Real Estate Article March 3, 2023

My Home Didn’t Sell! Now What?

When it comes to listing their home, most home sellers want three things: 1) to make a lot of money, 2) to put in minimal time and effort, and 3) to sell quickly. But the reality is, selling a home is rarely that simple. And homeowners who try to do it themselves—or receive bad advice—can end up stuck (months later) with a property that hasn’t sold.

If that’s you, don’t panic! We’ve outlined the top five reasons a home doesn’t sell—and action steps you can take to overcome each of these issues.

Not sure why your property didn’t sell? If you’re not already working with an agent or your listing has expired or been withdrawn, give us a call! We’d be happy to offer a free, no-obligation assessment and create an action plan to get your home SOLD.

This marketing piece is not intended as a solicitation for properties currently in an exclusive agreement with another Broker.



If your home didn’t sell after several months on the market, the timing could’ve been a factor. Markets are driven by the law of supply and demand, and real estate is no exception.

When there are a lot of people who want to buy homes (demand) and a shortage of inventory (supply), it’s considered a seller’s market. During a seller’s market, listings tend to get snapped up quickly. In a buyer’s market, however, there are more homes for sale than active buyers. This can cause homes to sell for less money and to sit on the market for a longer period of time before receiving an offer.

What causes the shift between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market? Economic factors like interest rates, affordability, domestic growth, and the unemployment rate can all impact buyer demand. Over the past year, for example, higher mortgage rates have not only made it harder for some borrowers to qualify for a home loan, they have also sharply pushed up homebuyers’ anticipated monthly payments.1 So even if a buyer was interested in your home, they may have passed on it if they couldn’t qualify for a mortgage at your asking price.

Seasonal factors like weather, holidays, and school schedules can also increase or dampen the activity and motivation of buyers. Additionally, unexpected events, such as a natural disaster or a stock market crash, can cause some buyers to put their purchasing plans on hold until conditions normalize. 

Now What?

If timing does appear to be a factor, it may be advisable to delay relisting your property. Of course, that’s not feasible (or desirable) for every seller.

In most cases, buyers can be motivated to act with a combination of improvements, incentives, and pricing. Where there’s a will to sell, there’s usually a way. Fortunately for sellers, people will always need a place to live, and there will be a percentage of the population that is motivated to buy quickly.

If you suspect timing played a role in your inability to sell, consult with a knowledgeable real estate agent. We’re in the field every day and have access to the latest market data. We can estimate how long a home like yours should take to sell given current market conditions and help ensure that your asking price is competitive.



Did your home get a steady stream of showings when it was on the market? If not, you may need to try a new promotional strategy.

Take a look at the listing description. Did it entice buyers to visit your property? A well-written description should be clear and compelling while highlighting your home’s most desirable features. Additionally, it should have utilized best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that it was found by buyers who were looking for homes online.

And how well did the listing photos showcase your property? Many buyers use photos of a home to decide whether or not to visit it in person. In fact, 85% of buyers who browse online find photos “very useful” in their home search.2 Poor quality or a low quantity of listing photos could have kept potential buyers from stepping through your door.

Another factor to consider is whether your listing reached the right audience. This can be especially important if you have a unique or highly-customized home. The Multiple Listing Service is a great place to start, but some properties require a more robust marketing approach. 

Now What?

If you suspect ineffective marketing, consider turning to a skilled professional with a proven approach. We employ a strategic Property Marketing Plan that uses the latest technologies to seed the marketplace, optimize for search engine placement, and position your home for the best possible impression right out of the gate.

For example, we know what buyers in this market want and can craft a persuasive description to pique their interest. And since good listing photos are so crucial, we work with the top local photographers to ensure each shot is staged to your home’s advantage.

We also know how to get your listing in front of the right audience—one that will appreciate its unique features. By utilizing online and social marketing platforms to connect with consumers and offline channels to connect with local real estate agents, your property gets maximum exposure to your target market.

Want to learn more about our multi-step marketing strategy? Reach out for a copy of our complete Property Marketing Plan.



If your property received a lot of foot traffic but no offers, you may need to examine the impression you made on buyers who visited your property.

Start with your home’s structure and systems. Are there large cracks in the foundation? How about doors and windows that don’t properly close? Are there water stains on the walls or ceiling that could signal a leak? These can be major “red flags” that scare away buyers.

Next, examine your curb appeal. Does the yard need mowing, or do the hedges need trimming? Are there oil stains on the driveway? Any peeling paint or rotted siding? If your home’s exterior looks neglected, buyers may assume the entire house has been poorly maintained.

Now move on to the interior of your home. Is it clean? Is there a noticeable odor? Have you taken the time to depersonalize and declutter each room? Buyers need to be able to picture their items in your home, but that’s difficult to do amongst your family photos and personal collections. And oversized furniture and packed closets can make a space seem small and cramped.

Now What?

When we take on a new listing, we always walk through it with the homeowner and point out any repairs, updates, or decluttering that should be done to maximize its sales potential. We also share tips on how to prep the property before each showing.

In some cases, we will recommend that you utilize staging techniques to highlight your home’s best features and help buyers envision themselves living in the space. Home staging is one of the hottest trends in real estate—because it works! According to the Real Estate Staging Association, professionally-staged homes sell, on average, 9 days faster and for $40,000 over the list price.3 In addition, the National Association of Realtors suggests that staging can help push up your final sale price by as much as 20%.4

Some sellers choose to hire a professional home stager, while others opt to do it themselves, using guidance from their agent. We can help you determine the appropriate budget and effort required to get your home sold.



Many homeowners are reluctant to drop their listing price. But the reality is buyers may not seriously consider your property if they think your home is overpriced.

Attitudes have changed since the Federal Reserve started hiking interest rates. Many of today’s homebuyers are no longer willing or able to pay as high a price on a new home as they might have when borrowing costs were lower.5 If your home’s original asking price was set using sales data from the market’s peak, then you may need to rethink your pricing strategy.

Economic factors aren’t the only reasons, though, why a home’s asking price might not match its market value. Pricing a home can be tricky, regardless of the economic climate, because so many factors can impact how much buyers are willing to pay. For example, unique, highly customized, and luxury properties are particularly difficult to price because there aren’t a lot of comparable homes with which to compare them.

Regardless, if your home sat on the market for months without an offer, then chances are good that your asking price needs to be reevaluated.

Now What?

If you aren’t in a rush to sell your home, adjustments to timing or marketing may bring in a new pool of potential buyers. And repairs, upgrades, and staging can increase the perceived value of your home, which may be enough to bring a buyer to the table at your original list price.

However, if you need to sell quickly or you’ve already exhausted those options, a price reduction may be necessary to get your home the attention it needs to sell.

We are local market experts and have access to the latest market data and comparable sales in your neighborhood. We can help you determine a realistic asking price for your home, given today’s market conditions. Just reach out for a free home value assessment!



If you suspect that your previous real estate agent didn’t do enough—or used the wrong approach—to sell your home, you’re not alone. Many sellers whose listings languish until they expire or are withdrawn feel this way.

While most agents have the best of intentions, not all of them have the skills, experience, instincts, or local market expertise to devise a winning sales strategy in this challenging market.

Or, perhaps you chose not to hire a listing agent at all and have been trying to sell your home yourself. This can be an equally frustrating endeavor.

Although selling your home independently can help cut some costs, it can also be extremely risky and may even lose you money in the long run. For example, research by the National Association of Realtors suggests that For Sale By Owner (or FSBO) homes tend to sell for less than homes represented by a professional. In 2021, for example, the average FSBO home sold for $105,000 less than the average home sold with the assistance of an agent.6

 Now What?

If either of those scenarios sounds familiar, you need to ask yourself: “Would I still be interested in selling my home if I could get the right offer?”

If so, we should talk. We understand how frustrating it can be when you’ve put a lot of time, money, and effort into prepping your property for the market and it doesn’t sell. We also empathize with how disruptive a delayed home sale can be to your life.

By now, don’t you owe yourself more than the status quo when it comes to your real estate representation? Our multi-step Property Marketing Plan can help you sell your home for the most money possible, and in the process reconnect you with the excitement you originally felt upon first listing. It’s time for a new agent, new marketing, new buyers, and, most of all… new possibilities.



Let’s talk. We can help you figure out why your home didn’t sell and how to revise your sales strategy and set your home up for success.

The housing market has experienced a shift, and the waters may be choppier than usual for a while. But there’s still plenty of opportunity in the current market: You just need a guide who knows where to look and how to find it.


This marketing piece is not intended as a solicitation for properties currently in an exclusive agreement with another Broker. The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. New York Times –
  2. National Association of Realtors –
  3. Real Estate Staging Association –
  4. National Association of Realtors –
  5. Marketplace –

National Association of Realtors –

Real Estate Article February 27, 2023

Top 6 Home Design Trends To Watch in 2023

Over the past few years, many of us have spent extra time at home—and that means we appreciate the personal design touches that make a house cozy and comfortable more than ever. Some of us have adapted our dwellings in new ways, from creating functional home offices to upgrading the appliances we use most.

But while it’s important to make your home your own, it’s also smart to think about the long-term impact your renovations could have on its value. Choosing highly-personalized fixtures and finishes can make it harder for future homebuyers to envision themselves in the space. Even if you don’t plan to sell your home soon, investing in popular design choices that are likely to stand the test of time will make things easier down the road.

And if you’re in the market for a new home, it’s wise to keep an eye out for features that might need to be updated soon so you can factor renovation costs into your budget.

We’ve rounded up six trends that we think will influence interior design in 2023, as well as ideas for how you might incorporate them in your own home. Remember, before taking action, it’s always wise to consult with a real estate professional to understand how specific updates and upgrades will affect your property’s value in your local market.


1.Separate Kitchen, Dining and Living Areas

For years, home design has been dominated by open-concept floor plans, particularly for kitchen, dining, and living areas. However, as the pandemic forced families to work and study from home, many struggled to find the privacy and separation they needed. As a result, designers report that more families are choosing to bring back kitchen and dining room walls to break up the space and create quieter areas.1

That doesn’t mean that we’re returning to an era of dark and cramped spaces, however. Even as walls make a return, it’s important to take care to retain a sense of flow and openness within the home and to prioritize natural light.

If you’re buying or building a new home, consider how you will use the space and whether or not an open floor plan will suit your needs. If you already live in a home with an open floor plan and it isn’t working for you, try rearranging furniture and strategically placing pieces like bookshelves, room dividers, or rugs to create distinct areas within the home and reduce noise.



2. Nature-Inspired Design

In the past few years, we’ve seen the “biophilia” trend explode, and there are no signs that it will be any less popular in 2023.2 This trend is all about bringing the outside in by adding natural touches throughout your home.

This year, design experts predict that natural, sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, and live-edge wood will lend character without being overwhelming. Wooden kitchen cabinets and islands will become more common in 2023, with white oak and walnut among the most popular choices.3,4 Wood will also appear in bathroom vanities and shelving and furniture throughout the home.

Colors inspired by nature (think mossy greens and desert tones) will also play into this trend and will blend seamlessly with wood tones. We’re also seeing a return to natural stone countertop materials like quartzite, marble, dark leathered granite, and soapstone.4,5

If you’re planning to add new shelving or redo your kitchen, consider turning to these materials to embrace the biophilic look. Or, incorporate elements of the trend by choosing nature-inspired paint colors and adding to your houseplant collection.



3.Lighting as a Design Feature

Spending more time at home has shown us the importance of having the right lighting for specific tasks and times of the day. As a result, many homeowners are reconsidering the ways they light their homes and using light fixtures to change the usability and mood of their spaces.5

In particular, homeowners are rejecting bright, flat overhead lighting and replacing it with lamps and task-specific options. A layered approach to lighting—such as using a combination of under-cabinet, task, and ambient lighting in a kitchen—enables homeowners to tweak the level of light they’re using based on the time of day and what they are doing.

In 2023, we expect to see more statement chandeliers, pendants, and wall sconces in a variety of shapes and materials.6 Thinking about switching up the lighting in your home? Start by adding floor or table lamps and swapping out fixtures before you invest in rewiring your space. Take note of what works and what doesn’t and watch how the light in your home changes throughout the day. You can then use that information to make lighting decisions that require a bigger investment.



4.More Vibrant Color Palettes

After the long dominance of whites and grays, more vibrant colors are coming back as a way to add character and dimension to homes.

This year, warm and earthy neutrals, jewel tones, and shades of red and pink are particularly popular.7,8 If your style tends toward the subtle, consider options like light, calming greens, blues, and pastels.

Major paint brands have responded to these homeowner preferences with their newest releases. Benjamin Moore’s 2023 color of the year, Raspberry Blush, is a lively shade of pinkish coral, while Sherwin William is embracing warm neutrals with Redend Point, a blushing beige.9,10 Behr’s choice of the year, Blank Canvas, is a creamy off-white that’s a warmer version of the stark whites that have been trending over the past few years.11

If you’re planning to put your home on the market soon, it’s better to play on the safer side and avoid extremely bold or bright color choices when it comes to paint or fixed finishes like tile and countertops. Instead, try incorporating pops of color through throw pillows, art, and accessories.



5.Curved Furniture and Architectural Accents

Goodbye, sharp corners. In 2023, arches and curves lend a sleek feel that draws on classical design and retro trends while remaining modern.5,8 Rounded corners feel more relaxed and natural than sharp edges, lending more of a sense of flow and comfort to a home.

If you want to incorporate the trend into your new build or remodeling plans, curved kitchen islands and bars and arched alcoves are all good options—or you can take it a step further with arched windows and doorways. You can also carry this trend through to your light fixtures by incorporating a bubble chandelier or globe pendants.

It’s easy to embrace this look without renovations, too. Look for a softer feel in furniture, with sofas, chairs, and tables that showcase curved edges. Or, break up your space with an arched folding screen and a circular rug.



6.Art Deco Revival

Art Deco, the architecture and design style that took hold in the 1920s and ’30s, is enjoying a resurgence.12

As a style, Art Deco is marked by bold geometry, textures, and colors, as well as an emphasis on art. But the 2023 interpretation of this style is likely to be a bit less splashy than its historical roots. Designers predict that instead of incorporating all of the elements of the style, which could feel overwhelming, homeowners will pick bursts of color or bold accessories to bring some whimsy to their space.

Keep an eye out for vintage mirrors, lamps, or vases that bring a touch of Art Deco glam to your home, or embrace bold colors and fabrics like velvet. Choose pillows and throw blankets in bright colors and geometric patterns to nod to the look without diving in all the way.



Are you thinking about remodeling or making significant design changes to your home? Wondering how those changes might impact your future resale value?

Buyer preferences vary significantly based on your home’s neighborhood and price range. We’re happy to share our insights on the upgrades that will make it easier (or more difficult!) to sell your home. Give us a call for a free consultation!


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. US News and World Report –
  2. Architectural Digest –
  1. Insider –
  1. Houzz –
  1. The Spruce –
  1. The Spruce –
  1. The Spruce –
  2. Good Housekeeping –
  1. Benjamin Moore –
  2. Sherwin Williams –
  3. Behr –
  4. The Spruce –
Real Estate Article November 26, 2022

7 Tips to Maximize Your Home’s Sale Price

Are you considering selling your home?  Before listing your home, talk with a reputable realtor, and read these 7 tips to maximize your home’s sale price.

There has been a real estate buying frenzy over the past few years that has driven up home prices to eye-popping levels. Due to rising mortgage rates, buyer demand has cooled. 1 As a result, home sellers entering today’s market may have to reset their expectations.

You can’t just stick a “for sale” sign in the yard and wait for buyers to knock on the door. An effective game plan and a skilled team of professionals are necessary to get the most out of your property in today’s market.

To help you get top dollar for your home, we’ve developed a listing strategy that combines our proven approach to preparation, pricing, and marketing. However, you will also have an important role during the selling process.

In this market, you can set yourself up for success by following these steps:


No. 1 of the 7 Tips to Maximize Your Home’s Sale Price: Make Strategic Repairs and Improvements


Whenever you sell something, it’s important to consider your customers’ needs. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 6% of buyers are looking for a DIY fixer-upper. 2Most buyers want a move-in-ready home, so if there are any outstanding repairs or dated features, it can turn them off. 

Before your home goes on the market, we will do a walk-through of your home with you to identify any issues that could deter potential buyers. In some cases, we may recommend a professional pre-listing inspection. In the long run, it can pay off to identify and address issues such as leaks, rot, and foundation problems upfront. It also prevents sales from falling through due to red flags on the home inspection, which no seller wants to experience.

Besides repairs, we’ll also help you identify simple upgrades that maximize your investment return. For instance, a fresh coat of paint can give your home a new look at a reasonable price. It’s important, however, to choose the right colors. According to one study, painting your bathroom blue could result in a 1.6% increase in the offer price! 3 Landscaping improvements can also pay off in a big way. A healthy lawn offers an estimated 256% return on investment.4


No. 2: Declutter and Depersonalize 


You should declutter and depersonalize your home to maximize your home’s sales price.  In looking at homes for sale, buyers try to picture themselves living there. When it’s filled with family photos, children’s artwork, and souvenir collections, that’s hard to do. In addition, cluttered homes look smaller and feel dated.

After all, you’ll have to move all your things to your new home eventually, so decluttering before you list your house for sale will help you in the long run. It’s time to shred, digitize, or organize old documents, donate old clothes, or move bulky furniture into storage. Pack away excess items neatly before potential buyers view the house. Remove personal photos and other trinkets to create a blank canvas that viewers can decorate with their treasures.

We would be happy to provide recommendations or point you to local service providers who can assist you with this process if you feel overwhelmed.


No.3 of the 7 Tips to Maximize Your Home’s Sale Price: Stage Your Home for Success


A home should always look its best for potential buyers, just as you would dress professionally for a job interview. Nowadays, home shoppers are used to scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest and want to see the same wow factor when they tour a house.

Making your home look its best and attracting prospective buyers is called staging, and it can make all the difference. According to the International Association of Home Staging Professionals, an average-priced staged home sells 5 to 11 times faster than its unstaged counterpart. Even better, most staged homes sell for 4% to 20% over the list price! 5 

To increase a home’s appeal, some sellers hire a professional stager. Some stage their homes themselves. Depending on which route you choose and how much you want to invest, we can help guide you.

It’s also important to consider what buyers in your neighborhood will look for in a home. Our local market insights can help guide your staging choices. One room may be staged as an office in neighborhoods where many residents work from home so potential buyers can sense their everyday routine.


No. 4: Prep for Each Showing


The reality is that most of us don’t live picture-perfect lives, and our homes reflect that (sometimes messy) reality. When your home is on the market, make sure it’s always ready for viewers, even on short notice. Missed showings are missed sales opportunities, have a plan in advance so you’ll know what you need to do to shorten the time to prep your home for each showing.

Consider hiring professional cleaners to get into all the nooks and crannies before you put your home on the market. Keep things spick and span afterward. It only takes a few minutes a day to wipe down counters, sweep the floor, and vacuum. 

Additionally, most buyers will open cabinets, drawers, and closets, so make sure everything is neat and organized. Secure valuables and sensitive documents in a safe or off-site, and keep toiletries off counters. 

Do you need help finding a cleaning service to make your house shine for buyers? Don’t hesitate to reach out!


No. 5 of the 7 Tips to Maximize Your Home’s Sale Price: Price Your Home Correctly From the Start 


This is a MUST and probably the most important of the 7 tips to maximize your home’s sales price.

Recently, you may have seen homes in your neighborhood selling for shocking amounts and wondered if you could get a similar price for your home. It’s tempting to overprice your home, but it’s best to be realistic from the start. Some homes sit on the market for months, even in a hot market. And the longer a property is listed, the more buyers worry that something is wrong with it.6

Similarly, you don’t want to set your price too low and lose out on potential profit. This is why it’s important to work with real estate professionals (like us!) who understand the local market and what buyers are willing to pay. When the market is rapidly evolving, comparable sales from a few months ago may not reflect the current market conditions. 

Your home is likely worth much more today than you paid for it if you’ve owned it for several years. As a result, you stand to make a handsome profit. In fact, recent reports show that homeowner equity is at an all-time high.7


Nol 6: Avoid Acting on Emotion


Sellers have come to expect certain things after years of over-asking-price offers with few contingencies. If an offer is lower than what you believe your home is worth, it’s only natural to feel hurt or offended. 

It’s important to remember that those market conditions were unprecedented, and we are now returning to more typical conditions. In order to maximize their success, home sellers must act rationally rather than emotionally.

If a low offer is made to you, you can always counter it. Everything is negotiable, including repair requests and contingencies. As the market adjusts, it’s important to remain flexible. Be open-minded and keep your expectations reasonable. Every step of the way, we’ll be by your side to help you navigate the process and negotiate a great deal for you.


No. 7 of the 7 Tips to Maximize Your Home’s Sale Price: Work With a Local Market Expert


This is the second most important of the 7 steps to maximize your home’s sale price. There may be national economic factors affecting mortgage rates, but real estate markets are hyperlocal. That’s why it’s so important to work with an agent who knows the dynamics of your neighborhood. In this market, we’re able to position your home for success based on our experience. Additionally, we have the resources to connect you with qualified buyers. 

Working with a knowledgeable agent is also important if you want to maximize the value of your home. To price and market your property, we will use extensive data on recent sales in your neighborhood. This is one reason why homes sold by agents command higher prices than those sold by owners alone. While for-sale-by-owner homes went for a median price of $260,000 in 2020, the median for homes sold by agents was $318,000.8 That’s a difference of $58,000—and money you don’t want to leave on the table.




In a fast-changing market, selling a home can be stressful. There’s a good chance you’ll hear conflicting opinions from people in your life, and decisions like what color to paint your front door or how much to list your home can be overwhelming.

Our job is to help you with that. Market conditions may change, but they’re still highly advantageous for sellers-and we’re here to help you take advantage of them. We are listing experts in our area, and we know what steps you need to take to ensure a smooth, profitable sale.

We hope that you’ve gotten value from the 7 tips to maximize your home’s sales price and we invite you to schedule a free consultation if you’re considering buying or selling a home. Let’s talk about your situation and goals and identify your next steps. 

The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.



  1. Yahoo! Finance –

  1. National Association of Realtors –

  1. Zillow –

  1. Angi –

  1. International Association of Home Staging Professionals –

  1. Washington Post –

  1. –

8. National Association of Realtors –

Real Estate Article October 11, 2022

Before Buying a Home: 5 Questions to Answer

It’s never easy to decide whether to buy or rent a house, especially if this is your first time buying a house. The best time to explore homeownership may be particularly hard to pinpoint in today’s whirlwind market.  Below are 5 questions to answer before purchasing your first home.  

As a result of the pandemic, home prices reached an all-time high.1   Now, with higher mortgage rates, some would-be buyers wonder if they should wait until the price or rate drops. 

Renting a home seems like a better option, but is it? As a result of housing shortages, rents have also ballooned along with inflation.2 And while homebuyers can lock in a fixed mortgage payment, renters are at the mercy of these rising costs. 

What is the better option for you? When it comes to buying versus renting, there are many factors to consider. It’s a good thing you don’t have to do it alone. We’d be happy to walk you through your options during a free consultation. The following questions may also be helpful to you:



Really consider your options before buying a home.
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash


#1 of Before Buying a Home: 5 Questions to Answer 

How long do I plan to stay in the home? 

If you plan to sell in a short period, buying a home may not be the best choice for you.3 A home may take time to appreciate enough to offset the cost of buying and selling it.

Generally, you’ll find that a home’s value will ride out the ups and downs of a market and appreciate over time.4 The longer you own a property, the more likely you are to benefit from it. 

If you plan to stay in a neighborhood for several years, buying a home can be a better option than renting. As you pay down your mortgage, you’ll not only benefit from appreciation but also build equity – and you’ll have more security and stability. 

Keeping in mind that you will no longer have to make mortgage payments if you plan on staying in the home for the life of the loan. This will result in dramatically lower housing costs and an increase in equity (and net worth).


#2 of Before Buying a Home: 5 Questions to Answer 

Is it a better value to buy or rent in my area? 

Consider buying versus renting if you plan to stay put for at least five years. 

You can evaluate your options by dividing the median home price by the median annual rent price in a neighborhood. The higher the price-to-rent ratio, the more expensive it will be to buy than to rent.5 However, keep in mind that this equation only provides a snapshot of the current market. The long-term effects of rising home values and rent increases may not be accurately accounted for by this model. 

The National Association of Realtors estimates that a typical U.S. homeowner who purchased an existing single-family home 10 years ago would have gained roughly $225,000 in equity.6 

Renters, on the other hand, would have not only missed out on those equity gains but would also have seen U.S. rental prices increase by around 66% during the past decade.7 

Renting may seem like a better deal today, but buying a home might be a better investment in the long run. 

Are you ready to compare your options? Contact us for a free consultation. If you are looking for the best value in your neighborhood, we can assist you in interpreting the numbers.


#3 of Before Buying a Home: 5 Questions to Answer 

Can I afford to be a homeowner? 

To determine whether buying a home is the best value, you’ll need to assess your financial situation. 

Taking a look at your savings is the first step. After the down payment and closing costs are paid, what is left over for ancillary expenses and emergencies? If you don’t have a rainy-day fund, you might be better off waiting. 


Make sure you have plenty in saving for a rainy day after the down payment and closing costs.
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Consider how this will affect your monthly budget

Keep in mind that your monthly mortgage payment won’t be your only expense in the future. The cost of maintenance, repairs, and property taxes may also need to be considered. 

The monthly cost of homeownership can be comparable to that of renting, especially if you make a significant down payment. Since landlords often pass on the extra costs of owning a home to tenants, home ownership may not always be the cheapest option. 

You will also be the one who stands to benefit from your investment, even if you are responsible for the home’s maintenance. A major home upgrade, for example, increases the value of your home as well as making it more pleasant to live in. 

Don’t let financial uncertainty stand between you and your dream of home ownership. Call us today to discuss your goals and budget. Let us help you determine if you can achieve your homeownership dreams by giving you a realistic assessment of your options.


#4 of Before Buying a Home: 5 Questions to Answer 

Can I qualify for a mortgage? 

When you’re ready to and have settled on buying a home and take on homeownership expenses, you’ll want to find out how likely you are to qualify for a mortgage. 

Each lender will have its own criteria. To determine your ability to repay your mortgage, a creditor will look at your job stability, credit history, and savings. 

A lender, for example, wants to see evidence that your income is stable and predictable. You may need to provide additional documentation if you’re self-employed.  You should also compare your monthly debt payments to your income with lenders to ensure you aren’t overextending yourself financially. 

Additionally, a lender will check your credit report to ensure you have a history of making your payments on time. Your chances of obtaining a competitive rate are generally better the higher your credit score. 

Pre-approval for a mortgage is always a good idea before you start house hunting, regardless of your circumstances. Please let us know if you are interested, and we will recommend a mortgage broker or loan officer who can assist you.


Want to learn more about applying for a mortgage? Reach out to request a copy of our report: 8 Strategies to Secure a Lower Mortgage Rate


# 5 of Before Buying a Home: 5 Questions to Answer

How would owning a home change my life? 

Aside from long-term financial benefits, you should consider how homeownership will affect your life before you begin the preapproval process. 

You should expect to invest more time and energy when you own a home than when you rent. Upkeep can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you buy a fixer-upper or overdo your DIY projects. For example, if you have only lived in an apartment, you may be surprised at how much time it takes to maintain a lawn. 

The chance to tinker in your own garden, make HGTV-inspired improvements, or play with your dog in a big backyard might appeal to you. If you’re a more social person, you might enjoy hosting family gatherings or attending block parties. 

In general, owning a home allows you to do whatever you want with it – even if that means painting your walls fiesta red one month and eggplant purple the next. 

As with the home, the choice is yours. 


Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash 


In your lifetime, you will make many important decisions, including whether to buy or rent a home. By comparing your options based on real-time market data, we can help you make the right decision. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, please feel free to contact us for a customized consultation. If you have any questions, please let us know. We are happy to answer them.


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.




  1. CNN –
  1. NPR –
  2. Bankrate –
  1. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis –
  1. National Association of REALTORS –
  2. National Association of REALTORS –
  1. Statista –
Real Estate Article September 8, 2022

8 Strategies to Secure a Low Mortgage Rate

In this current market, these eight strategies will help you secure a low mortgage rate.


With inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty, mortgage rates have fluctuated this year. Even experts disagree on where rates will go next..1

Some homebuyers and sellers have found this climate unsettling. If you plan carefully, you can qualify for the best mortgage rates available today – and eventually refinance at a lower rate.


A higher Mortgage Rate means a higher payment with more $$ going towards paying interest and less towards the principal.


What are the benefits of a lower mortgage rate? The average new mortgage size in the United States is around $410,000.2 Let’s compare a 5.0% versus a 6.0% fixed interest rate on that amount over 30 years.


Mortgage Rate
(30-year fixed)
Monthly Payment on $410,000 Loan
(excludes taxes, insurance, etc.)
Difference in Monthly Payment Total Interest Over 30 Years Difference in Interest
5.0% $2,200.97 $382,348.72
6.0% $2,458.16 + $257.19 $474,936.58 + $92,587.86


You would pay approximately $2,201 per month with a 5% interest rate. At 6%, those payments would rise to $2,458, or around $257 more. The difference over the life of the loan is almost $92,600. Saving just one percentage point on your mortgage could result in nearly $100K in savings.

How can you increase your chances of securing a low mortgage rate? Here are eight strategies to try:


Strategy #1. Raise your credit score.

Higher credit scores are viewed by lenders as “less risky,” so they are offered lower interest rates. If you don’t know your credit score, check with your bank or credit card company to see if they offer free access to it. If not, you can use both free and paid credit monitoring services.

If your credit score is low, you can take steps to improve it, including:4

  • Make sure your credit reports are accurate and correct any errors that can affect your score. Visit for free access to reports.
  • Reduce revolving debt. Credit card balances and home equity lines of credit fall under this category.
  • It is best not to close old credit card accounts that are still in good standing. As a result, your credit score may be lowered as a result of shorter credit history and a smaller credit limit.
  • Pay your bills on time in the future. Your credit score is heavily influenced by your payment history, so pay attention to it.
  • Be careful not to apply for credit too many times to avoid causing your score to be affected. You can minimize the impact of multiple car loan or mortgage applications by limiting the period between applications to 14 to 45 days.5

Your credit score should rise over time, which will help you get a low mortgage rate.


Strategy #2. Keep steady employment.

It might not be the best time to make a major career change when you are preparing to buy a home. Your borrower eligibility may be affected by frequent job changes or gaps in your résumé.

Mortgage lenders typically evaluate your employment and income over the last 24 months.5 If you earn a steady paycheck, you may qualify for a lower interest rate. Your loan application will be more likely to be approved if you have a stable employment history.

Changing jobs doesn’t automatically disqualify you from buying a home. Your home-buying plans could be thrown off by certain moves, like switching from W-2 to 1099 income.6


Strategy to Secure a Lower Mortgage Rate #3. Lower your debt-to-income ratios.

Your debt payments will worry lenders even if your credit score is high and you have a great job. Here’s where your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) comes into play.

There are two types of DTI ratios:7

  1. Front-end ratio — Your debt payments will worry lenders even if your credit score is high and you have a great job. Here’s where your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) comes into play.
  2. Back-end ratio — How much of your gross monthly income will cover ALL debt obligations (housing expenses, credit cards, student loans, and other debt)?

How do you determine a good DTI ratio? Lenders typically want to see a front-end DTI ratio of no more than 28% and a back-end ratio of no more than 36%.7

In order to lower your DTI ratios, you can purchase a less expensive home or increase your down payment. Paying down your existing debt can also reduce your back-end ratio. Your DTI ratio will also be reduced if you increase your monthly income.


Strategy #4. Increase your down payment.

There are different minimum down payment requirements for different types of loans. It is possible, however, to qualify for a lower mortgage rate if you make a larger down payment.8

What is the purpose of lenders caring about the size of your down payment? Homeowners with significant equity are less likely to default on their mortgages. Therefore, conventional lenders often require borrowers who put down less than 20% to buy private mortgage insurance (PMI).


It may be a challenge, but if you can put in a higher down payment you will get a low mortgage rate.


By taking out a smaller loan, you’ll also save on overall borrowing costs and reduce your monthly mortgage payment. Make sure you have enough cash on hand to cover closing costs, moving expenses, and any furniture you’ll need to settle in.


Strategy #5. Compare loan types.

Mortgages are not all the same. Depending on your qualifications and circumstances, the loan type you choose may save (or cost) you money.

Here are a few types of loans available in the U.S. today:9

  • Conventional — These mortgages offer lower interest rates but require a higher credit score and down payment.
  • FHA — Government-backed loans are easier to qualify for, but have higher interest rates.
  • Specialty — If you meet certain requirements, you may be eligible for specialty loans, such as VA or USDA loans.
  • Jumbo — Loans above the local conforming loan limit are subject to stricter requirements and may have higher interest rates and fees.10

You should also consider the pros and cons of a fixed-rate versus a variable-rate mortgage:11

  • A fixed-rate mortgage guarantees the same interest rate for the entire term of the loan. Traditionally, these have been the most popular type of mortgage in the U.S. because they offer stability and predictability.
  • Adjustable rate — An adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, has a lower introductory rate than a fixed-rate mortgage, but the rate can increase after a few years.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, 10% of American homebuyers now choose ARMs, up from just 4% at the start of the year.12 An ARM might be a good option if you plan to sell your home before the rate resets. Even so, life is unpredictable, so it’s important to weigh the benefits and risks.


Strategy to Secure a Lower Mortgage Rate #6. Shorten your mortgage term.

The term of a mortgage agreement refers to the duration of the agreement. Most homebuyers choose 30-year terms, but if you want to minimize your interest payments, consider 15-year or 20-year terms.13

The risk of default is lower with shorter loan terms, so lenders usually offer lower interest rates.13 However, since you’ll be making fewer payments, your monthly mortgage payment will be higher. If you are considering a shorter term, ensure that you have enough room in your budget to comfortably make the larger payment.


Strategy #7. Get quotes from multiple lenders.

Compare the interest rates and fees of several lenders when shopping for a mortgage. For the type of loan and term length you want, one institution may offer a better deal than another.

Mortgage brokers are sometimes used by borrowers. You can get quotes from them and compare them to find the best deal. To compare recommendations and fees, speak with more than one broker if you use a broker.14

When you’re new to the home-buying process, we can be a valuable resource in finding a lender. Our team can help you find the right loan officer or broker after a consultation to discuss your financing needs.


Shop around for the best mortgage or mortgage type for you.  Have the banks fight over your business.  It will help you get a low mortgage rate.



Strategy to Secure a Lower Mortgage Rate #8. Consider mortgage points.

If you have a great interest rate on your mortgage, you can lower it even further by paying for points. If you have the means, paying points will give you a low mortgage rate.  Mortgage points, or discount points, are essentially upfront fees you pay your lender in exchange for a lower interest rate. A point costs 1% of your mortgage amount. Your mortgage rate will decrease by a set amount for each point you buy, typically by 0.25%.15.  Points will cost you money upfront, but you will save money over time.

You should only buy mortgage points if you intend to stay in the home long enough to recoup the costs. Calculate the breakeven point for a mortgage by dividing the cost by the amount saved each month.15 This can help you decide if mortgage points are a good investment.


If nothing else, you can decide whether you should buy a house now or keep renting.  Read our article on this here to help you decide.


Getting Started

 As a result of the pandemic, we are no longer seeing the low, rock-bottom mortgage rates we saw during the height of the crisis. However, today’s 30-year fixed rates remain below the historical average of around 8% – and well below the all-time peak of 18.45% in 1981.16, 17

Even though higher mortgage rates have made home financing more expensive, they have also eliminated some of the competition. Consequently, buyers, today have more homes to choose from, fewer bidding wars, and more sellers willing to negotiate or offer incentives such as cash toward closing costs.

You shouldn’t let concerns about mortgage rates stop you from buying a home if you’re ready and able. In reality, many economists predict home prices will continue to rise.18 Therefore, you may be better off buying now at a slightly higher rate than waiting a few years and paying more. In the event that mortgage rates decline, you can refinance, but it won’t make up for the lost years of equity growth.

You’ll see a difference in your monthly payments if you follow these 8 strategies to lower your mortgage rate.

To learn more about buying or selling a home, schedule a free consultation with us. Let us help you navigate this shifting market and achieve your real estate goals!



  1. Washington Post –
  2. Trading Economics –
  3. NerdWallet –
  4. org –
  5. The Balance –
  6. Time –
  7. Bankrate –
  8. NerdWallet –
  9. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau –
  10. NerdWallet –
  11. Bankrate –
  12. MarketWatch –
  13. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau –
  14. Federal Trade Commission –
  15. Bankrate –
  16. CNBC –
  17. Rocket Mortgage –
  18. MarketWatch –
Real Estate Article August 8, 2022

10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA

10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA! The process of buying a new home can be both exhilarating and exhausting. But the journey doesn’t stop when you close on your property. On the contrary, you still have quite a bit to do before you can begin the process of settling into your new place.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything in a day. You don’t have to do it all alone, either. When you work with us to sell or purchase a home, you’ll have an ally by your side long after your transaction has closed. We’ll continue to be a resource, offering advice and referrals whenever you need them on packing, hiring movers and contractors, and acclimating to your new home and neighborhood.

When it comes to a life event as stressful as moving, it pays to have a professional by your side. Here are some of our favorite pro tips to share with clients as they prepare for an upcoming move.


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #1. Watch out for moving scams.


Maybe you receive a flyer from a local moving company in the mail in Sacramento CA. Perhaps you find a mover online. Either way, never assume that you’re getting accurate information. According to the Better Business Bureau, moving-related fraud is on the rise. In 2021 alone, individuals and families reported more than $730,000 lost to moving scams, an increase of 216% over the previous year.1

How can you tell if a moving deal is too good to be true? Trust your instincts. If the price appears too low or you can’t pin down the mover’s physical business address, try someone else. The same goes for any moving company representative who dodges questions. Reputable movers should offer transparent pricing, conduct in-home estimates, and provide referrals and copies of their insurance documents upon request.2 For help finding trustworthy movers, reach out. We’d be happy to share our recommendations.


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #2. Insure your belongings.

In our 10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento Ca blog post, this one could have been #1.  Your moving company promises to take care of your custom piano or your antique furniture. But don’t just take their word for it. Ask to see how much insurance they carry and talk about how the claims process works. That way, you’ll know what is (and isn’t) covered in case of loss or damage.

Of course, some items are priceless because they’re irreplaceable. You might want to move your more sensitive valuables (jewelry, documents, family heirlooms, etc.) in your own vehicle just to be safe. For added peace of mind, call your rental or home insurance provider if you’re moving anything yourself. You might already be protected or be able to purchase extra insurance to cover your move. If those options are unavailable, you could opt for moving insurance from a third-party carrier.3


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #3. Start packing when you start looking for a new home.


As soon as your house hunting begins in earnest, think about packing away things you won’t need for the next few months. These could include seasonal or holiday decor, clothing, and books. Tackling just one or two boxes a day will give you a head start.

If you’re going to put your current home on the market, you’ll want to declutter anyway. Decluttering will make your home seem larger, and depersonalizing helps buyers envision their own items in the space. Consider selling, donating, or throwing out possessions you no longer need. The things you want to keep can be placed in storage until you officially start moving to a new place.

You don’t have to do it all at once.  Just do one room at a time for 15 to 30 minutes a day.


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #4. Pack to make unpacking easier.


Have you ever opened a packed box only to find that it’s filled with an assortment of items that don’t belong together? This isn’t efficient and will only make unpacking harder. A better way to pack is to bundle items from a single room in a labeled box. Labels can let movers know (and remind you) where to place each box, whether it’s fragile, and which side needs to be up. Some people like to assign colors to each room in their new home to make distributing color-coded boxes a breeze.

Feel free to unleash your inner organizer with this project. For example, you could create a spreadsheet and assign each box a number. As boxes are packed, simply fill in the spreadsheet with a list of contents. Anyone with access to the spreadsheet can log in and quickly find the desired item.


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #5. Think outside the box when transporting clothes.


Who wants to worry about boxing up clothes? If you plan on hiring professional movers, ask if you can leave clothing in your dressers. In many cases, they will use plastic to wrap the dresser, so the drawers don’t fall out during transport. If keeping your clothes in your furniture makes it too heavy, the movers might be able to wrap and move drawers by themselves.

Another easy transport trick in your home move in Sacramento CA involves turning clean garbage bags into garment bags. Poke a hole in the bottom of a garbage bag, turn the bag upside down, slide it over five to seven garments on hangers, and lay the items flat in the back seat or trunk of your vehicle. The bags will help prevent wrinkling, and your clothes will be ready to hang up when you get to your new home.


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #6. Document prior to disassembling appliances and furnishings.

Few things are as confusing as looking at a plastic baggie filled with nuts, bolts, and screws from your disassembled dining room table or sorting through a box of electrical wires and cords to see which ones fit your TV.

The best workaround to easier reassembly is to document the disassembly process. Take photos and videos or thorough notes as you go. Whether it’s your headboard or treadmill, be very precise. And just a tip: Construct your beds first when you get to your new home. After a long moving day, the very last thing you want is to be assembling beds into the wee hours of the morning.


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #7. Prioritize unpacking kids’ rooms.


Children can become very stressed by a big move. To ease their transition, consider prioritizing unpacking their rooms as their “safe zones.”4 You aren’t obligated to unpack everything, certainly. However, set up your children’s rooms to be functional. That way, your kids can hang out in a private oasis away from the chaos while you’re running around and moving everything else.

Depending upon how old your youngsters are, you might want to give them decorating leeway, too. Even if it’s just letting them choose where furniture goes, it gives them a sense of buy-in. This can help ease the blues of leaving a former home they loved.


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #8. Be a thoughtful pet parent.

Many types of pets can’t handle the commotion of moving day. Knowing this, be considerate and seek ways to give your pets breaks from the action. You might ask a friend to pet sit your pooch or keep your kitty in a quieter room, like a guest bathroom.

Be sure to check in on your pet frequently. Pets like to know that you’re around. Give them treats, food, and water throughout the day. When it’s time to transport your pet, do it calmly. At your new property, give your pet access to just a room or two at first. Pets typically prefer to acclimate themselves slowly to unfamiliar environments.5


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #9. Plan for your move like you’re planning for an exciting vacation.


When you plan vacations, you probably look up local restaurants, shops, and recreational areas. Who says you can’t do the same thing when moving? Create a list of all the places you want to go and things you want to do around your newly purchased home. Having a to-explore list keeps everyone’s spirits high and gives you starting points to settle into the neighborhood.

And don’t feel that you have to cook that first night. Once the moving trucks are gone, you can always pop over to a local eatery or order DoorDash for major convenience. The first meal in your new home should be a happy, welcoming treat. And if you’re relocating to our neck of the woods, we would love to introduce you to all the hot spots in town and recommend our local favorites.


10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA #10. Pack an “Open Me First!” box.


In our 10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA, this one is such a great tip.  You won’t be able to unpack all your boxes in one day, but you shouldn’t go without your sheets, pillows, or toothbrush. Designate some boxes with “Open Me First!” labels. (Pro tip: Keep a tool kit front and center for all that reassembling.)

Along these lines, use luggage and duffel bags to transport everyone’s personal must-have items and enough clothing for a couple of days. That way, you won’t have to rummage through everything in the middle of your move looking for sneakers or snacks.

When packing your “Open Me First!” boxes, think about which items you’ll need in those first 24 hours. For example, toilet paper and hand soap are musts. A box cutter will make unpacking a lot easier, and paper towels and trash bags are sure to come in handy. Reach out for a complete, printable list of “Open Me First!” box essentials to keep on hand for your next move!



Getting the phone call from your real estate agent that your bid was accepted is a thrilling moment. Make sure you keep the positivity flowing during the following weeks by mapping out a streamlined, efficient move and following the 10 Pro Tips for a Smooth Home Move in Sacramento CA. Feel free to get in touch with us today to help make your big move your best move.





  1. Better Business Bureau –
  2. org –
  3. Forbes –
  4. New York Times –
  5. ASPCA –
Real Estate Article July 7, 2022

7 Costly Mistakes Home Sellers Make (And How to Avoid Them)

No matter what’s going on in the housing market, the process of selling a home can be challenging. Some sellers have a hard time saying goodbye to a treasured family residence. Others want to skip ahead to the fun of decorating and settling into a new place. Almost all sellers want to make the most money possible.

Whatever your circumstances, the road to the closing table can be riddled with obstacles — from issues with showings and negotiations to inspection surprises. But many of these complications are avoidable when you have a skilled and knowledgeable real estate agent by your side.

For example, here are seven common mistakes that many home sellers make. These can cause anxiety, cost you time, and shrink your financial proceeds. Fortunately, we can help you avert these missteps and set you up for a successful and low-stress selling experience.


MISTAKE #1: Setting an Unrealistic Price

Many sellers believe that pricing their homes high and waiting for the “right buyers” to come along will net them the most money. However, overpriced homes often sit on the market with little activity, which can be the kiss of death in real estate — and result in an inevitable price drop.1

Alternatively, if you price your home at (or sometimes slightly below) market value, it can be among the nicest that buyers see within their budgets. This can increase your likelihood of receiving multiple offers.2

To help you set a realistic price from the start, we will do a comparative market analysis, or CMA. This integral piece of research will help us determine an ideal listing price based on the amount that similar properties have recently sold for in your area.

Without this data, you risk pricing your home too high (and getting no offers) or too low (and leaving money on the table). We can help you find that sweet spot that will draw in buyers without undercutting your profits.


MISTAKE #2: Trying to Time the Market

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “Buy low and sell high.” But when it comes to real estate, that’s easier said than done.

Delaying your home sale until prices have hit their peak may sound like a great idea. But sellers should keep these factors in mind:

  1. Predicting the market with certainty is nearly impossible.
  2. If you wait to buy your next home, its price could increase as well. This may erode any additional proceeds from your sale.
  3. If mortgage rates are rising, your pool of potential buyers could shrink — and you would have to pay more to finance your next purchase.

Instead of trying to time the market, choose your ideal sales timeline. This may be based on factors like your personal financial situation, shifting family dynamics, or the seasonal patterns in your neighborhood. We can help you figure out the best time to sell given your individual circumstances.


MISTAKE #3: Failing to Address Needed Repairs

Many sellers hope that buyers won’t notice their leaky faucet or broken shutters during home showings. But minor issues like these can leave buyers worrying about more serious — and costly — problems lurking out of sight.

Even if you do receive an offer, there’s a high likelihood that the buyer will hire a professional home inspector, who will flag any defects in their report. Neglecting to address a major issue could lead buyers to ask for costly repairs, money back, or worse yet, walk away from the purchase altogether.

To avoid these types of disruptions, it’s important to make necessary renovations before your home hits the market. We can help you decide which repairs and updates are worth your time and investment. In some cases, we may recommend a professional pre-listing inspection.

This extra time and attention can help you avoid potential surprises down the road and identify any major structural, system, or cosmetic faults that could impact a future sale.3


MISTAKE #4:  Neglecting to Stage Your Home

Staging is the act of preparing your home for potential buyers. The goal is to “set the stage” to help buyers envision themselves living in your home. Some sellers opt to skip this step, but that mistake can cost them time and money in the long run. A 2021 survey by the Real Estate Staging Association found that, on average, staged homes sold nine days faster and for $40,000 over list price.4

Indoors, staging could include everything from redecorating, painting, or rearranging your furniture pieces to removing personal items, decluttering, and deep cleaning. Outdoors, you might focus on power washing, planting flowers, or hanging a wreath on the front door.

You may not need to do all these tasks, but almost every home can benefit from some form of staging. Before your home hits the market, we can refer you to a professional stager or offer our insights and suggestions if you prefer the do-it-yourself route.


MISTAKE #5: Evaluating Offers on Price Alone

When reviewing offers, most sellers focus on one thing: the offer price. While dollar value is certainly important, a high-priced offer is worthless if the deal never reaches the closing table. That’s why it’s important to consider other factors in addition to the offer price, such as:

  • Financing and buyer qualifications
  • Deposit size
  • Contract contingencies
  • Closing date
  • Leaseback options

Depending on your circumstances, some of these factors may or may not be important to you. For example, if you’re still shopping for your next home, you might place a high premium on an offer that allows for a flexible closing date or leaseback option.

Buyers and their agents are focused on crafting deals that work well for them. We can help you assess your needs and goals to select an offer that works best for you.


MISTAKE #6: Acting on Emotion Instead of Reason

It’s only natural to grow emotionally attached to your home. That’s why so many sellers end up feeling hurt or offended at some point during the selling process. Low offers can feel like insults. Repair requests can feel like judgments. And whatever you do — don’t listen in on showings through your security monitoring system. Chances are, some buyers won’t like your decor choices, either!

However, it’s a huge mistake to ruin a great selling opportunity because you refuse to counter a low offer or negotiate minor repairs. Instead, try to keep a cool head and be willing to adjust reasonably to make the sale. We can help you weigh your decisions and provide rational advice with your best interests in mind.


MISTAKE #7: Not Hiring an Agent

There’s a good reason 90% of homeowners choose to sell with the help of a real estate agent. Homes listed by agents sold for 22% more than the average for-sale-by-owner home, according to a recent study by the National Association of Realtors.5

Selling a home on your own may seem like an easy way to save money. But in reality, there is a steep learning curve. And a listing agent can:

  • Skip past time-consuming problems
  • Use market knowledge to get the best price
  • Access contacts and networks to speed up the selling process

If you choose to work with a listing agent, you’ll save significant time and effort while minimizing your personal risk and liability. And the increased profits realized through a more effective marketing and negotiation strategy could more than make up for the cost of your agent’s commission.

We can navigate the ins and outs of the housing market for you and make your selling process as stress-free as possible. You may even end up with an offer for your home that’s better than you expected.



Your home selling journey doesn’t have to be hard. When you hire us as your listing agent, we’ll develop a customized sales plan to help you get top dollar for your home without any undue risk, stress, or aggravation. If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, reach out today to schedule a free consultation and home value assessment.



  1. The Washington Post –
  2. com –
  3. American Society of Home Inspectors –
  4. Real Estate Staging Association –
  5. National Association of Realtors –
Real Estate Article June 1, 2022

Higher Rates and Short Supply: The State of Real Estate in 2022

Higher Rates and Short Supply: The State of Real Estate in 2022.  The last two years caught many of us off guard—and not just because of the pandemic. They also ushered in the hottest housing market on record, with home prices rising nationally by nearly 19% in 2021, driven primarily by low mortgage rates and a major supply shortage.1

But while some had hoped 2022 would bring a return to normalcy, the U.S. real estate market continues to boom, despite rising interest rates and decreasing affordability.

So what’s driving this persistent demand? And is there an end in sight?

Here are three factors impacting the real estate market right now. Find out how they could affect you if you’re a current homeowner or plan to buy or sell a home this year.



Over the past couple of years, homebuyers have faced intense competition for new homes—in part due to historically low mortgage rates that were a result of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep the economy afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in response to a concerning level of inflation, the Fed is now reversing those efforts by raising the federal funds rate. And as a result, mortgage rates are rising, as well. Few experts predicted, though, that mortgage rates would go up as quickly as they have.

In January 2022, the Mortgage Bankers Association projected that rates would reach 4% by the end of this year.2 By mid-April, however, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate had already hit 5%, up from around 3% just one year prior.3 On a $400,000 mortgage, that 2% difference could translate into an additional $461 per monthly payment.

Since then, mortgage rates have continued on an upward trend. So what impact are these rising rates having on demand? While many buyers had hoped for a cooling effect, experts warn that may not be the case.

Ali Wolf, chief economist at housing market research firm Zanda, told Fortune magazine, “Rising mortgage rates are having a counterintuitive effect on the housing market. Home shoppers are actually sprung into action in an attempt to buy a home before mortgage rates rise any higher.”4

Since inventory remains low, the resulting “race” has kept the homebuying market highly competitive–at least for now.


What does it mean for you?

While current 30-year fixed mortgage rates represent an increase over previous months, they remain well below the historical average of 8%.5 As inflation across the economy continues, the Fed is likely to raise rates further this year. Buyers should act fast to secure a good mortgage rate. We’d be happy to refer you to a lender who can help.

For sellers, speed is also of the essence. The pool of potential buyers may shrink as mortgages become more expensive. And if you plan to finance your next home, you’ll want to act quickly to secure a favorable rate for yourself. Contact us today to discuss your options.



History shows that higher interest rates don’t necessarily translate to lower home prices. In fact, home prices rose 5% between 1980 and 1982, a period of significantly higher mortgage rates and inflation.5

Forecasters expect that home prices will continue to go up throughout 2022, though likely at a slower pace than the 18.8% increase of the last 12 months.4 Bank of America predicts that prices will be up approximately 10% by the end of this year, while Fannie Mae estimates 11.2%.6,7

In addition to limited supply and a race to beat rising mortgage rates, home values are also climbing because of positive economic indicators, like low unemployment.8 Plus, rents are soaring–up 17% from a year ago–which is prompting more first-time homebuyers to enter the market.9 Add to that the continued popularity of remote work, and it’s easy to see why property prices continue to surge.

However, it’s not all bad news for prospective homebuyers. Economists expect that as mortgage rates rise, the rate of appreciation will continue to taper, though the effect may be gradual.

“Eventually mortgage rates will slow down home prices,” according to Ken Johnson, an economist at Florida Atlantic University interviewed by Marketwatch.10 “We should not see rapid upticks in prices as mortgage rates rise.” Forecasters agree—Fannie Mae expects price increases to slow to 4.2% in 2023.7


What does it mean for you?

While the pace of appreciation is likely to decrease next year, home prices show no signs of going down. However, current labor shortages are leading to higher salaries and better job opportunities for many workers. You may find that your income growth outpaces home prices, making homeownership more affordable for you in the future.

For homeowners, the outlook’s even brighter. You could find yourself sitting on a nice pile of equity. Contact us for a free home value assessment to find out.



As noted, one of the largest hurdles to homeownership is a lack of inventory. According to a February 2022 report by, there’s an expanding gap between household formation and home construction, which has resulted in a nationwide shortage of 5.8 million housing units.11

The origins of this shortage date back to the 2008 housing crisis, during which crashing home values led contractors to stop building new properties—a trend that has not been fully reversed.12

That decline in home construction also resulted in a decrease in the number of home building professionals, a trend that was exacerbated by job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many builders are limited by their ability to find qualified labor.

Another major challenge is a staggering increase in the cost of materials. Pandemic-related supply chain shortages have been a significant driver, with home building material costs rising on average 20% on a year-over-year basis. The price of framing lumber alone has tripled since August 2021.13

These trends add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical home. Factors like a lack of buildable land in many areas, restrictive zoning, and a shortage of developers are also contributing to the issue.14

Most homebuying experts agree that the lack of inventory is the primary factor driving rising housing prices and unprecedented competition for homes. With available housing units near four-decade lows, the end of the current housing boom is not yet in sight.15


What does it mean for you?

Prospective buyers should be prepared to compete for a home, since low inventory can lead to multiple offers. You may also need to expand your search parameters. If you’re ready to look, we’re ready to help.

For sellers, the picture is rosier. In this strong market, your home may be worth more than you realize. Contact us to find out how much your home could sell for in today’s market.



While national real estate trends can provide a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We can help you assess your options and make the most of this unique real estate landscape.



  1. Marketwatch –
  2. Bankrate –
  3. CNBC –
  4. Fortune –
  5. National Association of Realtors –
  6. Fortune –
  7. Fortune –
  8. Fortune –
  9. CNN –
  10. MarketWatch –
  11. com –
  12. NPR –
  13. Investopedia –
  14. NPR –
  15. Fortune –
Real Estate Article May 2, 2022

5 Ways to Write a Winning Offer in Today’s Real Estate Market

Our nation is in the midst of a serious housing crunch. Last year, a lack of inventory and soaring prices left many would-be homebuyers feeling pinched. But now, with interest rates climbing, many of them are also feeling desperate to lock in a mortgage—which has only added fuel to the fire.1


Fortunately, if you’re a buyer struggling to find a home, we have some good news. While it’s true that higher mortgage rates can decrease your purchasing budget, there are additional ways to compete in a hot market.


Yes, a high offer price gets attention. But most sellers consider a variety of factors when evaluating an offer. With that in mind, here are five tactics you can utilize to sweeten your proposal and outshine your competition.


We can help you weigh the risks and benefits of each tactic and craft a compelling offer designed to get you your dream home—without giving away the farm.


1.  Demonstrate Solid Financing

The reality is, no one gets paid if a home sale falls through. That’s why sellers (and their listing agents) favor offers with a high probability of closing.


Sellers particularly love all-cash offers because there’s no chance of financing issues cropping up at the last moment. But don’t despair if you can’t pay cash for your home. According to the National Association of Realtors, only about 1 in 4 home purchases are all-cash deals, which means the vast majority are financed with a mortgage.2


If sellers are assured that financing will come through, buying with a mortgage doesn’t have to be a big disadvantage. The most important step you can take as a buyer is to get preapproved before you start looking for homes. A preapproval letter shows sellers that you are serious about buying and that you will be able to make good on your offer.


It’s also important to consider the reputation of your lender. While sellers may not know or care about a lender’s reputation, their agents often do. Some lenders are much easier to work with than others, especially if you are pursuing certain types of mortgages like FHA or VA loans.3 If so, you’ll want a lender who specializes in these types of mortgages. If you’re unsure who to choose, we are happy to refer you to reputable lenders known for their ease of doing business.


2.  Put Down a Sizeable Deposit

Buyers can show sellers that they’re serious about their offer and have “skin in the game” by putting down a large earnest money deposit.


Earnest money is a deposit held in escrow by a title company or the seller’s broker or lawyer.  If the purchase goes through, it is applied to the down payment and closing costs—if the sale falls through, the buyer may lose some or all of that deposit.


While an earnest money deposit is typically around 1-2% of the sale price, offering a higher deposit can help demonstrate to the buyer that you are serious about the property.4 However, this strategy can also be risky. We can help you determine an appropriate deposit to offer based on your specific circumstances.


3.  Ask for Few (or No) Contingencies

Most real estate offers include contingencies, which are clauses that allow one or both parties to back out of the agreement if certain conditions are not met. These contingencies appear in the purchase agreement and must be accepted by both the buyer and seller to be legally binding.5


Common contingencies include:

  • Financing: A financing contingency gives the buyer a window of time in which to secure a mortgage. If they are unable to do so, they can withdraw from the purchase and the seller can move on to other buyers.
  • Inspection: An inspection contingency gives the buyer the opportunity to have the home professionally inspected for issues with the structure, wiring, plumbing, etc. Typically, the seller may choose whether or not to remediate those issues; if they do not, the buyer may withdraw from the contract.
  • Appraisal: Most lenders will not offer a mortgage on a home that costs more than it’s worth. An appraisal contingency gives the buyer an opportunity to get the home professionally assessed to ensure that its value is at or above the sales price. If an appraisal comes in low, the seller may be asked to renegotiate the contract.
  • Sale of a prior home: Some buyers cannot afford to purchase a new home until they sell their previous one. If the buyer is unable to sell their current home within a specified window of time, this contingency enables them to withdraw from the contract without penalty.


Since contingencies reduce the likelihood that a sale will go through, they generally make an offer less desirable to the seller. The more contingencies that are included, the weaker the offer becomes. Therefore, buyers in a competitive market often volunteer to waive certain contingencies.


However, it’s very important to make this decision carefully and recognize the risks of doing so. For example, a buyer who chooses to waive a home inspection contingency may find out too late that the home requires extensive renovations, and a buyer who waives the appraisal may risk their mortgage falling through. If you back out of a home purchase without the protection of a contingency, you could lose your earnest money deposit.6 We can help you assess the risks and benefits involved.


4. Offer a Flexible Closing Date and/or Leaseback Option

When it comes to selling a house, money isn’t everything. People sell their homes for a wide variety of reasons, and flexible terms that work with their personal situations can sometimes make all the difference. For example, if a seller is in the process of planning a significant move, they may prefer a longer closing timeline that gives them time to find housing in their new location.


Similarly, short-term leaseback options, in which the sale is completed but the seller retains the right to rent the home for a specified period of time, can be compelling.7 These arrangements enable the seller to use the money from the sale of their home to purchase their next house. A leaseback agreement also makes it possible for them to avoid moving twice when their next home is not yet ready to occupy.


Flexible closing dates and leaseback options can provide a powerful advantage for first-time homebuyers. If you have a month-to-month or easily transferable lease, for example, you may be able to offer a more flexible timeline than a buyer who is simultaneously selling their existing home.


Of course, the value of these terms depends on the seller’s situation. We can reach out to the listing agent to find out the seller’s preferred terms, and then collaborate with you to write a compelling offer that works for both parties.


5. Work With a Skilled Buyer’s Agent

In this ultra-competitive real estate market, one of the greatest advantages you can give yourself is to work with a skilled and trustworthy real estate professional. We will make sure you fully understand the process and help you submit an appealing offer without taking on too much risk.


Plus, we know how to write offers that are designed to win over both the seller and their listing agent. The truth is, listing agents play a huge role in helping sellers evaluate offers, and they want to work with skilled buyer’s agents who are professional, communicative, and courteous.


Once your offer is accepted, we’ll also handle any further negotiations and coordinate all the paperwork and other details involved in your home purchase. The best part is, you’ll have a knowledgeable, licensed advocate on your side who is watching out for your best interests every step of the way.


Helping You Get to the Right Offer

In many cases, a competitive offer doesn’t need to be all-cash, contingency-free, or significantly above asking price. But if you’re serious about buying a home in today’s market, it’s important to consider what you can do to sweeten the deal.


If you’re a buyer, we can help you compete in today’s market without getting steamrolled. And if you’re a seller, we can help you evaluate offers by taking all the relevant factors into account. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.




  1. National Association of Realtors –
  2. National Association of Realtors –
  3. Forbes –
  4. com –
  5. Bankrate –
  6. Home Buying Institute –
  7. com –
Listings April 14, 2022

Buying a Home for Sale in Antelope, CA

If you’re looking to buy a home in Antelope, CA, look no further than this four-bedroom/three-bath house on 3213 Black Eagle Dr with a large bonus room. This home is “coming soon” on the market later this week. For $625,000, you’ll enjoy the newly installed engineered wood floors, freshly painted throughout and granite kitchen countertops, and plenty of natural lighting throughout the entire home thanks to the many windows in this large, two-story, 2652 square feet home situated in a 6,098 sq ft (0.139 acres) lot! Imagine coming home to this beauty every day after work!
Antelope is located about 15 miles from Sacramento, which is about a 25-minute drive depending on traffic. On the north side, it borders West Roseville. 3213 Black Eagle Drive is located on the Northside of Antelope and is only a few minutes from the Baseline Rd and Watt Ave crossing. The home has a separate living room and family room with lots of natural light. The kitchen features granite countertops and plenty of counter space. There are 4 bedrooms in total with 3 full bathrooms and a large bonus room. One of the bedrooms is downstairs as well as a full bathroom. The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom that includes dual sinks and a shower stall.
Call us today to get more information on this home before we go “live” on the market later this week. With the real estate market, the way it is, you don’t want to miss out on this large beautiful home. This home will be priced below what similar homes have sold for recently and will be going live at an excellent time of year (before the crazy summer season begins) with less competition from other buyers. This home has been well maintained (we have a home inspection handy upon request) and is ready to move into immediately! Don’t wait – call now! We look forward to hearing from you soon!
If you’re looking to finance this home, it can go Conventional financing, as well as FHA or VA. Talk to your local lender or you can call us for recommendations of some of the top local loan officers. We have had experience with all three and would be happy to make a recommendation based on your individual situation. We work with multiple lenders so we can shop around and get you the best rate possible!
Imagine, as you walk in through the front door, you’ll notice the living room to your left next to the dining room. You’ll also notice the stairs to the second floor where the master bedroom is located.
To your right, you’ll see a hallway to the family room which is next to the kitchen. To the right of the hallway are the downstairs bedroom and a full bathroom across from it. The inside laundry is at the end of the hallway where the bedroom is and it’s also the way to get to the 3-car garage. On top of all that, there are 2 additional secondary bedrooms upstairs AND a large bonus room that can be used as a workout room, a large office, and many other possibilities. This home has been well maintained and would be perfect for any buyer looking to buy a home for sale! Call us today if you’d like more information on buying a home or selling your own!
This home is perfect for a large family or someone who wants a lot of space. This would be a great opportunity to get into this quiet neighborhood that is conveniently located to many shops, restaurants, public transportation, and school. The home has a large living room, dining room, separate family room with a fireplace, and breakfast area in the kitchen. The home also features central heating and air conditioning, luxury vinyl floors throughout most of the home as well as an attached garage. Make sure to contact us to get pictures of this home. We will have them later this week. If you have any questions about how to purchase a home for sale like this one then please contact us today!
Whether you are currently helping your landlord get richer or are moving up to a larger home, buying a home definitely beats renting. Imagine gaining equity over time just from being a homeowner. Imagine what that gain in equity could do to your financial situation. In general, homes appreciate about 3% per year and rents increase at roughly 2% per year, though in the last few years the appreciation has been many times that. Even in a regular real estate market, these numbers may not seem like much, they can add up over time and make a big difference when it comes to your bottom line. You can read more about home ownership vs. renting.
Contact us or have your favorite real estate agent contact us to get more information about this home! We’ll provide you with as much information as we can. We look forward to helping you find your home for sale. When you think of a home for sale, think Homes By Rico. Your home is waiting.