Archive for the ‘Home Sellers’ Category

Should I Sell My Home Or Rent It Out?

should i rent out or sell my san diego propertyA recent study has concluded that nearly half of home buyers (when purchasing their next home) would prefer to rent out their last residence, rather than sell it. The main reason? They have locked in a low mortgage rate, meaning they are able to charge more rent than they pay in their monthly mortgage payment. Of course, a strong rental market just makes it even better. So, should you rent out your home?

This logic makes sense in some cases. Residential real estate is a great investment right now and can be great long-term as well. But if you have no desire to actually become a landlord, you may be headed for more headaches than you think. Are you ready to be a landlord?

Myths of owning rental property

Before renting your home, ask yourself the following questions to make sure this is the right course of action:

10 Questions to ask BEFORE renting your home

  1. How will you react to a tenant that tells you they are unable to pay the rent this month?
  2. There are times when many homeowners cannot make their mortgage payment. What percentage of tenants do you think cannot afford to pay their rent?
  3. Do you know any experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?
  4. Have you talked to your insurance company about a possible increase in premiums as liability is greater in a non-owner occupied home?
  5. Will you allow pets? Cats? Dogs? How big a dog?
  6. How will you actually collect the rent? By mail? In person?
  7. Repairs are part of being a landlord. Who will take tenant calls when necessary repairs come up? Will you hire a property management company?
  8. Do you have a list of craftspeople readily available to handle these repairs?
  9. How often will you do a physical inspection of the property?
  10. Will you alert your current neighbors that you are renting the house?

If the about seems like too much work, there is another option: let a property management company do all the heavy lifting. For around 8-10% of your total monthly rental income, they will ensure the property is occupied by the best tenants possible. This includes pre-screening tenants, showing the property, doing cleaning, repairs, & maintenance, and collecting rents. Most property management companies will charge an extra fee for finding new tenants, but that is worth it to some owners.

Bottom Line

Historically, renting out residential real estate. However, it is not without its many challenges. Make sure you have decided to rent the house because you want to be an investor, not because you are hoping to get a few extra dollars by postponing a sale.


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.




The Home Selling Process – Step By Step

organized home getting ready to sell Selling your home is a big task and your house is likely your biggest asset. In order to succeed you’ll want to be engaged at every step, from preparing it for sale, to pricing it properly, to negotiating, and closing. A great real estate agent will guide you every step of the way. Here is a quick summary of what you can expect in California during the home selling process.

1) Choose an Awesome Listing Agent

  • A listing agent will represent you and have a fiduciary responsible for looking out for your best interests.
  • Interview agents and meet at least 3. Get a feel for how they operate. Check out any of their current/past listings.
  • Negotiate your listing agreement, including the commission rate and length of time the home will be listed (5% for 6 months is the most common).

2) Find Out How Much Your Home Is Worth

  • A seller’s biggest mistake is to overprice a home. Many get emotionally involved and mistakenly think their home is worth much more than anything in their neighborhood.
  • Price your home in line with sold homes identified in a comparative market analysis report.
  • Consider the current state of the market (buyer’s market, seller’s market, or neutral) and price according to the market temperature.
  • What’s my home worth?

3) Get Home Ready for Sale

  • Prepare your home for sale by cleaning, decluttering and improving curb appeal.
  • Consider hiring a professional stage your home, or ask your real estate agent for help with staging.
  • Make repairs before listing it for sale. A general rule is to repair anything that is broken or a safety issue.
  • If you’re selling a home where pets live, make alternate plans for them.
 4) Market Your Home
  • You and your agent should identify the home’s best selling points and choose advertising words to sell.
  • Audit your agent’s online marketing campaign and tweak it as necessary to increase traffic and showings.
  • See how your listing is posted online (just Google your address!).
  • Your agent should saturate the Internet with photographs and descriptions of your home.

5) Show Your Home

  • If you’re wondering about lockbox vs. appointments, you’ll always get more showings if you let agents use a lockbox. Make it as easy as possible for them to show it to potential buyers.
  • Try to allow for agent open houses.
  • Ask your agent for buyer & agent feedback. You may need to adjust your price or condition accordingly. 
  • Selling during the holidays will likely result in a slightly lower sales price.

6) Receive Purchase Offers and Negotiate

  • Even if you receive a low-ball offer, negotiate by issuing a counter offer. Don’t ignore offers.  
  • If your home is priced right, prepare yourself for multiple offers.
  • Buying another home? Consider making a counter offer contingent it, if market conditions warrant.
  • Don’t be afraid to make a full-price counter offer, if you are priced competitively.
  • Remember, a counter offer isn’t just about price, but terms of the sale as well.

7) Obtain Seller-Required Inspections and Disclosures

  • You will likely need to pay for a termite inspection.
  • Your agent will help with various disclosures, such as lead-based paint, carbon monoxide, Megan’s Law, wire fraud advisory, etc.
  • If you are aware of material facts, disclose them. This will decrease your liability and help avoid future legal issues. 
  • Your title company should provide CC&Rs, but if you belong to a homeowner association, additional documentation will be required.

8) Escrow and TItle

  • Upon accepting an offer, your agent or transaction coordinator will open escrow and order a title report.
  • Escrow and title companies are neutral 3rd parties in a transaction.
  • Escrow and title costs are normally split between buyers and sellers.
  • Ask for a receipt for the buyer’s earnest money deposit.

9) Allow for the Appraiser Appointment

  • Clean the house the day before the appraiser arrives. You want the highest price possible.
  • If you receive a low appraisal, ask your agent about alternatives.
  • You are not guaranteed a copy of the appraisal because you did not pay for it, the buyer did.

10) Cooperate with Home Inspection

  • Get ready for the home inspector. This is a time when the inspector, the buyers, and their agent need to be in the house alone.home inspection getting home ready for sale
  • Ask your agent to provide you with a home inspection checklist so you will know which items an inspector will want to see.
  • A home inspector’s job is to be very detailed. Don’t be insulted by them nitpicking the small things. Reasonable buyer’s won’t sweat it.

11) Negotiate Request for Repair

  • You are not required to accept a buyer’s request for repair; however, buyers can also cancel the contract. Compromise is key.
  • You are entitled to a copy of the home inspection report, if the buyers request repairs.
  • If you do not choose to make repairs, a buyer might instead accept a closing cost credit.

12) Ask Buyer to Release Contingencies

  • California purchase contracts default to 17 days for a buyer’s inspection contingency. After that period, the buyer should release contingencies.
  • Releasing contingencies puts a buyer’s earnest money deposit on the line-should they later cancel the contract.
  • If buyers do not provide a release of their contingencies, sellers have the right to cancel the contract.

13) Buyer Loan Documents

  • After a buyer’s loan is fully approved by the lender, loan documents will be issued for their signature.
  • After signing the loan documents, the loan normally funds 1-2 days later.sold home san diego

14) Close Escrow

  • The buyers and their agent will perform a final walk-through inspection, which takes place within 5 days of closing.
  • Your property deed, re-conveyance, and deed of trust will record in the public records.
  • The title company will notify your agent when it records.
  • Depending on buyer’s possession rights specified in the contract, buyers normally take possession the day the deed records.



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.




8 Reasons Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®

Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® (NAR) and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are reasons why you should work with a REALTOR®.

1. Navigate a complicated process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, loan documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multipage settlement statements. A knowledgeable professional will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.

2. Information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and much more. They will also be able to provide objective information about a property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value down the road when I am ready to sell?

3. Help finding the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not advertised well in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.

Search San Diego Properties for Sale

4. Negotiating skills. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, appliances, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement will provide a specific period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property, before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can guide you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5.  Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a why work with a san diego realtorpractitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

6. Someone who speaks the language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate lingo.

7. Experience. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations are always changing. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an knowledgeable expert on your side is critical.

8. Objective voice. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional task. And for most people, a home is the largest purchase they’ll every make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues in your best interests.


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.




5 Cheap Home Improvements Before Selling Your Home!

Before selling your home, knowing what upgrades have the best payoff is important. Of course, there are countless ways to spend money on a property, from knocking down walls to replacing floors to adding new windows, so thinking through them can be tough. How are you supposed to choose? Where should you start? To help make the decision easier, here’s a look at 5 of the most high-impact and cheap home improvements that can increase your home’s value. Whether you want to invest in your property for the long haul— or for a fast sale— here are some good places to start.

  1. Replace the Front Door: Believe it or not, replacing your front entry with a steel door is one of the best investments (in cheap home inprovement upgrades when selling-front doorterms of resale value) you can make in your home. The front door is a home buyer’s first impression walking into your home, and the last thing they see when exiting. It’s known as the best cost-versus-value upgrade for your home. And since swapping out the front door can cost less than $1,000, it’s not an unbearable change for the pocketbook, either.
  2. Paint: Fresh paint makes a home feel fresh and new— exactly what buyers like. Choose a neutral color that is calm and soothing and paint fresh coats throughout the main living areas and bedrooms. This upgrade isn’t too pricey, especially if you do the work yourself, yet it will go a long way toward making your home more attractive. Even if you aren’t planning to move any time soon, fresh paint can give you a bright and new feeling to your home.
  3. Strategic Kitchen Upgrades: In today’s real estate markets, kitchens are hot. Buyers want beautiful kitchens and are often willing to pay for it. To make upgrading your cooking space an affordable improvement, focus on budget-friendly changes like replacing the sink faucet, upgrading cabinet hardware, updating old light fixtures and finding low-cost ways to make the entire kitchen feel clean and cohesive. Another tip is that buyers like appliances to match.
  4. Bathrooms: Anything you can do to modernize your bathrooms is a step in the right direction, value-wise. So rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars in full remodels, try instead to make small but significant changes like swapping out a cabinet sink with a pedestal model, or re-grouting the aging tile. Other ideas: replace the toilet seat, lay new floors over old ones or replace tired showers and tubs with upgraded options.

cheap home improvement upgrades when selling-curb appeal5. Get Out the Green Thumb: Curb appeal is important because it sets the first impression of your home to potential buyers. Take proper care of your landscaping by mowing the lawn, tending to flowers & shrubs, and taking care of your walkways. For small improvements with a lot of impact potential, consider adding new sod, new shrubs or colorful plants and flowers. Even if you have to pay a landscaper to make some changes, the payoff can be well worth it.


By making some simple, smart improvements to your home can reap big rewards, now and in the future. When the day comes that you decide to sell, use the five ideas listed above as a starting place for where it’s worth spending your hard-earned money. It may make all the difference in how you enjoy your home, not to mention how quickly it can go off the market!

Find Out How Much Your Home Is Worth Now!

Ryan Blanco-Realtor-San Diego Real Estate Blog

About 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.




How Much Are Seller Closing Costs?

As many seasoned home sellers know, there are costs associated with the sale of a home (seller closing costs). For most sellers, these costs are simply deducted out of your net proceeds by your Escrow company, and the check you receive already has these amounts deducted. A Realtor can provide you a very accurate “net sheet” to show how much you would net at various sales prices.

1. Realtor Commissions

In California, it is standard for the seller to pay the Realtor commissions for their own agent as well as the buyer’s agent. Commission is one of the largest the cost of selling your san diego houseexpenses associated with the sale of a home. Currently, 5-6% of the sales price is the most common amount brokers charge. Find out about my 4% discount commission listing plan!

2. HOA Fees

If you live in an HOA community, sellers normally pay the HOA transfer fee and the HOA document fee. These fees vary, but I’d budget $300-$600 total.

3. Recording Charges

This fee is about .01% of the sales price. It is the cost associated with transferring the title at the county recorder’s office from your name to the new buyers’ name.

4. Escrow/Title Charges

The seller must pay for a portion of the Escrow charges (normally they are split 50/50 with the buyer). For example, a $500,000 house would be around $1,200 for each side. They must also pay for owner’s title insurance, to help protect the buyer from any possible clouds on the title of the property they are purchasing. These charges normally total somewhere between 1/2 to 1% of the total sales price. 

how much is my san diego home worth

5. Property Taxes

Depending on the time of year of the sale, there may be unpaid property taxes, which are pro-rated until close of escrow.  If property taxes have already been paid in advance, the buyer will credit the seller a pro-rated amount from the date of sale.

6. Home Warranty

If a buyer requests a home warranty policy and the seller agrees, you must pay this expense through Escrow. In San Diego, the policies usually range from $400-$600. They cover appliances/systems in the house, and if the buyer has a maintenance issue arise, they can call their home warranty company, which will send a licensed professional out to take a look at it and potentially remedy the problem.

7. Additional Charges

The Residential Purchase Agreement (the buyer’s offer) outlines the terms of the sale.  Terms can include a seller credit towards buyer closing costs, or a buyer credit towards seller closing costs. Buyers often request a natural hazard disclosure report ($100), and a termite inspection ($85). Buyers may also request that the seller complete repairs, such as fixing a plumbing leak, replacing a roof, or clearing a termite infestation and repairing termite damage. Repair requests are negotiated between the buyer and seller after inspections are completed.


A Closing Cost Example Document

Here is an example of the final Closing Settlement Statement (formally the HUD-1) you will get from escrow. This home sold for $650,000 with a HOA:

Escrow Closing Disclosure Statement.pdf


As a seller, you’ll pay your real estate commission percentage, plus 1-2% of the sales price in closing costs. Since you are selling, you do not have lender fees associated with the transaction like the buyer does. A Realtor can work with their Escrow company rep to give you a very accurate breakdown (called a “Net Sheet”) of how much you will pocket from the sale of your home!

Ryan Blanco-Realtor-San Diego Real Estate Blog

About 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.




5 Home Improvements To AVOID When Selling

Everyone wants to make the home you own more comfortable and functional for your household. But before you put in a hot tub or convert the garage into a bedroom, think about whether or not these improvements will add or subtract perceived value from your the home when it comes time to sell. Upgrading your home is great, but there are some home improvement to avoid as well.

Yes, selling your home could be years away, however not all home improvements are welcome to buyers. When buyers are ready to buy, they tour multiple homes which can be confusing. So, they distinguish what they’ve seen by features like “the one with the beautiful kitchen,” or “the one with the ugly wallpapered bathroom.” You don’t want your home to be the one they poke fun at.

Here are just a few items that are undesirable to most buyers:outdated finishes for home buyers in san diego

1. Outdated finishes. It doesn’t matter if you paint your walls the hottest colors if buyers look up and see popcorn ceilings and wobbly ceiling fans. If you’re going to improve a room, update everything, even the power outlets and light switches. Be very careful with wallpaper which is very personal and can be polarizing to buyers. What about carpet? Most buyers want wood floors today because they look great and are easy to clean.

2. Awkward spaces. Have you seen the commercial where the family remodels the kitchen and borrows space from the college-age son’s bedroom, turning his room into little more than a closet? Knock out or move walls where you need to, but not if it makes other rooms virtually unusable.

3. Conversions. Beware of changing the intended function of a room. Transforming the dining room to a media room may make sense for your family, but where will your buyers eat dinner? And while we’re on the subject, converting studies into bedrooms isn’t good. Without closets and adjoining bathrooms, they aren’t really bedrooms anyway.

Don't do these DYI before selling your home4. Bad add-ons. Not having enough space is bad, but even worse is adding on space that looks stuck to the original house with glue. If you’re going to add on to your home, make sure it looks as natural and professional as possible, with the same quality finishes as the rest of the home.

5. Expensive-to-maintain luxuries. Swimming pools, hot tubs, koi ponds, fountains, and putting greens can make backyards a paradise, but they’re costly to keep up. Installing lush landscaping that has to be maintained  constantly to keep its shape is a great weekend hobby, but for potential buyers, less is more. Hobbies are fine, but make sure you can take them with you when you move.

So go ahead and paint your den after your favorite football team’s colors like yellow and blue, but when it comes time to sell, transform your home for the next buyer. Put it in pristine clean condition, and restore paints and finishes to more neutral shades. And keep remember this: If it’s expensive to add or install, it’s probably expensive to remove as well.


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