When Should I Sell?

As you will see in this video, real estate marketplaces are generally most active in summer because families with children want to move in before school starts. So more homes are typically available in summer as well. But buyers and sellers tend to balance out in other seasons, too especially in todays tight market. There may be fewer buyers in late December but usually fewer homes, too. So, prices tend to rise or fall on general demand in that market rather than time of year. It is best to sell when you & your house are ready to sell. Start working with a real estate professional as early as possible to make the most of your sale in any season.

Improving Your Home's Value

Buyers generally seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can handle. Like the guy in the video says, you want to present a home that fits in the neighborhood but doesnt stand out too much. For example if neighbors are all 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 3000 square feet additions that make your home 5, 4, and 4000 will make yours harder to sell. Improvements should make it show well and fit well in the neighborhood. Last-minute capital investments in large structural changes arent likely to pay off. But cosmetic upgrades like paint and landscaping help a home show better and often do pay off. Of course, all systems and appliances should work to get a top price. To make your home competitive and attract buyers and bids work with a professional real estate agent and start early.

How Do I Select a Broker?

Like the video shows, it is a good idea to compare several. And ask these questions. What is your experience in my community and neighborhood? What type of representation do you offer? Different states have different types. Some brokers represent buyers, some represent sellers some act as neutral parties between both. and in some states, different people at a single firm can handle each side in a transaction. And of course, what are your terms and fees? Get the key facts in writing to help you compare your options. Then make the best choice for your situation.

What Can I Ask Brokers?

This video tells you what any real estate professional would tell you. Ask them:
  • How long do homes in my neighborhood currently stay on the market?
  • How would you price my home?
  • What data did you use to arrive at that price?
  • How would you market my home?
  • What activities would you expect of me to market my home?
  • How will you handle representation if one of your buyers is interested in my home?
  • May I speak with sellers youve recently represented?
  • How long a period would you want on a listing agreement for my house?
It is best to ask these questions, and be comfortable with your choices before signing a listing agreement.

Setting Your Price

While this video simplifies things to help you remember: your aim is to get the best price AND terms in your market during the period you are selling. Market conditions interest rates and competition all matter. The price you want, and the price a buyer will pay are framed by those complex conditions So pricing isnt completely predictable. Other factors include:
  • How your home compares to other homes for the same buyers
  • The inventory of homes and the level of buyer demand
Your needs also affect negotiations - for example, if you must sell quickly - but the final price will be determined by the market not by your needs. Buyers look at the same comparables and market conditions and they want to pay as little as possible while meeting their needs. Remember that the price isnt the entire deal - repairs, closing, points, appliances and other factors can all change the value you finally receive. Listen to your broker, stay informed, be patient if you can and make your best reasonable, unemotional decisions.

How Is A Home Marketed?

As you will see in the video, every home and market is a unique situation. Good marketing plans are specific to both. But every plan will include: Preparation Pricing and Marketing Activities. Preparation takes time - typically, months. Homes must be in show condition all repairs and upgrades complete and all photos and video completed before the home goes on the market. Pricing, likewise, should be planned in advance. Your broker will advise on both the best price and the best TERMS things like closing costs and seller credits to balance sales speed with sales price. Once the home is on the market it will quickly be entered in the MLS and will show up in Internet searches by agents and buyers. Your broker will advise other marketing activities including advertising, signage, showing and open house events so make the best of your situation. Their aim is to get negotiable offers, and then take the offer you accept through the closing process.

What Is A Counter-Offer?

The video puts this in more visual terms, but basically, a seller can respond to a buyers offer with changes - a counter - that improves the terms. You need to put yourself in their shoes and construct a modified offer that you think they might take that meets more of your needs. Then it is their turn - accept, reject, or construct yet another counter. It is an efficient market process, but beware: clauses and costs matter. Your broker should be closely involved in constructing a counter. Successful bargaining is best done with a win/win approach where each side is meeting their biggest needs and compromising others to reach an agreement. Remember that outside conditions like interest rates, and supply and demand, will keep evolving so you will need to be patient but decisive to craft an counter-offer that works for both sides.

The Closing Process For Home Seller's

As this video explains, a signed sales contract doesnt mean your house is sold. There are still financial, contractual and legal steps for both sides. The buyer has to get financing to meet the contract terms - which includes credit checks. The property is inspected and appraised; title insurance and escrow accounts are set up while you locate new housing, pack and move. And take care of any obligations like painting or repairs. After the contract is signed, it can take a month or more of closing steps to reach the closing meeting. So plan on that when you plan to sell.

Closing Meetings For Sellers

Watch this video to get a quick idea of the sellers side of closing. Also known as settlement and escrow the closing is a meeting where property, money, title and liens are exchanged between all the parties involved. The closing agent typically conducts the meeting. Theyll review the sales agreement to determine payments and credits due from both sides, and ensure that transaction costs like title and taxes are paid.
  • The buyer pays you - usually the remainder of down payment and prepaid taxes.
  • Adjustments like prepaid OR overdue taxes
  • And, of course, commissions for brokers or agents are included.
  • The buyer signs the mortgage note, promising to repay the loan
  • and then signs their lien on the property.
  • The lender pays you.
  • You sign a deed, giving the buyer title to the house
  • Title is recorded by the State,making the buyers the legal owner.

Calculating Your Asking Price

The best answer is get help from a real estate professional. But...if you only have a few minutes for a video, ere are five points to consider. 1. Start With Measurement Learn the average per-square-foot price for recent sales in your neighborhood. That will not set your final price, but it is a baseline buyers will use. 2. Get Comparisons Ask for Comparative Market Analysis - comps - from several agents. Go through each comp with each agent to understand both competitive homes on the market AND each agents potential approach to yours. 3. Market Research. Do your own! - not just online, but in person. That will help you understand your market conditions and the buyers perspective realistically. Markets get hot and cold, up and down, and yours defines the sales envelope for your home. 4. Consider All Terms Price isnt all there is to a sale. Can you close faster? Finance or lease-option the sale yourself? Cover some closing costs? Your flexibility can make sales leverage. 5. It is Not Personal. The hardest tip of all. Most people are emotional about their home. Pricing, in the long run, is going to logical. Theyre buying your house,not your home & memories. Find a real estate professional you like and trustand let them help you through the process.

For Sale By Owner?

Most people do not know enough to sell their own house. Heres why. 1. They Cant List It! Only licensed brokers and agents can create a listing in the MLS sale-by-owner houses will be invisible to agents and unavailable on the Web. 2. Agents Wont Show It. Typically, a buyers agent gets part of the commission paid to the sellers agent. Sale-by-owner houses do not have that commission commitment so a buyers agent might not get paid. No agents makes the pool of buyers MUCH smaller. 3. It is Probably Overpriced. Most homeowners do not have enough data and emotional distance to put a market price on their own home. and overpricing is another deterrent to potential buyers. 4. Buyers Prefer Neutrality Buyers will spend less time in the home and be less likely to make an offer because owners arent neutral about the transaction. 5. Legalities & Complexities. Real estate transactions are complicated. Most homeowners do not know enough to avoid potentially expensive liabilities Overlooking a form or required disclosure exposes the seller to lawsuitsAFTER the transaction is closed. There are buyers with enough real estate experience to sell their own homebut if you havent ever sold someone elses home you probably shouldnt try selling your own.

6 Home-Selling Mistakes

If you are selling, do not do these things - take some notes from the video!
1. Dont Sell Before The House Is Ready. If it doesnt present well, it will not sell well.
2. Dont Over-Improve People buy houses in neighborhoods. If yours is so improved that it sticks outyoure hurting your chances at selling.
3. Hire Wrong Make your agent choice for business reasons. Personal relationships matter, but experience and expertise will determine financial success in your sale.
4. Dont Hide Anything Covering up or failing to mention real problems doesnt work. State disclosure laws are strictand you can be sued after the sale for anything that should have been made clear.
5. Dont Rush You should know aboutyour mortgage, including pre-payment penaltiesyour market conditions and trendsand your options for your next homebefore jumping on the market.
6. Dont Get Too Emotional Your attachment to your houseand your own financial needs do not really matter in the transaction. If you cant set them asidethe sale will not go as youd like it to. Remember - it was your homebut to the buyerits as a house.
Mohseni Real Estate Group - COMPASS

Email: steve@bayareahomefinder.com

DRE#: 01267039, 01325077, 02117930, 02100655, 01498886

CalBRE Broker Number: 01527235

760 Camino Ramon, Suite 200, Danville, CA 94526

900 Main Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566