Selling a home raises a lot of questions. Over the years we’ve found that sellers we work with ask similar questions about Orange County real estate. We answer all of those questions (and more!) below.

Q: What do I need to do to get my home ready to sell? 

A: A combo of Real Estate 101 and 2018 Fantastic Marketing Magic is what you need to get your house ready to sell. We can help you with both. Real Estate 101 tells us to DRAPE your home, here is what I mean.

  • D: De-Clutter – the single most important process for a successful sale and this falls on you the seller.  Buyers get overstimulated and distracted by “STUFF”. This includes family photographs, papers, kitchen counter clutter, etc.  If you have a library – overcrowded with books, remove half of them. Appliances on the counter – put them away. We want buyers to remember the house, not the stuff!
  • R: Re-Design. This could be simple or complex. Sometimes it involves cleaning the carpet and some paint, or moving furniture or art to allow the beauty of the space to be the focus. We can help and/or a stager may be necessary.
  • A: Articulate the finer qualities of your home. If the front landscape has no color – add it – first impression is key, make sure all rooms are well lit. This may mean removing some window coverings, washing the windows or adding light fixtures. If you have a fabulous kitchen – baking before a showing articulates this. There is nothing more appealing or that suggests home that the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking!! If you have a home theatre – a surround sound action movie works wonders!
  • P: Produce. At the Smith Group, we believe that producing a story of the home creates an active and interested audience. This is where we will be invaluable. Who You Work With Matters?  Make sure you choose carefully – you need a team that understands the value of communication and displaying your house as the only one to buy!
  • E: Evaluate. You must understand the market for your particular product and price it accordingly. Older homes sell differently that newly remodeled homes. A single story may have a different value than a two story. You have to know where you stand in this continuum and price accordingly. The goal is to sell in the least amount of time at the highest value. Value isn’t a given and you need information and expertise to get you to the right place quickly. So to DRAPE your home is a joint effort involving the seller and the realtor. Both have specific expertise and if you work together you can create a story, fully illustrated and professionally written to get the job done!

Q: How long is escrow? We’ve been here for 20+ years and worry we won’t have enough time to get out!

A: Every escrow is unique and can be negotiated as needed; however, an average escrow length is typically 30-45 days, sometimes shorter, for example, 14 to 25 days — this likely if a cash transaction — and some lengthier, 60 to 90 days — this likely if the Buyer is moving from afar or is contingent on the sale of their current home. The escrow period should be considered a “working” timeline and includes a number of variables like buyers due diligence, financing, and appraisal confirmation and ultimately the seller preparing to vacate the home, leaving it in the condition one would want to receive it — i.e. clean. During this process dates and deadlines are imperative which makes great communication among all parties the most important.

Q: Is staging really necessary?

A: It depends on the house and styling. Every home is different — some with neutral furnishings and well organized and others with too many/too few furnishings or items that distract from the home itself. In the latter situations, I absolutely recommend staging, either fully or in part. Staging helps showcase the home with ideal furniture floorplans and deter from distraction (few to no personal items). If and when staging is recommended, it’s not a suggestion but rather obligatory to ensure the first impression is the BEST impression. In addition, sellers should consider they’re going to be moving and better to start preparing and packing sooner than later.