Real Estate Insight by AARE | Homes For Sale

Naturally, everyone selling a home wants to realize the highest dollar possible from the sale. What that dollar might be will depend on its size, location, amenities, and the condition of the home when it comes on the market.

All other things being equal, homes that command "Top Dollar" stand out in that they have been well- maintained and updated periodically to keep up with the trends.

Your home is most likely to command top dollar if:

  • The heating and cooling systems have been serviced regularly. If the unit is more than 15 years old, it might require replacement.
  • The water heater is in good condition. Units more than 10 years old should be replaced.
  • The roof and flashings have been inspected and tuned up every 5 years to be sure there
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Per Property Radar: California home sales up 9% California single-family home and condominium sales were up 9% in April mostly due to the 9.2% gain in non-distressed property sales that accounted for 83% of total sale, according to the latest housing report from PropertyRadar. On a yearly basis, sales volumes were up 5.8% from 34,995 in April 2014 to 37,009 in April 2015. Additionally, year-over-year sales were up 3.6% across the nine Bay Area counties and 11% in Southern California. Sales fell 3.4% in Central California. “For the second consecutive month, California property sales were higher than a year earlier,” said Madeline Schnapp, director of economic research for PropertyRadar. “Year-over-year growth in sales ground to a halt in September 2013.

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Be sure to see the 3D Virtual Tour in the LINKS!

Largest Plan 1E - Immaculate 1 bedroom / 1 bath end-unit. Private unit with over 1,000 square feet of living space! Crown molding, granite counter tops / stainless steel appliances, private storage and full size in-unit laundry! Super clean unit. Desirable south facing unit – away from freeway noise. The Mills is well maintained with easy access to the 5, 94, downtown, Gas Lamp, Little Italy, and Balboa Park. Complex features workout facilities and historic building common area ideal for meetings and entertainment.

Unit 301 | RESIDENCE FEATURES | Offered at $365,000

  • 9 feet ceiling
  • Granite countertops
  • European Style Cabinetry
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Dual glaze glass windows
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Last time I wrote I cautioned you about responding to "Would you take..." statements from buyers. I want to go back over that, because it's important that you not answer those questions.

Why? Because the price is only part of the package. You need to know the terms as well, and it all needs to be in writing. There's an old saying in real estate that cautions: "If it isn't in writing, it didn't happen." A verbal offer isn't worth the breath it takes to say it.

So - insist that the offer, with all of the terms, be presented to you in writing. Most buyers don't carry purchase and sale offers, which is why I advised you to get your own. If you have a serious buyer, hand him or her copies of your disclosures and a purchase and sale agreement. You want

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Have you thought about moving day?

When the time comes to carry that last load to the truck, the car, or the moving van, you’ll be excited, happy, and possibly just a bit tired and frazzled. In that state, it’s easy to overlook a few details.

One of those details is the fact that you’re going to need or want a few specific items just as soon as you reach your destination. Most of them can go into one box, so why not pack that box right now? 

Start by purchasing and packing duplicates of the toiletries you use every day. Remember to include a bar of soap for the kitchen and each bathroom, shampoo, toothpaste and new toothbrushes. Add in a towel and wash cloth for each of you.

Travel can make you feel a bit grubby and disheveled, so being able

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The end result of putting your home on the market for sale is that one day you’ll be packing to move.

We’ve already discussed pre-packing and storing collections, family photos, and other items that needed to be removed in order to “de-personalize” your house. We’ve also discussed pre-packing seldom used or seasonally used items in order to de-clutter and add visual space to the house.

That means that when moving day arrives, you’ll be packing those items you use almost every day. They’re the things you’ll want and need when you arrive at your new home.

So make it easy on yourself. Before you begin to pack, lay in a good supply of packing materials, including bubble wrap for fragile items, package sealing tape, and large, colorful markers.


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When closing day approaches and you’re getting ready to move, you’ll have a list of last minute tasks – and your buyers will have many of the same, but opposite, tasks.

These include informing all your service providers about the change of ownership and your new address.

So why not take the time right now to make a master list of people to contact, along with their phone numbers and your account numbers – then make a copy for your buyers.

Here are a few people and places you’ll need to contact:

  • Your utility company
  • Your cable or satellite TV and Internet providers
  • Your telephone company
  • Your newspaper delivery
  • The post office

In order to avoid an interruption in service, you’ll probably need to provide your utility company

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You’ve probably heard from friends that the home inspector will always find something wrong. And that’s probably true.

No house is perfect, and inspectors would look like they weren’t doing their jobs if they didn’t find the imperfections.

But don’t worry. Most of the time, these are small defects that can be quickly and inexpensively repaired – or they are details that don’t require repair.

Sometimes, the things an inspector notes are simply a “heads-up” to the buyers that they may need to address an issue in a few years.

If something major is discovered, we’ll deal with it when the time comes. This could mean making repairs before closing or giving the borrowers an allowance. But for now, don’t worry. Any problem you know about has already

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Ever wonder why a purchase and sale offer has so many pages?

It’s for the same reason as my cautions not to respond to a verbal offer: Because there is far more to consider than price alone.

I can send you a blank copy of a purchase and sale offer, so you can read it and become familiar with the many issues covered. When an offer arrives, you and I will go over each item line by line, and I’ll explain how each of the buyer’s entries will affect you.

Meanwhile, here’s a brief over-view of some of the important points:

Two of the most important issues are the kind of financing the buyers will use and the down payment they’re offering. These are important in determining whether you want to make your house unavailable to other buyers while this

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Although we’ve discussed this in person, I’m writing to remind you of the importance of being out of the house when buyers are viewing. It’s also very important that you either take your pets with you or confine them in a cage or kennel when the house is being shown.

Why do you need to leave? Because buyers need to spend some time looking at a house before they’ll fall in love and choose to make an offer. Experience shows us that most buyers simply won’t do that if you’re there.

They feel uncomfortable turning on a faucet to check the water pressure or opening a door to see how deep the closets are. And they surely won’t discuss the pros and cons of choosing your home if they think you’re listening.

Additionally, buyers and their agents could

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