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The 5 Greatest Pitfalls in Home Selling

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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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Spring Cleaning for a New Home

Take a deep breath. Do you smell that? It’s the scent of…dust, musk and grime. Before the big moving day hits hard, brush off the dust and get your new home sparkling clean. And what better time is there to clean house than spring? The term ‘spring cleaning’ was coined for a reason, you know.

1.) Psst, Look Up

Sure, you probably know to give your new home a once-over before moving day, but there are bound to be places you’ll miss in the chaos of a fast approaching moving day. One of the most neglected areas? Ceiling fans. It can be tough to tell how much dust and dander have accumulated on those plates until you get up close and personal with a duster, but we can assure you, it’s more than you would think.

2.)  And Over Here, Behind the Fridge.

Given, this is a daunting task. But, even if you’re left to clean your house on your own, you should still take the time to clean all of the hard to reach places before you fill your home with all of your belongings. The more furniture you have in place, the harder those dark corners are to reach. For example, clear out the dust and grim behind large appliances like your fridge or do a once over on the walls before they’re plastered with family photos and artwork.

3.) Know When to Call for Help

We’d all like to think we’re capable of anything, and maybe we are, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re well suited to the task. We’re talking to you, inexperienced floor refinisher. One little mistake and your wooden floors looking a bit dull will become the least of your problems. Do yourself a favor and call in an expert.

4.) April Showers Bring…Heavy Gutters

Were the last homeowners fastidious about cleaning out the gutters? Chances are, probably not. Clogged gutters pose more than one problem, not only are they heavy and bogged down (i.e. at risk of detachment), but they also can’t drain properly, which translates in to too much water sitting alongside the foundation of your home, and that fellow homeowners, can lead to mold and decay over time. Time to get cleaning!

5.) Keep Cool

Now, before you’re settled in, is the perfect time put both money saving and aesthetically pleasing home updates into effect from the outside in. Planting a few well-placed trees near your home can go a long way in saving on energy costs, while providing a natural element of beauty. Indoors, dress your windows up and make them pretty. Investing in drapes or blinds assists in three ways – energy savings, privacy, and aesthetics. Having both items in place prior to moving in means you’re able to settle seamlessly into a prettier, more welcoming, and efficient home.

Voila! Your new home is move-in ready. Now, you can feel good about the cleanliness of your house as your family and belongings come through the door on moving day.


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Feng Shui Tips to Beautify Your New Home

Feng Shui – it’s a term you hear tossed around all the time casually referring to a well-put together interior design, but how much do you really know about feng shui? The idea behind the Chinese tradition is to position furniture within a home in a particular way based on direction and lucky shapes like the octagon. Supporters say this will bring happiness and health into a home. Spiritualism aside, designers and home owners can at least agree that many feng shui principals can quickly beautify your new home.

1.)    Clear the Clutter

A tidy, organized space is one of the key principles of feng shui. You can’t achieve neat and orderly when you’re toting boxes full of knick-knacks from 1985 from house to house. Before you move, de-clutter. If you don’t take it with you there’s no need to decide where it should go in your new house.

2.)    Beautify the Path Into Your Home

Inside and out, add uplifting elements of nature, color, and light. The entry to your homeshould have plenty of good lighting – either natural or artificial – and an eye-catching piece such as a colorful piece of artwork or a fish tank. Outside your home, place evergreens or lush plants along the walkway or just outside the entryway to the front door. Live plants are also encouraged throughout the interior of your space.

3.)    Give it a View

No matter where you are in your home, try to position furniture in a way that you can still see the entry to the room from where you are. This is essential to feng shui in every room, but it is crucial in the bedroom, often considered the most important room of a house. Position your bed into the “Commanding Position”, which means the place in the room furthest from the door, but where you’re still able to see the doorway. It is believed that this position will allow for more strength and calmness.

4.)    Mirrors are Your Friend

You can use mirrors to visually add space to a room by placing them at the end of a hall. Mirrors also give you a way to meet feng shui requirements for open doorways. If you’re faced with a stove that puts your back to the entry way, try placing a mirror against the back splash or near the stove. According to the Feng Shui experts, as long as you can see the door’s reflection, that’s just as good as seeing the real thing, and your cooking experience should be calmer.

5.)    Color is Key

With or without feng shui, most designers agree that colors affect your mood and energy in different ways. Pay attention to what colors you feel drawn to and allow yourself to incorporate them throughout your new home where you can. If you need a feng shui cheat sheet to start out, 2014 is the Year of the Wooden Horse so these are the recommended colors for the rooms in your home:

 –Living Room: orange, purple, red

-Kitchen: green, gray

-Bedroom: off-whites and soft pastels or white with gold, silver, beige or brown

-Bathroom: blue, white, black, wood, natural fibers, and stone

-Dining Room: terra cotta, burnt sienna, gold, and yellow

You need not be committed to feng shui styling to create a warm atmosphere in your new home. These tips are bound to help create a beautiful space, no matter the goal.


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Tips for Settling Into Your New Home

MovingThe deeds are signed, the boxes are packed. Now all there is to do is wait for the moving van and get from A to B, right? Wrong. There is a lot more that goes into really getting settled into your new home. Save yourself the stress and scramble by printing out this post-purchase checklist to help make the move easier.

1.)    Make Sure You’re Not Unpacking in the Dark

In the rush to get everything packed and ready to go, make sure you haven’t neglected other essentials – namely electricity and water. Most companies have progressed to online service requests, but be sure to contact the service provider with plenty of time so you can keep your transition into the new house as seamless as possible.

2.)    File Important Documents

You want to be sure to keep all of the important documents associated with your new home filed away safely. This includes any contracts, sales receipts, appliance warranties, and owner’s manuals. Having everything stowed away in one place will make your life easier in the event of an emergency.

3.)    Make it Postal Official

If you haven’t already filled out a change of address form for yourself and your family, be sure to do so as soon as possible. You can submit the request by filling out a form at your local post office or by visiting the U.S. Postal Service website. You’ll also want to do the same at the DMV to get your driver’s license and vehicle information switched over.

4.)    Change the Locks

You never know who the former resident dealed keys out to. You can never be too cautious when it comes to safety, so call a lock smith and get the locks changed as soon as you can.

5.)     Explore Your Community

Take a drive. While you enjoy the scenery of your new neighborhood, take note of the locations of the nearest necessities – a hospital, the grocery store, a gas station, etc. If you have kids, take this time to map out the best route to their school and the community buildings they may need to visit such as the local library.

It’s important to manage stress levels during a move in order to keep things running smoothly. By checking each of these tasks off of your list you’re bound to alleviate a handful of those stressors. So, remember, it may take a bit of time to complete them, but your efforts will be rewarded tenfold in the end.


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5 Ways College Graduates Can Prepare to Buy a Home

Prudential California Realty is Central Coast’s Real Estate experts. Our first priority is you – always. It is our goal to provide you with the most innovative real estate services on the Central Coast.

If you have recently graduated college, then congratulations! It’s a huge accomplishment and you should feel proud of yourself. It’s an important milestone and for many of you, buying a home may be the next one to undertake.

The only problem is that as a recent graduate, you may have a lot of fears, worries, and uncertainties. Common anxieties include finding a job, moving to a new location (including moving back into your parent’s home), and paying back student loans.

With all of this potentially weighing you down, how can you plan to buy a house?

The first thing to remember is to not worry.

Acknowledge the laborious reality of your situation, but remember that getting yourself all worked up and stressed out is not helpful. Instead, take a deep breath and sit down to figure out what you can do to use college as a powerful launch pad to project yourself into the future.

That is exactly what we will discuss in this post: action plans college graduates like you can do starting today to put yourself in a great position to buy a home.

1)    Earn more than you spend

This is the number one starting point for curbing those fears you may have. Plan your expenses and work out a solid, fixed budget. Just because you graduated from college does not mean you can immediately upgrade your lifestyle. Never spend more than you are bringing in. This will help you save for a down payment on a home.

2)    Keep student debt paid

If you are still a student then ensure you pay all your credit card debts before you finish college. Want a tension free life? Don’t let your interest grow and try to pay all your debts as soon as possible.

To make things easier, maintain a spreadsheet where you can jot down the loan numbers such as balance, interest rate, monthly payment, payment date etc. In case, if you have a multiple loans to pay, having a spreadsheet can help you prioritize the one which you need to pay at the earliest.

Staying on top of student debt (which we acknowledge can be very difficult for many college graduates) will keep your credit score in good condition (and help to improve it if currently needs a little polishing). In fact, establishing a good credit score is one of the most important aspects you need to be focusing on.

3)    If you have a job, take advantage of the benefits

First, if you have a job, congratulations! Second, take note of all the benefits your organization offers. Most of the employers provide their employees with benefits like health insurance, life insurance, and so on. Some companies provide employee stock options plan (ESOP). Therefore, it is better to know about the benefits the company is offering and try to utilize it to the maximum, which will help you to save more money.

4)    Get a credit card

When you do get a card, you should use it sparingly and pay it off each month on time. By doing this for a year or two, you’re building a history of responsible credit use and improving your score. Getting a great credit score isn’t necessarily difficult, it just requires that you stay on top of your responsibilities and pay off your debt whenever it’s due. Don’t exceed your credit limit, don’t carry a balance from month to month, don’t use cash advances, and set up a good system for tracking all of this