If you have followed our Silicon Valley real estate market, inventory and interest rates remain low yet buyer demand remains high. People leaving the area are relocating to smaller communities like Austin Texas, Bend Oregon and Boise Idaho. Last year, three agents in my office relocated to Boise Idaho, two clients moved to Oregon, one client to Boise and one client to Whitefish Montana via Sacramento. All were retired but expressed concerns over affordability, taxes, traffic, or politics/regulations.
If you are thinking about relocating to another area, here are a few things to think about and have a discussion with your real estate agent about. I have broken these down to 3 categories:
- Things you don’t have any control over.
- Things you think you have control over but may not
- Things you have control over.
Things You Don’t Have Any Control Over
- You don’t have control over the real estate market – to often I get questions from sellers (and buyers) trying to figure out the best time to sell (or buy). They want to “Time the Market.” Experienced real estate professionals understand that timing the market is fruitless and that the market is what it is. We provide insights to help you maximize your home’s value given the current market conditions.
- You have no control over how a buyer will behave – There are certain things that experienced real estate professionals can do to determine if the buyer is prepared (mentally and financially) to buy your home (ie. size of down payment, loan approval stage, read disclosures and understand them, thoroughness of purchase contract, responsiveness, reputation/professionalism of buyer’s agent etc.), but we can’t force a buyer to buy.
- Once in contract, you have no control of the appraisal process or the lender – Currently we are seeing slower response times in every phase of the appraisal process. Do you want a 30 day close because you are in contract on your home you’re buying in Bend? If you are using the proceeds from the sale of your existing home to buy your new home, you may want to pad the timeline between the two closes. Experienced real estate professionals understand the loan process and are aware of current trends in lending that may impact your sale.
Things That You Think You Have Control Over, But May Not:
- You may have control over the repairs/enhancements that are required and will add value to the sale of your home. But then again, you may not! For example, you just listed your home for sale because you are in contract to buy a home elsewhere. Your listing agent previously gave you suggestions for repair or enhancement items that will make your home sell faster and/or for more money. These might include painting, redoing flooring, changing out lighting etc. Now you are ready to get the work done only to find out that the better trades people/contractors are booked out 3-4 weeks. Do you wait for the better contractor(s) and push things off or do you just hire someone to do the work and hope it looks ok? An experienced real estate professional will discuss with you your options based on your requirements and the potential pros and cons of waiting.
- Inspections and staging – You may not have control over securing the better home inspectors and stagers for the reasons stated above. Again, an experienced agent will give you the pros and cons so you can make the best decision based on your time frame as well as the complexity of the sale
Things That You Have Control Over:
- You have control over how you complete the disclosure documents required to sell your home. You are required to complete these documents thoroughly. Real estate professionals can not advise you on what to say in a disclosure document. They haven’t lived in your home and don’t know your home as intimately as you do. Experienced real estate professionals will check your answers for completeness and may ask to you to answer questions that were missed. Note: a good buyer’s agent (and buyer) will read these disclosures and may ask questions. This is a good thing because it means that they are doing a diligent investigation of your home and it is more likely that you won’t have any post close issues. Also, real estate agents are required to do their own diligent physical walk through of your home and note items for disclosure. You generally can tell how thorough an agent is based on whether the disclosure document reads like a marketing piece or a disclosure document.
- Lastly, you have control over the real estate professional who will represent you in the marketing and sell your home. This is a big decision. Do your research, ask questions and remember that experience matters!
Since 1993, I have brought a wealth of knowledge, experience, strong negotiation skills and professionalism to every client I’ve worked with. I’d love to have a conversation with you to see how we might work together to achieve your real estate goals. If you have any questions or comments, reach out to me at [email protected] or directly at 650 465-0755. Until next time, take care!