Let's Ask Katie - September 2023

Let’s Ask Katie
Expert Advice for all your real estate questions from Katie Machoskie
Q: We're thinking of listing our home for sale and there's so much to think about! Once we've chosen an agent, what's the next step?
Mark and Sandy, Corona del Mar
A: Hi Mark and Sandy, 
The most important thing sellers should think about before listing their home for sale in Orange County is their pricing strategy. Orange County's real estate market is dynamic and competitive, making it crucial for sellers to set the right price from the start. To determine the most effective listing price, sellers should work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who understands the local market trends and can provide a comparative market analysis. This analysis considers factors such as recent sales of similar properties, current inventory levels, and buyer demand. Pricing your home accurately is essential for attracting potential buyers and maximizing your chances of a quick and successful sale. Overpricing can deter buyers and lead to a longer time on the market, while underpricing may leave money on the table. A strategic pricing strategy will position your home competitively and generate interest from qualified buyers. Additionally, sellers should consider the unique features and benefits of their property when determining the listing price. Orange County's desirable coastal location, proximity to major attractions like the beaches and respected school districts can all impact the value of a home. Highlighting these selling points can help justify the listing price and attract motivated buyers. Before listing your home, take the time to consult with a few agents and teams. Ask for a comprehensive analysis of your property and what their pricing strategy will be to help you achieve your goals. Don't miss out on the opportunity to sell your home for its true worth in Orange County's vibrant real estate market. 
Q: We're selling our home and have told several agents they can have the listing if they bring us a buyer.  We'll use that agent to purchase our next home too, but some agents don't seem to like this idea. Are they lazy?
Tom W, Newport Beach
Hi Tom, 
You would think that would motivate several agents to work for you, right?  Wrong!  Asking multiple agents to bring you a buyer rather than list ends up with limited market exposure. By restricting the listing to agents who bring a buyer, you may miss out on the broader exposure that comes with a full listing on the multiple listing service (MLS). This could potentially limit the number of potential buyers who see your home and may impact the speed and price at which it sells.  The more eyes on the the property, the higher the price!
While it's understandable that you want to reward the agent who brings you a buyer with the opportunity to represent you in purchasing your next home, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks. It's worth discussing your goals and concerns with a few different agents to find one who is comfortable with your preferred arrangement and can provide you with a comprehensive plan to achieve your objectives and work with them exclusively on your sale and purchase.  
As for representing you as a buyer, (when and if they bring a buyer for the house you're selling) Realtors are human with only so many hours in the day. Most experienced, successful agents will only take on a specific number of sellers and buyers, because it takes a great deal of time and effort (especially in this low-inventory market) to give buyers and sellers the attention they need and deserve.  Orange County's popularity means that the market can be highly competitive, leading to limited inventory. Buyers are often concerned about finding the right property that meets their needs and preferences. This is where having a proactive real estate agent is crucial. They can help buyers stay updated on new listings, off-market opportunities, and upcoming developments. By getting ahead of the competition, buyers can increase their chances of finding their dream home in Orange County. So, my advice? Interview and pick a great agent who will put your needs first!

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