Here are a few essential tips from that you should keep in mind as a home seller in Silicon Valley.
Hire A Local Realtor
Selling a house is always stressful and requires a lot of prep work ranging from advertising, cleaning up, preparing for inspection requirements, being available for potential buyers' visits, planning the move, etc. The good news is: you do not have to do it all by yourself! Hiring a Realtor is the right thing to do in most cases for obvious reasons.
Before anything, your San Jose Realtor will help you determine the right price through a market analysis showing comparable home sales prices in your area.
Your Realtor will then plan and implement the appropriate marketing strategy to advertise your home, not just on-line (e.g placing your home on MLS Listings, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, etc) and off-line, but also among Realtors from his own firm and other brokerage firms.
A common practice in the real estate world is called "caravaning" and consists in inviting other Real Estate Agents into a home, or more often a series of homes, listed for sale with a view to achieve higher visibility and marketing. Remember that Realtors do not just represent sellers; in many cases,
Real Estate Agents act on behalf of potential buyers as well.
Your Realtor will then typically show your home, assist you with purchase offers from buyers (and submit counter-offers on your behalf if required) and help you finalize all paperwork to complete the sale seamlessly.
Determine The Right Selling Price
Home prices are determined by numerous criteria. Factors such as the current market health, the number and variety of available homes for sale in your San Jose area, and the urgency of the seller to sell in particular will influence the the listing price (aka the asking price).
However, there are other equally important factors which can either increase or decrease the listing price such as:
- Optional features of your home such as a pool
- Major improvements, renovations and/or additions to your home such as solar panels, landscaping, etc
- External and internal amenities such as the age of your appliances
- The general condition of the interior and exterior of your home.
If you would like to learn more about the pros and cons of the various home pricing strategies, watch this video and learn how common pricing mistakes can be avoided.
Stage Your Home To Sell
Showing your home is probably the most important part of the selling process. Trust your Realtor who knows how best to showcase your home.
First impressions mean a lot and many prospective buyers make a decision almost immediately. It starts with curb appeal
, i.e. what potential home buyers see from the street.
Fresh paint (at least in places that need it most) on your house’s exterior and interior is one of the easiest and best improvements you can make to enhance that first impression. Keep yards and vegetation mowed and trimmed. The back yard
is of particular importance in San Jose and California by and large as many buyers want a place to relax and entertain guests, so make sure it is clean and attractive.
If you are willing to do more majors improvements before selling your house, it is highly recommended that you start with the kitchen and the bathroom(s), which are generally the two areas that do sell houses.
A critical concern to address is to minimize clutter, which is often used to describe too much decor, too many furniture, too many items on the mantle, etc. To put it simply, allow potential buyers to see as much as possible every square footage of your home.
Trust the skills of your Real Estate Agent to present your house for you. Make sure you discuss everything you would like him/her to convey to the buyer prior to any visits. Try your best to be away when your house is shown by your Agent. Buyers are uncomfortable in the presence of sellers and will feel constrained to express freely their opinions to their own Real Estate Agent. Finally, be flexible as your house could be shown by your Realtor at any time. Consequently, ensure that your house is always ready for viewing at any time.
Prepare For The Home Inspection
In today’s real estate world, most Realtors will advise sellers to hire a professional home inspector to take a closer look at a home prior to making it available on the real estate market.
The inspection cover a multitude of systems within your home. If you can afford it, take care of some of the more important ones before placing your home on the market such as:
- Structure and foundation: Cracks in walls or ceilings are red flags
- Roofing: Deteriorated shingles, gutters or other roof coverings are hot-spots for buyers and inspectors
- Electrical & plumbing systems: Make certain your electrical system is working properly. Leaks and clogs should be fixed. Dishwashers and other appliances will be tested.
- Heating and cooling: These should be in good working order, and energy-efficient.
Remember, no home is perfect and the inspector will most likely find those imperfections. Don’t be discouraged, and don’t feel that you must comply with unreasonable demands for repairs.
You should be aware that in Northern California and the Bay area, homes are mostly sold " As Is", meaning that you do not need to undertake any repair to sell. As long as you disclose any material issue(s) to the potential buyer, he/she cannot force you to make the repair to close the deal.
In the specific case of a short sale, I would not recommend to do any inspection as all proceeds of the sale will go directly to your lender anyway. Nevertheless, you still have the obligation to disclose every material fact that could lower the value of the property.