What to Expect When Selling a Home: Listing Your House For Sale

In our last article we wrote about questions you can ask yourself and the real estate agents you interview to make sure you find the best real estate agent for your situation. In this article we are covering the next step, What to Expect When Selling a Home: Listing Your House For Sale.

Decide on a listing price. Your real estate agent should have several recent comparable sales to help guide you, but it is prudent to do some of your own research as well. Consider your minimum sales price, what you are willing to compromise on, what your time frame is, and what your ideal price is. Does your home need major or minor upgrades? If so, put a plan and a budget together and factor that into your listing and sale goals. And, remember, it is important to be realistic; your home will always hold more subjective value to you than to your buyer.

Photo credit: Fleur Suijten

Start with de-cluttering and organizing, inside and out.Although this step can be arduous, it will make everything you have to do after it much easier. Be sure to go through drawers, cabinets, and closets, as well as your garage, patio and yard. There are several companies that offer portable storage containers if you just don’t have the time or desire to go through everything at once. Just remember, an organized and clutter-free home shows better to potential buyers.

Repair and clean. Are there simple repairs that need to be made? Get those done first, as well as any upgrades or renovations before deep cleaning. When cleaning, start from the top down, inside and out. Don’t forget about windows, windowsills, doors and trim, caulking around kitchen and bathroom fixtures, cleaning out fireplaces, removing all stains from carpets, washing indoor and outdoor furniture, and pressure washing the exterior of your home and outdoor hardscapes. The more your house sparkles, the better it will show in person and in photographs.

Photo credit: Francisco TejadaGot pets? Get a plan. Selling a home can be stressful for your pet too. Before your real estate agent starts scheduling Open Houses and showings, be sure you have a well thought out plan for any furry critters in house. It’s best to keep evidence of pets to a minimum (some buyers may not love your dog as much as you do), so leaving only a food and water dish out is best. It is ideal to have a safe, familiar place where your pet can be temporarily enclosed while potential buyers tour the house (for example, a ventilated garage, guest bathroom, or utility room). Even better, plan to take your pet with you during showings, or arrange to have a neighbor pick up your pet when you aren’t available.

Staging- do I need a professional? Staged homes tend to sell faster and for more money. Professional stagers have an objective eye for accentuating the best features of a room and use universal décor that can help buyers envision themselves in that space. However, if you also have a knack for design and can utilize the many resources available to you, a professional stager may not be necessary. We will cover more about staging your home to sell in our next article, but we encourage you to talk with your real estate agent about the pros and cons of staging.

We hope you feel more prepared to list your home to sell after reading these suggestions. Stay tuned for the next article in our series of “What to Expect When Selling a Home: Staging Your Home to Sell”.

Investing in YOUR Future,

R.B. Haley Fine Homes and Estates

Did we miss anything? Feel free add comments below with some of your great ideas and/or feedback. Thanks for your input and please remember to share!

R.B. Haley, Inc. 12396 World Trade Drive, Suite 306, San Diego, CA 92128

http://www.RBHaley.com   858.592.4895   CA Lic#01843189/01219416

What to Expect When Selling a Home: Finding the Best Real Estate Agent

Congratulations, you’ve decided to sell your home! Now what? Learn what you need to know in our series “What to Expect When Selling a Home”. The first step? Find the best Real Estate Agent.

It’s important to know that not all real estate agents are created equal; finding the best real estate agent or REALTOR for you and your situation takes a little effort but it’s worth it! Before you start looking, you will want to ask yourself some important questions, such as:

  • Why do I want (or need) to sell my house? Make sure everyone is in sync on this to avoid misunderstandings and stress down the road.house-question-2-1583652
  • What is my time frame for selling? Know whether you need to close escrow by a certain date, and/or know your minimum and maximum time to sell.
  • What price range do I want (or need)? It’s important to be realistic. Familiarize yourself with recent comparable sales.
  • Am I prepared to get my house ready to list for sale?  Whether you just need a fresh coat of paint or a complete upgrade, getting your house ready to list may require some effort, energy, and expense.
  • Do the unique circumstances of your sale require a specialist? From short sales to foreclosures to military to seniors, there are many types of real estate specialties that can make a particular agent better suited to assist you.

Then, start asking around for recommended referrals. If you don’t know anyone who has bought or sold a home recently, try asking a trusted professional like your accountant, banker, or attorney. You can also search for real estate agents on sites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and even the R.B. Haley Website.

But don’t stop there. Continue your research by reading reviews from past clients, conducting an online search, checking out his or her website and listings, and verifying his or her license and status with the California Bureau of Real Estate.

Interview at least three real estate agents. A good real estate agent should come prepared with: recent comparable sales data from the MLS, knowledge about the current market and trends, questions and feedback regarding your home, a detailed marketing plan, and other useful resources such as checklists and fact sheets.  Ask questions, such as:

  • What kind of experience do you have with selling homes like mine?
  • What is the average time to close on your listings?
  • How close has the selling price been to the asking price on your listings?
  • What kind of recommendations or programs do you have to maximize the value of my house?
  • May I have a list of past clients to contact as a reference?

sale-2-1232740-1919x1275Perhaps most importantly, you should feel confident in your agent’s abilities, commitment, and integrity as your representative. If not, move on; he or she may not be the right agent for you.

If so, the next step is to review and sign the Listing Agreement with your agent. Stay tuned for the next article in our series of “What to Expect When Selling a Home: Listing Your House for Sale”.

Investing in YOUR Future,

R.B. Haley Fine Homes and Estates

Did we miss anything? Feel free add comments below with some of your great ideas and/or feedback. Thanks for your input and please share!

R.B. Haley, Inc. 12396 World Trade Drive, Suite 306, San Diego, CA 92128

http://www.RBHaley.com   858.592.4895   CA Lic#01843189/01219416

Hello…and Welcome Home!

Hello…and Welcome Home!

We are thrilled you are here!  Please come in…whether you are selling a home, buying a home, or have/need real estate investment property, R.B. Haley is here for you.

Here is a little background about us.  R.B. Haley (named after Rex, Brittney, and Haley, the children of broker/founder Libby Rogers) is a boutique real estate firm in San Diego and beyond.  R.B. Haley was founded in 2013 and has been growing and thriving ever since!  As a real estate family of more than 16 real estate agents (and growing), R.B. Haley agents have more than 100 years of collective experienced in all aspects of real estate. This means that we have the knowledge, expertise, and resources to help make your real estate transactions smooth and successful, no matter what your situation might be. In addition to traditional sales, some of our specialties include: foreclosure, short sales, military, investment property (fix and flip), vacation rentals, and property management.

The R.B. Haley Family

The R.B. Haley Family

The single biggest reason for the steady growth of R.B. Haley is our satisfied clients who continue to return and refer business to us. We think this says a lot about our values and how we do business; we want our clients to feel like an extension of our family.

We invite you to take a moment to look around…check out our R.B. Haley featured listings, do an MLS property search, find out about our various Seller programs and recommended service providers, see how R.B. Haley gives back to our community (and how you can, too), and try out our mortgage calculator or connect directly with a mortgage lender to get qualified for your home purchase.

Whatever you need, we hope you find it here. If not, feel free to call us anytime! And…welcome home.

Warm Regards,

R.B. Haley Fine Homes & Estates

p.s. If you haven’t already, please “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Backyard Produce Project at Assisted Living

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Beginning – The Backyard Produce Project began in January 2009, when school counselors told a citizens group in the Poway area that more and more families were having trouble affording healthy food, especially fresh produce. The group’s idea was to collect unwanted fruit from some of the thousands of fruit trees in people’s yards and donate it to families in need.

Donation Sites – The project began by setting up a table in the parking lot of a community center one day a month and asking people to bring their unneeded backyard fruit. Over time, additional donation sites were added. Today there are weekly and monthly donation sites in Poway, Rancho Bernardo, and Rancho Penasquitos.

Tree Picking Teams – Homeowners often call saying they would be happy to donate their fruit if someone will come and pick it. The project recruited volunteers and formed picking teams able to meet these requests.

Organic Gardens – In spring 2010, the owner of Sunshine Care, a community of assisted living homes in Poway, offered the project a tract of undeveloped land to develop into an organic garden for the project. Volunteers developed a garden. Over time the garden quaduplied in size and an orchard was added.  Sunshine Care generously provides the land, the water, and the expertise of its Director of Horticulture. A school garden also joined the project.

Recipients – All of the produce from the donations sites, the tree picking teams, and the gardens is donated to the Poway-based non-profit Friends and Family Community Connection. This charity and its partners hold food distribution events for families referred by the Poway school district, families that can show proof of low income, residents of low-income apartments, and low-income seniors. Over 350 families – well over 1000 individuals — are being helped. The produce supplements other food commodities obtained by Friends and Family Community Connection.

Volunteers – The project is run entirely by volunteers. Over 100 volunteers have stepped forward to participate.

Results – As of January 2014 – five years since beginning – the project had donated over 105,000 pounds of produce. The numbers continue to rise. Project Funding – The project is funded by donations and fundraisers. Most of the funding is used for organic gardening supplies, and ongoing cost.

Check Donations can be made to:
The Backyard Produce Project
16965 Cloudcroft Drive
Poway, CA 92064  

Credit Card Donations:

The Backyard Produce Project is a 100% volunteer driven not for profit collaboration. Our Food Bank gardens are housed at Sunshine Care Homes and Rolling Hills Elementary school. These gardens are creating wonderful opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer and connect with nature while giving back to local families in need. Funding for the Backyard Produce Project comes from local businesses and individuals like you!

Major Partners: Major partners are Palomar Health, Sunshine Care, Grangetto’s Farm and Garden Supply, Kellogg Garden Supply, Hunter Industries, Kiwanis Penesquitos Chapter, and Innovative Employee Solutions.

Further information – Further information about the project is available at the project website www.backyard-produce-project.wikispaces.com.

Take the Pain out of Painting: 5 Must-Follow Rules for Professional Looking Results

house-interior

Painting is one of those things that’s easy to do, but hard to do really well. If you plan on giving your pad a little infusion of color soon, then listen up: we tell you how to get DIY results that are as good as the pros.

1. Use good tools.

Professional painters know that no good paint job can be had with bad rollers and brushes. They may all look the same, but a cheap, linty roller and a locking, plush roller are miles apart quality-wise, but only a few dollars in price difference.

2. Prep, prep, prep.

By the time you’re ready to actually apply your paint, you’re half done with your work load—that’s how important it is to properly prepare your wall. It needs to be sparkling clean and all cracks and imperfections filled and sanded before you even think about picking up a brush. If you’re painting over a bright or dark color, seriously consider a primer. Not using one won’t save you ANY time or money; you’ll just wind up needing many more coats of color in the long run.

3. Paint the trim first.

If you’re an amateur painter, the easiest strategy is to tackle your trim before your wall. Make sure the surface is prepped (see above) and use a brush to evenly apply your color. Try to create a smooth edge but don’t stress out about it too much as you’ll be worrying about that crisp line later. Once the trim is completely dry (don’t rush this or you’ll ruin all your work) tape over the entire width of trim, making sure to apply it tightly along the wall edge. This will not only help your color/trim line stay crisp, it will keep the rest of your freshly painted trim from getting paint splatters as you continue on to your wall.

4. Apply paint in shoulder-width sections.

The advice you may have heard about using a W or V shape is all about getting you to work in small, manageable sections. You want to have time to really cover an entire area before the paint dries, or it won’t go on smoothly. You can use an angled brush to “cut in” along the edge of your trim (which is securely taped up, right?) and your roller to cover a vertical section. Once you think you’re done, roll over the entire section again to smooth everything out and make sure there aren’t any lines.

5. Always keep a wet edge.

Because you’re working in sections, it’s really important that you don’t let the paint dry before starting your next area. A wet edge will prevent those streaky, vertical lines that sometimes appear when the paint dries. You want it to be one seamless motion as you move across the wall.

Remember, especially bright or dark colors are trickier to apply correctly so if you’re a true painting novice, don’t go too crazy at the store.

6 Things Everyone Should Do When Moving into a New House

key-door-house

When I bought my first house, my timing couldn’t have been better: The house closing was two weeks before the lease was up on my apartment. That meant I could take my time packing and moving, and I could get to know the new place before moving in.

I recruited family and friends to help me move (in exchange for a beer-and-pizza picnic on the floor) and, as a bonus, I got to pick their brains about what first-time homeowners should know.

Their help was one of the best housewarming presents I could have gotten. And thanks to their expertise and a little Googling, here’s what I learned about what to do before moving in.

1. Change the locks. You really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so change the locks. That ensures you’re the only person who has access. Install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 to $30 per lock for labor.

2. Check for plumbing leaks. Your home inspector should do this for you before closing, but it never hurts to double-check. I didn’t have any leaks to fix, but when checking my kitchen sink, I did discover the sink sprayer was broken. I replaced it for under $20.

Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak.

Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

3. Steam clean carpets. Do this before you move your furniture in, and your new home life will be off to a fresh start. You can pay a professional carpet cleaning service — you’ll pay about $50 per room; most services require a minimum of about $100 before they’ll come out — or you can rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. I was able to save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.

4. Wipe out your cabinets. Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary.

When I cleaned my kitchen cabinets, I found an unpleasant surprise: Mouse poop. Which leads me to my next tip …

5. Give critters the heave-ho. That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100 to $300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.

For my mousy enemies, I strategically placed poison packets around the kitchen, and I haven’t found any carcasses or any more poop, so the droppings I found must have been old. I might owe a debt of gratitude to the snake that lives under my back deck, but I prefer not to think about him.

6. Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box and main water valve. My first experience with electrical wiring was replacing a broken light fixture in a bathroom. After locating the breaker box, which is in my garage, I turned off the power to that bathroom so I wouldn’t electrocute myself.

It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”

You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.

Pending Home Sales Inch Forward in July

Pending Home Sales Inch Up in July

WASHINGTON (August 27, 2015) — Pending home sales were mostly unchanged in July, but rose modestly for the sixth time in seven months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, marginally increased 0.5 percent to 110.9 in July from an upwardly revised 110.4 in June and is now 7.4 percent above July 2014 (103.3). The index has increased year-over-year for 11 consecutive months and is the third highest reading of 2015, behind April (111.6) and May (112.3).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market began the second half of 2015 on a positive note, with pending sales slightly rising in July. “Led by a solid gain in the Northeast, contract activity in most of the country held steady last month, which bodes well for existing-sales to maintain their recent elevated pace to close out the summer,” he said. “While demand and sales continue to be stronger than earlier this year, Realtors® have reported since the spring that available listings in affordable price ranges remain elusive for some buyers trying to reach the market and are likely holding back sales from being more robust.”

Looking ahead, with inventory shortages likely to persist into the fall, Yun expects the national median existing-home price to increase 6.3 percent in 2015 to $221,400. Yun forecasts total existing-home sales this year to increase 7.1 percent to around 5.29 million, about 25 percent below the prior peak set in 2005 (7.08 million).

“In light of the recent volatility in the stock market, it’s possible some prospective buyers may err on the side of caution and delay decisions, while others may view real estate as a more stable asset in the current environment,” said Yun. “Overall, the prospects for ongoing strength in the housing market remain intact for now. The U.S. economy is growing — albeit at a modest pace — and the labor market continues to add jobs.”

Adds Yun, “Uncertainty in the equity markets — even if the Fed raises short-term rates in September — could stabilize long-term mortgage rates and preserve affordability for buyers.”

The PHSI in the Northeast increased 4.0 percent to 98.8 in July, and is now 12.1 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index remained unchanged at 107.8 in July, and is now 5.7 percent above July 2014.

Pending home sales in the South increased slightly (0.6 percent) to an index of 124.2 in July and are now 6.5 percent above last July. The index in the West declined 1.4 percent in July to 103.0, but is still 7.5 percent above a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

R.B. HALEY’s New Offices

Office

R.B. HALEY recently opened its new office in Rancho Bernardo in December 2012. The office is located at 12396 World Trade Drive suite #306. The offices are conveniently located on World Trade drive in the Foremost Professional Plaza.  The R.B. Haley office interior was designed by L’Attitude Design.

Investing in San Diego

house-flip

It has been an exciting seven years for the real estate investor.  Foreclosures, short sales, rehabs and flips, whether you were a novice or a professional, it was a feeding frenzy for the residential property investor. Home values were low and the market was saturated with short sales and foreclosures. If you were in the market to buy a investment home you were almost assured of finding a great deal to fit your investment plan.

The seven year cycle has reset again because the inventory is all bought up, sellers are king once again and finding a home to flip or rehab isn’t the easy task it use to be.