Having just closed the negotiations involving a beautiful house in Tuscany, in the town of Sarteano, we interview Stefano Petri, who managed the client promising to sell.
Stefano could you tell us how you acquired this property to your portfolio?
Good morning. This stunning property had been present on the market for some years, and also within our Groups database, until about two years ago I did not handle the property personally.
Before I took on the property personally, the most relevant issues related to the asking price, which, until a few months ago, was around a 30/40% higher than the actual value of the property.
Therefore, it was necessary to inform the seller and arrive at a price that was more inline with the real estate market. This is a critical step with which to achieve a sale, for any property.
About a year ago the owner of the property contacted us. Aware of the difficulty in arriving at a positive outcome for all, I hoped to be worthy and successful in my endeavour, deciding to personally devote myself to the management of the property and to keep in contact with the owner.
From the beginning I tried to create, as all professionals who share the Group’s values and who want to work within the same, a relationship based on professionalism, integrity and availability.
Following in this vain I had to provide a true indication of the real market value of the property. Clearly, the owner had already been given, by many other professionals, a sales price.
Our new valuation tool, The Best Price, played a key role in this important first step, and, thanks to this most important tool, we were able to position the property at an asking price of € 1.680.0000 euro (the old price were around 2.5 million Euros with the lowest at 1.9 million euro).
These were truly unreal valuations, not backed up with data, not in step with the times or the real situation of the Italian and Tuscan Real Estate market. And because of this the seller lost valuable time and also revenue given that the property languished on the market.
If an asking price is too high it can lead to a decrease in the real value of the property, given that in the last 8-10 years property values have fallen objectively.
I was able to help the owner understand these concepts and she once again trusted our group by giving us a new mandate to sell the property, without investing in a marketing plan.
We also urged the owner to check the technical and town planning situation of the property, along with a surveyor and together with Mr. Lucioli, we did these important checks. Thanks to these checks we discovered some irregularities that were later successfully resolved (and so did not hinder the sale!).
The drafting of a document of due diligence was vital, confirming what all our professionals within our Group already believe.
In addition to the technical aspect, we carried out a mortgage title search on the property to check for the presence or absence of particular constraints and the result was negative.
At this point, we focused on the presentation of the property. I think the video we have done with our new drone speaks for itself.
After that, we performed a professional photoshoot and drafted a description of the property, translated into English and Russian.
These first steps are fundamental to place properties in good standing on the various international portals, both from the point of view of its presentation and for the asking price.
With this work being done it was now time to do everything possible to attract the first customers.
For this purpose, we carried out all marketing activities contained in our ‘INTERNATIONAL SILVER’ marketing package. We received from the start, good feedback on the property, especially for video and in general for the presentation and for the high visibility of the plan.
In the first eight months we did 6 visits with customers from all over the world: two from the US, one from South Africa, one from Bahrain, one from Italy, one from Russia, one from Ukraine and one, of course, with our international customers from Israel who bought the property.
Each client recognized the great beauty of the property but also found that the size of the property was a problem along with the need of an internal restructuring, especially since, over time, the owners had divided the house into two units: one for themselves and one dedicated to tourist rentals.
The owners had added an internal lift that had distorted the authenticity of the property. The owners also had put more value on the large living area and so the property ‘only’ had 3 bedrooms.
We realized these drawbacks and decided to use home staging, to bring together the two apartments and to create at least 5 bedrooms. We also had to create an idea of the costs to update some of the faculties. This activity was carried out by Geom. Giulianelli, and later became essential to the sale of the property.
In July of 2016, the purchasing customer notified us of their desire to focus on two properties, obviously, this charming farmhouse was included in these 2 properties.
We had no difficulty in showing the great potential of the farmhouse, also supported by the various projects and studies of the property along with the urban planning and legal situation of which we were perfectly aware…given the due diligence that we had already completed.
In these phases the inability of an Agent to answer even a single question put forward by the customer places into question the overall professionalism of the Group, leading the customer to not ‘trust’ the Agent completely.
This does not happen within our Great Estate Group and it did not happen with this property, thanks to the great care with which the Group acquired the property, before putting it on the market.
The customer made a second visit to the house with their whole family and had a meeting with the owner.
This was an important moment as it was almost as if all parties involved saw this as the first ‘formal’ step towards the sale.
Again, attention to detail, the perfect organization of the day, the professionalism and skill in handling negotiations with ease let the following steps breeze by with ease.
Stefano, could you tell us what were the fundamentals steps to close the sale?
The steps mentioned above allowed us to define the deal with relative ‘simplicity’.
Certainly, without an attentive eye to detail, it would have been possible to falter in the sale process. Fortunately, this did not happen, let’s start for example from the reservation offer (“proposta d’acquisto”).
I remember one of the many visits to the property. It was on August 15 … In addition to professionalism, trustworthiness, and correctness, this work requires ‘availability’, which means to be ready, even on a national holiday, for example, the 15th of August, Christmas or New Years, to ‘serve’ with love for our work and, therefore, our customers. Even these small aspects transmit to our clients the confidence and dedication with which we carry out this beautiful profession.
Without a doubt, the synergy between Roberto Biggera and myself, who was involved in the management of the client wishing to buy, was very important.
Beyond the great skill, the know-how and professionalism of Mr. Biggera another determining factor in these negotiations was the teamwork done by Roberto and myself. We were always in line with each other and this is another strength of our Group.
All this, together with a continuous sharing of information and feedback, with our two clients, led to the signing of the promise to purchase in early October. However, this happened in conjunction with another offer, received by the owner, at a higher price.
And here, all our hard work truly paid off! The gratitude of the owner, for all our in-depth studies, due diligence and efficient marketing were so apparent that the owner accepted our clients offer although initially lower.
What can I say… this was surely one of the greatest satisfactions that I have ever received in my professional life.
To be told by the owner that they wanted, at all costs to conclude the sale with us, made me immensely proud of the work done and of the entire Group.
However, all this would not have been possible if, behind me and behind my work, there was not the great work done from behind the scenes, from headquarters in advertising, communication, and support on a daily basis.
Even if one person is busy, there is always someone else ready to respond immediately, perfectly informed and ready to resolve all customer issues.
In short, a large group which, again, has put into practice all its best potential, always with the utmost professionalism, integrity, and availability.
Once the offer was accepted we presented to our clients to one of our notaries, with whom we formulated the preliminary deed, in our offices.
Even the support of skilled professionals is a big plus because it allows us to provide high-level services with total and full technical knowledge.
Finally, I cannot fail to recognize the work done by two of our professionals, for me fundamental to the current situation of the Great Estate Group and its future: Roberto Biggera, I have already mentioned, and Valentina Fabbrizzi.
Roberto has become one of the best Italian Agents for the management of international clients. He has proven to the entire group over and over again that uniting hard work, tenacity and determination, predictably concludes in positive outcomes for all. What can I say, every day it is a great honor for me to share this great professional and human growth with Roberto.
Valentina is the secretarial support that all large companies should have. Always perfect in every way, helpful and focused on the job. Valentina is an essential part of keeping the entire Group running smoothly and helps secure the future of our company.
Thanks to both.
Finally, I cannot conclude this article without mentioning the buyer and the seller.
I personally only met the buyer a few days before the preliminary deed, given that they had been managed by Roberto Biggera.
In meeting the buyers I met a truly nice person, a great entrepreneur attentive but not ‘fussy’, a person in love of our beautiful Italy, who thanked us for the work done in front of the seller.
In short, I met a ‘great’ person the right customer and, I hope, a true friend of our entire Group. We also talked about future projects for Great Estate International I believe we could possibly have another collaboration in the future.
Rosanna Lucarelli …an extraordinary way of living…a very special person. I do not deny that more than once I was touched during this negotiation by the respect and consideration that Rosanna always had for our work and our commitment. I believe, without false modesty, that we deserve this attention especially because we deeply love our beautiful work and we put it into practice with our professionalism, integrity and constant staying in touch. Rosanna taught us every day how to be most correct and almost noble in our actions, given her ethics and her beautiful way of being.
I can only say thanks to Rosanna for giving me the opportunity to be her advisor, for letting me get to know her and becoming her great friend.
Thanks again to everyone! I will keep the memory of this sale, in my heart for all my days. It more helped me grow and made me stronger.