Backyard of home in Capitols, CA

Although you may have heard claims such as 'homes for sale in Santa Cruz, CA, are moving quickly' or homes for sale in Aptos, CA, are in great demand,' the crucial question remains: will your property sell just as swiftly? However, do not panic, as this article will come in handy!

Are Santa Cruz Homes for Sale Selling Quickly and Easily?

A home seller's dream is to have a stress-free process where they list their property, immediately find a qualified client, pocket the cash, and continue with their life. But just because people have listed their Capitola houses, for example, doesn't mean they will automatically find a suitable buyer. Ask those who sell Santa Cruz properties, and you will discover a lot goes into finding buyers, even in what may seem to be a seller’s market.

Navigating the market for houses for sale involves many moving parts. While you can control some, others are exogenous variables. Take, for example, the geographical location of your property; it's a critical factor in its selling speed. For example, homes for sale in Los Gatos, CA, have been operating within a competitive market where inventory is typically low and competition is high. In such a vibrant market, the odds of selling faster are in your favor.

Like the rest of the country, the Santa Cruz real estate market dynamics have really shifted. Today, higher mortgage interest rates and an increase in prices combine with other macroeconomic factors to generate affordability challenges. Unsurprisingly, some potential buyers, initially expected to be interested in homes for sale over $1M in Santa Cruz, are holding back until prices or mortgage rates (or both) drop.

Questions like 'Will house prices go down?' 'Is it smart to buy a home now?' 'Is real estate market going to crash?' and 'When will home prices drop?' weigh heavily on those still on the fence. Even for the cheapest houses for sale in Santa Cruz, selling isn't guaranteed. If you're entering the Santa Cruz properties market and want to sell quickly, focus on what you can control. Here are some key points to consider if you're wondering how to sell your house in Santa Cruz.

Invest in Upgrades

Ascertain which upgrades provide the highest ROI (return on investment). Making a minor kitchen upgrade is a wise decision. A buyer searching for homes for sale in Santa Cruz, California, may evaluate the entire house based solely on its kitchen, as most people believe it to be the heart of the home. Stay moderate because a comprehensive overhaul can cost thousands of dollars. Repainting, refinishing cabinets, modernizing hardware and fixtures, and changing countertops are typical renovations you may need to consider.

Upgrades to the bathroom and replacing outdated light fixtures with more contemporary ones are also recommended, as they yield the highest return on investment.

Work on Curb Appeal

Nobody gets another chance to make a first impression. Remove unwanted items from the front yard, prune any overgrown shrubs, trim invasive plants, and then decorate with potted plants to make people feel at home. You may also want to think about these other curb apple updates:

  • Retouch the outside paint of the property.
  • Mulch the area around plants and trees.
  • Get some fresh window flower boxes.

Get a Proper Pre-Listing Inspection

Inspections conducted before listing will help you avoid future expensive shocks. This is a final opportunity to address any issues the inspectors may encounter before the property is listed. If the buyer identifies the problem independently, it is like giving them more leverage in the negotiation. So, this is critical. In the worst-case situation, the buyer can decide not to proceed with the purchase.

You should nevertheless be aware that you have a responsibility to report to the buyer any significant defects discovered by a professional inspector on your home that you choose not to address. If your buyer finds out you were aware of a problem but decided not to remedy it or report it to them, things will probably fall apart.

Choose the Right Selling Method: Work with a Real Estate Professional

You might have come across advice on saving money by handling your home sale yourself, leading you to search online with queries like: ‘How do you sell a house by owner?’ ‘How to sell your own house quicker?’ ‘How to sell your own home without a realtor?’ When Santa Cruz real estate owners choose the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) approach, it's often to avoid paying real estate commission fees.

The FSBO route can be a goldmine in a hot market with a very hot house. However, you risk losing any benefits you may reap if you try to sell a home on your own because of the amount of effort and time it takes.

While you might think the FSBO method is for you, the three biggest handles you might encounter include:

  • Exposure issues: The inability to put your property on Santa Cruz MLS platforms means limited market exposure and an inability to reach many potential, better buyers
  • Your real estate salesmanship and familiarity with the Santa Cruz properties markets may be inadequate.
  • Frequently, individuals visiting properties sold by owners aren't always serious buyers; some are merely bargain-hunting or casually inspecting without real intent to buy

However, when you work with a REALTOR®, they will help you:

  • Be careful that you set the right price for your house.
  • Take care of incoming calls, analyze questions, and schedule meetings.
  • Ask pertinent questions to determine the qualities of potential purchasers.
  • Organize, establish, and carry out advertising campaigns.
  • Be available at home to present your property according to potential buyers' convenience.
  • Host open houses, engage in negotiations, and counteroffers.
  • Make sure those buying are eligible before completing any agreements.
  • Analyze and gather required disclosures.
  • Keep tabs on the buyer's mortgage application and approval status
  • Facilitate property inspections and assessment procedures.
  • Collect all necessary legal documentation from the buyer 

Analyze Your Property Market Comparable

Set reasonable expectations. People consider many factors when buying a home, including the current market conditions, the property's age, the asking price, the neighborhood's infrastructure and social amenities, the safety of the neighborhood, and zoning laws and regulations. One way to get a feel for the market valuation is to look at recently sold homes in an area similar to yours. Remember, the list price isn't necessarily the closing price, so it would be unwise to overfocus on comparable homes that are still listed.

Always leave some wiggle space for negotiation and resist the need to overprice the home unless you live in a seller's market. Consider consulting a real estate agent in your area for advice on setting the right price. Remember that the longer your house remains up for sale, the lower the probability of receiving a good price.

Stage Your House for Sale

Consult anyone with good experience with Santa Cruz real estate properties, whether they've handled high-value homes for sale over $1M in Los Gatos, CA, or homes for sale over $1M in Scotts Valley, and they'll emphasize the critical role of staging. Despite often being overlooked, with mastering how to sell your house fast in Santa Cruz, every small detail matters. This includes arranging furniture, decorating, and presenting your home in a way that appeals to a broad range of prospective buyers.

Stating is not a one-size-fits-all exercise, as it varies depending on the levels of effort and costs involved, but a few common things include:

  • Clean, declutter, and depersonalize: Unnecessary personal stuff in the house will not only make potential buyers find it hard to picture themselves enjoying the property, but it will also make the rooms feel overcrowded and small.
  • Choose your staging plan wisely. The degree of staging will depend on factors, including the neighborhood's significance, budget, and schedule. Some staging schemes are best left to the experts, while others are easy enough to tackle independently in a DIY manner.

Market Your Home Listing Well

Ensure your home listing ads reach as many potential buyers as possible: 

  • Post ads across multiple channels. The buyers of today are almost everywhere, from social media and online listings to searching for 'open house' or 'for sale' signs in newspapers and front yards.
  • Use professionally taken photos when marketing. Make photos high-quality and realistic. A video tour is one thing to consider
  • Write a great, enticing description that highlights your property's best features.
  • Accept as many home showings as possible, whether private tours, remote viewings, or open houses. Get feedback from every shopper.

Know Your Closing Obligations

Sellers are responsible for various processes and legal documents. If you had agreed to any vital certifications and inspections, such as roof and HVAC condition certification or sewer inspection, in your post-inspection negotiations, then work on such tasks before closing. You also need to provide property disclosures in writing (any known issues or defects likely to affect the safety or value of the property). 

Expected closing costs can be as high as 10% of the deal. If you have equity in the house, things such as the buyer’s and seller’s agency commission, capital gains tax on real estate, and fees, among other things, can be paid directly from your profits upon closing. However, if you have no equity in the property, you must arrange how to pay such costs. You are also obligated to sign some vital documents relating to selling. 

Not Sure How to Sell Your House Fast: Work with A Trusted Expert!

Paul Burrowes is a REALTOR® with more than fifteen years of experience and a long list of credentials, including CRS, CCEC, SFR, NHCP, and LHC. He promises to be prompt and forthright and serves as your personal adviser during the transaction, answering your questions and guiding you to the best possible choices. He is skilled at negotiating and strives for a win-win solution. Paul ensures that every little detail is taken care of so that the real estate transaction goes off without a hitch. Contact Paul Burrowes at, (831) 295-5130, or DRE# 01955563; he proudly serves the counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara, and Silicon Valley.

Posted by Paul Burrowes on


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