Selling a home

Why do I need a broker to sell my house?
Why list my house with CalCity?
What makes a house sell?
When is the best time to list a house for sale?
Is there any seasonality to the market?
How long should it take to sell?
How do I price my house?
What is fair market value, and how do I determine mine?
What is the difference between fair market value and asking price?
Who can help me determine the right asking price?
Should I fix my house up before it goes on the market?
What should I do to make the house show better?
What about home warranties? Are they available to sellers as well as buyers?
What is an MLS?, and why do I need one?
What should we expect from an open house?
 
Why do I need a broker to sell my house?

The best reason for working with real estate broker is the enormous amount of information they have at their disposal -- information that can help make your house sell faster and easier. Professionals know about market trends, houses in your neighborhood, and the people most likely to buy there. They also know how to reach the largest number of people who may be interested in your house, and are trained in areas like screening potential buyers and negotiating with them. Finally, they're always on-call, and willing to do the things most of us hate: working on the weekends, answering the phone at all hours, and always being polite about it.

 

Why list my house with CalCity?

Best of all, CalCity will negotiate on your behalf to get you the best possible price. Beyond that, we're sincerely interested in helping make the experience of selling your home as smooth and easy as possible. So even if you're not ready to list your house quite yet, if you simply have questions about the market in your area, price or mortgage trends, anything at all about real estate as it relates to you, just pick up your phone and call us, or contact us online.

 

What makes a house sell?

To be as concise as possible, a successful sale requires that you concentrate on five considerations: your price, terms, condition, location, and exposure. Since you can't control all of them, you may have to overcompensate in one or more areas to offset a competitive disadvantage in another.

 

 
When is the best time to list a house for sale? top

As soon as you decide to sell it.

If you want to get the best price for your house, the key is to give yourself as much time as possible to sell it. More time means more potential buyers will probably see the house. This should result in more offers. It also gives you time to consider more options if the market is slow or initial interest is low.

 

Is there any seasonality to the market?

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Peak selling seasons vary in different areas of the country, and weather has a lot to do with it. For example, late spring and early fall are the prime listing seasons in many areas because houses tend to show better in those months than they do in the heat of summer or the cold of winter. And of course, people like to do their house shopping when the weather is pleasant.

But keep in mind that there are also more houses on the market during the prime seasons, so you'll have more competition. So while there is seasonality in the real estate market, it's not something that should dominate your decision on when to sell.

 

How long should it take to sell?

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In a word, realistically. You just have to be realistic about the value of your house, and price it accordingly. A good place to start is by determining the fair market value.

 

How do I price my house?

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In a word, realistically. You just have to be realistic about the value of your house, and price it accordingly. A good place to start is by determining the fair market value. .

 

What is fair market value, and how do I determine mine? top

Simply put, the fair market value of a house is the highest price an informed buyer will pay, assuming there is no unusual pressure to complete the purchase. It is usually not the asking price.

To get an estimate of fair market value, contact us or submit a home evaluation form on line to ask for a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) of your house. Our brokerage will provide this service for free without any obligation.

The analysis will give you a realistic figure based on the most salient points of the local real estate market. It should provide information about recent sales of similar houses, including how much they sold for and how long it took. The broker's price opinion is very helpful in determining the right asking price.

 

What is the difference between fair market value and asking price? top

Generally speaking, the owner's asking price, which is the advertised price of a house when it goes on the market, is set slightly higher than fair market value. You can assume that some negotiation will be necessary to reach an agreement with a buyer. In most cases, the agent who presents you with the results of your CMA will be willing to help you establish a competitive pricing strategy.

 

Who can help me determine the right asking price?

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Real estate sales agents suggest asking prices based on a wide array of information you may not have at your disposal, including recent listing and selling prices of houses in your neighborhood. If you're not completely confident in their suggestions, you may want to order an appraisal.

Next, establish clear priorities. If you had to choose, are you more concerned with selling quickly, or getting the most money possible?

Someone else -- a neighbor, friend or relative -- may point out advantages or disadvantages about your house that you hadn't thought about. Third-party views will help you start thinking of your house as a commodity, with positive and negative selling points. Then you should decide on a price that you feel is competitive and consistent with what other houses in your area have sold for.

 

 
Should I fix my house up before it goes on the market? top

Unless your house is nearly new, chances are you'll want to do some work to get it ready to market. The type and amount of work depends largely on the price you're asking, the time you have to sell, and of course, the present condition of the house.

If you're in a hurry to sell, do the "little things" that make your house look better from the outside and show better inside. Read on for several specific ideas for making low-cost improvements.

 

 
What should I do to make the house show better? top

First, make your house look as clean and spacious as possible. Remember, people may look behind your doors -- closet and crawlspace doors as well as those to the bedrooms and bathrooms. So get rid of all the clutter; have that garage sale and haul away the leftovers.

After you've cleaned, try to correct any cosmetic flaws you've noticed. Paint rooms that need it, remove or replace any worn-out carpets. Replace dated faucets, light fixtures, the handles and knobs on your kitchen drawers and cabinets.

Finally, as with the outside of your house, try to make it easy for prospective buyers to imagine your house as their home. Clear as much from your walls, shelves, and countertops as you can. Give your prospects plenty of room to dream.

CalCity agents can always give you specific ideas on how to make your house look its best.

 

 
Do I need to purchase home warranties? top

Yes, and they're worth investing. It's one of the best selling points you can add to your house.

It's easy to see why. After a buyer has invested substantial cash savings in a down payment and moving expenses, the last thing they want to worry about is a costly home repair. With the home warranties, they don't have to.

The warranty offers protection for you and your buyer, covering repair or replacement costs for breakdowns to most major systems and built-in appliances up to a year or more after the date of closing.

 

 
What is an MLS?, and why do I need one? top

A Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is one innovation that makes it easier to reach a large number of prospective buyers and dramatically increase the exposure of a property.

Quite simply, it's a system under which participating brokers agree to share commission on the sale of houses listed by any one of them. So, for example, if you list your house with one broker and another broker actually sells it, they share the commission. The advantage to you is clear; more people have an interest in selling your house.

Over the years, the MLS concept has grown from a strictly local sales tool into a powerful national marketing system.

 

What should we expect from an open house? top

As another valuable part of the marketing process, the open house offers prospective buyers the chance to view houses in a low-pressure, browsing atmosphere. With that in mind, you shouldn't expect it to generate a sale, at least not directly. What you should look for is traffic, and calls to your agent for private showings in the days following the open house.

Open houses are always valuable, even if very few people show up. Such a situation can indicate that the price is too high; it may also lead you to look for ways to improve curb-appeal. Try not to draw your own conclusions -- your agent will give you a full report on open house activity, and offer a professional assessment of its results.

Agents often hold an open house for other agents shortly after a house is listed. This event, usually held mid-week when real estate people can give it their full attention, can be as important to your efforts as your listing in the local MLS. The more professionals who see your house, the more prospects you're likely to reach.