Yes, Virginia, there are buyers ready to purchase your home this spring! The 2010 San Francisco market is brisk and homes are selling before they even hit the market!
by Deborah Lopez
Well-priced, quality homes are getting multiple offers and going over asking – the competition is out there. The median home price in San Francisco has gone up since December, 2008, but prices are still about 15% below the peak and predictions are that we won’t see those prices for 7-10 years.
So how do you make sure that your house gets sold for the best price? Here’s what YOUR Realtor would want me to tell you:
1. Be realistic and set a compelling price. Don’t just be competitive with other homes in your market – set your price to be the absolutely most attractive price in your market based on today’s values.
2. Make your house as entrancing as possible. If possible, move out and get your home in move-in condition. If your kitchen or baths need updating and you can do that, it is worth it. According to the National Association of Realtors, minor kitchen and bath upgrades in San Francisco return over 100% of their cost. Refinish hardwood floors and put on a fresh coat of paint in neutral colors. To learn more about the positive impact of low cost remodeling, send me an e-mail to receive a free report on 10 Big Impact, Low Cost Remodeling Projects.
If you can’t move before selling, work with your Realtor and a staging consultant to clear out all your clutter, rearrange your furniture and make your house sparkle as much as possible.
3. Make sure you pay attention to your curb appeal. If your exterior looks dingy, people will not be tempted to enter. Power washing and repainting trim can refresh an exterior quickly. Planters and flower boxes can add color and charm. Replace or refinish your front door and make sure all your windows are cleaned – inside and out.
4. Avoid surprises! Get all inspections done early. An inspection by a licensed pest control company up front will allow you to either fix the issues or address them in your pricing. If you are in a time-sensitive situation, get a general property inspection as well – you might get offers without an inspection contingency if the reports are relatively clean. Again, if there are issues that can be fixed quickly and with reasonable cost, do them.
5. If you are underwater or behind on your mortgage, try to negotiate a loan modification, refinance or, as a last resort, a short sale with your lender before putting your home on the market. Lenders will not refinance once your home is for sale. Try to get an approved price for a short sale – it will shorten the time your home is on the market and allow for a quicker closing.
6. Listen to your Realtor! If you cannot trust the advice your Realtor is giving you, hire someone else. You need someone today who will give you a true picture of how buyers and the market are responding to your home and your pricing.
Today’s market is completely value driven – even the best marketing strategy cannot sell an over-priced home. Pricing right and/or correcting the price when it’s too high is the most important role a Realtor plays today – find someone who is not afraid to deliver hard news and pay attention!
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