Home Selling Tips

The 9 Most Important Tips for Selling Your Home for Top Dollar

Tip #1 – Choose Your Home Price Correctly

Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible when he sells his home in San Diego. But a listing price that is too high often gets the seller less than a price that is at market value. If your house is not priced competitively, people looking in your price range will reject your house in favor of other, larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the people who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads! Overpricing usually increases time on the market, and that adds to the carrying costs. Ultimately, many overpriced properties sell below market value.

Tip #2 – “Showcase” the Home

Buyers look for homes in San Diego, not houses, and they buy the home in which they would like to live. Owners who fail to make necessary repairs, who don’t spruce up the house inside and out, touch up the paint and landscaping, and keep it clean and neat chase home buyers away as rapidly as realtors can bring them.

If you were selling a car, you would wash it, or maybe even detail it to get the highest price. Houses are no different.

Tip #3 – Avoid the “Hard Sell” During House Showings

Buying a house in San Diego is an emotional decision. People like to “try on” a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It’s difficult for them to do that if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. It may even have the opposite effect you want, by making them feel they are intruding on your private space.

Resist the temptation to talk the entire time a buyer is there, and let them discover things on their own. Try a tasteful sign to point out some hidden amenity that they might miss.

Tip #4 – Know the Difference Between Lookers and Buyers

For Sale By Owners always get more activity than houses listed with a realtor. No question about it. Realtors will only bring qualified buyers, and these will be fewer than if you open your front door to every one who walks down the street.

A qualified buyer is one who is ready, willing, and able to buy your house. We find that most people who go looking at For Sale By Owners are just starting to think about moving. They may be good buyers, but they’re just 6-9 months away from being ready. They don’t want to bother a realtor yet, so they call the “By Owner” ads to get a feel for what’s available. They may have a house to sell first, or may need to save some more, or may have credit that needs fixing. When everything is in place, that’s when they go out looking with a realtor.

An agent will ask a buyer how much he can really spend for a house, how much he has to put down, how good his credit is, how much he can pay each month, how much he will realize (realistically!) when he sells his present home in San Diego – and about a dozen other questions like that. But unless your realtor finds all the facts first, you must ask all these questions before the buyer crosses your threshold. Otherwise, you may have a parade of Sunday afternoon shoppers with a dream of owning a home in San Diego some day.

Tip #5 – Know Your Rights & Obligations

Real estate law in San Diego is extensive and complex; the contract for sale and purchase is a legally binding document. An improperly written contract can cause the sale to fall through, or cost you thousands for repairs, inspections, and remedies for title defects. You must be certain which repairs and closing costs you are responsible for. You must know whether the property in San Diego can legally be sold “as is”, and how deed
restrictions and local zoning will affect the transaction. If there are defects in your title, or if your property is in conflict with local restrictions, you or your realtor must remedy them, or you might have to pay plenty.

Tip #6 – Get a Listing Contract with A Right To Cancel

Many times a realtor will have good intentions about marketing your house in San Diego , but circumstances can change. There might be a death in the agent’s family, or the agent may decide to quit the business. In these cases
where the agent couldn’t or wouldn’t perform, you should have the right to fire your agent. In some companies the broker will assign your listing to someone else in the office, someone new in the business that you didn’t personally select. Always protect yourself by getting a guarantee of performance with the right to cancel.

Tip #7 – Don’t Limit the Marketing and Exposure of the Property

The two most obvious marketing tools (open houses and classified ads) are only moderately effective. Surprisingly, less than 1% of homes are sold at an open house. Agents use them to attract future prospects,
not to sell the house!

Advertising studies show that less than 3% of people purchased their home because they called on an ad. And if a machine answers, most callers just hang up without leaving a message.

The right realtor will employ a broad spectrum of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones he believes will work best for you. There are dozens of more effective ways to find real estate buyers in San Diego than just open houses and advertising. By the way, he or a trained member of his staff will be there every time the phone rings. Did you know that most calls come in during business hours when sellers are away at work, and most San Diego home showings are between 9:00 and 5:00 Monday through Friday?

Tip #8 – A Refinance Appraisal is Not the Market Value of Your Home

An appraisal is an opinion of value for a certain purpose. If the lender wants to lend you the money, they are motivated to have the appraisal come in high. The appraiser may ignore foreclosure or distress sales in order to justify the high value. But a real buyer in the real world will not ignore these properties. They are your competitors when you try to sell.

I can’t tell you how many ridiculous refinance appraisals I’ve seen. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the value you were told when you refinanced is what a real buyer would pay. Ask your realtor for ALL the recently sold real estate in your area in San Diego, then decide.

Tip #9 – Choose Your Agent For the Right Reasons

It’s likely that you don’t interview people very often. And yet in order to find the San Diego realtor who is right for you, you may interview several. The quality of your home selling experience is dependent upon your skill at selecting the best qualified realtor.

It’s interesting that in the real estate business in San Diego, someone with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. Bringing that experience to bear on your transaction could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with the minimum amount of hassles.

The world is populated with realtors who are wrong for you. For example, the housewife who sells an occasional house in San Diego because she needs a little pocket change, or the lender who believes he can handle two careers. Or perhaps your cousin George, who really needs your business.

The sale of your home could well be the most important financial transaction you have ever been involved with. The person you select can make it a satisfying and profitable activity, or a terrible experience. It’s your home, and your money. The choice of your agent is up to you. Make that selection carefully.

How to Sell a House Fast and Get Top Dollar in any Real Estate Market

The Fact of the Matter is…

1. Price Fact

THE BEST CHANCE TO SELL A HOUSE IS WITHIN THE FIRST SEVEN WEEKS. STUDIES SHOW THAT THE LONGER A PROPERTY STAYS ON THE MARKET, THE LESS THE SELLER WILL NET.

It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value right when you list it. The market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell. It’s interesting, but your first offer is usually your best offer. Here are reasons for pricing your property at the market value right from the start in order to net you the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.

An overpriced home:

  • Minimizes offers
  • Lowers agent response
  • Limits qualified buyers
  • Lowers showings
  • Limits financing
  • Nets less for the seller

80% of the marketing is done when we decide at what price to list your home. If you are unwilling to list at current market value, you would be better off not putting it on the market at this time.

2. Clean Fact

MOST PEOPLE ARE TURNED OFF BY EVEN THE SMALLEST AMOUNT OF UNCLEANLINESS OR ODOR WHEN BUYING A HOME. SELLERS LOSE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS BECAUSE THEY DO NOT ADEQUATELY CLEAN.

If your house is squeaky clean, you will be able to sell your home faster and net hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more. If you are planning on moving, why not get rid of that old junk now so that your house will appear larger? Make more space. Odors must be eliminated especially if you have dogs, cats, or young children in diapers or if you are a smoker. You may not notice the smell, but the buyers do! Most agents have a difficult time communicating to their sellers about odor. If you employ an agent to get the most amount of money for you, please don’t take offense if he must confront you about odor problems.

3. Access Fact

TOP SELLING AGENTS WILL NOT SHOW YOUR HOME IF BOTH THE KEY AND ACCESS ARE NOT READILY AVAILABLE. THEY DO NOT HAVE TIME TO JUMP THROUGH HOOPS TO BRING THEIR BUYER TO YOU. THEY WANT TO SELL HOMES!

The greatest way to show a house is to have a key available! I wish I always had 24 hours notice, but that’s not reality. I might prepare properties to show a buyer the day before, but then they show up the next day, and say, “We’ve been thinking…” and off we go in a different direction. If you need 24 hours notice, I cannot show your home to these buyers.

When your home is being shown, please do the following:

  • Keep all lights on
  • Keep all drapes and shutters open
  • Keep all doors unlocked
  • Leave soft music playing
  • Take a short walk with your children and pets
  • Let the buyer be at ease and let the agents do their job

4. Paint & Carpeting Fact

PAINT IS YOUR BEST IMPROVEMENT INVESTMENT FOR GETTING A GREATER RETURN ON YOUR MONEY.

Paint makes the whole house smell clean and neat. If your house has chipped paint, exposed wood, or the paint looks faded, it is time to paint. If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated, or an unusual color, you may need to seriously consider replacing it. Many houses do not sell because of this problem, and hard flooring is much more popular than carpeting. Don’t think that buyers have more money than you have to replace carpet. They don’t. They simply buy elsewhere.

5. Front Yard Fact

YOUR FRONT YARD IMMEDIATELY REFLECTS THE INSIDE CONDITION OF YOUR HOUSE TO THE BUYER

The San Diego area has a good climate, therefore outdoor activities are important. People enjoy their yards. Make certain that the trees are trimmed so the house can be seen from the street. Have the grass mowed, trimmed and edged. Walkways should be swept. Clean away debris. Remove parked cars. This all adds to curb appeal. If a buyer doesn’t like the outside, they may not stop to see the inside.