Home Selling Guide in Southern California
Selling your home in Southern California? It doesn’t have to be complicated! Check out our guide below.
Step 1: Get professional help.
While you can opt to sell your home on your own, hiring a listing agent will save you a great deal of trouble. Find a licensed agent that has extensive knowledge of trends specific to your area. Take time to gather some feedback from their previous clients, and don’t cancel out recommendations from friends and family. Take a look at a prospective listing agent’s credentials. Has he or she won any awards in the past? Find out if they specialize in a specific area in real estate, and don’t forget to review their portfolio.
Remember that the presentation of your home to potential clients is in the hands of your agent.
Step 2: Get your home appraised.
Ask your agent to perform a thorough comparative market analysis, which will help you determine the price of your home. The following factors can affect its value:
- Its location and accessibility
- Its condition (if it’s in good/bad shape, etc.)
- The state of the market and the economy
- How it’s marketed
Once you have priced your home, come up with innovative ways to market it. Of course, your agent can help you with this step. Definitely market your home online as your prospective buyers do research on the internet first when searching for a home.
Step 3: Prepare your home.
It’s a wise decision to have your home inspected for any issues before marketing it. Getting rid of underlying issues (a poor drainage system, leaking gutters, etc.) as early as possible will help boost your home’s value and save you and your prospective buyer time during the contingency period.
Improving the curb appeal of your home is a must. The exterior of your home will help set a potential buyer’s first impression of it. Then there are the various rooms in the house. You can:
- Renovate or remodel outdated spaces
- Make essential repairs
- Depersonalize your home
- Paint your home in neutral colors
- Stage it
Making improvements or upgrades on important parts of the house (such as the kitchen) can also improve its value.
Remember that there are certain disclosures that home sellers and their agents need to complete before selling the home. Some of these are the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement (NHDS) and the Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS).
Step 4: Market your home.
Once your home is ready, it’s time to market it. Make use of real estate websites such as Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia. You can also make use of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Aside from online marketing, there are also some traditional ways of marketing it that you can still do if the market demands it. You can inform your neighbors or passers-by that your house is listed for sale by putting an attractive yard sign on your lawn (if it’s allowed in your neighborhood, that is). Organizing open houses can also help and it’s best to leave the work to your agent while there’s an open house.
Step 5: Negotiating offers.
After a successful open house and marketing campaign, offers will come in from interested buyers. Consider each one thoughtfully and carefully. Aside from the price they’re offering, take note if the potential buyer has their financing in place and if they have contingencies that they are asking for.
Once you’ve found an attractive offer, make a counteroffer that represents your best interests, but also takes the buyer’s requests into consideration. If you are considering a few offers, establish an order of precedence to avoid making commitments towards more than one buyer.
When you finally accept an offer, you’ll be signing a contract that will have contingencies specified. Expect to meet these within a stated period of time. At this point, your buyer should be securing a loan and a closing date can be set once your buyer has finally secured a written loan approval.
Step 6: Seal the deal.
With a neutral third-party conducting the closing (usually the escrow company), transaction costs will be paid. All signatures will be collected, and you will collect your net proceeds. Finally, it’s time to let go of your home’s title and house keys and present it to your buyer. Congratulations on a successful home sale!