Christies Sereno White

Dave Bauer

Realtor®
CaDRE# 01166202

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

You would never dream of inviting guests to your house without making certain preparations, so don’t invite potential buyers without first making the necessary updates by preparing your home to sell. If you are like most sellers, you want to get as much as possible for your home and you want to do it as quickly as possible. Letting Go After you’ve lived in a house, it becomes much more than four walls and a ceiling. It’s a home and it has a lot of good memories. Your first step to preparing your home to sell is to realize that you will take these memories with you wherever you go, but you won’t be taking the house. It can be difficult to let go, but the task will be much easier if you start to think of it as a new beginning rather than an ending. Cleaning House An important part of getting your home ready to sell is in staging the decor for potential buyers. When you stage a home, you create an environment that is free of any personal items, such as photos and/or anything that stands out as being customized for you or your family. When a potential buyer walks through your home, they need to envision their belongings and decor without being distracted by yours. While these items may be special to you, they could possibly prevent the buyer from being able to imagine their own style complimenting the home. In addition to removing any personal items, make sure that you remove any clutter from the home. A clean home seems larger and more inviting, whereas a lot of stuff lying around could give the impression that the home is too small or cramped for storage. Pack up any knickknacks, remove your children’s drawings from the refrigerator and clean up your counter space in both the kitchen and bathrooms. Staging Your Home Now that your house is clean, it’s time to put the finishing touches on the staging process. A solid, neutral shade in a tablecloth should be selected for the dining room table. Depending on your decor and wall coloring, a solid white, sand or ivory covering will work well. In the center of the table, a vase with fresh cut flowers (or silk, if you have allergies) will add a nice accent. Did you know that the kitchen and bathroom are two of the main selling points to any home? Keep this in mind when preparing your home for potential buyers. The living room should have one focal point, whether it be a fireplace or breathtaking view of the outside world. If you have too many features screaming out at potential buyers, they may feel overwhelmed, so focus on one aspect and make it shine. If you have a mantle, line it with three candles that match your decor in color. Place a large candle in the center with one smaller one on each end, which will be reminiscent of a perfectly matched bookend set. A home with a stunning view should have window dressings that accent the positive, instead of hiding it. If your furniture has a design of any kind, mask it with a solid slipcover to compliment the flooring or wall color. Some homeowners also add a fresh coat of paint to their home, which will bring life back into a fading color. Turn on the lights and open the blinds and draperies to create a bright and inviting environment throughout your home. Where To Store Your Stuff Now that you know how important it is to remove any clutter and oversized or bulky furniture, you need to know where to put it. If you already have a new home, you can simply move it there. Otherwise, you can put it into storage until you are ready to move. It’s important to leave some essentials in your former home for potential buyers to see, such as a dining room table, a sofa and chairs, bed, etc. Any additional furnishings that seem to interrupt the flow of your home, or make it feel cramped, should be removed. You do not want potential buyers to feel as though the house is too small. Details, Details, Details . . . As a final strategy to prepare your home to sell, make sure that you have any carpet stains removed, windows cleaned, fresh linens placed in the bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. You would be surprised how many people pay attention to even the smallest of details, so be sure to fix any small repairs that could be a turnoff for buyers. Last but not least, make sure your home looks just as good on the outside as it does on the inside. This means that your lawn should be cared for, flower beds must be maintained and any outdoor clutter must be removed.

Home Selling Checklist: The Process Of Selling Your Home

Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, it’s time to think about what comes next. Throughout the process, you may find it beneficial to have a checklist to help guide you in some very important choices that you will be making in the coming months. Interview Several REALTORS® A REALTOR® is a person who you will enlist to help with the selling of your home. Just like no two homes are alike, no two owners are alike and each has different needs when it comes to real estate. The REALTOR® that you ultimately choose will have access to your home at any time and will be responsible for marketing it to potential buyers. As such, you should choose someone that you feel comfortable with and will do the best job for you. The only way to know which REALTOR® this will be is to speak with more than one, ask plenty of questions and get a feel for how they do business. Get An Appraisal When you list your home for sale, an appraisal will be helpful for a number of reasons. As the seller, you may wonder why you would need to have your home appraised, but here’s why. As a seller, you do not want to overprice or underprice your home. If you ask for more than the home is actually worth, lenders won’t likely grant a loan even if you find a willing buyer. If you price your home too low, not only will you be taking away from your own profit, but potential buyers may wonder what’s wrong with the home that it’s priced so far below market value. With an appraisal, you can list your home with the knowledge that you need to make sure the price is right. If you want to advertise the home as a bargain, sell it somewhat below the appraised value. Buyers will know they are getting instant equity in the home and lenders will see the investment as a good one. As a final thought to choosing an asking price, note that your REALTOR® will require a commission and possibly other fees in connection with listing your home on the market. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask the REALTOR® for a written summary of these fees, as opposed to just a mention of them in the contract, and how much they will be. With this information, you will know exactly how much money you will have left in your pocket from the sale of your home. Decide How Quickly You Want To Sell Believe it or not, your schedule could greatly impact the listing price. If you are in a hurry to sell, you may find that a competitive asking price will help you to get the cash you need much quicker. A price that reflects the higher end of a buyer’s budget may take some time to sell, so consider these factors when pricing your home. Make Time For Updates Your REALTOR® will offer advice as to what needs updated, repaired or changed in order to maximize the potential of your home. When a buyer looks at a house, they are looking at the cost, needed repairs or upgrades, decor, etc. Once your REALTOR® does a walkthrough and explains what, if anything, needs updated, you will commit to an asking price and sign the listing agreement. Field Offers As a seller, you are probably already aware that potential buyers will make an offer that could be less than your actual asking price. Most REALTORS® will tell you that if you ask for ‘X’ amount of dollars, buyers will probably offer you ‘X’ amount instead. That’s the name of the game, and you will need to decide whether or not your asking price is firm or negotiable. If an offer comes your way, you will always have the option of making a counteroffer or simply rejecting the deal altogether. As a final thought to the negotiation process, keep in mind that buyers typically offer less than they are actually willing to pay initially. Most offers are time sensitive, which means you may have to make some quick decisions. Of course, your REALTOR® will be there to guide you through every step of the process and will likely offer an opinion as to whether or not an offer is fair in the current market. Close The Deal When the price is right and you agree to the terms, it’s time to say goodbye to your former home and hello to a brand new life. Letting go is not always easy, but moving forward is a part of life. If you still live in the home, most contracts will require that you move within 30 days. If you no longer live in the home, most buyers will want to move in immediately.

Pricing Your Home To Sell

In addition to location and condition, the asking price of a home is at the top of the list of important considerations. When a potential buyer is looking for a property, they want to get the best possible value for their dollar. This doesn’t mean that a home should be priced too low, but it does mean that knowing how to price your home is a must. Know The Value Regardless of whether you are in a buyer’s market or seller’s market, it’s important for every seller to know the actual value of their home with the help of an appraisal. With this information, you will be able to choose a listing price that does not exceed the home’s value. At the same time, you will know how to react to various offers that a potential buyer may make. If you can select a price that is affordable to a range of buyers, you may receive multiple offers thereby sparking a possible competition among the interested parties. Do Your Homework The asking price that you choose should not be based on an appraisal alone, but rather a combination of factors. One such factor is that of recent selling prices for comparable homes in the area known as “comps.” Important comparisons include construction year, square footage, views (if applicable), interior upgrades and additional features that make the home unique. While you’re doing research, check out current listings and the asking price for each home available in your area. Set A Realistic Timetable In researching the sale price for other comparable homes in the area, you should also note the length of time a particular house has been on the market. Some homes practically sell overnight, while others may remain on the market for months without being sold. If you want to sell your home quickly, you should consider this when setting a price. A bargain will obviously move quicker, but it’s important to make enough from the sale to feel good about your choice. If you aren’t in a hurry to close, talk with your realtor about a fair starting price that’s at or near the appraised value of your home. Ask Your REALTOR® For Advice While you hold the key, so to speak, to your house’s actual asking price, most sellers will ask their REALTOR® for their opinion. After all, real estate is their business and they will be working with you through every step of the process. If you choose a REALTOR® that you trust, give great consideration to the advice they offer.

Selling A House With Pets At Home

When we have pets, they quickly become a part of our family. But when it comes to selling your home, potential buyers may not be impressed by the presence of your four-legged family member. Whether it’s due to allergies or a simple case of not being a lover of animals, many buyers shy away from a home with pets. The good news is that there are strategies you can employ to sell your house without a ruff time. A Foolproof Solution If you worry about potential home buyers being scared off by the presence of your pet, find an alternate location for them while you are showing the home. Perhaps a neighbor, family member or friend could watch your pet for a few hours. Otherwise, consider boarding your pet temporarily. Without the discomfort of an unfamiliar animal, buyers will be free to tour your home and envision their own belongings in it without having any distraction. If All Else Fails . . . If you cannot find a way to temporarily relocate your pet, place him/her in a pet carrier when buyers are touring your home. Animals should not remain in this type of unit for more than two hours at a time, but this should give buyers enough time to see the home and ask any questions. If you have an outdoor kennel or exercise pen, your pet may be satisfied here until the tour is over. Your main focus is to keep him/her from interfering with the tour and/or disturbing your potential buyer. What’s Left Behind As every pet parent knows, animals often leave little surprises in some unapproved places. If you find yourself with carpet stains or pet odors, hire a professional cleaning company. If this fails, replace the carpet or consider installing hardwood floors. Buyers will see stains or smell the presence of an animal and may form an early opinion, which isn’t likely to be favorable, before even giving your house a chance. Once your pets are out of the house, remove their litter box or training pad(s) and clean the area thoroughly. Staging Many sellers are already aware of this term because staging a house is essential in the real estate business. If you have pets, remove any photos or other goodies, including toys and furniture, when showing your home. Picture Perfect When you sell a home, your REALTOR® will take photos for the listing. These images may appear in advertisements and/or on the REALTOR’S® Web site, which means they should represent everything that is wonderful about your home. Avoid any photos that show your pet, his/her toys or bed. Buyers are not looking for a pet, but rather a house that they can call home. Legal Matters Your local law may require that you inform potential buyers that a pet lives in the home. Nobody likes to see pet hair on the carpet or see a dirty litter box, but they do have the right to know everything about the house, including any pet presence.

What Are Lockboxes? How Do Lockboxes Work?

When a homeowner lists their house with a REALTOR®, they may choose to store their house keys in the lockbox for easy access for the REALTOR® showing the home. In fact, these handy accessories have all but replaced the need to keep a key under the mat. And not to mention, they are a lot more effective and secure. Why REALTORS® Use A Lockbox It’s no surprise that REALTORS® like to sell houses, but they wouldn’t be in business for long if the homes they show were to be vandalized or illegally accessed by an unlawful individual. A lockbox works to prevent anyone, other than approved REALTORS®, from being granted access into the home. Not only does it allow the REALTOR® to be more effective in showing homes, but it also gives the owner some added peace of mind in knowing that their home is being protected. The Cost Lockboxes vary in price according to the unit itself. For instance, some lockboxes use a standard key to open while the more modern approach is a combination lock. In some cases, the seller may be required to purchase a unit if they prefer a REALTOR® use it when showing their home to potential buyers. In other instances, the REALTOR® will provide the lockbox free of charge. The best way to know for sure is to ask your REALTOR® about their policy relating to lockboxes and what, if any, cost will apply to its use. Lockbox Safety When it comes to protecting any vacant home, careful planning is a must. Many experts and homeowners alike believe that having a lockbox alone will not protect the home, but rather the unit together with proper placement would be the better combination for optimal security. Most REALTORS® recommend placing the lockbox in an area that’s concealed, one that’s not obvious at first glance, as opposed to leaving it in plain sight. Some may prefer to leave the lockbox near the entrance of the home because, after all, how many burglars would ever walk right up to the front door? Now that you know where to place the lockbox, you need to know where not to place it. Never choose a location that’s far from the home or is inconvenient for the REALTOR® to access. In order to show your house to potential buyers, your REALTOR® needs to be able to get in the door and it’s not likely that they will be thrilled at the prospect of wading through an overgrown lawn, reaching blindly into a flower garden or sliding through the mud just to find your house key.

When Is The Right Time To Reduce The Price

Every homeowner must set an asking price when listing their home on the market, but what happens when you don’t receive any offers? Just as it’s important to know when it’s time to sell, it’s important to recognize the right time to reduce the price. Supply & Demand If a lot of homes are currently listed on the market or your home is overpriced, it may be time to consider a price reduction if you hope to stay competitive. If five different stores sold your favorite soda, what would motivate you to buy from one over the others? If you are like most, the cost would be a leading factor. The same is true with home buyers, who are looking to get the best value for their dollar. Hurry Up & Wait If your home has been listed on the market for what is considered to be a lengthy time for your area, it may be time to consider a price reduction. This is especially true if you are in a hurry to sell, which may be the case if you are planning to purchase another house upon selling yours. In some cases, a homeowner will make an offer on another house and that offer will be contingent upon selling their current home. When this happens, the homeowner is likely to be in a hurry to sell so that they can honor the terms of their new agreement before it expires. Real estate can often be a waiting game, but sometimes it may be necessary to hurry up the process, through a price reduction, if you need to complete the sale. Market Value Fluctuations We all know how the market fluctuates. If you own real estate, property values can go up one year and fall the next. If your house is currently listed and the property values have fallen, you may want to consider reducing the price in order to remain in the running with potential home buyers. If your house is priced far above market value, most lenders would refuse to approve a loan for your asking price. Having an appraisal would be one way to know how much your home is worth. REALTOR® Recommendations If you’ve hired a REALTOR®, you obviously trust him/her to guide you through the process of selling your home. If your REALTOR® suggests a price reduction, it may be in your best interest to consider it. Nobody knows the business like a real estate agent. They know what buyers want and, in most cases, what they are willing to pay. If you’ve trusted a REALTOR® enough to hire them, trust them enough to value their opinion.

Are Your Neighbors Affecting Your Home’s Value?

You have put your home up for sale and done everything your agent has advised you to do to prepare your property for sale, but still no offers have come in. If you suspect your neighbor’s property is preventing your home from appealing to potential buyers, there are a few things you can do to remedy this situation. Here are some tips for dealing with problem neighbors while selling your home. Are Your Neighbors The Problem? Before banging down the neighbor’s door and blaming them for your home’s lack of appeal, you’ll first want to make sure that is really the problem. Ask your agent what they think the problem is, and whether they agree that the neighbors may be preventing the sale. Also ask other homeowners in the area what they think of any problem neighbors to get perspective before making that visit. Use Tact When Approaching Neighbors If you have determined that a particular neighbor is creating a problem that is affecting your home’s value and marketability, your best bet in getting them to agree to make the required changes is to be nice about it. Offer to help them with the cleanup and explain that it is not only for your benefit, but will also increase their home’s value as well. Planning a neighborhood cleanup and renting a junk removal service for the community may encourage them to clean up without even being asked. Last Resort If you have asked nicely and your neighbor still refuses to clean their property, there are steps you can take to force the situation. Many municipalities have bylaws concerning the upkeep of property, and getting your local officials involved may be necessary. Also getting other homeowners in the area on your side can make this easier. Remember though, you should always approach the individuals first and ask nicely before reporting them to the authorities. Messy neighbors can be an obstacle to selling your home, but in most cases a little diplomacy and an offer to help will get the task accomplished.

Avoid The Most Common Mistakes When Selling Your Home

Avoid The Most Common Mistakes When Selling Your Home Here are the most common mistakes people make when selling their property. Home Is Priced Too High This will certainly turn buyers off, and you may have to make several contingencies or offer incentives in order to get buyers even interested in making an offer. While you may feel your home is special, asking more than the fair market value will usually get you nowhere. Home Is In Bad Condition While your home in its current condition may work for you and your family, if there are obvious repairs that need to be made, or it is terribly outdated, fixing these problems will not only make it easier to market your home, but will also increase its value. In most cases this increase will be considerably greater than the money you put into making the changes. Home Is Being Marketed Incorrectly When selling your home, there are no guarantees that the ultimate buyer will simply walk through the front door. In many cases you may have to bring your home to the buyer. Effective marketing will help ensure that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing, and able buyer in the shortest period of time. By adhering to the advice in these simple tips, you can avoid the biggest mistakes homeowners make when selling their homes, and the process will be smoother and more profitable in the long run.

Creating Curb Appeal

If you’re selling your home, there are a number of things you can do to improve your property’s potential value and appeal. Creating curb appeal is one of the most effective and easy ways to accomplish this and to increase the interest of potential buyers in your home. Here are some simple and inexpensive ways you can increase your home’s curb appeal. Use Color Effectively Color can be a power tool in attracting people to your home. If the exterior of your home could use a fresh coat of paint or a new door, this is a great opportunity to add some points of interest to your property. Always remember, however, more is less-choose colors that are similar to other homes in the area. You can infuse more vibrant and interesting colors through accent features and flowers or plants. Create An Inviting Entrance Making the entrance to your home attractive and inviting will give potential buyers an instant sense of welcome the moment they walk through the door. Make the door the focal point of the exterior of your home, and think about elements such as lighting and color to make it as attractive as possible. Also think about details such as including a nice welcome mat on your front step, some flowers in attractive pots or urns flanking the entrance, and even consider adding a chair with a small table if you have a larger porch area. Landscaping Is A Must! Making your lawn and yard attractive, free of clutter and debris, and nicely landscaped can really make all the difference in adding curb appeal. First remove all weeds, fix any areas on your lawn that need repair, and mow it carefully. If you have any unsightly items or clutter in the yard, remove it and replace it with well-placed flowers and plants. If you have a large front yard with no trees, consider planting one or two to add interest and value to the property. These are just a few of the many ways in which, with a little effort and a small amount of money, you can increase interest in your home.

Home Seller Disclosure Obligations

Anything that could be potentially harmful to the new occupant or the home itself must be addressed in the seller’s disclosure. Seller disclosure can include previous damage, homeowner’s association fees, or any number of other things. Following is more information about home seller disclosure obligations. Be sure your agent shows you the disclosure document before signing. You are responsible for the accuracy of the document, and can be held liable for any inaccurate information contained within it. Know your local disclosure requirements. While there are federal disclosure requirements, there may be some in your state or local area that may be more inclusive than the federal guidelines. Your real estate agent can keep you informed on where to find this information. Be sure any defects in the property are disclosed to buyers. This includes the results of any home inspections and property surveys that have recently been done. It also includes information about any harmful chemicals that may be present in the home, such as lead paint or asbestos. If someone has recently died in the home you are required to tell buyers of this fact. In most areas you must disclose this if the death has occurred in the last three years. There are also some areas that require you to disclose potential natural threats to the home such as fire hazards, earthquakes, and mudslides. Your agent is required to disclose any information that may affect a homebuyer’s decision to make an offer on a property. You must inform your agent if you think the foundation may have a crack, even if you are not sure that information must be disclosed.

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Contact

Dave Bauer, Realtor® CaDRE# 01166202
380 Diablo Rd, Ste 100 Danville, CA 94526
Phone: (925) 855-4040
Email: dave@davebauer.com

Dave Bauer, Realtor® fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Bay East ©2024. CCAR ©2024. bridgeMLS ©2024. Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. This information is being provided by the Bay East MLS, or CCAR MLS, or bridgeMLS. The listings presented here may or may not be listed by the Broker/Agent operating this website. This information is intended for the personal use of consumers and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.