Frequently Asked Questions

Can you provide a market valuation?

Yes. As most residential real estate agencies do, we research the current competitive properties on the market, as well as buyer trends. However, our approach to valuation goes beyond the actual structure’s worth; we also sell a lifestyle. Our agency is unique in that it helps sellers measure the emotional value of their properties. Emotional value is intangible; it is the sum of the community, neighborhood, and the memories contained in each room of a home. We work with our sellers to determine the full value of their homes in terms of what they can provide to potential buyers beyond a place to live. We emphasize that homes are places to create new memories and start the next chapters of their lives. Therefore, our market valuations can vary from traditional valuations in the sense that we look beyond the raw numbers and take stock of the lifestyle we are trying to sell.

When is the best time to be on the market?

The timing of putting a home on the market depends on the family and the property. There is no single answer that will fit everyone’s case. Therefore, we carefully examine the situation and make sure the family is comfortable with the process before they make any decisions to go to market. We often see families rush into selling their homes, and our goal is never to see our clients stranded between homes if their new properties are not ready or their deals fall through. We make sure that our sellers are both physically and mentally prepared to go to market before we get their home ready for sale.

We have not lived in the house for years. How do we complete seller disclosures to a potential buyer?

California disclosure laws contain several types of property disclosures that are unique to our state. The full disclosure document can be more than 60 pages in length and often requires an engineer, geologist, land surveyor and/or other property integrity professionals. We walk our sellers through the various disclosures and assess whether we need to consult a specialist such as a geologist to identify and disclose any compromising ground features that may damage the foundation. Because some cities and counties require additional disclosures, such as statements regarding the neighborhood, we carefully evaluate the home and ensure the disclosures are fully completed to the extent of the requirements.

What steps should we take to secure the property?

Certain events threaten to damage a vacant property. The following are just a few threats and some tips to secure the property and keep it in top condition for selling. Theft – Houses often have valuable materials such as copper piping, appliances, or electronic thermostats that thieves might sell as scrap to junkyards and part shops. A security system, reinforced locks and regular patrols of the home can keep thieves away. Adding motion-activated or timed lighting can also demonstrate the property is regularly monitored and cared for. Vandalism – Empty houses are a blank canvas for graffiti taggers. Vandalism might also include shattered windows, broken doors, and torn-down fences. Security cameras placed on the perimeter of the house can keep an accurate record of who comes and goes from the home and may deter vandals from approaching. Natural hazards – Leaving a building vacant does not mean shutting off all utilities. The air conditioner should continue to run to prevent mold growth. You should also make sure all doors, windows, and other openings are weather-proofed to avoid leaks during heavy rain. This is only a sampling of steps to secure your property. Brian Ades & Associates work with clients to keep their vacant properties safe.

Can you walk me through the process once we have a contract with a buyer?

Once you have an approved contract for the sale of your home, anticipate a few more transactions before the final closing. We will assist you with this process. Potential buyers will most likely schedule a few visits to the home in order to conduct inspections, take measurements, and get estimates on any repairs or work they are considering. As the seller, you will have to address the buyer’s requests to negotiate repairs or issue credits for damages to the home. This could require an amendment to the sales contract, which we will assist you in drafting and approving. Residential real estate contracts often go through a few amendments as buyers conduct inspections and request repairs. Some homes require little repair work, while others require more and a bit of negotiation on how the seller will handle the repairs. Another amendment common to finalizing a sales contract is the exclusion of certain unattached property features such as curtains, washer/dryer, and other appliances. A buyer may request to add or remove these items which may call for an adjustment to the contract. Once both parties are in agreement to the final terms and conditions of the contract, and the buyer has completed all of the necessary inspections and paperwork, the contract will be signed and finalized.

Why is Sotheby's the right choice to sell our home?

The perfect buyer isn’t always local. Sotheby’s International Realty has been connecting sellers with buyers from across the globe since 1976. The Sotheby’s organization provides a complete package of estate disposition services, making the process of liquidating and distributing or preserving an estate much easier on sellers. Properties included in the Sotheby’s catalog are visible to prominent buyers in the market for unique and exclusive properties. By listing your property on the Sotheby’s International Realty network, you are increasing your exposure to qualified buyers who peruse top-notch publications like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and high-end realty websites like Trulia and Zillow. Sotheby’s is known for being one the finest and largest auction houses in the world. The company’s expertise is in the valuation and sale of precious items. You can rest assured this will benefit the sale and liquidation of your personal property.

What do we do if the property is tenant occupied?

Tenant occupancy during a sale is handled differently, depending on the terms of the occupancy. We may be able to sell the home with the tenant still residing in it, or in other cases, the seller will wish to deliver the property vacant. We will assist you in exploring the options you have to handle tenant occupancy so all parties involved can come to an amicable resolution.

How do you market the home?

A good marketer knows his target audience, so for each home we market, we first think about the type of buyers we want to attract. Once we have identified the right type of buyers, we work with architectural photographers to capture the home in its best condition. We focus on enhancing the properties’ strengths, while still embracing the weaknesses to provide an accurate description of the home.