8 Tips for Monterey Peninsula Home Sellers BEFORE putting your Home on the Market

8 tips for Monterey Peninsula Home sellers before putting your home on the marketIf you are planning on selling your home in Carmel, Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Monterey, Seaside, Marina or the Highway 68 Corridor, here are a 8 tips to help you prepare so that you’re not scrambling last minute.

1. Construction Permits: Go to the city or county office and make sure that any construction permits have been closed out. Even if you haven’t taken any out, the previous owners may have.

2. Make sure all of your toilets and faucets meet the current Monterey Peninsula Water Management District standards. If any of them are not in compliance, get them changed prior to listing your home.  If you have other water fixture related questions contact us for a free consultation. 

3.  Get a pest report from a reputable pest company.  We recommend Ailing House or Cypress as they are both local and most local agents are comfortable with either of these reports.  You can do the work if necessary to get Termite Clearance if you want to, but the important part is we have a copy of the report prior to receiving an offer so we are not negotiating a termite clearance for a buyer without knowing what it will cost you the seller.  That would be like writing a blank check!  Not good...

4.  Pre-home inspections: For homes that haven’t been updated in several years or need a lot of work, have a home inspection done by a reputable home inspector prior to putting the house on the market and provide to buyers as an attachment to the seller disclosure. Either fix anything major, and state that in the seller disclosure, or sell the house in as-is condition. This will avoid buyers renegotiating your already discounted price. Even if your house has been updated, but you haven’t had an inspection done in several years, it’s not a bad idea to have a pre-listing home inspection that you attach as part of the seller disclosure. This way you have the option of fixing  issues ahead of time, and all other issues will have been disclosed. Surprise free inspections are a good thing for buyers!

5.  Check your mortgage balances - home equity lines of credit count!  If there is a possibility that your home’s value is less than your mortgage balance, and you don’t have the funds to make up the difference, we can  guide you through the process and help you with your options.  Same if you are behind in your payments. Foreclosure should be your LAST resort. Short Sales are a better way to go!

6. Before you start investing money fixing your house up for sale, consult with a Realtor. For example, last week I was called out on a listing and the homeowner had just spent $15,000 updating her bathroom. However in one minute, I knew that the property (land) was worth more than the house and that it would most likely be a tear down grabbed up by a builder. She basically threw that $15,000 away.

7. Staging: Paint colors matter. Light matters. Furniture matters. Clutter matters. Staging matters more than ever because the first impression today is online, not in person. Just watch some of the staging shows on HGTV or look at the photos of my listings and you’ll see what I mean.  I’m happy to offer advice on this. And if necessary, will recommend  a professional stager. Whenever I list a home that didn’t successfully sell with another Realtor, 9 times out of 10 the house was not staged properly for the photos. It’s crucial today.

8. Photography: The number one thing consumers want to see online when shopping for a home is lots of pictures!  It is critical to have professional photos taken of your property and to show it in the best possible light and from the best angles.  We once took over a listing from another agent who failed to get it sold and by simply taking an aerial shot of the home that included the view, we were able to put it under contract in just a few days! The house looked amazing and people could now see there was a great view of the Monterey Bay from just about everywhere.  In real estate, a picture is worth 3000 words!

The busy selling season will soon be underway and what you may not be aware of is that my teams pre-listing consultations are free of charge and no obligation, so if you’re trying to figure it out on your own...Just stop...and get a professional!