The decision to sell your home on the market can involve a number of stresses and strains. Many home sales are motivated by circumstances outside your control: job relocation, family problems, financial issues, divorce, and more. Others are related to family issues: the need for a bigger home, a better neighborhood, schools, etc.
Today, I’m going to discuss how to avoid 7 costly mistakes when selling your Southern California home…
Whether you’ve lived in your home 2 years or 20 years, you know it’s not just a shelter or even another investment. It’s the place where your dreams come to life.
Flower gardens. Family rooms. Backyard barbecues. Home–cooked Sunday dinners.
And for some, it’s even our place of business.
But there comes a day when it’s time to move on. Time to reflect on old memories, and prepare to build new ones. Time to leave the past behind for a new future. It’s no wonder why buying or selling a home is often emotionally charged and potentially overwhelming.
That’s why I created this special article. Regardless of your reasons for selling, your goal is to sell your California home for the most money, and in the shortest amount of time. And for the least amount of hassles and distractions…
Mistake #1: Failing to DRESS Your California Property For Sale
Buyers look for HOMES, not houses. They buy Southern California homes, which they FEEL they would like to live in. One of the major factors in getting your home to sell quickly is very simple: MAKE IT FEEL LIKE “HOME.”
Most homebuyers select their home based on EMOTIONS. Once their decision is made to buy, they justify their purchase with LOGICAL reasons: facts and features. So, it’s most important to make your home appeal to all senses.
Your property is NOT the only home the buyers will see. You are competing with other homes in the market, and some of them have been professionally decorated.
The Way You Live In A Home, And The Way Your SELL A Home Are TWO Very Different Things
When you’re showcasing your home for sale, it’s going to look very different from the way it looks when you’re living there. Here are a few tips for showcasing your home for sale:
- First impressions set the tone for a buyer visit, and they’re LASTING! Approach your home in your car like any buyer would. Examine the outside as you’re approaching. How does it look? Are shrubs away from the home? Oil in the driveway? How does the grass and landscaping look? Cluttered looks detract from the architecture of the home. A clean, polished landscape says your home is valuable and well maintained!
- Take a look at your actual home. Is the paint fading or chipping? Is the color outdated or impersonal? How does the roof look? As you drive up to or away from your home, what do you see first?
- Now go inside just like a buyer would. You want to be aware of 4 senses: smell, touch, sight, and hearing. Go through room-by-room and test all 4 senses. Check flooring and carpet for stains and odors.
Most importantly: Pack away all appliances, get rid of excess furniture, put away useless dishes – and make your home neat and orderly. If you’ve ever visited a model home, you’ll notice it’s clean and uncluttered. You have to move anyway, so you might as well pack early, and make your home more saleable. Go to the garage and make sure it’s neat.
- Hire someone to professionally clean your home. Top to bottom! Cleaning and cosmetic fix-ups, especially in the kitchen, bathrooms, and master bedroom can many times yield you up to $10 in extra sales price for every $1 you invest.
- Pets should be out of sight (and smell!). Get rid of pet odors for showings. Remember the 4 senses. Also, some people are uneasy around pets, and they may distract attention from the features of your home.
- Pay particular attention to lighting. During the day, open all your blinds and curtains. If it’s cloudy out, turn on all lights for showings. At dusk, leave your front drapes open and turn on all the lamps and lights.
At night, do the same, but close your blinds and curtains. When showing your home, turn off all appliances, television, radio, and anything that will distract attention from your home. You might want to play a little light music to enhance the emotional experience for your buyer.
Mistake #2: Pricing Your Home Incorrectly
Don’t look up Zillow, Trulia, Redfin or Realtor.com online to see what their computer-generated models have as an estimate of your home’s value. Appraisers for banks and Realtors don’t go there to determine values and neither should you. These online sites can be off as much as 30% in a home’s value.
When a buyer is financing a purchase, their appraisal from the bank comes by an appraiser who must provide real-world recent sales in within a certain square footage of the subject property and within a certain distance. We call these comparable properties.
I have researched the major real estate portals and some were off by $50,000. As a California Realtor® for the past 25 years, I want you to get the highest possible price for your home.
Home Pricing is the Key
Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible when it comes to selling his or her home. The natural inclination is to price the home high, thinking you can always come down in the future.
But a listing price that is too high frequently nets the seller LESS money than an original price at market value.
Why is this?
Because buyers who are looking for homes in your price range, compare other homes to your home and will reject overpriced homes in favor of other homes in a reasonable price range.
They’re only motivated to show homes with the highest probability of selling.
Agents simply will NOT show overpriced homes because they work by commission. They know market values because it’s their job to know. And they don’t want to waste their time or their client’s time.
So you price your home high, thinking you can come down. The problem is, the agent and buyer community don’t look at it that way. They see it as an overpriced home.
After a few months go by, 8 or 10 open houses, signs, Realtor® tours…and not a nibble… So you decide to lower your price again. But it’s too late…your home has already been “branded” by the Realtor®® community. So you reduce your home a little more. And little happens.
Finally, in order to attract attention back to your home, you’ve reduced your home price more than you ever thought you would, and you’re now netting much less than if you had priced it correctly in the beginning. 80% of the marketing on your home is determined when you first price the home.
And think about this: the money you lost is not just the lower sales price, but all the extra interest you paid on your mortgage…all the extra property taxes and other carrying costs that accrue while your home is waiting to sell. I’ve seen it happen time and again!
Real Estate Fact: The Seller Is Solely Responsible For How Much, And How Quickly Their Home Sells!
Overpricing almost always increases the time to sell and adds to your carrying costs. That’s why we provide a complete, no obligation evaluation of your home. We call it our “Maximum Home Value Audit.”
Unlike many agents who will give you an inflated value just to seduce you to give them your listing, we will give you a real-world home value analysis. The information will be based on verifiable facts and figures just like an appraiser does. I will also physically inspect your home to identify those areas where spending small amounts of money can yield many times return in sales price.
We will be straight with you, and tell you precisely why it’s worth what it’s worth. We will also show you how to get more money in your home sale. Here are a few more areas our Exclusive Maximum Home Value Marketing Plan can help you with…
- How to set the asking price to maximize exposure and a profitable sale…
- How do you really define and compare market value between homes?
- How five real estate facts affect the value of your home…
- How to handle buyers during a showing to help yield the highest price.
Once you understand these important issues, you’ll know how to price and sell your home for the fastest, most profitable sale. Also, with this information, you’ll never pay too much for any home you buy for the rest of your life.
Mistake #3: Limiting The Marketing Exposure Of Your Property
The most obvious marketing tools everyone uses (the Internet, Open Houses, and ads) are only moderately effective. Successfully marketing of your home (getting the highest price, at the right time, and with no hassles and problems) requires much more.
Surprisingly, less than 1% of homes are sold at an “open house.” Agents use open houses to attract buying prospects, not to sell your home.
However, 90% of all home buyers go online to find a home. That’s where we dominate the market. You see, many years ago, we built 8 real estate websites that generate over 100,000 visitors a year. 95% of our sales now come from online home buyers and sellers.
It’s incredible. We rank high on the search engines for many neighborhoods and cities here in Southern California. People like you find us every day. And, that’s really the key.
Marketing your home in 2018 and beyond must to take advantage of new technologies to generate qualified home buyers. Open houses and local newspaper advertising is not as effective for marketing a home any longer.
- According to the National Association of Realtor®s, 7% of people purchased their home because they saw it in an ad.
Your home will appear on national websites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Craigslist, and others. But the bottom line is it will be featured on our popular, award-winning websites like www.RedWagonTeam.com which is focused on the local neighborhoods that people are searching in.
Our Maximum Home Value Marketing Plan will explain more about the process and what is involved and why it works so well.
That’s why the most competent Real Estate Professionals will have a broad spectrum of marketing activities, emphasizing the specific strategies that will work best for YOUR particular property or area.
In fact, our Getting Your Home Sold Marketing Plans to generate buyers and offers on homes. If you like, I would be happy to share every one of those time-tested marketing strategies with you at your convenience when you are ready to move. No pressure. No hassle.
ONE MORE THING… we respond to all phone calls. That would seem logical right. Well, see a lot of listing agents who don’t want to be bothered by buyer’s agents calling to get an update on their listings. Some only want us to send them a text message or email for a status update and others say if it is active in the real estate multiple listing service (MLS), then it is active.
That’s just silly to us. We want to talk to other agents to convince them to show your home over any other home on the market.
Mistake #4: Thinking Your Appraisal Is The Market Value Of Your Home
An appraisal is an opinion of value for an entirely different purpose than selling your home.
Usually, an appraisal is done to provide a bank or mortgage institution information to fund a loan. If a lender is motivated to loan you money, his appraisal may come in
higher than the true market value of your property. The appraiser might ignore other issues in his analysis, such as foreclosures in the market or distressed sales.
When a buyer looks at a home, they look at all the factors: foreclosures, distressed sales, bankruptcies, divorces, and area fluctuations. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the “appraisal” value of your home is what a diligent buyer would pay.
If you like, we will provide you with ALL of the information you need to make a competent, reliable market value for your home. We will research your area, gather specifics on recently sold homes, discuss trends, and answer questions you have about the value of your home – with market facts, not opinions.
Mistake #5: Not Understanding Your Rights & Obligations
Real estate law and regulations can be very complex. When you sign a contract for the sale of your property, it’s a legally binding document. An improperly written contract can create many problems for you: a sale could fall through, cost you thousands in forced repairs, inspections, and remedies for items included or excluded in the purchase offer.
You must understand what repairs and closing costs you are responsible for in a contract. And you must know whether the property can legally be sold “as is,” or how deed restrictions or local zoning will affect your transaction.
You also need a competent review of your title, and whether or not your property is in conflict with local restrictions or laws. If you have to remedy these items yourself, you can spend thousands on legal bills, fines, contractors, and other costs. Using a competent Real Estate Professional upfront can help identify and avoid these issues before they become “problems.”
Mistake #6: Signing A Listing Agreement With NO WAY OUT
Just about every agent has good intentions about helping you sell your home. But situations and circumstances change. The agent might have personal problems, or simply decide to retire or get out of the real estate business.
Or other situations may arise where the agent isn’t doing his or her job as you expected. The home may not be getting the exposure you desire. Or perhaps you haven’t heard from your agent in 6 weeks! What do you do now?
When this happens, you should have the right to fire your agent. But the listing agreement you signed is with the BROKER, not the agent. If you’re unhappy, the broker may assign your home to another agent – someone you neither personally selected, nor do you want. But you’re stuck with him or her until the listing agreement expires.
And that can cost you a lot of money.
Always protect yourself by:
- Carefully selecting the right Real Estate Professional, and
- Make certain that in a “worst case” situation, you have the flexibility to cancel your listing agreement.
Easy Exit Listing Agreement to the Rescue
That’s why we offer an Easy Exit Listing Agreement and a 100% Guarantee. We place my priorities with yours – to do everything possible to sell your home for top dollar, as fast as possible, with no hassles or headaches.
If at any time you’re unhappy with our services, please let us know. If we cannot rectify the situation, you can FIRE US. No questions asked. Ask any other Realtor® to match our guarantee. You’ll find most get very uncomfortable when you put their feet to the fire to perform.
Mistake #7: Selecting The WRONG Realtor®
Do you remember the old riddle that goes, “What do you call the person who graduated dead-last in their medical school class?”
Well, it’s the same with Realtors®. Someone with vast experience and extraordinary professionalism usually costs the same as someone with little or no experience, or with compromising standards. You need to know how to tell the difference up front.
Bringing competence and experience into your transaction may mean the difference between a higher negotiated sales price and losing money, selling in less time or in more time (costing you potentially thousands in added interest), and experiencing problems and hassles or a problem-free transaction.
Our community is loaded with Realtors® who are WRONG for you, your area, and your home. Some agents are in the business part time for a little extra cash. Others are subsidizing other businesses or careers. And then there’s your “cousin Harry,” whom you feel obligated to because he “really needs your business.”
Selling your home is probably the most important financial transaction you will ever make. That’s why we take our business so seriously. It’s also why we will develop a customized home marketing program meant specifically for your situation.
Why Work with Jay Valento?
Here’s why you should consider our services to market your home:
- We generate over 100,000 visitors yearly online to our Red Wagon Team real estate websites (not our company’s website) which means your property is exposed to more home buyers than any other real estate agent
- We have a professional photographer who takes pictures of your home that people will view online and in your flyer to make decisions about buying. Better pictures equals more views by the right buyers.
- We have a list of references, past clients, and professional associations whom you can call at any time to discuss the quality of service we have provided to other people just like YOU.
- Our transaction coordinator checks all of the documents to insure that they are filled out properly to protect your interests when selling and buying a home
- We have developed an EXCLUSIVE Home Marketing Plan that is unequaled by anyone in the business. We do this because our dedication to selling your home is also unsurpassed. There’s no other way we can live up to that expectation without extraordinary marketing capabilities.
We also have specific update systems to automatically survey agents and their clients who view your home in person. So you are fully aware of ALL activity and progress updates on your home on a weekly basis. You will NEVER feel out of touch with us on your home selling team!
We guarantee everything we do! If you’re not happy with us, let’s talk about it. If we can’t fix the problem, then you may cancel the listing agreement. This places the burden of risk to perform on US, not you.
We have references for reliable title companies, escrow companies, financing sources many agents are clueless about, insurance companies, inspectors, attorneys, and others directly relating to your transaction. Our past clients have received excellent service from these professionals.
Your personal and family schedule will be taken into consideration when planning to show your home.
Each day, we stay in touch with our online database of clients talking to them about their real estate buying or selling needs. This allows us to create a communication link of properties to potential buyers.
Most Importantly: we generate clients through referrals too. We do very little traditional marketing. Instead, we focus 110% of our efforts into providing such outstanding service, that our clients are inclined to refer our services to family, friends and acquaintances. Our goal is to have a 100% by referral only real estate practice.
On the surface, it may seem there are a lot of Realtors® to choose from. But just because there are a lot of Realtors® out there doesn’t mean they can all do the same job for you.
All Realtor® Are NOT The Same!
I have enclosed with this report a special coupon. By simply calling my toll-free number at 1-800-300-6126 or my cell phone at 562-413-7655, I will share with you our Exclusive “Maximum Home Value Audit.” Here’s what you’ll get, absolutely FREE and without obligation whatsoever:
- We will conduct a careful, thorough valuation of your home, based on real-world facts, in an EASY to understand format. You won’t get any inflated values just to pressure you into listing with me.
- And you won’t get anything like “I have a buyer right now who’s interested in your specific home, and if you list with us, we’ll bring him by right now.” With me, you’ll get NO pressure. No arm-twisting. I provide honest, ethical and reliable service.
- We will provide you with a NET SHEET of what you will receive minus all of the real estate costs in selling a home.
- We will tour your home to identify items that could negatively affect your selling price. As I mentioned earlier, many of our findings could bring as much as $10 in extra sales price for every $1 you invest. By the end of our tour, you’ll have a checklist of strategies designed to “position” your home to sell for the most money possible.
- We will share with you my Getting Your Home Sold Marketing Plan, 46-page guide,…plus a few new strategies that we are testing right now. Our plan will give you insider secrets on how to promote your home properly, how to handle buyers, and much more.
We believe in incentives, so here’s one just to “sweeten the pot.” If you select Jay Valento to market your home, we will provide a 1 Year FREE HOME WARRANTY PLAN to the buyer (this is typically paid by you, the seller). This will help sell your home faster because it offers “peace of mind” to any prospective buyer. That’s up to a $400 value…We will include absolutely FREE.
Home warranties reduce the chance you’ll be asked to reimburse the buyer for a breakdown of a covered component after closing. No matter how many breakdowns or how many thousands of dollars it cost to fix or replace the covered item, the buyer will feel comfortable knowing that the most they will have to pay is a nominal service fee per trade call. It saved one of my buyers over $12,000.
PLUS, We guarantee everything we do. If any other agent won’t guarantee their services, ask them why? You’re staking the successful sale of your home on their abilities, why shouldn’t they stake their commission the very same way? We place my priorities in the same place as yours. We’re in this together!
When selling your home, the LAST thing you need is added pressure. That’s why we will answer all of your questions. And give you one less thing to worry about during these hectic times.
Let’s Get Together and Talk About Your Real Estate Plans
Call now at 562-413-7655 or 1-800-300-6126, and I will immediately arrange a convenient time to meet, and share with you our customized Maximum Home Value Audit. It’s Free. It’s FAST. And it could save you thousands on your home sale. Fill out the contact form below: