Let's start by stating that even though this blog is going to deal with the Big Bear market, these same steps will work for you no matter where you live. I've been out speaking to home owners who have been trying to sell their home for a long time as For Sale By Owner and they always ask me why everyone's home is selling but there home. In most of these situations, the common denominator has been that they were trying their Big Bear Cabin without the assistance of a Realtor. It's not my desire to sit and bash the FSBO seller but rather go through the steps that should get your home sold here in Big Bear or anywhere else for that matter.
- HIRE A REALTOR The first and most important step in selling your home is to hire a Professional. When you think about it, when you need the services of a professional in other areas of your life, you have no problem reaching out to them. When you need a haircut, you go to the barber or hair salon, right? Certainly, you don't cut your own hair, do you? if your tooth hurts, you go to the dentist, right? So when it comes to selling one of your largest assets, why would you not hire a Realtor?
- HIRE THE RIGHT REALTOR What I suggest here is to interview three agents and see who you are most comfortable with. All of the agents in Big Bear have the same tools and so it comes down to how these tools are used. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Questions like how many listings does he or she have. How often do your listings sell, Will you be in contact with me through out the process? You want to feel comfortable with your Realtor.
- HIRE A LOCAL AGENT This may not sound like a big deal, but it is a VERY BIG deal! Let me give you an example why this is so important. Back in 2010 my father was getting ready to sell his home in Wrightwood as he had bought another home in Helendale. I strongly suggested to him that he find a local agent in Wrightwood to sell his home but he didn't listen. He ended up hiring the agent who sold him his new home in Helendale. Taking nothing away from this agent as he was a very good agent selling track homes in the Helendale Development. He did NOT know the market in Wrightwood and it showed when he listed it some $75,000 over it's value. Thank God, my father only gave home a 3 month listing as nothing went right. There were no open houses set, he never went to check on the property and every time my father tried to reach him, he was never there, nor did he return phone calls. After 90 days of this nonsense, he gave the listing to the local Wrightwood agent who sold it to him. The first thing she did was to show him how badly over priced it was. Once listed by a local agent who knew the market, the house had multiple offers on it after one weekend of being on the market and was sold.
- PRICE THE PROPERTY RIGHT THE FIRST TIME Selling your Big Bear cabin is not like selling or buying a car. I've had people want to add on an additional $25,000 to the price in order to give the seller wiggle room. Pricing a home in Big Bear $25,000 over value is not going to help you at all. The only thing that it's going to do is to slow down the selling process. Agents in Big Bear know the home values and they are not going to waste their time or the time of their buyer showing them homes that are extremely over priced. Your agent is going to price your home based off of what has recently sold in the area that is comparable to your home. He or she will take a look at what the competition is and will price the home based off of those two factors. What it comes down to is that the market sets the price of your home. The comparable sales that the agent shows you are going to be a good barometer of what is going on with the value of the house. If you price your home based off of the market value, then you've overcome one of the biggest hurdles that you will need to overcome.
- LEAVE THE PROPERTY CLEAN When you leave the cabin, make sure that it is clean and in good order. Put things away so that it's easy for the buyer to walk through without tripping over clutter. Imagine how you would want it to be if you were the buyer and you were walking in for the first time. Make an impression!
- MAKE ANY REPAIRS AHEAD OF TIME There have been times when I'm out on a listing appointment and the seller tells me that he was going to replace the carpet, but now wonders if it might be better to offer a flooring allowance instead. Leaving it up to the buyer to select carpets that fit his taste is not a bad idea, but think back to what I just mentioned in item #5, You want toe place to look clean and stand out as the best home on the market for the price range. By replacing the carpet before you list it will help make the place pop! Instead of people walking in and looking at the carpet and turning up their nose, they walk in to a nice clean cabin that smells nice and has fresh new carpet down.
- FOLLOW YOUR REALTORS LEAD There have been times when even though the cabin was priced based off of the comparable sales, it is still not getting showings. In times like this, a price reduction is needed. If that happens, don't hesitate. Trust your Realtor and make the adjustments that he is recommending. I've seen where the client suddenly becomes the expert and either won't reduce and if he does, it is a very small reduction. In cases like this, you end up chasing the market instead of staying ahead of it.
In closing, if you want to sell your property in Big Bear then hire a local Realtor who knows the market price it right!
Price it right and they will come!