Hi Joseph--I think a lot of companies have mentor programs in place. My company, Pacific Union, requires new agents to work with a mentor for the first two buyer/seller transactions. This is good for the client & the real estate company.
There seem to be less new agents getting into the industry these days, but those who are considering
jumping in should definitely find/get paired up with a mentor.... more
Here's my opinion as a recent seller. We just sold our home. When we were planning to list it, we thought about hiring a stager. We met with one for consultation ($100), and decided not the use one.
We ended up doing all the work ourselves, which essentially included
1. doing some landscaping. Planted new flowers in the flower beds to add color and cheerfulness
2. decluttering. puttiing 50% of our furniture and belongings into a storage space. We minimized the amount of furniture and children's toys in the home and left it to a minimum. We also cleaned out our closet, and donated lots of plates, kitchen appliances, and clothing to charitable organizations. The only things left in our closets were clothing that we would wear for the next 3 months.
3. cleaning like mad. had an industrial cleaning person come out and then our regular cleaning people came once a week.
4. creating a "light and bright" environment. I changed all my light bulbs to the maximum wattage that could be handled by the light fixture (many were changed to those energy saver bulbs... you know... as bright as a 100 W light bulb, but only uses 27 W). We hand washed the crystals on our chandelier, and they sparkled like they never have.
5. got rid of the old, dated wallpaper. It didn't seem that bad when we were living there, but after we tore it out and painted the walls off-white, the place looked bigger and cleaner. Best $2500 we spent in preparing the house to sell.
It was hard work for a week. We decided what to do based on feedback from our realtor, the consultation with the stager, and a video from the realtor about preparing your home to sell. It was a very dated video from the 1970s and my husband and I were snickering at each other as we watched it, but the tips in that video were very helpful. Her bottomline was, "The way you show a home is not the way you live in a home." That's when we got serious with the decluttering. I packed away things afterwork from 8pm to 2am every night for almost a week. We sold our home after being listed for 60 days for more than asking. Many people who came to open house thought we had it professionally staged, because it was so clean... but then, my realtor pointed out, "why would a stager put a diaper changing table and 3 cribs for triplet babies???" everyone realized that we actually did live there, and that we are clean people who care about our home. As a home buyer looking at homes now, I really see how a dirty or cluttered homes can make the home seem smaller and unappealing. Some home sellers do not even bother changing burnt out light bulbs when they are showing their house. Good grief, if they live in a house where the lights are out and they don't change the bulb... what else are they not taking care of in the house.
What I learned was that "clean" and "uncluttered" make the best 1st impression. And "light and bright" have our visitors leaving happy, even if they didn't feel like it was the right home for them to buy. There was a buzzzz... Even our neighbors were talking about our home after visiting for the Neighbor's Open House and Tea... and it was eventually a friend of a neighbor who bought our home.... more
Hey there Fred,
I appreciate this answer is three years after you posted your question. I just happened to do a keyword search for "Victorian" and stumbled upon it. First, I'm wondering about your success with washing your building. Second, I noticed no here mentioned the risks of using a non-professional, such as scarring old-growth redwood siding. Please post here what you've done/ Thanks.
If you don't want to have a ton of Realtors walking through the home and you really want to put a price tag on your view hire an appraiser. Tell the appraiser that you want to get an idea of what the house would be worth in todays market but don't directly mention that you want to sell. The area where you live is highly desirable especially in the gay community. You need to take that in consideration. Gay couples may not care so much about the space if they have a great place to entertain and the views. It really depends on the layout of your home.
I hope this helps. Good luck with your sale and yes, if you need help... ;o)... more
It would depend on the buyer and the perceived value of the yard. If you are getting a property ready for sale it's important like curb appeal but not as much. You don't want the state of the yard to take away from the home but don't spend 100K on a yard with waterfalls and rock walls without making improvements to the kitchen and bath, which was the case of a house on Laidley St. some years back.
On Potrero you can enhance the value with a nice usable space as you described especially if the access flows from the home as opposed to having to climb down stairs to get there.
As I try to put a quantitative number here to answer your question I find I can’t without more info but I’m asking myself some questions you can answer yourself to arrive at the value. Does the view of the yard enhance the overall impression of the home? Does it expand the usable living space? Are there additional features in the yard, BBQ, hot tub, conversation area, view, etc.? Finally how does it compare to the competition on the market at the time of sale. As you answer all of these questions ask yourself, as if you were a buyer looking at the property, would I pay 10, 15, 25, 30 K more for the property if it had these features.
Most important is do it for your own enjoyment if you’re not doing to sell and if you are doing it sell then do a nice cosmetic presentation don’t over express your individuality.... more
When considering doing renovations, evaluate how long you plan to stay, your purpose in doing the renovations, and the amenities of the properties that will represent your typical comps when you sell.
Immediately, it jumped off the page at me when you said adding a bedroom to a condo. That might be in violation of the CCRs of your development/association. I was glad to see that was already mentioned. Do not try to alter the footprint or add square footage without verifying that your plans are consistent with the regulations. Additionally, make sure you are fully compliant with all permits, also. The absence of permits can snag you when you sell and cost you more than you might guess.
Why do you want to renovate? Solely for resale? Because there are improvements you want for your enjoyment? Because there are things that are really needed?
Some renovations will not provide a return to you greater than the investment made, but might make your property sell faster than the competition. What features do your neighbors have? If your neighbors all have granite counter tops and stainless appliances, and you do not, the competition will have a leg up on you. Buyers look closely at kitchens and baths. They need to be shiny and clean. If you are looking at a short term stay, and simply want to spruce up without a huge investment, consider refacing cabinets, replacing hardware and fixtures such as faucets, towel racks and light fixtures. Chances are that if you do a full blown mega remodel, you might not get back everything you spend. Don’t over improve, or strive to be the best. Do strive to be very good, very desirable and be the best value. In order to sell quickly and for the highest and best, be a better value than your neighboring properties while comfortably fitting into the mix.
Paint is the best bang for the buck. Nothing freshens and brightens for as small as investment as paint.
Floor coverings give a good bang for the buck also. Floors and walls cover such mass and make strong visual imprints. What is king in your area? Tile, carpet, wood floors, laminates? If you are going to sell sooner vs. later, weigh heavier on what your prospective buyer will value. If you are going to live in your existing home for quite a while, buy first and foremost for your lifestyle, what you like and what is most functional for how you live.
Add one or two details and a focal point in each room: A fireplace mantel, a deco drapery rod sporting a valance, a light fixture/chandelier, or moldings. When it comes time to sell, you will have a shining star to highlight in the photos representing your property.
If you are thinking of selling within a year or so, don’t hesitate to call in a Realtor now for input on what buyers value in your neighborhood. Realtors see from the buyers perspective and will give you advice on the collective wants and needs of a group of buyers. Many Realtors are happy to meet with you and provide you this feedback even if you have not intent of selling in the immediate future. Ask a few Realtors to meet with you, and keep their cards for when you are ready to sell.
Kitchens and baths are major to buyers. Carefully look at investment vs. return, and enjoyment for personal use vs. resale. You can spend a lot on these rooms, or you can do the spruce up described earlier. What’s right for you will depend on your condo complex and your specific situation.... more
I nominate Deborah Madey.
There is an absolute wealth of terrific speakers right here.
Don't pass up this opportunity.
David Knox is great but I don't see him on Trulia. Does he practice what he preaches?
Just food for thought.... more
I think there are a few factors that has been left out of this conversation, how easy is parking in your block, how dense is the housing in that block and are there future plans for development that could change that.
With the new T Third line open there are more public transit commuters moving into the neighborhood.
All of those factors could change how important parking is to a buyer in that area.... more
This is a loaded question. First, I always advise my clients to pick the three most important features they would like to see in their prospective neighborhood. The answers will differ based on the prospective buyer's current situation. A young family's needs will be different than a couple looking toward a retirement home.
Some of the most common features buyers look for are: re-sale trends in the prospective neighborhood, schools, crime rate, number of parks, age of homes, rentals vs. homes that are owner occupied, demographics, infrastructure and associated property taxes.
Make sure that your agent has extensive knowledge of the prospective neighborhood. It is also very helpful if the agent actually lives in or nearby the neighborhoods you are considering.
Finally, it is always a good idea to walk some of the residential neighborhoods on a Saturday or Sunday...if you come across a few neighbors working in their yard, you would be surprised at how willing many of them will be to volunteer information and their feelings about their neighborhood. Many of my clients have stated that this was one of the best pre-home buying moves that they made.... more