To Sell or Not to Sell During the Holidays

Interested in selling before the end of the year but not sure about the timing over the Holidays? 

staged_for-christmas-home

It used to be a simple answer: In the days of past, home purchases dwindled during the holidays, homebuyer traffic dropped drastically, and it was more worth a seller’s (and a Realtor’s) time to get the sign out of the yard, save on advertising, and enjoy the holidays with their families.

That was then…times have changed; today is a different story. With the use of technology, buyers can now shop for homes at all hours of the day, in all weather, from their laptops or mobile devices and the buying season has become a year-round event. The Internet also cuts down on the amount of time that it takes to buy a home because many buyers do their shopping online. In reality, people are always looking for homes – before, during and after the holidays.

More important to consider is that most sellers prefer not to sell during the holidays, meaning more sellers will put their homes back on the market in January and the supply of homes goes up dramatically, which translates to less demand for your particular home and less money as well.

So, although the Holiday Season, between mid-November to beginning of January, may not be considered the best time to sell, here’s our top reasons why selling over the Holidays can still make sense: 

1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!

2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!

3. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays during the weekdays!

4. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!

5. Some buyers have to buyer before the end of the year for tax reasons.

6. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!

7. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!

Home Selling Tips from Over 500 Real Estate Professionals!

What home selling tips are the most important for sellers to know?

The editors at Trulia sought to answer this question and surveyed 500 real estate agents about the importance of two dozen top home selling tips. Each tip was then ranked based on the survey responses and then fine-tuned to the top eight – those viewed as being “very important” by 80 percent of agents or more – to create the below infographic, “Home Selling Tips Every Seller Should Know.”

 

Price Your Home Realistically From the Start

94.3 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.0 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

The largest number of showings will occur in the first couple of weeks, so don’t turn these potential buyers off with an unrealistically high price!

Keep Your House Clean, Tidy and De-cluttered

91.4 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.4 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

It pays to keep your home in excellent shape at all times. You never know when a buyer might walk through the front door!

Work With an Agent Who Excels at Online Marketing

90.7 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.6 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Work with an agent who will do a good job marketing your home online. Your agent should take at least 6 listing photos and write a compelling listing description for your home.

Make It Easy to Show Your Home

90.3 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.4 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Make it as easy as possible for agents to show your home to clients. Don’t require appointments to be made weeks in advance or severely limit possible showing times.

Don’t Sign With an Unqualified Buyer

87.8 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.6 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Don’t sign a purchase agreement with an unqualified buyer. It’s not unreasonable to expect buyers to bring pre-approval letters (or proof of funds for cash purchases) to show they can buy your home.

Listen to Your Agent!

83.9 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.8 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Listen to your real estate agent! Find an agent you can trust and follow their advice and recommendations as closely as you can.

Make Small Upgrades to Your Home

83.6 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.2 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Make small upgrades to help your home sell for top dollar. These upgrades can include applying a fresh coat of paint, replacing door handles, curtains and cabinet hardware, fixing leaky faucets and cleaning the grout.

Work With an Agent Who Follows the Competition

82.4 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

1.4 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Work with an agent that will closely follow your competition. Your agent must be familiar with other properties on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood.

Stage Your Home’s Exterior

76.0 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.0 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Stage the exterior of your home: Spruce up the landscaping, trim vegetation, clean walkways of debris and apply fresh coats of paint to the house, fence and deck.

Don’t Insist on the Asking Price

72.0 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

3.0 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Don’t insist on selling your house for your asking price, its appraised value, the tax assessor’s estimate, or what you paid for it – your house is ultimately worth what the buyer is willing to pay for it!

Alert Family and Friends

67.7 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.6 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Alert your friends, relatives and neighbors that your home is on the market via email and social media. They may forward your home’s listing to buyers they know.

Make Your Home Move-In Ready

66.6 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

0.9 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Make your home move-in ready before it hits the market, so buyers know they won’t have a to-do list if they buy it.

Brighten Up Your Home

64.8 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

1.0 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Maximize the amount of light in your home. Take down drapes, clean windows and cut bushes to let sunshine in.

Clear Out Your Closets

63.1 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

1.0 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Because storage space is an important consideration for buyers, take half of the stuff out of your closets and neatly organize the rest.

Don’t Take the First Offer

59.4 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

3.4 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Don’t get over-excited when you get an offer! Examine each offer carefully and take your time deciding if you want to accept it.

De-Personalize Your Home

57.9 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

2.6 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Personal items make it harder for buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. Put family photos, trophies, memorabilia and other personal keepsakes in storage.

Don’t Over-Upgrade

56.6 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

1.7 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project just before you put your house on the market.

Conceal Your Pets

52.8 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

5.5 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Pets give the impression your house isn’t clean, so hide them, their litter boxes, food dishes and toys during showings.

Don’t Work With the First Agent You Find

51.8 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

5.9 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Interview multiple agents before choosing one to work with. Select your agent based on their marketing plan, experience, work ethic and communication skills.

Hire a Professional Listing Photographer

37.1 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

16.4 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

Hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your home if your agent doesn’t do so. Professional listing photos only cost $100-300 and can increase your home’s sale price by up to $19,000.

Throw Buyers a Bone to Close Escrow Quickly

29.5 percent of agents say this is a very important tip

10.8 percent of agents don’t recommend this tip

If you want a speedy and hassle-free escrow, throw your buyer a bone (like an early closing or a one-year home warranty) if they ask for one. You want to be in their good graces during escrow and after the sale.

Home Selling Tips Every Seller Should Know

Behind the Scenes Preview of a New Custom Luxury Home in Alamden – 6798 Elwood Rd

Put on your hardhats, we’re taking you “behind the scenes” on a guided tour of an unfinished custom built luxury home in Alamden.

Rising boldly above the tree tops situated on an oak dotted hillside on Elwood Road, just a few block from the Alamden County Club, you’ll surely notice this smartly built home as it is scheduled for completion in the next few weeks. It’s been full speed ahead for the builder of this custom, one of a kind estate property, since he initially broke ground in fall of 2012.

“The last few weeks are always the most exciting,” according to the builder Sunny Behl of Hill Valley Construction, “being able to experience the character of the home come together at the end of a long project is a fantastic feeling.”

Built with energy efficiency in mind, this beautifully designed tradesman style home is stocked with many advanced energy saving features including a smart roof ventilation system, U.V. rated dual pane windows, foam insulation in all exterior and interior walls, dual zone climate control with energy star furnaces and AC units, two tankless water heater systems and for those needing to commute to SIlicon Valley industry, it offers a smart charging station in the garage for electric vehicles.

Some of the finish work being completed over the coming weeks will include the installation of the custom cherry in-set kitchen cabinets, custom quartz countertops, special hand-milled door trim, white oak wood floors with cherry wood feature strips,  intricate stone tiled fireplaces, italian porcelain tile used in bathrooms and kitchen flooring, and so much more. The delivery of top of the line Thermador appliances should round out the project which is currently on track to be finished the first week in May.

“The setting of this gorgeous home in the middle numerous native California oak trees really creates a feeling that it is a microcosm unto it’s own here on top of gentle rise in the heart of Alamden’s desirable Glen View neighborhood,” explains Mike Gill of Realty World – Eagle Properties Group. “This home is really unique and one-of-a-kind…especially since new construction is very limited in this area, and with it’s hillside setting it offers a stunning million-dollar view over the valley.”

6798 Elwood Road will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to this lovely Alamden Valley neighborhood. With all the high-tech features including cat-5 and coaxial cable, surround sound, and an electric car charging station, this home is a perfect suburban retreat for the hi-tech Silicon Valley executive looking for excellent schools and a quite and safe neighborhood. Schooling options include the following distinguished public schools: Williams Elementary (970 API), Bret Harte Middle (919 API), Leland High (898 API).

Please call us for a tour of this home before completion (408) 204-7699, or please stop by our open house in May.

How House Hunters View Your Home When Selling

In a study conducted by Old Dominion University’s Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate, researcher Michael Seiler discovered that overall, when buyers view listings on-line they devoted 60 percent of their time to photos, 20 percent to property descriptions, and 20 percent to the agent’s comments; and he found that their interest diminished after clicking through numerous properties. So how can you use this to your advantage if you’re thinking of selling?

First Impressions Matter

I think the study is really important, especially in a seller’s market like we’re currently experiencing, because while it may be easy to sell a house, if you want to net the most proceeds you still have to work to create an emotional connection between the buyer and your home. And since, for most people these days (94% as discovered by National Association of REALTORS®), the first point of contact is through the internet so being sure to use captivating photography is essential to creating those connections.

Importance of Professional Photography

Our recommendation…always show your home with professional photography. It’s amazing how many sellers are still not aware of the power of professional photography when combined with the internet’s ability to expose their property to countless buyers. In order to catch the attention of potential buyers searching homes on the internet, according to the study, eye-catching photography is essential for them to spend more time reviewing the details of your property. And better yet, when buyers do find homes that they find visually pleasing in photos, they’re also more likely to share these photos with their friends and family through social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest.

Take Advantage of HD Video

So now that we know how to get an online buyer to spend more time looking through the photos of your home, how do you keep them engaged with your property in order for them to make an emotional connection? The next step up from professional photography is showcasing your home in high definition video…which will surely help your listing not only stand out, but most importantly, keep a potential buyer’s attention. As an example, here’s a listing we recently sold with multiple offers (and substantially over asking, as well as recent sales): www.1339SierraMar.com.

As you can see, the HD video makes a great attention grabber after viewing hundreds of pictures of homes available for sale on the internet, and when properly complimented by professional photography it can help a potential buyer picture themselves living in your home. Additionally, just as a potential buyer is likely to share eye-catching pictures of their favorite homes with their friends and family, sharing a video can be much more powerful and fun for them.  And it sure makes it easier for today’s buyers to get the approval from distant family when a home looks great behind the camera, versus one that was camera shy!

Read more about the study here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324077704578360750949646798.html

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