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Vegas Valley Real Estate: Sell my Current Residence Before or After Upgrading?

(This blog is written for a current real estate market that has rising or level prices, you may not want to use this philosophy in a declining market)  The other day I met a man who wanted to purchase a new place in Las Vegas.  He was an older gentleman who wanted to unload his current residence, a small two story condo, and buy a single story home with a pool.   Like many people who currently own in Las Vegas Nevada, he was looking to take advantage of the huge price reductions and upgrade to a larger place.  This gentleman was very serious about purchasing immediately…until… the reality kicked in that he would be losing money on the property he was planning to sell even though he would be gaining the same loss or coming out ahead from the next purchase.  Mimicking many people I’ve heard rant before he declared; “I don’t want to sell right now because I’ll lose too much money on this home.  I’m waiting for the market to go up before selling and then I’ll purchase a larger home then.”  It’s very important fact to point out, that this particular condo was owned free and clear and condos in his neighborhood, like many neighborhoods here in a Vegas currently, were lasting less than a week on the open market before being swarmed with multiple offers from hungry buyers.

At this point, I would really have liked to ask the simplest of questions, “Really?  So how’s that working out for you?”  But, logically, being in real estate as long as I have and knowing when someone is truly set in their ways, it seemed like a waste of breath.  However, if someone is reading this blog right now who may be my redeeming grace, an opinion I could possibly change, someone out there in the same situation as this gentlemen, whose sitting on the fence, stubborn as an ox in winter, but curious enough to read on, I’d love to break this man’s ‘logical’ argument down to the bare bones for you and show you just how totally irrational and, downright foolish, it is.

OK, let’s first start with the fact that this gentleman owns a condo.  Did you know that, in general, condos and townhomes are the first real estate types to go down in value during a crash and the last real estate types to recover during a boom?   Yep, that’s right, therefore, unfortunately, by the time this man can sell his condo for what he wants for it (which requires a real estate market that rises in value to meet his expectations), then spends two to six months or more looking around to purchase his new single family home in a market that was already rising, he’ll probably end up spending tens of thousands of dollars more than he has to on the future upgrade purchase.

Secondly, did you know that, during real estate crashes, larger homes generally sell for much cheaper per square foot than smaller homes of the same nature?  Why?  The answer is kind of complex, but it basically boils down to the ‘herd mentality.’  Warren Buffet was once quoted as saying, [if you want to make money], “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” For those of you who paid attention during our real estate boom throughout the country, especially on the coasts, you may have noticed that during the mid 2000’s people were slinging money bidding on houses like it was going out of style.  To some extent, this is always true during a boom.  However, just the opposite happens in a crash.  People instead become extremely tight with their money, question everything, and try to spend as little as possible.  Investors buy smaller/cheaper properties because they are trying to minimize risks and primary residence and second home buyers don’t tend to overpay as grossly for a property they like because there are, or at least it is perceived, ‘many more fish in the sea’ if a particular house should not pan out.  And, of course, to everyone, investor or primary residence purchaser alike, ‘the economy is bad’ and unnecessary risks are to be avoided at all costs, hence larger homes tend to sell much cheaper in price per square foot during a crash.

Lastly, let’s just say you took this gentlemen’s advice and waited to sell your current home first.  Now let’s skip forward in time.  Your home is now sold; now what?  You’re now hurried to find a rental in a market that is more competitive than before? Or maybe you are encroaching on relatives and friends for a place to live ‘temporarily’ while you look for your new place?   This also causes a huge array of possible dilemmas.  Where’s all your ‘stuff’ being stored in the mean time?  Is your new ‘temporary’ residence large enough for all of it or will you rent storage space as well?  Will you feel pressure to rush and find the first place that is available rather than somewhere you really want to live so you can get back to a permanent living situation?  Will you feel stress about the uncertain length of time your new ‘temporary’ living conditions will be accommodating you?  How will your daily routines be interrupted?  All this time I’ve been saying ‘you’ and ‘your’, but what about those that live with you, if you are not single?  How will they be reacting to all this change?  Last, but not least, when you finally do get around to house shopping again from your new, unstable, living quarters, do you understand that in a rising real estate market, sellers have the advantage and buyers lose out on perks like having their closing costs paid by the sellers (several thousands of dollars in out of pocket expense now shifted to YOU).  Doesn’t this whole paragraph just sound delightful to you?

So, let’s revisit this gentleman’s core logic again.  What would have brought more merit to his way of thinking?   Is it savable at all?  The answer is yes.  If you cannot or are unwilling to rent for a while if you sell your current home first; if you cannot afford to float two mortgages for a reasonable length of time while you are trying to sell your previous home after your new purchase; or if you are unwilling to become a landlord; then YES, you would have made a solidly logical decision for erring on the side of conservative.  Unfortunately, like this man, that’s not why many potential upgrade buyers recall their decision to purchase immediately when faced with this dilemma, but, hey, it is what it is, and I’m willing to call a spade a spade if you are.  I’m hoping this blog may provide someone out there with the courage to do what is smart, not just what appears (be it falsely) to be the safe move.   Make the well planned, calculated risk, and purchase your larger upgrade home before you sell your current one.

Thank you very much for reading my blog, I hope this information helped you out.  For this blog and other helpful tips and tricks please visit our tourism and real estate website or, for all aspects of general real estate, our parent website





James Bellile

Phone:  702-222-0815

*All blogs are personally written by James.  Although we encourage and are grateful for sharing, all information is copyrighted by James and needs to be given credit.  Thank you.

Real Estate : Top 5 Tricks of the Trade to Sell Your Property Fast

#5   Make small repairs and neutralize your property! — Unless you absolutely don’t have the time or money to repair your property, even just a little bit, do it, the payoff is usually huge.  Don’t forget, when you are using your property, it’s important to make your property your own, but when it comes time to sell, make it someone else’s vision of comfortable living.   I’m not talking about remodeling for the sake of remodeling, I absolutely 100% promise you that no matter what you remodel, someone touring your property is not going to like it or many of the other items that are pre-existing, which you chose not to remodel.  People’s choices in properties are as unique as their choices in everything else in life.  The key is to make it appeal to the majority without going so far over the top that you, not only, bust your budget, but also create a bland property that everyone likes, but no one wants to purchase  because none of them feels a connection with the property due to it becoming so neutralized it now lacks a personality.  What I am saying is that if you know certain things within your property are only popular with a small fraction of the population; change those items BEFORE you place your property on the market.  Some examples are radical paint colors, a theme room dedicated for only one specified specific function like a movie theater or hobby room, and collectables and knickknacks.    Oh, and don’t forget, your children and your pets.  Buyers may or may not have children and/or pets and, even if they do, you, as a savvy seller, do not need them, as your prospective buyers, concentrating their attention on anything, but the property that you actively trying to sell.

Out of all the Top Five, point number five gets the most personal and can become quite awkward.  Let’s face it, nobody what’s to hear that their taste is, to say it politely, ‘not appealing’, but a seller NEEDS to hear it in order to get the results they desire, i.e. the most money in the shortest time on the market with the least amount of hassles.    For this, as a Seller, don’t try to determine a sour point in your property by yourself, ask your professional, as he or she is the person who should be completely detached from any emotional attachment to your property.   If you, my reader, does not think much of a Realtors opinion, perhaps we are all, “the equivalent of a shady used car salesmen,” (I actually was called this by a patron one time at an open house) then think of it this way, did you know that doctors and lawyers rarely take themselves or family members on as patients/clients.  Why?  Because they know that they will probably make mistakes due to their own emotionally clouded judgment.  Why would picking repairs and neutralizing your home to successfully sell it be any different?  Side Note:  By the way, that gentleman from the open house was shocked once I showed him my resume.  He then asked, “Why do you do this [for a profession]?”  I simply responded, “Because I not only love this job, but I know many people think the way you do and I’d like to change that.”

#4   Clean and Declutter your property! — Good God reader, you cannot imagine some of properties Realtors walk into.  Simply cleaning your property and removing most of your belongings and storing them outside of the living area you are trying to sell is important.   Buyers want to see where THEIR stuff fits together nicely within your property so they can make an educated decision if they would like to live there.  Lastly, make sure your property smells just as good as it looks; music and food can do wonders too.  Most people were given, at least, five senses with which to observe the world, make absolute sure your property appeals as well as possible to all of them as people will notice if something is missing or just ‘not quite right’.

#3  Put yourself in the Buyers shoes! — People take this for granted, but this is an absolutely crucial item a seller must understand with their property.  Ask yourself, if you were the buyer, who are you i.e. what might you do for a living, do you have a family and/or pets, what kind of active or inactive lifestyle might you live, who are the people you would associate with in your life etc…?  Next, who within this population of perspective buyers can truly afford your property?  There’s a big difference between buyers and lookers, right?  If a perspective buyer can afford it, what do they want/expect from this property? When do they want to move in or place tenants and what are some obstacles that may arise because of this time urgency (or lack thereof) that you must deal with in order to achieve your goal of selling?  Where is their stuff going to be placed or can you currently only see your stuff?  How will the buyers’ own agent maneuver to make this deal happen (think strategy)?  Is there another property that a buyer would rather buy with their hard earned money?  Remember, you want to sell high because your planning on keeping the extra money.  The buyer wants to buy low because he/she wants to do the same thing.  There are a lot of other questions you can ask yourself, but just simply think, do your best to create a WIN-WIN scenario when selling your property and, strangely, this ‘simple’ concept will usually bring Sellers the most money and least hassle too.  Follow the golden rule and it’ll make you rich… imagine that.

#2   Advertise! — If no buyers know about your property, it’s a guarantee; no buyers will ever buy your property.  Although a Realtor can help you excel with all the points on this list, this point is truly where having a Realtor on your side is really worth its’ weight in gold.  Having an experienced agent with access to a large amount of mass media and business networks is a must.

#1 The absolute #1 Thing a Seller Must Do for a Smooth Sale…   Drum Roll Please… Price Your Property Listing Right the First Time!  — Even if a property has fallen short in all the points previously and doesn’t catch perspective buyers’ eyes, somehow a suitable price tag can always make it THEE PROPERTY for them.  Now, that point of shift is different for every perspective buyer and you, as the seller, may never even consider some of the dollar amounts that would sway certain buyers, but trust me, if it doesn’t work for them, 99% of buyers will make it work at some point on that sliding dollar scale.  Don’t forget the ‘terms’ of sale as this is considered as good, sometimes better, than actual money. Strangely, however, most buyers, whether it’s courtesy to the Seller, or simply laziness, always pass up properties that are overpriced for the market and have spreads in price they foresee as being insurmountable and, thus, decide to move on without a second thought.  With this fact, Mr. or Mrs. Seller, my reader, I implore you to realize, statistically, if a home does not sell within its’ first 45 days on the market, it will not sell.  The hard truth is, it doesn’t matter if the Seller reduces the price or remodels or concedes a number of items to a perspective buyer down the road.  The bottom line is, pay attention to the market facts before you list your property.  Whether the market is going up or down it does not matter, what matters is that you understand which way it is going and are priced to where the market WILL be at the time you project your home to sell.  Never, NEVER EVER, NEVER EVER, EVER, say, “well, we’ll just place the property on the market for this [higher than market rated price] and see what will happen.”  Listen reader, if you have any desire to actually sell your property when you become a seller, if you mutter this sentence, you mine as well throw 10% out the window because that’s what’s it’s going to cost you 99.9% of the time and that’s IF you’re even lucky enough to acquire a buyer when you are chasing the market down the road.  If you like to gamble, go down to our strip here in Las Vegas and play any game you choose with the proceeds of your sale, I assure you, you’ll have multiple times better odds of winning that extra padding of price your trying to acquire than when you price your property listing too high for the market.  Lastly, it’s statistically proven that your first offer is usually the best offer you will receive the entire time your home is listed.  Therefore, you have one shot, when it comes to listing your home, do it right!

Thank you very much for reading my blog, I hope this information helped you out.  For this blog and other helpful tips and tricks please visit our tourism and real estate website or, for all aspects of general real estate, our parent website  My team offers several services; buyers, sellers, distressed sellers, renters, and property management.  Honest and truthful professionals to a fault.  Call us direct @ 702-222-0815.





James Bellile


*All blogs are personally written by James.  Although we encourage and are grateful for sharing, all information is copyrighted by James and needs to be given credit.  Thank you.



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