Dear Home Seller,
The Mammoth Lakes real estate market is ever changing. Any successful strategy for making the most money selling your Mammoth Resort Property must be based on current real estate market conditions. The strategies I recommend have been developed by applying my real estate experience and knowledge of the Mammoth Resort Corridor since 2003 and interpreting current market data from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
“Timing is Everything”
1. Your reason for selling will determine how quickly you want to sell your property. How quickly you want to sell will determine how much you can make on the sale. The longer you are willing to wait in a rising market like this one, the higher you can set your listing price.
2. If you are selling in a strong sellers’ market, do not price too low or you may lose out on some profit. Remember, you can always lower your list price, so you might want to price ahead of the market if your timing allows it. When you receive an offer that is contingent upon an appraisal, it might be a good idea to counter back saying something like, “Buyer shall accept an appraisal that is within 5% of the purchase price.” This way, if the appraisal comes back low (because the appraiser is using older comps at lower prices), you have already pre-negotiated that there will not be another round of negotiations halfway through escrow!
3. If you need to sell quickly, you might consider listing your property at or below the price of the latest comparable sales. If your price appears to be a good deal to buyers, you might be able to attract multiple offers and get a bidding war to push the price above your list price.
4. Ask your agent to perform a “CMA” (Comparative Market Analysis) on your property. We use a spreadsheet which lines up your property alongside at least 3 other properties which have either recently sold or are in escrow. We then compare features like location, age, condition, size, upgrades, HOA dues and assign values to these differences to come up with a market-based value for your property.
5. Pest Report: It is a good idea to get a pest report when you list your property for sale. It is better to know ahead of time what the repairs will cost than to be surprised in escrow and possibly delay escrow. Who pays for the repairs noted in the pest report? If you know ahead of time what the repairs will cost, you can decide how you want to deal with the repairs. If you have not done a pest report ahead of time, make sure you know what the purchase agreement says about who pays for repairs. In most cases the buyer will ask the seller to pay for pest report repairs. If you agree in the purchase agreement to pay for pest report repairs make sure you set a dollar amount cap on how much you are willing to pay for any pest report repairs. There are horror stories of sellers who thought their property would require little or no pest repairs and then found from the report that major repairs were needed.
6. Repairs: It is also may be a good idea to pay for a home inspection report before you list your property for sale. An inspector can find hidden problems that would otherwise rear their ugly heads in the middle of an escrow and possibly derail your sale. This will give you a chance to get several quotes, repair them ahead of time, and not be pressured by a buyer’s escrow timelines.
7. Disclosures: Complete all required disclosures with the listing agreement so they can be given to a buyer prior to the buyer making and signing an offer. Why do you want your broker to do this for you? The buyer can cancel if any disclosures are delivered after the buyer signs the offer. If the disclosures are provided prior to the buyer signing the offer, there is no statutory cancellation right.
8. Length of Escrow: A willing seller and a willing buyer will negotiate the length of escrow. Cash offers are often 30 days. Financed deals are often 45-60 days
9. Tax Implications: Talk with your tax advisor about the tax effects of selling your property. Are you doing a 1031 tax deferred exchange where you can receive a tax deferment when immediately buying another investment property as you sell this one? Contact us for information on 1031 exchanges.
10. Appraised Value: When you list your property for sale, make sure you consider the following question: Who decides the value or sale price of a property? Do appraisers determine the value of a property? Or do willing buyers and willing sellers agreeing on the price and terms set the value? I believe willing buyers and sellers decide the value of a property. That is why it is important to know your purchase agreement and what clauses will determine whether or not you make the most money on the sale of your Mammoth Resort Property.
11. Loan Contingencies: Be careful about loan contingencies. The standard language in the purchase contract reads, “obtaining loans is a contingency of the purchase agreement.” The important question is how long it will be a contingency. Is the loan contingency in effect until the loan is funded? This means you can go right up until closing and then find out the buyer does not qualify for the loan. Instead, do you remove the loan contingency in the purchase agreement or give the buyer 17-25 days to make sure they qualify for the loan and then remove the contingency? We recommend the latter.
12. Choose a Realtor who will represent your interest in the sale of your property. Choose a realtor who will take the time to market your property for a price that is based on your timing, not your realtor’s. Quick sales in a seller’s market make the most money for your realtor, not for you. If making the most money on the sale of your property is important to you, make sure your realtor understands and takes the time to work with you to develop a pricing strategy out ahead of the market. [for he/she should be able to attract offers on your home and be willing to take you through the paper and approval-intensive process from start to finish. You should trust your realtor with any concerns or problems you may have along the way and feel like you can contact him/her at any time and expect a response within a reasonable time.]
13. Work with a realtor you can trust. Developing trust is just as important as developing a pricing strategy for today’s market. Establish a comfort level with your realtor. You should be able to trust your realtor to answer your questions and with any concerns or problems you may have during the marketing and sale of your property. Selling real estate can be stressful, but it does not have to be. You should feel free to contact you agent at any time and expect a prompt response. Some realtors work very hard to make real estate difficult and some realtors work very hard to make real estate simple for their clients.
14. Your real estate agent should be on your side, not the buyer’s. To make the most money on the sale of your property, your Realtor should familiarize you with the purchase agreement so that you can negotiate a deal when an offer comes in on your property. Your Realtor should be aware of the money-saving options available to help you get the most out of your property. Informed sellers make more money than uninformed sellers.
15. How to Attract Buyers: Your realtor should have the resources to market your property to attract the most interested and qualified buyers. Make sure your listing agent takes professional-looking, attractive pictures of your property without people, pets or clutter in them. Here is an outline of how we market our listings: www.mammothrealtysearch.com/our-marketing.