There are 3 primary mistakes made by sellers in San Carlos. The result of these mistakes is a home that sits on the market and will ultimately sell at a price much lower than it should have. Do not fall victim to these mistakes:
(1) Price. Most sellers overestimate the market value of their home by about 10%. Here’s a clue: If your home is in the $800k-$1.4 price range and has been on the market for more than 4 weeks in San Carlos your price is too high. In this market I always tell sellers that you can miss low on the price, but you cannot miss high. Miss high and your home will sit and ultimately be susceptible to flagrant low-ball offers….much lower than if you had priced your home more reasonably to begin with. The reason that I say you can miss low is that current market conditions will bring it up to the true market value. You do not want to intentionally price it low to create a bidding war, but if there is a question of whether to list at $1,159,000 or $1,179,000….go with $1,149,000 you will create more interest and save yourself a major headache.
(2) Your Agent. Also see “How to Interview a Listing Agent”. Simply put, the agent you choose will make a tremendous difference in the price you receive for your home and your sanity throughout the process. My advice can be summed up as follows: Your agent should be local, experienced, aggressive, cost-efficient, detail-oriented and offer something unique above all other agents. Run for the hills if an agent shows up to the listing presentation with a few comps and no CMA (Current Market Analysis), is out of the area, has trouble answering basic questions about your home and the San Carlos market, is inexperienced or is not treating you as though they would be extremely grateful for your business.
(3) Marketing & Understanding Technology. I am astonished each time I see a house priced at $1,250,000 or $1,010,000, etc. Why? Technology. Less and less buyers are hopping into their realtor’s car and being taken around to see homes for the first time on Saturdays and Sundays. Most prospective buyers are viewing the homes online before they see them in person, if at all. It is estimated that upwards of 90% of prospective buyers in San Mateo County have automated searches being conducted through a realtor’s website. Meaning that each time a new property in the prospective buyer’s city and price range hits the MLS, the buyer is emailed with photos and virtual tours of the new property. The problem is that when many of these buyers set up searches they pick hard-line cutoffs such as, any home below $1,000,000 in San Carlos or any home below $1,250,000. With this automated search, the two listing prices mentioned at the top of this paragraph would never be seen by the prospective buyers. The buyers who search for homes under $1,250,000 would never be sent the home listed for $1,250,000. Any buyers searching for homes under $1,000,000 would never be sent the home mentioned above with a list price of $1,010,000. If the agents setting the prices were tech savvy they would understand that listing their respective homes at $1,249,999 and $999,999 could greatly increase traffic.