1) Assess the Financial Impact of Selling If the property has been your primary residence for 2 of the past 5 years, you will be exempt from paying tax on the first $250,000 of capital gains or $500,000 if you are married. Verify with your lender there are no pre-payment penalties on your loan and contact your accountant.
2) Timing The real estate market tends to be the most active in the spring and fall. Summer months tend to be sluggish. However, in today’s challenging market, sometimes we have to throw the normal out the window. Sellers always ask, when is the best time to sell? The answer is when no one else is!
3) Fees to Sell Transfer taxes, inspection costs, and commissions range between 7-8 percent of the total sales price.
4) Inspections Have termite, sewer line, and general home inspections done by qualified professionals in advance. Consider conducting a “pre-inspection”. This gives the homeowner opportunity to correct items that will come up on the report. The less that is on the report, the better. Some repairs are worth completing in advance to avoid a long list of to do’s, the less repairs/action items that need to be addressed, the more a home will sell for!
5) Preparing Your Property Remember what they say about first impressions. Whatever you spend preparing your home for sale, you should double your investment on the return. An agent with a great designer/stager should guide you on what’s important to buyers and items to focus on. Again, the “turn key” homes with little to do sell for the most.
6) Paint Fresh paint has a tremendous impact on overall appearance and is one of the best investments you can make. Let your stager chose the colors for the broadest appeal with today’s buyers.
7) Landscaping Remove overgrown shrubs, trim trees, plant flowers to enhance curb appeal.
8) Moving Begin packing, sorting, and making your moving plans. The majority of sellers make arrangements to move out prior to their house going on the market. This allows sufficient time (and least hassle) for painting, staging, and preparing the home for sale properly. If the home is unoccupied when listed for sale (97% in Oakland are) , it is of great benefit to be shown by agents to prospective buyers at a moments notice, any day at any time.
9) Staging Thoughtful staging of a property sells the property faster and for a lot more money by reaching potential buyers on emotional and practical levels. Through strategic placement of furniture (showcasing the highlights and camouflaging the negatives) and the application of color, accessories, artwork and greenery, potential buyers have a stronger emotional response to a home, and can easily see themselves living there.