Pricing Your Home to Sell

“In today’s market, it seems as if only those who are serious about selling their homes should put their homes on the market.”

Happy Couple6 Months To Sell?

The time a home is on the market before it is sold has decreased by 19.8 percent from roughly 51 days in 2009 to 41 days today. The unsold inventory index provided by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® also decreased to 6.3 months in Feb. 2010, compared with 7.1 months in Feb. 2009 . This means it would take 6.3 months to sell all the homes on the market today at the current sales rate.

What Could 6 Months+ Time On Market Mean for You as a Seller?

It means buyers have some choices and time to evaluate their options. You may need to focus on flexibility, and educate yourself about your home’s value, the value of comparable homes in your neighborhood, and overall market activity where you live, when attempting to attract serious buyers and sell your home. Here are some important steps to consider:

Price Your Home

A home down the street from yours that is close in age and size may have sold in 2004 above its listing price, but this may be a very different market today. With homes staying on the market longer today before they are sold, the difference between the initial listing price and the final selling price has increased to 4.3 percent, compared to zero percent in 2005. (source: C.A.R.) You’ll want to remain flexible, as well as knowledgeable about the market in your area, and price your home accordingly. Rick Allen, REALTOR® can provide you with a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) for your home that will give you a current account of sales and listing activity in your area to help you determine a fair asking price. The CMA also may compare your home to those similar in age and size.

Market Your Home

In today’s market, it may not be enough to simply put up a “for sale” sign in your front yard. Brochures, fliers, postcards, and other marketing tools are being widely used, as well as many online home-buying search engines. Roughly 37 percent of all buyers first go to the Internet when they begin searching for a home (source: NAR). A REALTOR® also can provide access to a multiple listing service and utilize other online tools to help put your home in front of the largest number of buyers and their agents as possible.

Get Pre-Qualified

If you are selling your home with the intention of buying a new one, you may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before you put your home up for sale. This allows you to obtain a clear picture of your borrowing and buying power, ensures that you will be able to obtain financing to purchase your next home, and tells sellers you are a serious and qualified buyer.

The Value of Home Staging

Home staging can help your home stand out to buyers, resulting in a quicker sale and higher offers. Even small touches like removing family photos, diplomas, and other personal items make it easier for buyers to visualize themselves in your home. Before you put your home on the market, take an impartial look at your property, inside and out. Quick and inexpensive touch-ups that will give your house a polished look include fresh coats of neutral paint in the bedrooms; new cabinet knobs in the kitchen and bathrooms; and organized closets and cabinets.

Sellers’ Series Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed and learned from the Home Sellers’ Series of Articles brought to you by the California Association of Realtors. There is much to learn and understand when considering selling your home. I’m is committed to making selling your home EASY!

Give Me a Call at (805) 556-4330

Thanks much,

Rick Allen

Listing Agreements

“To market and sell your property once you’ve selected your REALTOR®, you and your agent may enter into a written, legally binding contract called a listing agreement.”

Happy Man

CAR Standard Form Listing Agreement

The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® offers its own standard form listing agreements for California REALTORS®, including the Residential Listing Agreement (Exclusive Authorization and Right to Sell) (Form RLA). This standard form stipulates the agreement terms, including the listing price, the listing time period, the broker’s commission, and more. It also informs the seller of issues and legal requirements that may be involved in the process.

In addition to the RLA, C.A.R. offers many other standard form listing and commission agreements.

Review and Understand BEFORE Entering A Listing Agreement

Before you enter into a listing agreement, you may want to thoroughly understand the terms and each party’s respective roles — information that your REALTOR® can provide.

Click Here for the Next Article in the Sellers’ Series – “Pricing Your Home To Sell”

Courtesy of the California Association of Realtors

Deciding to Sell

“Before you decide to sell your home it is a good idea to look at all the factors involved.”

Selling FactorsHappy Mom, Child and Dog

You’ve probably already considered your personal reasons for selling. Now you need to take into account the other factors involved, such as market conditions, your property’s value, and tax implications. Unless you’re locked into selling your home (e.g., you’ve already accepted a job offer in another city), it’s a good idea to look at the whole picture before deciding to sell.

Assessing Market Conditions

There’s a rule of thumb to keep in mind when deciding to sell your home: Your home is only worth what a qualified buyer is willing to pay at the time it’s on the market. The current real estate market fluctuates based on supply and demand, interest rates, general economic conditions, and other factors. The same house may sell for more or less under a different economy. Your REALTOR® can inform you of the going price for homes in your area at the current time; this data is included in a Competitive Market Analysis.

Tax Implications of Selling

There are many dynamics that can affect your tax liability upon selling your home. These issues include whether you purchased the home or inherited it, if you used your home for business or rental purposes, costs associated with selling your home, and any home improvements and additions that you’ve undertaken.

The Federal Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 provides capital gains tax exclusions of up to $500,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $250,000 for single taxpayers or married taxpayers filing separately. Current capital gains rates are 20 percent for those in upper tax brackets and 10 percent for those in lower tax brackets. Overall capital gains rates have been lowered even further — to 18 percent and 8 percent respectively — for assets acquired after December 31, 2000, and held five years or more.

To qualify for this tax break, you must have used the home as your primary residence for at least two of the prior five years; these two years don’t have to be consecutive. If you relocate for your job but don’t meet the requirement, you may be allowed to take a capital gains exclusion proportionate to your circumstances. This exclusion is not a one-time benefit; you may take advantage of it once every two years as long as you meet the qualifications.

The tax rules differ when you sell a home that you’ve inherited. If you sell the inherited home for a profit, you’re required to pay federal and state taxes on the gain. If you keep the house as a second residence and/or eventually move into it after renting it to tenants, you may take the $250,000/$500,000 capital gains tax exclusion if you meet the requirements. When you’re deciding what to do with inherited property, you should consider the current estate tax laws and basis practices.

Beyond these general rules, it’s wise to discuss your home’s sale with a tax professional who can advise you on tax benefits in more detail.

Timing Your Decision to Sell

Because most sellers finance a new home purchase with the sale of their present home, they usually put their homes on the market before they begin their search for a new home. Learning the price you can expect from the sale often sets the pricing parameters for your new home search.

Obviously, it’s not wise to wait until the sale on your property closes completely before beginning to look for your new home. Timing your search properly with the buyers’ transaction can make the difference between having the available funds to buy a new home and cutting down on the interim period between homes.

Click Here for the Next Article in the Sellers’ Series – “Preparing Your Home for Sale”

Courtesy of the California Association of Realtors

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Impartial Objective Assessment

Beautiful HOme

Before you put your home on the market, take an impartial look at your property, inside and out. You may have only one chance to pique potential buyers’ interest when they view your home, so don’t let easily correctable flaws stand in the way.

Don’t Make Big Changes

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® suggests that sellers spend as little as possible on pre-sale repairs and improvements. While new tile might really spark up your kitchen, potential buyers probably won’t increase their purchase offers enough to compensate your expenses.

Focus On The Details

Instead, focus on the small, relatively inexpensive touch-ups that will give your house a polished, well-maintained appearance. A fresh coat of neutral paint in your bedrooms and new cabinet knobs in the kitchen and bathrooms are small changes that buyers will appreciate.

Thoroughly clean the insides of appliances and wash and deodorize carpets. In addition, clean out closets and cabinets; this gives your home a more spacious appearance. Check for and repair cracks, leaks, and other damage to walls, floors, paint, and the attic.

Facelift Curb Appeal

You also need to ensure that your home’s exterior curb appeal is attractive to buyers. Maintain the upkeep of your lawn, including mowing, watering, and weeding. Fertilize and seed your existing vegetation/foliage, but don’t plant new shrubs or trees. Examine doors, windows, and the overall exterior for peeling paint. Repair loose or damaged roof shingles, siding and caulking.

Pismo Coast Realty Is Here For YOU

Your REALTOR® can assist you in recommending specific renovations and touch-ups that will make your house stand out to buyers. He or she should be able to explain expected returns on investments you make to enhance your home’s saleability.

Click Here for the Next Article in the Sellers’ Series – “Listing Agreements”

Selling Your Home

With Pismo Coast Realty Selling Your Home Is Easy

Beautiful Home

Perhaps you need to sell your home and relocate because you’re changing jobs. Maybe you need a larger home to accommodate your growing family or a smaller home because you are preparing for retirement, or because your children have moved out on their own. There are many reasons for selling a home, but regardless of the circumstances, nothing can replace the value and expertise of your Pismo Coast Realty REALTOR®.

You Will Be Fully Informed

Pismo Coast Realty will help you approach the real estate transaction fully armed with information about current market conditions, neighborhood statistics, determining a realistic sales price, and much more.

This section of Sellers’ articles is devoted to educating you about selling your home. The series provides an overview of each step of the home-selling process, from assessing market conditions in your area, to understanding listing agreements, to determining a reasonable asking price for your home. These steps will help you begin to prepare for the selling process, but you’ll want to consult your REALTOR® for detailed information and answers to the important questions specific to your situation.

Click Here for the First Article in the Sellers’ Series – “Deciding To Sell”

Courtesy of the California Association of Realtors