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Tips on Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

tips_getting_home_readyWhen talking with real estate agents, you’ll often find that when they speak to you about buying real estate, they refer to buyer’s purchasing a “home” and the sellers putting their “house” on the market. Why the play on words? The reason is psychological. Buying and selling real estate is one of the most involved and emotional situations a person can ever be in. Unless it’s simply for investment purposes, in which case many of these types never even see the homes they buy to fix and flip, it’s all number crunching for profit (if any) and no emotional ties are present.

In any regard, the Realtor tries to remove some of the emotional value and sentimental feelings about the sellers home when getting it ready to place on the market. It’s tough at times to think you’ve raised your family in that house and had so many celebrations, birthdays, holidays, and now maybe the kids may have moved on and have families of their own, and you’re experiencing what’s commonly known as the “empty nest syndrome.”

It’s natural to be emotionally connected to that home more than a buyer will be just walking in the door evaluating it for him or herself. Often times people place monetary value on things that are really only sentimental to themselves. This is where the unique task of separation begins. It’s a fine line for the Realtor to walk you though and can be a tricky situation.

If there is something adverse going on during the selling process, for example, a divorce, the game of keeping things on an even keel becomes even more challenging for everyone involved. Emotions run high, and most often people are hurt so they don’t respond as clearly or as level-headed as they might have under “normal” circumstances.

Whenever you are selling, and for whatever the reasons, you need to view your home as a marketable commodity. The goal is to remind yourself that you are making a change and entering into the next chapter of your life. It’s important to show off your home to the next family to make their memories there as desirable as possible. Stand out from the competition, to some degree, pay it forward. Your warm and loving home was built to provide a shelter and a safe environment for many families during its own life-span. It’s not uncommon to hear comments at the closing table from a seller (who is tearing up) explaining the happiness and good things it brought to their family over all those years that they will never forget, just before they pass the torch onto the new owners.

Homeowners who cling to tightly to the past, or have unrealistic views on how much their home is worth because they allow sentimental views to come into the value, are more susceptible to spending a longer time on the market.

With that in mind, the first step in getting your home ready to show to the public is to “de-personalize” it.

  • Here’s why it’s done:

The reason you want to take this step is because you want potential buyers to see themselves in the home as “their home” and not visiting for a short time in someone else’s. Typically, when buyer’s see a lot of family photos on the walls, trophies, and other very personal items, it creates a mental block for them and it becomes harder to see beyond that. They want to envision their own furniture in the living room, and see their own method of setting up the kitchen. Things might look and feel “busy” if you don’t de-clutter.

A good idea is to clear out many of those items and put them in a safe place so you can display them in your new home once you get there. This doesn’t mean you have to take every photo of your children down and live in a “cold museum” while your home is on the market. It’s about simplifying things. It’s inspiring to let the potential buyers know and feel for themselves that this home was, and still is a place to be cherished and welcoming to a new family and their friends! That she’s got a whole lot of life left in her!

This “de-personalizing” stage is often the hardest part for a family because it’s at this time they feel the transition they are about to embark upon becomes very real. All of a sudden, personal items that have been on the walls and in the house for as long as you’ve been there seem to carry a lot more weight than they seemed to have previously. Try not to let that get you down. After all, they’re all still coming with you!

In a big way, it’s a spring clean of sorts to lessen the time on the market and keep you moving forward as well. If it’s financially possible for you to rent a temperature controlled storage facility while things are being packed away for now, that’s really the best. You can find many uses for a storage facility as well during this transitional period. They sure come in handy!

But, try not to store everything in the garage, attic or the basement. It closes everything in and the buyers can’t see how much smart, usable space you really have in that garage, or maybe up in the attic. Let them see what you’ve got to offer! Use this time to “air things out” and spring clean everything. Clean up the closets, shine up those windows, wipe down doors, clean under the sinks, wash the cabinet doors – both sides, organize the pantries, overhaul the appliances, and deep clean the carpeting and other flooring. Leave nothing unattended to.

If you find that you have alot of clothes, maybe it’s a good time to have a rummage sale and help subsidize the cost of the storage unit. If you have found that you own an overabundance of clothes and household items in general that you don’t feel comfortable distributing to the neighbors, donate them to a local Goodwill and let a family that has not been as fortunate as you’ve been share in these items. It will make you feel a lot better during this cleaning process. Karma always comes back.

The main objective here of course is to take a step back and try to see your home through the eyes of a buyer looking to live there. Ask your agent for help. Let them show you photos of current trends or color pallets that are helping homes sell faster and maybe even at higher price points. Try not to get defensive. It’s only honest feedback and not demands that they’re offering up to you. Ask friends to come over and give their two cents if you’re more comfortable with that. Go visit some open houses in popular neighborhoods with low average days on market times and see what they have done. Take what you need and apply it to your situation and you’ll find the whole experience more enlightening, and a lot more fun!

  • A word about kitchen clutter:

The kitchen is a popular place to start getting things organized. First off, remove everything from the counters (yes, even the toaster) and wipe them down good. Find places where you can store the items that you’re still going to use like the coffee maker, and have them easily accessible to you. As stated before, if you find that you’ve collected so many different pots and pans, cookware, glassware, as example, take a true inventory and ask yourself what might be expendable to make room for more important items.

Clean and unencumbered counter space is something that today’s modern buyers are very fixated upon. They love the feeling of clean, organized spaces. Don’t leave a bad impression either. Cleaning under the sinks is a great idea not only cosmetically, but you might just discover a slight leak or some plumbing that could use a little help. Fix it now. Don’t wait for it to be brought to your attention because these buyers won’t tell you. They will just assume that maybe there are other areas of the home that leak too. This is no good.

If you have a junk drawer, organize or get rid of the actual “junk.” If you have large amounts of food stored up, plan some menu’s and use it up before it goes stale and as far as canned goods are concerned, use those often too! They are heavy, and you would ideally like to lessen the load during your up and coming move, right? While were on that topic, DVD’s, CD’s, and books when combined, weigh a ton! Get them over to your favorite Half Price Books location and trade them in for some money instead of moving them around. If there are some you just can’t part with, it’s no big deal but you’ll be surprised at what will appear to be excessive when you really take a hard look at it. Streaming movies these days with your Blu-ray or Smart TV is here to stay and not just a fad for the future. You can keep those old classic, must-have movies and music stored right there in your personal Cloud. You can watch them whenever you want, and on multiple devices for that matter, and yet you’ll never have to max out your shelf-space or dust them ever again. Perfect.

Make certain all of the dishes, and canned goods (among other foods) are organized neatly in the kitchen. This includes the refrigerator and freezer. Eliminate any foul odors (if there are any) and pop a fresh box of baking soda in to the ice box. Make sure it looks good too, with clean racks and drawers. Clean up the dishwasher as well. No foul stenches allowed! Buyers are notorious for peeking into dishwashers, and we have not yet figured out why. Until we do, please make sure your kitchen sparkles and looks beautiful! It will go a long way in the eyes of the modern buyer. They will naturally assume that if you keep the kitchen in this amazing condition, the rest of the home should be keep immaculate too, right?

It keeps them moving in the right direction which is to have them agree with you that your house is the best one out there and they want to submit their strongest offer possible. Having an immaculate home will be the place to set that thought process into motion for them, guaranteed.

  • A final word about closet clutter.

Closest are an amazing thing. They are masters of collecting clutter, though you don’t think of it as such. We’re talking about extra clothing, shoes, and other things you’ve held onto but rarely wear. Maybe you can’t be without them for sentimental reasons like a tuxedo or a wedding dress. No problem! Just safely store them with your other items that are now in your storage unit so they can be brought out later. All of these items, especially large items like blankets, make your closets look like well-fed eating machine. Try your best to let potential buyers see that you DO have a lot of closet space! Smart organization and placement are usually near the top of their list when searching out a new home to purchase, but closet space is a must have. It’s on the top of all their wants lists every single time. Buyer’s endorphins really kick in when they realize that their potential new home has an abundance of clean, accommodating closet space!

  • A quick note about furniture clutter – it’s a real thing.

In so many cases, people have an abundance of furniture in a certain room maximizing its potential. Perhaps not for your own personal family or lifestyle, but if there is too much, it will rob the room of its space and create an illusion to the buyer that there isn’t any real space for them to work with. Granted, it might be a small room or a den but even those spaces can be staged correctly, and featured as real useable space that seemingly offers a lot more than what you originally had given it credit for.

Another way to go about this is to tour a few builders’ model homes to get sense of placement for what todays modern buyers are looking for. Heck, they’ve spent a lot of money researching trends to help sell their line of homes, so why not take advantage? It will definitely give you a sense of what to keep in your home, and what might have to go to the storage facility, or for that matter, up for sale on Craigslist. Again, donations are always good too. It helps warm your heart, giving to others in need. They call it human nature.

Also, you can Google things like “furniture placement for my living room or den.” Try typing in “home staging tips from the masters.” There are plenty of shows on HGTV (as well as their website) that talk specifically about staging. Searching YouTube is another incredible resource! In fact, there is so much information available on this subject, that you’ll never be able to get through it all. Take what you like and be done with it.

  • A word about storage area clutter:

If you live in the Midwest or other areas of the country where basements are commonplace, you most often will encounter clutter. It almost seems to accumulate items and duplicate its contents all by itself!

The best possible scenario for a buyer is to see a basement with storage shelves built right into the concrete walls where items are stored neatly and in an organized fashion. The floors are swept clean and there is no trace of mildew or other odors.

Also, they don’t like to see water of any kind. Before you list your home with a Realtor, take some time to clean out that basement and find out if any trouble is lucking down there that could bring to light a costly repair. If there is one that needs to be addressed, and you have the means to do it, call in a foundation expert, diagnose the issue and get it fixed right immediately.

As the Earth moves and changes, pressure builds up over time against foundation walls. Sentiment can harden (or soften) over long spans of time, and cause walls to crack, or need some reinforcement here and there. It happens all the time, and it’s almost unstoppable in some areas of the country. When these repairs are completed, they often come with transferable warranties. That becomes another perfect selling point to add to the homes description.

This process will demonstrate that you not only cared for this home, you maintained it from every angle. It will bring a smile to a buyers face faster than a walnut can roll off a hen house roof! If any defects are discovered in the home inspection phase, buyers will typically ask you to fix any structural defects that might get discovered. Also, it’s common that they can have a chance to back out of the contract if any are discovered and then, to add insult to injury, due to disclosure laws, you have to alert everyone else that might be a potential buyer for your home, know ahead of time, that you have knowledge of a foundation problem. That will slow the entire process down for you in a big hurry. You don’t need that.

So, do yourself a favor and try to uncover any potential adverse facts and set them straight, before you get in the ring! You’ll feel like a champ knowing that when the bell rings, you’re ready for a one – two, knock-out!

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Meet Vic Yepello

Meet Victor Yepello As He Joins Up With Ron Jesser- Palm Springs Real Estate Agent

 

Victor Yepello moved to the Palm Springs Area in 2005 to live as he says “In Paradise”. He quickly obtained his Real Estate license and began a successful career selling homes throughout the Coachella Valley. Until the recession hit. He continued work in Real Estate Sales but the going was tough for a while as was with so many things. Continue reading “Meet Vic Yepello”

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10 Things To Consider When Choosing A Realtor In Palm Springs or Anywhere For That Matter

Palm Springs Mid-Century
Mid-Century Modern In Palm Springs

What happens when you decide to buy a home?  When you choose a Realtor, does the size of the Brokerage really matter to you or is it the person and the relationship you have built?  Is it the ease with which you can talk?  Does the person show knowledge of the market?

What you need is not a big company’s logo to have a successful real estate transaction.  What you do need is a person who can prove some of the following characteristics:

  1. How long has your agent worked selling homes in their current location?
  2. Is your agent a great listener?
  3. Are they trying to sell you on what THEY think you want vs. what YOU really want?
  4. Does you agent listen and understand when it comes to your goals?
  5. If buying, are the listings being sent to you make sense? Does the agent know how to answer your questions about the city, neighborhood or complex you are looking into?
  6. If selling, does the marketing plan use modern-day technology and tools?  Will you home be on the Internet?  Have its own website?
  7. How Internet savvy is your agent?  Do they have a great website you can actually use?  Is it usable on your smart phone?
  8. Does your agent have some real testimonials from past clients they can show you?
  9. Have you Googled this person to see what comes up on the Internet?  Try it!
  10. Do you LIKE this person?  Let’s face it, you won’t be sleeping with them but you will be spending a great deal of time together so please have a sense that being in their presence isn’t making you feel as though someone just drug their nails down a blackboard.
We pride ourselves in having all of the above qualities and characteristics and as a company, all of our agents are top professionals in their field and in Palm Springs.  We welcome a chance to earn your business.

Want more information about the Desert Cities ?

Buying or Selling Palm Springs Real Estate?

Buyers: Are you searching for your primary residence? We have a variety of Palm Springs homes for sale and have what it takes to get you settled in the neighborhood of your choice.

Selling your home? Your home selling experience will be one that is easy, friendly and professional. Our mission is to offer outstanding service while utilizing the best practices and Internet technology available. We are totally connected to the Internet and will market your home on every venue available! Results is what you expect and results is what you will get.

If you are planning to buy Palm Springs investment property, or property in the surrounding area, we have the staff partners who will help with any project or property management tasks while you are away. We have helped with the small properties all the way up to the multi-million dollar projects.

The Associates motto: We’re not here just to sell you a home. We’re here to help you find the dream home you’ll love then make it yours!

For more information on how we can best serve your Palm Springs Real Estate and surrounding area needs, please fill out the online contact form or give us a call at 760-413-2871.

 

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Explaining Escrow- What It’s All About and What You Need To Know

Understanding the closing escrow process...... It's a fire drill!

So how does one explain what an Escrow is and why we need it?  And how does it compare to closing procedures in other parts of the US?  Is it used in Palm Springs?

Well its simple.  Escrow is nothing more than having a neutral third-party who has the job of intermediary in a real estate transaction. Basically an Escrow officer will dot the I’s, cross the T’s and handle the money exchange (loan funding too) and recording with the County Assessor’s office.

In other parts of the country, Title Companies, Lawyers, and Notaries handle closings.  Here is Southern California, its done with an Escrow Company whose sole job is to handle only Escrow.

They duties include but are not limited to:

  • Order HOA docs
  • Order the Preliminary Title Report
  • Determine closing costs for each party and prepares the preliminary and final HUD report
  • Draw up the Escrow Instructions or in other words, they take the signed agreement between buyer and seller and put that into a new legal format used by all parties and for recording to the County.
  • Send out for signing and receive back all contractual and transaction related documents.
  • Answer buyer questions about title and vesting
  • And a good escrow company will also help ensure the deal keeps moving forward to meet the closing date.  Our partner company Sunset Escrow is good at ensuring we all get the job done on time.
Key to this process is communication and on a regular basis.  If your Escrow officer requests information or signatures, quick response is important and goes a long way to ensure a timely close.

What do I do to prepare for Escrow?

There are several pieces of information that you must to supply to your escrow officer. Often times, when a real estate broker is involved, he or she might assist you with communicating that information to the escrow officer. Other real estate brokers depend on the escrow officer and client to work directly on these items together.

The following is a brief list of items that you must provide and/or deliver to your escrow officer:

  1.  Correct spelling of your name and up-to-date contact information
  2.  Contact information for lender (and/or mortgage broker) if new financing is being obtained
  3. Mortgage loan account information (lender or loan servicer’s name, address, and account number) if you are selling or refinancing a piece of property; plus any other tax, mortgage, bond or other lien information
  4. Fire insurance policy information
  5. Title vesting choice  (Escrow can help on this but you may need to contact a legal pro or financial advisor)
  6. Copies of Trust Documents if taking title in trust or selling from a Trust
  7. Homeowner Association (HOA) and management contact information; copies of HOA documents if held by owner. Any relevant corporate, partnership or LLC documents if taking title in the name of one of those entities, or selling from one of those entities
And there's more HERE, a lot more information a consumer can learn about the details of the process.  One does not need to learn every aspect concerning Escrow and the process, but having basic knowledge is a good thing.  And have an agent that understands the process is important too.  We at Ron Jesser & Palm Springs Realtors have completed enough transactions over the years to give us a thorough understanding of how things work. We too will review the Escrow Instructions for accuracy and advise of any errors.  Its part of our job too.

Want more information about the Desert Cities ?

Buying or Selling Palm Springs Real Estate?

Buying or Selling in today’s real estate market is a challenge and a process that is easily accomplished with the help of a Palm Springs real estate agent focusing on the neighboring desert cities. You will need an expert who has lived in the area, knows the lifestyle and the unique housing market.

The market for real estate in the desert is alive and the values are exceptional especially for those who are looking for an ideal investment or a vacation/retirement property. We have many Palm Springs real estate properties available for every need, budget and amenity list.

Buyers: Are you searching for your primary residence? We have a variety of Palm Springs homes for sale and have what it takes to get you settled in the neighborhood of your choice.

Selling your home? Your home selling experience will be one that is easy, friendly and professional. Our mission is to offer outstanding service while utilizing the best practices and Internet technology available. We are totally connected to the Internet and will market your home on every venue available! Results is what you expect and results is what you will get.

If you are planning to buy Palm Springs investment property, or property in the surrounding area, we have the staff partners who will help with any project or property management tasks while you are away. We have helped with the small properties all the way up to the multi-million dollar projects.

The Associates motto: We’re not here just to sell you a home. We’re here to help you find the dream home you’ll love then make it yours!

For more information on how we can best serve your Palm Springs Real Estate and surrounding area needs, please fill out the online contact form or give us a call at 760-413-2871.

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Meet Ron Jesser and Vic Yepello

Meet Ron and Vic of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties Palm Springs!

We are adding Realtor Associates as well as lenders, insurance agents, tradesmen, home inspectors and more. We also provide property and project management referrals using people who have a known track record in the community.

Rest assured that your transaction will always be handled efficiently and with the experience that over 30 years of aggregate experience brings to our company.  And if you decide to rent your investment by the week, month or year, we will help with that by placing you in touch with people you can trust.

Links to the Bios for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties team members and agents Ron and Vic

 

Ron Jesser

Vic Yepello

 

The “Rest Of The Team”- links to the bio pages for our other team members

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Want more information about the Desert Cities ?

For more information on how we can best serve your Palm Springs Real Estate and surrounding area needs, please give us a call at 760-413-2871.