If you’re thinking of selling your home in 2019, it’s something you’ll want to do sooner rather than later. Our market is almost a year-round market; things slow down for the holidays but they pick right up again half way through January.
The market, though, has softened considerably. My advice to sellers is to have their homes ready for the market by mid-February to get a jump on the spring market. By listing early in the year, you’ll beat the competition to market and you’ll probably have a much easier time selling.
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Best Advice for Bay Area Sellers in 2019
Sellers should very, very carefully consider their list price before listing their home for sale on the MLS. Don’t be greedy – be realistic. Your home has probably appreciated substantially over the past several years – take the money and run. Price it where you know it will get offers within 2-3 weeks; any higher than that and you’ll probably end up shooting yourself in the foot. In a softening market, you don’t do yourself any favors by testing the market with a high price.
Prepping your Home for the Market
Remember, it’s always the basics that give you the biggest bang for the buck, and what’s great is that they cost relatively few bucks.
- Empty the house at (“de-clutter, de-personalize”) so it looks as spacious, light, and airy as possible.
- Paint everything, whether it needs it or not. Painting makes your home look fresh and clean, and gives it that “new home smell.”
- Clean everything, inside and out. People want NEW, and dirty is definitely not new. Get your home as close to “new clean” as possible.
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What to Expect When You’re on the Market
Expect lots of people to drive by your house slowly – that can be a little unnerving! You can expect people to knock on the door and ask to see your home, even when they don’t have an appointment or an agent. You can expect that when people DO make appointments to see your home, they will simply flake and not show up. In short, you can expect a myriad of inconveniences that can be greatly reduced by selling your home quickly – which can be achieved by carefully preparing your home for sale for sale and pricing it correctly (see question 2).
There Here and Now
One of my favorite adages is, “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.” Go with what you know you have: today’s real estate market. It’s still in relatively good shape. Ask people who owned homes in the second half of 2006 who were thinking about selling but decided to wait another year how that worked out for them. Don’t speculate, and don’t take unnecessary risks if you can avoid them. Sell while the selling is good!
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