Carol Carnevale • DRE# 00946687 • 650.465.5958
Nicole Aron • DRE# 00952657 • 650.740.7954
We work in one of the fastest moving real estate markets in the world. Our clients are intelligent, highly educated, entrepreneurial, and accustomed to taking risks in most all aspects of their lives. However, when selling your home, it’s a good idea to anticipate potential concerns in order to avoid costly mistakes and mitigate risks.
A few years ago we shared some of the top mistakes home sellers can make when approaching the real estate market, and we have updated that list based on Spring 2015 market conditions.
One of the current challenges in pricing a home is that recent sales are most often far in excess of their list prices due to buyers competing in multiple offer situations. Sellers are often tempted to use the closing price to justify their list price resulting in such a high list price that buyers will completely withdraw from the process. It is essential that buyers see “value” in the list price for them to participate.
Sellers can always increase their list price, but they should know that the Multiple Listing Service memorializes the pricing history of the home. Buyers will know that the sellers have increased their price and this is rarely a winning strategy.
Be sure to separate “marketing” from “publicity”. Some agents use their listings as platforms for self-promotion, rather than considering what is needed to effectively promote your home to the right audience.
There are Realtors who advertise a whole menu of free services including staging and support services for market presentation. However, often these free services are offered with an increased broker commission paid to the listing side of the transaction and an overall higher commission paid by the seller.
So, if a seller pays more commission is it really “free”?
When interviewing Realtor-candidates, sellers should know how much the commission will be and what is included. There should be no ambiguity about this!
The velocity of the current market is astounding, and it is vitally important that sellers choose an agent who is knowledgeable, competent and available.
One of the biggest problems we see is poorly prepared disclosures and disclosure packets. Yes, we know, this is the boring part of real estate, but it is the part that will keep you out of trouble down-line. Choose an agent who can not only ensure your home is beautifully presented, and but who can also spend time on the documentation details!
When a home does not sell right away, it is important that sellers understand this, and that they react quickly by reducing their list price. The rhythm of the luxury home market and for unique homes is different. A talented Realtor will know the difference and can guide you appropriately.
There are on-line sources such as Yelp.com which are helpful. Yelp screens reviews based on their formula, one of which is that the reviewer must be recognized by Yelp, e.g. someone who frequently reviews. One word of caution with Yelp: Scroll to the bottom of the reviews and there is a section called: Reviews not currently recommended. Read those additional reviews also because they may give you additional insight when evaluating an agent. Other resources that might be helpful are your company wiki, or asking your circle of friends and colleagues for a recommendation.
As we embark on the second quarter of 2015 underlying market conditions are very favorable for home sellers in our market area. We continue to need more homes to sell in order to satisfy buyer demand.
It would be our pleasure to connect with you concerning your real estate plans. Please do not hesitate to contact us.