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Want top dollar for your home? Fix it right. Price it right.
[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="http://4salebydonna.com" name="Real Estate Agent Donna Baker" description="Real Estate Agent showing homes for sale and available real estate in Monrovia, Pasadena, Arcadia the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California." city="Monrovia" state="Ca" postalcode="91016" email="donna@4salebydonna.com " phone="(626) 408-7766 "]
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Do you want top dollar for your home? Fix it right. Price it right.

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Today’s real estate market is an alien landscape compared with what it was ten years ago, when it seemed as if a seller could just plant a sign in the front yard and wait for competing offers to roll in. This summer’s real estate scene is equally unlike that of five years ago, when many properties could languish for long months with few showings and fewer legitimate offers.

It’s been a welcome return to a more stable, predictable real estate climate, especially in the San Gabriel Valley. With sale prices rising at a sustainable rate and the average days on market making a return to levels approaching historical norms, real estate participants—both buyers and sellers—gain confidence on what to expect on both sides of home selling transactions. Particularly for local homeowners who are planning to list, that means that their properly prepared property is much more likely to garner a reasonable offer within a reasonable timeframe.

This outcome is only likely when sellers prepare their properties in a deliberate manner.  Fix up, de-clutter, renovate, clean—all the common tips that are touchstones for making a strong positive first impression apply. Doing it all before listing is a best practice, just as waiting for buyer feedback to tell you what’s awry is not. Be your own Devil’s Advocate when it comes to repair and maintenance issues as you assess whether you should sell the property as-is, or order repairs. Careful, open-eyed preparation has real value. It makes it much less likely that a home inspection will catch everyone by surprise. You put yourself in a solid negotiating position when your home hits the real estate scene as ready as you can make it.

Preparing the property is Job One, but Job One-and-a-Half is preparing yourself for what you are hoping to achieve. Make sure you have penciled out what the bottom line financial outcome is going to be, which includes what you owe, what price your home is likely to bring, and how the ensuing costs will work out as you move to your next destination. Your agent should be able to give you a good estimate on your costs, so don’t be afraid to ask.

The biggest unknown is, of course, your property’s ultimate sale price. While online valuation models like Zillow’s are easy to use, they can yield results that are so wide of the mark as to be seriously misleading. Since these sites use zip codes to value properties, the benefits of a prime location or the negatives of neglect of a property are not taken into consideration.  Have your real estate agent create the up-to-the-minute comparative market analysis (CMA) which will set out how homes similar in location and amenities have performed in recent months. Those listing and sales prices are the strongest indicators of how your home is likely to fare in this market—and provide a realistic pointer to what your asking price should be.

Today’s consumers are inundated with information online. With 94% percent of real estate buyers searching via their iPhones, notepads, computers, and all the rest of our electronic paraphernalia, increasingly the tendency is to make quick decisions, often based on price and photos. In a world where consumers swipe or click through hundreds of pieces of information a day, it’s much more easy to be overlooked if your price seems out of line. That puts a premium on right-pricing the first time out. It’s also not a bad idea to have a firm idea in your own mind of your absolute rock-bottom number should be—one that makes sense when your long term goals are taken into account.

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