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Getting Top Dollar Even in Buyer's Market

Written by Posted On Sunday, 04 December 2005 16:00

There has been an increase in inventory in the "hot" San Diego real estate market. That is not to say that it's turned cold. Even with more homes listed on the Multiple Listing Service, price adjustments and slightly longer market times before a sale, experts still think good times remain ahead.

Buyer wariness, coupled with increased inventory, spiked interest rates and a general slowing have some saying that we're moving into a buyer's market. But, for those of you getting ready to sell your homes don't despair. Instead take action now.

If you're planning on listing your home for sale, remember, we're not in that multiple offer market where buyers are pushed to the wall and forced to make a snap decision or risk losing the property. Buyers have a little more time now. So the first step you should take now is to be extra prepared -- get a home inspection prior to listing your home for sale.

"If repairs are required it's better to address them before anything else is done with the property," says George Mantor, Founder, President and CEO of Associates Financial Group in Carlsbad, California

It's amazing how even a minor repair that costs a mere couple of hundred dollars can hold up or even cause a several hundred-thousand dollar sale to not go through.

"Buyers are the ultimate comparison shoppers," says Mantor.

Buyers look at things very critically. Ideally when showing your home it should appear clean and clutter free. That means if you don't have room and places to tuck away items, they need to be boxed up and put in storage.

Remember, usually, you only get one chance to make a first impression on a buyer.

"When buyers walk out of the door of a home that was not as nice as the last one that the buyers saw -- they're not going to go back to it," says Mantor.

Sellers need to know that when that happens they have been eliminated from that buyers' list and it's likely that the sellers' home will not get further consideration.

Oddly enough, even though most sellers have been buyers, they often forget to look through the eyes of a buyer when they're trying to sell their home. So often sellers get in a hurry and are busy with other things that they don't keep the house up for showing status. They erroneously assume that a buyer will be able to see the beauty beneath the mess.

"Dirt isn't just dirt. It also can create an atmosphere that can be kind of oppressive. The majority of people don't like dirty homes and often remark about them when they leave. So it's very important for people to go that extra mile and keep it clean, picked up, neat and inviting," says Mantor.

Another sure-fire way to clean up a home is to give it a fresh coat of paint and new carpet.

"It's one of the least expensive things you can do to create a new, clean-feeling atmosphere…," explains Mantor.

Finally, before you list your home, visit the other comparable homes in your neighborhood. This way you see from a buyer's perspective exactly how your home compares.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or Visit for more information.

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