By Jose Herrera
Signal Staff Writer
People move for various reasons — such as a new job opportunity, to be closer to family, a change in relationship status or a natural disaster — but whichever the case may be, some homeowners may find the process of selling their home to be a daunting task.
Selling a home can be complicated or confusing, so it’s important to have some idea about how to make the most out of stressful situation.
“It takes a village to sell a home. It’s a complicated process and you’ll need a leader,” said Liz Tolentino, a local Realtor at RE/MAX of Santa Clarita.
Define your goals
Tolentino, who has 16 years of experience, said there is a list of about five must-do’s before a person puts their property on the market.
The first tip is setting a clear goal: Home sellers need to know why they are selling their homes because the reason will impact the time frame.
“Let’s say you are selling because you found a new job in Texas, and you have to be there by Jan. 1,” Tolentino said. “That means you have a set amount of time before you have to sell your home, pack all your belongings, get in a moving truck and get to another state.”
The second tip is to crunch the numbers: understanding where the home seller is at in terms of their equity position – the value of a mortgaged property after deduction of charges against it.
“Analyze your numbers, which looks like knowing how much money you need to get out of the sale of your home to meet your goal – whatever that may be,” Tolentino said.
Home sellers should also understand how much they owe on their homes and how much their home is worth, so they can make a good deal on their homes.
Assemble your team
At this point, home sellers should be thinking about, if not already contacting, people who will help them secure a beneficial deal on their home, according to Tolentino. These people will include trade companies and the main component of that team will be a real estate agent.
“You want to hire somebody locally, has a lot of experience listing a property and selling homes, and you want to hire somebody that has a good reputation,” Tolentino said.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Taylor and Dylan Foley are a wife-and-husband Realtor duo who own Foley Loaded Homes in Valencia. They started their real estate business two years ago and primarily work with individuals who are in law enforcement or emergency responders.
“You want the buyer to be able to come in and see the house for its max potential both in terms of shape, lighting, color, furniture and more,” Taylor said.
Dylan added that it’s critical to maintain, fix and replace high-priority areas to attract as many people as possible.
How to prepare to sell your home
Robert Lamoureux has 40 years of experience as a general contractor, and he has separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia.
He suggested homeowners begin to look at how well they present their homes on the outside first. Curb appeal is “huge” because the minute the person pulls up can either attract or repel potential buyers.
“You have to make sure that the exterior is well-groomed and, for a lack of a better term, fresh and clean,” Lamoureux said. “I wouldn’t put a lot of money into a home as you want to minimize the input of your money that you’re selling.”
A paint job on the exterior walls can go a long way, he added. The same principle applies to flooring, kitchen or bathroom renovations.
However, he recommends a conservative approach and that homeowners spend money on touching up and fixing high-priority areas that will affect a potential buyer’s decision.
Home sellers should focus on key areas such as ensuring the electrical outlets are working, the lights turn on when you flip the switch, and checking for leaks and that all the faucets are working, too.
“I’d say at least a month depending on if you’re going to job it out, especially with the trades being super busy now,” Lamoureux said. “So, at least four to six weeks, just to make sure everything is functioning and presentable.”
The final touches on a home
The final tip for home sellers is to do any staging as necessary. Staging refers to the activity or practice of styling or furnishing a property for sale, according to Tolentino.
Home sellers should prioritize decluttering and depersonalizing their homes, according to Realtors. The goal is to create spaces where buyers can envision their future lives.
“We are the advisors to our sellers,” Tolentino said, “but the seller has to make the ultimate decision based upon what they feel is best for them.”