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Selling Your California Home (What to Know) 2021

By Kristen Kish

|10 min read

So you’re ready to sell your California home, but you’re not sure what to do? Selling a house can seem like a complex, intimidating process. But, with the right knowledge and a little luck, you could be handing over the keys to your buyers in less than a few months. So how do you do it? In this article, I’m going to give you all the facts you need to know about selling a home by owner in California. Let’s not waste any time and dive right in!

California Cost of Living

California may just be one of the most popular (not to mention populated) places in the United States. With the insane amount of tourism, the film and music industry and beach front property, it’s no wonder so many people want to live here. For every perk of living in California, it can come at a cost. For example, the realtor fees in California are among the highest in the United States. With the state of the current market, homes are selling almost instantly. There are specifics in commission, agencies, taxes, and other factors.

Taxes are always a factor to consider. California is popular for having high taxes in comparison to other states. These taxes are higher for other aspects like income tax, surprisingly, the property tax is below the national average.

But the average cost of a home in California? $400,000.

That’s right, 400,000 big ones. And with the current market the way it is, these prices can continue to rise. The average national cost for a home in the U.S. is $280,000. As a buyer, this may seem pretty steep. But as a seller? If you can lock down an offer on your home, you’re doing better than the national average!

California Real Estate Agents

There are two types of agents you need to know: the listing agent and the buying agent.

A Listing Agent is a licensed real estate agent of your choosing that represents you throughout your home buying or selling process. The Buyer’s Agent is who you turn to if you’re the one looking for a new home and will help navigate the process with you. 

To put it simply, a Listing Agent works in favor of the person selling the home, while the Buyer’s Agent works in favor of the buyer.  

Here I’ve collected two of the most reputable real estate agencies in California that you may want to look to while in the process of selling your home. Teh CBRE Group and MOVE.

The CBRE Group

As a real estate firm, they are the largest in the world. Situated in California, they have a diverse, multicultural demographic background across their employee count. They were ranked #22 on Barron’s Most Sustainable Companies list and were named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 8th year in a row. Their property listings include multi-family homes as well as single family homes. Not to mention retail, office properties, and industrial properties.

MOVE

They are based in the heart of Santa Clara, California. They rank amongst the highest payers in the real estate listing firm and are a huge part of the California real estate industry. Their online site is user friendly and provides a thorough look into California residences by price, area, single family, multi family, and more. MOVE is one of the best sites for listing a home for sale if you’re based out of California. MOVE operates popular listing sites such as realtor.com, moving.com, and doorsteps.com. They also include plenty of resources to aid in the process of your move.

Of course if you’re looking for a great California listing or buyer’s agent, look no further than this list of the Top real Estate Agents in California.

California Real Estate Trends

To get ahead of the game, there’s some percentages you’ll want to get familiar with as you go through the dance of selling your home.You’ll want to know the climb in percentage as it pertains to home value, the increase or decrease in overall sales, and the increase in realtor fees. Here’s a list of California Real Estate trends by the numbers:

  1. In the past year, the state of California has experienced an increase of more than 15% in home value with the number of sales increasing by 40%. 
  2. The California realtor commission is more active than their counterparts in other states. 
  3. On average, realtor agent fees in California lie between 4 to 7% for homes sold below $1 million. 

Tips To Maximize Your Profits 

The first thing you’ll want on your side is timing. The timing of your sale plays a huge role in how much profit you receive. Some months are proven better than others for more interested buyers and successful closure of a sale. 

Did you know that Los Angeles experiences high sales in March, April, and May? 

The second quarter of the year is the peak time for successful California home sales. If you’re putting your home up for sale around this time, you may be in luck! If not, it’s not to say you won’t close a sale on your house, you may just be surprised to see you have fewer leads during this time.

For example, the holiday season (November and December) isn’t exactly high time for house sales as everyone’s finances are being directed at other things. And the beginning of the year (aka January) is usually the rest period for all businesses whether it be real estate or retail. So if you’re getting all your ducks in a row during January, you might want to wait to post your listing until March!

However, you may be surprised to learn that San Francisco has the best sales rates starting in February and extending until April. The lesson here is: before you post a listing, do a little research on the best times to sell within your city. 

Next you’ll need to learn the art of negotiation. You will need to know how to negotiate with your buyer’s agent and the interested buyers themselves. Pro Tip: use our site to find a professional listing agent to guide you through the process! An agent will be better at negotiating with buyers to ensure you have the best deals. An agent will also make it easier to make certain concessions without affecting your bottom line.

Finally, try to list your home with an agent who wants a lower commission. The reason is that realtor fees are high in California for sellers. Most times, they are going to cost 50% of the value of the home! By doing this, you will be able to save more on those added costs. 

Conclusion

The bottom line is this: Selling a home in California is not easy. There are many factors to look out for like; tax, closing costs, commission rates, market trends, and location. To be best informed we suggest having a real estate agent do the heavy lifting for you. They will help with knowledge on the area, get you the best price, and be your advocate during negotiations!

You can contact agents that are already in your area using our database and contact us if you have any further questions! Fast Expert wants to pair you with an agent with a high success rate with your best interests at heart! We have one of the biggest online databases for listing and buyer’s agents in every state! And California is no exception. Check out our list of the top real estate agents in California and get started on your selling journey today!

Kristen Kish

[email protected]

Content Marketing Manager for FastExpert Inc.

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