Seller FAQs

Frequently asked questions from Sellers

How much is my house worth?

The first step is remembering that neither you as the seller, nor I as the real estate agent, have the power to make your home sell for a certain price. It is the market that determines the fair market value of your home. What is the market? It is the price at which 2 buyers are willing to argue over you home. How can you ascertain what that price will be?

The most general way is to look at the asking prices of homes that are similar to yours. Go to the Search page at, type in the general characteristics of your home, including the neighborhood, and discount the prices by 10%.This will give you a pretty good rough estimate of the value of your home.

As you get closer to selling your home, give me a call (707.499.7111) and I will prepare a CMA, or Competetive Market Analysis. In a CMA I gather the most recent sold homes, pending sales, and active homes that compare closely with your home in regard to house specifications and selling features. I make adjustments, and am able to determine a price range where your home is likely to sell. In general, sold homes will tell you what you are likely to sell your home for, while homes actively on the market tell you what your home will not sell for.
I provide CMA's for my clients free of charge, so if you are wondering what your home is worth, give me a call at (707) 499-7111 or email me at [email protected]

What do I have to do to get it ready?

So, you are going to sell your home and you need to get ready. What do you do? The first thing is to call me so we can sit down together, evaluate the value of your home and your goals for selling, and then plan a strategy to accomplish those goals. After that is done, you can start on this list.

What you do Love?
1) Go through your home room by room, inside and out, with 2 pads of paper. On one pad write everything you love about your home. Start with the physical features, but then go beyond them. How does the morning sun come through that window? Where do you put your Christmas tree? How does it feel to have your family over for Easter dinner? What are the neat things about living in your neighborhood? Think about the hightlights of your home in each season of the year. I will use these items in preparing my marketing materials so we can hook those buyers's hearts and minds and give your home a competitive advantage over other listings.

Problems and Repairs
2) On the second pad of paper, write down every problem or repair you’ve made on the home. You’ll need this list for your disclosures. Under California law, a seller must tell the buyer about every known problem with the home, even the ones that have been repaired. And there’s nothing worse than being dragged into court after the sale to confront a lawsuit over non-disclosure of some item. So disclose until it hurts. If you think you might, maybe, just possibly need to mention something, do it.

Start Packing
3) Start packing. You are selling your house, so you will be moving. Start now. Pack up personal items first – pictures, trophies, all those quaint figurines that collect on our end tables. Next, move out all of the stuff that’s not going with you. You can yard sell it, give it away, or take it to the dump – just get it out. Then, pack out those extra appliances and pieces of furniture that are cluttering up your home. De-cluttering can be the biggest money-maker you do in getting ready to sell your home. And don’t put it all in the garage! Rent a mini-storage unit if you must. It will be worth it.

Clean, clean clean!
4) Clean, clean, clean! This is the 2nd biggest money maker you’ll do. Clean the carpets, the walls, the ceilings, the top of all the light fixtures, behind the fridge and stove, the windows – everything! Hire a professional if you need to. Not only will cleaning make your house look crisper, it will smell better, and feel better. Smells can be one of the biggest turn-off’s to potential buyers, and a prefessional cleaner will touch things you rarely touch – window frames, door trim, bath-tub caulking. So get it clean so the buyers leave with only your positives in mind.

Upgrades - What is a big bang for a little buck?
5) Lastly, after consulting with me and our sales plan, make any repairs or improvements that will add to your bottom line. Some repairs will pay dividends; others will cost more than they bring in, so we must be careful. Full kitchen and bathroom remodels almost never pay for themselves. But fresh paint, in a neutral color, almost always turns a profit. Updating the landscaping can pay big dividends. Even flooring can be done relatively inexpensively. But call or e-mail me first. (707) 499-7111, [email protected]

Getting the house ready to sell can easily make a 10% difference on the purchase price. Get started early, be consistent, and follow through. You’ll be glad you did.