Selling Your Home Can Prove a Daunting Experience, but These Seven Tips Can Help Ensure a Smooth Transition Into the Next Chapter of Your Life
It’s highly likely that at some point in the past year, a seasoned real estate agent informed one of their home-selling clients, “Never underestimate the challenge of selling your home.”
It might seem like an odd statement considering that thousands of homes are bought and sold every day. In particular, a hot real estate market like that of Dublin and the surrounding communities sees a number of property transactions every month.
Of course, that’s looking at it from a big picture perspective. When it is your home that is being sold, it’s a different story. Aside from the sales process being time-consuming, it can also be full of annoying inconveniences, significant decisions, and the very real psychological impact of letting go.
But if in the end you get top dollar for your home and successfully close one chapter of your life and prepare to move on to your next adventure, then it’s all worth it. So let’s explore seven tips that will help you successfully navigate the sale of your Dublin home.
1. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
While forgoing a real agent to help sell your home might seem like a good idea initially, selling a home is a lot of work. Sure, you might save some money from not having to pay a commission (although you’ll still be on the hook for the buyer’s agent’s commission), but you will be responsible for the following:
- Researching and making your own comparitive market analysis
- Sourcing your own vendors for inspections, repairs, staging, and escrow
- Marketing and advertising, including your home’s online presence and its listing on the multiple listing service (MLS)
- Showing the home and/or arranging open houses
- Handling negotiations with the buyer’s agent and coordinating the necessary contracts
An experienced real estate agent works side by side with you during the entire sales process. Using their wealth of knowledge, they can make recommendations that will help ready your home for showings, price your home correctly, and get the right buyers through the door. They also take care of all of the paperwork. And let’s be honest, nobody likes dealing with the paperwork.
So unless you were a real estate agent in a former life or have plenty of free time on your hands, the right real estate agent can significantly simplify a complicated, exhausting process.
2. Identify the Ideal Buyer
Given the property diversity in Dublin’s housing market, a critical aspect of selling your home is identifying and targeting the right type of buyer. Yes, you want to cast a wide net when marketing your home, but you also want that net to catch motivated buyers with a genuine interest in buying your home.
Think about who your home will appeal to most. Is it close to schools or the Dublin Corporate Center? Does the community offer an active lifestyle or a country club atmosphere? Is the neighborhood more centered around privacy? Is the home itself designed for young professionals, growing families, or empty nesters?
Answering these questions will help you update, stage, and market your home more effectively. After all, while it’s nice to have one serious buyer out of every five shoppers who show an interest in your home, it’s even better if that number is three or four serious buyers out of every five.
3. Have Your Own Home Inspection Performed
While it’s a necessary step in every home purchase, the buyer’s home inspection can derail the sale faster than any other part of the transaction. Inspections can uncover issues that may result in a buyer getting cold feet. Conversely, it may lead to contentious negotiations involving repairs or concessions, which in turn may cause the seller to shut down the deal.
When it comes to luxury real estate, any breakdown in the sales process means costly delays. The best way to avoid this is to have your own home inspection performed before any potential buyer does. This pre-inspection serves two purposes:
- Helps you identify any problems or shortcomings of the home you were previously unaware of
- Gives you a list of items that you can choose to repair or disclose before the sale
Yes, performing your own inspection will cost you some extra dollars, but it allows you to get ahead of unforeseen issues and ensures a more straightforward negotiation.
4. Decide What to Update and Repair
What you choose to do with the information from your inspection report is just as important as having it. Should the report reveal any minor repair items, it’s best to resolve those upfront. You never want to risk losing a sale over easy fixes or something that costs less than a couple hundred dollars.
For more significant concerns, you should weigh the value you stand to gain from the final sale by completing a major repair. If you don’t want the hassle of overseeing the repairs yourself, you can always offer a concession in the form of a home warranty or reduction of closing costs if that route makes more sense.
Regardless of the repairs you decide to make, you will want to give your home a fresh look. Things like a new paint job with bright, neutral colors, new faceplates and door hardware, and replacing outdated light fixtures and window treatments will increase the chances that your home passes the eyeball test from prospective buyers.
5. Ready Your Home for Visitors
Particularly at the luxury level, buyers will expect a certain level of quality when touring a home. Not just in the home itself, but how the house is kept, its furnishings, how everything flows, and how it is laid out.
First, clean is free. While your home is actively listed, it should always be kept as clean as possible. Sharp lines and clutter-free spaces include your furniture. Thin out cumbersome or mismatched pieces, and situate each room so that a potential buyer can easily envision the space as their own.
If possible, consider staging your home and showing it off as a versatile place to live, work, or play. If possible, convert a spare bedroom to an office, a home gym, or a playroom (based on your ideal buyer).
Don’t neglect your home’s curb appeal either. Keep your lawn cut and the yard free of any debris or unsightly growth. Remove or trim back old shrubbery, and add some colorful plants where possible. Power washing your driveway, walkway, and the home’s exterior will also boost your home’s curb appeal. You only get one shot for that first impression, so make sure it counts.
6. Set a Realistic Price
This is often where the emotional side of a home can influence a seller. Depending on the memories made in a house and the purpose it served in their life, sellers tend to hold their home in higher esteem than its actual value.
That’s understandable, but unfortunately, the market is what determines a home’s value. To avoid having it sit for months on end with little or no interest from buyers, you’ll want to price it competitively.
Your real estate agent will make suggestions based on market variables, such as comps and recent sales, to help determine an accurate listing price. They’ll also account for the fact that many buyers will want to negotiate, leaving you room to maneuver as close to your asking price as possible.
7. Up Your Internet Game
Arguably one of the most critical aspects of modern home sales is having a strong internet presence. For the vast majority of potential buyers, the first time they see your home will be its online listing. So, in addition to all of the physical steps you take to sell your home — repairs, updates, staging — you’ll need to do the same virtually.
Once your home is ready, have it professionally photographed, including a virtual tour. Video is an important medium and can bring your property to life in ways a picture cannot.
When it comes to actively marketing your home, lean on your real estate agent’s network to get your house exposure. But you’ll want to make the most of social media sites. These sites can also get the word out should you decide to hold an open house.
In addition to MLS, check to confirm that your home is appearing on Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia, all of which increase your home’s overall exposure.
And just as you need to maintain your home’s cleanliness throughout the listing cycle, your online listings warrant the same attention. As market conditions change, you and your agent should continually monitor and evaluate your marketing and sales strategy, making updates as necessary.
Are you ready to sell your current Dublin home and make your next major move? Contact Prema Subramaniam Real Estate
today and let us be your guide to the East Bay luxury homes in Danville, Dublin, and Fremont, California.