We need some listing inventory please!
It may be a good time to consider selling your home if you have been on the sidelines waiting for the market to change. After a brutal four or so years, the real estate market in San Francisco is doing really well. The market turned on a dime in February as a result of more buyers in the marketplace and fewer listings; prices have gone up and competition is fierce. To get you thinking about it, here are a few things you can do to prepare your home for the market:
• First and foremost contact a real estate professional such as myself. We will give you an idea as to the value and market for your property and specific things that will yield you the most in your sale. Do not undertake any remodeling or paint selections without talking to your real estate agent first-looking at the whole picture may yield more economical or effective projects.
• Make a list of what attracted you to your home in the first place and what the positive attributes are now.
• Go to open houses. What attracted you to a specific property? What turned you off about another property? Does your home have attributes of either? What can be done to highlight the positives and downplay the negatives of your home?
• Get rid of clutter and things you no longer need. Donate to charities. Have a garage sale. This could take awhile, so get started now.
• Pre-move. Pack things you want to keep, but don’t need. Consider outside storage to keep the garage, closets and storage areas looking like they are ample with plenty of room for a new buyer’s stuff; this includes reducing furniture. Most homes could have a third to half as much furniture-removing the surplus makes rooms feel more spacious.
• First impressions are everything. The key is for the home to not look like it needs remodeling right now. What does if feel like to walk up to the front door? Does the property need to be painted? Does it need new or cleaned up landscaping?
• Make your property look livable and not too personal. Religious, political artifacts, personal photos and knickknacks should be put away so as not to distract a potential buyer.
• Valuables should be locked up and out of sight. Jewelry, cameras and easy to pick up items, etc… should be put away. Don’t tempt open house attendees.
• Make sure all light bulbs work.
• Painting interior and exterior surfaces in combination with heavy cleaning (including windows and mirrors) is the most basic and cheapest of preparations. This will yield the most bang for the buck. Have your realtor help you select neutral, pleasing colors.
• New and/or neutral window coverings.
• Deal with odors such as those created by pets and smoking. Odors have a negative affect on the perception of how well a home is maintained and correspondingly, it’s value. This may mean carpet and furniture has to be removed, rooms painted and deep cleaning of every surface. In this case, moving out and staging the property may be the easiest and more complete solution.
• Have household projects completed, such as: dripping faucets, slow drains, sticky doors and drawers, light fixtures and switches, caulk and grout repairs and tightening loose door knobs and hardware.
• Is it possible to put your home on the market without doing a thing? Sure. I’ve seen lots of those. They sell slowly, for less than the seller wants, or don’t sell at all. Preparation is still critically important, even in a hot market.