Hire your agent over the holidays and hit the ground running in January - business man in front of fireplace fireIt’s mid-November, and it may not be intuitive, but if you want to sell your home next Spring, I’d encourage you to find and hire your agent over the holidays.

Why hire your agent over the holidays?

Thanksgiving is late next week, and you may want to shelve the whole idea of anything related to home selling until sometime after January first, or maybe after Super Bowl. Many home owners determine that in the new year they’ll start decluttering, fixing up the home and yard, and stat thinking about contacting a real estate agent or two (or three).

But that’s backwards from the ideal!

If you can take a few hours now to select and hire (yes, sign the listing contract) your real estate professional, that person can help you make key decisions that will impact your return on investment.

It does not cost more to bring her or him into the process early, and it may save you some money and keep you from making improvements that are counter productive to your goals.

Not only that, but Realtors often have trusted vendors for yardwork, painting, hauling, and even for help with sorting out what stays, what goes, and what gets donated or tossed.  Hire your agent over the holidays, get in touch with those vendors in December, and schedule the help you need for that first week in January and get the job done right the first time.


The right home fixes are key to a good return on investment

Over the years, I’ve seen home sellers pay to paint their home to sell, but they did not pick colors that work best in today’s market. In some cases, they painted the entire interior a very stark, cold white, and in others the kitchen a too-vibrant color (once I saw lemon yellow!) that would not appeal to most buyers. Appealing to most buyers is key here.   Active Realtors are tuned in to what buyers want and what they don’t want.

The same concept goes with the “fixing and cleaning” budget generally. Most sellers don’t have bottomless pits for their pre-sale preparation. Hire a Realtor well in advance, and she or he can tell you the best priorities to cover with the budget at hand.

Your agent can guide you on what you’ll need for the disclosures

Also important is keeping the right paperwork. It can be tempting to toss every shred of paper in sight, but you may benefit from holding off until you hire your listing agent!

Not only does having the records enable you to answer the disclosure questions more accurately, but details give home buyers confidence, and confident buyers pay more than buyers who are nervous about the unknowns.

Many of our home buyers today are highly educated, data driven people. When you can provide records on the systems of your house, they will understand that you have cared for it. Records that your heater was serviced every year, or that the AC was installed with permits in a particular year, or that your backyard was remodeled by a licensed person can all make buyers feel that you were careful with your home and that they can trust that there won’t be a myriad of hidden defects ready to be discovered when they get the keys.


If you hire your agent over the holidays, you can get a head start on scheduling good vendors to assist you in the new year, keeping needed records, and make better improvements for a return on investment than you might if not getting professional guidance. This can help you hit the ground running come January and ensure that you are able to make the most informed decisions possible when it comes to your real estate sale.

So if you’re considering a move in the near future, start the process now and take advantage of all the benefits that come with working with a trusted real estate professional  sooner rather than later.


Related reading:

Pricing your Silicon Valley home competitively (on popehandy.com)

Staging your Silicon Valley home (also on popehandy.com)

Lighten up your dark home and sell for more! (this site)