Whether it’s an investment property or a family home, selling real estate is no simple undertaking. Besides the high stakes involved, there are several aspects to address, from perfecting the property’s visual presentation to strategizing a marketing campaign. To help you make the most of your property sale, we’ve asked six Diamond Certified Expert Contributors in the real estate field to provide their insights.
Presenting your property
In order for your property to stand out in the competitive Bay Area real estate market, you’ll need to invest time and money toward creating an attractive presentation. Here are some important aspects:
Besides cleaning and removing unnecessary clutter, it’s a good idea to “depersonalize” your property before showing it. “When showing your property, you want to create a neutral environment that makes it easy for potential buyers to envision themselves living there,” explains Bay Area Realtor Kathleen (Kay) Tagle. “Since displaying a lot of personal items and family photos can interfere with this, it’s best to depersonalize the space by removing these.”
“Lighting has a huge impact on the way a home looks and feels to potential buyers,” says Marc Roos, a Realtor with Sereno Group. “Replace all low-wattage light bulbs with high-wattage ones to better showcase your space. In some cases, additional lamps may be needed to achieve the desired effect.”
In addition to enhancing your property’s interior, you’ll need to address its exterior, particularly the front yard and façade. Christine Stahl, partner at Lommori Stahl Group of Re/Max Star Properties, defines this crucial element of property presentation as curb appeal. “Think of it as the ‘face’ of your property—the first thing potential buyers see when they drive up. Maximizing your property’s curb appeal involves several steps, from general upkeep to adding colorful flowers and repainting your front door.”
While showcasing your property is important for in-person showings, it’s equally (if not more) important online. “In today’s internet-driven market, most buyers will see your home online before they see it in person, so the key to making a good impression is having great photos for your online listing,” explains Dave Keefe, broker associate with The Dave Keefe Real Estate Team.
When it comes to choosing which photos to display on your online listing, Mr. Keefe advises that less is more. “While you may feel compelled to give buyers a comprehensive view of your home, a better strategy is to give them a taste that will entice them to visit your property in person for a firsthand look. By posting a modest selection of your most attractive photos, you can be sure your home will be at the top of the list for prospective buyers.”
For more tips on presenting your sale property, watch Marc Roos’ Expert video below.
Pricing your property
One aspect of selling real estate that many homeowners don’t understand is the difference between list price and sale price. In many cases, a property’s final sale price will end up being quite different from its original list price, whether higher or lower. While a lot of factors play into this, a chief one is how the property is priced at the time of listing. Marc Guay, a Realtor with Marc Guay Team, recommends pricing strategically to arouse buyer interest. “At the time of listing, a real estate agent will often price a property just below market value. The strategy is to lure buyers with the low price and attract multiple offers in hopes of starting a bidding war. As competing buyers present offers and counteroffers, the price will climb higher, ultimately leading to a final sale price that far exceeds the original list price.”
Mr. Guay notes that patience is necessary for this strategy to succeed. “As a rule, you should plan to leave your home on the market for one to two weeks before accepting any offers. If you accept an offer on the first day, you eliminate the possibility of other competing bids. In contrast, by being patient and considering multiple offers, you can drum up competition between buyers.”
Finding the right real estate agent
It almost goes without saying that a crucial step for selling real estate is finding a good agent. However, just any agent won’t do—to ensure a successful outcome, you’ll need to choose a quality one. To guide you in your choice, Howard Bloom, an agent with Intero Real Estate, lists a few attributes to look for in a real estate professional:
“A quality agent’s reputation will speak for itself. Perform an online search for agents who work in your area and look at their reviews. Additionally, see if the agent has affiliations with consumer resources and agencies like the Diamond Certified Resource.”
“Choose an agent who has a strong knowledge of both their industry and the area in which they work. An agent’s understanding of the local housing market and its prices and trends will help you get the best possible deal.”
“Make sure the agent’s values align with yours. Rather than do the bare minimum, a quality agent will take the time to create a successful home sales strategy that brings you the best possible outcome. That’s because quality agents aren’t in it for the short-term profits—they would rather establish long-term relationships with their clients.”