January 25th, 2018 at 11:00 am


So, you’ve decided that 2018 is the year you want to sell your home.

Right now is considered to be by many a great time to sell. Though there are many factors that come into play, it is true that thanks to low inventory, many homes are not staying on the market long in Southern California. 

If you’re a first-time home seller, you probably have lots of questions. Use our home seller’s action plan for 2018 to fill in some of those gaps and prepare yourself and your home for sale.

Find a real estate agent

If your goal is to sell your home this year, the first step you need to take is to talk to an agent. Make sure you’re asking your real estate agent the right questions. You’ll also want to feel comfortable with your agent since you’ll be spending lots of time with him or her.

Make sure you discuss your desired timeline, what you’re expecting when it comes to the sales price, and what updates and changes you’re willing to make if needed.

One of our experienced agents can help you accurately price your home, market it to the right audience, and even tell you how many buyers are searching for homes just like yours using our premier technology.

They’ll walk you through the home-selling process, give you advice, and let you know what needs to be done before you can put it on the market.

Make suggested upgrades

If your appliances are out of date, your walls need a new coat of paint, or your carpets are a few years past their prime, all of that will stand out to buyers when they look at your home.

And, since most buyers look at your home online, some of them won’t even bother coming to see it in person if it doesn’t photograph well.

That being said, you don’t want to spend tons of money upgrading your home if you’re not going to get that money back once you sell.

Your agent can suggest upgrades that will be most appealing to buyers. Plus, RIS Media covers the home-improvement projects with the highest return on investment in 2018 here.

Prepare your home

Once you’ve made the necessary upgrades, your home still needs some work.

It’s time to get rid of clutter, scrub your surfaces, power wash your exteriors, trim your foliage, etc. You basically want to depersonalize and sanitize.

List-proof your home by making it easy to both live in and quickly clean it if a buyer wants to come see it. If you can, store nonessential personal items offsite or in the garage. You can also use storage bins to quickly pack up day-to-day items and store them in a closet, the attic, or garage during showings.

Consider staging

Staging works best if you are not living in the home while you sell, but can help immensely both in pictures and in person.

It’s important to not over-stage as that could turn potential buyers off from coming to see your home, or give them unrealistic expectations.

Insist on professional photography

The National Association of REALTORS® “Real Estate in the Digital Age 2017 Report” states that, in 2016, 44 percent of home buyers looked for properties online first. Having professional photography will ensure that 44 percent of potential buyers see your home in its best light online, creating a higher chance of them coming to see it in person.

Price it to sell

Part of the reason it’s important to work with a qualified real estate agent is that they can more accurately read the market and price your home than an online property valuation can. While getting an online estimate is a great place to start, the actual list price can vary depending on market demand, recent home upgrades, and much more.

Listen to your agent. If the price they suggest seems too low, ask them why and hear them out. They might be pricing it low because they know it will draw in more potential buyers, which could lead to multiple offers and a bidding war.

List it!

Your agent is responsible for listing your home, marketing it, and inviting potential buyers to come see it. Hosting an open house with a unique twist is a fun way to get more people in your door. Even if the ones who attend aren’t interested in buying, they might know someone who is.

It’s important to make sure your home is listed on the MLS so buyers searching on Zillow,, Redfin, and will see your property in their searches.

If you have questions about how your home is listed and being marketed, don’t hesitate to ask.

Be prepared to move–and buy

By now, most of us are aware that inventory is tight and homes are selling quickly. Which means if you price your home right, it might not be on the market long.

Use our ultimate list of things to do when moving to get started and follow our home buyer’s action plan for 2018 to ensure you have a home to move into once you do sell.

All homes are different

During the home-selling process, you’ll hear tons of stories about how fast or how slow the market is moving, who received how much over or how much under their asking price, etc.

While there’s no chance of avoiding hearing those stories, the truth is that every home and every seller is different. If you’re in a rush to sell, talk to your agent about what options you have to expedite the process. If you can take your time and the situation doesn’t feel right, that’s OK too. Your agent can work with you to make sure you are comfortable before you accept any offers.

Either way, using our action plan will get you that much closer to achieving your goal of selling your home.

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