La Jolla

Selling Your Home: 3 Must-Knows Before You List

Sometimes the hardest part of selling a home is making the decision to sell it. Our homes give us roots, provide sanctuary, house memories and, hopefully, give us some financial security. It’s a huge decision to sell a home.
Once made, however, additional decisions will come fast and furious, so take some time now, before the frenzy, to understand three salient points about the successful sale of a home in today’s real estate marketplace.

What is Market Value?

One of the most challenging aspects of selling a home is determining the list price. Many homeowners will go online to find homes nearby that are for sale and base their price assumption on those that are most similar.
The list price of a home, however, is a fantasy. It represents an amount of money the seller thinks, or hopes the home will bring. Until the home sells, he may be right or he may be wrong.
Buyers set market value for homes. What a knowledgeable, willing, and unpressured buyer pays for a home is the home’s true market value. Therefore, when pricing a home for the market, one must always look at the sold prices of similar homes nearby.
This is the method both real estate agents and appraisers use when determining a home’s market value.

First Impressions Matter

Think back to when you were house hunting. Were there houses that you arrived at that you just couldn’t bear to get out of the car to look at? Chipped or peeling paint, sagging window and door screens, and overgrown or dead landscaping do not make a good first impression.
Before you do anything else, clean your house, inside and out. Make cosmetic repairs, especially outdoors where the house makes its first impression. Even if it’s merely a new coat of paint on the front door, shiny new house numbers and some fresh mulch in the planting beds, it may help folks want to see more.
Don’t neglect the interior either. If you don’t know where to start, take a look at some websites with ideas on how to declutter and stage the home.

Don’t Attempt This on Your Own

I know what you’re thinking: Of course a real estate agent is going to tell me not to take the for-sale-by-owner route. So, I won’t ask you to take just my word for it. Let’s look at the cold, hard numbers.
First, only 9 percent of homeowners attempt to sell their homes without the aid of an agent, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Of those, almost half said they took this route because they were selling their home to someone they knew.
The next most commonly stated reason that a homeowner gave for not using an agent was that he or she didn’t want to pay the real estate commission. That’s understandable when one isn’t sure exactly what an agent does to get a home sold. Once you get a look at that list, you’ll understand that you definitely get what you pay for.
You should also take into consideration the fact that a home that is for sale by the owner is considered a bargain to most homebuyers. Many will walk in expecting you to kick back some of that money you’re saving by not using an agent. This is why, according to NAR, homes sold by agents sell for 16 percent more than those sold by owner.
Selling a home is a big deal and, thankfully, something we don’t often do. When it’s time to sell yours, start with the basics, as outlined above, and you’ll be ready to list your home before you know it.
Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,
Stephen Nissou
Nissou Realty Group   |   Keller Williams Realty
680 Fletcher Parkway, #100
El Cajon, CA 92020
Office 619-873-2772   |   Cell 619-250-4541
http://www.StephenNissou.com   |   http://www.NissouRealtyGroup.com
Stephen@StephenNissou.com

CalBRE # 01443193

What is an HOA?

HOA

Recently, I had a client who was looking to purchase a townhome in the Santee area. With each townhome we went to view, there was an “HOA” attached to it that was a monthly expense. My client, being a first-time home buyer, had a few questions about what an HOA is and what it covers.

HOA means Home Owners Association. It can exist in planned housing developments, townhomes, and condos. It is billed typically on a monthly basis, however sometimes can be billed quarterly. Most developments in areas of San Diego, such as Rancho San Diego and El Cajon, have HOA fees that an owner must abide by paying.

HOA fees are dues to pay for upkeep of common areas within the development, such as parks, tennis courts, swimming pools, and elevators. Sometimes, HOA fees also pay for things like trash pick-up and in certain complexes, water. They also serve as special assessments on homeowners when the association lacks sufficient reserves to pay for unexpected repairs.

Home Owners Associations are typically run by the home owners themselves within a neighborhood, and the up-keep is done through a property management company. Some homeowners are extremely picky about what their members can do with their properties, so picking a home with the right HOA is important. Sometimes, homeowner associations dictate whether Christmas lights can be hung, or what kind of window coverings can be used, while others are more relaxed and just want to keep property values up by doing things like mowing the grass in common areas or preventing homeowners from painting their homes unusual colors.

Home Owner Associations can have a huge impact on your decision to buy a property. When you are ready to purchase a property, you will be shown the HOA documents, which include the HOA budget and HOA contracts.

If you have questions or a concern regarding what an HOA is and what they cover, leave us a comment!

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Stephen Nissou

Staircase Crazy

This week has a been a busy one. I recently checked out a home for one of my clients that had one of the most beautiful staircases I’ve seen in a home. Since then, my team and I have been a little “Stair Case Crazy!”

Since we’re heading into the weekend, here’s a little bit of stair case heaven I wanted to share with you! Check them out and tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!

 

 

 

 

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Inspector

home-inspection

As home buying season has kicked off in full gear for the spring and summer months, open houses are attracting prospective buyers. With that, hiring a home inspector can provide negotiation leverage for your buyer, or warn them of any potential problems.
Not all states have licensing requirements for home inspection companies. Ask your realtor if they have any suggestions for contacts.

Here are a few things to ask before hiring a home inspector:

1. Do you preform repairs, or just home inspections?

Some homebuyers will request advice from a general contractor rather than a home inspector. Home inspectors are typically checking the roof or appliances if they are included in the home. A general contractor is coming in to look at problems from a repair standpoint and can quote any repairs that need to be done.

After the home inspection, it might be in your best interest to hire a specialist or general conractor to find out how much the kitchen renovation or plumbing upgrade might cost you. Get the un-biased opinion first, then bring in a contractor to quote you for any repairs that need to be done.

2. Are you bonded and insured?

It is best to be sure that you are insured, so that if something happens to the inspector (i.e falls through the attic, or slips while inspecting your roof) you are covered. If the company doesn’t have proper insurance, they might sue you or the current homeowner. They can also try to a put a lien on the property. Be sure that the company is insured before the inspector comes onto the property.

3. Can you provide me wih references?

Check the inspection companies references by asking previous clients about the inspection, such as; if they arrived on time, if they inspected all aspects of the home (including the roof/attic), etc. Does the inspector offer you a full comprehensive report that spells out all the findings and lists all areas of the home?

4. Can I tag along on the inspection?

Sometimes, homeowners will leave the inspectors alone to examine the home, while others are more hands-on and will follow the inspector around. Ask the inspector to walk around with them and see if you can ask all the questions you need to.
5. What does the home inspection include?

You need to ask what the inspection includes in order to fully be aware that the inspector is not missing any parts of the home, or any important issues that may arise. The inspection really should be as thorough as possible. Open every door and every window and test every outlet. Many inspections don’t test the appliances, but they will turn on dishwashers and laundry machines to see if there is any damage on the gaskets, etc.
6. Will you send me a sample inspection report?

The inspector should send you a detailed report after completing the inspection. Ask to see a sample to make sure the information is presented in a clear and thorough format that is easy to read and understand. Also, see if the reports have any color photographs because those images can clearly demonstrate problem areas and help during the negotiation process with the seller and the seller’s agent.

7. Do you have any special expertise?

If you’re buying a special type of property (new construction, historic home, etc.) be sure that the inspector understand that there are special considerations for these types of properties. Older homes will have issues that newer homes won’t have, while recently constructed properties may have new materials and different types of framing that require a more critical eye.

8. How much do you charge?

Shopping on price alone will lead to cutting corners. You might save a few hundred dollars to hire the cheapest inspector but you could be paying in a bigger way because the inspector wasn’t thorough enough or the report was difficult to understand and follow.

Do you have questions about home inspectors? Give me a call today to see how I can help you! 619-250-4541

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

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Del Mar Races Begin July 17th, Del Mar Racing Season

 And they’re off…..Thursday, July 17th begins the Del Mar Racing season! The races include many interactive opportunities for San Diegans, including Opening Day and the Hats Contest, as well as Family Fun Day on Sunday, July 20th.

In 1937, Bing Crosby welcomed the first guest to the horse racing track and created a rival against the Kentucky Derby. Since then, the races welcomes thousands of guest every year. For the first time in history, Del Mar is ading a 15-day meet in the fall which begins on November 7th. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Hats Contest, which has five catagories, including the best racing theme and most outrageous. The grand prize include a two-night stay at the Grand Del Mar with dinner for two, and a $500 gift certificate from the Village Hat Shop.

Race admissions are $6.00 for general admission, and $3.00 for Diamond Club members. They offer free summer concents on certain Friday and Saturday nights, while Race days are Wednesday-Sunday.

For more information about the races, including Del Mar hosting the 2017 Breeders Cup, check out http://www.dmtc.com!

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

 

Discover La Jolla

La Jolla, also known as the jewel of San Diego, is a beautiful beach front city just a few minutes north of Downtown San Diego! From world-class shopping to one-of-a-kind dining, the sunshine sparkles year-round.

There’s always something going on in La Jolla. Whether it’s live entertainment at the La Valencia Hotel, or the PGA Golf tournament in Torrey Pines, or going to see the sea lions at the cove, there is always something to do when visiting La Jolla.

With five beaches to choose from, make La Jolla your one-stop shop for beachgoers. Visit Windansea Beach, where you can check out underwater reefs and fierce waves. This is a very secluded part of the beach, where admirers can watch experience surfers, or have a romantic picnic on the beach. Windansea Beach is located at the end of Nautilus Street.  For the kids, check out La Jolla Children’s Pool, with harbor seals! La Jolla Cove is always a fan-favorite for swimming, snorkeling and diving! La Jolla Shores is a long beach with soft sand, clean water, and gentle waves. Ideal for families, sunbathers, and beginner surfers.  Finally, there is controversial Black’s Beach located just north of the Scripps Pier. The north portion of the beach is clothing-optional. For the avid-hiker, check out Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and the La Jolla Walking Trail, with some of the best-hiking trails in all of San Diego.

La Jolla has over 25 eateries, serving anything from classic American, to seafood, to Mexican food and more!  And when you’re done eating, check out the shopping experience, that is “as unique as you.” La Jolla shopping attracts anyone, from bargain hunters to celebrities that have been known to shop the strip. Some of the most luxurious brands are located in La Jolla, along with everyday values. The best part about it is that you can browse with ease around a beautiful seaside village rather than a crowded and noisy mall.

And for San Diegans that are looking to go on a “Stay-cation”, there are a number of elegant coastal hotels to choose from.

For more information on La Jolla sites and attractions, as well as entertainment, check out www.lajollabythesea.com!

 

 

Your Local San Diego Real Estate Expert,

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