracts those websites have with different MLS associations. Getting more “eyeballs” on your home –that EXTRA ten-percent then—isn't a matter of you being lied to about some agent’s “Internet Marketing Mastery” and “Massive Home Exposure” plan…that will get you nowhere.

It boils down to just two things:

First, Creating a Buzz, and urgency for your home. The more activity we generate, the quicker we can generate offers on your home. We immediately blast your homes information and professional photos to the websites that have the most buyer views. Once in front of a captive audience, the crème of the crop so to speak, will raise their hands and identify themselves as a purchaser. The sooner this information can reach buyers the sooner you will see activity/showings on your home and the quicker you will get offers and sell your home. What our photographer does is generate a link to a tour for your home that we send out virally right before your home hits the market to generate a BUZZ and peak potential purchasers interest and knowledge that your home is about to come on the Market. Just recently we had a listing in Vaughan that the photographer came out on a Tuesday to take the pictures and do the tour and she sent me the link on Wednesday morning. We, in turn, sent the link virally, through Facebook, email, Twitter and BEFORE the property was listed on Thursday we had 257 tour views. And these weren't just any tour views. We can track the number of pictures that each person views. We had 28 pictures total on the tour and THE AVERAGE number of pictures that were viewed were 27.1. What this means is that our photographer did such an amazing job capturing the attention of the viewer that they wanted to see the next picture, and the next, and the next… The first 2 weeks on the market we had 26 showings on this property. Don’t underestimate the power of sending tours virally and getting in front of more eyeballs.

Second, how is your home positioned once it is syndicated to those 30 different websites. It boils down to, how effectively “the story” of your home is actually told to those prospective home-buyers. When I see homeowners sell their home and suffer below-average profits, in many cases, painfully below average profits…from months on the market, multiple price reductions, low-ball offers, heavy and costly negotiations—it’s almost always, when I analyze their situation, because their real estate agent just did the “norm”; listed the features of the home. Beds, baths, square footage, etc and totally underestimated the importance of actually telling their home’s story. There are two words for this. Neglect. And Negligence. And it’s always the homeowner that suffers: Ten thousand, twenty thousand in lost profit… So please—in how you market and position your home, make sure you or your agent properly tells your home’s story.

The more eyeballs that we can get to view your home, the higher the likelihood that the “perfect” buyer will emerge and your home will be sold quicker and for higher profits. It is a simple fact, if your home is in front of 1,000’s of potential buyers as opposed to a limited number that the possibility of great activity and interest on your home increases. The true value of Mass/Internet marketing is a quicker sale and the value could easily be $1,500 to $3,000.


This is common sense. Have you ever been to a 5-Star hotel, you walk in and you can see your reflection in the tile floor, you go to the bathroom and the toilet paper is folded to look like a duck, and the bed is made so it takes you 15 minutes just to get in bed, and there is not a crumb on the floor or a piece of dust on the furniture? Why do they do this??? Because, first impressions are everything and you expect that a 5-Star hotel will be spotless and in meticulous condition. That is why we have your home professionally cleaned. Now our cleaners don’t do the duck toilet paper, but they do meticulously clean your home from top to bottom. Our cleaner is truly amazing. In fact, recently, I hired them as our cleaner for our own office after our last cleaner retired after 15 years. And the first time they cleaned our office it was a Sunday, and my office staff; commented that “this is the cleanest our office has ever looked and felt.”

Another recent project was a townhouse that was cleaned for one of my clients. This was a single gentlemen, he had lived in the house for 15 years and I bet you a dollar to a doughnut that he didn't vacuum or clean his kitchen or bathrooms a total of 6 times in that 15 years. I’m not talking a little dust or dirt, I’m talking you didn't want to take your shoes off when you walked in or sit on the couch. So we had them do a TOP TO BOTTOM clean, and it wasn't like a 5-star hotel when they were done, that would have been impossible, but it had a clean feeling. The appliances were clean, the bathrooms were clean, and you finally felt comfortable to sit on the couch. They spent 2 entire days on this townhouse and their work was nothing short of extraordinary. And how did this help my client? The first weekend the home was on the market we received a nearly full price offer. The seller was able to walk away with more money than he anticipated, and was able to move closer to his ailing elderly mother so that he could help her. He was so gracious and thankful and without our cleaners help, this would not of been possible.

They take pride in their work and do a meticulous job, they’ll come to your home and clean from top to bottom. They have done numerous projects for us in the past and my clients and, more important, potential buyers are always amazed at the WOW factor that they bring to a home. What they do is absolutely amazing. They will clean, mop, vacuum, clean appliances, clean baths, etc. So when potential buyers view your home, they will feel at home and know that your home has been well maintained, cared for, just like the 5-Star Hotel that they stayed at on their last trip to Vegas, Hawaii, or Disney World. Having a professional cleaning leads to quicker offers with less resistance to price and can easily put an additional $1,500 to $3,000 in your pocket.


What buyers are looking for when they do a home inspection, is additional items to negotiate for a reduction in price or money out of a sellers profit to remedy these “inspection” issues. Doing a pre-listing home inspection is flipping the normal process. Typically buyers and sellers agree on a price, then do an inspection. We do our inspection before ever listing your home. This inspection lets you know of potential issues that might arise and give you an opportunity to resolve these issues before buyers even view your home. But by doing a pre-listing inspection, the seller (you) is made aware of any potential issues that might arise during the process that could jeopardize the sale and cost you THOUSANDS of dollars in repairs down the line. By doing an inspection up front, we are able to remove potential obstacles before they can interfere with your sale. A pre-listing inspection benefits all parties involved. This gives you time to have the defects or issues remedied before selling your home, gives you time to get the repairs made to improve your homes appeal and helps us set expectations on repairs and by taking care of these issues up front it can have substantial benefits in listing price and sales price. By having time to remedy issues on a Pre-Listing Inspection this allows you to be able to do some of the repairs yourself or shop around to local contractors to fix the issues. Not being under the time constraints to fix the issue allows you to save money on repairs initially but also buyers come into the process with a peace-of-mind that the issues have been addressed and are less likely to ask you to fix the minor issues that can slow down a sale or cost you thousands of dollars. By taking care of the issues you eliminate possible issues and resistance from purchasers and every home is different, but conservatively, an extra $1,000 to $5,000 can easily be expected.


With a home warranty. What the true value of a warranty provides is that it puts the power of negotiations in the sellers (your) court. A home warranty while listing a home is considered piece of mind for both you and the purchaser. A Warranty typically covers, appliances, heating/cooling, electrical, plumbing issues that arise during normal use. (See brochure for details). The Warranty is an added feature that can save you money should something break while we have your home listed, BUT the added benefit is that you are providing coverage for the purchaser for 1 year after purchase against above defects. Having a warranty in place also limits the purchaser from “nickel and diming” you on minor issues from a home inspection and easily save you $200 to $800.


Means your home is best positioned to sell. We take care of setting up showings on our computerized listing organizer, through our office or answering service, with potential buyers and their agents, and then follow up via email and phone to get feedback on what the buyers and agents thought of your property. What this does is it documents and tracks the amount of activity and showings that we receive on your property. Our automated showing service provides peace of mind in knowing who is coming through your home and when they are coming


When appropriate, we also preform a Brokers’ Open house to prominent real estate agents in the area. What we do is market directly to over 400 agents in the area and follow-up with email blasts and Facebook posts. We have a network of individuals that help put on and market for the Brokers’ Open, our professional team each has a list of 80 to 100 contacts with prominent Realtors in the area, they help us prepare and market for the Open. We have found that instead of doing a typical Open House, where you get nosy neighbors and unqualified buyers, a Brokers’ Open is for agents, and when an agent sees that your home might fit the needs of one of his or her clients, they can pass along the information about your home. Each agent who tours your home, you gain potential exposure to a number of that agent’s clients who might be interested in your home. So the interest in your home mushrooms as each agent could have multiple buyers that might fit your home. These agents’ buyers are going to be well qualified and approved for a loan and when the agent shows your home to their buyer they have already previewed the home and have been debriefed by us on the best features of your home. The result in less haggle in price and quicker accepted contracts which means additional profits in your pocket.

I understand that your home is, most likely, your largest investment and for that reason we offer unique services that are value-driven in their approach and each service that we offer brings something unique to add value to your home sale.

I am here to help maximize the value of your sale and minimize the stress involved in selling your home. My 12+ years in Real Estate has taught us that each home, each family has unique desires and circumstances and that our customized approach can maximize ROI for your family.

Robert Caruso
Real Estate Advisors Inc.
Creator of ‘The Value Driven Approach to Sell Real Estate’

We have seen the traditional real estate approach disappoint

many of our clients. This is why we’ve taken to studying

the World’s greatest investor, Warren Buffet, and his investment philosophy,

to develop a unique approach to selling our clients homes.

We’ve discovered, by treating your home as an investment,

like a business with a “stock”-price – through a

Value-driven Approach – there is a unique way to extract up to

$30,000 or more of additional profit from any home on the market.

PS… Due to the time constraints for us to customize and prepare each listing for sale we limit ourselves to accepting 4 new listings a month. IF you desire a customized solution, email me direct at