Friday, March 21, 2014

If you're getting ready to list your home for sale, pay close attention. What you do before you list it can help or hurt the process.

 Remove Road Blocks To Sell Your Home

Every seller has a common goal in mind: sell the home quickly and for the most money. Yet when it comes time to sell the home not every seller will be prepared.

Many forget or don't know how to remove road blocks that can stall the sales process or kill it completely. If you're getting ready to list your home for sale, pay close attention. What you do before you list it can help or hurt the process.

Remove or limit the areas where your home is lacking. Study your neighborhood and the homes that are for sale. If your home is consistently coming up short in comparison, maybe it's not landscaped enough or it hasn't had any upgrades in 20 years, and it's overdue for some renovations or, at the very least, repairs to clean it up.

Get your home "show-ready" so that it isn't lacking or appearing deficient compared to other homes in your neighborhood. Placing a home on the market that isn't ready (needs repairs) can cause the home to receive very little foot traffic and it can end up being on the market for a long time.

If, for instance, you have vinyl flooring that's peeling, consider replacing it with a flooring that matches the style of your home and is comparable to the neighborhood so that it is consistent with the quality of floors in other homes in the area.

Remove YOU from the home. Yes, it's tricky to remove your personality from the home, especially when you're still living it. But it's very necessary. This doesn't just mean taking down personal photos and putting away private items like medicines. This means that if you've turned a room into a particular "you" room - your style, your personality, and your unique use of the room - consider re-doing the room to make it more neutral, versatile, and appealing to buyers.

For instance, if one of the bedrooms in a two-bedroom house was converted into a meditation room, it's wise, when listing the home for sale, to show it with both rooms as bedrooms rather than one bedroom and one room that is uniquely decorated for a specific use other than sleeping. Buyers can sometimes imagine how else they'd use a room but if it looks like too much work to make changes, they'll keep hunting for a house that is better suited to their needs.

If you've converted the garage into a den, office, or kids play area to fit your particular lifestyle, consider making it a garage again. Find a way to show your home with the garage as clean, useful, and as an extended-living space but also with the option to park cars in it. Not everyone wants to park on the street just to have a few extra hundred square feet of living space. An appraiser can actually knock thousands of dollars off your appraisal if the garage can't be used to park cards in because it's considered a loss of covered parking.

Remove strong odors from your home. Of course, I'm talking about foul smelling odors but sometimes too much of a good thing can also be a turn off. Gather up pet toys, pet beds, pet food, and make sure the house is pristine. If you're using fragrances in your home from sprays, candles, potpourri or even real flowers, make sure that the odor isn't overwhelming. Subtle is good... overbearing can make people think you're trying to cover up something bad in the home.

Ultimately, the goal is to make the home have mass appeal with as few road blocks as possible to sell it. Think like a buyer and see your home the way you'll be looking at your own next home purchase. Then maybe you'll understand the importance of making some changes before you list your home for sale.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How do I choose the best Real Estate agent?


One of the most difficult choices to make when thinking about selling a home is, how do I choose the best Real Estate agent?  It has always been important to choose a good agent, but in today's rugged Real Estate market, it has never been more crucial to find an agent who has the right experience, work ethic, marketing plan and market savvy to get your home sold at top market value.

 A common myth is that all agents at a given company are the same!  Not only is this not correct, but the fact of the matter is that the company an agent is with really makes little difference.  The real truth is that every agent has their own approach to selling Real Estate.  They have their own marketing plan and way of doing business that is unique and can be quite different, not only from other agents in the market area, but from other agents in their own company. Individual company's may have some influence on how the agent does business, but it really ends there. 
 Rule #1, "Don't choose and agent based on the company they are with!"  

When interviewing agents you may also find a difference in the fees that individual agents charge for selling your home.  The brokerage fee is negotiable and it certainly may vary from agent to agent.  It would seem that you could save a great deal of money by going with an agent who charges a lesser fee.  This is a fact that can be very misleading.  In fact most times, just the opposite is true.  Instead of looking at the brokerage fee up front, look at the agents performance record.  Ask them to show you statistics as to how they stack up against the other agents in the market as far as average sales, sales price, average days on the market and percentage of sales price vs listing price.  At the end of the day, these are the numbers that will truly influence how much money you receive from your sale.
Rule #2, "Never choose an agent based on brokerage fee!"

The majority of agents in any market place use the same home marketing techniques that Real Estate professionals have used for years.  In today's world this most likely will not give your home the exposure it needs.  National statistics show us that last year over 89% of all people who purchased homes in the country used the internet as their primary way of searching for homes. Traditional methods of marketing homes such as open houses, newspaper ads, and Real Estate magazine presence combined account for less than 3% of the total number of sales nationally.  So, make sure that the agent you choose is marketing where the buyers are looking and not employing methods that worked 10 to 15 years ago and not today.  Few agents really have either the knowledge of the internet or the budget to adequately promote your home. So, be careful here.  Be selective with agents and their marketing and go online and pretend you are the buyer.  You will be surprised at the difference you discover from agent to agent.  
Rule #3, "Do not hire an agent who does not have a high profile internet marketing plan!"

Just because an agent has been in business for a large number of years does not always indicate that they are the best choice.  Some seasoned agents are outstanding while others may fall short of your expectations.  Experience is important, but should not always be the sole reason for choosing an agent.
Rule #4, "Always get references from an agent you are interviewing and check those references!"  Reliable people who have had experience with the agent are the best source for getting a true feel for what the agent can do for you and for what kind of experience you can expect.

With so many agents to choose from, finding the right one can be confusing. By following these simple rules, you should be able to find the agent who will do a great job for you and represent you well with the sale of your home.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Recoup your remodeling investment when it comes time to sell.

 Remodeling? Recoup Your Investment When You Sell

Before you pour your savings into a new kitchen and a rainforest shower for the master, think about whether or not you'll be able to recoup your investment when it comes time to sell.

If you have equity in your home, you can make improvements, but don't go over the limit of what other buyers can spend for a home similar to yours in your neighborhood.

While it's tempting to make your home more beautiful, you have to consider the rest of your neighborhood. If most residences in your neighborhood are three-bedroom single-story homes, buyers are unlikely to shop in your area for two-story four-bedroom homes.

Buyers want to shop for a home where there is the most selection of homes that fit their criteria. If they want a swimming pool, they're going to look in neighborhoods where many homes have pools. They won't be aware of your home if you have the only pool in your subdivision.

That's why over-improving for the neighborhood is a bad idea. Not only will you not get your money back for some updates, your home may be harder to sell because of them.

Another reason buyers don't tend to pay as much for updates as you might think is broad differences in taste. Your updates may include choices your buyer wouldn't have made because of several reasons:
  • You only improved one or two rooms, leaving the rest of the home looking unfinished.
  • Your updates were too radical, such as cold minimalism in a traditional setting.
  • Your updates masked a problem but didn't solve it, such as a kitchen that's too small. If the kitchen is still too small after you've put in granite counters, don't expect buyers to care.
  • You failed to do necessary repairs and updates that were less visible than the new d├ęcor but buyers noticed anyway.
  • Your updates are beautiful but require a lot of cost and upkeep.

Buyers want to make a home their own, and don't want to be distracted or confused by design statements that they don't agree with. Enjoy your home while you can, but make sure your new look can be easily depersonalized when it comes time to sell.

Don't expect to set a listing price based on what you've put into your home no matter how long you own it. Your home will be worth market value no matter when you sell, whatever the value is for that point in time.

All the improvements in the world won't change that basic fact. Your home and the improvements you make are only worth what willing buyers say they will pay.

Before you begin renovations, talk to your Realtor and your lender. They will help you develop a reasonable plan for updates that will add value to your home.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Helpful Information for all Lap Top Owners

Prevent Lap Top Death

Heat is the “cause of death” for most laptops. The heat not only causes all components to expand and contract a little (as you turn it on and off), but will also reach dangerously high levels and make your laptop crash or shut down if the fan(s) and the heatsink(s) are clogged with dust.

All computers work a little bit like vacuum cleaners – sucking air from one side and blowing it out from the other. Unfortunately they don’t come with filter bags to catch all the dust and debris. After just a few months the fans and heatsinks are well coated with dust. If not cleaned, their effectiveness quickly drops and eventually goes down to zero when the heatsinks get fully clogged. Here are a few of the unintended consequences:

· An overheated processor slows down and operates less efficiently.

· The efficiency and output of electrical current through hot copper wires gets reduced.

· Increased heat causes increased chemical reaction in batteries that reduces the battery life and amount of time they stay charged. With prolonged exposure to high heat, the battery may even become unusable.

To clean your laptop regularly, get a can of compressed air and blow the dust off the fan and heatsink. This has to be done every couple of months. The compressed air is quite handy for the keyboard too, blowing away all the debris from between the keys.

However if the heatsink has already been clogged, this won’t help. The compressed air will not be enough to unclog it. If you have never cleaned the heatsink and you had used your laptop for over a year, chances are that both the fan and the heatsink are clogged with dust and debris. The solution in this case is to remove the heatsink, clean it and install it back.

This is best done in a laptop repair shop, as it takes quite a lot of experience and dexterity. One slip of the screwdriver may kill the laptop.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Market Trends for Tracy and Mountain House

The following information is from the local MLS database, as of March 1, 2014 and is compared to (February 1, 2014).As we enter the third month of 2014, we are still seeing mostly all equity sellers and the median price has reached a mile stone of $409,495! There are still very few homes on the market,  and most listings are not  receiving as many multiple offers and most are at the asking price or slightly below, if they are priced right. Interest rates have dipped slightly higher with 30 yr fixed at 4.38% and 15 year at 3.40% 
   If you have been on the Fence about selling your home then NOW is still the time to sell. There are typically fewer homes on the market and  more and more will be coming on the market in the months to come. If you are curious to see how much equity you have in your house, give us a call for a market analysis! Or go to our new service for instant valuation of your home on the internet at Just click on "What's My Home Worth"or  Just call or e-mail for an hassle free appointment or to just talk about the market anytime. 1-800-894-7282 or
Tracy, CA
Total # of residential properties for sale in the city of Tracy: 80 (72)
# of REO (foreclosures): 4 (2)
# of Short Sales: 3  (4)
Average # of days on market: 26 (18)
The median price of all homes for sale in Tracy: $409,495 (399,000)

Number of properties currently under agreement: 124 (122)
# of REO: 7 (11)
# of Pending Short Lender Approval: 38 (33)
Median pending price: $305,000 ($322,000)

Residential property sold over previous 30 days: 50 homes (61)
REO's sold in the last month: 4 (2)
Short sales sold in the last month: 1 (15)
Median sale price: $357,500 ($350,000)
Median # of days on the market:  19 (20)

Mountain House, CA


Total # of residential properties for sale in the city of Mountain House: 31 (17)
# of REO (foreclosures): 0 (0)
# of Short Sales: 3 (0)
# of New Construction: 5 (6)
Average # of days on market: 18 (20)
The median price of all homes for sale in Mountain House: $489,900 (515,000)


Number of properties currently under agreement: 35 (37)
# of REO: 1 (1)
# of Pending Short Lender Approval: 7 (8)
Median pending price: $410,225 ($402,460)


Residential property sold over previous 30 days: 13 homes (20 homes)
REO's sold in the last month: 0 (0)
Short sales sold in the last month: 2 (1)
Median sale price: $433,500 ($433,500)
Median # of days on the Market: 8  (19)

Take a look at this chart to see the SOLDS in Tracy for February.  Notice the list to sold price? Not as many getting over asking.   So call us for a free Market Analysis on your home!  209-833-7777.
Address BedroomsBathroomsSqFt List PriceSale PriceDOM
495AllishaLn32 (2 0)1176209900209900181
4311MulberryCt53 (2 1)255538900038500070
1303MontgomeryLn5 (6)3 (2 1)2130385000363000146
324BSt11 (1 0)846123500110000132
869MasonCt43 (2 1)2498419999410000115
1212WalnutSt32 (2 0)128025500025300053
2261Bridle CreekCir43 (3 0)198036970036500093
11683WValpicoRd32 (2 0)111825500025500048
261De BordDr43 (3 0)231638900038920043
145EMount Diablo3 (4)3 (3 0)203637900037200057
2577Paul PooleDr43 (3 0)267542900043040064
2559BennettCt54 (4 0)325149000049000030
8ELowellAve32 (1 1)142426900026900045
2193MisquezLn4 (5)3 (3 0)242138990037000055
2497GreystoneDr53 (3 0)273845995045000058
1760McPeakCt42 (2 0)152731495033000014
154RidgeviewDr53 (3 0)297744000042500050
2634Gilberte54 (3 1)376755900055900054
960PeerlessCt33 (2 1)138227500027500025
1441RenownDr33 (2 1)190233990034200045
245San SimeonWay53 (3 0)237338980038000058
974Tom FowlerDr53 (2 1)202939900039400013
1447Blue JayCt53 (3 0)296144000044000041
3164Milton JensonCt43 (3 0)221538000039000010
263RidgeviewDr53 (3 0)281742500041500028
130EGrant LineRd21 (1 0)76910500012000024
1990Harvest LandingCt43 (3 0)17723400003400008
1690Treehaven Lane3 (4)2 (2 0)178534700035200031
4229EveningsideLn43 (3 0)233442500043000017
2909SunsetWay32 (2 0)112021500023200011
1411GreenwillowWay33 (2 1)15923300003350009
1235WalnutSt21 (1 0)87619995020500016
2262CabanaLn3 (4)3 (2 1)227737500037000021
505Belmont43 (2 1)222642500040500017
551Sir LancelotDr33 (2 1)17143250003330005
80PortolaWay32 (1 1)128014500014500015
215EEmersonAve21 (1 0)9282399902250005
1340StandridgeCt31 (1 0)124227490028500014
2967DixonCt53 (2 1)21303590003520000
150PorticoLn43 (3 0)239644800044400013
160Club HouseWay42 (2 0)180633450033600011
45SCENTRALAve33 (2 1)19523390003369504
1955FoxwoodCt33 (2 1)18353390003367505
4444LindseyLn63 (3 0)297744495044495012
642MortonWay5 (6)3 (3 0)31074750004250002
233AlvaradoWay32 (2 0)14112550002550004
1370BluegrassLn32 (2 0)13343095003095003
182DiegoLn43 (2 1)26894337774200003
2444OntarioDr33 (2 1)17053190003240005
1991SuperiorCt44 (3 1)305449999948775017