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How to Get Top Dollar When Selling Your Home in a Shifting Market

selling a home san diego realtor nick rogers

Buying or selling a home is one of the most momentous events of anyone’s life, and the guidance from a top listing agent can make all the difference in the final sale price. The housing market has made some notable shifts in the last few months, and it’s more important now than ever to have an experienced listing agent on your side to help you get the most money for the sale of your home.

With such a competitive market, the difference comes down to the details. In order to get top dollar for your home, you need to have an expert who understands the business inside and out and can help you with these steps to getting the most value when selling your home.

Staging and appearance of your home

The appearance is typically what potential buyers notice first, so you need to make your home look nice. The secret to a well-staged home is to hire a professional staging company and to not try to take on this task on your own. A good real estate agent will be able to coordinate the staging services for you so you won’t have to spend time trying to find the right one — they’ll do the hard work for you.

The average cost to stage your home is about a couple thousand dollars, but it more than pays for itself with the bump in the perceived value of the home for prospective buyers. It’s important for buyers to be able to picture themselves and their belongings in the home so you’ll need to de-personalize it and keep everything neutral. This means moving things like family pictures, pet furniture, and keepsakes into storage and letting the home-stagers do their magic.

You should also pay attention to the exterior of your home in order to create a memorable first impression. Consider things like giving the mailbox a new coat of paint, adding fresh wood chips around the base of your trees to give the yard a clean aesthetic, power washing the driveway, and other things along these lines.

If remodeling is in your budget, prioritize the kitchen because it’s the room that buyers tend to have the strongest reactions toward. If a kitchen looks out of date, a prospective buyer might come in with a slightly lower offer even if they know it just needs a little bit of work. The lightest lift updates you can make to the kitchen include adding fresh paint, replacing finishing touches such as cabinetry hardware, and new lighting.

Professional photos and marketing

It doesn’t matter how nicely renovated or decorated the home is if you don’t have professional photos to show that off. Any experienced listing agent will have a great photographer they work with to handle all of this for you. Good lighting is always something that buyers look for and there are ways to maximize the light in your home so it comes through well in photos. Some small things you can do are clean the windows and screens inside and out, dust the lampshades, and put in higher wattage bulbs.

It’s also worth considering getting a video tour of your home since it’s becoming more common for buyers to rely on pictures and video alone before making an offer. These are relatively quick to film and can be done at the same time as the photos.

The large majority of buyers are seeing your home online before they see it in person so using high-quality, high-res images to market your property is key. Along with the photos and video comes the description of your home so that it can be marketed properly. Top listing agents are experienced in crafting the perfect remarks for your home so that it highlights the most desirable things and also includes information for buyers about the neighborhood, schools, and the community atmosphere so they can picture themselves living there.

Strategic pricing and timing

There’s a lot that goes into pricing your home and your listing agent will help take the guesswork out of landing on the right dollar amount. It’s somewhat counterintuitive, but a lot of times the best approach to take is to get your home valuation and then cut down about 10–15% to attract the ideal pool of buyers. It can feel like a risky move, but it’s a common strategic pricing tactic that many agents recommend even with today’s shifting market.

If you list your home too high, you could potentially scare away prospective buyers. It also risks the chance of sitting on the market for a long time which might cause buyers to assume there’s a problem with the home. If you come in too low, you are losing out on money. There’s a magic window you want to fall within for pricing where you’re leaving enough room to negotiate. By setting a listing price that’s slightly lower than market value, you have the potential to start a bidding war where buyers are motivated by seeing other bids; it creates a sense of urgency. Having an influx of offers is a good, solvable problem to have!

Hire the right listing agent

You’re going to want someone in your corner to guide you through every step of the way when selling your home, but don’t settle for just anyone. Look for a listing agent who is completely immersed in the San Diego market and is informed of the shifting trends. They should know the neighborhoods like the back of their hand and should be consistently monitoring the MLS listings so they know what’s to come and how to be strategic when listing your home.

Find an agent with marking and negotiation experience, and don’t hesitate to check references or reviews. If you’re considering selling your home in San Diego, I’d love to work with you and would be happy to answer any questions you have. All of my listings have been selling within a week of going live even in this shifting market, and I know I can get you top dollar for your home.

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