Our Monthly Real Estate Weather Report

April Showers Bring May Flowers!

This saying couldn’t be more true for our month this May! In April we were showered with listings and sales. Our team made the market rain! This set us up for a full bloom in May. We were able to end the Spring selling season with a bouquet of happy clients.

Now we’re fired up for the HOT summer selling season. If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell, contact the team that’s flaming with success!

Now, spring to it and check out all the beautiful homes we sold!

3879 Picard Avenue, Pleasanton – Sold for $2,029,500

With multiple offers way over list price, we went pending after 8 days on the market. We were able to get our sellers $34,500 over list price. Shortly after we listed the buyers’ previous home, and it’s already pending! Virtual Tour

 

1631 Sunnyvale Avenue, Walnut Creek – Sold for $770,000

We represented the buyers who purchased this beautiful one story home for their daughter’s first house. Our negotiation skills helped us get the home even with multiple other offers.

39460 Sundale Drive, Fremont – Sold for $1,010,000

This home sold for $51,000 over list price! We represented the sellers, who are now buying a stunning home from us in Pleasanton. Virtual Tour

 

 

565 Trebbiano Place, Pleasanton – Sold for $1,595,000

We represented both the sellers and the buyers of this beautiful home. Located in the prestigious golf community of Ruby Hill, it sold for $46,000 over list price. Virtual Tour

 

Bixler Road, Byron – Sold for $400,000

This was a vacant lot where we represented the sellers. It had gone off the market, but we kept persevering to find the perfect buyers, and we did!

4102 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton – Sold for $1,420,000

This was a highly sought-after property where we beat out multiple offers due to our winning strategies. Our buyers are extremely happy to be in the heart of downtown Pleasanton!

28 Castlewood Drive, Pleasanton – Pending

Offered at $1,899,000 this is the first time in 50 years this home has been on the market! This piece of Pleasanton history named “Vistas Verdes”, or Green Views, was a delight for us to list. Our sellers received multiple offers way over list price! Virtual Tour

468 Trebbiano Place, Pleasanton – Pending

Offered at $1,579,000 this beautiful Ruby Hill home was only on the market for 8 days! Featuring over $240k in upgrades, remodeling the kitchen and upgrading the backyard. Our sellers received multiple offers way over list price! Virtual Tour

21 Verbena Court, San Ramon – Pending

Offered at $1,299,000 our sellers received multiple offers way over list price! The sellers of this home were the buyers for 3879 Picard Avenue. We love having happy clients where the home buying and selling process are a win. Virtual Tour

 

7476 Limerick Avenue, Dublin – Pending

Offered at $888,000 we are representing the buyers. They’re very excited as they will be first time home owners! We competed against other offers, but our strategies prevailed.

Even with more inventory coming on the market and price reductions in top tier homes, it remains a seller’s market.

Ready to sell? Great! Let’s get together and discuss a strategy for getting you top dollar for your home during this Summer Selling Season. Contact us

Ready to buy? Great! Let’s get together and discuss a strategy for competing and winning against other buyers in this competitive market. Contact us

Marketing and selling high-end Luxury Homes in the Tri Valley is what we do best, but on this real estate journey, it’s all about the people we meet on the way, connecting them to each other and the places they call HOME.

It’s selling season! Are you ready?

Selling a home doesn’t happen overnight. To maximize your sale price, stand out from the competition and sell quickly, your home needs to go on the market in tip-top condition.

Prepping the home rarely happens in one weekend. It takes time and thoughtful planning. If you intend to sell your home this spring, here are a few steps you need to take now.

Have your home inspected

It may seem counterintuitive to spend money on a property inspection, but you need to know about your home’s condition. If there are issues — big or small — you need to address, it is better to know about them early so you can either remedy them prior to going to market or account for them with a lower listing price.

The last thing you want is for the buyer to uncover flaws once they are under contract. You will get stuck paying more under those circumstances than it would cost you to address the issues now.

Stash your stuff

As you prepare to sell, think of your home as an investment and start to see it through the eyes of potential buyers and the market. When you’re trying to sell your home, the less-is-more approach applies.

Put away big furniture and personal items. Store or put away all the things you won’t be using until you move into your new home. In the kitchen, make space in the cabinets for items you will need to use daily, but will want to put away for showings.

Paint, clean and make small improvements

It’s common for sellers to make cosmetic improvements before they list. Kitchens and bathrooms sell your home. Plan to have the bathroom grout cleaned and have some parts of the house painted to give it a fresh look.

Consider cleaning rugs, refinishing hardwood floors or painting kitchen cabinets. If you plan to list in the spring, you likely have a good local real estate agent on your side by now. Get their advice and ask for referrals to do the work. There are lots of inexpensive contractors who can help spruce up your home quickly.

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Gas prices & housing – what’s the connection?

Here’s how oil’s drop could impact housing construction

Moody’s: Moderate benefits for builders, homebuyers

house construction

Industries for which fuel is a direct and significant cost will see a positive effect from lower oil prices, as will consumer-dependent businesses more generally, since lower gasoline prices mean consumers will have more cash to spend on other items, a client note from Moody’s says. But oil and gas exploration and production companies, and the companies that supply them, will be hurt by lower crude prices.

“U.S. building materials companies that produce aggregates, ready-mixed concrete and cement will benefit moderately from lower oil prices in 2015.” Moody’s analysts write. “Costs associated with transporting materials will decline with diesel costs, but these companies will also benefit from broader economic gains from higher consumer consumption and healthier state and national budgets.”

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Staging on a shoe string…

Staging a home for sale is simply preparing a house to be sold. There are many different aspects to staging, but there is a simple foundation to all of it.

Hiring a professional stager is worth the investment because they address all aspects of staging. But what if you have no staging budget?

There are several steps you can take to stage your home for sale — and many of them don’t cost a dime. Here are five free things you can do to prepare your home to sell.

Clean, clean, clean

Sparkling counters and appliances go a long way in home for sale.

The number one thing people think about while in a home is whether or not they believe it is clean. A home that is absolutely pristine presents as well cared for.

Clean all windows inside and out. Dust all door frames, light fixtures, ceiling fans and blinds. Don’t leave a single spot in your home untouched. Potential buyers look everywhere, so make sure the entire home is clean.

Depersonalize the house

Just furnish the room with the absolute minimum items. Source: Zillow Digs.

Love it or list it?

Your Best Real Estate Move: Flip or Hold in 2015?

A1D0GN House made of money Real estate and investment concept. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.
AlamyHome sales are projected to increase next year, which could work to the advantage of investors.

Wild fluctuations in the nation’s real estate cycle have taken investors on a roller coaster ride since the early part of this century. From overheated home prices to the housing crash to the post-recession era, investors have had to adjust and adapt their investment strategies to market conditions.

So which strategies are best for real estate investors next year?

The Big Picture for 2015

Looking at the nation’s housing and economic indicators, there is plenty of positive news to justify continued investor optimism in 2015. Home sales –- both existing and new — are projected to increase next year, which is welcome news for fix-and-flip investors.

At the 2014 Realtors Conference & Expo, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, predicted a rebound for existing home sales for the next two years and projected the national median existing-home price will rise at a moderate 4 percent in each of those years. On the new home front, David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, said in an October webinar that multi-family housing starts were projected to hold steady in 2015.

“Multi-family housing starts have rebounded back to normal since the downturn, mostly due to the strong demand for renting,” said Yun, who also noted that renter households have increased by 4 million since 2010, while homeowner households have decreased by 1 million.

Two major concerns remain: tight lending standards, which continue to keep people who could otherwise afford to buy a home from qualifying for a loan, and interest rates, which could reach 5 percent by year-end.

Looking at the Numbers

Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, says he believes 2015 is going to be a better year for buy-and-hold investors than for flippers — with the caveat that real estate values vary from area to area and property to property, so investment strategies will have to adjust accordingly.

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Want to sell fast? Staging is key!

The secret to selling a home fast? Home staging

Real estate agents share best tips

boxes

Simply listing a home is not always enough to get prospective buyers to fall in love with it. Instead, real estate agents and sellers are turning to home staging in order to help a house feel like a home.

A feature in Entrepreneur magazine describes home staging as an interior designer “editing” and rearranging a seller’s furnishings, or bringing in better items, to help prospective buyers imagine the best possible version of the property.

“If a seller puts up pictures of a vacant home, or it looks cluttered or terrible, and you put that next to a staged home, at the end of the day the staged home will get more attention, more buyer leads and more money,” Linda Saavedra, with Showhomes franchise in Tampa, said in an interview with Entrepreneur.

An article in The New York Times explained that staging is more work that just eliminating personal family photos and the eccentric souvenir sculpture in the living room. People can easily go too far with their attempts and instead push buyers away.

“A mantra among real estate agents and home stagers is that sellers need to declutter and depersonalize their homes before putting them on the market. But overly enthusiastic sellers may take this advice too far,” said Jarrod Guy Randolph, an associate real estate broker at Town Residential in Manhattan.

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Disclose, disclose, disclose!

In most states, the law requires sellers to fill out paperwork regarding their knowledge of the property they intend to sell. Many agents and sellers see disclosures as a thorn in their side. Why would they badmouth their property or listing? Why not say as little as possible and see if the buyer discovers any issues on their own?

This is a penny-wise and pound-foolish mentality. Non-disclosure can lead to major headaches during escrow. You could lose the buyer, be forced to renegotiate the price or have to put the property back on the market. Non-disclosure can also lead to litigation months or even years after the sale.

Self-disclosing, pre-inspections and putting it all out there prior to a buyer making an offer helps to usher the sale along and make the process simpler. It’s smart business, and ultimately saves time and money.

If handled well, disclosures and calling out known issues helps inform your pricing and marketing strategy. Here are five tips to use disclosure to your advantage.

Order a building report

Each municipality has a building department that keeps records on every property. For a small fee, they provide building reports that contain valuable information about the home, such as the building’s history, permits issued, closed permits, violations, zoning information and sometimes landmark or historic status.

Buyers or their banks will likely request this report. When they see open permits or violations, you better believe they are going to ask you to cure them, request a credit or walk away.

Be prepared by ordering a building report early in the selling process. If you have issues to address, you can take care of them before you list the property. The potential buyer will then see a clean report, which will inspire confidence — not only in the property, but also in you as a seller.

Have inspections done prior to listing your home

Most sellers balk at this idea. Why pay to have the home inspected if you plan to sell?

The answer is so that you can ultimately make more money. A home listed for sale at a great price gets a buyer in the door to make an offer, but that buyer will have his or her inspection regardless. It they find dry rot in the garage, they will either walk away from the deal or ask you for money.

If you lose the buyer, the property goes back on the market with a stain on the listing. Everyone will ask what happened to the first deal, and you will likely be forced to disclose this new, known issue.

If you credit the buyer, your ultimate net proceeds will be lower than if you had priced the termite work into the asking price and let buyers know about the issue up front.

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