When you are ready to sell your home in San Francisco, it’s important to keep perspective. If Sellers wear “rose-colored” glasses, today’s home buyers are sporting a darker shade. If there’s a problem, they’ll notice it so if you are serious about listing (and selling your home), I recommend you consider the 5 most important factors that will affect the outcome of your San Francisco home sale.

What are the 5 most crucial factors affecting the sale of a home?
What are the 5 most crucial factors affecting the sale of a home?

Unless you bring a “House Mover”, the location of your home is immutable; it cannot be controlled by any of us.

By financing, I refer to the current state of the mortgage and lending markets. How easy or difficult will it be for buyers of your home to get a home loan for their SF real estate purchase? This varies greatly depending on the economic climate, the price range of your home and the type of property (loft, condo, single family home, TIC, multi-unit).

As a real estate agent, I personally feel that in order for me to do the best job for my clients, I must be knowledgeable about the economy & the mortgage market so I can figure out ahead of time what types of loans a prospective buyer for one of our listings can access.

For example, last year, I listed 2 condos at Dolores Plaza in Mission Dolores, San Francisco. We helped get the building FHA-approved for low down payment 30-year fixed interest rate condo home loans. So, this year when I was hired for a new listing at the Mission Dolores San Francisco condo complex, I knew that the buyers for the listing had a lot of great low interest-rate loan options. As it turned out, the buyer had 20% down and got a conventional loan but we were able to market the property as a great fit for SF first time home buyers, thus increasing the potential pool of buyers.

Ah, the condition…the condition is what you do (or do not do) to prepare the home for sale. Another word for it is presentation and/or staging.

How will the home present on the market? How will it photograph? Is it cluttered? Is the paint dull & peeling? Is it full of your very personal (and distinctive) decor and memorabilia?  Or is it staged and immaculate, filled with tasteful furniture & neutral colors so the buyers can imagine themselves living there rather than looking at your personal photos and wondering if you are the same guy they met at last week’s art opening. Get my drift? Watch HGTV and get packing! 😉 BTW, we project manage this entire process for our clients and can offer money-saving tips and techniques.

Exposure! This is what your Realtor does (or does not do) to promote your real estate listing both to the public and to the San Francisco real estate agent community.

Is the property on the San Francisco MLS? Does the listing have photos? Does the listing have gorgeous, professional photos? Is there a website for the individual listing with an easy to remember URL on the For Sale sign?

Does your real estate agent use blogging, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, etc. to promote the listing and open house schedule? Do the most productive agents in San Francisco know about your listing? Is there targeted marketing to the most likely pool of buyers and their SF buyer agents?

Although a diligent, ethical real estate agent will do their homework and tell you the truth about your home’s value in today’s market and recommend the most strategic list price, ultimately, you are the home owner and the decision-maker. (It took a lot of restraint not to call you the decider. You’re welcome.)

You get to decide if you want to price your home in alignment with the current competition (active listings) and recent pending & sold homes (the reality of market value)…or not.

The sales price is not really a factor affecting the sale of your home but it is important to point out the basic truth of sales…the buyer determines the sales price. What a buyer is willing to pay for an item becomes its value.

If the buyers’ price is below yours and you choose not to sell, then, in essence, you become the buyer of your home because you are the buyer willing pay the highest price for it.

This is a roundabout way to say that if you are serious seller, you are ready, able and willing to accept (the highest possible) market value for your home. Of course, market value can be influenced so it’s crucial to do your best to get the other factors working in your favor as much as you can. The method of such influence varies. My job is to continually stay ahead of curve so we can outsmart the competition and get to the highest possible sales price.

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