While it is already common knowledge that the Bay Area is one of the most expensive areas of the country to live in, and Menlo Park is one of the most costly parts of the Bay Area, an accurate view of current market conditions will inform how you go about selling your Menlo Park real estate so that you receive the best offer possible. As you prepare to list your Menlo Park home for sale, it’s essential to consider whether it is a buyer’s or seller’s market and adjust your expectations accordingly.
Aside from a general view of the market, Menlo Park sellers also need to pay attention to basic issues, such as whether their homes need upgrades so that the properties sell quickly and for top dollar. Read on for everything to keep in mind before putting your Menlo Park real estate on the market.
Know this before selling a Menlo Park home
In a seller’s market, you have more power
As the name implies, a seller’s market is when there are more buyers than there are sellers, leading to conditions in which sellers regularly receive multiple offers and offers over the asking price. Recently, there have been wild stories in Bay Area real estate in which sellers receive cash offers that are hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking, sight unseen, and with a waived inspection.
The region is still experiencing a firmly entrenched seller’s market. The most recent statistics show that 90% of homes listed in San Mateo County — home to Menlo Park — sold above the list price. The median price of a single-family home in the county, which was the highest in the entire Bay Area, reached $2.25 million, a 19% increase over the same period a year earlier. The median price in Menlo Park itself reached $3 million, and, on average, homes only spent nine days on the market.
There is a lot to love about a seller’s market if you’re a seller. However, you will want to have extensive discussions with a local agent before listing your Menlo Park home to determine particulars, such as whether or not to stage a property and what types of offers you will entertain. In a buyer’s market, details matter more than ever. Unlike a seller’s market, a buyer’s market puts an owner at a disadvantage when selling real estate, making it necessary to pay special attention to how the property is marketed. Things you could typically overlook in a seller’s market must be addressed.
While the Bay Area has not seen a buyer’s market for some time, real estate is cyclical, and it is essential to consider how that affects your Menlo Park real estate investment.
Whether it is a seller’s or buyer’s market, it is always necessary to make the property look as attractive as possible to attract the highest possible offers with the fewest contingencies. Maintenance, both cosmetic and otherwise, is key to making any home more attractive. A home with obvious and glaring imperfections will be far less attractive, making potential buyers think that the whole house is tainted because of superficial problems. Touching up paint, fixing squeaks, and landscaping are a must, even in a seller’s market.
Staging your Menlo Park real estate for success
Staging a house for sale often becomes a more pressing concern in a buyer’s market, although it may also be advisable in a seller’s market to help a deal close more quickly. Staging a house involves bringing in an entirely new set of furnishings and decorative elements so potential buyers can envision themselves living in the property. Staging is an example of a marketing cost that can be quickly recouped if it leads to the home selling for top dollar and not lingering on the market. An agent will be able to guide you through how staging works in the Menlo Park area and will have relationships with staging companies.
Upgrades with ROI in mind
As an epicenter of technological advancement in the United States, old and out-of-date properties do not fare as well in Menlo Park real estate. As a seller, you may need to update a home so buyers can have a turnkey image and envision living there without hassle. Some things that may need to be upgraded are kitchen and laundry room appliances or bathroom fixtures.
It is essential to speak to your real estate agent about ROI or return on investment, before you make any decisions about home upgrades. ROI can be either a negative number or a positive number.
Let’s take a look at just one possible scenario: Your kitchen is looking a little drab and blah, but if you were to spend $10,000 on upgrades for new appliances and a fresh coat of paint, your agent might inform you that this will yield a $20,000 bump in the offers that you receive, thus resulting in a positive ROI. On the other hand, you could experience negative ROI if, for example, you build an addition to your garage that does not increase the property value. Your agent will be able to discuss what the current market looks like and what investments you should be making to come out ahead.
Get an expert opinion
Despite rising mortgage rates and increasing prices, buyer demand in the Bay Area has only increased in recent months. Unemployment in the region has decreased, and would-be buyers are eager to lock in home purchases before mortgage rates increase. The vast majority of Bay Area homes are selling for above their listing price as sellers receive multiple home offers, and listings only stay on the market for an average of around two weeks.
Reach out to a Menlo Park real estate agent
When you are getting ready to list your Menlo Park real estate for sale, it is critical to cultivate a relationship with an agent who will be able to judge market conditions and give you the best advice about how to market your property. Stephanie von Thaden has a deep understanding of the complexities of Silicon Valley real estate and can help you expertly navigate your home sale. Reach out to Stephanie to get the process started today.