Reality for Most Sellers

by : Hamid Grinage

Over the past six months, sellers of real estate in Oakland and surrounding areas have begun to realize that the market is definitely not what it was a couple of years ago. In all reality, the power now lies with serious buyers who know they have more room to negotiate when making offers. Sellers who are not willing to look at hard numbers of recent sales, or who are not realistic about the condition their home is in will end up having their home stay on the market for months at a time and eventually expiring. By the time they realize they should reduce the price, it's could be too late as the listing may have "gone stale".

The two most important factors that sellers need to be thinking about is presentation and price. The best strategy for sellers is to prepare the property for sale as best they can by increacing curb appeal, performing cosmetic upgrades if necessary and possibly staging the interior. Next, the seller must work with a competent Realtor who is familiar with the Oakland/Bay Area market. The goal is to establish a price that WILL draw attention to the home and make it stand out as a value compared to the others on the market. With inventory of homes being high, buyers have more homes to choose from which means more competition for the seller. In some cases, I take my sellers out to see other homes that are on the market that compare with theirs. This way, they get a first hand look at how the other homes on the market stack up to theirs.