What to sell your Los Gatos home this spring? A few tips….

Los Gatos CollageIt’s a deep seller’s market in most of Silicon Valley, and that’s good news for you if you want to sell your Los Gatos home this year.  However, don’t base your major decisions on the major headlines!  Real estate is always local, even “hyper local”, so get the data related to your home’s market and go from there.

What are some of the major concepts you need to know before putting your home on the market?

(1) Selling As Is does not meeting doing nothing and expecting the highest sale price.  The most successful sellers don’t just throw their property on the market without any thought or effort.  Those who sell fast and for top dollar actually do a fair amount of prep work!  They may not remodel and move out, furnish their house with rental furniture,and put all their belongings in storage,  but they do clean, decutter, provide pre-sale inspections and price appropriately.

(2) Selling As Is means that you don’t have to provide a Section 1 pest clearance or fix every little thing that’s not perfect with the house or yard.  However, you do want to find out what needs fixing and disclose it upfront so that there are no surprises later.  (Later surprises often equal a renegotiation later.) As Holiday Inn used to say, “The best surprise is no surprise.”

(3) Many homes listed at one price sell for a higher price.  So it can be tempting to look at the most recently closed sale and offer your house for sale at the closed price – or something really close to it.  However, the way that sale got to that price is often by providing an attractively low list price.  If a condo or townhouse just closed at $950,000 but was listed for $885,000, you don’t want to then list your similar condo at $950,000.  Why not? First, one comp does not make market value!  But second, if homes are often selling for $65,000 over list and you come in at the most recent value, many home buyers will be envisioning the ‘true sale price’ as $50,000 or more higher. In other words, suddenly your property appears unattractive and overpriced.  if you want to be competitive and attractive, don’t focus on the sale price as much as on the LIST price – and know that if your home is in good shape, you will collect the multiple offers that will push the value up.

(4) To repeat with what we stated upfront, it’s important to understand your market within the bigger market. If you are in the 95032 zip code, it does matter also which school district your home is in and what pricing tier you’re in.   It’s going to be very different, most of the time, if you’re in 95032 at the lowest price point (condo / townhouse or house that’s a tear down) as opposed to one worth $2 million or more.  Further, some 95032 homes are in the Los Gatos Union School District, while others are in the Union School District or Campbell Union School District.  IGNORE all the “zip code only” data – most likely, it’s not all that relevant to YOUR home.

Just like it takes work to sell your home for top dollar, it also takes work to do the pricing analysis well.  That’s one area where it’s too important to just shoot from the hip.  Everyone likes easy answers, but sometimes pricing analysis is not all that easy.  Lately we have low inventory and low numbers of sales – so the pricing work can be a little harder to work out. Be sure to find an agent who will give this the appropriate effort and skill.

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