Category Archives: Real Estate

SHORT SALES: TOP 10 MYTHS DEBUNKED!

SHORT SALES: TOP 10 MYTHS DEBUNKED!
Myth #1: The homeowner must fall behind on mortgage payments in order to qualify for a short sale.
Debunked: Years ago this may have been true, but not in 2012.
• A financial hardship must exist, such as the ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) increasing in monthly payments.
• Loss of job or income.
• Health or medical issues.
• Extraordinary loss in home value (which may be considered a hardship).

Check back tomorrow for myth #2.

New Law Requires Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Did you know, as of July 1, 2001 a New Law Requires Carbon Monoxide Detectors in all single-family homes with an attached garage in California.  Let me know if you’d like a copy of this information emailed to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jill Denton
Realtor, Lic#01804876
925.998.7747
www.jilldenton.com

Conforming Loan Limits are going down in 2011

The temporary conforming loan limits for high-cost areas put in place in 2008 are expiring at the end of September.  For example, Alameda County is current conforming loan limits is $729,750. The new loan limit amounts for high-cost areas will return to $625,500 for a 1 unit property.  The new limits will apply for all mortgage loans originated after September 30, 2011. So … if you’re thinking about buying, NOW is the time!

Let me know how I can help!
Jill Denton, REALTOR, Lic#01804876
925.998.7747

Some tips on what you can to to help sell YOUR home quicker!

A buyers’ first impressions are set as they approach the house. Therefore, make your home more attractive and purchase-worthy starts in the front yard. To spruce up the yard: Make sure plants are of varied heights and sizes; add color, particularly pink, purple, blue and white flowers; thin out bushes; trim trees; and seed and fertilize the lawn. Put gravel in any thin strip of property between homes. This will make the space look cleaner and less neglected. Also, place mulch around plants. Among the many benefits, it’s aesthetically pleasing and provides unity in the yard.

Current buyers want homes that are well maintained and move-in ready. They may not have the money to make improvements, so go ahead and repair, repaint, update, clean and stage. Repaint in a neutral color. Remove clutter and lighten up spaces by getting rid of heavy curtains and adding new lighting fixtures. Have the windows professionally cleaned. Place fresh, plush spa-like towels in bathrooms.

Buyers will inspect all closets. Clean them out and leave them one-third empty, particularly in older homes with smaller closets. This is one of my favorite tips.  Buyers open a closet, see all the empty spaces and think “This home has a lot of storage” … they never think “The sellers must have had a stager come into the home who told them to clean out the closets to give the appearance to more storage space.”  The human mind just doesn’t work that way.

Finally, depersonalize the home so potential buyers can imagine themselves in the space. Once the house is model-ready, have professional photos taken. Unflattering photos are a huge red flag.  Some buyers are wary of flippers, so avoid anything that might lead buyers to think that quick and possible shoddy work has been done to the house.

Much of this can seem overwhelming to some sellers.  If that’s you, call in a professional stager like me to help you through the process.  Better yet call in a Realtor who also knows staging (ME) and get the job done so you can move onto the next chapter in your life.

 

 

The housing market will turn around in the second half of 2011

Those of us in Real Estate have seen this coming all year! According to Freddie Mac: “The housing market will turn around in the second half of 2011″ And the second half of the year is just 2 days away, so NOW is the time people! First time home buyers … buy NOW! Move-up buyers … sell and buy NOW! Investors … buys as much as you possibly can NOW! I am more than happy to help. I have time to help a few more good people realize their real estate dreams. Call me NOW!

Jill Denton
REALTOR, Lic #01804876
925.998.7747

Serving the San Francisco East Bay:  Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, San Ramon, Danville, Castro Valley, Fremont….

Source:“Freddie Mac Economist Sees Sunny Economy in Second Half,”HousingWire (June 27, 2011)

Staging Consutlations are Simple, Quick and Affordable!

As a professional Realtor, Designer and Stager, I KNOW the importance of Staging! Staging can be as simple as a one hour staging consultation, and worth every penny!
 I provide a Staging Consultation to my real estate clients at no charge. I also perform this service for people looking to prepare their home for sale and other Realtors who want their listings to look their best!
In a Staging Consultation, I start at the curb and work my way through and home and into the backyard. Making recommendations on how to neutralize the home so that potential buyers can picture their belongs and themselves living in the home. I’ll say things like, remove that, minimize this, fix that, de-clutter this, etc. At the end of the consultation, you’ll have your Staging To Do List which you can tackle on your own or with my help.

BEFORE AND AFTER:

 

 

 

 

TIP: Go ahead and pack up your collection, whatever it may be! Collections are distracting to potential buyers. When they view your home we want them to see and REMEMBER the style, layout and architectural elements of your home, not your collection! When I work with buyers, I find they name the houses for easy recall. One of them named a home: the “Unicorn home” because of a collection and they wrote an offer on the “Mountain home”.
Remember, living in a home that is for sale is different from living in a home on a day-to-day basis. My tips and suggestions are designed to help you sell your home faster and for more money through the art of Staging.

BONUS:  I offer FREE Staging Consultations when you list your home for sale with me.  Serving the East Bay of San Francisco:  Pleasanton, Dublin, Livermore, San Ramon, Danville, Castro Valley, Fremont …

Jill Denton
Realtor, Keller Williams
CA Lic#01804876
Designer and Stager
925.998.7747
http://www.jilldenton.com/

Painting to Sell!

As a Designer and Realtor, I understand the value of color and help people make the right color decisions all the time. What is important to understand is meaning behind the color. If you are updating your home with paint and plan on staying in the home, then get personal! Choose colors that make you sing! However, if you are painting to sell, there is no singing allowed! 

BEFORE

AFTER

When selling a home, most find they look best when freshly painted with neutral colors.  A neutral color gives the look of a fresh clean canvas while at the same time is warm and inviting to buyers.  Plus it helps to show off your base boards, crown molding, trim and doors.

I know some Realtors who suggest the SAME color for all homes.  I think this is a bad idea because lighting is key when choosing the right color, neutral or not.  Each color has a base to it.  Some have more gray, or blue, green, yellow or even pink and if you choose a color without first looking at it in the light of the home, you could end up with pink walls!  YIKES!  Not a selling feature! You can try to select colors yourself, but I recommend you hire someone like me to help you choose the right colors for you home the first time.  In two hours, on average, you’ll know which color(s) will work best in  your home and  therefore increase the odds of getting an offer(s) on your home.

Painting the right colors will give you a lot of bang for your buck!
Jill Denton
Realtor Lic#01804876
Designer, I.R.I.S
www.jilldenton.com

Pleasanton named one of the top 100 cities to live in the USA!

According to Money Magazine PLEASANTON is one of the best cities to live in the USA!  Only three cities in California made the list.  Click here to see all of the top 100 cities.
 
PLEASANTON: WINNER

Top 100 rank: 63
Population: 67,000
Compare Pleasanton to Top 10 Best Places

A family-oriented town an hour from both San Francisco and Monterey, Pleasanton has one of the strongest school districts in California.It also boasts 40 parks peppered with sports fields, picnic areas, 22 miles of scenic trails, and public art displays. Art lovers will soon have even more to enjoy: The Firehouse Arts Center, scheduled to open before the end of 2010, will house a new theatre, several art galleries, and classrooms.

Grocery chain Safeway’s headquarters are here, employing more than 3,000. The main drawback: Homes are expensive. –B.D.

Click here to read the entire article:

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bplive/2010/snapshots/PL0657792.html

Going Green

Going Green is not only a way to help our planet, it’s a way of life.

There are 7 categories in being Green.  Where do you fit in?

  • Economizers:  Those who are interested in saving on operating costs through resourse management.
  • Investors: Those who are interested in life-cyle cost analysis and the value proposition of various green features.
  • Health Conscious: Those who believe in the potential health benefits of  green living.
  • Idealists:  Those who believe that conservation of resources for future generation is a social responsibility.
  • Lifestyle-Focused: Those who think that living by overall sustainability principles contributes to a more meaningful and comfortable personal lifestyle.
  • Eco-Chic: Those who are interested in the status and prestige of green living.
  • Skeptical/Unaware: Those who are skeptical of the green hype or are unaware of the benefits of being green.

Which are you?

Now that you know which category you fit into, take it one step further and find out how big is your carbon footprint?  WHAT’S YOUR EARTH IMPACT?

Jill Denton
Realtor, Lic #01804876

Five Mistakes home sellers make:

Sooner or later, most homeowners will be in a position to sell their home. This report summarizes the top five mistakes that home sellers make, simply because the experience is new to them.

 

Mistake #1.  Using a Real Estate Agent Instead Of a Realtor

When you’re looking for help buying or selling property, it’s important to remember that the terms “real estate agent” and “Realtor” are not synonymous.

–  To be a Realtor, you must be a member in good standing of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  The equivalent organization in Canada is the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  Both are non-profit trade organizations that promote real estate information, education and professional standards.

–  NAR and CREA members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded on the principle of providing fair and honest service to all consumers.  Realtor business practices are monitored at local levels.  Arbitration and disciplinary systems are in place to address complaints from the public or board members.  This local monitoring keeps Realtors directly accountable to the individual consumers they serve.

–  The National Association of Realtors also has earned a strong reputation for actively championing private property rights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible.

 

Mistake #2.  Failing to Maximize the “Curb Appeal” of Your Home


When you’re preparing your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions.  A buyer’s first impression can determine whether they’ll choose to look inside.  It’s estimated that more than that 50% of shoppers decide to purchase a home even before they get out of their car.  With that in mind, be sure to stand outside your home and take a realistic “fresh look.”  Then ask yourself (and your Realtor) what you can do to enhance the “curb appeal.”  It could make a significant difference in your final sales price as well as the speed of your sale.

Mistake #3.  Not Appreciating the Buyer’s Point of View

Unreasonable though it may be, a prospective buyer would like to see a perfect home from top to bottom and inside and out.  To improve the likelihood of an easy, fast and profitable home sale, we suggest that you attend to the following items:

 

On the outside

  1. Sweep the front walkway.
  2. Remove newspapers, bikes and toys.
  3. Park extra cars away from the property.
  4. Trim back the shrubs.
  5. Apply fresh, clean paint on your home, wooden fence, and outbuildings.
  6. Clean windows and window coverings.
  7. Maintain sprinkler systems.
  8. Maintain sealants around windows and doors.
  9. Make sure roof and gutters are clean and in good condition.
  10. Mow the lawn frequently and plant flowers.
  11. Keep pet areas clean.
  12. Take down out-of-season decorations.

 

On the inside

  1. The kitchen and bathroom should look and smell clean.
  2. Vacuum rugs and carpets (and have them professionally cleaned, if necessary).
  3. Place fresh flowers in the main rooms.
  4. Put away dishes, unless setting a formal display for decoration.
  5. Make all beds and put away clothing.
  6. Open drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel.
  7. Straighten closets.
  8. Put away toys.
  9. Turn off televisions.
  10. Play soft music on the radio/stereo.
  11. Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free.
  12. Secure jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables.
  13. Consider removing unnecessary furniture and appliances from counter tops to create a greater sense of space.
  14. Consider baking cookies or lighting scented candles to create a homey atmosphere.

 

Mistake #4.  Thinking You Need To be In the Home to Provide Details to Prospective Buyers


Allow your Realtor to do his or her job without you on site.  Most potential buyers feel more comfortable if they can speak freely to the real estate professional without the owner present.  If people unaccompanied by an agent would like to see your property, refer them to your real estate professional for an appointment.

Mistake #5.  Over-Pricing Your Home

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of selling a home is listing it at the correct price.  It’s one of several areas where the assistance of a skilled real estate consultant can pay for itself versus trying to sell your home yourself.  

 

If the listing price is too high, you’ll miss out on a percentage of buyers looking in the range where your home should be priced.  Some people think that if they leave some “wiggle room” in the price, they’ll always have the opportunity to negotiate and accept a lower offer.  However, chances are the offers won’t even come in, because the buyers who would be most interested in your home have been scared off by the price, and won’t even take the time to consider it.  By the time you correct the price, you’ve already missed exposure to a group of potential buyers.  

 

The listing price becomes even trickier to set when prices are quickly rising or falling.  It’s critical to be aware of where and how fast the market is moving – both when setting the price and when negotiating an offer.  An experienced, well-trained real estate consultant is always in touch with market trends – often even to a greater extent than appraisers, who typically focus on what a property is worth if sold as is, right now.

 

This report courtesy of

Jill Denton

925.998.7747