Thinking About Selling?

Posted on December 29, 2011 | by Denny Oh

So you’ve decided to sell your home.  Great.  What’s next?  Who do you list your home with?  The realtor who helped you buy the place?  Someone who keeps mailing you fliers?  Your neighbor?  Should you paint your home before putting it on the market?  How much should you list it for?  When should you list it?

There are a lot of things to consider when you go to sell your home and some things are more important than others.  Here’s a list of things that I think are important…

1. Who do you list with? The simple answer is, me – Denny Oh(858-243-2092).  But…if that doesn’t give you a good enough idea of what you should be looking for, here are some thoughts…

  • You want someone who is a professional. Too many times, I’ve been on the receiving end of working with an incompetent agent.  Since it’s pretty easy to become a realtor(you take a few classes, pay a couple hundred bucks and pass a few exams), a lot of people get into the industry.  True, many people have left since they ran out of relatives’ homes to sell, but there are still a lot idiots out there. I’m talking about people who leave voicemails without leaving a callback number, their name, or which property they’re calling about.  Realtors who email you from accounts that they self-admittedly don’t check(ever!), or agents who don’t know how to fill out a contract properly.
  • You want someone personable. As basic as this sounds, it’s pretty important.  I’m not saying your realtor needs to be your best friend, or a Chatty Cathy, but they need to be able to communicate with you and to the agents who want to show your home.  I hate showing some properties because I can’t stand the other agent(especially if they’re meeting you at the home to show it).  Keep in mind, buyer’s agents have some control as to which properties they want to show their clients and if your agent isn’t very likeable(professional, courteous, responsive, etc), the buyers’ agents may just skip your home all together.
  • Someone you trust. Selling your home is a big deal.  Look at it this way…if you sell your home for $450K, versus $435K is a $15K difference to your net proceeds.  However, to your agent, it’s only a difference of $450 in commissions.  You need to have someone who trust, that will fight for you and keep your best interest in mind.  Less honest agents may try and sway your decision, by doing something that makes their job easier.

2. How much do you list your home for? Pricing your home correctly is very important.  Listing it too high discourages some potential buyers and pricing it too low, might end up with you leaving money on the table.  Depending on the market, it may or may not be clear as to where you should price your home.  It typically depends on relative inventory, the time of the year, recent comparable sales and how quickly you want/need to sell.  Having an agent who knows the market and can explain to you where your home should be priced is extremely important.

Your agent might not be right every time, which is why you want someone who will monitor the showings, feedback and keep up with what the market is doing.  Being able to react to the market is just as important as anything else.  Also, if you’re thinking that since there’s nothing else on the market that you should list your home high, think again.  More than likely, the buyers will think you’re not motivated to sell and will not look at it.  Then, undoubtedly, your neighbor will list their home for less and you’ll be in a price cutting war.  Don’t be too greedy.

3. Repairs and Improvements. You want to make your home look as nice as you can, without putting money into it that you you won’t get back.  If your carpets are trashed and you have no bathroom doors…you might want to spend some money.  On the other hand, you don’t want to over do it and get a Viking range if the property is worth $300K.  Bathrooms and kitchens tend to have the best return on your investment and paint and new flooring can go a long ways.  Try and keep things neutral and not too specific to your own taste – trust me, most people won’t like the crazy dragons you hung on the wall.  Check with your agent before you make any changes, or spend any money.

4. Do it now. Buyers(and their agents) are constantly complaining about how little inventory there is.  Right now, there are only 211 active listings downtown, which is really low.  If you’re waiting to sell, you may want to think again.  Waiting for the summer might not be the smartest thing, especially if everyone else is thinking the same thing.

If you have questions about your home’s value, or anything else related to real estate, feel free to give me a call.  Denny Oh 858-243-2092 or [email protected].  Thanks and Happy New Year.

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