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Decide to Sell

Selling your Sonoma County home unlocks many opportunities. Brad Wilkinson‘s primer to home selling has plenty of tips to help you with every step, from pricing your home to picking the best home offer.

Time it right

Timing your sale can mean a world of difference, especially if you want maximize your profits. Talking to a local real estate expert will help you determine the best time of year to sell your house.

Here are other things you need to consider to get the perfect timing:

  • Is the local housing market a buyers market or a sellers market?
  • How is the local economic climate?
  • How do the seasons affect home sales in your area?

Your mental, emotional, and financial preparedness also affects the timing. If you feel you are 100 hundred percent ready to sell your home, that might be the best time to go forward with your plan.

Hire a local real estate expert

Ask trusted friends or family for referrals, or scour the web for a potential real estate agent. When interviewing your prospects, don’t forget to ask the following questions:

  • When was the last time you sold a home?
  • What are your areas of expertise?
  • How many sales did you successfully close the past year?
  • What is your work style?
  • Do you work by yourself or with a team?

You’ll want a real estate agent who specializes in your neighborhood, can be reached 24/7, is upfront and honest, and matches your work style.

Prepare your home

Some sellers list their properties as is, but to maximize your profits, preparation is key. Here are some things you can do to prepare your home for sale (and increase its value):

  • Replace doors, windows, and other hardware in the home.
  • Repaint interior and exterior walls in neutral yet inviting hues.
  • Improve the home’s curb appeal.
  • Upgrade or renovate the kitchen and/or bathrooms.
  • Clean the home extensively.
  • Replace everything that’s old or broken.
  • Stage the home for the sale.

If you are also listing your property on real estate websites, hiring a professional real estate photography to take listing photos of the finished product will give your ad a major boost. Complement these photos with short, informative yet compelling descriptions.

Pricing the home

Determining the best listing price for your home can be tricky. Here are a couple of ways you can arrive at a great price:

  • Ask your real estate agent to do a comparative market analysis.
  • Have your home professionally appraised.
  • Understand the local supply and demand (is your market a buyers market or a sellers market?)

After the price is determined, it’s time to go live.

Choosing an offer

Home offers come in different packages. Aside from the price, consider the following aspects:

  • Is the buyer pre-approved?
  • Is the buyer willing to waive contingencies?
  • Did the buyer include an earnest money deposit?

The buyer’s personality and intent might also come into play, as some sellers want to sell their homes to people who will take good care of their properties. As a rule, stay away from overly complicated offers.

The closing process

Once you pick an offer and an agreement has been signed, you and your buyer will agree on a closing date, which is usually 4-6 weeks from contract signing.

For the meantime, as a seller, you are obligated to do the following before closing:

  • Finish packing up and notify your utility companies about the sale.
  • Fulfill agreed-upon contingencies.
  • Make sure the home is ready for the final sale.
  • Find a moving company to help with your move.

Come closing day, final documents will be signed and bills will be paid. By the end of it, you will hand the home’s keys and titles to its new owner.

Brad Wilkinson has more information to share about selling homes in Sonoma County. Browse his website or contact him at 707-799-0455 or brad(dotted)wilkinson(at)cbnorcal(dotted)com to learn more.