Central Coast Realty Group

Serving the Central Coast

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The 5 Greatest Pitfalls in Home Selling


With so many tasks that need to be done prior to listing, selling your home can be exhausting. You want to make sure all of that hard work pays off though, right? So in all the preparations, be sure you avoid falling into any of these five major home-selling pitfalls:

1. Using Lack Luster Photos

In today’s modern tech world, most home searches begin online. So, if you or your agent hasn’t posted photos of your home yet, it’s time. Just make sure that they’re quality photos. That means no blurry pictures, no photos that show a messy a room, no flash reflections in mirrors. Your photos should put your home’s best foot forward. After all, they’re doing the initial pitch for prospective buyers.

2. Minimizing the Importance of a Tidy Space

Nobody likes a home that looks like a pig-sty, especially a home they’re looking to buy. You want to give the appearance of a well-maintained and cared for house. Even if underneath the mess your house is in excellent shape, a messy space sends a conflicting message so put on some good shoes and break out the duster, it’s time to clean up and de-clutter if you want to sell.

3. Not Seeking Professional Help

You’re great a lot of things, we’re sure of it, but selling your home on your own likely isn’t one of them, that is of course if you want to sell quickly and get the best deal. There is so much chaos that comes with trying to sell a house on your own, from pricing to closing contracts, qualifying a buyer and much more. If you expect to live a normal life outside your sale, it’s wise to seek the help of a professional. Don’t want to take our word for it? Then listen to the stats – homes without professional representation sit on the market longer and end up selling at a lower price than those that enlisted the help of an agent.

4. Ignoring Repairs

That peeling paint in your living room – yeah, you need to take care of it before listing. If you show your home in a less than show-ready state, you’re likely going to take a hit on the price or receive offers that include a request for a credit back to cover the cost of repairs. It may be more work and more money upfront to make necessary repairs, but when you get a great offer on your home you’ll see that it was well-worth the effort.

5. Over or Under Pricing Your House

Of all the big no-no’s you could commit during a home sale, mispricing is one of the most damaging pitfalls. If you over-price your home may sit on the market for a long while or you may end up wasting countless hours preparing for showings and open houses only to be left offer-less again. If you underprice, you risk doing yourself a disservice. Unless there is a reason to price-to-sell, it’s important to ensure your house falls in at a competitive asking price. Talk with a professional about your local market and learn all you can about comparables to be sure your home is priced appropriately.

What do you think is the most dangerous home-selling pitfall? Share your thoughts in the comments!


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Set the Scene for Salability

DIY Home Staging TricksSetting the scene in your house is of the utmost importance if you want to sell sooner rather than later. You want to paint the picture of an idyllic life within those walls to prospective buyers. Your home should feel warm, welcoming and most of all, like a blank slate waiting for new memories to be made. Many times home owners turn to a professional home-stagger to complete the task, but there are many things you can do yourself to start staging the perfect scene.

Here are a few DIY home-staging tricks you can tackle yourself:

Let the light in. If you’re lucky enough to own a home that allows for an abundance of natural light, you’re off to a great start! Tie back those curtains and pull up the blinds. Brightening up your house, will also brighten up prospects opinion toward it. Working with something a little more in the shadows? Invest in some light bulbs of matching luminescence and flick on a few lights before showing.

Break out the broom. It seems like common sense, but too many homeowners overlook things like scuff marks on the walls or dust clinging to ceiling fans. Before your house is show ready, it needs to be clean and tidy. Just don’t overdo it with the cleaning products too close to show time. The chemical odors can set alarms off with some potential buyers that the scents are trying to cover up another smell, like mold or cigarette smoke.

Get painting. You don’t have to dive into a full-fledged paint job. Painting an accent wall in a lighter complimentary color or plain old white can add a sense of freshness and good maintenance. Even just a bit of touch-up paint can do the trick in a pinch. Be sure to take a paint chip to your paint store for color-matching because even if you do have leftover paint from the original, the color can fade over time making the touch-up stand out against the wall.

Tuck away the personal mementos. It may be painful to pack away photos of your children and family or your prized spoon collection, but all those items do is remind prospects that this is somebody else’s home. You want them to feel as if the house is a blank slate, one which they can fill with their own memories, and your personal items prevent them from letting their imagination take flight.

Clutter be gone. Are you a fan of the “lived in” look? Do you defend your mess with stating that it’s “homey”? All that has to stop now that your house is on the market. It’s time to clear the clutter, everything from the stacks of mail on the buffet table to items on your vanity. They all need to go. Replace them with tasteful, simple decorations such as a vase of flowers or a couple of books on the coffee table. It gives a clean, cared for look, as well as helping to draw the eyes of prospects to areas of your home that you’d like to showcase.

Do you have any other DIY home-staging tips? Share them with us in the comments!

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How to Improve Curb Appeal

Front Porch

Ever wonder why some houses fly off of the market while others straggle along? The answer could lay in the power of curb appeal. If you’re not familiar with the term, curb appeal is how alluring your house or property looks from the outside. The idea may seem a little frivolous. After all, prospects are interested in what your house has to offer, not the walkway in front of it, right? Well, not exactly. Your house will speak for itself, but how can prospects see how great it is if they never step a foot inside? The truth is, a potential buyer has already decided whether or not they’re going to buy your house before they ever see the inside. Decisions are made from the curb, so up your chances of selling your home with a few simple improvements to your property’s curb appeal. Here’s how:

Focus on the Front Door

Think of your front door like you’d think of meeting somebody new for the first time – it’s all about first impressions. Make a memorable impression on prospects by sprucing up the front door. Consider drawing attention to your door with a bright pop of paint or replacing it with something unique (stained glass, custom wood, etc.)

Updating old hardware is also a great method of adding curb appeal. Swap out dingy house numbers with a fresh, new set of numerics. Replace the door handle and lockset or add a light fixture alongside or above the doorway. If you can’t swing the replacements, at least do yourself the favor or cleaning off any dirt and grim in the front door area and polishing your hardware.

Driveways Drive Traffic

The driveway is an often over-looked area of a property, but it’s crucial to overall curb appeal. A driveway treated with care can lend a clean, stylish look to your home. Give that important plot of asphalt a face-lift by adding edging. Borders made of stone, brick, or pavers are great options to bring a little life to an otherwise boring area of your home.

Give it Life

Who can resist a property lush, green and full of life? It’s hard to pass up a great yard or garden, so spend a little time on yours if you want to increase property showings.

It’s simple really. Start by hiding any bald or brown patches of grass with natural elements – rocks, potted plants, etc. – or fill them in with mulch or sod. Then, add some color. Pick your favorite vibrant flowers and create a garden or flower bed on an easy-to-see area of your property. Finish up by tidying any unruly landscaping. Take a good hard look. Do the trees need trimming? Gardens need tending? Make sure existing landscaping isn’t being neglected in the revamps.

If you don’t have the time or space for planting a garden, don’t worry! You can create the same wow-factor with a potted garden on your porch or alongside your front door.


Have a great tip to improve curb appeal that we missed? Share it with us in the comments!

Kitten and dog sit on floor together

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How to Sell Your House When You Own Pets

You love your pets and you’d never think of them as anything but the loveable furry extensions of your family that they are, but potential homebuyers may not see it that way. The hard truth is that your pets may be keeping your home from selling. If you’re a pet owner with a house on the market, here’s what you need to know to take your house from ‘For Sale’ to ‘Sold’:

1.) Invest in Some DeodorizersKitten and dog sit on floor together

“What?! My house doesn’t smell”, you may be saying to yourself, but the truth is it probably does. We grow accustomed to the scent of our pets, but those entering your house for the first time are sure to pick up on pet odors as soon as they walk in the door. You want to make a good first impression on potential buyers, don’t you? So clean thoroughly before showings and invest in a good quality pet deodorizer, not just something that will mask the smell with other strange smells.

2.) Hide Any Traces of a Pet

It’s sad, we know, but if you want to sell your home faster you must hide any and all traces of your pet ever having lived there. That means pet beds, toys, food and water bowls, any dingy, chewed or scratched furniture, and yes, your pet itself. Time for a pet vacation or a long walk in the park during showings.

3.) Insist on a Heads Up

Last minute showings are not uncommon. Make sure that the realtor understands that you need advance warning if a prospect wants to view the house that day. A one hour heads up should do so that you’re able to gather you pet and yourself and get out of the house before the showing begins.

4.) Don’t Forget the Yard

The last thing you need is to end a successful showing with an unpleasant pet surprise smeared onto your prospects shoe. Hiding the presence of pets doesn’t just end with the interior. Be sure to check the yard for any droppings and toys, as well.

Although it may seem a pain to take the extra measures with your pet, experts agree that pets in a home during a showing or open house are one of the biggest mistakes a seller can make. So, swallow your pride, know your pet is the best around, and accept that not everybody will agree. Take these pet precautions and you’re home will quickly be on its way to a new set of owners.

Have any other tips on how to handle pets during an open house? Tell us in the comments!

Backyard Improvements

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Home Extends Beyond the Walls: Backyard Tips and Tricks

WBackyard Improvementshether you’re buying or selling a home, the backyard is an integral part of your house. It’s not only a personal retreat where you can relax after a long day, or a place where your kids play, or even a summer hangout for friends and family. That little piece of paradise just outside your door is also a valuable piece of property that can add value to your house. So, do you really need any more reason to get started?

Here are some great ways to take your backyard from iffy to spiffy:

  • Build a patio – big, small, upper deck, lower deck, whatever it is, it’s awesome and generally recoups 65%-90% of the money invested.
  • Transform a small space – you don’t have to have a lot of space to create a charming backyard retreat. From creating layers, to statement pavers, there are plenty of options for tight yards. For inspiration, just have a look at these beauties.
  • Light a fire – literally. In a controlled space, of course. Add an outdoor fire pit to your backyard for an instant boost in ambiance. It can be functional, strictly aesthetic, or both. There are options for all style preferences.
  • DIY decor – ok, we’re not all Martha Stewart types, but there are a lot of simple ways you can add creative touches to your yard that will make it uniquely yours. A fold-down backyard bar, anybody? So easy it’s almost genius.   
  • Keep it private – keep curious eyes from prying into your yard. A fence is the obvious solution, but pergolas, lattice, and landscaping are great options to create some privacy, as well.
  • Add a pop of color – give outdoor furniture a facelift with brightly colored pillows and cushions. The best part about this update is that you can switch them out with the seasons.
  •  Think visually – take a good look at your yard. Is it a sea of green? Start a container garden or plant some colorful flower beds. How about lighting? Can you see all of those gorgeous additions you’ve just made? It’s all in the details.

With some inspiration and a little elbow grease you can create the ideal outdoor space. And the best part is, it’s all yours. Unless, of course, you choose to share it with good friends and neighbors, and with a backyard that looks this good, why wouldn’t you?