South Bay sellers, when your thoughts turn to selling a property in Palos Verdes or the Beach Cities there are a few critical statistics and market conditions you must consider:

1)  What is happening in your hyper-local area?  Yes, real estate is local, very local, right down to your neighborhood and street.  You need to know what is currently listed and what properties have sold in the past six months.  Sales older than six months may be important in pricing your property, but an appraiser will not give much weight to a ‘seasoned sale’ in a rapidly changing market.  They prefer a sale to be within the past three months and within three miles of the property they are appraising.  More recent and closer is even better.

2)  What is driving the market?  Pent up demand is in the driver’s seat as many buyers feel the price pendulum is reaching the bottom of the declining market and sending a strong buy signal.

3)  Who is creating the change in market conditions?  Buyers are anxious to move on with their lives.  The recession forced many people to put their housing dreams on pause for several years.  There is a collective move forward generated from buyers in every price range.  From condos to ocean front estates real estate sales are on the increase.

4)  What should I do to maximize the value of my property before I put it on the market?  I read a great common sense article this weekend and it’s received a lot of play on Facebook, and one of the owners of an upcoming listing sent it to me.  She found the article helpful and you may too.  It is also wise to invite a professional to advise you.  As real estate agents we see many homes and know what triggers a buyer to push the purchase button.  You don’t always need to install a new kitchen or master bath, but the property must show off its best assets to each and every buyer.  It must be clean, free of odors and clutter.  A professional can help you accent the positive and draw attention away from the flaws.

5)  How do I find a Palos Verdes or Beach Cities real estate agent to help me prepare my home and ensure it sells for the top price the market will bear?  First, research online and speak to friends and neighbors who have recently sold a property.  Many real estate agents have a strong online presence with a website that includes not only information about the agent including experience, professional credentials and awards, but also a real estate blog.  Reading the blog articles will not only update you about market trends and conditions but it will convey the philosophy of the agent.  A shared connection is important as the selling process can take months.  The sale of your home requires a team effort with the seller and agent each playing an important role in the outcome.

 6) Why is now a good time to list?  Buyers are gobbling up new inventory at a rate not seen since 2007.  Multiple offers are back.  Inventory is limited and demand is high.  New listings are often sold before the agent can hold an open house if the home is priced right and properly prepped for introduction to a hot spring market containing a large pool of ‘tired of waiting’ buyers.

Yes, the South Bay real estate market is welcoming spring 2012 with a wave of good news.  Will it last?  Who knows, but it is here now.