Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Home Sellers Now is the Time to Make a Change

The mechanics of selling a house is on the road to change. In Southern California, specifically the Inland Empire of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, where I have practiced for many years, Sellers are beginning to feel the change in buyers attitudes.

Buyers are now expecting to pay a little less for a home then they did about a year ago. Todays prospective buyer is spending a lot more time looking on the internet even before they contact a real estate agent to see what housing prices are like and what interest rates to buy those homes are doing.

I am a Real Estate Agent and a Loan Specialist, and have been watching the real estate market and the interest rates change for the past several months.

Today, for a Seller to sell their home in a timely manner, the price must now be within the actual market prices or below. The days of putting your house on the market and have it sell almost immediately are gone. There is a lot more to it now.

1. There are many listing agents making sure that the commission offered to a selling agent is either at the old normal rates or above, so that an agent who is looking for a property for a client will show and sell that particular home. I have seen several offering 3.5% and 4% to the selling agent with bonuses, plus sellers are willing to help with buyer closing costs.

2. The next obstacle to overcome is how the home shows to prospective buyers. You need to remember that now there are more homes on the market, giving buyers a lot more choices. You, the seller, want your home to show at its best.

3. This leads us to the ?Staging? of a home. Less is always better. If your home needs painting, paint it. If your carpets need to be cleaned, clean them. Set your dining room table with nice tablecloths and nice dinner ware. Take most everything on your kitchen counter tops off. If your living room or family room looks like there is too much furniture, make it disappear. Rent a storage space if necessary. Even closets and pantries need to be neat and tidy. Buyers tend to look everywhere. There are still many new homes being built, go and check them out. See how a professional stages a model home.

4. A First Impression is Everything. Your agent will normally take photos of your home and the one that goes on the Multiple Listing Service, Realtor.com, etc., is the front of your house. Water the lawn, clean up by the front door, put potted plants if you can, and make sure when your agent takes pictures that no cars are in the way. This first photo will also have a bearing on what the agent thinks. Will that agent even tell a prospective buyer that your house is for sale?

5. Landscaping I have seen some properties offered that because the seller has no landscaping in the back yard that the buyer will get an allowance at the close of escrow. If you can, and have the time, put down some fertilizer and grass seed and put in your own back yard. This can really make a difference. Always keep in the back of your mind, you?re the seller who wants their house sold. A Buyer has lots more choices today and would probably go on to the next house if they felt they had to put several thousand dollars into a back yard that they wouldn?t have to spend with another house.

First and foremost, buyers are just as conscious of money and how much they spend as you are on how much you can actually get for your house and move on to the next one.

My views and comments are based on my personal research and should not be consrued as anything else.

Patti Schopper

Contact Patti with any questions you may have regarding selling your property or purchasing a new property at: http://www.realestateandloans4you.com

Patti Schopper has been in the real estate industry over 36 years. Her goal has always been to put her clients first.

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