John Lee – Richmond Overview/Sundown Beacon


Ready for the Spring Market?

The year is well underway, and like any other year, people are preparing for the big push in the spring real estate market. However, unlike every year, there is uncertainty in the air.

It seems like the COVID effect is behind us and not many people are even talking about it anymore. The market slowed down towards the end of last year with uncertainty in our economy and rising interest rates. Thirty-year mortgages rose from about 3% at the beginning of 2022 to about 7% in November. It dipped slightly to about 6% early this year and is currently hovering at about 6.5%.

With the low amount of inventory at the beginning of the year, we saw some multiple offers and overbidding again. Where it goes is anyone’s guess at the moment. Currently, I am seeing more properties being prepared for the market and I expect a decent spring selling season.

If you are preparing your home for sale during this time, there are many more factors to consider. Have you ever wondered why some homes sell at a higher price than others? The answer lies in pricing and emotional appeal. Purchasing a home is a very emotional process and usually creates a very stressful time in the life of the purchaser. Many times, buyers are making the largest financial commitment of their lives and are unsure of whether they are getting the right deal.

Thus, when other people are offering on the same property, the multiple offers reassure buyers that they are making the right decision because others feel the same way about the home as they do.

As a seller then, how do you create these emotions so that your property will sell quickly and for the highest price in today’s market? Preparing a property for sale is especially important because people today are busier than before, and thus they are looking for homes which are in move-in condition.

There are many inexpensive preparations work which will bring returns many times over for the sellers.

First of all, declutter the house. It’s amazing how much stuff accumulates over the years. By removing large items of furniture and putting belongings away will make a home show larger than it is, and gives the impression that the home is spacious and well cared for.

Painting and freshening up the backyard can be inexpensive, and yet provide the impression that a home is well maintained. Refinishing the hardwood floors will do wonders for showing off the house.

If you want to go further, staging companies are available who will bring in complete sets of furniture to complement the age and décor of the house. We have found that this adds tremendous value, makes your home show like a model, and separates your home from others on the market. As Richmond and Sunset homes are selling for well above the $1 million mark now, the staging expense is becoming a smaller percentage of the selling price and thus makes more economic sense than ever before.

Buying is an emotional process. When a buyer walks into the home, I have a good feeling about whether he or she will buy that house. In order to obtain the highest possible price, buyers need to feel comfortable and know that this is the right home for them.

Marketing in our modern world is different from the past. Online presence plays a bigger role with most buyers deciding whether to go visit a property or not based on its internet presence. So virtual tours with good photos and videos are more important than ever.

Buying and selling a home is a stressful and emotional time in one’s life and even more so during this uncertain time. But no matter what happens, there will be people who need to buy or sell. And that’s when good advice is necessary from a professional to help to make that buying and selling decision as easy and painless as possible.

John M. Lee is a broker with Compass specializing in the Richmond and Sunset districts. If you have any real estate questions, call him at 415-465-0505 or email at [email protected].


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