Pricing Your Home to Sell


Pricing you home correctly from the start plays a big part in getting top dollar for your home.

Deciding on your home’s list price is easier said than done. A good real estate agent will recommend a price range, but should never decide the list price because that decision is wholly up to the seller.

Although sellers aren’t required to price according to inventory levels or the market condition, It’s a good idea to discuss inventory levels and market conditions with your agent early and often to make an informed decision on listing price. It’s not imperative to price the home according to these factors but here are some things to consider when choosing your listing price.

Discuss price reductions before listing

If you aren’t highly motivated to sell your home, time is on your side. If there aren’t many relevant recent comparable sales, the market value of your home could fall within a broader range. If you want to try for a higher price then do.  Be sure to monitor buyer traffic to see how the market’s responding.

If you do try the higher end of your home’s price range, talk with your agent and decide a set amount of time before you will drop the price. Perhaps the price reduction can be used as a marketing tool to get more buyers in the to see the home. At this point you will know that the higher price did not work.

Pricing low…..doesn’t necessarily guarantee multiple offers

We’ve all heard about sellers who received multiple offers and/or sold their homes for over the asking price. We can’t, however assume it will happen to you, too. Just because your neighbor received multiple offers within a week does not mean you will.

Sometimes the homes that receive multiple offers are purposely priced low to stimulate that activity. These home are typically in good locations and in excellent showing condition. Just be careful when deciding to list your home low. You may just have to take that price. Sometimes sellers will raise their list price several weeks into the listing. This practice is a turnoff to buyers.

Looking for a quick sale?

Agents don’t want to see your home sitting idly on the market. They understand that homes that go weeks or months without many showings will ultimately sell for less than if they had been priced correctly right from the beginning.  Your agent represents your interests in the marketplace, both to other agents and to the buyers they encounter.  A good agent will educate you about the current market and will agree to support your higher price strategy if that’s what you want to try, but agree to have a price discussion after some time on the market.

So what’s the real market value of your home?

The true value of your home is what a qualified buyer is willing to pay for it. This can vary greatly depending on the robustness of the market. It comes down to the simple adage, supply and demand.

If the home sells within a few days of listing, chances are you listed too low. If months go by without any action, you’ve listed too high. A home that is priced right will get some steady action. If you receive second or third showings from multiple buyers over the course of a few weeks, you’ve likely priced your home correctly.

Once you have an accepted offer or a signed contract, there will likely be negotiations after inspections are completed. Buyers will come back and ask for credits or fixes when they feel they’ve paid top dollar for the home. A true sign of a well-priced home is one where the seller and buyer negotiate up until the end of the transaction.

If you plan to sell your home, talk about pricing with your agent early on.  Keep the dialogue going as you diligently check out listings online, go to open houses, and evaluate the competition for several weeks before listing.

Getting on the same page with your agent about the pricing and marketing strategy should give you a pretty accurate idea of the sweet spot to price your home for sale.


What to Look for When Choosing a Realtor to Sell Your Home


Choosing a Real Estate agent can be confusing. Finding the right agent is important because there are so many moving parts in the listing, marketing, negotiations and closing on a home. Just as you want to do your due diligence when buying a home you’ll also want to be discerning when choosing your agent to sell your home.


Posted by: Brightwood College

Updated: July 28, 2017

The world of residential real estate has many different players, including appraisers, home inspectors, property managers, contractors, bankers, mortgage loan officers, and government agencies, as well as prospective buyers and sellers. But, the workhorses of the typical real estate transaction are the people that coordinate the process—the real estate agents and brokers.

A good real estate agent is similar in nature to a conductor of a symphony, coordinating the different players to make a successful transaction a reality. At different points in the process, the real estate agent is a salesperson, a buyer’s advocate, an analyst, a business manager, a consultant, a negotiator, and a marketer, just to name a few. We have found there are a number of qualities and traits that successful real estate professionals share.

10. Problem solver mindset. Do you enjoy coming up with creative solutions to problems or issues? Many successful real estate agents know how to properly showcase a house to make it more marketable and develop creative MLS listings to attract the right buyers.

9. Self-motivated entrepreneur. Having a desire to control your own professional destiny and be your own boss is a trait shared by top real estate professionals. To be successful in real estate requires a high degree of self-motivation, drive, and smart decision making.

8. Honesty and integrity. Your professional reputation is crucial to a long and successful career in real estate. Becoming a member of the National Association of REALTORS® is one way to show you practice high ethical standards. To become a member, you must pledge to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

7. Hustle and tenacity. Being a top producing real estate agent requires a great work ethic. You must have the tenacity to pursue every lead and the hustle to aggressively market your clients’ properties in order to have success. It’s not just about putting in a lot of time—it’s about working smart, putting in the right amount of time, and doing whatever is necessary to close the deal.

6. Interest in houses and architecture. Having a true interest in houses and architecture can give you an advantage over other brokers and salespersons. If your knowledge and interest level is apparent in conversations, your clients will see that you care about the industry you’re in.

5. Engaging personality. A good real estate agent doesn’t just sell properties—they sell themselves. It’s important to show your real personality. People will respond to you if you have a great attitude, are personable and honest, have confidence in your abilities, and get a sense of fulfillment by serving others.

4. Attention to detail. Paying close attention to the details is imperative for your real estate career. A complete real estate agent is attentive to the unique needs of their individual clients. If you are organized, follow up with leads, communicate well, and pay attention to the needs of your clients, you will close more deals.

3. Understand the local housing market. A top producing real estate agent appreciates and utilizes the nuances that make a specific community’s housing market and pricing strategy unique. Success comes from identifying and developing a focus or niche in the local real estate market that allows you to distinguish yourself from the competition.

2. Build a network of connections. Successful real estate agents have a vast network of contacts within the market they serve. This list of connectionsshould include other real estate agents and brokers, potential buyers and sellers, and all the other players in the real estate industry, such as appraisers, home inspectors, and mortgage loan officers.

1. Knowledge is power. Staying up-to-date on the latest topics in real estate and in the local market will allow you to service clients more effectively. Continuing education and professional development are doors to opportunity that you can utilize to expand your business options and stay at the forefront of the real estate field.

At the end of the day, you get out of it what you put into it. There is a certain level investment needed (time, energy, and money) to make any business venture successful. Real estate is no different. If you are passionate about real estate and have similar traits to those outlined here, you have a great shot at having a long and successful real estate career.

Article curated from:

Pre Listing Home Inspections


What Inspections Should You Get?

Whenever a buyer is going to put down their hard earned money to buy a home they’ll want to know that there aren’t issues with the home that could cause them problems and cost them money down the road. It is part of the due diligence of home buying and any agent worth their salt will strongly recommend getting inspections to their buyer clients.

When sellers have their homes inspected before they put the home on the market it shows good faith to potential buyers and can go a long way to soothe some of the anxiety in the home buying process. Not to mention that having the inspection results ahead of time gives sellers the opportunity to correct any problems that may arise or get estimates for the buyers, thus ensuring a smoother and more timely transaction.

So what inspections should you get? I advise my clients to get a Property Inspection and a Termite Inspection. Both of these together will give a very good idea of any potential areas that will end attention.


Property Inspection

A good property inspector will go through the home and check all the workings.

  1. He’ll open and close all the windows and doors to check for usability and test the locks.
  2. Plumbing – Check for hot water and cold.  He’ll try all the water faucets. All drains, vents and waste systems will be tested. Drains are examined for signs of leakage. If there is a sump pump it will be tested as well.
  3. Test every electrical outlet to make sure the electrical system is working well. All electrical components should be operating safely. Grounding equipment, conductors and distribution panels are tested for efficient operation.
  4. Location and operation of the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are noted in the inspection report.
  5. He’ll test the furnace and air conditioning units. Filters will be inspected. Supply pipes are inspected for corrosion.
  6. If you’re on a raised foundation he’ll crawl under the house to check for any leaks and to examine the condition of the insulation and vapor retarders.
  7. All venting fans in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room will be examined.
  8. Appliances will be turned on to assess workability. Dishwasher, washer, dryer, oven and stove are the common appliances tested.
  9. Stairways, floors, counter tops, cabinetry and doors will be included in the report along with the proper functioning of the items.
  10. Roofing – The inspector will look closely for loose shingles or tiles and assess the flashing for tightness. Gutter debris will be noted and drains will be tested for connections to the house. Tree limbs touching the house will be noted. Skylights and chimneys will be checked for tight seals.
  11. Exterior caulking will be examined for water seepage. Garage doors are tested for workability. Settlement cracks will be assessed.

Property inspectors do not offer estimates for repair. Their sole duty is to give you an overview of any potential problems with your home.

Termite Inspection

A good termite inspector is looking for wood destroying insects and water intrusion that may lead to wood rot. In essence anything to do with the integrity of the wood.


  1. Fungus – The inspector will look for signs of fungus on all surfaces of the home. Recommendations will be made for corrective measures to remedy any potential areas of fungus intrusion.
  2. Drywood Termites – Drywood termites can be of particular concern. They eat the dry wood and can compromise the structure of the home. The extent of the infestation will determine the remedy used. Tenting the entire home or treating smaller section with spot treatments.
  3. Subterranean Termites – These critters come up from the earth into the concrete slab usually. Drilling holes in the concrete and injecting Termidor into the earth below is the typical solution.
  4. Water damage from bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchen and  loose exterior seals can compromise the wood. Removing the damaged wood and replacing with new is the recommended method.


  1. Stress cracks in exterior stucco.
  2. Overgrown vegetation.
  3. Leaking downspouts and gutters.
  4. Gaps in grout lines and missing caulking in bathrooms, kitchen and laundry area.
  5. Plumbing leaks.
  6. Cellulose debris in contact with the house.

In a real estate transaction it is very good for the seller to address all of the Section 1 Items. For some loans (FHA & VA) the Section 1 Items are required to be completed before the loan is approved. The Section 2 Items are typically up for negotiation between the parties.

Termite inspectors will give estimates for repair and facilitate the work. Their reports should include photos of the damaged areas for your information and understanding of the items noted.

Closing Costs

closing cost analysis

A common question I get from buyers and sellers as the escrow is moving towards closing is about the fees that they see on the Estimated Closing Costs form from the title company. Here are a few of the items that you will see on the closing costs documents.


Lender Fees

Origination:  The fee that the mortgage broker and lender charge to the borrower for making the loan. This charge covers administrative services including taking and processing the loan application and underwriting and funding the loan.

Points:. Points are charges as a percentage of the loan. 1 point is equivalent to 1 percent of the loan amount. For example 1 point of a $500,000.00 loan would be $5000.00. The reason for paying points on a loan is to get the interest rate lowered. If you decide to pay no points on your loan origination you will have slightly higher interest rate and a slightly higher loan payment over the life of your loan.

Underwriting:  This fee is for the research the lender does to qualify your loan approval.

Appraisal:  An appraiser will make an estimate of value on the home you’re purchasing to verify the price and the loan amount to approve.

Credit Report:  The lender will run a credit report on your credit history to determine your ability to repay the loan and to determine your interest rate. The higher your credit score the better the rate you can procure.

Survey:   In some instances the lender will require a survey of the land. Knowing the lots boundaries protects the buyer form possible disputes later on. This can be a seller charge as well.


Property Inspection:  The buyer typically pays to have the property inspected by a qualified property inspector, who issues a report on the condition of the workings of the home. This fee can be paid at the time of the inspection or it can be paid in the escrow. If it is being paid through the escrow this charge will appear on your closing statement.

Termite Inspection:  Like the property inspection buyers also get a termite inspection which inspects the home for termites and other bugs and also determines if there are any problems with the wood. Wood rot can result from water intrusion. Again this fee can be paid at time of inspection or included on the closing statement.

Title and Escrow

Title Search:  A search of the public records to determine if there will be clear title for the transfer of ownership.

Document Preparation:  This is the fee for the cost to prepare the final legal document for transfer of ownership. The mortgage, note and deed of trust.

Notary:  A licensed notary public will attend the signing to verify identities and swear to the fact that the people named in the documents are indeed the people who signed them.

City and County Fees

Recording Fees:  This fee covers the legal recording of the new deed and mortgage with the county.

Property taxes:  Typically about 6 months of property taxes are paid up front.

Transfer Tax:  This tax can be made in some areas and can be a hefty amount. The tax is set by the state and/or local government.


Homeowner’s insurance:  Homeowners insurance protects your home and the lenders interest from loss due to fire and other natural hazards. Typically the lender requires a prepaid 1 year premium be paid at closing.

Mortgage Insurance:  The lender may require you to pay a 1 year premium or a lump sum covering the life of the loan in advance at closing to cover the mortgage insurance.


Home Warranty:  One year premium to cover the appliances and major systems of the home. These policies are renewable year over year at the buyers expense for those who wish to keep the coverage.

Real Estate Commissions:  The seller almost always pays the broker fees for the sale of the home. Usually the commission is a percentage of the selling price and is agreed upon in the listing agreement with the listing agent. The commission is paid to the listing agent and the buyers agent.

Notary:  Same as buyer side but to verify sellers.

Inspections:  Sometimes the seller will get pre-listing inspections.

Prorated property taxes and HOA fees:  HOA fees, property taxes and mortgage interest will be prorated as of the close of escrow date.

Title Insurance:  Buyers usually pay this but sometimes it can be negotiated to be a seller expense. Title insurance protects the buyer and the lender from claims against the property.


Prepping Your Home for Sale


Sellers all agree that they want their home to sell fast and bring in top dollar. 

With some careful planning and preparation you can make your home desirable to many homebuyers. 


First, it’s important to disassociate yourself from your home. You’ll want to take a step back and try to see your home through a buyers eyes. Of course, it can be difficult to since you’ve most likely lived there a long time and it’s really become a part of you. The fact is that we all get emotionally attached to our homes. 

Step back and tell yourself that the home will soon belong to someone else and is going to be for sale, like the Crossover at the car dealership. Visualize handing over the keys and say goodbye to your home. Enjoy reminiscing and give thanks for the memories. And when you feel ready…. Don’t look back! You’re not going that way! 

Declutter and Depersonalize

Make sure you have some packing supplies ready and start by packing up the family photographs and heirlooms. You’ll want potential buyers to be able to visualize themselves living in the home and that’s almost impossible with personal effects around. Also think about removing furniture items that won’t be going with you to your new home. May as well get rid of it now. You’ll want understated pieces for staging the home for sale. 

Clutter…..people all accumulate it. And a lot of it is junk. If you haven’t used it in a year you probably never will so consider donating it to charity or throwing it away. If you aren’t loving it or using it you most likely don’t want to have it in your new space. 

Pack the majority of your books that you want to keep and pack up your knickknacks. Shelves and countertops should only contain minimal items to offer a clean streamlined visual for potential buyers. You kitchen countertops included. 



Most people have way too many things in their closets. Now is the time to clean out your closets and pantry and get everything beautifully organized. The fact is that buyers are nosy and they WILL look in all the closets and cabinets. Having everything organized and uncluttered will help them to see that they will have plenty of storage for their things.

 Homes show best with less furniture. You may want to consider a storage unit for items that you want to keep that block pathways or restrict the flow of the home. If you have leaves in your dining table take them out to make the table smaller. It creates the illusion that the dining room is larger. Spend some time viewing open houses or model homes to get a feel for the best way to stage your home to sell. 


Make sure to pay attention to small repairs. These can be items like torn screens and sticky door locks. You’ve likely gotten used to these little things but buyers will see this as a potential problem and could be turned off to your home. Fix leaky faucets and replace burned out lightbulbs. Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks. 


Get pre listing inspections. You want to know ahead of time if there will be any large expenses that could hold up your sale. Being able to supply your buyers with a general home inspection and termite inspection reports will help them to make a decision about making an offer on your home. The reports will also give you the opportunity to repair and items that need repair before you market the property. This attention to detail is very desirable for todays buyers. 

Get Neutral

If you’ve got wild wallpaper, loud wall colors or patterned tile consider changing to more neutral decor. Trendy items will not appeal to all buyers and you want to appeal to as many as possible. Pain the walls a neutral color (not cold white), remove wallpaper and replace patterned tile with solid color. 

Clean, Clean, Clean

This is when you might want to consider hiring some outside help. Cleaning your home for showing goes way beyond normal day to day cleaning. Windows will need to be washed inside and out. The exterior and sidewalks will need to be pressure washed. 

Kitchens are of great importance to buyers so make sure your counters are cleaned daily, stainless steel sparkles, and that the counters are uncluttered. Keep the refrigerator clean too. People open them, all the time. 

Make the beds, vacuum daily, polish floors and dust furniture. Hang fresh towels in the bathrooms, wipe down shower and counters and make sure the toilet seat is down. 

Pay attention to odors. If you have pets make sure the litter box is cleaned. Air out the house and put a couple drops of grapefruit essential oil in a diffuser. 

Objectively look at the front of your home from the street. Would you want to come in? Consider painting the front door and adding a seasonal wreath. Plant some colorful fresh flowers in pots or in flowerbeds. Add new bark to the flowerbeds and groom the lawn and plantings. Paint any faded trim and make sure your house number is clearly visible. 

Now that you’ve cleared the clutter and cleaned your home you’re ready to walk through and really be objective about your hard work. Perhaps having a stager come in for the final touches and getting ready for the photographer to get some really good listing photos. Listing photos are really important these days with buyers searching online for homes. Good listing photos have been proven to get more buyers interested in your home.  

Dublin Market Update July 2018

Here is your latest Market Report, analyzing data as it affects a specific market area. The Market Summary below offers a look at sales activity for the prior month and year, along with current and past year-to-date statistics. The graphs cover several different aspects of the real estate market. Note how some of the graphs break out trends by price increments. Please contact me if you would like more information on your current market.
Click here if you are having difficulty viewing this report
Direct: (844) 373-SOLD
Cell: (925) 200-2142
DRE #01463436


May 2018 | All Property Types (SFH & Condos/Townhomes)
Market Month to Date Year to Date
Summary May 2018 May 2017 Percent Change Year-To-Date 2018 Year-To-Date 2017 Percent Change
New Listings 124 105 18.1%  458 449 2% 
Sold Listings 87 72 20.83%  307 295 4.07% 
Median Listing Price $915,000 $786,919 16.28%  $865,000 $795,000 8.81% 
Median Selling Price $964,000 $796,000 21.11%  $915,000 $795,000 15.09% 
Median Days on Market 9 8 12.5%  8 10 -20% 
List/Sell Price Ratio 103.9% 102.1% 1.79%  103.6% 101.3% 2.3% 
Average Listing Price $969,450 $844,488 14.8%  $943,093 $857,036 10.04% 
Average Selling Price $1,002,910 $861,057 16.47%  $972,828 $865,986 12.34% 
Average Days on Market 14 14 0%  14 21 -33.33% 
May 2018 | All Property Types (SFH & Condos/Townhomes)
Average list price compared to average sold price of properties sold each month


May 2018 | All Property Types (SFH & Condos/Townhomes)
Number of properties currently listed for sale by price range
May 2018 | All Property Types (SFH & Condos/Townhomes)
Number of properties sold each month


May 2018 | All Property Types (SFH & Condos/Townhomes)
Average sale price of property as percentage of final list price
May 2018 | All Property Types (SFH & Condos/Townhomes)
Average Sales Price per SqFt for previous two years


May 2018 | All Property Types (SFH & Condos/Townhomes)
Average number of days it takes to sell a property
May 2018 | All Property Types (SFH & Condos/Townhomes)
Monthly inventory of properties for sale along with number of sales


Pleasanton Office
4725 First Street, Suite 150 Pleasanton, CA 94566 | Office: (844) 373-SOLD | Fax: (925) 484-2393
The statistics presented in the Monthly Market Reports are compiled based on figures and data generated by IDC global and Datafloat for the benefit of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties. Due to possible reporting inconsistencies, Days on Market (DOM), average prices and rates of appreciation should be used to analyze trends only. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Due to MLS reporting methods and allowable reporting policy, this data is only informational and may not be completely accurate. Data maintained by the MLSs may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. All information should be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting the information.
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