How to Sell your House in OAKLAND, CA

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It’s an unusual market AND can be a little difficult to successfully sell in.  I am here to explain it all.

We have several issues that are really specific to our area that I want to talk about, help you alleviate your concerns, and tell you how we work our sellers to navigate through them because maybe it will be useful to you.

When it comes to selling in Oakland and the surrounding areas, it is mostly about strategy, pricing, marketing, and negotiation… and choosing the right Realtor (R).  The rest, is preparation. This talk is a summary about how to prepare your home to go on the market.

OAKLAND and the surrounding areas like Berkeley, Albany, San Leandro,  are old homes. I own a very old home; it was built in 1914 and is 106 years old, and I can definitely assure you old homes are way different that new ones AND the strategy to sell them is different.

Condition & Pre-Inspections.

CONDITION of your home is a huge factor.  I’m talking about foundations, roofs, Upgrades. Remodels. Permits and whether they were obtained or not. 

We highly recommend getting PRE INSPECTIONS done on your house.  With old homes in particular, it is in your best interest to be very upfront about the condition of the home. Our job is to make sure that you, as the seller, don’t get sued. We want everyone to sleep easy at night… and doing inspections helps with this. 

If you want to know ALL ABOUT inspections… or have questions on what Pre-Inspections are, and why to do them, please refer to my video called “SELLING MY HOME: WHAT’S UP WITH PRE INSPECTIONS”

Repairs/Upgrades

When Joey and I sell homes, we assess them on a house by house basis. All houses require some sprucing and freshening up and they don’t all require the same things done. Often a minimum of painting and a good cleaning are required, but it can be more than that. Sellers sometimes wonder if they should fix up their house all the way and make it look “TURN KEY”… this is often not the best idea. I mean, you don’t want to be a flipper’s dream either… unless the house is really in an extremely poor condition (and some are). BUT Remodeling your house right before you put it on the market can be risky, and sellers often don’t get that RETURN on their MONEY just because it’s “TURN KEY”. 

There is a sweet spot to be in… and to get there requires a stand-alone assessment that is done on a house by house basis. It’s best to work with a professional that will give you honest guidance, that wants to help you spend only what’s really needed, maximize your return…  while keeping in mind “that ripping out and redoing your whole kitchen usually isnt the answer”  

To learn more, refer to my video: SELLING MY HOME: DO I NEED TO BE TURNKEY?!

DISCLOSURES: 

Whenever you go to sell your house, you have a bunch of legally required documents to complete regarding the property. 

jUst a little background… It used to be that “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware” was the industry standard in real estate for years, AND It meant that the buyer had to do their own DUE DILIGENCE to  investigate, test, and decide for themselves everything regarding the condition or other factors relating to the property. 

Also, there was no such thing as a “buyer’s agent”, ONLY realtors that exclusively represented the sellers…  

SO Condition, environmental hazards, YOU NAME IT were all on the buyer to investigate… and without the help of a buyer’s agent.  As you can imagine, there were a lot of lawsuits, there was a landmark case, etc etc that changed the laws, and transformed real estate SIGNIFICANTLY.

SOOOO You have a whole SLEW of legal disclosure forms to fill out. They all exist for very important reasons. They must be taken seriously, 

SO do your best on them… disclose, disclose, disclose…  And when in doubt, DISCLOSE some more! 

As a realtor, my job is to make sure that you don’t get sued…. So I’m there to help you understand what you’re filling out and signing and get your questions answered. 

To learn more, refer to my video: SELLING MY HOME: DISCLOSURES?!

Staging

There are different practices in different markets, and the East Bay is one that staging definitely gives a return on the money invested.  We always recommend a stage to some extent. If you need to be living in your house while it’s on the market, there are plenty of staging type things that still need to be done to make your home “MARKET READY”. When Joey and I sell our listings, we  highly recommend that sellers stage… if they want to shoot for that top dollar/best terms kind of offer.  

To learn more, refer to my video: SELLING MY HOME: DO I HAVE TO STAGE?!

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