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Getting Ready to Sell Your Santa Monica Home

Jun 24, 2008
So you've been thinking about a new home lately? It happens every day. A growing family, empty nest, cashing out or just needing new surroundings are all popular reasons for selling your current home. And these days, many people sell their current homes to down-size into something a little more manageable financially. Whatever your reason, RealEstate-SantaMonica.com is here to help.

Before you call us there's a few things you need to take care of. Or go ahead and call and we'll give you a hand, but either way we have some homework before we home-sell. We want you to get the best possible price for your home and to get it sold as quickly as possible...so let's get started.

How Much is it Worth?

That's the first question we need to answer. There are great sites like Zillow that allow consumers to get an idea of what their home is worth. Sometimes those sites are really accurate and make my job a breeze, but more often than not, a little more work is required when appraising a home's value than just simply logging on.

What we need to do first is find out what homes have sold for in the area recently. We call these comps. These days since prices have cooled a bit, it's probably best to use comps that are within six months. Anything older than that could be less than accurate.

Other factors to take into consideration are improvements. If your home has a new cook's kitchen, and the recently-sold homes did not, that's something to be mindful of and adds value to yours.

Additionally, bedroom and bathroom count is important, as is the square footage of your house in comparison to the others. Many realtors do a comparison by getting the cost per square foot figured out and using that to place a value on your current home. This is a great way to go if your home is a bit bigger than the others and you want to get a bit more money for it...you can always say that it costs the same or less per square foot than the others did.

Ok so you get the idea. You have to do a little work to price your home if you want to price it right. And pricing it right in today's market is critical. If your home is put on the market at too high a price, it can really deter buyers. Take it from a realtor, this is problematic. Even though it's a buyer's market, many buyers are still not comfortable writing low offers, and shockingly enough, many agents aren't comfortable doing that either. So rather than write a low offer, many buyers and their agents walk on by.

Further, when a home is priced too high initially, it sits too long and appears stale to buyers. And equally bad are multiple reductions. In the business we call this 'riding the market down.' This isn't good either because the market is almost always just a hair lower than what the seller has reduced the home to. Not fun.

What you want to do is really hit the nail on the head with the price. And to do this, you really have to trust your agent. That's where we come in. RealEstate-SantaMonica.com will give you a complimentary valuation along with tips to get your home in top selling shape!

So speaking of shape, let's give you a few tips to get you started.

- Take care of those repairs you've ignored:

- Is the kitchen sink leaking? Fix it.

- Are there some ugly holes in the wall where that Star Wars poster used to hang? Grab that spackle, sister.

- Anything that looks the slightest bit ugly to you, believe me...will look even more ugly to a potential buyer.

- And without beating this point to death a few other helpful reminders...clean the oil stains off the drive, trim bushes, mow lawn. Easy!

- A few other pointers that I usually reserve for in-home consultations:

- Neutral interior paint. I can't stress this enough. Don't freak out potential buyers with strange color choices. Look, I'm a huge Prince fan too, but it doesn't mean I eat dinner in a purple dining room. Paint is cheap and it pays huge rewards in both sale price and sale speed.

- Clean floor coverings. If your carpet or wood floors are shot, think about fixing. Shampoo the carpets, refinish the floors. But here's tip if you're short on cash. Throw rugs. Some inexpensive throw rugs are great way to hide the sins of our children. Here's another great tip...you can get super cheap carpet remnants at a carpet store...and a seamstress can surge the sides for you. Voila...not only an inexpensive throw rug, but one that is exactly the right size because you measured it.

Ok, so hopefully this was helpful and took a little bit of mystery out of the home selling process. As we wrap this up, I have one final tip: smile and have faith...homes that are ready to sell and priced correctly, sell quickly even in today's challenged market. And your friends at RealEstate-SantaMonica.com are here to make that happen for you!
About the Author
As a respected and experienced Santa Monica Real Estate agent and Realtor, Colin Whelan brings his knowledge to the public in order to empower buyers and sellers  www.realestate-santamonica.com
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