You Never Know What Will Seal the Deal

Curb AppealI have often compared house hunting to match-making or dating. You view several different homes, assess its good points and bad points, envision yourself living there, consider whether or not it meets your needs and usually get a sense of whether or not the home feels right. Each home has a different personality. Sometimes not all the good points are instantly visible to the buyer. Sometimes a home has potential that can easily be seen. And sometimes it can be just one specific feature that makes a buyer fall in love and write the offer.

One time I helped a seller with their curb appeal by re-planting their front flower bed and adding charm. I planted lavender, daisies and various pink and lavender annuals. A young couple came to view the home, and the young woman fell in love with all the lavender and purple; it was her favorite color. It made her vulnerable to fall in love with the rest of the home (which was equally charming and desirable). Once I showed a home to my buyer that was outside of his price range. He could afford it, but had a budget. It had a pool, spa and yard he had been dreaming of. I will never forget the look on his face when he saw that rear yard; it was love and there was no going back. The home itself was not ideal and needed some upgrades, but the yard was his ideal soulmate.

Staged Room Looks InvitingSometimes a buyer can be turned off by certain things, too, even if the home is otherwise perfect. A few years ago, I was showing the ideal home to a buyer, but the owner was present. It made my buyer uncomfortable and have a bad feeling about the home, even though they otherwise really liked it. We came and saw it again, but the bad first impression with the homeowner present had stuck and could not be erased.

First impressions really matter in life. When selling real estate, always try to enhance and showcase the best aspects of your home no matter what it is. If it is a great view, frame and highlight the view; do nothing to detract from it. If the home is very open and spacious, make sure it is staged properly to highlight this. If your front yard is a little blah or bland, add some simple life and color, especially near the front door and path to the front door. Desirable character traits of your home will usually outshine any perceived flaws and help the buyer fall in love with the real soul of the home.

Indian Village Home Curb Appeal

Home Buying and Selling Stress

Yes, buying and selling your home can be very stressful, especially if it is your first time doing so. There are so many factors to consider and so much paperwork! But the benefits are ultimately worth it otherwise no one would be doing it. There are many things you can do to reduce or mitigate the stress, but I don’t think it can be eliminated entirely.

Firstly, you need to get prepared. You need to do some homework, do some research and get in touch with ME (949.525.5905). You will need to figure out what your goals and needs are and what your resources are to achieve them. Educating yourself and talking to an experienced agent who is on your side will go a long way to reduce the stress of buying and selling.

Good communication with your agent is also key. You are the boss, and so don’t be afraid of speaking your mind and asking questions. This will help you to feel more in control of the process and therefore more in control and ultimately happy with the outcome.

Trust your gut. When in doubt, it is often good to check in with your own gut instincts about something. if something seems amiss or if something seems like the right thing to do, then explore that option, ask questions and/or ultimately act on that instinct. Again, this puts you more in control and playing a bigger part of the process.

Do some work, physical and mental. Crunch numbers, make repairs to a home, get pre-approved for a loan, drive through neighborhoods, talk to trusted professionals, etc. Be proactive.

Definitely take a time out from the process. Try not to stress each moment about every detail. Walk away from the endeavor and then come back to it refreshed and hopefully more confident and with a better perspective. You may also need to walk away from people who are negative or who are giving you advice that you know is wrong.

Try to find enjoyment in the process. Shopping for a home can be fun. Listen to the positive feedback you get from buyers looking at your home for sale. Take pride in the equity you have built up. Look forward to a new dream home or a better life in a new home. Consider all you have learned from buying and selling and how far you have come to get to this point in your life.

So take a deep breath and give me a call. I can help reduce the stress of buying and selling, or at the very least be a sounding board for you as you stress out. I am here for you!

Home Buying and Water Damage

water damaged home in orange countyIs it just me or do other agents and their clients see a lot of water damage-related issues here is Orange County? It seems like about half of the deals I am involved in see more than average water damage issues like slab leaks, plumbing leaks, leaky appliances, mold, etc. The remainder still have some minor issues like smaller, easier to fix leaks or stains from old leaks.
Based on my experience, I always advise my buyers to be very aware of the likelihood of water-related damage or issues when performing home inspections during escrow. This type of damage, if left to fester, will just get larger and more costly. A small drip can wear away wood or drywall over time. It can lead to a lot of unseen serious damage that will make itself known in sudden, unfortunate and expensive ways.
Beware of signs of rust or missing grout. Invest in a moisture meter and take with you to home inspections. It is wise to take a good look under sinks, along the lines of the ceiling, around the water heater, etc. even before you write an offer. But just a visual look….don’t go poking holes in the wall looking for water damage.
If you are currently happy in your own home and not thinking of moving, it may be wise to check it for potential leaks and damage so you remain happy and content in it. The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is doubly true with water damage and the pain and heartache it causes in time, money and inconvenience if you have to move out while catastrophic damage is repaired.

Are You Really Ready to Buy a Home?

Home BuyerAre you really ready to buy a home? You are probably ready to look at homes on line or pick out carpet or paint color, but are you ready to make an actual offer on a home?

If you have not spoken with a lender and have had them qualify or approve you for a loan, then you are not really ready. In this changing real estate market where desirable homes are receiving multiple offers and are selling in a week or less, you need to be able to move quickly! It would be heartbreaking to see your dream home come available and then see it go off the market in 3 days because you did not have a pre-approval letter in hand.

A lender can tell you how much home you can qualify for and give you options to achieve your goals. A lender can put that pre-approval letter in you hand that gets you that much closer to the home you desire. Without that letter, you might as well not make an offer. A seller will not even consider your offer without it.

A seller and their agent will also want to see your proof of funds that shows you actually have the money in hand to buy the home. They will also want to see your FICO scores. A lender will run your credit and provide you with your FICO score.A lender can educate you about your financing options and help you make a good decision.

Speaking with a good lender is a painless experience and is hugely beneficial as you begin the home shopping process. It gives you peace of mind and confidence knowing you can afford the home you are looking at. Call me for some referrals or go to my links page.