curb appeal

Smart Moves – Best Practices for Preparing Your San Francisco East Bay Home For Sale

curb appealDressing Your Home For Success

I’ve been helping people to buy and sell homes in San Ramon and surrounding areas since 2001 and one thing I learned very early on is that it’s what you do before any marketing is carried out, that determines how good a price you will get.

If you want to get the very best price for your San Francisco East Bay home and sell it quickly, you have to make it as attractive to potential buyers as you possibly can. Here then are a few pointers that should be used as a guide when you are getting your home ready for sale.

Pointer #1 – Maximize The Curb Appeal

A house that looks uninviting from the street will cause buyers to say “I don’t want to see that home”, while a house that shines – one with bright flower beds, well-trimmed shrubs and fresh mulch has the reverse effect. You should clean out the gutters, trim bushes and trees below window frame level and make sure any lawns look well-tended and weed-free. Windows and doors should be washed and/or re-painted as necessary and door hardware and porch lights cleaned and polished or replaced with new ones. Add a new Welcome mat for the finishing touch.

Pointer #2 – Get The Cleaners In

Buyers may not always live in clean homes but if they think your home is anything less than spotless they will be turned off it immediately.

My advice is to hire a professional cleaning service that will go over your home from top to bottom. Then you have to keep it clean and tidy all the time it is on the market. Buyers do not want to see dirty dishes in the sink or piles of clothes anywhere.

Pointer #3 – Listen To Your Agent

Most people sell their homes only a few times in their life, while agents sell many homes a year. We know what it takes to get the best price for your home. A good agent will walk through the home with you and give you a check-list of repairs and improvements that should be carried out in every room. Some may seem costly and others may sound trivial but take your agent’s advice. It comes from experience.

Pointer #4 – Ignore Well-Meaning Advice From Friends, Family And Neighbors

It may seem that everybody thinks they are an expert when you tell them you are going to sell your home and neighbors in particular will want you to get the best price for your home. After all, if your home sells for a high price, this increases the value of their home.

The trouble is, they don’t have access to the same factual data that real estate agents do. There is often a general belief that a home in your neighborhood sold for a particular price when the reality is that it sold for much less, or the seller gave various concessions to the buyer which resulted in a price that was effectively lower.

Appropriate pricing is critical. It should be determined based on an analysis of recent sales that your agent will discuss with you. And make sure you follow your real estate agent’s reasoning. If you still have doubts, have a professional appraisal, but don’t be tempted to price above the valuation to “test the market”. This usually results in a sale less than you could have realized if it was priced accurately.

Pointer #5 – Prepare Your Home For Showings

Once your home is on the market and showings are taking place, make sure that the stage is set when you leave. Your agent should have arranged for your home to be professionally staged so you need to take advantage of that. All the lights should be on (yes, even in broad daylight), the drapes should be wide open, everything should be neat and tidy and the home must smell nice. Buyers have to love to come into your home so they can visualize themselves living there.

What Is Your Home Worth Today?

Don’t believe what you see on Zillow, Trulia etc. Their “automated valuation models” are notoriously inaccurate. They haven’t seen your home so how could they put a realistic price on it? For a real assessment of current value, regardless of whether you are considering a sale, please do not hesitate to contact me. There is never any obligation and I am always happy to hear from you.


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