While sellers currently have the upper hand in the market, the maxim “time is money” can also be used as a guide to get top dollar. Let’s take a look:
How many other similar properties are on the market in your neighborhood? If there are more than one or two similar homes for sale and you don’t have a deadline for moving, you might consider waiting until these properties sell rather than putting the hose on the market right away. When buyers don’t have an abundance of options in your neighborhood, you’ll get more offers and a higher sales price.
What are interest rates doing? The historically low interest rates and booming economy are a major reason the Bay Area is experiencing a real estate frenzy. Keep your eye on the Fed’s plans for interest rates (expected to increase gradually this year). As interest rates go up, real estate prices will come down.
What time of year is it? It’s no secret that real estate experiences seasonality. The best times of the year to put your home on the market are Spring and Summer. As a seasoned agent I also make sure we look at the calendar for holidays and major events that will impact the home’s exposure. Putting a home on the market during a holiday-based lull adds days to how long your house is on the market. To buyers, a home on the market for more than the standard amount of time seems like a great property to make low-ball offers on.
Get the time you need from the buyers. Sometimes sellers need to sell before they can actually move to a new home. In addition, investors who are moving their investment dollars in a 1031 Exchange typically like to have as much time as possible to identify a new property. As the seller, you can negotiate with potential buyers to get more time – either in the form of a longer than average escrow period or as a “seller rent-back,” where you are allowed to stay in your home for a determined amount of time after the sale. While requests for time before the new owner can take possession do help you, it can potentially lead to slightly lower sales price.
For more questions about selling your home, or to set up an appointment for a free home valuation consultation, contact me at 415-533-2496.