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Real Estate – John M. Lee

Getting Ready for Spring

2019 is here and people are preparing for the big push in the spring real estate market. Activity in the first two months has been decent with good buyer demand and still very little inventory. A few more properties came onto the market after the Supe Bowl weekend and went into escrow fairly quickly. Open house attendance has been pretty good and multiple offers in the Richmond and Sunset districts are still the norm!

 I am seeing more properties coming onto the market and preparing for a good spring selling season. The factors affecting optimism seem to be the instability of the stock market and buyer hesitations that we might be at the top of the market.

 If you are preparing your home for sale, have you ever wondered why some homes sell at higher price than others? The answer lies in pricing and emotional appeal. This column will discuss how to prepare your home to obtain the highest possible price. 

Purchasing a home is a very emotional process and usually creates a very stressful time in the life of the home purchaser. Many times, buyers are making the largest financial commitment of their life and are unsure of whether they are getting the right deal.

 Thus, when other people are offering on the same property, the multiple offers reassure  buyers that they are making the right decision because others feel the same way about the home as they do.

 As a seller then, how do you create these emotions so that your property will sell quickly and for the highest price in today’s market? Preparing a property for sale is especially important because people today are busier than ever before, and thus they are looking for homes which are in move-in condition.

 There are many inexpensive preparation work which will bring returns many times over for the sellers. 

First of all, unclutter the house. It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates over the years. Removing large items of furniture and putting belongings away makes a home show larger than it is, and gives the impression that the home is spacious and well cared for.

 Painting as well as freshening up the backyard can be inexpensive, and yet provide the impression that a home is well maintained. Refinishing the hardwood floors will do wonders for showing off the house.

 If you want to go further, staging companies are available to bring in complete sets of furniture that complement the age and décor of the house. We have found that this adds tremendous value, make your home show like a model and separates your home from others on the market. As Richmond and Sunset homes are selling for $1 million or more, the staging expense is becoming a smaller percentage of the selling price and thus makes more economic sense than ever before.

 Buying is an emotional process. When a buyer walks into the home, I have a good feeling about whether he or she will buy that house. In order to obtain the highest possible price, buyers need to feel comfortable and know that this is the right home for them.

From a buyer’s standpoint, you must not only look at the staging or furnishings in the home. You must be able to stand back and look past the décor and imagine how your furniture will fit in the space. Because after all the surface finishes are removed, the rooms will just be bare walls and you will have to decorate it the way you want to live in. Buyers are sometimes disappointed in homes they have purchased after all the staged furniture is removed … unless they purchase the staged furniture along with the house!

 I always recommend to buyers that they close their eyes and visualize the rooms empty, then mentally place thier own furniture in each room and imagine how it feels. That way, they won’t be as distracted by the staging and will focus more on the home itself.

 Buying and selling a home is a stressful and emotional time in one’s life. And that’s when good advice is necessary from a professional to help make that buying and selling decision as easy and painless as possible!

 John M. Lee is a broker for Compass specializing in the Richmond and Sunset Districts. If you have any questions, call him at (415) 447-6231 or e-mail johnlee@isellsf.com.

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