Friday, August 6, 2010

Getting Ready to Sell Your Home

So you're going to sell your home and you need to get ready. What do you do? The first thing is to call me ((707) 499-7111) so we can sit down together, evaluate the value of your home and your goals in selling, and then plan a strategy to accomplish those goals. After that's done, you can start on this list.

1) Go through your home room by room, inside and out, with 2 pads of paper. On one pad write everything you love about your home. Start with the physical features, but then go beyond them. How does the morning sun come through that window? Where do you put your Christmas tree? How does it feel to have your family over for Easter dinner? What are the neat things about living in your neighborhood? Think about the highlights of your home in each season of the year. I will use these items in preparing my marketing materials so we can hook those buyers' hearts and minds and give your home a competitive advantage over other listings.

2) On the second pad of paper, write down every problem or repair you've made on the home. You'll need this list for your disclosures. Under California law, a seller must tell the buyer about every known problem with the home, even the ones that have been repaired. And there's nothing worse than being dragged into court after the sale to confront a lawsuit over non-disclosure of some item. So disclose until it hurts. If you think you might, maybe, just possibly need to mention something, do it.

3) Start packing. You ARE selling your house, so you WILL be moving. Start now. Pack up personal items first - pictures, trophies, all those quaint figurines that collect on our end tables. Next, move out all of the stuff that's not going with you. You can yard sell it, give it away, or take it to the dump - just get it out. Then, pack out those extra appliances and pieces of furniture that are cluttering up your home. De-cluttering can be the biggest money-maker you do in getting ready to sell your home. And don't put it all in the garage! Rent a mini-storage unit if you must. It will be worth it.

4) Clean, clean, clean! This is the 2nd biggest money maker you'll do. Clean the carpets, the walls, the ceilings, the top of all the light fixtures, behind the fridge and stove, the windows - everything! Hire a professional if you need to. Not only will cleaning make your house look crisper, it will smell better, and feel better. Smells can be one of the biggest turn-off's to potential buyers, and they will touch things you never touch - window frames, door trim, bath-tub caulking. So get it clean so the buyers can focus on your positives and not get distracted.

5) Lastly, after consulting with me and our sales plan, make any repairs or improvements that will add to your bottom line. Some repairs will pay dividends; others will cost more than they bring in, so we must be careful. Full kitchen and bathroom remodels almost never pay for themselves. But fresh paint, in a neutral color, almost always turns a profit. Updating the landscaping can pay big dividends. Even flooring can be done relatively inexpensively. But call or e-mail me first. (707) 499-7111,

Getting the house ready to sell can easily make a 10% difference on the purchase price. For more tips, drop by the Sellers page of my website or become a fan of my real estate Facebook page. Then, get started early, be consistent, and follow through. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July 2010 Humboldt County, CA Market Statistics

The statistics show that July was a good news/bad news month for the Humboldt County, CA real estate market. First the bad news: inventory is up and sales are down.

As with the rest of the country, the expiration of the federal home buyers’ tax credits has created a lull in the market, with many people that would have bought in July deciding to buy in April and May to take advantage of the tax credit. A month later, there are fewer buyers, leading to fewer sold homes, and more homes left on the market.

The good news is that it didn’t affect prices much at all. The average home sales price actually rebounded from June, up to $287,939, the highest in the last 12 months.

The median sales price also rebounded, but to a more modest $246,000.

What will the future hold? There is still a great selection of homes on the market, and interest rates are at historic lows. One day we will all say, “I wish I would have bought real estate in Humboldt County back in _______!” What will be the date in that blank? It could be today! If you like the idea of buying at low prices with low interest rates, give me a call at (707) 499-7111, or search the available properties on my website.