I’m Jodi Ticknor, and it’s my mission to be considered one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills, CA.
To better serve first time home sellers in South Beverly Hills, I have created this guide, the Best Real Estate Agents in Beverly Hills Guide to Selling Your Home and Getting the Highest Sale Price.
This is the sixth and final post in my exclusive 6-part blog series about South Beverly Hills real estate, and the South Beverly Hills lifestyle.
If you need to catch up on the first 5 parts, here are the links:
Part 1: South Beverly Hills, CA is a Thing… and it’s the best kept secret in Beverly Hills real estate!
Part 2: The South Beverly Hills lifestyle… it’s fantastic, and it’s more affordable than you might think!
Part 3: Restaurants, Shopping, and Hotel Bars and Spas in South Beverly Hills… Oh, the places you’ll go!
Part 4: Top Beverly Hills Realtor’s Guide to South Beverly Hills Real Estate… what types of properties are there in South Beverly Hills? What are they worth?
Part 5: How to Get the Highest Price for your home in South Beverly Hills, CA.. advice from a top Beverly Hills realtor!
Best Real Estate Agents in Beverly Hills Guide to Selling Your Home
This post is about what to do when you’re ready to sell your home.
Anyone selling their home, in or outside of South Beverly Hills, CA will find this information valuable.
Being in Beverly Hills does however offer some unique opportunities when getting ready for a home sale.
I will highlight these opportunities for you in this helpful guide to selling your home and getting the highest price.
More on my mission to be considered one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills
My real estate agency Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills has many great realtors, and each one of us works hard to give our clients value and stand out in one of the most competitive real estate markets in the world.
I respect the work, in fact, of all Beverly Hills realtors at all agencies. It’s this level of respect that inspires me to work extra hard, and go the extra mile every time, so that I can fairly be considered one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills.
The main way I go about achieving my mission is by getting you the highest price when you sell your property, and making it a smooth transaction for you.
I have a question for you. You want to get the highest price you can get for your home, right? Of course you do.
In this post, I’ll explain some of the things I do to get you the highest price for your home.
To maximize home value for a sale, first know the market and the process
The first thing I will do with a new client is tell you about the market.
Specifically, I tell my clients what kind of market it is right now.
I tell you what we’re seeing in the market, and the kinds of buyers that are out there.
Most first time sellers are concerned about two things:
- Who’s gonna buy their house? and
- What price are they gonna get?
These are the prevailing issues in the mind of the average first time seller.
The first time seller is someone who’s not really aware of the real estate transaction process and everything that’s involved, so I will de-mystify it for you at the outset.
Understanding the real estate transaction process presents some opportunities for the savvy home seller
Part of my role as one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills is knowing how to close the gap with my clients between what you don’t know and what you need to know.
I help my clients better understand the real estate transaction process, and the opportunities available.
First I’ll tell you about the market. For instance, if you were selling your house, I’d tell you that right now, we have a great market. It’s a “seller’s market” and so you’d be in a prime position to sell your property now.
A seller’s market means there is low inventory on available properties, and properties are in high demand.
This means high prices for properties. High prices are great for sellers, and that’s why it’s called a “seller’s market.”
How mortage rates impact opportunities for home sellers
Mortgage rates are very low right now, so we call it “cheap money.”
People are able to afford more for their money now than they would if the mortgage rates were higher.
Any of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills will make you aware of all these factors, as each factor helps increase the price you can get for your home sale.
How buying with cash impacts opportunities for home sellers
We see a lot of cash buyers in the marketplace right now.
Cash buyers tend to drive prices up, as well as drive transactions to close sooner.
Transactions close sooner with cash because cash is immediate.
In contrast, when a buyer has to go through a lender and do a loan process, this usually requires about a 30-day or 35-day process.
You can see why cash impacts opportunities for home sellers.
Many sellers, if they want the transaction to close quickly, will prefer cash.
The same goes for buyers. If a buyer has cash available, the buyer often gets the upper hand in a real estate transaction over non-cash buyers.
My process in advising first time home sellers
To recap: With a first time seller, the first thing I do is to alleviate your concerns about selling.
- First, I inform you about the current state of the real estate market
- Then, I let you know how I operate, and what you can expect from me
- Also, I let you see the kind of person I am; a calm and reasonable person, and someone who is there for you at all times.
I want my clients to know that as your Beverly Hills realtor, you can count on me to always be responsive.
That’s so important for a realtor to be responsive. It’s one of the things I always do to ensure my clients will consider me one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills.
Whether you reach out by text, email or phone, you will get a guaranteed quick response from me.
I am here to help you with any questions that you have throughout the entire real estate transaction process, from listing through closing, and everything in between.
Steps for a First Time Home Seller to Take in Maximizing Your Home Value
There are several steps that any home seller will need to take in order to maximize the sale price of your home or property.
If you were wanting to sell your home right now, here’s what I would advise you to do. I’ll list the main steps to take prior to selling your home, and then I will go into each item in more detail below:
- Speak to your accountant
- Speak to your financial advisor
- Setup the house to maximize the home value for sale
All of the above will need to happen before listing the house and getting offers, if you want to get the best sale price for your home.
Taking the above steps will maximize the value of your home and allow me to get you the best possible price when selling your home.
Let’s go into these items one by one in some more detail:
Speak with your accountant and financial advisor first to maximize the sale value of your home
I always advise a first time seller to speak to your accountant about any tax implications of a sale before you decide to sell your home.
I will also advise you to connect with your financial advisor if you have one.
Financial professionals can help you by explaining the tax structures, telling you what you can and cannot do, and letting you know what you can expect when selling your home.
Any of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills will give you the full range of advice, and not simply list your home for sale.
Tend to the house and the property to maximize the sale value of your home
In terms of things to do inside the house, I will go through the house with you and talk about how to de-personalize the house, how to de-clutter the house if needed, and how to do staging and landscaping if needed.
These may seem like unimportant details, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth, if you want to get the highest price when you sell your home.
Again, this may sound like a record on repeat but it can’t be stated enough: the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills will not rush you into a home sale. We will take the time to advise you on every important detail in order to get you the highest possible sale price for your home.
I consider these steps to be no brainers because they yield great results.
A lot of home sellers overlook these important steps, and those sellers miss out on getting higher prices for their homes.
De-personalize the house to maximize the sale value of your home
To de-personalize your home, you’ll want to do the following:
- Take down any family pictures
- Take down any artwork that is personalized artwork
For instance, you’ll want to take down your kid’s school art projects, any paintings by family members, needlepoint work, and anything that the maximum amount of people would not respond to.
For this, think about “corporate art” when you go into an office building or a bank or hotel.
Art displayed in corporate locations will always be neutral, non political, not thought provoking, and only there to add color or texture.
With de-personalization, we try and make your house as neutral as possible.
This way, anyone can walk in and appreciate the lines of the home, appreciate the floor plan of the home, and imagine themselves living there with their own furniture and family pictures.
This is called de-personalization because it removes any personality of the current home owner.
De-personalization leaves enough to the imagination of the buyer, so that the buyer can imagine themselves in your home, as if it is their own home.
- De-personalizing your home will help maximize the sale value of your home
- Failing to de-personalize your home will result in a lower selling price
Always de-personalize your home to maximize its value in the mind of your buyer.
De-cluttering the house to maximize the sale value of your home
De-cluttering your house is mission-critical to commanding the top selling price for your home, yet many first time home sellers skip this all important step, to their own detriment.
When your home is cluttered:
- the buyer can’t see the floor plan
- the buyer can’t see the lines of the home
- the buyer can’t see the finishes, and
This means the buyer simply won’t see the value of your home to be as high priced as a home that’s de-cluttered, clean, and sparse.
De-cluttering is sometimes a challenge because depending on how long someone has lived in their home, they may have accumulated quite a bit of clutter over the years.
This clutter will need to be removed in order to get the highest sale price possible.
If the person is a hoarder, or has any type of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) they often put up resistance to moving or even touching anything in their home.
To these people, I have compassion but take more of a tough love approach. I ask them, “Do you really want to sell your home or not?”
If they say yes, I ask, “Do you want the highest possible price for your home?” Most people say yes to this, in which case I say, “Great! Then we must de-clutter your home. I am an expert in this and can help you, but you have to let me do my job so I can get you the highest sale price.”
You might not think that this type of personal hand holding and applied psychology is part of a realtor’s work. For me it is, because as I’ve said, it’s my mission to be considered one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills.
Here’s how to de-clutter your home in 7 easy steps:
- Go room by room.
- Use a separate medium or large moving box for each room.
- Label each box with a marker pen, mark what room each box is for.
- Depending on the size of each room and the amount of clutter, you may need several boxes for each room. Use as many boxes as required.
- Now, all loose paper goes into one box. Notes, scribbles, documents, no sorting here, just fill up the boxes as fast as you can.
- Any piles of books or magazines on the floor must go into boxes.
- Everything that is piled up anywhere, whether on the floor, on a desk or table, or on a crowded shelf, must go into boxes.
You’ll know when each room is de-cluttered because you’ll have a feeling of spaciousness, and it will be a breath of fresh air.
Once you have your boxes filled, they will need to be removed from the property. If you have a garage, you can use that, or you may need to take a storage space during the sale process.
I actually recommend a storage space over using your garage, because a de-cluttered garage can help you command an even higher sale price for your home.
The best real estate agents in Beverly Hills are going to apply laser-like focus to your home and tell you what needs to be done to maximize sale value.
Ideally, you de-clutter the entire property.
De-cluttering your home will result in a higher sale price, while failing to de-clutter your home will result in a lower sale price. It’s that simple!
Since your home will command a higher selling price when it is de-cluttered, the cost of a storage space should not be any concern.
Once I was working with a family to sell the family home. The parents had died, and the house was filled with their furniture and clothing. We arranged for a lot of that stuff to be hauled, and the family donated a lot of it.
This opened up a lot of space inside the home, which in turn resulted in a higher sale price for the home because it was de-cluttered properly.
The takeaway? The best real estate agents in Beverly Hills say, “Always de-clutter your home to maximize its sale price.”
Staging the house to maximize the sale value of your home
Staging is the use of furnishings that are brought in by an interior designer and used for the purpose of maximizing the sale price of the home.
The goal with the staging is to maximize the space, and also to de-personalize and present a space that looks clean, “done”, and move-in ready.
It’s hard to do staging when the seller is living in the house. It’s easier to do staging when the seller is not living in the house.
When the house is empty, you bring in the furnishings, you set it all up, and then you have a home that’s ready for pictures and video.
The house will literally shine once it’s properly staged. Here are some other things you can do with staging:
- Staging can include paintings and sculpture
- Staging can include rearranging furniture that’s already there
- Staging can include removing fixtures, curtains, rugs, and other items to create a more spacious feel
- Staging can include adding additional furniture
- Staging can include adding additional decorative items
- Staging can include a piano, cello, guitar, or other instruments if they are artistically displayed, vs creating more clutter
- Staging can include high-end entertainment systems
- Staging can include everything from flowers, to linens, fresh towels, accent pillows, perfume bottles, books, furniture, even music playing.
It’s a wide range of results that we can accomplish with staging a home for sale.
The best real estate agents in Beverly Hills know this, because the information shows that staging usually results in a quicker sale at a higher price.
There are professional staging companies that do home staging, but staging happens to be one of my specialties.
Staging is an added value I offer my clients as a realtor who works hard to earn my reputation as one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills.
I have done the staging myself for several listings, including choosing the furniture, arranging the shelving, everything.
I’ll go shopping for items if something is needed, or I’ll instruct my clients in what’s needed, and then they will go and get it. It’s different every time.
A lot of people, when they’ve been in their home for 30 years, they have the furniture. It’s just a matter of reorganizing what’s there, and moving some items to storage as needed.
The takeaway: The best real estate agents in Beverly Hills say, “Proper staging of your home will absolutely increase its sale value.”
Therefore, you should always stage your home before a sale to get the highest price for your home.
Landscaping to maximize the sale value of your home
Landscaping can technically be considered part of the staging of the home, but since it involves gardening and the exteriors of the home, it makes sense to split it out.
In the same ways that de-personalizing, de-cluttering and staging the inside of your home help to maximize the sale value, landscaping the exteriors will have the same impact.
Landscaping is particularly important in the cases of homes that do not have a lot of plants or flowers growing in the front and backyards.
The best real estate agents in Beverly Hills will have a knack for knowing whether and what type of landscaping will increase the sale value of your home.
The reason to do landscaping prior to a sale is to bring attention to the property with colors, shapes, and the vibrancy of life.
If the home has a swimming pool, it’s important the pool be clean and free of clutter as well.
- Remove any rafts, kids floats, toys etc.
- Make sure the water is clean.
There aren’t many homes in South Beverly Hills with swimming pools, but some houses do have pools, so it’s worth knowing.
Landscaping can also include:
- stepping stones
- small fish ponds
- seating areas in the backyard
- meditation gardens, etc.
The possibilities with landscaping are endless, and will dramatically increase the sale value of your home if done correctly.
What you don’t want is a yard that lacks color or shape, or is cluttered with toys or old furniture, or that makes your home look abandoned or unkempt.
The takeaway? If your home isn’t already landscaped, always do some landscaping prior to the sale to maximize the sale price you will get for your home.
Marketing the Sale of Your Home to Maximize the Sale Price You Can Get
One thing that all the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills will do for every home sale is to do a lot of marketing for the property.
I do a lot of marketing, everything from online marketing and social media to print advertising.
Your property will be exposed to the biggest buyer pool nationally and internationally when I am your Beverly Hills realtor.
When we take a listing at Coldwell Banker it goes out to about 300 international and domestic websites.
In other words, when you work with me on your home sale, there isn’t a buyer who is not going to see your property.
The best real estate agents in Beverly Hills do not penny pinch when it comes to marketing a home for sale.
You can be assured that I will always go the extra mile in marketing your home because of my mission to be considered one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills.
I’ll bring in a professional photographer to photograph the home, and hire a team to shoot a video tour with a steadycam, or a drone, or both, depending on the property.
The next step that I like to do is have an open house or private showings to show your property.
We arrange open houses according to the seller’s schedule. We market towards the open house, and we try and get as many people there as we can.
I like to do a Sunday-Tuesday-Sunday open house schedule, and keep it open as long as possible, until your home sells.
Getting Offers for Your Home, Escrow and Title Requirements for Home Sales
The next step is that we get an offer, or multiple offers for your home, and I bring every offer to you and present them to you, and it’s up to you to decide which one you want to take.
Once you’ve decided on an offer and decided on a buyer, the next step is for the buyer to put their deposit into escrow.
Escrow is the holding company for the transaction.
Here’s how escrow works:
- The escrow company will send you documents and paperwork for you fill out.
- The buyer will most likely have inspections.
- We go through the inspection period, fix anything that needs fixed, and then they remove their contingencies.
- If the buyer is getting a loan, they may get an appraisal on your property.
- Buyer may have a loan contingency to make sure their loan is approved.
- Once all the above happens, then we move to close escrow.
In addition to escrow, there’s also title to consider.
As a seller, you’re required to deliver “clear title.”
Clear title means a title that’s clear of any violation, and authorizes you to sell the property.
Contractually, a seller has 7 days to deliver to the buyer all disclosure.
Part of these disclosures is a “preliminary title report” which is prepared by a title company. The title company is normally chosen by the seller.
Here’s what the preliminary title report will contain:
- Any code violations will be listed
- Any liens or any debt against the property will be listed
- Identity of the seller will be listed
Together, we look at the preliminary title report and we make sure that the title is clear.
If the title is not clear, we look at what needs to happen. Then we work with escrow to clear any violations or any liens.
At a certain point during the escrow period there can be further negotiations with the buyer even when the sale price was initially agreed to prior to escrow.
Why would this happen? It happens a lot.
For instance, if the inspection reveals something in your property that wasn’t expected, perhaps a roofing issue, a plumbing issue, a foundation issue, etc., there can be negotiations about that, and the price may be reduced as a result.
Sometimes we do “as-is” sales and then there would be no negotiations.
The disclosure process in selling your home
As a first time home seller, it’s important to be aware that you are under an obligation to disclose everything you know about your property for sale.
If you haven’t lived in that property, you can say, “I don’t know” as needed.
There are a series of disclosure pages. They ask you everything, from what it’s like in the rain to live in this house, to what you’ve done to the house, the last time you’ve had it painted, if you’ve ever had any water damage, etc.
You have to answer every single one of those questions honestly, because everything impacts the sale value of a home.
I’m here to help you through the entire process of selling your home.
You are not left alone to have to figure out anything on your own.
I’ll advise you on every aspect of your home sale, from what to ask your financial advisors, to what you need to do prior to the sale.
Then I’ll be with you throughout the entire process, from marketing and showing your home, all the way through escrow and closing.
When you work with me as your Beverly Hills realtor, I don’t leave your side, and I’m here to answer any questions that you may have.
This is how I work to achieve your goals and also my mission to be one of the best real estate agents in Beverly Hills, CA.
What to do next:
Are you looking to sell your home?
If have any questions particular to selling your own home or property, get in touch with me and let’s connect personally so I can answer any questions you might have.
Together, I will help you maximize the value of your home and get you the highest sale price your home can command in the market.
If you’re interested in learning more about me prior to reaching out, you can do that here.
When you’re ready to reach out, use my contact page to send me a message and I’ll get back to you soon!