Selling a home in Pacific Beach, San Diego

If you are thinking about selling a home in Pacific Beach, you are in the right place. We will answer common questions Sellers have when they are preparing to sell their home.

If you are interested in getting a quick evaluation on your home’s value, check out our quick tool by clicking the button below. Pacific Beach Homes Real Estate agents can give you a more detailed analysis if you contact us for a consultation.

How much is my home worth?

Help sell my home in Pacific Beach

If you would like immediate help selling your house or condo in Pacific Beach, please contact us and schedule a free consultation. The information below will give you many ideas to think about before selling your home. Many of the questions we answer below can have complicated answers that revolve around the specifics of your property. While we do our best to answer them in a broad and generic way, there are some answers below that may be different for your specific situation.

Should I sell my home?

If you have the luxury to ask this question, maybe not. Real estate tends to be a great investment, and the fees, stress, and energy involved with selling a home can be substantial. However, do you need to sell? Are you moving? Do you need to get some cash out of your home in order to buy a new property or investment? Can you rent out your home instead of selling?

First, you should get an estimate of your home’s value. How much do you owe on your home (mortgage)? How much will you net, if you sell your home? How much will you be taxed? Is there a strategy to avoid being taxed? Going over these questions and doing some math can give you an idea of what your financial options are.

Aside from the financial decisions, why are you thinking about selling your home? If you need more space, you may have the option to add square footage, or change the layout, but this can be costly. Changing jobs? Retiring? Downsizing? You may need to sell. There are many reasons to sell your home. Our goal is to ask you some questions to make sure you are prepared for whatever decision you need to make.

Should I rent my home out instead of selling?

Are you ok with being a landlord? Do you understand the risks of being a landlord? Are you going to hire a property management company to manage your property? Or will you be the landlord yourself? If you are living in close proximity to the property and you have time to handle issues, you may want to consider managing the rental yourself. If you want to manage the rental yourself, you need to become educated about the rental process. Research information online about tenant rights and the process. At some point, Pacific Beach Homes Real Estate will have guides on how to rent your home out. For now, you will either need to give us a call, or do a good amount of research online.

How much can you lease the home for? What are your monthly expenses if you decide to rent out the home? Will you be profiting from leasing, or losing money each month? Are you prepared to pay and file taxes on the income? Rental income is a great long term strategy for passive income. If you do not need the proceeds from selling the property in order to invest in something else, renting out your home may be a great option.

Do I need a realtor to sell my home in Pacific Beach?

No. But it helps. Every other real estate site out there will tell you that a Realtor will maximize the sales price of your home. I know most home owners may be skeptical of this, so let’s discuss.

Technically, you do not need a mechanic to fix your car. A doctor to help you diagnose your health problem. Or a lawyer to help you with a legal situation. You go to these professionals to use their experience and knowledge to help you overcome obstacles, decrease your stress or time needed to accomplish a goal, or achieve a better outcome. Hiring a realtor is similar.

What is the alternative to using a real estate agent to sell your home?

Selling a home as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) can work. But like some of the professions mentioned above (doctor, lawyer, mechanic), real estate has some important skills that owners may not be able, or want, to do. With the increase of technology, many people have access to information, which can make tasks easier. Most people can take pictures of their home and write a “description”. Most people can schedule showings, or appointments for buyers to view the property. Most people think they know how to negotiate. So what do you need a realtor for?

A realtor’s labor and experience can help save time, money, stress and liability for a Seller. The process starts before the home is listed for sale. Preparing the Seller to situate the home properly is important. Will buyers like the way the home looks? Are the medicine cabinets protected? Expensive items hidden? Preparing a home can mean many things. Everything takes time, and if you want it done right, experience.

Realtors help sellers with:

  • Consulting the Seller about their home. Repairs, cleaning, painting, staging and answering questions.
  • Preparing the home for sale
  • Taking pictures and video
  • Documenting details and preparing all statistical information of the home
  • Filling out disclosures about the owners knowledge of the home
  • Preparing the home to be marketed online and among local realtors
  • Scheduling showings for the home
  • Reviewing offers
  • Negotiating through escrow
  • Preparing a Seller to close escrow
  • The unknown!

Really tho, the unknown can be a big one. There are so many unexpected situations that can come up while selling a home. Title issues, boundaries with a neighbor, something in the house breaks, or even just a really weird buyer. If you think you have the time, or knowledge to do the above, you can probably sell your home. Will you get as much money as you would have if you sold it with a real estate agent? I don’t know. Many people believe that the potential increase in net sales price, and time and energy saved by using a realtor, is well worth the fee.

Will using a real estate agent sell my home faster?

All of us have done a task at work for the first time.

Do you remember that feeling? Wondering if you’re doing it right. Asking your boss and/or co-workers questions.

If this task involved talking with a customer/client, you may have responded with a very timid voice, hinting at your uncertainty.

After you have done the task 10, 20, 100+ times, you feel much more confident. Your confidence is shown in your body language, tone, and the results. You may be able to anticipate problems and do the task much more efficiently. If a client asks you questions, you can respond with real examples that help justify your response.

Since most people only buy or sell a home a few times in their life, it can be an uncomfortable experience to try and do it on your own.

Realtors have done these tasks many times. They have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Having an experienced agent to spot potential problems, can save a deal from falling apart during escrow. If there’s a chance that a Realtor can solve, or even prevent a problem from happening, I think most of us would agree that Realtors help sell homes faster than they would without a Realtor.

Putting price and liability aside, selling your home quickly might be the most important thing for your situation. Markets can change (ex: Coronavirus – imagine missing out on selling your home before quarantine started – when sales declined sharply for several months). Buyers become skeptical of homes that sit on the market for long periods. Owning a vacant home can be stressful if you’re paying for it. Showings can cause stress, both financially and mentally.

Whats my Pacific Beach home worth?

We have Pacific Beach real estate market statistics available on our site for you to look at, which can give you a very general idea of the market. Getting a valuation by an automated tool like the button above on this page, or a Zestimate, will take known variables like:

  • lot size (the land)
  • house size
  • number of bedrooms
  • bathrooms
  • amenities
  • location

The automated tool will find similar homes that recently sold and average/adjust the sales price to give you an estimate on your home’s value. Hopefully the area you’re looking at has a decent number of recently sold homes to give you a more accurate valuation.

However, there are some issues with automated home valuations. There are things like views, specific upgrades, layout and aesthetic qualities that can increase the demand for a home.

There are also more complex situations: for example, a detached house that shares a piece of land with another house (two houses on one parcel of land). The subject house may be listed as “condo ownership” and then be compared with other condos by the automated valuation algorithm. Or, if the subject house is listed as a house instead of a condo, it will be compared with other houses that don’t share the piece of land with another house.

This is why it’s best to get a Realtor’s opinion on what your home is worth.

Which Pacific Beach listing agent should I sell my home with?

Sellers may interview several agents before picking the right listing agent to help sell their home. Listing agent presentations usually go over marketing strategies, pricing, and common issues and situations that can come up during showings and escrow.

While the realtor probably has many ideas on how to effectively sell your home for the most money, you should feel like you can share some of your ideas. Finding a listing agent who respects your wishes and finds a way to market your home in a manner you agree with, is important. You know the most about your home. Real estate agents might know what the market is looking for, but if there are features of your home that you want marketed, share them with your listing agent.

Marketing, pricing, negotiating and handling showings are very important for a listing agent. While these are the most important skills for getting your home sold, you also want to pick an agent you can get along with for several months. You will be working with the agent for months, so having good communication is important.

Pacific Beach Homes Real Estate would be happy to be your listing agent.

How should I price my home I’m going to sell?

This is what a realtor can help with. Homes that sold (not just homes that are listed for sale) nearby are the best indicator of what your home is worth. However, the condition of the home and your situation (how fast do you need the home sold?) will determine how to price your home.

Do I need to clean my home before selling?

Yes! You should. Investing your time and some money into your home before selling will pay off not only in cash, but also in the amount of time it will take to sell your home. If you have tenants, or if the property is a multi-unit, this can be tricky. Talk to your realtor about what is right for your situation.

Should I remodel my home before selling

It depends. What is your budget? What items need fixing? Is there anything major that will turn off buyers from buying your home? Are you (and your family) ok with the time and disruption of a remodel?

If you don’t have cash, there are financing programs available to help home owners update their house before selling. Some of them have very low, or 0% interest rates, and expect the Seller to payback the loan upon sale. The goal of remodeling your home before selling, should be to either increase the sales price, or to increase the number of Buyers that will entertain the idea of buying your home. If you think there are parts of your home that may prevent a buyer from either looking at the home, or buying it, you should consider updating. While a change of paint can be a great investment to making the home look new, or more spacious, other investments will not pay off.

Consult your realtor for great renovating ideas, or if you should sell the home as is.

Can I sell my house without putting it on the internet?

Yes. But how fast do you want to sell your home? The more people that view your home, the higher chance of finding a buyer, or multiple buyers. The theory of supply and demand shows that an increase in the number of buyers will increase the sales price of your home.

While there is a precedent for exclusive luxury listings being sold “off market” (not marketed online), it’s usually a bad idea. Even with the best real estate agent, and network to share your home with potential buyers off of the internet, what if that one special buyer doesn’t know about that network?

Are the benefits of privacy more beneficial than selling your home quickly and for the most money?

How do I negotiate the sale of my home?

You should have a realtor negotiate the sale of your home. Realtors do it more often, and it can save you a lot of money!

If you want to negotiate price, repairs, and other terms of selling your home, just beware that you could be opening yourself up to both losing money and increased liability.

With that being said, consider the alternatives that the buyer has. Are there other homes on the market that the buyer likes just as much? If so, you may not have as much leverage.

How invested in the buyer? Have they spent money on inspections? What does it cost for them to change their mind on your house and buy a different one?

For repairs, you should have an idea of the repairs needed on your home from the beginning. Getting your own inspector and quotes for repair items can be a way to reduce the time needed for buyers to do their request for repairs.

There are many ways contractors can give quotes. Some are high, some are low. Some charge a premium for their experience. Having a general understanding of the work that is needed vs. what the buyer is requesting, can give you some leverage in negotiating.

How do I sell my home fast?

Price. Price. and Price!
At the right price, any home can sell fast. Price and preparation will put any owner in a good position to sell a home quickly. While real estate is not as liquid as other assets like stocks, a correctly priced home should be able to sell in a matter of months.

“I want to sell my Pacific Beach home fast, so I’m going to list it myself.”

This is a common statement we get from people that find us. Sometimes people think that they can take quick photos, put the house online, maybe on Zillow, and the faster the home goes online, the faster it sells. I completely understand this logic, but it is flawed.

You will get your house on the market fast.

However, first impressions are crucial for selling a home fast. Professional photos have proven to improve click rates for properties being shown online. Having the house cleaned, prepped, photographed, and described the right way, will increase the conversion rates. You want people to see your home on the internet, but even more so, you want people to click on it and then schedule a showing. Showings get homes sold.

What fees come up when I sell my home?

Escrow and title fees are standard and will vary depending on the sales price. Typically they will cost several thousand dollars.

Escrow is a third party which helps collect information from both sides (buyer and seller).

Title insurance will confirm that the property is owned without any mysterious liens or ownership issues.

Repairs, moving and inspections can also add up. Consult with your real estate agent to prepare yourself for these expenses.

How much do real estate agent’s charge to sell a home?

Real estate agent commission fees can be negotiated in the listing agreement but the standard in 2020 is 2.5-3% of the sales price for each agent.

Real estate agents are usually paid when an escrow closes. Both the buyer’s and seller’s real estate agents will be paid by the seller.

The buyer does not directly pay for their agents services. However, the buyer does indirectly pay for their agent’s service through the purchase price. The buyer’s agent is paid from the proceeds of the sale, which the seller receives.


Real estate commission example:

An offer on a home is accepted for $500,000, and the listing agreement has 3% commission being paid to each agent.

When escrow closes, the seller’s agent will receive $15,000 and the buyer’s agent will receive $15,000. Both commissions are taken from the proceeds of the sale.

If the seller has a $300,000 mortgage on the property, the seller would net $500,000 minus any mortgage(s) they have to pay off and any expenses.

Mortgage and expenses = $300,000 mortgage + $3,000 in escrow and title fees + $15,000 for each agent.

The seller’s proceeds would be: $500,000 – $333,000 = $167,000.

Now this is a very rough example, and typically there could be other fees involved, or tax withholdings.

Do real estate agents make too much money for selling a home?

The example above shows a realtor making a $15,000 commission on the sale of a $500,000 home (3% commission for this example).

To a lot of people, $15,000 is a lot of money. Especially when you consider that escrow usually takes around 1 month to close.

Most people think, “Wow realtors can make $15,000 in a month!?”

There’s a lot more to it.

Most realtor’s will work with a client for 6+ months. This could include the initial consultation, preparation for buying or selling, the actual sales process, and then finally closing.

The sales process for buyers could involve months of finding properties, arranging showings, and driving around to each property.

The sales process for sellers could involve months of marketing a property (incurring expenses), answering agent’s questions and organizing showings.

After escrow is complete, the agent usually splits the commission with their brokerage, and then pays taxes and fees on it.

So the $15,000 commission should be broken down to the net proceeds the agent makes, and spread out over the amount of time spent with the client.

Example: $15,000 after 80% split (with broker) is $12,000, after 25% taxes is $9,000 (minus other marketing or business expenses), and spread out over 6 months is $1,500/month.

Now hopefully realtor’s have multiple clients they are helping at all times. I just want to paint a picture of how the commission fee is broken down for the Realtor. You can make your own decision on if real estate agents make too much money.

Should I stage my home before I sell?

It depends on the situation. The size, layout and even colors of a home can make a home feel large or small. Staging costs money, but can help a home sell faster and possibly for more money. If staging helps a buyer fall in love with the home, the added expense can make sense. Obviously you don’t want to stage a property that is a “tear-down” or a big project. However if you have dark floors that show dust, or large furniture that makes rooms feel small, staging can help change the buyers’ perception of your home.

What is the best time of the year to sell my home?

Pacific Beach, and San Diego in general, have a healthy real estate market all year long. Inland areas can get hot during the summer, and holidays can bring stress for both buyers and sellers, but typically the weather or time of year will not prevent buyers from looking at homes in San Diego. Home owners may even consider listing their home when other Sellers may not want to deal with showings, like over Thanksgiving and Christmas, to position their home in a market with less Sellers. Spring and summer tend to be popular seasons for both buyers and sellers, so the higher volume can be either good or bad, depending on your situation. The correct answer to this question depends on your specific situation.

How long will it take to sell my home?

You can take a look at our Pacific Beach market statistics page to see the most recent statistics. However, the statistics are covering a wide range of homes. Price and condition are the most relevant factors to selling a home quickly. For example, selling your home for 50% market value would be really fast and easy (and dumb). Selling your home for 50% more than it’s worth will take a long time, and probably doesn’t ever happen. Overall San Diego has a healthy real estate market, and a well priced home should sell within months.

How do I select an offer on my home for sale?

Your realtor will help with this. It will come down to a combination of factors, including price, length of escrow, and relevant terms in the offer. Do you need to rent the home back from the buyer, so that you can use the cash from the sale to buy a new property? Consider all of the terms of an offer to make the best decision for you.

How do I sell my home for cash in Pacific Beach?

Selling your home most likely means you will generate a net positive on the proceeds from sale. This means you get cash for your home! Now, the structure of the offer that the buyer presents can either be ‘cash’ or ‘financed’.

There are many different types of loan products. What’s nice about cash, is that it can move very quickly, without the requirement of a lender, underwriter or appraiser approval. If a seller gets a cash offer on their home, it’s very possible that the buyer could “close escrow” (complete the transaction) within 7 days (or sooner). Buyers using financing will typically need around 17-21 days for loan approval, and thus the traditional length of escrow is around 30 days.

So no matter who buys your home in Pacific Beach, you will most likely get some cash out of it. Cash buyers will most likely help you get your cash sooner, with less risk (other parties) involved.

Schedule a consultation with us today to help make this process as easy and fast as you want

How much is my home worth?