SellersUncategorized February 26, 2024

How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

How to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

A common mistake people make is to spend a lot of money – renovations, new roof, remodeling. While buyers will be impressed with these things, spending $5000 on remodeling will not add $5000 to your sale. Spend as little money as possible, and spend it on cosmetic, readily seen features like interior painting. The time to remodel is when you plan to stay in the house, not when you’re going to sell.

If you think about everything that needs to be done to sell your house, you might throw your hands up in despair, or at least feel some anxiety. Take one step at a time, one small task at a time. Break it down to manageable-sized chores and you’ll have better results.

First things first – have a garage sale. Whatever doesn’t sell needs to be set out for a Disabled American Veterans or Association of Retarded Citizens pickup. Once the clutter is cleared away, it will be easier to see what needs to be done.

This is your first impression, so it had better be a good one.

  • Edge, mow and fertilize the lawn regularly. Make sure it’s well watered and reseed any sparse areas.
  • Put a bright coat of paint on your mailbox.
  • Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly. Cut back overgrown shrubbery that looks scraggly or keeps light out of the house.
  • Buy a new welcome mat.
  • Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling, and reseal if possible.
  • If you have siding or brick, power-wash it. If you have a painted exterior, consider repainting in a neutral shade. This is especially important if there is any peeling.
  • Make sure the porch light works.
  • Clean and align gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect and clean the chimney.
  • If the doorbell doesn’t work, repair or replace it.
  • Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
  • Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
  • Remove oil stains from driveway and garage.

l If you’re selling in the winter, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice. Otherwise, keep the walks and driveway swept.

  • Repair broken outdoor steps.
  • Spring for some brightly colored potted outdoor flower arrangements for the front yard near the entrance.
  • Keep your garage door closed.
  • Wash the windows inside and out.
  • Store RVs, boats and extra vehicles (anything that can’t be parked in the garage) elsewhere while the house is on the market.
  • Paint the front door.

If prospective buyers walk into your house greeted by the smell of cat litter, cigarette smoke, mildew or pet accidents, there is little chance that even a reduced sales price will persuade them to buy. So the first thing to do:

  • Clean, clean, clean. This includes walls, floors, inside closets and cabinets – everything. If you must, hire a cleaning service to come in and do the job.
  • Get rid of clutter. Put away appliances you normally leave on countertops. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement and attic.
  • Paint the walls and ceilings a neutral color – off white or beige.
  • Repair cracks, holes and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
  • Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings and other woodwork.
  • Repair dripping faucets and showerheads.
  • Buy new cabinet knobs and curtains for the kitchen.
  • Shampoo all carpets, scrub and wax linoleum, wash and wax wood floors.
  • Unclog slowly draining sinks and tubs.
  • Clean out the fireplace and lay some logs in it.
  • Mend torn screens. Clean out all window tracks.

When you are ready, my team will walk through your house and assist you in preparing the home for sale.  To understand how to position your home in the marketplace to get the highest price, contact Tamara at (805) 750-6577 or

  • Check to see that all windows will open and close.
  • Replace burned-out light bulbs. Use brighter light bulbs.
  • Make sure every light switch works.
  • Nail down any creaking boards or stair treads (drive two long finishing nails at opposing angles through the floor and sub-floor into the joist).
  • Lubricate any squeaking doors
  • Remove excess, worn or unattractive furniture.
  • Thoroughly clean all appliances (especially refrigerator and oven).
  • Replace old toilet seats and shower curtains.
  • Clear all cobwebs from corners and doorways.
  • Wash all light switches, handrails and doorknobs.

On Showing Days

  • Keep draperies and shades open to let in the light.
  • Place fresh flowers throughout the house.
  • Have your home well-lit during showing.
  • At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting in back if you have it.
  • Set out colorful, luxurious towels in the bathroom.
  • Avoid having dirty dishes in the sink or on counters.
  • Keep any toys in the children’s rooms, bikes, wagons and skateboards in the garage.
  • Play pleasant music at low volume.
  • Spend the day of an open house away from home.
  • Unless you’re selling it yourself, let the agent show your house, and don’t tag along.

When you are ready to sell, my team can walk you through and develop the best plan to get you the highest dollar for your house. Call or text me at (805) 750-6577 or email me at

Sellers February 26, 2024

When is the Best Time to Sell?

There are many questions homeowners ask, but one of the most common questions that I hear is, when is the best time to sell my house? Many homeowners believe selling a house during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly, most real estate markets across the United States experience a “spring market rush” every year. While the “spring market” is a great time to sell, the fall and winter seasons could be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Less Competition

One way you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street and seeing that ‘For Sale’ signs are up all over the neighborhood. One great reason to sell your home now and not wait is that there is sure to be less competition. If there are less houses for sale, there is a greater probability that a buyer will look at your home.

Simply put, it’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less houses that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but the chances increase that you will receive an offer and get the maximum amount for your house.

Serious Buyers Are Out There

Houses are bought and sold 365 days a year, period. Many homeowners believe that buyers aren’t out there during the winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there. Some buyers may stop their home search at that time of the year, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is. In fact, relocation companies often hire new employees at the beginning of the year. These buyers must find a place to live in their new community. Great real estate agents adapt to every season and market their listings to reflect the time of year.

Staging For The Season

Preparing your home for sale is important during every season of the year. Simple “seasonal” stagings such as adjusting the color of the decor, adding simple holiday decorations or having an aroma in the air relative to the time of year appeal to potential buyers creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that may be the difference between selling or not. Great real estate agents will advise you how to ready your home to sell so buyers can envision themselves living there.

Quicker Transactions

One other advantage in selling during the winter months is that there could be fewer real estate transactions. That means lenders are processing less loans and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do. This should lead to quicker closings for all parties involved and possibly lower prices than during peak times.

These are a few reasons to consider, however to be able to determine whether now is the best time to sell or if you should wait until spring, contact me and together we can review all the factors involved to sell your house at the best time for you.

Call me for more information regarding this opportune time, (805) 750-6577, or email

Uncategorized February 26, 2024

Home Improvement Surge Strains Home Shortage

Home Improvement Surge Strains Home Shortage By Jordan Grice

Razor-thin inventory may be straining the housing market, but experts say the ongoing boom in home remodeling may be exacerbating the issue.

“When the pandemic hit in mid-March, and the lockdown began, people were forced to use their homes differently and include a lot of functions that they hadn’t historically been doing out of their homes,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) of Harvard University.

As a result, spending on home improvement and repairs grew more than 3%, to nearly $420 billion in 2020, as households modified their living spaces for work, school and leisure, according to a recent JCHS report.

The research center also anticipates the spending on remodeling projects to continue this year, across all of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.

According to agents struggling to find available homes for clients amid the ongoing lull in available homes, that may pose some unintended consequences in the housing market.

“It definitely is crippling our inventory because once that pendulum has started and [homeowners] are doing a project that may take six months to a year, that’s one less home that is going to be available because they decided to stay there,” says Austin-based agent Kent Redding of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Texas Realty.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” says Nina Hollander of Coldwell Banker Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina. “If homeowners are not selling, there is not enough supply for the buyer’s demand. So, if homeowners sit on their houses, they also can’t move up or down to the next house.”

From COVID-influenced regulation to longer wait times to find existing homes, Hollander and Redding agree that homeowners have stayed in place rather than entering the market or listing their homes. According to Hollander, another factor could be that many have taken advantage of record-low mortgage rates and refinanced.

“All of this plays a role in why there isn’t any inventory and why people are looking to improve what they already have based on what they’ve discovered they needed last year,” she says.

People Staying Put

Remodeling activity has generally been associated with home sales, but industry observers say various pandemic-induced factors have contributed to the already-strained housing supply.

“This past year in home sales and home construction and home remodeling has been counterintuitive to what anyone could have predicted during a pandemic,” says David Pekel, CEO of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

Part of that had to do with an increase in consumer confidence, Pekel adds. Record-low mortgage rates coupled with additional “personal wealth” from COVID-19 relief packages and unemployment benefits contributed to overwhelming demand in the housing market, he says.

“All of a sudden, millennials who were having a tough time scraping up the down payment found themselves in a perfect storm in a positive sense,” he says. Now they had more cash, conventional interest rates had been at historic lows for quite some time, and now, all of a sudden, the prospect of being able to buy a house became very real—and they did.”

An ongoing wave of 65-and-up homeowners “aging in place” is also factoring in, he adds.

“There is a shortage of 3 million homes based upon historical averages,” Pekel says. “People in their retirement years, who traditionally left their residences to downsize or move to an assisted living community, are staying put. This adds to the strain for available housing units.”

As a result, many prospective buyers found themselves at a crossroads in the market that pushed them to re-evaluate their current homes and how they can remodel them to fit their everyday needs.

“Part of that boom has fed the profits of Home Depot and Lowes because people have had the time to do it,” Pekel says.

Both home improvement companies saw sizable increases in sales last year, according to a CNBC report. Home Depot and Lowe’s saw net sales increase by 25% and 28%, respectively, outpacing expectations.

“As people started to make these improvements to their homes, they kind of fell back in love with their house, but there were other mitigating circumstances that caused that too,” Pekel says. “We may find when we look at this in the rearview mirror that these were just temporary.”

DIY Wave

Many professional remodeling projects came to a halt when the pandemic hit while do-it-yourself (DIY) renovations surged.

“I think it was just sort of a natural instinct for homeowners to dive into the things that need to be done,” Baker says, adding that many DIYers have taken up simpler projects, like converting a bedroom into a home office or learning space.

The type of projects homeowners are taking on may help them skirt potential hang-ups when they decide to sell their homes, so long as they aren’t running into any permitting issues.

Zoning and permitting rules vary nationwide, but some homeowners may be required to get a pre-sale building inspection before putting their home on the market,” according to Pekel.

“Anything that was not done properly with the permit has to be brought up to code, or the house can’t be listed,” Pekel says. “If they chose to fly under the radar, it could eventually catch up to them.”

Not all work needs a permit, according to Pekel. He says projects that don’t affect anything structurally within a home might be acceptable.

“It can get very nuanced not only from state to state but also from county to county and city to city,” he says. “When we talk to DIYers, our guidance is always to check with your local building officials about restrictions first.”

While he predicted the DIY and remodeling activity surge to continue through a good chunk of 2021, Baker says spending will stabilize as things return “back to normal.”

Long-Term Benefit

The long-term benefits to the housing market may outweigh the short-term pitfalls, according to Baker.

“Keeping the existing housing stock in shape and structurally sound offers some opportunity for affordable homes to stay in the market rather than drop out as we’ve seen in the past,” he says. “Fixing up and maintaining older, affordable homes seems to be an important trend to keep the housing market as strong as we can.”

While they may not hit the market immediately, the surge in remodeling activity could also be a sign that some homeowners may be preparing for sales down the line, according to Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR VP of Demographics and Behavioral Insights.

As people have lived in their homes longer than before, Lautz says that many sellers find that they need to upgrade their houses before placing them on the market.

“Buyers’ expectations have increased as they expect homes to look like what they see on TV shows now,” she says. “We have consistently seen from homebuyers that they really do want homes to look nice when they walk into them. If you remodel a home, it’s going to attract consumers and help it get sold faster down the line.”

Uncategorized February 26, 2024

Five Cities Lead Largest Home Wealth Gains

Where Homeownership Is Leading to the Largest Wealth Gains

March 9, 2021

A home often represents about 90% of the total wealth of a household. Homeownership often has long been pointed to as a way to build wealth over the long run. It also could help narrow racial income and wealth inequity gaps, writes Gay Cororaton, senior economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, at the association’s Economists’ Outlook blog.

But how much wealth potential can you gain over time? Cororaton offers the following scenario: Take a homeowner who purchased a single-family existing home 10 years ago at the median sales price of $170,567, with a 10% down payment. Then, they sold the home at the median sales price of $315,700 in the fourth quarter of 2020. They would have built up a home equity gain of $176,123. Over a 30-year period, that would jump to $307,979, Cororaton notes.

“Wealth accumulation takes time, so the earlier households start owning homes, the greater the wealth accumulation,” Cororaton writes.

  • NAR Chief Economist: The Brighter Path Ahead
  • New NAR Study Underscores Commitment to Racial Equity

In some metros, homeowners are accumulating equity over a decade faster than others. For example, the areas that saw the greatest wealth gains from homeownership between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the fourth quarter of 2020 were:

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-St. Clara, Calif.: $929,471
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.: $761,204
  • Anaheim-Sta. Ana-Irvine, Calif.: $509,806
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif: $430,196
  • San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.: $427,896
  • Urban Honolulu: $412,986
  • Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Fla.: $379,243
Uncategorized February 26, 2024

What Higher Interest Rates Mean for Our Real Estate Market

In response to persistently high inflation, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates five times this year and is expected to raise rates again at their November meeting. After two years of record-breaking appreciation in home prices fueled by low-interest rates and high demand in response to the coronavirus recession of 2020, the rate hikes are putting the brakes on a red-hot housing market characterized by bidding wars and low inventory.

What do rising interest rates mean for homebuyers?

Increasing mortgage rates are pricing many buyers out of the market making it especially hard for first-time buyers which make up 45% of purchasers. Homebuyer purchasing power has decreased significantly. At the beginning of the year with rates at 3.25%, a homebuyer who wanted to keep their payments around $5,000/month, could buy a $1,100,000 home. With today’s rates rising above 6.25% for the same monthly payment, they would be able to purchase a home at $850,000.

The good news for homebuyers is that there is a more balanced market which means less competition, fewer multiple offers, more homes for sale, and fewer homes selling above the asking price. For those buyers who were outbid or sat out because they had to sell a house to buy, there is more opportunity to see home sellers willing to accept their terms.

What do rising interest rates mean for home sellers?

While well-priced homes are still selling quickly, the “days on the market” to sell a home has been increasing. Earlier this year a seller could expect their home to sell in one to two weeks with multiple offers. Now, seller expectations will need to adjust to one to two months to sell with possibly only one offer. Less qualified home buyers mean fewer homes selling and slower price growth.

In many areas, the good news for home sellers is that despite the lower number of qualified buyers there is still a housing shortage. Therefore, there is less competition among sellers. However, it is still very important to stand out in the marketplace to attract those qualified customers. To prepare their homes for sale, sellers should consider pre-sale home inspections and stages as initial steps that will make their houses shine.

Additionally, many sellers who want to realize the tremendous appreciation and equity accumulated in the recent real estate market may want to consider selling sooner rather than later. There are also tax benefits that can lessen the cost of selling for homeowners, such as Proposition 19 and federal capital gain exclusions. Please be sure to check with your CPA to see how these tax benefits apply to your individual situation.

Now more than ever, it is important to have a trusted, knowledgeable and experienced real estate professional by your side to guide you. My passion is to offer creative strategies to help my clients achieve their real estate goals. If I can be of service, contact me for a confidential consultation.

Uncategorized February 26, 2024

The Trend Report 2024

The Trend Report, published by the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program, curates high-net-worth consumer insights generated from a Censuswide survey, along with supporting data from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, Wealth-X, and other top experts to uncover the latest luxury home trends driving the market now and in the future.



What’s inside The Trend Report 2024:


  • Shifting Out of Neutral. The luxury housing market got a boost at the end of 2023 as sales for luxury single-family properties and attached properties increased annually. Does this signal growth for 2024?
  • Have-It-All Properties. Today’s luxury consumers want it all. Which property types will likely check all the boxes for selective buyers this year?
  • The AI Revolution. What are Generative AI’s potential implications for the future of real estate?
  • America, the Investment Haven. Contrary to the news headlines, affluent international buyers have not cooled on American real estate, according to the latest stats from Wealth-X, an Altrata Company, and U.K.-based Barton Consulting. Will this trend continue in 2024?
  • The HENRY Factor. What will HENRYs – “High Earners Not Rich Yet” – do? This is one demographic to watch in 2024.
  • Smart Homes 2.0 – Consumer lifestyles are shifting and generative AI is taking off. What does this mean for the smart home market over the next few years?

You Just Read:

The Trend Report 2024

Uncategorized February 26, 2024

11 Homeselling Myths, Debunked

The real estate industry constantly changes. Still, some common homeselling myths persist even after they’ve been debunked. Let’s take the enduring belief that you need a hefty 20% down payment to buy a home—which continues to be a misconception. I’m here to set the record straight and help my readers know real estate fact from fiction. I compiled this list from years of experience with buyers and sellers and real estate stories from my mentees. So, let’s turn up the brightness and shed some light on the real estate industry.

Setting the Right Expectations

Negotiation between man and woman, table with hands, pens and a contract.

Myth #1: Going With the First Buyer Is Rarely the Best Choice

After navigating hundreds of real estate deals, I can confidently say that your first offer is nearly always the best. It’s often the strongest in terms of price and conditions. However, I’ve seen it time and again: Sellers want to “hold out for a better offer.” You can help your seller by offering perspective—flip the situation and help your seller imagine themselves in the buyer’s shoes.

Let’s imagine one of those “grass is greener” homeselling myths: Perhaps that first offer on your new listing came through in just three days (and above the asking price) because that buyer could have been waiting for just the right home. When they saw your listing, they put their best foot forward because they really wanted the home. For your sellers, it’s in their best interest to negotiate here, not just to decline the offer waiting for a better one.


Fact: Now, it’s your job to educate and coach your clients. This is one of the top blunders your sellers could make. That first offer is like a golden opportunity that could save months of inconvenience, stress, and anxiety. No more constant showings and feedback, ongoing HOA dues, or the worry of repairs (not to mention balancing a mortgage payment). After all, a new listing on the MLS gets the most attention in the first week. Then interest starts to taper off. Plus, every offer on the table is just a jumping-off point.

Myth #2: Wiggle Room in Pricing Is Essential for Negotiation

The market price of a home can fluctuate by tens of thousands of dollars over a year. If you’ve got an overpriced listing on the market, it gets staler every day that the listing is available. During the housing boom of 2021, homes that were on the market for longer than a week had a perception that something was wrong with them. Then, when the price drop happens, you have to justify the price cut to other agents.

The truth is a big piece of a real estate agent’s job is to price a listing accurately. The thing is, it can be tricky. You’ll most likely get three different numbers if you have three different real estate agents conducting a CMA.

Fact: There’s no reason to “leave some wiggle room” to get the highest offer. When pricing a home to list, only you, as the listing agent, know all the significant factors that drove the pricing on this home. Don’t let the listing get stale because your sellers thought they might get a good offer. So, our job is to listen to the client’s situation and what they’re expecting. The highest price is usually their motivation, but not always!

Myths #3: Listings Sell Themselves

Listen, was there a time when you just listed a home without photos and it would get multiple offers? Sure. That time is not now. Marketing your listings is one of those pieces that is done behind the scenes.

However, nowadays, agents need to pay attention to every little detail. Just how the photos are placed in order can affect the views on a listing. It takes looking at dozens and dozens of listings to get a feel for what works—and what doesn’t.

Fact: As a real estate professional, you need to be confident in order to successfully market a listing. Sellers will ask, What are you doing to sell my home? Be prepared to answer this question. Home sale preparation is done like a dealership preps the cars for the lot. Perhaps it looks like they just posted a sign in the window. Still, the car was detailed, professionally photographed, staged, posted online, and syndicated to numerous websites to find a buyer. Selling a home is the same—it’s not just a sign in the yard and a posting on the MLS. Once you have your full real estate marketing checklist, you can execute it quickly.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

A living room filled with lots of boxes packaging for moving.

Myth #4: Your Home Should Reflect Your Personality

Sellers, especially those who have lived in their home for decades, are attached. They have a hard time taking down their personal or sentimental items. However, potential homebuyers can be detail-oriented (and rightfully so!). Speaking from experience, they can also get hung up on very minor details, like what types of books are in the cabinet and the style of the laminate flooring. So, while those small changes are simply cosmetic, they can be a tough hurdle for some buyers.

Be mindful as well of the fact that emotional attachment can be a burden to potential buyers. It can alienate some buyers if a home looks “lived-in.” I also stress to my clients that personal effects aren’t welcome because of strangers. Privacy and safety concerns are real, and while most folks are reasonable people and accompanied by their agent during a showing, you can never say for sure.

Fact: Your listing looks best when it’s easy for buyers to see themselves living there. You’ve got to remove the clutter, kids’ toys, and personal artwork. Let’s think back to the reference of a car from a dealership: you wouldn’t want personal effects like preprogrammed radio stations, stickers on the dashboard, and trinkets hanging from the rearview mirror. It’s best to showcase your home or listing as a blank canvas for buyers to imagine their new lives.

Myth #5: Buyers Prefer an ‘HGTV Style’ Home Remodel

HGTV brought a lot of great things to homes—interior design on a budget, a newfound love for historic homes, and, of course, the dreaded open floor plan. These days, it seems like an open floor plan is all the rage with homeowners. However, that opinion is starting to change—once buyers realize that the lack of privacy and loud noises throughout the house isn’t ideal!

Fact: Original features can be appreciated. There is much to say about a home being a blank canvas for buyers. But keep it simple. Your sellers are already going through an emotional period. They don’t necessarily need to make things perfect for the next owner. After all, not all buyers desire generic updates. People like to have a unique selling point in a home. Stripping your home of any life or color is drastic. Go through the home with the eye of a buyer’s agent. What would you notice and point out to your buyers? Let your sellers know your thoughts.

Investments & Improvements

Loft being fully renovated, flooring and walls torn out, three ladders in the photo.

Myth #6: Major Renovations Guarantee a Return on Investment

Home tastes and styles change. While knocking walls down can seem easy, putting them back up is much harder. Every buyer has their own taste, and a complete kitchen remodel may not drastically change the value of a home. People are ready to list their homes, and the next thing they think about is prepping it. They know their kitchen is probably outdated, so they convince themselves they must spend $20,000 to remodel.

Unfortunately, you’re just giving yourself a headache. Sure, the curb appeal may be better, but consider the fact that appraisers don’t factor in the cost of appliances or upgrades when determining a home’s value.

Fact: People really think a big remodel is important. Some clients may even ask if they should look into a HELOC for renovations. Unless substantial improvements are needed, like mold mitigation, your sellers should avoid anything that takes longer than a few hours. Plus, consider the fact that if an issue arises during the inspection, they can offer a credit to keep the deal moving forward. That’s most likely easier and faster than replacing an entire system or a big renovation. Consider a less costly improvement, like resurfacing the cabinets or upgrading the sink, to help the kitchen stand out.

Myth #7: Converting the Garage Into an ADU Increases Property Value

With the short-term rental craze rising, some folks are looking for a way to add an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) either through a basement, garage, or large shed to increase their value instantly. This is one of those ideas that can be better in theory than in practice.

Homeowners can spend upward of six figures on an ADU renovation to provide complete electrical, plumbing, and furnishings into an accessory unit. They expect that will raise the value of their unit when, in fact, that square footage cannot be added to the total square footage by an appraiser. Essentially, it will add very little (if anything) toward the value of your home.

Fact: If your sellers want to renovate or upgrade, spend the money on the bathrooms and the kitchen. These renovations are where they’re more likely to see an improvement in the value of their home. Plus, you’re not limiting the potential buyer pool to those folks who are only interested in an ADU. You’ll also need to contend with zoning, permits, and perhaps even short-term rental restrictions set in place by the HOA (or even the city). It’s not worth it.

Myth #8: Getting Pre-approved Should Happen After Finding Your Perfect Home

House hunting can be exhausting. Even just showing a home takes a lot of coordination. If a buyer loves the home but has no way financially to prove that they 1) are serious about a purchase and 2) can finance it, then you’ll need to send them to a lender. A pre-approval won’t take long and can save your buyer a headache if they find a home they love before realizing they can’t get a mortgage to pay for it.

Fact: Sometimes buyers can be pushy about this. However, you must assure them that showing they can buy the home is the first step. If it’s a cash buyer, ask to see the pre-approval letter or proof of funds—and even if they have the contact information for their lender or banker. As we mentioned in our article on how to tell when your client is lyingtrust but verify.

Trevor James, writer and coachThe Close

“On my very first deal, I took my clients to see a cute loft-style condo. It was a great price and exactly what they were looking for. However, when we made an offer, the listing agent asked that my buyers speak with another lender before moving forward. I was new and didn’t know this, but their pre-approval was with an online lender with a less-than-stellar reputation. We went with a recommended lender, and she was so great I kept her in my pocket for future deals.

“And you know what? Funny enough, the very next deal I did, the client had a pre-approval from the exact same less-than-stellar lender. We went forward with them, and the closing kept getting delayed; we didn’t close for 48 days. Plus, my clients nearly lost their earnest money deposit due to the delays. Financing matters a lot in a real estate deal, and a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender goes a long way.”

Myth #9: Larger Brokerages Offer Superior Services

One of the more common misconceptions revolves around the belief that the size of the brokerage determines the effectiveness of your marketing (and perhaps pricing!). With the advent of internet syndication, your MLS exposure is pushed out to dozens of other sites without being part of a large brokerage. This syndication includes real estate websites with the most traffic, like Zillow and

Fact: The quality of MLS entries matters more than the brokerage size for effective exposure. Plus, what else are you doing to advertise the home? Do your listing services include mailers or any unique exposure? If you’re at a smaller boutique brokerage, do you pride yourself on providing superior service to your clients? Speak to those past experiences by highlighting your referrals. Make yourself stand out, and the results will speak for themselves.

Modern Marketing Strategies

Beautiful high quality image, a brick ranch home with fountain in front during twilight hours, with blue and pink sunset behind the home.
Boston luxury listing, twilight shot (Source: Drone Home Media)

Myth #10: Still Photos on the MLS Are Enough

At this point, some agents may argue that traditional still photos have served the industry well for years. However, 97% of all homebuyers used the internet in their home search. It’s your duty to showcase a home in its best light. Buyers need to be attracted to your listing—and that starts with professional photos.

Relying on still photography won’t be sufficient to capture the attention of today’s tech-savvy (and visually oriented) buyers. The truth is that the real estate landscape has evolved, and so have the expectations of potential buyers. People want floor plans and a 360-home tour.

Fact: Many real estate photographers offer upgraded packages that include twilight photos, drone footage, floor plans, and 3D home tours like Matterport. While there are rare instances like “as-is” investment properties, try to upgrade your digital marketing to showcase property online as best as possible. There are tools like and Zillow 3D home tours that you can easily upload to your listing. You can even use photo editing software like Phixer to edit your hero shot on the MLS. Note that myths about selling your home during holidays apply here: if your listing photos still have snow in them and it’s not the season, it’s time to re-shoot.

Real Estate Photography: 9 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos

Myth #11: Open Houses Are a Necessity for Selling a Home

This is a typical homeselling myth that may benefit agents. After all, we’re huge fans of agents hosting an open house—but remember that hosting one is more for your benefit as an agent to leverage your listing for leads. If the home isn’t vacant and it’s a bother to your sellers, don’t push your clients to use their space for an open house.

Fact: Some agents believe open houses are on the decline. While COVID took its toll on open houses, they’re still a great way to get your listing (and your brand) out to the public and the neighborhood. Looking for tips to supercharge your next open house? Check out our list of 33 Open House Ideas That Will Actually Get You Leads.

Bringing It Together

It’s tough out there for real estate professionals. You’ve got a lot of hats to juggle, and honestly, myth-busting will be another one to add to the stack. As the late American president John F. Kennedy said, “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie: deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth: persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”

Next time you’ve got a client with hardstuck—and possibly outdated—beliefs about the industry, try to point them in the right direction with facts, not opinions. Feel free to share this article with your office (perhaps even your clients). And if you’ve got a myth about the real estate industry that we didn’t cover or a tip for busting myths, share it in the comment section!

Trevor James
Instagram logoLinkedIn logo

After five years as an agent, Trevor quickly transitioned into a Success Coach with Coldwell Banker Realty. He then joined the Zillow Homes team, selling over 150 homes in the Denver area. After leaving Zillow, Trevor founded Modern Agent Coaching, focused on helping agents ignite their business through individualized lead generation strategies and accountability coaching.

see full bio

Uncategorized February 26, 2024

How to Pet-Proof Your Home for Furry Family Members

If you share your home with a pet or two (or five), you know their well-being is a top priority. Along with making a move less stressful for them, learning how to pet-proof your home should be high on the list for responsible pet owners. Read on to know what to look out for and […]

If you share your home with a pet or two (or five), you know their well-being is a top priority. Along with making a move less stressful for them, learning how to pet-proof your home should be high on the list for responsible pet owners. Read on to know what to look out for and how to make your home a comfortable and secure place for everyone.


Start your pet-proofing mission in the kitchen, as it has a lot of potentially dangerous and tempting items for your four-legged friends. Ensure cabinets are secure to prevent access to cleaning supplies, cutlery and any unauthorized treats – child-proof cabinet locks are an excellent option here. Some human foods can be life-threatening for dogs and cats, so promptly store items like chocolates, crackers and leftovers away or you could be making an unexpected trip to the emergency vet. Garbage bins should have lids or be kept inside cabinets, as pets can get into trash hunting for a bonus meal.

Living Rooms

You probably spend a lot of quality time with your pets in your living room, which also deserves a careful going-over. Keep small objects, like breakable decorative pieces and children’s toys, out of reach. Electrical cords should be concealed or secured, as they present a chewing temptation for many animals. Certain houseplants can also be toxic for your fur babies, so you’ll want to eliminate any dangerous varieties.

Bedrooms and Bathrooms

In bedrooms, keep your clothes, shoes and personal items stowed away since anything can become a fun chew toy, especially for dogs. Secure medications, razors and other sharp objects away from curious paws and noses. And while a cat lying on the bathroom floor surrounded by a roll of unspooled toilet paper seems like it’d be great photo op, it’ll be a pain to clean up. Consider keeping doors closed when you’re not around.

Yards, Patios and Decks

If your pets spend considerable time outside, you’ll want to provide a shaded area and fresh water to prevent overheating in hot weather. Also, think about installing a pet door if you do have an enclosed outdoor space like a catio or dog run, making it easy for them to get outside safely. Plus, animals can be notorious escape artists, so securely latch all non-pet doors and windows to prevent any unexpected breakouts.

Create Pet-Friendly Spaces

Pet-proofing is not only about forbidden areas and potential harm – it’s also about making cozy and pet-specific areas for your animals. Your pets deserve to love their home as much as you do, so give them their own spots, like napping nooks and comfortable hiding places. Dogs might appreciate a snuggly bed in a quiet corner, while many cats love hanging out in a felted cat cave. Designate an area for pet toys, like a stylish basket or bin. This will make picking up a breeze and your pets will know where to go when it’s time to play.

Creating a safe environment by knowing how to pet-proof your home is vital to being a good pet owner. And with a little effort, you can make your house a haven for the whole family.

Uncategorized February 26, 2024

Elevate Your Home’s First Impression

When making a lasting impact, your home’s curb appeal is the first thing that catches the eye. Whether you’re looking to sell or want to enjoy a welcoming entrance this spring, these tips will help you spruce up the exterior charm of your home. A Splash of Color Matters A simple touch can make a […]

When making a lasting impact, your home’s curb appeal is the first thing that catches the eye. Whether you’re looking to sell or want to enjoy a welcoming entrance this spring, these tips will help you spruce up the exterior charm of your home.

A Splash of Color Matters

A simple touch can make a huge impact. One of the quickest ways to freshen up a space is to introduce a bold or complementary color for the exterior palette. You could be trendy and add a splash of Upward, Sherwin Williams 2024, color of the year to your front door or include accents to infuse pops of pizazz.

Lush Greenery for the Win

Don’t underestimate the power of greenery and well-maintained landscaping. Plant colorful flowers, trim overgrown bushes and add potted plants to create a vibrant, inviting atmosphere. Additionally, placing hanging window box planters is a great way to create a visual separation for more intimate outdoor areas.

Lighting Sets the Mood

Illuminate your entryway with stylish outdoor lighting fixtures to add sophistication and create a warm nighttime ambiance. From the garden and pathways to water features and strategically placed motion wall lights, there are so many ways you could spark a mesmerizing allure after the sun goes down.

Upgrade Your Mailbox Game

Your mailbox can express your home’s personality, and replacing it with a stylish one that complements your home’s architecture can make a big difference. From revamping the materials of the post to granite, brick masonry or tree-branch wood to surrounding it with planters or lighting, the mailbox opportunities are endless.

Statement House Numbers

Prominent, easy-to-read house numbers in a style that aligns with your home’s aesthetic can add a touch of personality. Consider different materials, placements and surrounding finishes when deciding what will work with your home’s unique architectural style.

Clean and Tidy Walkways

Pressure-wash your entry paths, repair cracks or add decorative stones for an extra expression of inviting elegance. It may seem daunting, so prioritize must-fix and mostly seen spaces. Also, you should consider walking through your property to make a list of the areas that need a little TLC.

Charming Furniture and Décor

Create a cozy outdoor space with a bench or welcoming lounge chair to make your home stand out. Whether it is on your porch or backyard patio, you’ll want to consider its durability against weather and comfort. You can extend your living space to a beautiful nature-centered oasis.

Front Porch Appeal

A great way to weave in a creative flair that sets the tone for the interior is to extend décor to the front porch. Add cushions, throws, a decorative wreath or monograms to establish an inviting ambiance.

The little details make the difference – let your home’s outdoor space shine.

Uncategorized February 26, 2024

Why Spring Is the Best Time To Sell Your Home

As winter ends, a burst of activity takes over the property market and potential buyers come calling. During this time, the housing market can also just look more appealing, accented with emerging greenery and the start of colorful blooms. Learn why spring is the best time to sell your home, and why this is prime time in […]

As winter ends, a burst of activity takes over the property market and potential buyers come calling. During this time, the housing market can also just look more appealing, accented with emerging greenery and the start of colorful blooms. Learn why spring is the best time to sell your home, and why this is prime time in the real estate world.

Peak Real Estate Activity

Traditionally, spring brings an influx of eager home buyers into the market, and that isn’t likely to change in 2024. With the holidays behind them and tax refunds in hand, people can be ready to make significant life changes – including finding a new home. This convenient timing can also give those new homeowners the summer to settle in before the kids start back at school. Plus, the increased housing demand in March, April and May often leads to quicker sales and more favorable offers – another big pro for home sellers in the coming months.

Spring is Open House Season

The less extreme weather also provides the perfect backdrop to showcase your home in its best light. With the milder temperatures kicking in for a lot of the country by mid-March and longer days ramping up everywhere, potential buyers can be more inclined to attend an open house, spotlighting your home’s warm and inviting atmosphere in-person.

Perfect Time for Home Improvements

The spring months are also ideal for touching up the exterior with a fresh coat of paint or fixing the roof if winter was a little rough on it. First impressions are super important to home buyers, and they’re more likely to fall in love with a home that looks well-kept and inviting. Nothing scares off a buyer faster than the thought of high-cost repairs down the line. So, start planning those tweaks and updates now.

Yards Look Their Best

Never underestimate the power of a picture-perfect home exterior. And that means curb appeal! Trimming the hedges, cleaning walkways or setting up a cozy front porch seating area can go a long way in convincing potential buyers to envision themselves living in and loving your home. This is also a fabulous time to consider all outdoor spaces. Landscaped yards and unique outdoor entertaining areas can make a lasting impact that will make them want to act fast.

Advantages of Listing with an Agent

If you do sell this spring, consider the benefits of working with a professional – specifically a Coldwell Banker® affiliated agent. From understanding the intricacies of your local real estate market to navigating the hyper-competitive spring selling season, they’ll have you covered. Plus, their expert marketing includes professional photography, targeted online advertising and more. Interested? Connect with an agent today to get started.

It’s true! Spring is the best time to sell your home. But here’s an insider tip – don’t wait for the rush to kick in. Dive in now, get ahead of the game and be ready to show when the market heats up.