This is a common concern right now; we’re scared to sell because we also have to turn around and buy. It’s a great time for agents because houses are selling so fast! Hey, wait a minute, not so fast. That’s not necessarily true because inventory is down, competition is extremely high, and a lot of homeowners are in the same situation, scared to sell because they have to turn around and buy. Sure, if you are a seller going to the rental market or moving to a different location altogether, selling is easy. Heck, you practically don’t even have to put a sign in the front yard before the home is sold (as long as it is priced correctly). [Read more…]
The home office. It’s a place of intentional work, pay bills, or just sit and manage your home life. Maybe you work from home so it’s literally your office. Many sellers are creating a home office setting when staging and listing their home but is it necessary? Do buyers really expect homes to have an office?
There are options and many buyers are not putting the emphasis on a home with an office as an office setting really can be anywhere. So what are other options sellers can do to present their homes in a new light?
This might sound extreme but in many markets around California, this type of room is becoming very popular. The dedicated space with surround sound, high-quality TV and visual dynamics are making a comeback in many homes.
It all depends on how much space you have and if it’s a closed off room or open area. Many new homes have a landing at the top of the stairs that can be turned into a large play room or family room instead of an office space, which feels awkward when you have to walk through it to get to the bedrooms.
This could be an arts and crafts room or a space that one could get messy in. The floor may be tile or other material that’s easy to clean.
If you have plenty of books, try dressing up a space room into a quaint library. Large bookshelves can even serve as dividers to section off the room into a sitting area and library. Create an inviting space by using comfy chairs or couches, blankets and good lighting.
The guest room doesn’t have to just be a bed. Create a neutral bedroom that could suffice for anyone for the nights. A neat night stand, lamp, good book, vase of flowers, dresser, neutral decor and fluffy linens all invite guests to make the space their own for the night.
There are lots of different things you can do to a room beside the typical office. If you’re selling in the Tri-Valley area, give me a call! Let’s talk about what buyers are looking for and how you can appeal to all buyers out there.
We are coming into spring, the busiest real estate season of the year. Buyers will be out in full force and sellers will be doing everything they can to get their home to stand out. While there are many things you can do at home to stage your property and make it attractive to buyers, getting them in the door is all about the listing. 85% of homebuyers start their search online and if your listing doesn’t stand out in the hundreds they scroll through daily, you will get passed by. Everyone knows you need to have a photograph of the house but, you can also have a photograph of the view from the house as your main, featured photo. It all depends on how fantastic that view is, of course. If the view is really the best thing about the house show it off. But if the house itself looks amazing, it’s best to keep a picture of the front of the house.
The photos. Photos are what drive us. It’s why social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are so popular. We are a visual society. If we must read anything for a long enough time, we may get bored and pass it by, but a picture truly is worth 1000 words. A lot can be said about a photo and by taking the right photo, at the right time, you can draw in the right buyer.
Look at these two pictures below. They are of the same house but one was taken with a very simple camera on a cloudy day. The color is dull, it just doesn’t look that great. But take the same photo from just a slightly different angle, on a beautiful day, where the colors are vibrant, and it looks like a home you may want to visit. It looks more attractive and even looks like it might be up on a hill with a great view.
Bite the bullet and take excellent photos. Hire someone if you can. Take photos different times of the day, and remember, you are trying to sell something; you wanted to look as amazing as it possibly can. However, don’t be deceptive in your photos either. Don’t use a wide-angle lens on a small bedroom that’s only 10 x 10. Be honest but try to get the most perfect shot. Your real estate agent should have some photographers in their back pocket and it does cost money, but it’s well worth it when you get the home sold quickly and for possibly over your list price.
Make a featured image stand out. If you’re going to use a photo of the view, make sure it is the most amazing view you’ve ever seen from the house. That could be a phenomenal sunset, beautiful city skyline lights, mountain view or water view. Make that the most amazing view the buyer has ever seen. If it’s the outside of the house, make sure your curb appeal and landscaping is up to par. Make sure the grass is neatly mode and is bright green. Make sure the flowers around the outside are all in one color and trees, shrubs and brushes are properly trimmed. The sidewalk or stairs should be pressure washed, the trim should be updated and retouched on the house and the front door should be so inviting, it’s practically like the gingerbread house was to Hensel and Gretel.
Consider a video. Videos are so easy. You don’t have to do a five-star production to make a video about your neighborhood, the backyard, or even a tour through the house. People want to see what is nearby and unless you’re doing a drone tour of the neighborhood, people are not going to be able to see what’s next-door. Of course, you may not want them to know that you have a quarter living next door with two junk cars in the driveway. This is where a video is not going to benefit you. But, if the inside of your house is phenomenal, beautifully staged and you have the latest and greatest appliances or materials, by all means, show it off with a video tour.
Use social media. Social media can be used for anything these days. Besides connecting with old college buddies, it’s a great place to market your listing or your home. Talk to your friends and neighbors and have them share your listing information. Put fantastic photos up on Pinterest and other photo sharing social media sites. Don’t just share it once, Sharon multiple times throughout the course of the listing to remind people that the house is still on the market and how amazing it is.
Showcase settings that tell a story. In every single photo of your home, you should be telling a story. Does the bathroom set the stage for a relaxing retreat and spa getaway? Does the bedroom show an oasis of escape with comfortable, fluffy linens, lots of pillows and perhaps an overstuffed chair in the corner perfect for curling up with a good book? Does the kitchen show a neat, modern and contemporary style ready to make the latest and greatest meal for the family? Is the dining room table set ready for entertaining friends and loved ones? Does the backyard tell the story of summer barbecues, playing in the swimming pool, or a roving game of football? Set the stage in every single photo and buyers will see themselves in the home, practically begging to live there.
You must make your listing stand out before anyone sets foot in your home. Use these simple tips, tricks and of course, talk to your real estate agent about how to make your home stand out both online and in person.
Ready to get started? Feel free to call me anytime for tips, suggestions and listing information throughout the Tri-Valley area of California.
SB 800 is a new California law that addresses residential construction defect litigation on new construction properties and establishes warranties for those new construction homes. This law applies to both single-family homes and condominium residential construction for purchases after January 1, 2003. Note: it does not apply to condominium conversions.
This new bill will set a new standard for construction allowing builders and developers the right to repair defects to avoid litigation up to 10 years after the purchase. It does require buyers to follow maintenance guidelines but it provides builders and developers with legal defenses. This bill will mandate that a building whether it be a condominium complex or single-family home come with a tenure warranty. Homeowners associations typically sue the developer sometime around year nine in order to get any warranty issues paid for by the insurance company.
[Read more: Do New Homes Need Inspections?]
SB 800 also will require that builders provide information to the buyer along with the contract letting the buyer know whether or not the builder has adopted the SB 800 provisions. This bill not only affects the current buyer but any subsequent buyers within the 10 year time period. Builders are still allowed to provide additional protection to a homeowner should they choose.
SB 800 to find construction defects as functionality standards for water intrusion, structural damage, soils, fire protection, plumbing and sewer and electrical. There’s also an additional category that protects “to the extent a function or component is not addressed by these standards, it shall be actionable if it causes damage.”
[Related: How to Avoid Sticker Shock on New Homes]
The statute of limitations are 10 years from the close of escrow for all construction defects, five years from the close of escrow for paint and stains per manufactures representations, and four years from the close of escrow for plumbing and sewer systems, electrical, exterior pathways, hardscapes and driveways and untreated steel fences to prevent unreasonable corrosion.
This new bill is to prevent any litigation issues, especially with homeowners associations and condo complexes. For the state of California, sellers may have a difficult time selling the unit while litigation is pending due to financial issues. With this new law, it should be easier to sell without litigation within 10 years. [Source]
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.