As far as markets go, Sacramento real estate is doing better than most. According to Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund, by far the leader in California, Sacramento remains an attractive market due the many diverse growth industries in the area. Sacramento also continues to rank high as a desirable place to live. We’re #6 in the 2007 Harris poll of cities nationwide where people would most like to move to.
This means that if you’re a seller inSacramento, things could be worse. Sure, prices are down and theSacramento MLS has a lot of homes for sale, butSacramento has so much going for it that new buyers continue to be drawn to the area. This means that buyers have a good shot at a sale IF they play their cards right. Here are my recommendations on how you can improve your chances.
First, in tough times you need all the help you can get, which in this instance means a good agent who knows the neighborhood and has all the right connections. I cannot overemphasize the importance of working with a local broker who knows your property, has all the local listings, and is intimately familiar with the selling points (and pitfalls) of your area.
Second, work with a design consultant. Everyone think their home is perfect, but it takes the experienced eye of a professionally trained outsider to tell you how your home best be presented for sale. You’ll likely be asked to remove a lot of clutter, do a lot of cosmetic updates, and perhaps replace some fixtures and lighting to give the home a fresh, contemporary look. This can be taxing, especially if you’re asked to replace carpeting, windows or other costly items, but it’s worth it. Take my word for it.
Third, real estate sells by appealing to a buyer’s imagination, not by showing him or her how you lived in your home. So remove personal items such as personal photos, trophies, collections and all the other clutter that accumulates. The home should look clean, elegant and inviting. Let the buyer imagine what he or she will do with the home.
Fourth, vacate the premises when a realty firm is showing your property to a prospective buyer. Sure, it’s a bit inconvenient, but a buyer will really much rather look around than listen to a seller’s stories or (often ill-conceived) sales pitch. You are not part of their search, so leave the selling to the professionals. Whenever someone arrives for a showing, just say you’re on your way out, and then stay away until they are done.
Fifth, keep your home immaculate! That’s easier said than done when it takes weeks or months to sell, but it must be done. So immediately clean up after every meal, put all dishes away, almost have the beds made, and never leave a mess. Hey, you’ll probably get used to it and keeping a neat house will become second nature!
Sixth, be reasonable. Work with your broker, be cooperative, and do not hang on to unrealistic expectations. A good broker is on your side, and that is what you need in tough selling climates.
Follow these rules, and you’ll make out just fine in the fairly strongSacramento real estate market.