To sell your Bakersfield’s home fast, draw in the city’s Los Angeleno buyer pool with these trendy staging tricks and marketing tips. —-
You need to sell your house fast in Bakersfield, and you’ve got a booming housing market on your side. Thanks to historically low-interest rates and an influx of buyers from pricey Los Angeles, the more affordable Bakersfield has seen median sale prices rise from $214,000 to $255,000 since 2015, marking a 19% increase. What’s more, homes in Bakersfield are staying on the market a median 59 days, down from 72 days in 2015, indicating that market temperatures continue to heat up.
According to Suzanne Harandi, one of Bakersfield’s top real estate agents, many homebuyers are opting for the convenience of buying brand-new homes, and homebuilders are giving them what they want for a good price. So, if you’re going to compete in this market, you’ll need to whip your home into shape, providing buyers with a turn-key alternative to a new build.
Don’t worry — we’ll help you rise to the challenge. We researched local trends that former Los Angelenos love and spoke with several local real estate experts to bring you the ultimate guide to selling your house fast in Bakersfield.
Revamp your interior with fresh paint and on-trend finishes
When you walk into a home, what’s the first thing you notice? Most likely, it’s the paint color. Repainting the walls before selling your home is a high-impact yet inexpensive way to upgrade your interior.
Paint your interior walls a bright, neutral shade
Just because you’re in love with Sherwin Williams’s bold and bright color options, like Ablaze and Gold Coast, doesn’t mean potential buyers will be, too. According to our local expert Brooke Bratcher, founder and creative director of Bratcher Home & Design, neutral colors and earthy tones are more popular with Bakersfield buyers.
“Consider a fresh coat of paint throughout the main areas of the home‘s interior,” says Bratcher. “My go-to is Snowbound by Sherwin Williams.”
While neutral colors (beige, taupe, ivory, black, gray, and shades of white) may seem banal, these shades consistently rank as top colors of the year according to Behr’s 2020 Color Trends. What’s more? HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Survey for Q1 2020 found that 98% of top agents say that buyers prefer neutral colors over bold ones. If you’re still unsure of which paint color is right for your Bakersfield home, try one or a combination of the colors below:
Replace old lighting fixtures and hardware
You may not initially think of lighting as a selling point, but upgrading your lighting is one of the easiest, quickest things you can do to make your home more appealing to Bakersfield’s selective buyers. Because, let’s face it, a dark house gives a dated, unwelcoming vibe.
Choose these finishes to modernize your home
Decor trends change every year, which means the current lighting design in your home may look outdated. Replace key lighting fixtures in the kitchen, dining, and living room with brand-new fixtures in a black or brass finish. According to the American Lighting Association, a black finish accents dark painted cabinets and acts as a chic neutral when used alone. Brass, on the other hand, is particularly popular with millennial buyers who revived this trend from the ’80s.
Install ceiling fans to cool it down a notch
Bakersfield is notoriously hot in the summer, which means if your home lacks air conditioning, you’ll need to install some ceiling fans to offset this shortcoming. The average cost to install a ceiling fan runs between $150 to $350, including parts and labor. You can find inexpensive ceiling fan options online and in-store at Home Depot and Lowes.
Replace broken and mismatched light bulbs
Expect your agent and curious buyers to flick the lights on in your home during showings to brighten up rooms (and see how flattering those bathroom mirrors are). Replace missing and mismatched light bulbs, so every room glows. Pro tip: Softer, warm-toned light bulbs suit most homes, while cooler-toned light bulbs flatter homes with cooler interior color palettes composed of blues and grays.
Stage your home with contemporary furnishing and artistic details
The bulk of Bakersfield buyers consist of recently relocated young professionals and suburban families escaping LA’s hustle and bustle. To get their attention, you’ll need to pull out all the stops, including decluttering, depersonalizing, and deep cleaning.
“We want to appeal to the masses,” Harandi notes.
“We want buyers to walk in and be able to picture their belongings in the house.”
Here are a few tips on how to stage your home to please urban escapees:
- Go modern: Buyers from Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area tend to gravitate toward a modern, transitional look. Stage your home with neutral furniture and modern decor (think crisp, clean lines, and metallic finishes) to help these buyers feel right at home.
- Fill rooms with natural light: Take advantage of Bakersfield’s sunny climate and let in that natural light. Natural light will not only give your home a warm, inviting, and spacious appearance, but it’ll even make your buyers happier. To maximize the amount of natural light in your home, uncover the windows, remove any thick or cumbersome blinds, and clean the windows to perfection.
- Install smart elements for safety and convenience: According to a survey conducted by ADT, nearly two-thirds of homebuyers would pay a premium for smart home technology. Give your home a competitive edge by including smart technology in your home sale. A few options include smart speakers (Bose Home Speaker 300, with Amazon Alexa Built-in for $199), a smart thermostat (ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat for $129.99), or a smart smoke detector (Google S3000BWES Nest Protect Alarm-Smoke Carbon Monoxide Detector for $119).
Play up your home’s most in-demand features
A recent survey by the National Association of Realtors found that buyers’ most desired features include a back porch or deck, a newly renovated kitchen, and hardwood flooring. What’s even more surprising? These buyers said that they’re willing to pay an additional $4,500 to get a home with these features; some even admitted that they’d be willing to give up some square footage in exchange for an accessible outdoor space.
Outshine the competition by highlighting your home’s unique features in the backyard, kitchen, and flooring category. Pay particular attention to upgrading these features and including photos and creatively written descriptions in your listing.
Top agent Harandi shares that the following features are especially hot in Bakersfield. If you have them, here’s how you can show them off:
Bakersfield buyers love homes with swimming pools. Well, at least they love homes with well-maintained swimming pools. Here’s how you can make a splash with this coveted feature:
- Tidy up: Stow the pool equipment where it belongs (out of sight!), surround your pool with potted plants, and add outdoor seating and accent tables to create a personal oasis.
- Handle regular maintenance: Ensure that the water chemistry is balanced, the pool equipment is working correctly, and that the skimmer, basket, and filter are clean.
- Safety comes first: Consider installing safety measures to reassure buyers with children that the pool is a safe and fun area for their children to play. You can buy an affordable pool safety fence at Home Depot for less than $200.
According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), California ranks as the second state with the highest RV sales ($2.2 billion) in America. And since the Coronavirus pandemic hit, RV sales have soared, thanks to families who still want to travel in their own mobile bubbles. With two of the most popular RV destinations in the United States just a few hours up the road — Redwood National Park and Yosemite — many Bakersfield buyers are looking for long driveways for their RVs, trailers, and campervans.
Here how you can maximize your driveway’s potential:
- Power wash the driveway and apply a fresh sealant: Power washing your driveway is a relatively inexpensive project, costing between $130 to $220 on average, depending on the chemicals used. To find a power washing pro in Bakersfield, check out HomeAdvisor, Thumbtack, or the Yellow Pages.
- Add a border to the driveway: If you have an asphalt driveway, you can easily spruce it up by lining each side with stones, bricks, or pavers from the street to the house.
- Include photos in the listing: Don’t forget to include photos of the parking spot in your property listing — just be sure to remove your cars from the driveway first.
An “in-law suite,” “granny flat,” or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) isn’t a must-have for every buyer, but it’s a major plus for those looking to house senior parents, college-aged kids, Airbnb guests, or local renters. If you have an ADU, here’s how to best show it off:
- Create a blank canvas: Since every buyer will use an ADU differently, you’ll want to declutter and depersonalize the unit to remove indications of its current use. Tuck away items like personal photos, college posters, and Airbnb no-smoking signs.
- Stage for a spacious look: ADUs in California range between 150 to 850 square feet — that’s not a lot of room to work with. To create the illusion of a larger space, add mirrors, limit your use of rugs, and select curtains with a sub-vertical pattern or stripe.
- Get creative with your listing descriptions: According to the NAR, 85% of buyers who looked for homes via an online platform found detailed information about properties valuable. When highlighting your ADU in the listing description, include buzzwords and phrases such as “move-in ready,” “low-maintenance,” and “meticulously maintained.”
Crank up your curb appeal to compete with new-builds
The first thing a potential buyer will see is your home’s curb appeal (or lack thereof). To improve your chances of securing a fast sale, you need to spruce up your home’s exterior, so it shines like a new-build.
“Boosting your home’s curb appeal is one way to help sell it fast because it creates an eye-catching scene for your potential buyers,” says Jen Stark, founder of Happy DIY Home, a leading gardening and home improvement blog. “Additionally, people who care about the home’s curb appeal generally care about the state of the house overall, and this can help put a potential buyer’s mind at ease.”
Landscape with low-maintenance, native plants
According to our research, more than 75% of top real estate agents in the United States say that a well-landscaped home is worth anywhere from 1% to 10% more than a home with no landscaping. Add value to your home by investing in low-maintenance, native plants that thrive in Bakersfield’s desert climate, such as:
For more options, use the National Wildlife Federation’s Native Plant Finder Tool to discover alternatives plants that will grow best in your yard.
Paint your door a cheerful accent color
Sometimes, all you have to do to make an impact is paint your front door. Depending on the color, you could boost your home’s value by $2,000 or more. Here are a few color options that will wow Bakersfield buyers:
- Citron by Farrow and Ball – a warm Mediterranean yellow
- New York State of Mind by Benjamin Moore – a classic, slightly muted medium navy
- Chapel Green by Farrow and Ball – a subdued blue-green
If you’re still unsure which paint color to choose, ask for feedback on a community forum — you can upload a photo of your home and ask other homeowners and online users for constructive feedback.
Stage a welcoming entry
Stage the perfect entryway to give potential buyers a warm and welcoming experience from the moment they arrive.
“I stress the importance of first impressions, so I often tell sellers to drive up to the front door as if it’s the first time they’re seeing the home,” Harandi shares. “At that moment, pay attention and ask yourself: Do I have cobwebs? Is my doorbell dirty?”
Here are a few tricks to elevate your entry:
- Add symmetrical planters to your front porch or entryway. Terracotta or glazed ceramic pots particularly suit Bakersfield’s hot climate.
- Decorate with a semi-circle welcome mat or a chic wreath to charm trendsetting buyers.
- Replace old fixtures with contemporary fixtures for an updated look.
Partner with a top real estate agent to secure a lightning-quick sale
If you want to sell fast, don’t even think about going the FSBO route. You’ll want to partner with an experienced agent who can efficiently guide you through the selling process.
Complete pre-listing tasks efficiently
Real estate agents know exactly what your home needs to compete with other properties in your price bracket. They’ll recommend strategic upgrades proven to bring you a high return on investment, so you don’t waste any time or money on low-impact projects.
Abide by local laws
There are hundreds of laws governing real estate. Real estate agents know these laws like the back of their hand, protecting clients from contract breaches that lead to lawsuits and canceled sales.
“The number one reason that a lawsuit occurs in a transaction is usually from the buyer’s side and its lack of disclosure,” comments Harandi. “We have the knowledge of what needs to be disclosed, and we have the documents to provide.”
Fetch a higher sale price for your Bakersfield home
With tried-and-true pricing strategies, stellar marketing tactics, and seasoned negotiation skills, real estate agents net their clients more money — period.
“I find that a lot of for-sale-by-owners leave money on the table,” Harandi remarks.
“They may not know the trends or that prices are going up. Agents can get more eyeballs on the property and that results in multiple offers and offers that are higher than they’d receive on their own. Agents can negotiate multiple offers and maximize the seller’s net proceeds.”
But don’t just hire any agent to sell your home. The top 3% of real estate agents in Bakersfield sell homes 1.8 times faster than their competitors and have 497.8 more transactions than the average agent.
Save time and money — not to mention a few headaches — by hiring a top real estate agent in Bakersfield for your home sale.
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