Real Estate Notes

Presto, change-o
Selling your home? It doesn’t help to say,

If only we’d bought in a different area

or

Why did we put in that darn pool?

or

We should have sold when the Smiths left
…the people who bought their house have trashed the yard!

You can’t wave a magic wand and make it all different. But let’s
look at what you can and cannot change.
Presto, change-o

Selling your home? It doesn’t help to say, “If only we’d bought in a different area” or “Why did we put in that darn pool?” or “We should have sold when the Smiths left…the people who bought their house have trashed the yard!” You can’t wave a magic wand and make it all different. But let’s look at what you can and cannot change.

First of all, you cannot change the location. Long ago a roommate and I were looking for an apartment to rent in San Francisco. We read an ad that sounded absolutely perfect: Lots of light and windows in a remodeled Victorian. When she and I arrived at the address, it was directly across from one of the roughest public housing projects in the City. (The SFPD refuses to go in there.) I didn’t even slow the car; my foot got nowhere near the brake. We called the landlord to cancel the appointment, and he informed us “the neighborhood is turning.” Even at that tender age, I knew that neighborhood would not “turn” until the project was razed.

You also can’t change your neighbors. The guy on the right likes his blue house with the bright pink paint, OK? And the one on the left does know the lawn hasn’t been mowed in two months, thank you very much. Neither of them can match that woman who watered her grass day and night. After a few months, her neighbors’ foundation began eroding. They got a restraining order to stop her from using her sprinklers, so she spent her days filling up buckets of water inside her home, walking outside, and dumping them onto the lawn. (Whoa, doggies! I do not make this stuff up!)

You cannot change the style and size of your home without a great deal of effort and some big bucks. As a general rule, an older, 1200-square-foot home will not command the sales price of a newer one. Features in homes come in and out of style. No doubt 60 years from now couples will walk through houses here and say, “Oh, no! Here’s that awful turn-of-the-century granite in the kitchen. It’s so dark and cold!” Think about the Eichler homes. They were popular (and cheap) when built. Then they fell out of favor for years. Suddenly they are very trendy (and expensive).

However, you can work on the things you do control when selling your home. For instance, you can clean the exterior and the interior. You can keep make sure your home is picked up and ready to show at all times.

Finally you want to make sure your home is marketed properly. To do this, you need a good local, full-time real estate professional.

Why local? First, they’ll know the market to help you price your home within the prevailing rates. And second, a local agent will be available to service your listing when needed.

Why full-time? Your agent should be networking each day within the real estate community to keep your home in the minds of other agents. In addition, he or she should be able to complete the tasks required to sell your home while you get on with your normal life.

Keep your life: Get a Realtor! And be kind to your Realtor…

Nants Foley is a Broker Associate with Intero Real Estate Services in Hollister. Contact her at 831.630.1300 or e-mail [email protected]

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