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Archive for November, 2007

Home Sellers: How To Avoid The Most Expensive Mistakes Smart People Make When They Buy Or Sell A home…

Posted by Pete Sabine on November 30, 2007

Home Sellers: 

Mistake #1: Basing their asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value. Many times, people make their pricing decisions based on how much they paid for or invested into their home. This can be an expensive mistake. Overpriced homes take longer to sell and eventually net the seller less money. Consult with a professional real estate agent. They can assist you in pricing your home correctly from the beginning.   

Mistake #2: Failing to “Show-Case” their home. First impressions are the most important. Experience shows that for every $100 in repairs that your home needs, a buyer will deduct $300-$500 from their offer. Thoroughly clean and prepare your home before you put it on the market if you want top dollar.   

Mistake #3: Trying to SELL their house when buyers come to see it. One of the biggest mistakes enthusiastic home sellers make is to follow buyers around and try to SELL them on the property. This can be a negative for the buyers. The best thing is to stay out of the way, and let people look at their own pace, they’ll get a better feel for the property and whether the house is for them.  

Mistake #4: Choosing the wrong agent or choosing them for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list their home with the agent who tells them the highest price. Or they list with the agent who works for the biggest company. You need to choose the agent with the best marketing plan and track record to sell your home.   

Mistake #5: Not knowing all of their legal rights and obligations. Real estate law is complex. The contract that you will sign when selling your home is legally binding. Small items that are neglected in a contract can wind up costing you thousands of dollars. You need to consult a knowledgeable professional who understands the in’s and out’s of a real estate transaction. Questions/comments, please post to the blog, call me at 925-407-0606 or visit (c) Copyright 2000. NewInformation!


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Home Sellers: Why Buyers Love Model Homes –And How To Make Your House Show Like One…

Posted by Pete Sabine on November 15, 2007

Now let’s go inside.

Go through room by room and pack up 30% of the accessories. If you doubt the wisdom of this, go back to those model homes and compare their countertops with yours, their coffee tables and end tables with yours. See what I mean? The cardinal rule is this: “The way you live in a home and the way you sell a home are two different things.” I know this will take some time and may seem like a nuisance, but remember you are in competition with other properties. He who wins the Good Housekeeping Award probably sells his house first… and for the highest dollar. Also look at it this way, you are going to be moving anyway, so just consider this advance packing.By the way, label the moving boxes and stack them easily in the garage – floor to ceiling. Specifically, pack any collections and family photos you have displayed. Too much of your personality in evidence does not allow for the potential buyer to “mentally move in.” Pack everything from the cabinets and all closets that you do not need on a routine basis. You want to create the perception of roominess. In the linen closet, remove everything but a week’s worth of linens. Fold them neatly and color coordinate them. I’m not kidding; this is the stuff sales are made of. In the clothes closets, remove out-of-season clothes. Pack them away and put them inthe garage. Arrange your shoes neatly. Hang your clothes by category: all blouses together, all shirts together and so on. 

Now take another walk around the house. Are there rooms that are cluttered with too much furniture? Remove extra chairs, side tables and maybe even the 100″ sofa which is really too big for the room. (Notice how decorators use small pieces of furniture.) Minor redecorating is recommended. If your carpet and vinyl are outdated colors or style, change them. Off-white carpet and vinyl are best; this makes the rooms look larger and cleaner. If the existing carpet padding is 5/8″ thick or more and is not worn down, reuse it (unless the pets have done a number of it). If replacing the pad, select a very thick one and then install just a modest grade of carpeting. The feel will be plush and expensive but it’s not.If carpeting is in good condition and neutral in color, have it cleaned. If your vinyl flooring is worn or outdated, replace it with off-white vinyl. If the vinyl is in good condition and light colored, scrub it thoroughly paying special attention to buildup of dirt or wax around the baseboards and in corners. Off-white painted walls are best. If painting is required, use flat latex except in kitchens and baths where you will use semi-gloss latex. If walls are dirty, experiment to see if scrubbing them is easier than painting. If you have wallpaper, make sure it is clean and up to date. If not, strip it. (Hint: some wallpaper is easy to strip if first sprayed with window cleaner.) After stripping it, either paint or re-wallpaper, depending on the condition of the walls. Sponge  painting is also an easy, attractive alternative. Repair badly cracked plaster, loose door knobs and crooked light fixtures. Correct faulty plumbing. Leaky faucets can discolor porcelain and call attention to plumbing defects. To remove mineral stains from such leaks, pour hydrogen peroxide on the stain, then sprinkle with cream of tartar. Leave this for 30 minutes before scrubbing. Bad stains may require 2 or 3 applications. 

Stayed tuned for our final post in this series where we’ll have a real estate tip – “How a 25 Cent Upgrade Could Earn You $500 – $1000 More When You Sell”

Questions/comments, please post to the blog, call me at 925-407-0606 or visit 

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Home Sellers: Why Buyers Love Model Homes –And How To Make Your House Show Like One…

Posted by Pete Sabine on November 12, 2007

One of the major factors in getting your house to sell quickly is simply put: make it attractive. Most buyers select their home based on emotion and then justify the decision with facts, so it is important to make the house inviting and pleasant. Yours is not the only property the prospective buyer will see. Your are competing with model homes, homes that may have been professionally decorated and homes that have no children, no pets and Mr. and Mrs. Perfection as owners. 

Start with the outside.

Are shrubs overgrown? Oil in the driveway? How does the grass look? Do the flower beds need weeding and mulching? Try very hard to see your grounds through an independent observer’s eyes. Trim the shrubs or plant new ones if they are lacking. Houses with no landscaping in the front lose thousands of dollars of value in the mind of the buyer. Adding a few well-placed blooming flowers also adds appeal. If the grass in the front yard is particularly non-existent, consider sodding. Do some price shopping on this; sod is not cheap but there are some good prices available. Let’s say it cost $1000 to sod the front yard, but your house payment is $2800 per month. If you save one month of selling time, you are $1800 ahead. (By the way, you can probably get away without sodding the back yard.) Kitty litter in the driveway will absorb the oil and grease stains. (Then remove the kitty litter.)  

Next, go around and clean up the yard.

Remove any toys, tools and/or building supplies. Here’s the acid test: if you don’t see it in a model home yard, don’t have it in yours. That goes for the bag of charcoal by the grill, too; however, the (non-rusty) grill can stay. If your grill has rusted, remove the rust spots by scrubbing with a wire brush or with coarse steel wool dipped in kerosene. After the rust is removed, clean the entire piece with mineral spirits. When the grill is completely dry, paint with a brush or spray paint.  Now look at the exterior.Is the paint fading or chipping? Is the color outdated or too personal? Is mildew or mold growing? If the house needs painting, choose a neutral color. White, cream (not yellow) and lightgray are good colors for appealing to most people. If you want some ideas for paint combinations, go look at 3 or 4 model home communities that cost $50,000-$100,000 more than your  neighborhood and copy one of them. One last note on painting: always give the front door and door trim a fresh coat of paint or stain even if you paint nothing else. Buyers stand at the front door waiting to get in; give them a good first impression.

Stayed tuned for our next post where we’ll have real estate trade secrets for preparing the interior of your home for sale.

Questions/comments, please post to the blog, call me at 925-407-0606 or visit

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Home Seller Secrets-You’re About To Learn Marketing Secrets That Not One In A Hundred Home Sellers Knows — And It’s Going To Give You A Big Advantage Over your Competition!

Posted by Pete Sabine on November 12, 2007

For the next few weeks,  I will be providing real estate trade secrets for home sellers.  This revealing title and some of these upcoming posts are compliments of colleague of mine from c) Copyright 2000. NewInformation!

If you would like these seller secrets delivered to you by email,  just click on the “Subscribe via Email” button and each post will be emailed directly to you.

If you have any questions/comments, please post to my blog, contact me at 925-407-0606 or visit 

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Discover Why Most Real Estate Advertising Will Never Sell Your House

Posted by Pete Sabine on November 6, 2007

Most real estate advertising will never sell your house because it’s speaking to the wrong people at the wrong time.        

When people are looking through the real estate section and calling on ads, they are looking for a house right now, and less than 3% of the time do people actually buy the advertised house for sale.        

Most real estate sales occur because a person has built a trusted relationship with a Realtor dedicated to show them the houses on the market that meet their needs and wants in a home.        

The truth is many Realtors use real estate advertising as a short-term marketing plan to placate the seller, hoping to advertise the home on Sunday, have someone call on Wednesday and come out to buy that house on Saturday.        

The sad thing is that a sale rarely happens from advertising in a “retail environment” such as classified newspaper ads. Most serious buyers rely on their Realtor’s network and resources to find the right home in the best areas at a price supported by recent sales of similar homes nearby.        

The key lies in understanding that for every one buyer that’s looking in the real estate section and calling on an ad today—there are ten buyers who are just beginning to consider buying a house and will buy in the next six months…        

The secret is to tap into the buyers who are just starting to explore the market – and most Realtors don’t use anything but traditional advertising to attract buyers. These Realtors are missing a huge segment of the buying public.        

These people are not calling on properties yet, but they are looking to educate themselves about local real estate values, financing options and community information.        

How do you attract these buyers?        

You have to offer them something of value to them at the stage they are now. That means offering them free reports and guides designed to give people an education that will help them get to the point where they are ready and able to buy a home.        

We started attracting buyers for your home over six months ago using something called “direct response “ advertising tied directly to our internet web site.         

Making contact with these buyers at this stage gives us an opportunity to build a relationship with them far upstream in the sales cycle with useful and accurate information. We provide them with the resources to empower their decision to buy a home.        

The net result is a steady pipeline of qualified and educated buyers that may be the perfect match for your home. 

Call Pete Sabine (925) 407-0606 for a consultation or visit

RE/MAX C.C. Connection.

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