Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc



Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/8/2019

Photo by ProgrammingIBC via Pixabay

One of the most important things you can do before you list your home for sale is to stage it. Home staging refers to arranging the home’s furnishings and decor so it looks as good as possible. In other words, you use the decor and furnishings to make the home look like a showroom, so buyers walk in and feel instantly at home. This can help your house sell more quickly and for a better price. If you’re interested in starting the home staging process, here’s how to do it.

1. Tackle the Clutter

Clutter is the enemy of a fast home sale. It makes a home look crowded and unkempt. Purge and clean until your home looks as empty as possible. This may mean sending some items to storage while the home’s on the market, but the more you can get out of the house, the better.

2. Arrange the Furniture Well

Next, change the arrangement of your furniture. Often you will need to remove some pieces to make the home look larger.

In the living areas, pull couches, chairs and tables away from walls to allow them to float in the room. This actually makes the room look larger and inviting. Use an area rug to create a chatting area.

In bedrooms, make sure there is plenty of space on the floor showing. Get rid of a nightstand or dresser if you need to temporarily, so the home looks larger.

3. De-Personalize the Home

As you go through your home to stage it, look for things that are highly personal to your family. Family pictures, children’s artwork, or an heirloom item that has meaning to you, but does not add to the home’s look, can all be removed. You want the home to look and feel like a perfectly staged model home, not your personal, comfortable space.

4. Keep it Neutral

If you need to paint a room or add a piece of decor, make it as neutral as possible. Again, this will help buyers feel at home, no matter what their personal tastes may be. Bright colors are best avoided when staging a home.

5. Clean and Repair

Cleaning your home as you stage it is unlike any other cleaning you have done. You need to clean it as deeply as you can so that it shines from top to bottom. This shows that you take care of your home, and makes buyers feel more confident that they won’t be purchasing a lemon. In addition, patch and repair anything you find, including holes and scratches in the paint.

Staging a home is a bit time consuming, but the rewards are worth the effort. About half of all buyers’ agents report that home staging changes how a buyer views a home. You want the buyer to have a positive experience in your home, so stage it well!




Tags: open house   Home staging   Basics  
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Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 12/1/2019

Moving to a new home can definitely be labor intensive, but there are plenty of ways to make it easier and less stressful. Creating a priority list of things to do before the moving truck arrives can help ensure that you won't forget important details.

If you've chosen a service-oriented moving company, they should provide you with information -- possibly even a checklist -- on how to efficiently work with them and prepare.

Having the movers do the actual packing for you is often an option, but not everyone feels comfortable turning over that task to people they don't know. If you decide that it's worth it to pay the extra fee, you can always prepack and take with you any personal, fragile, or valuable items you don't want to entrust to others.

Moving companies are in a competitive business and are usually willing to negotiate the price of their services. By getting cost estimates from three different movers, you can often save hundreds of dollars and choose the company that provides the best value and customer service. Reading online reviews, checking Better Business Bureau ratings, asking a lot of questions, and taking notes are a few of the methods you can use to make an informed decision. Once you've done your research and picked a reputable moving company to transport your belongings, you've cleared one of the biggest hurdles. Packing, of course, can also be a rather immense part of the process. Here are a few tips to help make it a bit easier.

Downsizing helps: Depending on your age, the size of your family, and how long you've lived in your current home, you may want to "lighten your load" as much as possible! Transporting things you no longer use or need can make moving more tiring, complicated, and expensive. Taking the time to have a garage sale, contact the Salvation Army for a truck pickup, or even find a cost-effective junk removal service to haul away your unwanted stuff can simplify your moving experience.

Boxes and packing materials: Although there's a good possibility of being able to negotiate some wardrobe boxes and other supplies into your service contract, more boxes, heavy-duty tape, and packing material will be needed! Inquiring at your local supermarket about any surplus boxes is one way to save money on supplies. However, if the boxes they give you are flimsy or damaged, the monetary savings may not be worth the hassle of having them split open in transit. Overpacking boxes with heavy objects can also result in that same problem -- not to mention the probability of muscle strains and back injuries! Clearly labeling boxes and avoiding using nondescript categories, such as "miscellaneous," is yet another way to reduce the potential stress and frustration of moving all your belongings to a new home.





Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/24/2019

Looking to sell a home for the first time? Ultimately, a first-time home seller must be able to identify a strong offer for his or her residence. With extensive real estate insights, a first-time home seller may be better equipped than others to accept a strong offer and accelerate the home selling cycle.

Identifying a strong offer for a home can be quick and easy Ė even for a first-time home seller.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller differentiate between a strong offer and a poor one.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The housing market can be complex, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, many free, easy-to-access resources are available to help a home seller learn about the ins and outs of the housing sector so he or she can plan accordingly.

For example, a home seller can check the prices of homes available in his or her area via a simple online search. This home seller can even find out how long a particular house has been available, whether the price of a home has been reduced over time and much more.

With in-depth knowledge of the real estate market, a home seller can study how his or her residence stacks up against the competition. Then, this home seller can establish a competitive price for his or her home, increasing the likelihood that he or she will receive a number of strong offers.

2. Understand Your Home Both Inside and Out

A home appraisal is a must for a first-time or experienced home seller, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

During a home appraisal, a property inspector will take a close look at a house's interior and exterior. This inspector will provide a report at the appraisal's completion that highlights a house's strengths and weaknesses too.

For a home seller, an appraisal offers a valuable learning opportunity. It enables a home seller to gain deep insights into a home's condition that he or she may struggle to obtain elsewhere. That way, a home seller can complete assorted home repairs before listing a residence and boost his or her chances of receiving multiple offers that exceed a house's initial asking price.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A first-time home seller should meet with a real estate agent and discuss the differences between a strong offer and a poor one.

Thanks to a real estate agent, a home seller can seamlessly navigate the entire property selling journey as well.

Typically, a real estate agent will help a home seller establish a fair price for a residence from the get-go. This housing market professional also can offer helpful tips throughout the home selling journey to ensure a home seller can get the best possible results.

Don't leave anything to chance as you prepare to list a residence for the first time. Instead, take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and a first-time home seller should have no trouble distinguishing between a strong offer and a subpar proposal.




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Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/10/2019

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers to your financial picture. You know how important it is to have a high credit score. If you pay your bills on time and keep your debt down, you think that your score will be just fine, but this isnít always the case. There are a few hidden mistakes that you could be making that are bringing your credit score down. Read on to find out what to avoid when trying to keep your credit score up and maintain it. 


Too Many Credit Inquiries


Beware that every time you apply for a new loan or even just check on what type of interest rate you can get, your credit will be reviewed. You want to avoid too many credit inquiries because a high number will bring your credit score down. Always ask if a lender is pulling a hard inquiry to check your score, donít allow too many of these credit checks. 


Anything Small Can Make A Big Impact


Was there a mistake on a medical bill that you paid but it says it was unpaid? If you let this go, your credit score could be impacted. Even unreturned library books that have been turned over to collections can negatively affect your score. Stay on top of things because you never know how a small mishap can affect you.


Your Information Is Wrong


You should look at your credit report so that you can see more than just your history. You can see the information that is being reported to check for mistakes. Incorrect information can bring your credit score down. You can call the credit bureau thatís associated with any errors that you see on your credit report. It can be a little bit of a process to correct the mistakes on your credit report, but the time and effort is definitely worth it for your credit score.                       



Not Using your Credit


While using your credit too much is a problem, not making use of your credit at all can be a problem. Responsibly use your credit. Open a credit card and use it to make small purchases. Charge only things that you can afford and pay the balance off each month. This simple use of a card is one of the easiest ways to establish credit.      


Itís important to do what you can to develop and maintain a healthy credit score. Keep all of your avenues covered to be sure that nothing hidden can negatively affect your credit score. 





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Posted by Duarte/Downey Real Estate Agency, Inc on 11/3/2019

When you want to sell or buy a property, knowing its value is essential. For sellers, especially, there are higher chances that your home won't outperform other listings if they are of low value. The listing price of a home can even change after an appraisal of its value. Here are some crucial factors that can affect the value of your home:

Location

Where your home sits plays a vital role in evaluating the selling price of a home. Your house may have all the things you need, but appraisals consider more factors to place a value on it. For your home to be of a maximum value, it must be close to quality local schools, shopping, entertainment, and recreational centers. Added to that, an abundance of employment opportunities, proximity to highways and public transit can improve a home's value.

Home size

The estimated market value of a home is also dependent on the home size. Bargains are often carried out based on price per square foot. For instance, if you list your home for $100,000 and it has 2000 square feet of living space, the price per square foot would be $50. Apart from that, houses with more livable space offer luxury, ample space for parking, and probably some bonus areas have higher values than houses without those. The number of full bedrooms and bathrooms a home contains also matter to the potential asking price. More beds and baths mean a higher value for your home. 

Age

Newer homes tend to have higher values than older ones because of many factors. In a new house, some parts are less likely to break down. Plumbing and electrical work, for example, are still fresh, up to code, and with adequate warranties. Most buyers don't want to spend extra on fixing major systems after acquiring a home. In newer houses, a new roof with a guarantee of at least ten years means that the buyer won't need to spend on replacing the roof anytime soon.

Upgrades

Who says older homes can't have high values too? When you upgrade the appliances in your home to the latest versions, the value of your home climbs. Including new technologies like smart thermostats will not only raise your home's worth, but it will also help you cut costs and make your home more efficient.

The local market

Even when your home meets other requirements, influence from your local real estate market can affect your home's value. If your home is in a location where the buyers' offering bids for homes outrank the number of listings, chances are you'll sell your home for more because it is a seller's market.

Talking to a local real estate agent will help you list your home closest to the market realities in your area and ensure you get the best possible price for your house.




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