Despite the fact that the market is cooling off, there's still more demand than supply in San Diego — for now.
Although this is a great position for sellers to be in, the market is wildly unpredictable across the United States, meaning there's no guarantee it will stay this way.
The market can influence the ease of selling a home but fortunately, there are some strategies that work to get the best price regardless of the current trends. Here's how to sell a home, no matter what the market looks like around you right now.
Hire a Good Real Estate Agent
One of the most important parts of the home sale process is hiring a good real estate agent. With over 200,000 real estate agents in California alone, there are plenty of choices no matter where you live in the state — and you need to make sure you're doing your research and picking the best one for you.
So, what should you look for?
You should look for not only general experience in real estate but experience in the specific neighborhood you're in. They'll know the market prices and can set realistic expectations, as well as know how to market your house to that area.
Good Success Rate
Ask your realtor how many homes they've sold for the asking price and how many ended up going above and below.
This will give you a good idea of if they can actually get the good price you're aiming for, for your home.
Good Reviews or References
There are many websites online dedicated to rating realtors and if they're part of a company, you should be able to find reviews on third-party sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Make sure to read them before committing to a realtor.
They should have a good overall rating, but you should also dive into the high and low reviews to see what they did well and what they didn't. This will give you the clearest picture.
If you have a friend or family member who recently sold a house and had a great experience, you can also ask for the name of their realtor and look into them. If you think you've found the perfect agent, asking for client references is also acceptable.
Friendly and Transparent Demeanor
The last thing you want in a realtor is someone who seems cold, judgmental, or reluctant to answer your questions. Make sure you get along well with your realtor and that they're happy to answer all of the inquiries you have.
Do Your Research
Although you should trust your realtor throughout the process of selling a home and listen to their expert advice, it also doesn't hurt to do your own research on a home sale strategy.
Look for similar houses that have sold in your neighborhood very recently and see what they sold for. Be sure to check they're in a similar school zone and area to get the most accurate judgment. You can also check how long they were on the market and if the price dropped any throughout their time listed, as this will give you a good idea of if they struggled to sell.
Stage Your Home Well
One of the most critical parts of the home sale process is staging your home well. Here's how to do that to ensure the buyer sees the best in your house.
The most important thing you should do is deep clean. When you've lived in one place for a while, you might not notice the typical odors and stains that people new to the home might — especially if you have pets and kids, who can be naturally messy!
Make sure you deep clean the house or better yet, have someone else do it for you. After it's done, invite some friends or family over so they can assert that the house is very clean and you aren't missing anything.
Make sure to clean every nook and cranny, as potential buyers are likely going to want to see into every room and cupboard so they can assert how much storage space the place has (and that nothing is wrong behind the scenes).
As well as deep cleaning, you should make the effort to declutter the home. Although your possessions will move with you when you leave the house, buyers may be turned off by a lot of clutter as it may bring the house down in their eyes.
If you have a lot of things you don't want to donate or trash, consider renting a temporary storage unit and putting your things there while you're going through house showings. This can be a huge help, as it gets your things out of the way without forcing you to get rid of them.
Depersonalizing is another thing that can make a huge impact on how people view the house.
Buyers want to picture themselves living there, and that can be hard to do when the house feels like someone else's home. Take down personal pictures and artwork, leaving the rooms bare or replacing them with more generic things. It makes it easy to self-insert for someone touring the home.
If you have the time and budget, you should also try some neutral colors to make it even more of a blank canvas. Give walls and cabinets a fresh lick of paint and get plain white crisp sheets for the beds.
Consider Curb Appeal
You should also consider curb appeal when staging your house. Most people judge automatically based on a first impression — both for other people and homes.
Give the doors and windows some fresh paint on the outside so they look nice. Consider taking care of any minor repairs on the exterior of the house.
Make sure you give the yard some attention too. Some light landscaping, mowing the grass, or even adding some yard accessories can do a whole lot to make the place look welcoming.
Remove Signs of Pets
Although most people love animals, they don't want to think that the home has the scent of them or a deep layer of pet hair. If possible, you should remove as many signs of animals as possible before buyers come over to tour the place.
You can do this by hiding litter boxes and confining cats to one room (or the garage, if possible, as this is even better). If you have a dog, consider asking someone to take them for a walk or having them stay with a friend for a while so you don't have to apologize for them jumping at buyers or barking from the room they're locked in.
Make sure to pick up any bowls and toys, as well as any waste in the yard they may have left.
Be Open to Repairs
If a home inspector finds something wrong during the process of selling a home, you then enter negotiations about what to do. The buyer might want you to take some money off the total price or closing costs, or they might want you to handle the repairs before they enter the home.
It's a good idea to be open to this. Up to around 4% of home sales fall through, so just because they're interested doesn't mean they're committed no matter what.
If you refuse to make concessions and want to sell the house as-is, your home sale strategy may not be the best for enticing a buyer. Although repairs cost money, they could be a financially sensible decision in the long run.
Don't Get Stuck on the Asking Price
When pricing a home, remember that any smart buyer is going to enter negotiations to try and get the best deal for them. Therefore, when you set the asking price, it's a good idea to think of it as a starting point — not the be-all and end-all of what you want for the house.
While the asking price is your ultimate goal and it would be amazing to get it, you're much likelier to get a little less — and that's okay as long as you consider that when you and your real estate agent are actually choosing the asking price.
This Is How to Sell a Home in Any Market
The market is ever-changing so to be a successful seller and get a great price for your house, you need to know how to sell a home in any market.
Pick a great real estate agent, be smart about your asking price, and stage your home well for the best possible results.
Thinking about moving to San Diego or relocating to another neighborhood in the city? Let's connect to see what we can do to help you get your dream home!