Selling Your Home in Los Angeles

Posted by Melissa Miller on Wednesday, July 10th, 2019 at 4:34pm.

Here are our 8 top tips for people looking to sell their home in Los Angeles in 2019 and how to stand out from the crowd:

Selling a home has never been easy, but that is why we are here. With a road that is intrinsically filled with turns and twists, it is important to choose a realtor that understands the Los Angeles real estate market and implements creative strategies to not only sell your home quickly and for the most money, but also a person that you can trust to give accurate and relevant information.

From the point of selling your home crosses your mind to the point of closing the deal, a lot of mistakes and things taken for granted can reduce the selling price of your home or worse hurt your chance of selling the home. When it comes to selling a house, it's best to effectively control what you can and avoid slip-ups that could have been prevented.  This is because the real estate scene is not without the great scrutiny that leads to costly consequences.  This is the reason we bring you the top 8 seller tips to consider when selling your home in Los Angeles.

1. Stage your home properly:

Whenever I think of home staging, the thought of going on a date comes to mind. You want to look spruce, well-groomed or beautiful and communicate that you're a suitable mate. The same applies to staging a home for sale; it's an effective way of luring buyers and communicating that your house is the suitable home they're in the market for. While staging itself doesn't sell homes, yet with proper home staging, you can significantly maximize the home selling price and reduce the time it spends on the market. So, declutter, maximize space, clean and give your home an alluring visual appeal that helps close deals faster and profitably. Ask us for a few photos of recently staged listings, you will be impressed! 

2. Make necessary repairs: 

While there's no one rule that fits all when it comes to making repairs to your home before listing it for sale, some important repairs can earn you more money for your home. The disadvantage of neglecting repairs or selling your home "as-is", is that profit hungry fix-upper buyers will aim to discount the actual selling price of the home to a figure that's actually unfavorable for you. In the end, the collective cost of the inexpensive repairs you could have done turns out to be way below the buyer's inflated estimated cost of repairs. No doubt you just shot yourself in the foot. While we understand not everyone has a repair budget, you should make some cosmetic repairs which communicates that your home is well looked after. Overall, most of the buyers want ready to occupy home with little repair and maintenance problems. Consequently, not making important repairs reduces your pool of buyers and without a doubt significantly reduces your selling price. One important thing is to consult your real estate agent on which repairs or renovations to make and which to leave up to the new owner. Depending on your timeline and budget, we are happy to make suggestions as well as coordinate repairs to be done with a few of our trusted vendors. 

3. Ensure photos of your home show its best angles:

Poor photos of your home could be the singular reason of why it's still on the market. Every seller should demand that their real estate agent provides the service of professional photography as it promotes and markets homes better. Professional photographs will highlight and show off the selling points of the home and thus make it sell faster. In an era, where most things are done online and a high number of buyers, search for homes online, the importance of professional photographs which are an essential tool in digital marketing, can't be overemphasized. Virtual tours are also increasingly becoming popular as they attract and open your homes to potential buyers all over the world. We also highly recommend using video and drone shots of the home and neighborhood to display the home's full appeal. 

4. Make the proper renovations and upgrades:

When upgrading it's important to have a comparative market analysis report of the sold houses in your neighborhood. This way you can be sure if renovations had a positive effect on the sale price of homes or have an idea of which upgrades and renovations are helping homes to sell in your area. Without this knowledge, there's a huge chance you'll be making upgrades that have no return value. When making upgrades, you should also be aware of what is in trend in your neighborhood. If granite counter tops, stainless appliances, or hardwood flooring are what is in vogue, you can make these upgrades to be competitive in the market. Kitchens and bathrooms generally make the most returns, so it's important you're upgrading the right things. Home sellers need to realize that moderation is key when renovating. They should make neutral upgrades that appeal to a wide range of potential buyers and should not do so much such that the new price evaluation greatly exceeds the cost of comparable homes in the area. Ask us for a few of our top tips in this category or for a list of trusted contractors that can help get the job done quickly with little stress on you.   

5. Do a pre-listing inspection:

Selling a home is a daunting task but with a pre-listing inspection, one can make the process a lot easier. Pre-listing inspection helps to verify the state of the house and identify potential problems and maintenance issues that need to be fixed. With it, you can confidently place a price tag that reflects the true value and state of the property. It is at the stage of the buyer's home inspection that a lot of deals fall apart and it's for this reason having a pre-listing inspection is very important. With the benefit of preventing unnecessary price reductions and unending negotiations, pre-listing inspection saves home sellers a lot of hassles and makes buyers more comfortable to make offers. In California, items such as termite damage, permitting/structural issues, sewer and pipe issues, fireplace and HVAC repair are often large items on the inspection report that cause some buyers to either balk or ask for a discount. Being ahead of these issues will keep you sane, but that is also our job. 

6. Remove evidence of pet:

So, you think to yourself that many families have pets and yet wonder why should a potential buyer be uncomfortable with yours? The truth is that even if Leo or Fluffy, might be cute as hell, they're not your buyer's pet. They could be fierce, scary, dirty, jumpy and unpredictable in your buyer's perspective. Not everyone will be comfortable with a distracting pet around. There are even some individuals that associate cats with a lot of voodoo and superstitious stereotypes. Concisely it will be in your best interest to remove the evidence of a pet from your home. Start off with making sure they're not present on days of your showing, removing their pictures, feeding bowls, pet toys, litter box and items damaged by them. Fix the furniture and fabric scratched or stained by your pets, and never forget to eradicate their lingering odor by thoroughly cleaning the house. 

7. Pricing:

This is probably the most important mistake every seller should avoid because its consequences are great. Overpricing your home will filter out your home from the price range search of potential buyers who can actually afford your home and leave you to the hands of uninterested buyers who are looking for better features than your house offers at that price. Consequently, your house stays longer on the market and potential buyers get skeptical and stay away from your property. The few that show interest offer lower prices and eventually desperation makes you accept the offer that is significantly lower than what you could have gotten for the house if you had priced it well. Another disadvantage to overpricing is that you'll be indirectly promoting and selling the other houses in your neighborhood because your inflated price makes them appear to be better value for money. Even if miraculously you find a buyer that is willing to pay the inflated price, the buyer can have problems with financing the deal because your home won't appraise high enough to meet the selling price and the lender won't be willing to give the buyer a loan. We have three pricing strategies that you can choose from that I will present after going over comps in your neighborhood. 

8. Hire an experienced real estate agent:

When it comes to selling a home. sentiments and bias should always be put aside. Whether family or friend, never hire such a real estate agent unless you are pretty confident in their abilities to sell your home. Hire a real estate agent because he or she is good at what he does. It's also important you hire a real estate agent that is very familiar with your market and is a specialist in the type of homes you're looking to sell. Concisely, every home seller needs to hire an experienced real estate agent because the skills and quality of a real estate agent is an important factor in the success and failures of selling a property.

Melissa Miller and Hannah Vollera represent home sellers in Westside Los Angeles neighborhoods including Brentwood, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, West Los Angeles, Century City, Beverly Hills, Playa Vista, Playa Del Rey, Culver City and Mar Vista. Contact us at 310-795-4820 for our creative approach to selling your home.

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