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Charo Bhatt's Blog

By Charo Bhatt, CRS, SRES, CDPE | Broker in Fremont, CA

The Reality of Real Estate


On paper, now may be a great time to buy a house. Interest rates are at historic lows. Many sellers are motivated and there is a substantial amount of inventory in many markets.

However, taking a property from “Just Listed” to “Just Sold” can be a difficult task in today’s market. As Realtors, we see that reality each and every day. Some buyers are having difficulties in securing financing. There are more challenges in getting properties to appraise. More effort is needed to get a listed property to stand out in a sea of available listings.

As a seller, how can you best position your property for sale in today’s market? We’ve put together a few tips to help.

Make Your Home More Marketable: As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. You can maximize curb appeal by trimming trees, planting flowers and even rolling out a new lawn if needed. A fresh exterior coat of paint might also improve the appearance of your house. And consider having a professional “stage” your home to make it even more attractive for buyers.

Choose a Realtor With a Proven Marketing Plan: Now more than ever, you need a professional Realtor who will help you merchandise and market your home. According to the National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2009, 90% of buyers used the Internet to search for homes. You therefore need a Realtor who offers an aggressive online marketing campaign on the country’s most visited real estate websites. Just to give you an idea, as a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Agent, my listings are marketed through the use of over 300 websites around the country to create more exposure for your listing. Other marketing techniques like “Just Listed” postcards, professional photography and brochures, virtual tours, property websites and more can also help generate more interest in your listing. It is important that you choose a Realtor, like myself, who will create an effective marketing campaign to help you sell your property.

 Conduct a Full Home Inspection: If repairs are required, it is a good idea to go ahead and repair the problems. Potential buyers will cast an extremely critical eye over your home and, in when there are more houses to pick from, buyers may take a pass on a home that needs too many repairs. Be sure to have the home inspection report available for prospective buyers and disclose all of the repairs that have been made along with the cost of each repair.

Price Your Home According to the Current Market: Just because a house that may have been comparable to yours sold for a very high price last year does not mean that you will be able to realize the same price when selling your home now. According to Rick Turley, President of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in San Francisco Bay Area, “It’s probably not a good idea in today’s market to simply pick a price to ‘test the water.’ Listing a home at a competitive price at the inception of themarketing period usually brings greater success to today’s sellers.” Work with a full-service real estate professional to help you determine an appropriate, competitive listing price for your home based on current market conditions.

Finally, try not to worry. Properly priced homes that can stand out from the competition are selling. Feel free to ask me how long properly priced homes may remain on the market in your area. This information will enable you to better understand the marketing process.

If you are ready to make an informed decision about buying or selling your home, please contact me. I’d be happy to walk you through the realities of today’s market and help you determine if now may be the best time to buy or sell.

Charo Bhatt can be reached at CharoBhatt@gmail.com or her office direct line at 510-608-7622

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