Selling a House in California? Here's 10 Tips to Remember!

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 11 September 2019 09:35

Selling a house in California? Not sure where to start? We put together ten tips for you to remember when selling your home.

Did you know that in the second quarter of 2019, the median sales price of U.S. homes amounted to $320,300? That's almost $100,000 higher than the median sales price of homes sold back in 2009!

No wonder then that experts say home buyers may need up to 12 years to save before they can afford to make a down payment. It can take even longer for those looking to buy a home in California, the second-most expensive place to live in the U.S.

That's why if you're thinking of selling a house in California, you need to show buyers it's worth the price. That your property is definitely one that they should and would want to live in for many years.

Ready to close that deal and get your house in the Golden State sold as soon as possible? Then keep reading as we've listed some of the best tips for a successful home sale!


1. Selling a House in California Requires a Written Disclosure All Material Property Facts

California real estate law requires all sellers to provide a written property disclosure. Known as the Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS), it's a legal document you need to prepare.

For one, because it includes all property details that may affect the buyer's decision. Buyers should be able to use the info to decide the buying price and terms.

For example, you need to put in writing all valuable items or appliances that come with the sale of your home. Some of these include stoves, ovens, washing machines, security systems, or hazard detectors. You should also include the presence of a patio, an attached garage, as well as the age of your roof.

Anything of value that you're selling with your home, put them all in writing. This'll help buyers understand the value attached to your selling price.

At the same time, you need to inform them about property defects and malfunctions. These include cracks in the walls, ceiling damage, or sagging floors. Any issue with the electrical or plumbing system should also make it to the disclosure.


2. Price Your Home Like A Pro (Or with the Help of One)

To do this, you can first use an online calculator to estimate the market value of your home. The best calculators make computations based on public and individual user-provided data. Most of these tools will only ask you to provide your complete address before giving an estimate.

You can also work with a local real estate investor for more accurate pricing of your home. They can help you figure out your home's actual value, so you can offer a reasonable price for it. Here's a page where you can learn more about pricing your home in California.

Another method is to enlist the services of an experienced real estate listing agent. Be sure you hire an agent with a proven track record of home sales within your neighborhood.


3. Use the TSD as a Guide in Determining Problem Areas of Your Home

Confirm problem areas by using a copy of the TSD's defect and malfunction checklist. Make your own list of essential repairs and then figure out which parts you can afford to fix.

These can be minor roof and plumbing leaks, an HVAC tune-up, or replacing parts of your fence. Check if any of your appliances need repairs before you put up your house for sale California.


4. … And Then Fix What You Can Afford

Find out how much the items in your to-repair list will cost you. Then, check your current finances to see if it can afford all these repairs. If not, the least you should do is to address structural issues that affect the roof, ceiling, walls, and floor.

These are the most important repairs to do before you list your property for sale in California.


5. Get Rid of Clutter

No one wants to live in a messy, cluttered house, so be sure to give your home a deep clean before inviting buyers in. Also, try to remove as many personal items, like trophies and picture frames. Doing so can make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in that home.


6. Consider Staging Your Home

77% of buyers' agents say that home staging helps buyers imagine a property as their future abode. That's why staged homes are easier and faster to sell than "unstaged" properties. Moreover, staging has helped boost the selling price of many sold homes.


7. Focus Your Ads and Listings Online

95% of home buyers use the Internet to search for their dream home. More than half of buyers also reported that the web was their first source of info to look up homes for sale.

That's why your listings should appear on relevant real estate websites. Otherwise, only a measly 5% of prospective buyers may be able to find your home. A real estate agent will help list your property on California real estate listing sites.


8. Use Only Professional Photos

Don't rely on your smartphone's camera to snap photos of your home. You need to take photos with the right angle, color, and depth -- qualities that only a pro photographer can give you. If you have a bit more budget, consider having a virtual photo and video tour made.


9. Decide on Who Should Pay for the California Transfer Tax

County recorder's offices record the transfer of real estate from sellers to buyers. In California, this involves recording a document that evidences the transfer of ownership. When these offices curate this document, they also impose a transfer tax.

Who pays this tax usually depends on whether the home is in the north or the south of California. It's negotiable, and a buyer or seller can agree on the terms.

However, industry standards in the north often make the buyer responsible for it. In the south, sellers are those who generally pay for the tax.


10. … As Well as the Title Insurance of the California Home

When selling a California home, a title company will have to carry out a title search. They will then record a Preliminary Title Report (PTR). The PTR is then used by a title insurance company to supply the buyer with title insurance.

Most lenders in the Golden State require this insurance to fund a buyer's mortgage. A buyer and seller need to agree which title company and title insurance company to use. However, it's illegal for sellers to dictate a particular title insurance company.

Like the transfer tax, who pays for the title insurance depends on where your California home is. Up north, the local custom is for the buyer to cover it. Down south, it's the seller who usually pays for the title insurance.

Follow These Tips to Sell Your California Home with Few Setbacks

There you have it, your ultimate guide to selling a house in California fast. With these tips, you can make your home more attractive to potential buyers. They'll also help you stick to your legal responsibilities and duties as a seller.

So, what are you waiting for? Use these strategies to increase your property's value and close the best deal ASAP!

Need more advice for a successful and quick sale of your home? Then head over to and bookmark our site's Seller's Advice section for more nuggets of wisdom!

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