Savvy Seller’s Section: 4 Tips to Start a Bidding War on Your Home

Price low to sell high.

Listing on the high side and testing the market doesn’t work. Your home will sit on the market and you are helping the neighbor down the street to sell his home. Listing below market value will attract attention, increase traffic flow and generate showings in the first few days.

Set a deadline for offers: Yes, this is scary, as you may not get any offers. Yet, it can light a fire under the procrastinators. Agents and buyers like to know the expectation of when contracts will be reviewed. You can wait until the first weekend of open houses to determine if this is the best course of action for your property.

Spark interest ahead of time:

Announce your Coming Soon listing before placing the details on the multiple listing service. Using social media channels is a strategic way to begin creating a buzz. Mass emails to potential buyers and realtors is also key. You can also list the home on the MLS, but state no showings are allowed until the open house. People want what they cannot have.

Create a unique open house experience:

People want to come to a party. How about a neighborhood sneak-peek? I had a lovely property with a pool cabana and offered chair massage. Another, I hosted an art show. The next will offer interior design tips from my stager extraordinaire. Stand out, be different and entice people to come see the home and experience it for themselves.

JUMP into the Real Estate Market

June is the month for graduations, Father’s Day and the first days of summer and also a great time to jump into the real estate market! mp into real estate. Jump into Real Estate

June is the busiest home-selling and home-buying month in our area. With the warmer weather, more daylight, and the impetus to get into a new house before the next school begins, buyers are more likely to shop during this time of year. Summer is also the most convenient time for the majority of people to move. Sellers’ who are looking to stay in the area have a greater chance of finding their next home with the most inventory listed now.

There are pros and cons to the busiest selling month.

With more houses on the market, buyers can afford a bigger wish list. If your home needs repairs, buyer might simply pass it by for the one down the street. Add in the fact most buyers aren’t shopping under pressure and you have a pool of selective shoppers.

Bidding wars are a headache for buyers but a big plus for sellers. Multiple offers mean more money in a seller’s pocket. It also usually means buyers are less likely to make repair requests or other demands. Lastly, interest rates remain extremely low which continues to keep the buyers out in force and actively house-hunting.

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling.  Mom was right. She taught me honesty is the best policy which is why I must tell it like it is, if you want to have any chance of success in selling your home. This article won’t be for the faint of heart as we’re being brutally honest. Ready? If you get a bit uncomfortable then you know I’m stating the truth. You DO want an honest Realtor on your side, don’t you?

What are the 10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling? 

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

  1. Understand your local Real Estate Market –  What’s happening today, this week? What happened last month? If you don’t know, make sure your Realtor does. For instance, in a neighborhood I sell a number of homes in each year, The Woodlands in Walnut Creek, I sold a home ‘off market’ and another ‘pocket listing’ just closed escrow.  These home sales will impact what other homes will sell for as they are comparable sales. If your Realtor doesn’t know, find another Realtor. Real Estate will always be local and to be able to sell your home, it’s critical to know what the local trends are for your neighborhood.
  2. An uncluttered home sells – A messy, over-packed home knocks thousands of dollars off your bottom-line, net proceeds.  Yup, a big chunk of money can be lost for not putting in a little elbow grease.  Perhaps one of the greatest payoffs to home selling will be the time you spend cleaning and de-cluttering your home. While you are at it, take off all the family photos and personal items from your walls, shelves and refrigerator. Don’t forget the windows; they are the ‘eyes’ of the home and will let more natural light in if clean!
  3. Homes priced right sell – Price your home to sell. From the very first day that you list your home for sale, you will attract the most qualified and most interested Buyers. The first two weeks of a new home listing gets the most attention from buyers and agents. Your new listing draws the attention of Buyers waiting for a new home to hit the market when they have seen all the others that fit their criteria. Buyers who just started looking will see your home priced right, and will be rushing your way to get a closer look.  A listing that sits longer than the average days on market becomes stale and people begin to wonder why it hasn’t sold. They’ll either assume something is wrong with the home or that it’s priced too high. If Buyers think that something is wrong, they’ll want to make low-ball offers. If it’s priced too high for the area, you may not even get buyers wanting to preview it at all and you will have the dreadful disease called, “no showings!’
  4. You will be inconvenienced – Your home becomes a house for sale and it’s a paradigm shift that needs to be embraced. Your attitude plays a large part as to your level of stress during the process. Getting your home ready to sell, packing, keeping it clean all takes time and effort. You will have calls from prospective Buyers, and you will want to vacate the home while they are there.  When you’re able to anticipate this, it can make the process a lot less painful. This is part of the process and will pass…keep you end goal in mind which is to sell your home.
  5. Repairs left undone could cost more than the repair itself – Deferred maintenance can be a lot less expensive if you address it BEFORE you sell your home. You can’t hide the issues as buyers will discover them during their inspection period. I typically see Buyers either want a credit or want the repair done. When they see a simple repair that could have been fixed by a handyman/contractor they wonder what else is in need of repair. and if the home was properly maintained.  First time Buyers especially want to see a home with a clean bill of health and feel confidant they are making a sound financial decision. Having a clear ‘Section 1″ pest report is highly recommended to give Buyers peace of mind.
  6. Buyers love to negotiate the home sales price after the home inspection – After all inspections there will always be a hundred of little things and hopefully, you aren’t blindsided with an unknown major needed repair. Typically, buyers in Walnut Creek order a pest, home and roof inspection. Chimney and sewer lateral inspections are becoming very popular, as well. Sellers should know about major repairs ahead of time and disclose to Buyers prior to the presentation of offers. This way you know the offer reflects the defect.  As discussed above, fix your repairs so as not to give a Buyer a reason to want a discount, or worse yet, to back out of the contract.  The inspection period will require a skilled negotiator. Make sure the Realtor you hired, is an effective negotiator as they’ll be worth their weight in gold here.
  7. Buyers love to grill Sellers present at home showings – When a Buyer has schedule a visit to view your home, it’s important for you to leave for many reasons.  First, you want the Buyers to be able to walk around your home and feel comfortable without you following them around, as you want them to envision themselves living in your home. They need to be able to speak freely with their Realtor about their thoughts and feelings. More importantly, you don’t want them or their agents to try and wiggle out the details from you regarding why you’re moving that could give them a reason to offer you less money for your home.  If they learn you “need” to move and feel you are very motivate for a quick close they may offer less.
  8. Smelly homes sell for less money – Nothing is worse than a smelly home from pets, smoking or even cooking.  A thorough cleaning of your home, along with the fabrics, walls and carpets will go along way in removing pet, smoking and food odors.  If you have carpeting where pets had accidents, replacing carpeting would be must-do. You may need a restoration company to address some of these issues.
  9. Cash is not always King – When Buyers using financing compete with cash Buyers, they can make their offer look very appealing in a number of ways. First, their offer needs to written accurately without any errors and complete. Next, their Pre Approval letter must indicate their strong financial ability to secure the mortgage to buy the home. In addition, the Buyers can make sure that they’re going to follow specified time frames. Sadly, I have received all cash offers written poorly and worse yet, no proof of funds. Lastly, Buyer stories or what I call, “love letters” can pull on a Seller’s heart strings, especially if there are happy memories from living in the home. I have personally had home sellers who chose a lower priced offer, because they shared the cutest pictures and strongly expressed their love of the home!
  10. Overpricing your home helps to sell your neighbors’ – It’s true!  Picture this. Buyers are qualified to buy a certain priced home, so they’re looking at homes that they can afford. They will look for the homes with the most features, benefits, upgrades and square footage. Buyers might look at your home but will end up purchasing the larger home, in better condition for the same amount of money; it’s called value in the eyes of the buyer?
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5 Great Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Most home sellers don’t want to sell their home during the busy holiday season. However, here are 5 great reasons to sell during the holidays:

5 great reasons to sell during the holidays

5 great reasons to sell during the holidays

#1 Home buyers looking during the holidays tend to be very motivated, serious buyers.

#2 Due to vacation time not yet taken, buyers often have more time to see homes for sale and may be looking during the weekdays.

#3 Buyers are more emotional during the holidays and tend to spend more money as a result. They may even have a tax incentive to buy before the end of the year.

#4 Many other sellers tend to take their listing off the market during the holidays, which mean less competition for you. The supply of homes for sale in January increases substantially. If you are selling and then buying, you will be well positioned to offer a non-contingent offer in 2016 when there will be more homes on the market to choose from.

#5 When we quickly find the buyer for your home, I can negotiate a longer close of escrow and a rent-back to extend your occupancy until next year.

Whether you are considering either selling or buying a home during this holiday season or waiting until January 2016, the correct timing depends on what is right for you and your family. Together, let’s create the best strategy for positioning your home on the market for a quick sale for top dollar.

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1580 Geary Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Thursday, November 12th | 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Enjoy a complimentary lunch while Seniors Real Estate Specialist Dayna Wilson shares tips on downsizing to a more manageable home and answers the top 10 most often asked questions concerning planning for and making a later in life move.

Please RSVP (925) 943-1121

Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results

Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results! It can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to prepare your home for sale. Did you know that my team has a full service program to make that happen?

Home Sellers - Preparation gets Results

Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results

If you are like our other sellers you are busy and feeling overwhelmed with what it may take to get your home ‘market ready.’ Just the thought of having to locate a reliable painter, picking out new carpet, dealing with a handyman for small repairs during work hours could make your head spin. My recent Walnut Creek home seller had no idea how much all this would cost, or even where to store his belongings during the process. I showed him how our contractor quotes the updates and repairs, line by line. I acted as his project manager-overseeing all the vendors, from handymen and cleaners to stagers and photographers. As the home seller, he can now just focus on his plans to be married in January! His home was prepared according to his budget and it is scheduled to close escrow next week!

Want to learn more? Call for a 15-minute consultation and I’ll show you how we’ve made this same plan work for our other happy clients!

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Efficiently Declutter your Home in 5 Easy Steps

Efficiently Declutter your Home in 5 Easy Steps. Home sellers always ask me what they should do to get ready to sell their home.

Step #1-Make a list. Decide which part of the home you are tackling first, then second. This will get you motivated and you will already start to feel more organized!

Step #2-Start in ONE space, or better one area in a room. A drawer, a closet, a shelf, a cabinet. dump it all out, and keep only the essentials. If your home is like mine, you have a “junk drawers’ in the kitchen. We have out of date coupons, advertisements, junk mail, recipes, old greeting cards, pens that don’t work…you get the picture. Closets: donate what you haven’t worn in a year that is in good shape, use old t-shirts for rags, toss the rest.

Efficiently Declutter your Home in 5 Easy Steps

Efficiently Declutter your Home in 5 Easy Steps

Step #3-Take it slow. Giving stuff away can be emotionally draining, space out the process. Once you’ve gotten rid of the waste, trash, junk you can begin to address the personal items you hold on to for personal reasons. Do they bring you joy? Do they hold special meaning or bring back fond memories? Address each one of these items one at a time. Giving things away can feel really great. And, giving a new life to an object that you have enjoyed but no longer need can bring the new owner joy, too!

Step #4-Put a process in place moving for the future. Once you have your home organized, make sure you and your family have a plan to keep it that way. Don’t know how? Consider contacting a professional organizer for help with this.

Step #5-Set aside time. Whether it’s a week, a day each month, or 1/2 day each week…or even a few minutes a day-do it! Put it on the calendar. If you don’t plan it, you might be just like me and keep putting it off. Remember, it’s a process, take it slowly and good luck!

Is fall the right time to sell?

Is fall the right time to sell? There may be fewer showings and buyers coming to your open houses, but the buyers this season tend to be more motivated. Think about it–while the rest of us are frantically shopping, preparing for family gatherings and trips to Grandma’s, buyers who are out in the damp and cold are, well, really motivated to find a home. Lower inventory = less competition for the fall seller.  

Is fall the right time to sell?

Is fall the right time to sell?

Thinking about selling, but not sure if this is the right time for you? Call me and let’s talk. This is an important decision and it can help to get the perspective of a seasoned professional.

SOLD-Highest Sales Price per Sq.Ft

SOLD-Highest Sales$/Sq.Ft ! This beauty never made it to the market! Lovely 4 bedroom, 2 full bathroom, 1,781 s/f ranch style home in the Wonderful Woodlands neighborhood of Walnut Creek, Ca. How did it sell SO FAST?

You see I am not like all the other Realtors, who simply place a sign in the yard, put the information in the MLS and then pray some other agent brings in a buyer. I price watch and and proactively call and network with my fellow real estate associates in my brokerage and others.

My seller received the highest Sales $/Sq. Ft. of any 4 bedroom home in this neighborhood that has sold in the last 90 days! I am thrilled I was able to help her successfully close this chapter in her life and prepare for the next exciting adventure!

Dayna Wilson SOLD-Highest Sales$/Sq.Ft for Woodlands 4 beds

Dayna Wilson SOLD-Highest Sales$/Sq.Ft for Woodlands 4 beds

Listing Buzz Words

Have your noticed certain words get used over and over in real estate marketing? Turns out there is good reason: “BEAUTIFUL,” “CUSTOM,” and “REMODELED” are a few of the buzz words that help sell a home for a higher price.

Lisiting buzz words sell homes for more money

Listing buzz words sell homes for more money

Sometimes using high-end words for lower priced homes can boost the sales price by as much as 8%. Consider how adjectives such as ” impeccable,” “upgraded,” and even luxurious  sound. Pretty nice, right?

High end homes (almost any home in the Walnut Creek, CA area) using the word “captivating” sold for 6.5% higher than expected, on average according to Zillow.

Other money-making terms include, “picturesque,” “elegant,” sensational,” and “dramatic.”

And, certain words just work for all price points…want to know how to sell your home for top dollar? What’s the buzz? Call Dayna Wilson Real Estate to learn how to market your home for sale and receive top dollar.

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