Selling your house

What is the best way to sell your house fast and for top dollar? There actually is a formula for being able to accomplish just that! The biggest challenge we as REALTORs encounter though, is that “top dollar” is a subjective term. It is not as simple to define as most would think.

Top dollar means something different depending on the market conditions at the moment in time at which that house is being sold. Winter and Spring are very different markets. Spring 2013 and Spring 2014 proved to be wildly different markets, same season, one year apart.

How is a home seller supposed to know what top dollar is for their house? The key lies in the numbers, market metrics and analysis. That is the function of the Real Estate expert; to collect and analyze the numbers, gauge the current trends that can only be perceived by having your finger on the pulse of the market day in and day out, then help clients interpret all that information.

Home-SoldSelling a house fast and for top dollar is part science, part art. An experienced REALTOR knows the right combination of each to make sure your home sale can yield the best result in time and money. As we begin to enter into the latter part of 2014, the summer is ending and the market continues to shift from what it was over the past couple years.

If you are considering selling your house, here are just a few things you have to consider:

Home buyers are starting to pull back. It is very evident in the slowdown we have seen over the past 7-10 months, that buyers are being far more deliberate in their buying decisions. Whereas we would find multiple offers on most well priced homes with good locations, we are not finding that to be the trend any more. Many a home are sitting on the market, even if well priced. The competition is a lot higher now from competing homes for sale in the same area and price range. As of mid-August, we have a little over 8,000 homes for sale in Orange County. Last year around this time, we had about   5,800. Inventory now is nearly 50% higher than it was last year. Law of supply and demand is unyielding. More choices for buyers, means less pressure to buy any one house in particular. In fact, buyers are finding that they can have their pick of homes to choose from in many cases. A reversal from the frenzy of multiple offers on the same house where the seller had the option to pick and choose the buyer.

Many sellers are currently choosing to ignore the reality of the market. In many cases, they look for agents that support them in being oblivious to the facts. This is not the best way to sell your house for top dollar. Asking more than the market bears, leads to sitting on the market and then having to slowly reduce your price over time.

Another factor to consider at this time of the year is the seasonal fluctuations of the market. Spring is the strongest time of the year for selling, Summer is next, Fall is third and Winter is the slowest and less desirable time of the year to sell your house. (winter is however, the best time of the year to buy a house). There are many who debate this timing, and many who will put their own spin on what the best time of the year is to sell a house but in the end, numbers don’t lie. If we look at closed sales over a 12 month period of time, we can clearly see a trend of how prices are affected by the different seasons of the year.

Ultimately, the final decision on when to sell, and how much to ask for the house, ends up being the home owner’s decision. That decision can be influenced by urgency to sell or lack thereof. Other factors that affect price and saleability are; Condition, Location and Terms.

Bringing all the market factors and trends together, as well as the property’s features and the home seller’s needs together and putting together a cohesive plan to sell the house for top dollar is a job for an experienced REALTOR. Doing the job right entails more than blindly picking a price and throwing a sign on the front lawn. In today’s environment, it takes skill, experience and the right tools.

I have had the fortune of having sold hundreds of homes over the past 20+ years in the business. As an experienced professional of the trade, I have the skills to help you get top dollar for your house. If you are considering selling, let’s discuss your needs and how my expertise may help you accomplish your goals.