Selling in San Diego and North County
How do you define premium selling?
To some people it means netting out the maximum cash from the escrow. To others it means a smooth escrow with no subsequent legal problems. To this writer, premium selling means netting the maximum dollars from the sale and positioning the timing of the sale so that it benefits the seller. The former is a goal sought by all; the latter may have importance only to certain sellers. The scope of this article is to discuss some ideas on maximizing return.
First, market timing…
is perhaps one of the most critical steps. Certain times of the year favor sellers; know those seasons and profit from them. Understand the movement of interest rates. When rates shift direction and move up, buyers rush on the marketplace. When rates are dropping, buyers often stay on the sidelines waiting for lower rates. List properties when inventories are low if possible.
Second, properly evaluate how to prepare the property for sale.
Minor cosmetic changes may yield little. I always try to get sellers to understand this; doing renovations prior to sale usually yields no multiplier. That is, one dollar invested brings back one additional dollar on resale. Always look for multipliers of three or more. Then alterations prior to sale can make a difference. Here is a classic mistake; a seller replaces his worn bathroom floor with plastic sheet goods. The new owner would probably rip out and replace both. I believe sellers should go in one direction or another. Small changes that yield no multiplier are generally not worth the time and money.
Third, choose the proper vehicle for marketing the property.
Take the property where the money is. Agents have about ninety percent of the buyers in tow. If you sell your property yourself, keep that in mind. Do not waste resources on the general public. The agents have your buyer. If you do list your property, use an agent with a good track record and one that appears to be a good negotiator. Marketing the property is rote and all agents provide basically an undifferentiated service. I know the industry spends a small fortune trying to convince the public otherwise. The plain truth is that everyone trods the same well-worn path. The difference is in the personal selling and negotiating skills of the agent. To put this another way, all competent agents do the same thing until the end game. It is easy to run the race until the last ten yards. That is when you need a premium player in your corner.
Fourth, do not sell after you have purchased another house.
The real winners are the ones willing to rent and do the obnoxious double-move. You always need to negotiate from strength or perceived strength. Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, always sell first and buy later. That gives you all of the cards.
Fifth, negotiate well.
You need to regard your buyer as the opponent and as such you need to properly evaluate that person. As an agent, I need to know my opposition. Knowledge of the agent is generally easy for professionals who have worked for a period of time in a certain market. Sizing up the buyer and his agent is another issue. Both will have a certain emotional weakness. Keep your own emotions in check and capitalize on that weakness. In every deal the parties usually get close and both are eyeing the unclaimed money still on the table. Remember this, a seller has a unique product and buyers have a valuable but common product-money and credit.