They say "timing is everything" about, oh, everything and they're probably right. It's certainly true about buying and selling real estate. This is especially true in the red-hot Northeast Los Angeles real estate market, where homes in Mt. Washington, Highland Park and Eagle Rock are in high demand and real estate in Pasadena, Glendale and Altadena continue to surge.
Many potential sellers believe, for instance, that the holiday season is not an ideal time to put their NELA home on the market. Are they correct? This question is more complicated than it seems, but there is a way to understand it all.
If you have a great house that is what most of the buying public wants in NELA — 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, open floor plan, flat yard, family room, 2-car garage all freshly remodeled — you can go on the market almost any time and do very well and at a pretty high price. Or if you don’t have what everyone wants — it’s cluttered, has deferred maintenance, a poor floorpan or has a small lot, is hilly, whatever doesn’t add up to what all those buyers want — you can price your house at the lowest end of the range and still garner multiple offers way over asking, even now between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
The trick with pricing and preparing a home for sale at any time is to take a hard look at who is your real buyer and what do they really want? We often tell our sellers that buyers have no imagination, but it’s amazing how their creative juices flow in the face of the chance to buy a bargain.
Then you need to have a hard look at your own realities. Would you really get rid of almost everything on your property in time to prepare for your intended market debut? Do you have the spare money to do the necessary work? Sometimes you can net as much or more selling your house as a fixer than if you spend all that time and money. How? You can just sell it off market to a desperate investor if you can live with never knowing what you could have gotten on the open market. Or, you can price it low (that’s the hard part) and let the buyers offer on it. We have lots of examples of various distressed properties that have sold for incredible prices. They all have some redeeming feature, but it may not be apparent what that feature might be unless you have an experienced agent who knows the market.
We have helped sellers do all those scenarios and there is no one right answer to what is best for your own situation because you are the most important factor in that discussion.
Hmmm. We started off talking about the timing of selling your house and here we are talking about pricing. Funny how pricing seems to be the key to selling your house in almost any market and any time.