Times are changing and you’re thinking about moving the family into a new home. But before you start searching for your next dream home, you’ll need to figure out when you’re going to sell your existing home. The decision is a complex one, especially considering the unpredictable economic environment you’re living in. And while there’s no magic formula for determining the best time to sell a home, there are several factors you should consider.

The wrong time to sell
This likely won’t come as a big surprise: you should avoid selling your home during the winter holiday season. Tensions run high during the holidays and budgets run low. The result? No one’s really itching to buy, and offers that do come in are often low. So as a general rule of thumb, avoid the months of December and January when selling a home.

The best season for selling
Conventional wisdom dictates that spring is the best time to sell a home. In spring, the holidays have past, the new school year is still a while away, and gardens and other outdoor spaces tend to look their best. And while spring is the season that sees the largest amount of buyers, it’s also the season when inventories are highest. This means lots of competition, so if you’re going to sell in spring, you really need to get your property to stand out with effective marketing and staging.

Preparation

Many decisions need to be made when preparing a property for sale. Getting a real estate agent involved early on in the process helps ensure that the best decisions are made regarding repairs and renovations. Often times there are many items in the home that need to be sorted through and removed.  This process can be difficult and time-consuming for family members so it’s best to start as early as possible in preparation for a sale. I can help determine the best way to dispose of unwanted items which can include sales of items and donations. Sellers may also have to decide if they will live in the property while it’s being sold or make other arrangements to live elsewhere during the process.

Buyers will pay a premium for a home in move-in ready condition so cosmetic and functional repairs are often well worth the cost. I can help you determine which projects are worth undertaking so that the dollars invested will yield a significantly higher sales price. Local inspectors can also provide a detailed professional analysis of the condition of a property giving potential buyers sufficient information to value the home. While it’s not necessary to perform all of the suggested repairs, some may be worth the cost. Professionally staging a property allows potential buyers to envision a warm, welcoming and attractive space and creates a strong emotional appeal to the property.

My experience working with vintage homes along with the contacts I’ve made with local historians, contractors and design specialists allows me to identify and promote the unique features of these homes. I can advertise these special features to intrigue and attract potential buyers and assure them of the ongoing support, resources and education provided to new home buyers. Our vintage homes were built to last and Alameda’s architectural preservation society (AAPS) even provides awards to homeowners carrying out certain types of historical renovation.

Presentation

Marketing a property starts with professional photographs that display the best features inside and outside of the home. These photos are featured in the most important marketing channel, the online Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is routinely searched by today’s sophisticated buyers. A myriad of other marketing efforts complements the MLS including social media posts, newspaper ads, emails to potential clients, street signs, flyers, open houses and a brokers tour organized to get other realtors into the property.  Property details are communicated through inspection reports, permit histories and other disclosures to provide sufficient information for buyers to value a property.

Price

A property priced to look like good value compared with similar listings in the area will bring in more buyers to visit right away. Buyers typically look at several properties before deciding to make an offer and you do not want your property to be skipped over because it looks overpriced. Properties for sale receive the most attention when they are newly listed and within a few weeks the spotlight will move on to newer listings. After some time on the market, a price cut on an over-priced property may be needed to bring attention back to the home.  A price reduction may signal some type of defect with the property though, so a much better strategy is to start with a more attractive lower price at the beginning of the sale process. When multiple buyers want your home, they will compete with higher offers.

Compass Concierge and Bridge Loan programs

Compass has unique programs to help sellers including our Concierge program that provides upfront funding for needed repairs and staging. Our Bridge Loan program enables sellers to purchase a home before selling their current one so you don’t have to move twice.