Monday, August 24, 2015

Curb appeal and Listing and Selling faster....



As a Listing Agent, I observe many Listings on the market that don't make sense. You wonder what the Sellers think when they see their home compared to others on the market and realize their photos are bad or they home looks cluttered. I am often called out after another Agent has unsuccessfully tried to List and Sell a Home that was unsuccessful. First of all it is not "Rocket Science" - I believe it is rather simple... what you see, is what you get. This said.... meaning it better look good online or WHY go out and see it in person?  Here are some tips that may help you in Listing your Home to sell. These are the steps I go through when working with my own Listings, for a quick successful sale.
#1 - PREPARE YOUR HOME
If you have done your homework, then your agent has instructed you to pack it away. If you are going to move it anyways, then it's time you start before you List your home For Sale. Now is the time to get rid of the clutter, anything extra needs to get packed. Neutralize your home. I want your home to look and feel open, airy and easy to maneuver in. By this being said... I mean look like a Model Home. The reason I want this is because it works!! A Model home is designed to make you feel Welcome, at home, able to visualize yourself in that home as your own. So this means packing up and de-personalizing things. Certain trends that you have tired, paint colors that are too bright, items that one may not find to be welcoming or offensive - need to go! The more you get rid of the faster your home will sell. I promise you this!  You can rent a storage and move the items in so your garage is still able to be viewed and walked thru if needed. Less is more!!!

#2 CLEAN 
Yes, clean!! I suggest my housekeeper to all my Clients, she is the BEST!! And everyone agrees and keeps her number to use again. She is FANTASTIC! Everything needs a deep cleaning including the windows inside and out. This is also a good time to deal with any odors that may need to be removed. Plug In's are great for this if needed.  Or lets find the culprit and deal with it now!

#3 CURB APPEAL
How does your home look on the outside?  Is there fresh bark in those bare areas, are there any welcoming plants/flowers by the front door? How is the pain on the front door, is it fresh and not too bright?  Little things are BIG things in Real Estate. Make a lasting impression by the time they drive up. Make your Buyers want to see whats inside!  A great outside usually leads to a grand outside, so do your homework and get your yard and front exterior show ready. A grand entrance improved the sales ability by 20%.

#4 STAGING 
How does your Home Show? Is your couch too big for your room with the loveseat and or chairs too?  Too much furniture may make a home appear too small. Or make the floorplan look strange, having it accessorized properly is a requirement for a fast sale and for the most money.  I have been staging Apartments for Models for a long, long time. And by doing that I learned what works and what doesn't. Although you may not want to get rid of your favorite chair, that chair may make the difference of showing your home many times, to showing it twice and moving into your New home! So make sure your home furniture requirements are not overloaded.
Another popular complaint is too big of furniture. It is best to remove the leaves in the Dining Room table, along with the oversized furniture. And if your daughters room is painted HOT PINK, this is the time to tone that pain down as well.
I actually provide my Own Staging at No Charge. Yes I have a collection of items from Pictures, to Towels, to Curtains along with Nic Naks that I can use to brighten your home for the Sale, compared to having to rent them or buy them. Make sure your home makes your Buyers feel warm and fuzzy and want to make this home their own.

#5 REPAIRS
Have you gone through and fixed the creaky door, the stopped up bathtub, the garbage disposal that doesn't work?  When your Buyer gets your home into contract, they will be doing a Home Inspection. If your home is found to have many problems, they may decide to walk away and buy another home - so make sure and take care of those needed repairs ahead of time. I have a few numbers of Handymen and Contractors that can help you inexpensively take care of those problems - lets deal with them now.

#6 UPDATING AND IMPROVEMENTS
If I could teach you one thing - it would be that Updated Homes Sell Faster and for more Money!  Therefore if I could get your home Updated for you at minimal cost and bother, wouldn't you say it would be something good to consider?  I have a few Contractors and Handymen that have worked for me for many, many years. Some of these Teams are the same Teams that worked for the Golden 1 Credit Union when I was one of their Realtors that FLIPPED and SOLD their properties during the Foreclosure days.  I have Flipped many homes and know what to do and what not to do, the latter being the most important. I am not wanting to re-invent your home, however if you can put $2000 into a home to make $10,000 more - would you do it?

#7 FIND YOUR NEW HOME OR YOUR NEW PLAN
Moving can be a stressful time. I want to sell your home - sure, but I do not want to find you homeless in the end. Or make it more stressful by not knowing where you are going. So therefore I ask that we go look at homes, areas, or put a plan in action as to what are we going to do once you sell?  Lets take the time to find your exit strategy and make it one you are going to look forward to. Moving can be a very stressful time and we can alleviate some stress by making a good plan.  So lets go make sure you can afford that New Home, or will enjoy that New Area, making plans in advance is a must!

#8 INTERVIEW AGENTS
As discussed above, we are not all trained in the same manner. Some of us have had formal training over the years to help us to stay current on trends and sales techniques needed to do our job better. Not everyone is equal on this one folks.... So do your home work and interview a few agents, see what they have to offer, and ask them what they would sell your home for. Going with the highest offer is not always best - if they don't have the experience and skills to back it up. That just means they will be beating you up to Reduce your Sales Price in a few months when your home has not Sold and they want their money from your Sale. Choosing someone who is good at their job, but also can produce results are key. Items to Discuss are:
Success - How many homes have they sold this year, and previous?
Where and how do they plan to Market your home?
What suggestions do they have?
What about photography? Make sure you look and see their other Listings and make certain they are shooting with a Wide Angle Lenses, this is the #1 mistake I see time after time. It can make a large room seem very small, and almost always determines how many Buyers you will have out to view your home, and how fast it will sell.
References?  Do they have any recent ones, and did you call and check them?
Lastly - do you like them?  You will be working very closely with this person and if you do not like them that well now, you are really not going to like them in the end. Make sure to pick someone you enjoy.

I also suggest getting a Sellers Net Sheet prior to listing your home For Sale to make sure you are going to end up with enough money and the amount you expect prior to Listing.  Your Agent can get these for you Free of charge from their Title Company. Better to know ahead of time and not be surprised down the road.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Curb appeal and our Ugly Brown Lawns.. there is help!

Oh my goodness, California has been the place I was born and raised in, and it has always been beautiful. Now it just looks so awful to me while driving through what once was our beautiful neighborhoods.  I am praying for El Nino like they say is coming.  Yeah, bring it on!! I don't know about you but it kills me to see the nicest neighborhoods around and brown dead, dry grass everywhere from what used to be beautifully landscaped areas. Water is a real big deal and I do get it but it is so very sad.

So I will be the first in my neighborhood to tear out my front lawn and install some beautiful Landscaping instead.  Drought tolerant of course. ;)  but I am also doing it because I love the privacy of being concealed behind some nice trees and not fully open to the road.  After living in Loomis on acreage for many years, it is hard to be so close to my neighbors. Lol...Yet I love being in a neighborhood as well. Each has pluses and minuses. 


Love this idea of the lantern House Address. So cute and so easy!

I have researched what to do and this is what I am going to go with. In doing research I have found some other nice ideas that we all can do to bring our CURB APPEAL up and get some joy and color into our lives - without disturbing the water shortage.  Did you know if you install drought landscaping you can water daily and not be restricted?  Awesome huh? There are many beautiful ideas you can do and I would like to show you a few to think on... 




This is a client of mine who's home I just SOLD. They actually did this years ago as an opportunity to get away from taking care of a lawn.  This is just one example but i do like this.  I plan to follow along these guidelines for my front yard as well. Decomposed Granite Pathways with lots of Trees and Shrubs. I love being able to look out and see something interesting. And GREEN!  

Another Great option to bring color and interest.  Concrete Staining for your home

Especially in Rocklin, many areas are older now and a way to brighten up your front and back yards without Landscaping is to do some Hardscape.  I really do love the Concrete staining and can be an easy Do it Yourself project.  But i am not too fond of all the colors in the video here.  Lol... But you get the idea.  Below are some ways to improve thru Hardscape that I like.






Stain Colors available although I only recommend the lighter/darker more versatile ones. I would stay away from the blues, greens, yellow and orange colors. 






Take a photo of your home from the front and make a good plan to begin.  It doesn't have to be elaborate and remember 6 months will give your plants a totally different look. So it's ok to start small then fertilize with Ironite for the fastest plant growth.

Here are some more ideas for you that I really like.....














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author

This post was written by:

Leslie from Northern California.
Yes.. I am a Bay Area transplant, long before everyone starting moving up here from the Bay Area and Southern California in 1977. I believe this helps me to understand what you may be looking for. And can help you adapt to our “Country Lifestyle”. Yes, I know the greatest hiking/ boating/ camping/ fishing spots and the best places to relax! If you are moving from another area, just ask me for one of my helpful Relocations Packages by clicking on the link

I hope you enjoy your visit.

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