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If you want to learn about our real estate market, it’s important that you understand the statistics behind it.
Just putting the words “stats,” “statistics,” or “data” in the title of a video tends to cut out at least half of its potential viewers because they stir up bad memories of high school math class. However, I believe if more people understood these stats and what they represent, they’d be more excited about finding out about recent data.
When selling your home, it’s important to have an action plan in place to ensure you’ll achieve your goals. To help you with coming up with this plan, I’ve prepared an overview of the process of selling a home in the San Francisco Bay area:
- Choose a real estate agent. More than likely, you already know a few licensed real estate agents. However, just because someone has the license, it doesn’t mean they’re able to sell your home effectively. That’s why it’s important to interview at least two to three Realtors to ensure you choose the right one. Consider their track record, pre-sale preparation plan, marketing strategy, and negotiation strategy. Have a list of questions ready that you can get the answers needed for your decision.
- Prepare your home for sale. Listing your home in a hot seller’s market does not mean you don’t have to do any work to the house. If you think people will just buy it as is, you may be right, but this kind of thinking is detrimental to making your home sell at top dollar. Buyers tend to amplify the costs of repairs and upgrades. For example, resurfacing and staining a hardwood floor may only cost you $3,000, but a buyer may see it as a $25,000 floor replacement. It would detract from the buyer’s enjoyment of the home if they knew they’d have to fix things shortly after buying. Things like this can cause buyers to offer less money or even walk away from the opportunity altogether. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, and you can watch my video on preparing a home for sale to see what upgrades are most beneficial.
- Get disclosures and inspections. As a seller, you must disclose to buyers everything that you know is wrong with the property. In our market, we also provide buyers with pre-sale home and termite inspections. By providing this information, the ultimate goal is to receive offers that aren’t contingent upon inspections. This will also reduce your liability in case something goes wrong with the house after the sale. I suggest you watch my video which details disclosure packages.
- Choose a listing price. In this area, the listing price is more of a marketing strategy than anything. When we list a property for 10% lower than we believe it should sell for, we’ll bring in more buyers from multiple price ranges. We leverage this into receiving multiple offers on the home and facilitate a bidding war. Choose a price by looking at recent sales of comparable property in your area, and also what’s currently on the market.
- Market your home. Once your home is prepared for showing, a price has been chosen, and disclosures and inspections are taken care of, your home is ready to go on the market. At this time, photography and marketing materials will be ordered, the home will be listed in the MLS, and showings will be scheduled. The goal here is to get your home in front of as many buyers and agents as possible.
- Negotiate offers. It’s best to set an offer date within the first two weeks of being on the market. At this time, you’ll either accept or counter offers made on the home. It’s good to get multiple offers, but at the end of the day, all it takes is one offer at the price that you want.
- Begin the escrow period. This period starts after you’ve accepted an offer and the contract has been ratified. During this time, the buyer will conduct their inspections and investigations while working with their lender and bank underwriter on the loan. It’s in this time frame that issues may arise with either the buyer’s financing or additional discoveries through inspection. However, the goal has been to qualify the buyer adequately enough and present disclosures beforehand to ensure a smooth process.
- Closing the escrow period. A week before the escrow period ends, the escrow officer will arrange for all parties to sign documents. You can go to the company’s office or they can send a mobile notary to you. After receiving final loan documents from the lender and all parties have signed, the officer will send all documents to the county recorder and escrow will close. The sale is now on record.
I hope this topic has been helpful for you, and if you have any other questions, feel free to contact me, view my other videos, or visit joepolyak.com. I look forward to helping you.