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Is Now a Good Time To Sell a Home in California?


If you know the best time to sell your house, you can sell your house quicker and for more money. Knowing when will help you find that home-selling sweet spot. And waiting to put your home up for sale can help ease the stress of selling it. The best time to put a home on the market is in the late spring. That’s the peak of home-buying season. According to Zillow, houses put on the market between May 1 and May 15 tend to bring in more money. Zillow’s record reflects .07 more for homes put on the market during this time period. Plus, homes sold faster. Homes put up for sale in late spring sold in about six days. Keep in mind that the best time to sell a home can vary among markets. In the top markets, Zillow’s reports indicated that magic selling time fell between the second half of March and the first half of June. The worst time to put a house on the market is December and January.

On the Micro-Level

The right day to put a home on the market is also important. Zillow reports that Saturday listings get the most views in 12 metro areas. Fridays are also good, with Tuesdays being the worst. If you want your home to be seen the most, put it on the market on a Saturday. You can sell your home for about $1,600 more during the right season and on the right day.

Selling a Home in California

So, when is it best to sell a home in California? The simple answer is that it depends on which part of the state you’re located in. California has seen market shifts over the years, but home prices continue to increase in 2019.

The best time to sell a home if you’re in the Bay area is April and June. The best month to sell a home if you’re in San Diego is June. Statistics indicate the month of June comes with a 2.94 percent increase over the annual average. If you’re located in Los Angeles, the month of July will bring in a 2.77 percent over the annual average. Keep in mind that home transactions typically take about three months in Los Angeles, so be sure to list the home in May to take advantage.

Overall, the best time to sell a home in California is in the spring. Prospective home buyers tend to shop for home in the warmer weather. With nicer weather, tax refunds in their pockets and summer break from school coming up, it comes as no surprise that spring is the most popular time to buy a home. And if it’s a sellers’ market, you can expect your home to sell faster, receive multiple offers and sell for full price.

Tips for Selling a Home in California

The area that you are in in California effects how fast you can sell your home and what price you can get. Although, neighborhood prices vary, it’s wise to do research on similar homes in your area that are sold or listed. Look into how long the houses have been on the market for as well as the price. Keep on top of updates, also. It’s critical to get a comparative market analysis of your home. This way, you know what like houses in your area have sold for recently. Your local real estate agent can assist you with getting a comparative market analysis.

If it’s important to you to fetch a high price, you’ll need to be patient. Be sure to get an experienced real estate professional to list your home. This expert can assist you with what to price your home at and help you beat the market averages. It’s important that you pick a real estate agent who knows your area well, offers high-quality marketing and excellent service. Take the time to interview prospective real estate agents and make sure the one you select is willing to go to bat for you.  

Prepping Your Home for Sale in California

According to California real estate agent, Kevin Kieffer, curb appeal is one of the five most important elements to selling a home. California real estate agent Kevin Keifer told Zillow that curb appeal is one of the five most important elements in selling a home. According the agent Kevin Keifer,  “Your house needs to be framed up: It needs to look like a picture when people pull up. They expect to see tasteful paint colors, well-trimmed grass, new bark, fresh flowers — the whole deal.”Homes with strong curb appeal fetch prices about 10 percent higher in his East Bay Area region”. Here’s a checklist on what to do:

  • Ensure that the landscaping is tidy. Pull all weeds and fix any bare spots on the grass. Add fresh mulch, hang a nice outdoor light and paint the front door. These things will give the exterior of the home a fresh, clean appeal.
  • Eliminate any clutter. It will make the home look bigger and cleaner. This include the interior of closets, kitchen cabinets and pantry. Keep the home as neutral as possible. For example, you may have movie posters or a collection of Russian dolls in your home. Remove them. This way, the prospective buyer can better visualize themselves in the home. Even take down that trendy shower curtain and replace it with a neutral one.
  • Paint is your best friend. And again, keep it neutral. Go with beiges or off whites for an open, neutral appeal. You can even update the kitchen with a can of paint. Be sure to paint all trim white. You want your home to look as new as possible. Paint is a very cost-effective fix for any home.
  • Stage your home. Staging highlights your home’s best features and downplays any faults. It includes things like upgrading bathroom towels, putting a bowl of fruit in the kitchen, setting fresh flowers in a vase in the dining room, putting out new-hotel like linens on the beds. Carefully arrange furniture and other items in all of the room. Each space should reflect a defined purpose. For example, a bedroom used as a storage room should be fixed and turned back into a bedroom. If you’re in a neighborhood with family and children, you may want to set up a child’s room.
  • Get rid of any odors. This means cleaning the carpets, cleaning the windows, getting rid of pet smells and doing a thorough dusting.
  • Do a deep clean. Cleanliness is huge. It makes prospective buyers feel that house is well cared for. Your home should look spotless before you put it on the market. Clean corners of the floors, ceiling fans, top of doorways, cabinets, sinks and everything in between. The home should look untouched before you put it on the market.

When getting ready to put your home on the market in California, think of these four senses- sight, smell, taste and touch. Make the home showcase more than just a living space by removing clutter.  Your home should smell fresh. Add some fresh flowers. Look at every room with a critical eye. Cover all small holes and make sure all of the lights are working.

When you’re selling your home, you only get one shot at making a good first impression. Actually, you’ve got less than a minute to impress any prospective buyer. How your home looks on the outside will set the tone for the rest of the home tour. Having your home look well-maintained on the outside will make a buyer more likely to overlook less desirables in the interior.

Recent Home Prices in California

According to Zillow, “The median home value in Los Angeles is $692,800. Los Angeles home values have gone up 2.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 0.7% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Los Angeles is $536, which is higher than the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim Metro average of $439. The median price of homes currently listed in Los Angeles is $849,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $708,300.”

“The median home value in San Diego is $635,400. San Diego home values have gone up 1.2% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 0.2% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in San Diego is $470, which is higher than the San Diego-Carlsbad Metro average of $382. The median price of homes currently listed in San Diego is $699,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $596,300.” These figures include the neighborhoods of Adams North, Clairemont Mesa West and Serra Mesa.

The Bay area of California is comprised on nine counties: San Francisco, Napa, Alameda, Solano, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Contra Costa, Marin and Sonoma. “The median home value in San Francisco is $1,351,500. San Francisco home values have gone up 0.1% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.4% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in San Francisco is $1,071, which is higher than the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metro average of $493. The median price of homes currently listed in San Francisco is $1,295,000.” These figures include the neighborhoods of Buena Vista, Corona Heights and Haight.

“The median home value in Napa is $655,600. Napa home values have gone up 0.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 0.1% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Napa is $476, which is lower than the Napa Metro average of $510. The median price of homes currently listed in Napa is $765,000 while the median price of homes that sold is $698,100.”

One of the benefits of buying a home in California is that it’s easy to get loans in California. It’s also easy to find hard money lenders in California. 

The Outlook for California Real Estate

The California housing market just may outperform the country into 2020. Home values have increased 4 percent and are expected to rise another 7.3 percent. Keep in mind that California is a very large state, and real estate condition may vary. An inventory shortage is fueling the California real estate market. There just aren’t enough homes to fill the demand. This increases competition among buyers and increases home prices. In January of 2019, most of the major cities in the state had less than a three month supply of homes. Five or six months supply is required for a balanced market. This is one of the reasons why the state has had a positive real estate market. There are many buyers out there looking for homes, and just not enough homes to go around.

It’s wise to keep in mind that population loss could affect the future real estate trends in California. Although the state’s population has increased significantly over the past 10 years, it’s starting to get smaller due to outmigration. A 2018 report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office states, “For many years, more people have been leaving California for other states than have been moving here. According to data from the American Community Survey, from 2007 to 2016, about 5 million people moved to California from other states, while about 6 million left California. On net, the state lost 1 million residents to domestic migration—about 2.5 percent of its total population.” This could eventually change the landscape of the real estate market in California.

All around, living the California dream is great, and it’s the perfect time to sell a home.  The weather is consistently warm year-round, it has an easy-going culture and plenty opportunities for fun outdoors. California is home to beautiful parks, including Joshua Tree and Yosemite. Plus, it has many beaches and hiking trails. You can actually ski and surf in the same day in California. It’s also a very ethnically diverse state. You’ll meet and enjoy people from all walks of life. The state also has great colleges, elementary schools, universities, charter schools, private schools and high schools. It’s easy to enjoy the Beach Boy life in California.

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