Whether you want to sell a condo, townhome, or single family house in Manhattan  Beach, you'll have to face the fact that today's buyers are armed with more data, facts, and statistics than ever before. In fact, in the current housing market, buyers often know as much, if not more, than their agents do about current inventory, price reductions, and recent sales. Sellers are also competing against an increasing inventory of short sales and REOs. While often the distressed properties are in far worse shape than standard sales, buyers will use the prices as comps for the property you want to sell.

Inventory is also high. You don't want to chase the market down. Right now, there are 150 homes listed for sale in the MLS for Manhattan Beach and sales are averaging about 30 per month. Of the currently active listings in Manhattan Beach, 120 are single family houses and the balance are condos and townhouses. Of the latter group,  11 are detached units which are currently more desirable.

The "win" today is that your home sells and that the escrow goes smoothly. While almost no seller gets the price they want (just keeping it real), follow these tips to sell your home and you won't be disappointed.

Price Your Home to Sell: We are constantly amazed at how many qualified buyers are in the market. We have seen a number of Manhattan Beach and South Bay properties sell in less than 30 days with multiple offers. In fact, some even sold for higher than list price. Yes, multiple offers and higher than list price, just like in 2005. By priced to sell, we don't mean that you have to be at a huge discount to other comparable properties, just a better value equation and at, or preferably slightly below, current fair market value. So, for example, if the price point for 3500+ sq ft post 2001 single family homes in East Manhattan Beach is currently around $1,600,000, price your comparable house at $1,549,900. That way a) you catch all the buyers under looking under $1.6M and b) you seem like a great deal compared to everyone else priced higher. Price sells. So while your home may have stainless steel and granite, a great yard, hardwood floors and other amenities, buyers are first and foremost looking at price (sorry). When you are the highest priced in your category, all you've accomplished is become the house the agents use to "sell against". That means they'll show it at your over priced list just to make another better priced property seem like a better deal. Really.

Respond to All Offers: Yes, that also includes the low ball offers. Here's why. Many buyers, particularly first time buyers, are confusing and conflating a lot of the real estate news published by the national media (which often has little or no relation to Beach Cities Real Estate). So, while home prices in Las Vegas may go down another 25%, that's just not likely to happen in Manhattan Beach. We can cite many successful sellers who realized their price and terms after they responded to "low ball Larry". The other benefit is that if you receive another offer while you are negotiating with the low ball offer, you can check off the "multiple counter offer" box which puts you in a stronger negotiating position. And that's the point, isn't it? Many buyers start out too low because of "peer pressure" or other factors. Just go with it, don't be insulted and respond. But don't be surprised if the "buyer" vanishes at the first counter. If that happens, don't worry - you never were going to sell your home to that buyer who would certainly cancel somewhere along the way.

Clear Out the Clutter: Before you get to professional stagers, steam cleaning the carpet, painting, calling the window cleaner and planting in the yard, just de-clutter your home. If this means putting lots of stuff in the garage and parking your cars on the street or driveway, do it. Even if you have to rent a storage unit, get rid of the clutter. Really. If you want to sell, your home has to show well which means that it appears as large and spacious as it possibly can - even if it is only a 3/1 1100 sq ft SFR! If you have to move some furniture around, just do it. This is the easiest most cost effective way to attain a higher price. Buyers don't want to have to navigate your "stuff" to get from room to room when they are viewing your home for sale. 

Don't Spend Money You Might Not Get Back: While there are some repairs that should definitely be done (typically clearly broken systems), painting, new floors, or other major investments may not be recouped. This is where it is important that you review with your agent comparable recent sales and currently active listings to see where your home fits in. There are some investments that might be worth making. For example, if you have a leaky roof and there are stains on your ceilings, you may want to consider replacing the roof and repairing the stains before the home goes on the market. Here's why. Many buyers freak out about leaks and if you have taken care of the problem, they are less concerned about costs and buying a "money pit". The same goes for gas leaks, mold, and other problems that scare buyers away. You will absolutely have to disclose that these repairs were done, when and what the problem was. But that is still preferable to asking a buyer to buy a property with problems. So, our rule of thumb: do the repair if it will help make the sale more likely to happen or to avoid inspection issues during escrow. Don't spend money on cosmetic issues because you think it will bring you a higher sales price. It may not.

Make Sure Your Listing Is Easy to Find on the Internet: That means it has its own web site, video on YouTube, is easily found on major search sites such as, Zillow, Trulia and others. Don't worry as much about the flyer the agent does, print ads in The Beach Reporter and other vanity items that won't sell your home. Statistics from NAR and elsewhere indicate that over 90% of buyers primarily use the internet to search for homes and that over 30% initially find the home they buy on the internet. So, while the traditional marketing methods still serve a purpose (including open houses), web visibility will help to sell your home. It's cost effective and the only way to go.

When it's time to Buy or Sell Manhattan Beach Real Estate use a local expert!  is published by Ellis Posner (DRE # 01416970), a local Beach Cities Real Estate agent at Shorewood Realtors Hermosa Beach who specializes in Manhattan Beach and Beach Cities (Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, El Segundo) Real Estate.  Ellis can help you buy or sell a home, acquire investment - income property or rent or lease a condo, town home or single family home. Call 310 975 5139 or email Other Ellis Posner published websites include, and You can follow socalistings on Twitter or become a fan of Socalistings on Facebook. Experience counts. Call Ellis Posner for "straight talk" on Real Estate and to buy or sell a home in Manhattan Beach. View Ellis Posner's profile on Zillow including client reviews here.