When you’re getting ready to list your home, it’s of the upmost importance to ensure you are showing it in the best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are our top five recommended repairs to make before selling your home.

Repaint walls. Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up, and generally, it can be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure cover any walls with scratches and chips and consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.

Repair floors. Hardwood floors are a very desirable feature in a home, so you want to ensure they look their best by fixing scratches or dull areas. If your carpet is worn or stained, consider replacing them. And don’t forget the tile in your kitchen or bathrooms. Re-grouting can go a long way in making dingy tile work look brand new!

Refresh the landscaping. Show buyers your home is the full package by dressing up the outside as well as the in. Clean walkways and driveways, plant seasonal flowers and plants, trim hedges and trees, install outdoor décor pieces and fill in mulch and gravel.

Fix your fixtures. Leaky faucet? Rusted drains? Loose drawer handle? Making these small fixes can make a big difference to potential buyers with detailed-orientated minds.

Improve your kitchen. An outdated kitchen can be a real eyesore in a home. Updating cabinetry, repairing or replacing countertops, and installing new faucets and sinks may be worth the investment.

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 38 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

 

You’ve narrowed down your wish list, viewed many homes, and finally found your perfect fit. Time to take the leap and make an offer! This can be both incredibly intimidating and exponentially exciting. So how can you throw your hat into the ring with confidence? Here’s what you need to know to make an offer like a boss!

Determine your price limit. Work with your agent to determine if the seller’s listing price is fair based on similar home sales in the area, interest in the home, time on the market, and more. Then, figure out the max offer price you are willing to reach that isn’t too financially taxing and settle on what your starting offer price will be.

Add contingencies. Any home sale generally comes with a set of contingencies that must be met before it can be completed. These can include inspections, repairs, appraisals, and more. These need to be selected carefully, as an offer with too many may be less appealing to the seller.

Set your settlement date. When you submit an offer, you must present a date to settle, generally about 60 days after the purchase agreement is signed. You want to give yourself enough time to meet your end of the contingencies, secure mortgage approval, finalize loan details, and more. If you are the responsible party for a delay, you may have to compensate the seller.

Prepare for a counteroffer. You may be going up against other offers or the seller may negotiate, so it’s best to prepare ahead of time for a counteroffer. But this isn’t anything to stress about. Talk through the best strategies with your real estate agent.

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 38 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Staging your home is all about putting the best foot forward for potential buyers. By highlighting its most desirable features, you can draw more interest for your home and leave a lasting impression that is sure to help you sell it more quickly. Here’s what you should keep in mind as you prepare for your next open house or viewing!

Living Room

  • Help them visualize it as their own. Make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home by removing personal memorabilia, knick-knacks, and photos. Instead replace them with simple décor, such as paintings, nature images, and plants.
  • Think sleek instead of comfy. Modern-day buyers are leaning toward modern, crisp, clean interiors over comfy, homey looks. When staging your home, keep a minimalist mindset and incorporate bright colors and metal accents.
  • Deep clean the small spaces. It’s obvious to say you should clean your home before viewing, but don’t forget to cover your bases by deep cleaning the small spots. Take time to scrub porous areas like grout that may hold on to stains and baseboards where small pet hairs and dust love to cling.
  • Spruce up your landscaping. The first impression your home gives to potential buyers is its exterior. Ensure you have a freshly mowed lawn, neat hedges and shrubbery, bright flowers, and a clean driveway.
  • Set the mood. A home is so much more than just the way it looks, so you need to appeal to the other senses. Prior to having potential buyers over, set the mood by burning delicious smelling candles and selecting an upbeat, happy soundtrack to play in the background.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 38 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

One of the huge benefits of owning property is the home equity you can build. But with equity comes the temptation to dip into it if a large expense or possible investment arises. There are many strategic ways to use your equity without ruining any personal financial advances you have made. The most crucial step you need to take is to fully understand your options for tapping into that money and the associated risks.

Piggy bankSimply put, your home equity is the market value of your home relative to any loan balances remaining. There are two main ways to utilize this value. Getting a home equity loan provides you with a lump sum of money that you pay off in monthly installments, generally over five to 15 years. As with any loan, you will be required to pay interest on the amount, but it is usually a fixed rate. Choosing to use a line of credit instead offers similar benefits, but instead of receiving the money up front, you are given a pool you can draw from as needed. With this option, the lender provides a maximum borrowing limit and you can choose to use it or not until it is reached.

Before dipping into your home equity in, either way, it is important to understand the possible consequences. In both instances, your home is used as loan collateral. This means if you are unable to make payments on the loan for any reason, the lender can sell your property or take your home in foreclosure. Additionally, there will likely be closing costs and fees you have to pay in association with the loan.

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 38 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

It’s easy to get sucked into looking at home listing after home listing online. Stunningly filtered photos of manicured lawns, sharp-looking kitchens,giant bedrooms. Although this is a great place to begin, it’s important to keep in mind that all may not be as it seems.

 

Here are our top tips to avoid getting duped by listings online.

 

Photos don’t always capture the full picture. Real estate photographers are very good at highlighting the best features of the home. Wide angle lenses to make spaces appear larger than they really are. But, be aware that there may be less photo-worthy features they aren’t displaying. Don’t forget to look at the property features listed below to gather a better idea of what the home has to offer.

 

Ensure you are looking at current listings. Nothing is worse than falling in love with the perfect home, only to check out the listing date to find it was posted two years ago. Make sure you use websites that are pulling information daily from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and have your real estate agent verify it is available.

 

Use your real estate agent as a resource. If you find a seemingly great listing online, always run it by your agent to confirm you aren’t missing something important. They can also provide neighborhood details, price comparisons for similar properties just sold in the area, additional listings that match your criteria, and more. Once you a find a home you’re ready to view, make sure you bring them with you to answer questions and be an extra set of eyes.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 550 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. Windermere Real Estate was voted the most trusted brand west of the Mississippi by Lifestory Research®. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

The home buying process can be exciting and fun, but also complicated, stressful, and overwhelming. Maximize your chance of success and minimize the amount of time spent trying to keep track of all the details by working with a buyer’s agent. There is a plethora of benefits to using a buyer’s agent, and here are our top four!

 

They can find the right properties for you. When starting your search, generally you will already have a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your new home. Your buyer’s agent will have access to extensive search resources and all the new listings hitting the market, so they can ensure you are looking at homes that meet most, if not all, of your criteria.

 

They know the background. Experienced buyer’s agents have a breadth of knowledge on different neighborhoods in the area. They can let you know what similar homes in the area have recently sold for, if there are any new commercial projects on the horizon, what the nearby schools have to offer, and more.

 

They are in your corner during negotiations. A buyer’s agent is your advocate when it comes time to put in an offer and negotiate. They have your best interest in mind, understand what you are looking for, and can help you get the best price and terms for the home.

 

They provide trusted recommendations. Buyer’s agents that have been in the business for several years have likely built strong relationships with professionals in other parts of the industry. Turn to your agent when you are ready to find a home inspector, moving company, lender, and more.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 550 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. Windermere Real Estate was voted the most trusted brand west of the Mississippi by Lifestory Research®. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Bluetooth offers great wireless convenience for your smartphone, allowing you to connect to your headphones, car stereo, wireless speaker, and other devices without dealing with a tangleof cords and wires. However, most of us aren’t careful enough when it comes to Bluetooth security.

 

As a general rule, you should turn Bluetooth off on your phone whenever you’re not connected to a device. Forgetting to turn it off will reduce your battery life because it continues to drain power even when there’s no device connected. But, there are even more serious concerns than that.

 

New hacker technologies, called “Blueborne” can scan for open Bluetooth connections and gain access to your device. Once a device has been hacked, it can then be used to gain access to additional devices. It’s not limited to one manufacturer either. Samsung, Google, Apple, and several car audio systems have all shown vulnerabilities.

 

So as a best practice, follow these two tips:

 

  1. Keep your phone updated. When Apple or Android releases an update, it’s not just for new operating system features—it also patches security issues.
  2. Make it a habit to turn off Bluetooth. As soon as you step out of your car or power down your headphones, you should turn off the Bluetooth on your phone. If nothing else, your battery will last a little longer.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 550 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. Windermere Real Estate was voted the most trusted brand west of the Mississippi by Lifestory Research®. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

 

  1. Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.
  2. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.
  3. Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.
  4. Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.
  5. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 550 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. Windermere Real Estate was voted the most trusted brand west of the Mississippi by Lifestory Research®. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Refinancing your mortgage is something most homeowners consider at least once throughout the lifespan of their home loan. It allows you to pay off your previous loan by applying for a new one that has better financial advantages. While there are many good reasons to refinance, here are five common ones.

 

  • Scoring a lower interest rate. The number one reason homeowners decide to refinance is to secure a lower interest rate on their mortgage. Not only does this save you money in the long run and decrease your monthly payment, but you can start building equity in your home sooner.
  • Using an improved credit score. Even if interest rates have not dropped in the market, if you’ve improved your credit score over the last few years, you may be able to reduce your mortgage rate.
  • Shortening the loan’s term. If interest rates are decreasing, there is a chance you may be able to get a shorter loan term with little to no change in your monthly payment, allowing you to pay off your loan sooner.
  • Switching from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. If you chose an adjustable-rate mortgage with great introductory rates when you initially financed your home, that rate may increase significantly over the years. By switching to a fixed rate while interest rates are low, you can protect yourself from future increases.
  • Cashing out home equity. If there is a big purchase or payment on the horizon, such as funding a wedding or going back to school, your best option may be to use the equity you’ve built in your home to borrow money at a lower cost.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

 

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Windermere Homes & Estates is proud to announce Nancy Canfield’s recognition as a Five Star Professional for the 10th year in a row! Nancy has been chosen as a 2018 Five Star Real Estate Agent award winner, allowing her special publications on pages like SanDiegoMag.com and FiveStarProfessional.com. These high traffic sites feature some of the best that San Diego has to offer, from restaurants, to events and local gatherings. This research driven recognition for te Five Star Award is based strictly on service professionals who provide quality service to their clients.

According to FiveStarProfessional.com, award winners are listed at no cost in a special advertising section within the city/regional magazine and on FiveStarProfessional.com. This award can then be shared with clients, colleagues, family and friends. The Five Star Award is presented to wealth managers, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, home/auto insurance professionals, and dentists in more than 45 markets in the U.S. and Canada.

“Nancy has been selected from only 5% of 20,000 Realtors in San Diego” says Carson Canedy, Account Manager at Five Star Professional.

In gaining this special recognition, Nancy Canfield proudly announces her 10th straight year receiving this unique and rare recognition. With the support of Windermere Homes & Estates, Nancy’s reputation for service pairs perfectly with the well-known, long standing credibility of the company who represents her throughout all her transactions.

Rich Johnson exclaimed, “I am proud to have Nancy Canfield on our team! Her recognition as a Five Star Agent year after year proves her dedication for her craft and her unwavering work ethic, which is synonymous with Windermere’s core values.” As a local realtor in the Rancho Bernardo & Poway areas of North County San Diego, Nancy always goes above and beyond for her clients, going “well beyond the traditional role of a realtor” as client have stated.

Read more about Nancy’s progress in the industry by visiting  Five Star Professional, or visiting her site: NancyCanfield.com.

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors® revealed that 77 percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home makes it easier for potential buyers to visual it as their own. That’s why here at Breakthrough Broker, we believe staging is not to be overlooked! Here are our top tips.

 

  1. Dress up your yard. First impressions count, and the first one your home gives comes from the exterior. Mow the lawn, clean up shrubbery, rake any leaves, clean the walkway and driveway, plant in-season flowers, and pull up any unsightly weeds.
  2. Reduce personal items. Make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your house their home by removing personal photos and knick-knacks from shelves, walls, and counters. Instead replace them with clean, simple décor, such as abstract paintings, nature images, vases, plants, and more.
  3. Organize your storage areas. Storage is a huge selling point. Tidy up and clear out the accessible closets and cupboards in the home and make sure to point them out during an open house or showing.
  4. Appeal to the senses. Consider ways you can appeal to potential homebuyers’ other senses. During a viewing or open house, bake some fresh cookies or burn delicious smelling candles and play light, relaxing music in the background.
  5. Consider turning to an expert. With their knowledge of current trends and great eye for design, professionally certified stagers can transform a home in a variety of ways and have a keen sense of what homebuyers want and expect in a home. Investing in hiring a pro may pay off in dividends.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

 

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

One of the most daunting parts of selling your home is deciding what to price it at. You don’t want to price too high and get little to no traction but you don’t want to price too low and undervalue your home. There are so many things to take into consideration, so we’ve outlined the top XXX things you should do before you list.

 

Enlist the help of a local expert. Local agents have years of experience in the market you are selling in, plus have a lot of industry expertise to bring to the table. They will factor in the unique offerings of your home and neighborhood and your wants and needs for the sale of the home to help you properly price.

 

Research homes for sale in your neighborhood. It’s always a good idea to do a little recon on homes for sale in your area. View current and past listings online to find homes that have similar features and were built around the same year as yours to get an idea of prices. Open house in your neighborhood? Take time to pop by in person and get a feel for what their home has to offer at what price.

 

Remove the emotion. Whether it’s your first or fourth home, it is the setting of so many amazing memories and holds a special place in your heart. Unfortunately, emotional attachment to your home can cloud your judgment when pricing it. Try to place your personal feelings about your home on the back burner and focus on tangible features of your home that add great value.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

 

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Whether you are a first-time home buyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of the transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a home?

  1. Closing costs. Your closing costs are determined by a variety of factors, but you can expect it to be between 2% to 5% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.
  2. Furnishings. Love how the seller has furnished and decorated the home? Buyers often negotiate keeping couches, fixtures, landscaping items, patio furniture, appliances, and more. And many sellers agree, wanting to make the home more appealing.
  3. Inspection and closing timing. Buyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who have been going through the process for far too long. Just ensure you allow yourself ample time to get your financing in place and complete proper, thorough inspections.
  4. Home warranty. Sellers will often agree to pay the premium on the home warranty at closing and then hand it off to the new homeowner, who is responsible for the deductible on any future claims.
  5. Repairs. Your inspection may uncover small or large repairs needed to bring the home up to standard. You can negotiate to have these items fixed before closing or ask for a price reduction to cover the costs.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

 

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.

 

  1. Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter.
  2. Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fish eye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.
  3. See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 550 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. Windermere Real Estate was voted the most trusted brand west of the Mississippi by Lifestory Research®. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Many sellers may be tempted to select the highest offer they receive, but there are several other factors to consider. Here are five areas important to evaluate.

 

  1. Down payment. The size of the down payment should be heavily considered when comparing offers. It is often tied to the size of the loan the buyer is taking out and a larger one indicates higher financial stability.
  2. Earnest money deposit. The EMD is the sum of cash the buyer is willing to put up when the sales agreement is signed to show their high level of interest in purchasing the home. If they back out of the transaction without a good reason, the seller typically keeps it, and if the sale goes through, it typically goes towards their down payment.
  3. Contingencies are standard for most offers and outline the evaluations and appraisals that need to be completed before the sale is final, such as financing, appraisal, sale of current home, title, and home inspection. The fewer contingencies, the higher the chance of reaching the closing table.
  4. All-cash offer. Not only does putting down an all-cash offer boost the likelihood of loan approval, but the buyer will not need an appraisal or financing contingency, reducing the chance of the sale falling through.
  5. Closing date. Consideration of the closing date differs for each seller. For example, if you have already purchased a new home, you may want to close quickly. But, if you are waiting on the money from the sale to start house hunting, you may be okay with a slower settlement.

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 550 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. Windermere Real Estate was voted the most trusted brand west of the Mississippi by Lifestory Research®. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Selling your home can be an exciting, but stressful time. Luckily you are not alone in this process. Finding the right listing agent is key to having a successful, smooth experience. Your listing agent will help you price and market your home, negotiate with home buyers, and walk you through home inspection and closing. You want to find someone who has your best interest in mind and is knowledgeable and experienced. Select an agent about six to eight weeks before putting your home on the market. Ask friends and family for recommendations, do thorough review searches online, and conduct in-depth interviews with several agents before making a final decision. During each interview, make sure you clearly state your goals for the sale and what you are looking for in an agent. To help you pick the best agent for you, here’s what you should consider.

 

  • Are they a full-time agent?
  • How many years have they been a listing agent?
  • Have they sold any homes in your neighborhood in the past year?
  • What types of homes/properties do they normally list?
  • What is their process for marketing homes?
  • What does an open house event look like for them?
  • Will you be working with the same individual throughout the process or will it be a team?
  • What is their level of responsiveness?
  • What is their average sold-to-list timeline?
  • How many listings are they managing right now?
  • What will be expected from you throughout the process?
  • What is their fee?
  • Can you talk to one of their previous clients?

 

Using this criteria, you can narrow down your options and find the right fit for you!

 

About Windermere Real Estate

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 3.5 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 16 offices and have had over 550 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 7,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. Windermere Real Estate was voted the most trusted brand west of the Mississippi by Lifestory Research®. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Deb Herscovitz, realtor with Windermere Homes & EstatesThey say find out what your passion is and do it! Deb’s passion IS real estate. Finally after an extensive career selling in the high tech industry of Silicon Valley, Deb is finally doing what she always wanted to do.

 

Having been born and raised on the East Coast (a great place to be from!) Deb ventured West following friends and the good weather to Northern California where she spent 28 years honing her sales skills in the semiconductor industry. Deb moved in 2002 to even better weather and California’s second largest city, San Diego, to pursue my second career and her dream; she became a Realtor.

 

Downtown San Diego is where Deb lives, works and plays. Such a vibrant city; still in its infant stages of growth and it’s wonderful to be part of such a captivating place! Deb exudes enthusiasm when she tours clients around this great city to view properties. She loves what she does and she believes if she does it well, the end result is enthusiasm (and some very happy clients too!), and works hard to gain the knowledge and expertise that will set her apart from others.

 

Deb’s goal is to help her clients achieve their dream of buying or selling a home, as well as experience a seamless and smooth transaction (whether or not they’re a first time buyer or experienced investor). Her expertise in negotiating brings a tremendous value to her clients in any situation. Deb treats everyone as she expects to be treated, with honesty and integrity and with the utmost knowledge as possible about the real estate market. She enjoys helping her clients with the “American Dream” of purchasing a home and her strive is to make it a great experience for them!

 

“Deb’s specialty is the Downtown area. She’s been awarded the Five Star: Best Client Satisfaction honor for 10 years, and has been in the Top 20 of 100 Realtors in Downtown. This just goes to show how much her clients value her work, and how much they trust her. That she’s chosen to work in our beautiful Downtown office? We couldn’t be happier!” says Rich Johnson, co-owner of Windermere Homes & Estates.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

 

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Inna Scates, realtor with Windermere Homes & EstatesOriginally from Odessa, Ukraine, Inna came to the states 25 years ago and has lived in San Diego with her family ever since. With a history in the aviation industry, Inna has enjoyed working in sales for over 14 years. Inna’s self-motivated ambition and innate abilities interfacing with the public have allowed her to continually achieve her goals in each industry she pursues.

 

As Inna moves into her career in Real Estate, she is constantly seeking new challenges in her field. With the goal of helping families to build a new foundation in Southern California, Inna can easily relate to her clients on this personal level.

 

With an adventurous mindset and a playful energy, Inna’s clients typically find that she is fun to be around. From her attention to detail to her strong support network, Inna is able to provide some of the best service to her clients while working with Windermere Homes & Estates.

 

“It’s always exciting to have new talent in your company, especially with someone who is a constant professional and understands hard work. Inna is a hard worker and understands the importance of what our clients need, and we’re happy that she has chosen to work with us in our beautiful Scripps Ranch office” says Rich Johnson, co-owner

 

To learn more about Inna or to speak with her about your next home purchase or sale, you can contact her direct at: [email protected] or 951-813-6338.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

 

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

Doug Adams, realtor with Windermere Homes & EstatesDoug Adams moved from Pennsylvania to San Diego in 1990 and began his Real Estate career helping buyers and sellers achieve their Real Estate dreams.

 

Doug has the expertise in all areas of working with sellers & buyers to complete the transaction with full satisfaction for all parties. He has aided buyers and sellers that have relocated from all parts of the county, people that are up and downsizing, as well as large investment property sales.

 

Working with sellers and buyers through good times and bad, Doug has learned the ins and outs of real estate from negotiating the contract, physical inspections, loan processing and closing the transaction. Through his many years of Real Estate experience, Doug is able to, in most cases, negotiate any problems that might arise to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

 

Since 1986 Doug has been an active member of the National and California Association of Realtors along with being a member in good standing of the North San Diego County Association of Realtors.

 

Doug has helped clients in all parts of San Diego County and always goes the extra mile to help them achieve their real estate goals. Communication and availability are a top priority for Doug. He prides himself in listening to his clients and working to achieve their total satisfaction.

 

“With 30+ years’ experience in the San Diego area it’s clear Doug knows his way around town. He enjoys the process of negotiation and he’s good at it, which is a valuable talent for his clients. And we couldn’t be happier that he’s chosen to work with us in our Carlsbad Village office,” says Brian Gooding, co-owner of Windermere Homes & Estates.

 

To contact Doug directly you can reach him at 760.685.1767, or drop into the office for a consultation!

 

About Windermere Real Estate

 

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.

David Taxer, realtor with Windermere Homes & EstatesAs a native San Diego resident, David Taxer grew up in the Ocean Beach/Point Loma area. David’s childhood consisted of playing sports as a kid, from soccer to basketball. With the luxury of beach living, David was also able to enjoy the surfing at the local beach with friends.

 

David’s heavy involvement with sports and surf lead him into his first job working in the local surf shop with aspirations of being an ESPN SportsCenter anchor like Stuart Scott & Rich Eisen. While working in the shop, David began learning about the industry with a primary focus on the sales division.

 

For the next 21 years, David had much success working in the industry. With a hobby turned career, David’s history and experience became his unique calling card. As a 100% commissioned based rep in Southern California for companies like Rip Curl, Spy, Under Armour, and Tom’s, David was a 3 time “Rep of the Year” winner with Rip Curl. Through his success, he was also able to travel to Thailand, Australia, Mexico, and Canada to present to the global sales and management teams. As David built up his extensive sales portfolio, he began considering some additional options in the sales world.

 

Having a father in law who was a retired lawyer/broker allowed David to learn firsthand about buying and selling homes, including investment properties. After purchasing several homes himself, David began managing his own investment properties for about 12 years. This experience of managing his own properties opened up David’s eyes to the Real Estate world, venturing in to receive his license in February 2018.

 

Now living in Aviara, David, his wife, and their two children, found their dream home based on location and ample yard space. David’s clients, colleagues and friends would say that he is trustworthy, easy to get along with, and willing to work very hard for their business.

 

“David’s experience with his own investment properties gives him an edge.  His clients know he works hard to give them the very best experience he can, to ease the bumps that can come when buying or selling a home. We’re extremely happy that he’s chosen to work with us in our Carlsbad Village office,” says Brian Gooding, co-owner of Windermere Homes & Estates.

 

To contact David direct you can reach him at: 760-470-0560.

 

About Windermere Real Estate

 

Southern California-based Windermere Homes & Estates is the fastest growing real estate brokerage in California in 2015, according to industry magazine First Tuesday Journal. In just over 4 years, co-owners Rich Johnson and Brian Gooding have opened 17 offices and have had over 600 agents join their team. Their newest achievement, 2016 Brokerage Achievement of Excellence, was awarded to them by the San Diego Association of Realtors® (SDAR). Windermere Homes & Estates was honored to be the first recipient of the new annual SDAR Award given for standard of ethics, commitment to compliance and high regards for running their business.

 

Windermere Real Estate is ranked the largest regional real estate company in the Western U.S. with over 300 offices and 6,000 agents serving communities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico. Last year, Windermere closed over 86,000 sides for more than $31.7 billion in dollar volume. The Windermere family has a proud heritage of serving our neighbors via the Windermere Foundation which funds services for low-income and homeless families. Since 1989, the Windermere Foundation has contributed more than 35 million dollars towards improving lives in the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit www.windermere.com.