We have accepted an over asking price offer on 1136 Hayes St. in just one week! How did we do it? Execution of a detailed marketing plan to launch the best product possible while utilizing carefully analyzed comparative properties to set an ideal price. I hired my success team to get the yard and house cleaned up, staged, fully inspected and professionally photographed. My fellow Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley Realtors were able to preview the property which yielded one offer. Then, we were on brokers tour for all of the Realtors in Napa and began showings leading right into two major open houses over the weekend. By the time the week days rolled around, we had multiple offers for the sellers to choose from! Thinking about putting your house on the market (or know someone who is)? I am happy to do a complimentary seller consultation to decide how best to prepare your home for the market, earning you top dollar as quickly as possible.12 tips for sellersEquip yourself to handle the emotional transaction process before they get started
The media loves writing and talking about first-time buyers, what they need to know and what they should do to prepare for their first major purchase. When it comes to first-time seller advice, not so much.
A lot of the information is lumped in with content geared at any home seller such as home repairs, staging, de-cluttering, freshening up the landscaping, etc.
For those selling their home for the very first time, the process can be scary. Whether the move is elective or job-related, the decision to give up one’s current abode can be filled with fear and false expectations about the process.
Are people going to just show up at the front door and want to see the home anytime they want? How long will a showing last? What happens when an offer is made? How soon will I have to move out?
In addition to all of the normal prep for sale advice, here are twelve things first time sellers need to know before putting their home on the market:
1. To DIY or not to DIY
In the DIY age in which we live, you can go online and find instructions for virtually everything from renovation to whipping up gourmet meals.
With the proliferation of information online, sellers might be inclined to try selling their home alone. Selling a home is not a do-it-yourself venture.
Sellers don’t know what they don’t know, and a little information without proper context can be a dangerous thing. Risking their single largest investment could cause them to leave money on the table and cost them expensive mistakes, not to mention compromise safety and security.
There are certain things that are best left to the professionals to handle such as legal issues, medical matters and selling a home.
2. Get educatedThis is where working with a real estate professional is invaluable. To become comfortable with the selling process, sellers must have a thorough overview of what comparable homes are selling for and what the market might realistically bring for the property.
Sellers should also understand what they are competing with in terms of resales and new construction.
3. Understand the costsJust like when they bought their home, there are costs involved with selling. A real estate agent should explain and review the closing costs in detail that will be deducted from the selling price along with factoring in the loan payoff and any pro-rations for taxes, association fees, etc.
It is best to become familiar with all of these now, not when an offer is at hand and decisions need to be made.
4. Have a plan· Do you know where you are going when your home sells?
· Have you taken some time to understand what your options are?
· Will you need to rent until you can find something, or are there an abundance of choices for you to buy?
· If you are considering new construction, what is the timing of homes for completion that fit your budget and criteria?
Understanding the choices available to them as well as the cost will help them avoid making rash decisions when an offer is made.
5. Put it on displaySelling a home is a highly intrusive process for all the world to see. With a home’s listing syndicating to several hundred websites, in essence, sellers are letting people in their “virtual” front door 24/7.
The first showing happens online, and the second showing happens in person. There is more information out there than ever, available to buyers and their agents about a property.
Thanks to Google, it is easy to find out how the home looks from the street and from the air, what’s behind it, next door to it, when sellers bought it, what they paid, how much their taxes are, if any work was or wasn’t permitted, etc.
6. Remember, it’s business, it’s not personalSpeaking of showings in person, agents will coordinate an agreed upon showing procedure for the home whereby appointments will be confirmed by sellers at agreed upon times.
The reality is, buyers and agents want to come through on their schedule, so showing requests should be accommodated as much as possible, including last-minute showings, which can and often arise.
The more difficult it is to show a home, the less agents will want to show it. While the process works well most of the time, there can be situations with no-shows or cancellations, sometimes right before the actual showing is supposed to occur.
Although this is frustrating, it happens to many sellers, and it’s just one of those things that unfortunately are part of the selling process.
7. How many showings does it take?Speaking of showings, there is no magic number of showings that have to happen before an offer is made. It can vary widely, and in some cases, it can be just a few, and in other cases, it can take 10, 20 or more.
So much of this will depend on the home is priced and what it offers relative to the competition. If there are a lot of choices, it could take more showings to get an offer.
8. Forget the rose-colored glassesNo one will likely see the home in the same light as the sellers. No matter how much they’ve done to fix it up, prepare it for sale or how well it shows, buyers view every homes through different lenses.
What appeals to one person is different from another. Some feedback from showings will make more sense than others because not everyone can articulate what they like. Buyers often don’t know what they really want in a home until they see it.
Don’t take feedback personally. Some of it will focus on things that can be changed (such as price or how the home shows).
Feedback on the location of the home, neighborhood or layout is not something you can really address. Buyers shop by comparison, and all it takes is one. A buyer might initially see the home and eliminate it from consideration, but revisit it two months later and decide it is “the one.”
Buyers shopping for homes are often confused and just as nervous as sellers initially were when they started their home search.
9. Keep in mind that greed backfiresNo matter how many showings a home gets, it can be easy to let all the activity go to your head and think that will lead to multiple offers.
Buyers and agents all have access to the same information with regard to comparable sales and sellers will likely find that most offers will come in with a range similar to each other.
Everyone is on a budget, and buyers aren’t going to be super irrational, throw caution to the wind and overpay for the sake of doing so.
10. OffersSpeaking of offers, when sellers receive one, they should try to work with it as best as they can.
Now is not the time to try play hardball because you might end up scaring the buyer off. Sellers also want to respond in a timely manner rather than dragging out a response as that also will alienate the buyer.
Being difficult or inflexible is a surefire way to have things backfire. The adage “your first offer is often your best offer” often holds true.
11. RepairsRemember all of those repairs that came up on the inspection in which you negotiated a credit toward your closing costs so you could take care of them after closing?
Well guess what? If you never quite got around to them, they are likely going to come up again on the next buyer’s inspection report, so it would be a good idea to take care of anything you know needs attention and maintenance before going on the market.
If there are things that you are not able to address, be sure to disclose that upfront.
12. Clean it upWhen sellers vacate their property, they will need to remove all unwanted items, including garbage, before the next buyer moves in. Leaving a pile of junk won’t pass muster with the soon to be new owner or their agent, who will be doing a walkthrough a day or two before closing.
Ditto for leaving it clean. This is not like moving out of an apartment where your version of clean might have been acceptable to get your security deposit back. Plan on having the home professionally cleaned upon move out because the reality is sellers won’t have time to do it themselves.
By following these pieces of advice, any seller will be better equipped to handle the selling process when they finally put their home on the market.
Despite the rainy forecast, the show (or Open Houses) must go on. All open houses for the weekend are below for your enjoyment. I can show you any of these properties outside of open house hours as well.
Saturday, May 18th
Sunday, May 19th
Growing up in Napa I learned the value of community. I strive to serve the neighborhoods that I grew up in and the people who desire to make Napa their home. I help people connect to the community of Napa with a focus on continuing to build the unique community of Napa and my belief that home is where your story begins.