Buying a home is a huge investment – for many people, a home may be the biggest single purchase in their life. Many people will live in their first home for their entire adult lives. Others may decide to sell when their homes for a variety of reasons – they need more space, they need less space because they’ve retired and their children have moved out. They may also want to sell their house because they’ve decided to relocate elsewhere.
Very often, when people sell their homes, they end up leaving money on the table. Why? Often, it’s because they didn’t prepare enough for it. The process of selling your home isn’t always a straightforward one, making it subject to plenty of potential mistakes. This article hopes to prevent you from tripping up during the home selling process.
- Choosing the wrong real estate agent
The real estate agent should be your most valuable asset when you sell your home. Their job is to help you unload your property in the shortest amount of time and at the highest price possible. However, not all real estate agents are qualified to work in all areas of real estate. Some agents focus on commercial properties, others in flipping foreclosed homes. Agents who specialize in luxury properties cultivate networks, read up on things that their market is into, and sharpen their expertise in the areas they do business in.
You’ll want to find an agent who knows your neighborhood and will represent your interests. Don’t feel obligated to hire a relative or friend, unless you know for sure that they’ll do a great job as a Realtor. San Francisco has many experienced real estate agents ready to help you get the very best deal on the sale of your home.
In San Francisco, the seller pays both the listing agent commission as well as the buyer’s agent commission, so since you are getting a buyer’s agent free of charge, you should take advantage of this perk and ensure you have the absolute best presentation and someone who will search endlessly to find you the perfect home.
When you’ve narrowed down your search, schedule an interview. Write down your questions beforehand and make sure you’ve pored over the website of the agent’s real estate firm. You might want to ask about their average listing price compared to the selling price, their marketing strategy for your home, and if they offer a guarantee. Always ask for references and check them. You can also look online for their reviews.
- Not making needed repairs
Every home has some degree of deterioration. A home may need minor repairs or more serious ones like a leaky roof or faulty wiring. Before you decide to place your home on the market, order a home inspection. Address any issues the inspector may find. Replace dated fixtures and fittings. Paint rooms that need a fresh coat. The goal is to make your home look its best.
- Improperly staging your home
Stage your home to show off its best features, like this house for sale in San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill. View details here.
Staging a house for sale is crucial. Many people think that staging a home is about decorating it. There’s more to it than that. The aim is to make the home as attractive as possible so that potential buyers can see themselves living there. This may entail rearranging furniture, getting rid of excess pieces, removing personal items, etc.
If you want to stage your home for maximum effect, you might consider the services of professional real estate staging companies. An unbiased third party who has been in the business for a while and understands what buyers want can be an invaluable asset.
- Not knowing the home’s real value
Knowing a home’s value is critical to making a good sale. You don’t want to make the mistake of underselling your home. Prices have gone up significantly in recent years. Bay Area home prices and San Francisco condo prices averaged between $860,000 and $1.3 million. In addition, interest rates have dropped a bit, opening the door for first-time homebuyers.
How do you find buyers willing to pay those prices? That’s where a Realtor can be your best friend. They’ll help you set a fair price for your home. Keep in mind that you are free to price your home as you see fit. Your agent, however, knows the market. It’s what they do every day. They know how to sell your home in the shortest amount of time for the best possible price.
- Listing at the wrong time
Just like any other market, there is a best time to sell. In the housing market there is typically more activity during the spring while fall and winter are slower times for home sales. If you are moving out of necessity, you might not have the time or the flexibility to wait. It’s okay. Your real estate agent will help you get the best possible deal. However, if you have the time, you should list the property between late February and mid-May so that you can sell quickly and get as close to your asking price as possible.
If you want to get the best deal on your San Francisco home, contact Nina Hatvany. With over 20 years in the industry and as a highly sought after expert in luxury homes, Nina has assembled a crack team of real estate professionals who will handle your business with an eye on achieving the best results. Call 415.710.6462 or email nina(at)ninahatvany(dotted)com to get started.