Memories fill houses and turn them into homes where singles, couples, and families can have a place to put down their roots. While photos of our most memorable vacations charm and please our friends and families, it can, unfortunately, make selling our homes more difficult. When potential buyers see a home that specifically caters to a particular family, mostly through photos, they have a difficult time visualizing themselves fitting into the mold. The easiest way to fix this problem is to hire a home staging company to transform your home back into a beautiful house to be viewed by all potential buyers and eventually sold to a new family to make memories in. [Read more…]
Here are some key things that seriously pull down your home’s value.
#1. Poor curb appeal.
If you’re planning on selling your house you need to know that the very first impression a buyer is going to see is the exterior of your home. Most MLS cover photos of the listing need to either be the front of the house or the view from the house. Chances are, most people are going to take a picture of the outside of the house so this is the first impression buyers will see of the property. It’s important to make your homes curb appeal stand out and attract buyers in further. Clean up the yard, trim trees, bushes, shrubs, mow the lawn, and repair any unsightly flaws to the outside of the house such as leaky windows, broken steps, or cracked sidewalks. [Read more…]
When selling your home the last thing you want to do just turn off of a potential homebuyer. I mean, you are probably doing everything you can to appeal to the vast majority of homebuyers out there. You’ve cleaned, swept, maybe even done some home improvement projects but if you’ve done these five things or your home has these five things, you may be turning off homebuyers and not even know it. Here are five things that completely make homebuyers run for the hills.
I’m sure that you love your animals, whatever they may be, but many homebuyers may be allergic or simply not like animals. It also depends on what type of animal you have. If the first thing homebuyers see when they walk through the front door is a giant aquarium with an enormous live snake, they may turn right around and not even get past the front entrance. Dogs, cats, and a fish tank maybe one thing, even though homebuyers may be allergic. Many people can look past the simple dog or cat but even if you have these domestic pets, it’s best to take them out of the house and any and all evidence that they exist before a showing. If you have something more exotic such as a rabbit, bird, small rodent, reptile or another type of animal, it may be best to remove them completely while your home is on the market.
[Read More: How to Market a Luxury Home in the Bay Area]
This might be any type of trophy including a dead animal head on the wall. But, people also don’t want to see bookcases filled with sports trophies, awards or other items as they mean nothing to the homebuyer and only detract from the look and ambiance of the room.
I know, I know, we are getting into a solution society where sometimes even the American flag can turn people off but I’m not saying that you should take down your American flag if it’s on a pole in the front yard. However, I have run across several homes that you may have a teenagers room with a swastika flag on the wall, Confederate flag or maybe something as simple as a sports flag from a team that the homebuyer hates. Simply best to put anything that might give away the homeowner’s personal beliefs whether it’s political, religious or even sports related away until the home sells.
[Related Post: 5 Simple Tricks to Make Your Home Look Like a 5-Star Resort]
Nothing is more uncomfortable than walking into a house where there are naked pictures of people on the wall. I’m not even kidding, we have walked into homes with naked baby pictures on the wall, erotic pictures, and wallpaper patterns with nude women. Anything that is remotely offensive should be removed. You never know when kids, families or people that are simply offended by this will be touring your home. You don’t want them to quickly leave and never return.
#5. Too many substances.
This could go for a lot of different things; cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, pills etc. Homebuyers don’t want to see your vice, regardless of whether it’s prescribed or not. It gives an uneasy vibe to the house regardless of whether items are legal or not.
[Read More: Here’s What to Do When Your House Isn’t Selling]
These are on things but we wouldn’t be talking about them if we hadn’t come across them at some point. The best way to set your home up for the majority of homebuyers is to have your real estate agent go through the house offering tips, suggestions and advice for each room before listing and marketing the property.
Would you like to set that up? Give us a call today and I’d be happy to set up a listing presentation to find out how much your home is worth and how quickly it could sell. [Article adapted from Bankrate.com]
If you plan to sell your luxury home or high-end property there are some keys to marketing this type of real estate. While it is much the same as any other traditional sale, there are some nuances that makes luxury home selling and buying slightly different. Here are five keys to marketing and selling your luxury home in California’s Bay area.
#1. Try not to use “undisclosed location”.
Many luxury homeowners prefer not to have their address mentioned in an MLS listing or marketed online, but if you want the most eyes on your property, having the location shown or the general area or community mentioned gives people an idea of where the home is, it’s relation to other communities, and it’s close proximity to homes, schools or modern conveniences. Not all luxury homeowners have the “celebrity status” that really require an undisclosed address on MLS listings.
]Related Post: 10 Pre-Inspection Checks for all Homeowners]
#2. Don’t skimp on quality photos.
Your luxury real estate agent should hire a professional photographer to take excellent photos of the property at different times of the day and in a different light. You certainly want quality over quantity and because over 90% of homebuyers begin their search online, those photographs of your home must be worth 1 million words, not just the thousand. It truly pays to pay for good photos of your listing.
#3. Emphasize unique features.
If the home is in a country club that offers unique amenities and features make sure that you mention these in the listing. Do homeowners have access to a variety of perks for living in the community? Make sure that all buyers understand what type of status, location and amenities they receive when purchasing this home. Does the home itself have unique features such as a wine cellar, theater room, master suite or library? Emphasize the uniqueness of the home and why someone would want to pay top dollar for this property.
#4. Additional marketing.
As with any traditional sale, good marketing is key but with luxury home listings additional marketing is vital. Not only should your real estate agent provide print advertising and direct mailing but Internet, search engine optimization, social media and exposure of the photographs are crucial to getting a wide range of homebuyers interested in the property. A good real estate agent will also market to potential luxury buyers agents so that the right luxury homebuyer is matched with the property.
#5. Pricing it correctly.
Pricing a luxury home is a little bit different if there’s not a lot of comparable properties nearby. Paying for an appraisal ahead of time might be key to pricing it correctly and getting the right market value. Knowing every amenity a luxury home provides is crucial when determining the price and comparing it to other luxury homes. This takes the knowledge and experience of a qualified and dedicated luxury real estate broker.
For more information on selling your luxury home in San Fransico or the Tri-Valley areas, please contact me at any time. We can run over some numbers, offer suggestions on marketing and listing your home and determine the best approach for selling your luxury home.
The “Love it or List it” TV show is a big hit allowing homeowners to either list their home and sell or fix what they have. The hosts both do their best to fix up the existing home so the homeowners love it, or find a better home that has all they want already. Even though it’s a show, it’s a valid question when you’re on the fence about whether or not you should sell your home and find something better or just fix the one you have.
Here are some great points to consider on both sides.
Keep it and Fix it.
If you’re on the fence about deciding whether you should repair your home and fix it up or sell it, understand that you will need a large chunk of money in order to do the repairs, remodel or renovations that you really desire. Will this be more than simply mowing the front lawn, trimming the hedges and may be painting a room or two? If you’re really considering making the home you have now into the home you love, a major remodel may be necessary. Perhaps it’s the kitchen, bathrooms or even the entire layout of the living area or some bedrooms.
This can be a major remodel and these shows usually take anywhere from $50,000-$100,000 to do major remodels depending on the market value in the area. Kitchens tend to be the most expensive rooms to remodel in the house running anywhere from $10,000-$50,000 depending on the type of materials and appliances you choose. Major remodels can add quite a bit to the value of the home but only if you plan on staying in the home for quite some time. For instance: if you plan on remodeling the kitchen to the tune of $25,000 and then turning around and selling it, you may not get that $25,000 back out of the home. This is something to consider and something to talk to your real estate agent about.
If you’re planning on staying in the home for some time, a $25,000 kitchen remodel be exactly what you need to help you fall in love with your home all over again.
Think about the area and what you really love about your home; Do you love the location? The school district? The view? The backyard? A lot of these things don’t change so if you love these items about your home you might consider simply making the house itself into a house you love rather than finding a new home in a new neighborhood that you are unsure of.
Cost is also a big factor. The cost necessary for the remodel? A lot of people get home equity lines of credit or refinance their home but then again, consider that you are taking out a new loan in this will have more debt and more to your monthly mortgage payment or debt payments.
Sell and Find a New Home
If you decide to sell it as-is you can certainly take that money and find a home that you really love, however, you may not get as much for the home as you would if you had done the remodel and then waited a few years to sell. This is something else to consider where you can basically do both. Consider the remodel now in the home that you love, keep it for a few more years, and then sell it for a higher value finding another home that you love.
By buying a new home you can really take the time to check out the neighborhood, school districts, and find a home has everything you really want. However, you may also be out of your price range. Refinancing your existing home and remodeling may be less money than trying to save and invest in a new mortgage with a new home.
Basically, it’s all a numbers game and you need to weigh the pros and cons to find out what works best for you. Do you love static features about your house such as the location in the neighborhood? Do you like the house but hate the location?
You should probably weigh both factors and find out how much each would cost approximately and then how much you’re willing to invest not only now but in the future in either a new mortgage or potentially new debt that you will have to take on for the remodel.
If you’re interested in running some numbers or would like information about homes in different neighborhoods in your own contact my office today. I specialize in the Tri-Valley real estate area and would love to help you find the home of your dreams or put you in contact with a mortgage broker in your area that can help you remodel to your heart content.
If you have a home in Pleasanton, San Ramon, Livermore or surrounding Tri-Valley cities and towns and it’s not selling there could be a variety of reasons why. The central California real estate market is hot and prices are going through the roof and homes are selling fast but if yours is not there could be several reasons why. It’s time to step back, take a good look at your home and find out why your home may not be selling.
#1. Adjust the price.
It may simply be time to adjust the price. If you started at a decent price but your agent feels it may still be too high, it probably is. Real estate agents spend most of their time running comparable sales in the area, researching the market and have a pretty good idea of what will sell and what won’t sell. By adjusting your price to where it should be or even slightly lower, you’re more likely to get the right buyers in the door.
#2. Take a look at the photos.
Do the real estate photos really set your home apart from your closest competition? In today’s real estate market many real estate agents and homeowners are taking professional photos of their home in order to draw in the right buyers. Take a look at your home during different times of the day in different light. This can greatly affect the look and feel of your home. Make sure that the photos are professionally taken and really are sharp, clear and show your home in the best light. Also, take a look at the room in the picture; is a clean, neat and tidy? Are toilet seats put down, garbage put away and counters and tables cleared off? The picture might be of great quality but if what it’s showing is a mess, buyers still won’t want to come close.
#3. Does the condition of your home match the price?
Do you want top dollar for your home? Then you have to present it as such. Real estate agents will be honest with you and tell you that if you want a certain price, you need to make your house rise to the occasion. Does the home warrant a high price tag? Has it been updated? Is it clean, neat and organized? Is it professionally staged? All of these things can affect your price and if you don’t present your home in a way that matches your perceived value, you simply won’t get any offers.
#4. The location or layout is funky.
This may not be something that you can change at all but it probably will affect your ability to get an offer. That being said, the only way to compensate for an odd layout or bad location is to adjust the price. Unless you want to take the time to remodel your home, adjusting the price may be the only way to get an offer. I know that’s not the ideal option but emphasizing the positive features of the home is a great way to overcompensate for the negative aspects such as living by a busy road, or an odd layout such as a bathroom off of the kitchen.
There’s usually always something that is preventing a home from selling. Finding that out as soon as you can will help you adjust where you need to in order to get it sold.
Call me today to discuss home prices in your area and what you’re home may sell for.
Oh that tricky question; what should you do first? List the home? Make an offer on another one? Is it okay to buy and sell simultaneously? What’s the risk and what happens is one falls through?
This can be a stressful situation but it’s not uncommon. Many homeowners buy and sell at the same time. It can be a bit easier if you’re doing the swap in the same town. Out of town or even out of state can be very stressful but not if you plan ahead and be strategic about the move.
Here are some simple tips anyone can do when buying and selling at the same time.
Talk to your agent about what is the best move.
Simply talking to your agent about the marketing, the desirability of the neighborhood and how fast your home might sell can help you plan for this transition. If the market is hot, you might consider finding a home first and locking that in before listing. If the market is slow, consider listing first and finding a home later. Your agent will tell you honestly which direction to try first.
Should you go contingent?
Contingent is when you put in an offer on a house with a condition that you can’t finalize the payment until after your home sells. There may be some stipulations to this as well, such as, the home must already be listed, accepted offer, etc..
Contingent offers are also pretty tricky. Many homeowners in a hot market will not accept a contingent offer because they know about your offer is probably right around the corner. They are much less desirable and many listing agents will tell their sellers to decline a contingency offer.
This doesn’t mean that sellers won’t consider a contingent offer but it might be very risky and you may lose out on the home you really want. Each situation is unique and even micromarkets in particular communities and neighborhoods can vary from place to place, so it’s extremely important to be in top communication with your real estate agent about the best move for each house.
What about a bridge loan?
A bridge loan or even a home equity line of credit, can offer a loan extension from one house to another. A bridge loan, allows you to tap the equity in your current home with short-term financing in order to buy your new home before your old house sells. You’re basically financing to homes at the same time but just temporarily. Once your current home sells you can pay off the temporary bridge loan and move into your new home.
The downside is that very few lenders offer these types of homes. They’re more likely to recommend a HELOC, home equity line of credit, in order to make the down payment. Remember though, with a HELOC you will be paying two mortgages.
I typically recommend that my homeowners put their home up for sale first and then once they’ve negotiated an accepted offer, they can get serious about finding and purchasing a new home. This can be a tricky situation however, especially if you’ve found the home you love before you’ve even listed your current home. This is why I recommend not looking at homes until you’re ready.
Again, it all comes down to timing and understanding the individual markets that you’re buying in and selling in. Talk to your real estate agent before making any serious moves so that you can plan ahead, strategize the right plan of action and be prepared for a roller coaster ride over the next couple of months.
The right agent can certainly make all the difference in the world. Contact me today and let’s get started finding out what would be the best option for your situation and your location.
Any seller that considers their house to be a perfect “first time home buyers” house should target millennial homebuyers. Many sellers are looking at how their home is viewed from a millennial’s standpoint. With more than 83 million millennial’s, a larger group than the baby boomers, chances are many of those will be looking at buying their own house within the next few years.
However, this is just the beginning. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 32% of homebuyers were first-time buyers, and almost historical though. But out of this group, about one third were millennial’s. Even though were just starting to see the edge of the horizon for millennial buyers, within the next few years it will be a big group of first-time homebuyers.
The term millennial is quickly becoming a popular label replacing generation Y, X and Echo boomers. Sellers need to know how to attract these type of buyers as they will be the majority of homebuyers throughout the next two decades.
Consider functionality and design.
Millennial’s are looking for a practical design and updated terminology for rooms such as a media room rather than a TV room, retreat oasis better than a bedroom and man caves or she sheds instead of work rooms. Sellers should disregard how they’ve used specific rooms in order to concentrate on transforming those rooms into a new look.
Low maintenance yards.
Many millennial’s will not look for a house that has a high maintenance front or backyard. Rose gardens, vegetable gardens, numerous flowerbeds or bushes and trees that need to be trimmed on a regular basis all tend to turn millennial’s office. It’s best to keep your home as simple, clean and tailored as possible from the inside to the outside.
Now, while there’s nothing you can do about your homes location, you can emphasize what you are close to. Perhaps close to a good school, convenience store, farmers market or coffee shop. All of these appeal to a wide range of homebuyers, especially millennial’s.
Talk to your agent about your neighborhood.
Your neighborhood may have a specific a stigma attached to it, be it good or bad so talk to your real estate agent about what buyers generally think about your community or neighborhood. What they value in your neighborhood and what would be not of value that you can deemphasize. Is your home close to a large industry making it easy to get jobs? Is the home in a good school district?
Understanding how millennial’s are buying and what their attracted to can help your home sell a lot faster. Ready to get started? Contact me today for a free listing presentation on what your home is worth and how to get it sold quickly.
Here we go! Now is the time to sell your home. Whatever the reason be it job change, relocation, marital status, children or downsizing, you have to sell and of course like everyone, you don’t want to stay on the market for any longer than you have to.
This can be a very stressful time in your life especially if you’ve already found another home that you need to purchase. This buying and selling simultaneously could be one of the most stressful things you have to deal with as a homeowner or it doesn’t have to be if you use the right real estate agent. Surprisingly, using the right agent that keeps you informed, sets you up for selling success and markets correctly, can actually make the home selling process easy and enjoyable.
It starts with choosing the right listing agent.
When listing your home you can usually find an agent that will list your property for whatever price you want. The problem with this is that you’ll usually sit on the market far longer than you have to, infuriating you and your agent until you fire them and look for somebody that really knows what they’re doing. This is where I want to start with you. Don’t waste your time listening to a “yes man” agent. If you’re serious about selling let me do the research about what your home is currently worth, how long I think it will take to sell and some marketing strategies we can take in order to get the home in front of the right buyer.
Can you list your home yourself?
Of course! That is if you want to put in the time, energy and money to marketed, sell it, negotiated, differentiate offers and hope you didn’t make a mistake. Remember, only licensed real estate agents can list on the local MLS where 95% of real estate buyers go first. If you choose to list a home yourself you may actually be losing money.
Those that list the home themselves typically start at a higher price than a local agent would. When they don’t get any hits or offers on the property they will start to lower the price. The problem with this strategy is that by this point, the home has been on the market far too long and buyers will tend to stay away from the there’s something wrong with the home. In the end, sellers typically drop the price so far just to get it sold this is actually lost money selling lower than have they simply use a real estate agent in the first place. Often times they’ve lost more money than if they had paid real estate commissions.
This is why it pays to go with a qualified, experienced and seasoned agent first. I do the research, find out the best price to list the property and give you an unbiased, honest opinion on what needs to happen to the home in order to appeal to the right buyers. If you’re looking to get more out of your home you’ll need to compete with the closest similar property. This means offering more for less money.
For negotiating strategies, expert staging advice, marketing tips and excellent advertising, don’t waste your time with an amateur real estate broker. Call me today for a free listing presentation of what your home could be worth and how quickly we could get it sold.
More and more foreign or overseas buyers are looking to the California real estate market for investing and developing. Whether you have a large development, condo building, or simply a single-family house, you can appeal to the wide range of homebuyers that are out there today including those overseas.
Sellers are looking everywhere these days for hot real estate markets, affordable homes, investment opportunities and rental properties, including overseas. You want the greatest return on your investment so appealing to a wide range of buyers as well as a variety of investors is always key.
According to the National Association of Realtors, foreign acquisition of residential real estate in the US totaled over $104 billion in the last year. This was a 13% increase from the prior year. Nationally this was 8% of the total dollar exchanged in existing home sales.[Source]
The US alone is a solid investment for many foreign buyers due to the increase property values and reputation for a good global place for business people to invest. Many foreign investors feel secure in the US as one of the world’s largest economies. Specifically, Chinese nationals have been overwhelming the largest source of foreign real estate buying in the last five years. Chinese buyers purchased nearly $100 billion in US homes. The Chinese in general are looking abroad more and more.
This is why all homeowners looking to sell need to appeal to a wide range of buyers. Here are some common features that are most desired by foreign investors.
Condominiums are popular.
Condominium ownership is a preferred option for many international buyers since amenities are great and maintenance is low. The building itself is generally safe and secure and maintenance is taking care of even when they are not present.
Popular cities with global reputations.
Places like San Francisco and Los Angeles are receiving a lot of interest from international buyers. Many people travel to these larger cities for business and need a place to stay, call home or rent out when not in use.
High-end homes are also attractive.
Many of these international buyers are wealthy enough to invest in property overseas so there typically interested in homes that reflect a lifestyle they are accustomed to. These affluent buyers are looking for homes in the higher end of the market, typically $900,000+. This is ideal for many people in the bay area since the average home prices around this price point.
Buyers tend to focus on a number of criteria when searching for their next home including building management, accessibility, and the quality of the Association or community itself. Emphasizing these features is a key way to monopolize yourself in the market.
Anytime is a good time to sell.
Homeowners that need to sell during inopportune times of the year should not have any fear selling to international buyers. Timing is not quite a factor in many of these foreign buyers purchasing throughout the year. However, selling to an overseas buyer may take some time. Because they don’t live in the country full time there could be a gap between traveling to and from the home for viewing. Once the offer is accepted things content to run quickly since many of these overseas buyers pay with cash. Also, many overseas buyers use property management services or concierge services that facilitate the transaction on their behalf. The point is, homeowners shouldn’t fear as to when to place their property on the market since international buyers purchased anytime of the year.
If you’re looking to sell your property and would like to market international buyers talk to me today. I’d love to help you devise a marketing strategy to appeal to the widest variety of potential homebuyers out there, not just locally but internationally as well.