Maximizing The Sale Of Your Home
That’s the goal. You want the absolutely best results when selling your home in Walnut Creek, or anywhere you live. Listing your home for sale is a huge personal, emotional and financial decision. Like anything, you want to maximize the money coming in and minimize the headaches. You want to get the most out of selling your home!
We are here to help! We do this for a living, so we want to give you some ideas. We are going to tell you the same things we talk about with people who are selling their home in Walnut Creek. For the most part, the same goes for other towns like Danville, Alamo, Lafayette and so on. Keep your eyes peeled below for when we talk about micro-market knowledge.
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1. Interview Local Real Estate Agents
Obviously this is an important step, as the right agent is going to be crucial in maximizing your sale. We specify local because you need someone that is truly knowledgeable about your local real estate climate. Even when we are at listing presentations with potential clients, we will always recommend that you interview more than one agent.
The most important thing is you need to feel comfortable and confident with who you are going to work with.
We help home sellers all over Contra Costa County (Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Alamo, Danville, Concord, Pleasant Hill etc…), and it is our objective to be as helpful as we can be throughout the process. This needs to be the goal of the agent you work with as well. Another important piece is that you need to gauge the differences of the realtors you interview. Selling your home is a huge decision, and you want to make sure your agent has the process management and marketing chops necessary. See if they present a detailed marketing plan for your home, and then ask more probing questions about how they achieve maximum results for you. Any agent that just says they put the listing on the MLS, in the paper and online is doing you a disservice. They should be able to outline for you a detailed marketing plan of not only what they do, but why they do it. This will tell you a lot about that agent!
2. Plan Ahead
Remember, this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. The last thing you need is for your home to go to market unprepared, and you end up overwhelmed with hassle in getting it ready. This is one of the reasons agents like us exist! It is our job to manage the process, and take care of the details involved with planning. We have all heard that preparation is key, and that couldn’t be more true. Having your “ducks in a row,” is not only crucial to maximizing your sale, but keeping the process as smooth as possible. Some things to make sure you plan ahead for:
- Decluttering: It is important that you go through and remove clutter and personal items from your home. The idea is to present a home that looks clean and makes it easy for buyers to envision themselves being there.
- Removing/Storing Items: You may need to get a storage unit temporarily to house excess furniture, or other items (like artwork) you may want to protect.
- Inspections: We have a great team of inspectors that work all over Contra Costa County, and it is important to plan ahead for what may be necessary. What is common in our area is for sellers to have a pest inspection done prior to going on the market. Every situation is different and we will discuss this with you in further detail.
- Staging/Transportation: Depending on how the staging process goes, you will want to plan ahead on the removal of any furniture that will need to exit your home. Not everyone stages, although we will always recommend it. The right touch goes a long way in helping buyers imagine themselves as your home becoming their home.
- Identify Deadlines: We will help with this part of the process. You want to identify when certain tasks need to be done in leading up to your home going up for sale. The big one is having the home fully ready, and clean before photos and video are done. We always bring in a professional photographer, and a clean and ready home really helps the photos pop!
There are always other things to plan for, and that is part of how we help the process. For example, we love calendars! We use calendars as a central tool in the process of helping our home selling clients. This way our team, and you are all on the same page regarding the process of inspections, photo shoots, ad submissions, etc… Should you ever interview us, you will get a full idea of what I am discussing here. 🙂
3. Recognize The Nuances Of Your Local Market
This is what we help with at the beginning of the process. Knowledge is power, and having the knowledge of your local market will help you in your approach to the market. In our area, the Walnut Creek real estate market is different from the Concord real estate market. The Danville real estate market is different from the Pleasant Hill real estate market, and so on. There are going to be different nuances even at the neighborhood level. We (or another great agent) will help you identify these nuances.
Once identified, the overall approach of selling your home is geared towards taking advantage of your micro-climate. Every home has it’s strengths and compromises, however the market plays a significant role in how those are perceived by home buyers. Knowledgeable agents know their areas, and have a pulse on what drives home buyers that are looking in those areas. Remember that all buyers make “compromises,” in different ways since there is no “perfect home.” Recognizing the nuances of your local market will be of advantage to you!
4. Deciding On A Price
Pricing is crucial! This can be tricky sometimes, so we are here to help guide you. You’ll often hear us say that “the market will ultimately determine the selling price of your home.” Absolutely true. The goal is to still price your home as appropriately as possible. The price point affects how often the home is even found when buyers search online. Serious, active buyers will also likely know your area, and whether your home is priced appropriately.
Overpricing is extremely risky, and risks an extended market time. The last thing you want is to have to do price reductions. Under-pricing can be just as significant, as you don’t want to send the wrong message or attract the wrong buyers.
When we work with seller clients, we keep an eye on the micro-climate surrounding their home. The price will typically be the last item determined (right before we need to place ads), so that the decision is made with the absolutely most recent information on comparable homes in the neighborhood. We have to remember as well that the list price needs to not only make sense for comparable sales, but so that it will show up in the search parameters of your target home-buyers.
5. Be Ready For Open House Events
Our team considers open house events to be important. Not every seller, or realtor will think that way, and every situation is different. With that, let’s discuss why we think they are important (in our local area).
We will often discuss with clients that it really comes down to a numbers game. In short, the more people that are exposed to the home means the more people that will have interest. This is very important in maximizing the result of your sale! Simply put, people need to physically walk through the home in order to consider it being their next residence. Not only are the open house events important, but so is access in general. You want it to be easy and convenient for agents to bring their buyers through the home.
We try to minimize that with multiple open house events, however it will happen most of the time. Again, every situation is different and will require managing the process carefully. Not only will the home need to be prepared (all valuables out!), but you will also need to have planned how you will handle open house events and showings. Sometimes home sellers will be able to be moved out in some capacity, making access and open house events easier for home buyers. Or if a seller still lives in the residence, it just takes some simple planning ahead of how to handle those as they occur.
6. Decide On Preparations, Repairs Etc…
Unfortunately, there are some realtors out there that will try to tell you to go all out on remodels and upgrades. In fact we had one seller client who tried working with someone else first, and they told him to just call them back when his improvements were all done. Seriously?! Our team firmly believes in maximizing your return.
With that, expensive remodels and updates are not always required. Every home and seller situation is different, so that must always be taken into consideration. The main goal is to make sure the emotional elements are spruced up well. Kitchens are huge attractions for home buyers, as well as the entrance of a home.
The goal is to maximize the end result and get you the most money back into your pocket!
In essence, spending $10,000 on your kitchen isn’t going to be worth the hassle unless it significantly raises the selling price. Which often, would not occur. As an example, if one of our clients has a kitchen with tile and the “browned out,” grout, we have a great guy we call that will brighten and re-stain the counters. The result is an eye-popping white that makes the kitchen look amazing. You just increased the wow factor, and saved a ton of money! Also, without contractors and expensive projects your headaches are reduced significantly! 🙂
7. Be Photo Ready!
The best agents will help guide you tho this point. We cannot express enough just how important amazing photos of your home are to maximizing the sale. Quick note, we always hire a professional photographer! 🙂
We live in a technology world now, and home buyers are scouring the internet looking for homes. In essence they are “window-shopping,” and their screens are the windows. The goal is to capture their attention, otherwise they will just scroll right by your home and onto the next. In the planning element we mentioned above, it is important you identify a date for photos and make sure everything necessary is taken care of. The photos need to sparkle, and wow potential home buyers are they search for their next home online.
Let’s Wrap This Up!
This is one of our more in-depth blog posts as of late, and we are very impressed if you made it all the way through! These are some ideas that will lay the foundation for getting the best possible result if you decide to sell your home. If you are considering selling a Walnut Creek home, or anywhere in Contra Costa (Concord, Lafayette, Pleasant Hill, Alamo, Danville etc…) feel free to interview us. Our team has a lot of experience in the Contra Costa area. We would be happy to learn more about your goals, and share with you how we would maximize your results.
Remember, every micro-market is different, and Zillow Zestimates have no way of considering the unique and special characteristics of your home.
So for the same cost (free!), you can take advantage of our in-depth market analysis that will show you a value range of your home that is backed up by current data. This is a completely complimentary, no-obligation service we offer to local homeowners! What are your plans for this year and beyond? It is never too early to start getting your ducks in a row and planning the process.
Contact us at your convenience, and you can learn more about how we put our clients first! If you are considering the sale of your home or would like to learn more, click the button below to send us an email. Check your spam folder if you don’t hear from us within 24 hours!
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