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Berkeley Home Prices Remain Steady

Berkeley made national news headlines a few months ago when Forbes Magazine names it one of the top five suburbs in which to sell a home, stating that "a town known for years as a hippie haven has become a hotbed for sales." Speaking empirically from having worked with many local clientele, demand has remained strong due to the underlying integrity of the local job market combined with historically low interest rates.

Sellers must still proceed with caution. It is, after all, a market which remains friendlier to buyers. Anyone who contemplates selling a home must therefore proceed with caution when it comes to preparing their home for the market and setting the initial listing price. Many sellers find grappling with these two issues to be counter intuitive. For example, when it comes to choosing the work to be performed prior to listing the property, a new roof will not necessarily make your home more compelling to potential buyers. Fresh paint colors and stylish furniture almost always do (and they cost less). But this is not to say that the interior has to be perfect. For example, sometimes a half bath which sorely needs updating can "engage" potential buyers emotionally by giving them the opportunity to personalize it according to their own tastes. And, when it comes to pricing, buyers are finicky. If a home is priced too high when it first comes on the market, many buyers won't bother making an offer, even at a price which they think is reasonable. Many will vote with their feet by walking out of the front door and making an offer on a property where they share the sellers' "value expectations."