Posts Tagged ‘sell home’

Create Visual Space

Home buyers want the most house their money can buy. A large house with a choppy floor plan and small rooms can feel less spacious than a smaller home with an open floor plan. A clean, well-maintained, and spacious home is not only more marketable, but can often command a higher price.

Here are some things to do to visually create more space:

* Position mirrors in the right places to make a room appear larger. Make sure the mirrors reflect what you want to see more of, such as a favorite painting or a lovely window.
* Choose a light color scheme to help open up a room. White, cream, pearl gray, or soft yellow seem more inviting and open because they reflect light.
* Clear out the clutter. Keep decorative objects to a minimum. Porcelain figurines are distracting and can be easily broken. Pick up newspapers and magazines. Put away–or pack away–unnecessary items from countertops in the kitchen and baths. Clutter can make rooms seem smaller than they are.
* Minimize the amount of furniture you have in each room. This doesn’t mean smaller furniture! Just less of it. Sometimes just removing a few pieces will do help make the room appear larger.

Part of my expertise is in helping sellers get their home ready for the market. If you are considering selling and would like some tips on how you can stage your home to obtain top dollar, please call for a personal consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.

Capital Gains

 There are Capital Gains tax consequences for selling your personal residence before you have owned it for two years. Everyone should consult thier tax advisor before proceeding into any financial situation that could incur a tax but here are a few links with some information that may be helpful to anyone wondering what to consider before selling.

 There are short and long term investments and here is a short article to explain the difference:

 If you should hold your primary residence for two years or over it is a different story. The next link will explain our current capital gains real estate tax laws. When I say current – We never know what our law makers might be up to!

The real estate market in Irvine and southern Orange County is improving. If you are considering placing your home on the market and would like to know what it is worth in today’s market,  just visit my web site and complete a short home value  form with details about your home. I am also easy to reach via phone or text at 949-275-6544.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Supply Versus Demand

Supply versus demand -What does that mean to you? 

Many areas in Orange County are experiencing the lowest inventory rates we have seen in over 5 years! This does not apply to every neighborhood but in general:

  • Active available listings are trending the lowest in over 5 years 
  • New Listings are trending the lowest we have seen in over 5 years
  • Pending Sales hit the HIGHEST point in over 5 years
  • Current available inventory is  around  2-3 months supply!

We could be facing a very hot summer real estate market this year! 

If you are looking for purchase this spring it is a good time to get started! Lending has been very tight but we are seeing signs of improvement. Loans are key so make this your first step.  Contact Mary or visit my web site to view available listings. I am here to help and look forward to hearing from you! Call direct or text 949-275-6544

Now is the Time to BUY!!

Fall and Winter  is the Time to BUY!!

As the holidays draw near (or to a close) and the cold sets in we tend to become more dormant, much like the real estate market in many regions of the country, making it a great time to get out and buy before conditions likely thaw out by spring. There is still time to get a great deal!

The real estate market typically softens this time of the year. Kids are settled into the school year, the holidays are here, and many put off  buying a home until spring, or at least until the new year.

But the savvy home buyer will take advantage of the current conditions, which, coupled with historically low  interest rates , make it an excellent time to buy.

Homes will typically sit on the market a little longer in the winter which often presents buyers with a good opportunity to negotiate their best deal.

If you have been thinking about buying next year, or plan on buying in the near future, you may want to reconsider your plans to time the market  It could end up saving you a considerable amount of money.

Not only will you risk the probability that prices will rise, but who knows what interest rates will be like next year. Today’s low rates are  incentive enough to think about buying now.  

The chill of winter is setting in (well maybe not so much here in California!) and as the holiday season draws to a close (Happy New Year!) ,  sellers have been realizing they must be more competitive in the marketplace to affect a sale, “Many listings are now beginning to show reductions in price, and sellers are becoming more aware of how they need to  set their homes apart from all the others on the market.”

So if you do start looking in the weeks ahead, be sure to keep an open mind. Always think about the future potential. You can always change the carpet that would clash with your furnishings, paint the walls, replace outdated appliances, or add the back yard patio area that is missing. Remember, if the sellers are anxious to sell or the house has been on the market a considerable length of time, you’ll likely have the advantage in the negotiation process.

Finally, if you do manage to buy and close escrow by the end of the year (too late if you aren’t in escrow already!) you’ll have the added benefit of being able to deduct your closing costs, mortgage interest, and property taxes on your 2012 tax return!

Determining the Listing Price

 Pricing  your  home  is  an  art  — not a science.

 Achieving the optimal price  is  the result of both objective research into similar properties and  instinct in  determining how much a buyer will be willing to pay for  your  home.  The  right  price  will  attract  showings,  which  will generate offers.

The  unfortunate  fact  is  that  price is  the  number  one  factor that most  homebuyers use to determine which homes they want to view. It’s also important to remember that although you and your Realtor set the asking price, the selling price is determined by the buyer.

The Correct Price Will:

  •  Expose the property to more buyers
  • Result in a quicker sale, with less inconvenience to the seller
  • Increase Realtor response
  •  Generate more ad calls
  •  Prevent your listing from getting “stale” or “shop worn”

 Typically  homes  that sell more quickly, sell closer to or sometimes over asking price.

 Some Common Reasons for Overpricing

  • Over-improved property
  •  Original purchase price too high
  • Desire for “negotiating room”

 Overpricing Pitfalls

  •  Most  of  the  activity on  your  home will occur in the first few weeks.
  • Pricing ahome properly creates immediate urgency in the minds of buyers and agents.
  •  There  is  a  pool  of  buyers  who  have  seen  most  available homes  in  theirprice  range and are now only waiting for new listings  or  price  reductions.  Abuyer  that has been waiting, may fail to see your home if it is priced too high.
  • Sometimes, a price  reduction  may  be too late, as interest by both buyers and Realtors, may have waned.

 Buyers and  their  agents are very aware of the length of time on  the  market, the most  common  question  continues to be: “How  long  has  it  been  on  the  market?”  Often buyers are reluctant  to  make  an  offer  on  a home that has beenon the market  for  “awhile”  thinking  that there is something wrong with the home.Unfortunately,  overpriced  listings  frequently help you to sell your  neighbor’ reasonably  priced  home,  making  it appear that their home is priced very well.

 The Role of a Real estate Agent in Pricing

 Provide  you  with  a  comparative  market  analysis,  which  is a comparison  of recent  homes  with  similar  amenities  that  are available, in escrow and sold. There  is  no  “exact price”; your home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay. The  market  determines  value;  together  you  and  your agent determine asking price.

  Realtors  have no control over the market, only the marketing plan. The  seller  determines  the  asking  price.   Never  select  an  agent based on price. 

If you’re serious about selling and not just listing your property, call me today. I will give you an honest evaluation of what it is going to take to get your property sold.

Never Sell an Empty House!

Here are a few reasons to: Never Sell an Empty House!


People don’t buy houses-they buy homes: Buyers often are drawn to a warm feeling of home that furniture and accessories provide.


With no furniture there is no sense of size or purpose: Empty rooms are not inviting and hard to determine what size furniture will work within them. Also some rooms are difficult to know what the intended purpose for the room is. It can be a dining room or family room or den, etc? Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a room.. If it is designated it at least gives the buyer the initial use and often will spur ideas of possibilities.


When rooms are empty buyers focus on negative: It is much easier to notice a not so perfect paint job or crack in the wall when the room is empty. There is simply nothing else to focus on!


Two mortgage payments are expensive! A vacant home typically takes twice as long to sell and usually sells for less! Don’t take this chance is staging a home is within your reach.


If you are planning on selling your home and would like a personal evaluation please give me a call at 949-275-6544 or email to schedule an appointment. Selling a home is stressful, but putting your best home forward can help alleviate some of the anxiety.

Time Your Home Sale!

Even in this time of uncertainty, when home values seem to be difficult to track, there is something to be said for timing your home sale! Spring brings renewed hope and has typically always been the best time to sell. This year holds promise for being a very good year! Here is how the seasons break down:

  • The best selling season is  Spring! The day after Super Bowl generally rings in Spring for the real estate sales market. Optimal time to find a home and move in by the end of the school year. This allows school age children additional time to settle into thier new homes and adapt before school begins.
  • Summer is the next best time. The hot summer months help sell homes with pools. The fall school year is definitely the motivator to find and secure a home before the new school year begins. 
  • By early fall many buyers have left the market. Often we will see a resurgence in October and November but generally from October through February is the best time to buy a home if you are looking for a bargain! Many homes will be reduced in this time period so don’t let this happen to you. 

Always sell based on supply and demand: When there are more buyers than homes for sale (sellers market), sellers are able to obtain better prices and terms; when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers, sellers may have to reduce their price and perhaps make other concessions to sell their home. Also, keep in mind that it is easier to sell in a low interest rate environment- which is what we are enjoying today-when more buyers can qualify for a home loan

Currently many neighborhoods have little to no inventory (competition?) and interest rates are historically low. The  economy and real estate market may still be struggling but these two factors are worth considering if you are thinking of making a move this year. The home buyer credit is also still in play until April so this will add to the demand through the next couple of months. 

Reasons to Sell your home during the Holidays

Here are some great reasons to put your home on the market during the Holidays!

1. Holiday decorated homes are very appealing.

2. Many people want to buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.

3. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays.

4. Serious buyers have fewer houses to look at during the holidays, so you have less competition.

5. By selling now, you can specify a delayed closing or occupancy until early next year if you desire.

6.  You may still restrict showings during your personal family events.

Bottom Line? By listing now you may have fewer actual showings, but more qualified and motivated buyers

The Reason? You have less competition, resulting in a quicker sale

Currently inventory is dwindling and spring may bring new competition. There are many buyers looking for homes today!!!

Call Mary Burke at 949-275-6544 or visit my web site and complet a short form to find out what your  home is worth in the current market.

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