Spring is upon us and we are moving into the best period in which to sell your home. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Home Seller Tip #1
Home Improvements – When preparing a home for sale, it is generally advisable to avoid costly remodeling projects like kitchen remodels. Instead, focus on cosmetic projects and minor repairs that cost-effectively increase the visual appeal of the home such as a new coat of paint, window treatments or planting flowers to increase curb appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors virtually all remodeling projects cost more than the value they add so keep it simple.
Home Seller Tip #2
Marketing a home – In order to generate the highest possible price for a home, you must expose it to the largest number of potential buyers. It’s best to use an Agent who specializes in your local area. Your agent must be able to showcase your home in a variety of traditional and online media including newspaper ads, direct mail, property fliers, listing syndication, virtual tours, single property websites, and electronic communication with other agents. Your agent should be able to identify the key features of your home and pro-actively promote these well to potential buyers and other real estate agents during open house and broker tours.
Home Seller Tip #3
Contract Pitfalls – When you sell your home you are entering into a legally-binding contract with the buyer. There are many potential pitfalls that can arise out of these contracts. The standard purchase contract in California is a 10 page document that involves a multitude of legally complex clauses. In addition the buyers agent will write up the purchase contract with conditions and clauses that may or may not be in your best interest. It’s important to have an agent who understands the contract and how the various terms and conditions will affect you so that you can make an informed decision about any offers that are submitted.
Home Seller Tip #4
The right Agent – The most important factor when considering an Agent is whether the Agent specializes in your local area. Despite the plethora of information that exists online about the housing market, there is no substitute for the local knowledge of a dedicated real estate professional. A local agent will know more about the local market and will have interaction with local buyers and exchange information with other local real estate professionals. You should also be sure that your Agent is with a reputable firm that is in your local area for the long haul. The Agent you hire should have a comprehensive marketing plan and provide specific pricing recommendations that are realistic and aligned with your goals.
Home Seller Tip #5
Marketing a home online – Today’s buyer uses the internet as the primary tool in their housing search. Buyers use the internet to search for properties, research schools, read about market conditions, view statistics and communicate with real estate agents. You need an agent who understands the online landscape and can leverage it’s tools to your advantage. My marketing program includes a variety of online marketing tools including listing syndication, virtual tours, and single property website to maximize your home’s online presence. It’s of paramount important to have excellent photos of your home taken as the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”
Home Seller Tip #6
Cleaning and Staging – Most people understand that good “curb appeal” is important in getting top dollar for a home. After all you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Equally important is how the home appears on the inside. These are five proven steps to improve the sale of your home.
1. Get a head start on packing by reducing clutter in the house
2. Remove highly personalized items such as photographs and religious objects that might make buyers uncomfortable.
3. Repair any minor items that may signal that the home has not been well maintained.
4. Clean your home throughly and consider repainting the inside to make it look fresh.
5. Organize and stage the furniture so each room looks visually appealing. You want the prospective buyer to visualize the home as becoming theirs.
Home Seller Tip #7
What’s My Home Worth? – There are many misconceptions about what a home is worth. The worth of a home is not necessarily based on what you paid for it, how much you put into it or what you think it’s worth. The bottom line is that your home is worth what a qualified buyer is willing to pay for the home. Buyers assign a value to a home based on many variables that are outside the sellers control (.e.g. the quality of schools, condition of other homes in the neighborhood, local amenities, commute times etc). The two most important factors you can control is the condition of your home and the price you set for your home. Pricing correctly is of imperative importance to make a sale and your realtor should be up to speed on what’s selling in your neighborhood and know how how to price the home accordingly.
Home Seller Tip #8
Negotiation – The Listing Agent’s job is to make sure that every buyer looking in your area and every Agent covering your area knows about your home. The greater awareness of your home the more likely it will be shown to potential buyers. Studies show that the higher number of showings, the more likely you will receive potential and favorable offers for your home. Your agent must have a deep understanding of the local market (i.e. What’s on the market, what homes are selling for, average price per sq ft etc) as these all apply to the negotiation process. You need an agent with top communication skills to make counter offers that get top dollar for your home!