Tips on Selling our Home

Hello! I’m thinking about selling my home and would like tips on the best way to do this to save time, money, and get the best price. I’ve never been through this process so I’d appreciate steps on how to do this in today’s market specifically in Oakland as well as costs involved with selling. 

Do I hire a real estate agent? If so, recommendations on anyone familiar with selling in Glenview? Or should I sell it myself and list it on Zillow or Redfin? Should I stage it and does it make a difference? Should we paint the interior and exterior? Exterior looks fine, but can use touch ups. Interior has some walls that have accent colors we painted 8 years ago.

How about taxes? How much can I expect to pay? Thanks in advance!

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RE: Tips on Selling our Home ()

Definitely talk with a real estate agent if you want to sell for the most money. I strongly recommend that you talk to Jennifer Lucas

She was our agent. I have since recommended her to several friends in Oakland as well as Lamorinda, Pleasant Hill, WC. She will be able to get you the top dollar. Her husband is a contractor, so she can take care of fixing up the place fast. She also does house flipping and has done construction herself with her family. It’s awesome watching her video with her and her teenage kids with sledgehammers. She has older kids as well as a little baby, so she really gets family needs. Most of all, she will recommend how to fix up the house for you to get the best bag for buck. If you will need to buy, she uses the same skills to guide you and point out what is a quick and cheap fix v what will cost a lot of time and money. 

RE: Tips on Selling our Home ()

I recommend Redfin, or another "alternative" broker. The 5% standard commission, paid by the seller, is excessive in my opinion. Redfin will give you a significant discount on that commission. Redfin agents are very skilled and knowledgeable. I do think it's probably worth it to use at least a Redfin agent, rather than listing it yourself. For sale by owners aren't always greeted warmly by the market.

Your questions on preparation probably require knowledge of your home, so ask your agent for advice. Generally, staging and minor repairs are absolutely worth it. (With Redfin, you can hire the stager & repair contractors yourself and pay an even lower fee to Redfin, saved me a lot of money. Or they have a more full service option.)

Taxes can be very complicated. You should consult with a tax preparer of some kind.

RE: Tips on Selling our Home ()

We just sold our house in Maxwell Park - I'm pretty sure that our house broke the record for the area for price per square foot when we sold. I highly recommend that you interview several agents. We used Sheri Madden with Red Oak. She is phenomenal and gets the highest dollar for the houses she sells. Agents will help you plan for all of the things you are talking about and can let you know about fees and taxes.

In regard to staging, we went with a mid-range stager. They are pretty hip and geared for the clientelle that is buying in Maxwell Park these days. It cost us $6,000 for our 1K sq ft house and tiny shed/office. It was worth it.

RE: Tips on Selling our Home ()

You are going to get a TON of realtors replying to you for this post! haha Not to mention, lots of folks who've been in your shoes. I have lots of ideas, but the gist is: hire an agent. YES, stage your home.


RE: Tips on Selling our Home ()

Some thoughts on your prospective home sale.

First, I strongly second that you use a real estate agent for the easiest and better price route.  An agent will prep your house for sale as needed and make recommendations for updates (often an agent has an inexpensive contractor, handyman, painter, etc.);  provide staging (you can negotiate who pays for it); market the house with good website photos, video & description; and, maximum exposure on the MLS and among other realtors.

In the current market, agents usually take a 2.5% commission (instead of the former 3%),  Totally worth it.  Strong preference for a real estate agent who knows your area or at least nearby neighborhoods in the Oakland hills, off of 24.  It makes a difference if Glenview is in their territory.

About home sale taxes (this is not professional advice):  Generally, each owner on title (you, or you & partner) is entitled to a $250,000 exclusion from tax for the sale of your home.  This means that the first $250,000 of your profit is not taxable.  You have to have lived for 2 of the last 5 years in your house to qualify, which it seems you have.  You'd also want to review the IRS guidelines about how to add to your cost basis (for examples, you can add costs of the sale, and improvements you made to your home). Even better, get an accountant for that tax return.  Finally, whatever profit you have left after these calculations and after the $250,000 per person exception, is taxed at a long term capital gains rate. Currently the long term capital gains rate is $15% for most, increased to 20% if you earn more than $441,000/year.  You can find out about the $250,000 home sale exclusion and about the long term capital gains rate by googling those terms, but you'll probably want detailed advice come tax time.

-Friendly tips from two recent home sellers in the family

RE: Tips on Selling our Home ()

The market is crazy right now.  If you hire a realtor you will be 6% and more if the house is staged.  If this is the first time you are selling a house I would not do it on your own.  There's a lot that can go wrong.  Have you considered Help-U-Sell?  I have no experience with Zillow or Redfin, can't help you there.  Houses in Oakland have been selling for $200k-$400k over asking.  Oakland has a transfer tax, a sewer inspection and sidewalk repairs.  The market is beginning to soften and sales begin to slow in the late fall.  If you serious about selling, I would do it now.  Interest rates are looking like they might go up which will make it harder for you to sell.  And who knows what's going to happen with COVID?  It's everyone's guess.  If you are going to buy another house do it now while interest rates are low.  Hope this helps

RE: Tips on Selling our Home ()

Ok here's a shot in the dark-if you'd like to sell and forego the hassle of listing, staging, and open houses my husband and I have been in the market looking to buy house. We're actually in Glenview and would love to stay in this neighborhood and raise our baby here. Feel free to message me if you want to talk about it and explore this topic.