Archive for the ‘Home Sellers’ Category

5 Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Selling your home can be stressful. You may have an emotional attachement to your home, and you might envision a specific buyer. You might also think your home is worth more than market value, or that your roof is just fine while a home inspector says otherwise. There are so many factors, and especially if you are in a time crunch, waiting for an offer to come in can be very difficult.

While it’s important to take the right steps in order to make your house sell, there are also mistakes that you need to avoid. Being too involved in the sale of your home, expecting too high of a price, ignoring curb appeal, not making fixes, and choosing the wrong realtor are all significant mistakes that you want to avoid when trying to sell your home.

 1. Being too involved

It’s easy to think that we will quickly get multiple offers on our house and that it will sell for the amount that we hope to get. It’s also easy to allow yourself to become too involved in the selling process. It’s important to try to keep your own feelings and memories out of the sale as much as possible. Perhaps you have lived in your home for 25 years, and you picture a young family raising their kids like you did. In the end, what really matters are the offer details and your bottom-line proceeds from the sale. Let your realtor deal with the other issues.

2. Expecting too much

It’s important that you price your home appropriately. Any realtor can provide a comparable market analysis (CMA) to determine what your home is worth. You need to be prepared for a fair offer, might not necessarily be the ideal offer you would hope for. Expecting too much can scare away buyers if you overprice your home. Your home will sit on the market and become a “stale” listing. You may also overlook appropriate offers if you expect more than your home is worth.
selling your san diego house3. Not considering curb appeal

No matter how great your home is on the inside, having your home looking desirable on the outside is crucial to selling your house. Curb appeal is very important to most buyers, so be sure to look at your front yard and everything else that is visible from the street. Many potential buyers will “drive by” your home beforehand, so first impressions are critical. Buyers can easily ask a realtor to bring them to a specific house, and this is might happen if a buyer wants a home in a particular neighborhood. Neglecting to take care of the curb appeal of your home could cause buyers to skip it.

4. Not fixing minor or cosmetic issues

Some sellers decide to sell their home “as is,” which can be the right choice in certain situations. If you are in a hurry to get out or your home needs a lot of renovations, you may actually attract “flip” type buyers by pricing your home low, knowing that  it needs work. However, if you are hoping for top dollar on your home, you need to fix any problems. Cosmetic issues can be especially distracting to buyers. Buyers may see old wallpaper and see dollar signs, or find other minor problems and decide your home isn’t worth purchasing because the home down the street is more “move in ready.” Even knowing that fixing the problems would cost buyers very little, you still might be better off fixing them yourself.

As far as bigger issues are concerned, sometimes these come up during a home inspection. These could be things like roof leaks, hidden water leaks, or structural damage. If you know of an issue ahead of time, you can ask your realtor to explain to potential buyers how you plan to deal with the issue.pick a realtor

5. Picking the wrong realtor

Speaking of realtors, make sure you choose carefully. There are no shortage of realtors out there. If you are uncomfortable with a certain realtor, or a particular person seems too busy or hurried to listen to take the time needed, you probably don’t want that person to be your realtor. If you choose a realtor who is too busy or unwilling to market your house, give regular open houses, and work with potential buyers, you may have to wait longer to sell your house.


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Sell Your Home Faster With Staging!

With the coming of spring, more potential San Diego homebuyers will begin hitting the streets. Homes that make a good first impression are the most likely to make the biggest impressions on potential buyers.

So how do you make a great first impression? That’s where home staging comes in.

home staging sell home faster

Before & After Staging

Homebuyers find professionally decorated properties easier to visualize as a future home. Home staging companies normally take a minimalist approach, by not cramming the home with a lot of furniture, and thus making the home feel bigger and more open. All the decor tends to be on the neutral side as well. Staged homes typically sell much quicker-normally within 30 days. Additionally, staging usually leads to a higher final sales price.


Stagers first conduct a home assessment, examining items to be removed and refurbished. They neutralize decor to appeal to a majority of buyers while maximizing both indoor and outdoor space. In turn, this generates positive impressions of the home’s features. Mixing conflicting styles and accessories can put off homebuyers, which is where staging can really help bring a streamlined flow to the home.

Additionally, staging and repairs offers the appearance of home upkeep, both in the real world and online. Photos are an essential part of marketing because nearly all buyers will preview a property online first.


Sellers who decide that staging is the way to go will likely want to hire a professional staging company. Most real estate professionals can make recommendations. Expect to spend $1,000-2,000 for this service, which will reward you when the offers come in!


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Preparing to Sell Your Home

Selling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and boxes piled up in the bedroom doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.home staging when selling

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. For a cost of $1,000 & up, home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.


Ryan Blanco-Realtor-San Diego Real Estate BlogAbout Me: I am a full time agent and I dedicate 100% of myself and my time to my valued clients in addition to the San Diego communities that I serve. It is imperative that I continuously evolve with local and national trends in addition to always looking ahead of the industry. It is a must to always provide the best service to my clients, their families and friends.




Understanding Home Appraisals

understanding home appraisalsHome appraisals can be confusing. The homeowner may feel that their home is worth a certain dollar amount, only to be disappointed that it appraises at another value. Although the disappointment is understandable, know that appraisals are not a just “opinion,” but rather based on guidelines set by lenders and the law.

A commonly known guideline is one that bases your home value on that of similar home sales in the area. Similar qualities such as the size of the home and size of the lot are considered. Your home will also be bracketed according to the value of certain amenities. For example, while there is no set amount associated with a pool, the value will be based on what the local marketplace can support. In other words, if a homeowner installs a pool that costs $30,000, but the local market supports the value of a pool at only $15,000, then that item is bracketed at [$15,000] on the appraisal.

Another area of confusion for appraisals and upgrades has to do with how they are weighed in new homes versus older homes. In newer homes, the full value of the upgrade will be reflected on the appraisal since it required investing extra money in building the home. On the other hand, the total amount invested in upgrading or remodeling an older home is often not expressed in the final appraisal. The reason for this valuation difference is that older homes already had value in their original condition.

Just remember that the local market must also support the value of the upgrades!

Guidelines state that appraisers must place a value on homes that have already sold. However, this is not a hard rule. The appraiser is permitted to increase the value when they deem that property values are rising that area. For this assumption to be valid, however, the appraiser must provide evidence such as comparable pending sales and active listings.

Although there is no formal standard, many lenders allow for a 5% margin of error. However, if the appraiser is off by 8%, it’s likely that the home value will be reduced by 8%. Although its tempting to encourage the appraiser to push the valuation to the higher end of the market, it’s best that the value is not pushed further than the market can support. If the lender suspects that the appraisal is drastically off, it will be subject to more scrutiny, and the value pushed further down.


Ryan Blanco-Realtor-San Diego Real Estate BlogAbout Me: I am a full time agent and I dedicate 100% of myself and my time to my valued clients in addition to the San Diego communities that I serve. It is imperative that I continuously evolve with local and national trends in addition to always looking ahead of the industry. It is a must to always provide the best service to my clients, their families and friends.




Home Warranties–What You Need To Know

Home Warranty Plans for Buyers and Sellers

You get a warranty when you buy phones, computers, appliances, and more, but what about for your home? Yes, you can get a home warranty! These benefit both buyers and sellers and can be a valuable tool.

A home warranty is different than homeowners insurance. It covers many items not covered under your standard homeowner policy – filling a critical gap home protection. For example, if the dishwasher leaks and water damages the floor, the homeowner’s insurance policy may cover fixing the floor, but not the repair or replacement of the dishwasher. A home warranty will cover the dishwasher. So in many ways, they compliment each other.

Home warranty plans protect home buyers and sellersFor home buyers, a one-year home warranty is normally requested in the purchase contract, and even often paid for by the seller. The cost for a home warranty averages around $400/year. It is good for the first year after you purchase a home – and you have the option to extend it after that. With a home warranty, most major appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems are covered. For a little more money, additional items such as air conditioning and swimming pools can be covered. Buyers simply pay for the service call cost (which averages around $75), but not pay for actual repair or replacement cost for covered items. The contract covers repair and replacement of covered items, regardless of age, make, or model. This limits the risk home buyers have, and brings piece-of-mind.

Home warranties can also be very valuable for sellers. For example, if the new buyers move in the home and go to turn on the air conditioner and it does not work, someone may be blamed for it. Perhaps the buyers think the sellers knew of this problem and will blame them. Maybe they think the buyer’s Realtor, the seller’s Realtor, or the property inspector knew about it, or all the above! With the home warranty policy, the sellers are much more likely to maintain a good standing with the buyers. If any issues do come up, they will get repaired for the nominal cost of the service call. Quite simply, home warranty plans go a long way to prevent lawsuits and help everyone sleep better at night!

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Home Sellers-How To Read A Buyer’s Offer

Yes! You’ve gotten an offer from someone who wants to buy your home. Now, how do you read and understand the fine print of all those pages??? I will help you read a buyer’s offer.

Just to clarify, the purchase offer generally consists of:

  • Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) – 10 pages
  • Disclosure forms

The first two pages of the purchase agreement (RPA) is the most important and impacts you the most as a seller, so we will start with those:

Besides the all-important purchase price on page one, the escrow time-frame is in section 1D, and deposit amount in 3A are ones to note. Most home sellers want shorter escrow time periods since that is the quicker they get paid (although 30 days is the most common). When it comes to the deposit, more is better-since the potential buyer is showing they are willing to risk more money and are thus a serious contender.

On page 2, the division of costs in section 4 are very noteworthy as well. It is common for the seller to pay any transfer fees from the city and county, HOA report fees, a natural hazard report, home warranty plan, and termite inspection. Generally, the buyer and the seller share the escrow and title fees. The buyer generally pays for any other inspection costs such as their home inspection.

The other very important things to note on the RPA is the loan contingency (page 2, section 3H), and the inspection contingency (section 14). The inspection contingency says how many days the buyer has to inspect the property. These contingencies dictate how long the buyer has to back out of purchasing the property. Of course, the fewer the days the better, but 17 days is customary.

It’s common for the buyer to request that the seller pay for a termite inspection and Section 1 termite work (current infestation or damage). Section 2 is normally paid by the buyer (items that COULD LEAD to wood damage). Here in San Diego, it’s not unusual for some work to be needed on a home. It’s also common for a buyer to request the seller pay for a 1-year home warranty plan. This averages around $400, depending on the property.

If you have any questions, or want any clarification on anything involving the purchase offer, I am of course here to help. And congratulations – you are well on your way to selling your home!

Click on the graphics below to view the bigger full size versions of these Residential Purchase Agreement pages. This covers the first two, and most critical pages of a buyer’s offer.

How to Read a Real Estate Purchase Offer for California


How to read a home purchase offer in California



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