Oakland Real Estate News

In today's real estate market selling a home can happen pretty quickly and produce pleasant results for sellers. The term "a Seller's Market" illustrates the success of many that have chosen to sell their homes and have not only gotten all of their terms without negotiation but also well over the asking price. This is something happening all too often in the Bay Area market as homes are listed and selling within a few weeks, many times even sooner. It seems easy, and it actually is in a Seller's Market for the experienced and even the not so experienced realtor. Regardless of the experience level of your realtor it is very important to establish a good strategy for the sale and to be sure that you are both (or all) on the same page. If the right game plan is established in the beginning normally a sale can not only move quickly and smoothly, but can heavily trump the results of a sale not properly strategized. The difference is the amount of time and effort spent by both parties and if really done right the increase above the asking price. 

Disorganized realtors may still produce positive results in a Seller's Market, but may annoy the seller and end up doing things repetitively. Most realtors try to get as much of the necessary paperwork out of the way in the beginning so they can easily send out  disclosure packets and other information to interested parties right away. This seemingly small act goes a long way and opens the door for time and developing a warm marketing strategy prior to the property even hitting the market. I've been in deals where some realtors would send me different disclosures every other day, and still end up not sending them all until the day of close, or even after sometimes. This can be frustrating, not only to the other agent but also to the clients involved, escrow officers etc., who many times have to go back and sign docs that could have been executed weeks ago. If most of the paperwork is completed initially all one has to think about is the marketing aspect. With less responsibility clouding your mind it is easier to come up with ideas for staging, increasing property value and curb appeal and even going about your regular life.

A good team can produce fantastic results without extreme amounts of effort. It's one thing to have a great realtor with knowledge of the market and ties to professional associations and networks. But when you combine a great realtor with an enthusiastic client willing to participate the sky is the limit. Most times realtors have relationships built with local contractors, landscapers, designers and more. With much of the paperwork out of the way at least a week to two weeks prior to the listing going active one may consider getting things done that weren't initially thought of. When it comes to selling a home a little can go a long way. Always be willing to get quotes and/or estimates for items needed for the home. You'll never know what some professionals would be willing to do for you and what kind of deals and discounts might be out there. The obvious isn't always the case, and we don't know what we don't know. Never guess when it comes to selling your home. Some people find out that they could have gotten work done they thought they couldn't afford, and end up missing out on thousands of dollars in return on investment. 

If your home is not a fixer in a sellers market it would normally make sense to stage it, even if it is a fixer sometimes. A nicely staged home usually produces positive results. Staging can get expensive however. But with a good team and a little creativity I've seen some sellers do a terrific job on their own with the use of their realtors' resources. Definitely something to think about which will sometimes give buyers a more comfortable feeling as opposed to viewing an empty house and having to use their imagination. If it is affordable most definitely use a professional. A better looking anything normally sells for more.

The strategy for the sale would normally be a realtor thing in most people's opinion, and if done right can surely get a realtor more clients. But again with other requirements, like paperwork, out of the way a good team will brainstorm about the pros and cons of the property and focus their strategy on the pros. While the agent is advertising the property through their professional affiliations, social media and other channels, the seller(s) is(are) speaking up as well in their day to day life in addition to distributing marketing material when convenient. Who would want the property and where those people could be found should be thought about and integrated into the strategy. 

All of these things are definitely not a requirement to sell in today's Seller's Market. Nevertheless with so many homes selling for over appraised value, which normally means the buyer has to make up the difference in the offer amount, one may want to consider a blueprint that attracts buyers that really want the home as opposed to window shopper buyers without as much desire. 
Posted by Harold Thomas Jr. on January 7th, 2016 12:06 AM
I can remember when I was younger and used to ask my mother for some information about something, and if she didn't have an answer she would direct me to the Yellow Pages to find a phone number for someone that may. Bless her heart, but in all honesty I used to kick myself for even asking her and would always find an easier way through friends and/or networking. 

There is no difference in the minds of people today, and big businesses know it, and in many cases are able to capitalize on the easy way out by charging a luxury fee of some kind that the majority of people would not pay.

I have come to believe that in real estate it is almost the exact opposite. There is technology today, that doesn't cost extra money, that buyers and sellers both can take advantage of and save tons of time. Most good real estate brokerages offer it right on their websites. There is so much information out there, and it can be overwhelming. But combined with experience good realtors are able to position the tools and information necessary on their site so it flows for the average reader and doesn't put the cart before the horse. Realtors are happy to offer information online and are honored when it is seen and read by others. Now with smart phones and social media people are able to share their own plethora's of knowledge. When I used to watch my father work as a realtor when I was younger I remember my first introductions to a computer, floppy disks, DOS and some of the first mobile phones. I thought all of it was cool, but would have never imagined it would have come as far as it has. You can literally handle just about every aspect of your real estate transaction from your cell phone or tablet today. From searching for your home to signing your contract and even more, clients with the cutting edge in technology are able to simplify their lives in ways that can actually make home buying easy. Ironically it's not just millennials that are taking advantage. With the universal input methods of iProducts and Android devices as well as there evolving ease of use, people are doing much of what we thought could only be done on the home computer or even in person, right from their iPhones or Galaxys. 

Social media plays right into the equation and is a true producer of answers, tips and tricks, how to videos etc. all while enjoying yourself at the same time. Revolutionary sites like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Craigslist and Pinterest just to name a few have literally changed the world. You can get step by step instructions on just about anything these days right online, without having to read a complete college textbook. Instant gratification with a laugh or two along the way. Social media used to be something that businessmen and the more sophisticated would look down upon as a waste of time and a dead end to a productive work day. I must admit I was even a skeptic at one point. But now it is used in such a fashion that work isn't as dull as it used to be and in some cases more productive. The old way of sending mailers in hopes of reaching a couple thousand people (who many times trash them anyway) has become obsolete when you can now spend way less and reach double or even triple that online with rich content such as video and other presentation methods way more captivating to your fine tuned audience. With the use of back links to your website, free adwords accounts and other SEO (Search Engine Optimization) you can even get your ads on the first page of Google and other search engine searches. The possibilities are almost endless and can get expensive. But there are so many free ways of getting the word out now that you can literally cut your marketing budget in half or more. 

Online marketing and social media should be a Realtors, let alone a prospective buyer or seller's playground. Play around with Facebook or Linked In. Start a YouTube and Google+ page. You will be surprised at some of the things you can do if you are not already aware. Back to my mom. She got her first iPhone (something she absolutely refused initially like text messaging) 2 years ago and she can text with her eyes closed. She's a pro now and is already up to an iPad.

Check out some of our links here:

https://www.facebook.com/Thomas-Chambers-Company-Inc-149545198556036/
https://www.pinterest.com/hcthomasjr/
https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=251762287&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile
https://twitter.com/TCCORealty

Posted by Harold Thomas Jr. on December 9th, 2015 10:50 AM

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