Selling Incentives to Help Motivate Home Buyers in East Bay

Home SoldIn today’s market, home buyers are looking for a deal. Here are some incentives as a home seller in East Bay you can consider to help get your home sold.

1. Pay the Points
Points are fees that lenders charge to finance a loan. Typically, one point is equal to one percent of the mortgage loan. Consider offering to pay the new home buyer’s points in an effort to secure an offer on your home.

2. Closing Costs
Closing costs are those costs that are incurred by escrow companies and lenders to process paperwork that is needed to close the sale of the home. As the current homeowner, offer to pay for the buyer’s closing costs by stating you are willing to pay up to a certain amount.

3. Pay for Inspections
Nearly all lenders will require a home inspection before a loan will be approved. Many times a buyer is the one paying the cost of the inspection. Offering to pay for the home inspection is an added incentive to spur buyers to buy your home.

4. Allowances
If your home is in need of a little updating and you do not have the finances to completely remodel, consider offering the buyer an allowance. The allowance is a credit given to the new homeowner to compensate for some areas of the home that need a little updating.

5. Paid Utilities
Taking on a new mortgage payment can be a lot for many new homeowners, and the added cost of utility bills can also add to the sting. Make it easier on the buyer and offer to pre-pay certain utilities for a certain length of time.

Weigh your options carefully when it comes to offering any added incentive. Many times selling incentives are just what an East Bay home needs to sell quickly. The housing market competition is increasing and an incentive as mentioned above will help your home stand out in the market. Choose an incentive that will fit in your budget.

If you are ready to sell or buy a home,contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

Maintain Value in Your East Bay Home and Protect Your Driveway

Driveway

Proper home maintenance can go a long way in maintaining your home’s value, and if you have an asphalt driveway, you want to protect and maintain it. Taking the time to patch and seal your driveway can extend the life of it, along with adding to its curb appeal. Now is the time to restore your asphalt driveway before winter arrives. Below are some helpful tips when it comes to maintaining your East Bay home’s driveway.

1. Trouble Spots

Look over all areas of your driveway and look for any cracks, pot holes, oily stains, or crumbling areas. The end of the driveway tends to be a common area where damage occurs.

2. Fix Stains

If you notice oil or grease stains on your driveway, try to remove them by using hot soapy water with a stiff-bristle scrub brush. If this method does not remove the stains, try dissolving the stains by using a degreaser.

3. Treat Cracks

It is common for most driveways to have cracks, and you want to make sure they are repaired before you apply an asphalt sealer. If the cracks are not repaired, they will grow wider over time. There are many products on the market that can be used to fix these cracks.

4. Potholes

If untreated, cracks can lead to potholes in your driveway and they also will need to be repaired before sealing the asphalt. You can purchase a blacktop patch to fix the potholes and crumbling asphalt. Remove any pieces of loose asphalt or substrate before applying the patch.

5. Prep Driveway

The last thing you will need to do before applying your sealer is to prep your driveway. Thoroughly clean the driveway by using a push broom, then hose off the driveway with a hose or a power washer if you have one.

6. Sealing The Driveway

When your driveway is prepped and ready to be sealed, check the package of your sealer to see how long it takes to dry. Some sealers may take up to three days to dry. Check your weather forecast to be sure rain is not in the forecast while the sealer is drying. There are several types of asphalt sealers on the market. Tar-emulsion sealers are the least expensive and usually start out around $12 per five-gallon pail and offer minimum protection. These types of sealers require constant stirring during application. Asphalt-emulsion sealers tend to be the most popular and cost about $20 to $25 per five-gallon pail. This type of sealer typically does not require constant stirring during application and provides stellar resistance to oil stains and water penetration.

If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist For Your Alamo Home

The smell of fall is in the air, and winter will be here before we know it. School has begun, and the days are quickly getting shorter. Here are some useful tips on what you can do to prepare your Alamo home for fall.

Insulate Your Doors and Windows:

Now is the time of year to add weather stripping to your doors and windows. Weather stripping can come in many forms such as: foam, felt, plastic, or metal. It is used to keep the cold and moisture out of your home by sealing gaps. If your home is newer there is a good possibility that your windows are more energy-efficient and have no need for additional weather stripping.

Insulation:

Check the insulation in your home before it gets too cold. Un-backed or loose-fill insulation is available at many local hardware stores and can be easily placed on top of what is already there. If your walls need additional insulation, you can also hire a professional company to install blown-in insulation foam.

Gutters:

This is the time of year to examine your gutters. Clear your gutters before leaves begin to fall.

Mice:

During this time of year, mice are looking for a warm place to call home. Screen all the exterior vents in your home. Mice are able to squeeze through as little as a quarter-inch opening. Take a look at the bottom of your garage doors before the cold weather hits as mice are known to squeeze through under a garage door if there are any gaps.

Dryer Vents:

Every six months you should be cleaning out your dryer vents. To do this–unplug your dryer and move it out and vacuum behind it. Unhook the tube you will find that vents the dryer and remove as much lint as possible from the tube.

Roof and Chimney:

Inspect your roof on a dry day for any damage or missing shingles. Look at the flashing and seals around vent pipes and the chimney to be sure it is intact and not damaged. If you are unable to physically inspect your roof, a professional roofing company can inspect it for you.

If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

Mortgage Rates in Diablo May Increase in the Near Future

Recently the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is the regulatory body for both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced that another 10 basis point increase in guarantee fees (g-fee) will go into effect between November 1 and December 1, 2012. The increase in g-fees could lead to mortgage rates for home buyers in Diablo to jump in the near future. This is the second time g-fees have increased this year, with the last being in April.

The g-fee increase will result in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charging lenders more to guarantee loans. The increase will result in about 40 to 50 basis points in price to the lender which, in turn, will be passed on to the home buyer. The increase you will see in interest rates will vary by lender and borrower. We could see rate increases by 0.125 to .5 percent in the very near future.

A .5 percent increase in mortgage rates could have a strong impact on what a borrower would pay on a monthly payment. For instance, if the rate would increase from 3.5 percent to 4.0 percent it would raise the rate on a $200,000 loan by $57 a month.

Take advantage of low interest rates and buy now before the rates go up. If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

Staging Your Danville Home? Avoid Doing These Things

With the economy struggling, many homeowners are doing what they can to hold onto as much equity in their home as possible. Many homeowners in Danville who are trying to sell their homes have chosen to try to stage it on their own in an effort to save money. If this is something you plan to do, consider these tips.

Living Room: Personal photos need to be kept to a minimum in the living room and throughout the home. Some homeowners have been known to display a frame with the manufacturer’s photo still inside. This is something you do not want to do. You want to remove any family photos, diplomas, or any other similar item. De-personalizing the room is essential. Replace personal items with decorative art.

Bedroom: Many staged homes present a throw across the end of the bed with a tea-for-two setting placed just right on top of the throw. Many experts will tell you that this idea is way overdone, and buyers know that you really do not live this way. Instead, go with a nice bedding set that accentuates the room. Include a long dresser, a chest of drawers, and two night stands at each side of the bed. If the room feels crowded with all the furniture, consider replacing the bed with a smaller one.

Bathroom: Do not over do the accents in this room. There is no need for bubbles in the tub and filled wine glasses sitting on the ledge. Do not decorate your toilet with a ribbon. It may sound silly but it has been done. Instead, buy a few new hand towels, remove any personal items, and replace your shower curtain with a new one.

Kitchen & Dining Room: If you want your home to stand out as being staged then a formal dining room set will do it. Less really is more here. Place a simple vase with flowers in the middle of the dining room table. Make sure your kitchen counters are clear of all clutter.

A home that is staged well will leave potential buyers with a feeling that it was not staged at all. A clean, de-personalized, clutter free home is what you want your home to look like when buyers view your home.

If you are ready to sell or buy a home, contact me by email or call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years and my qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years.

Some Great Tips for Your East Bay Home’s Open House!

When is the best time to have an open house for your East Bay Home? Sunday afternoon is Open House Day for most communities. It’s recommended that the open house last for at least two hours, although many agents like to schedule an open house from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. An open house should never be in conflict with holidays, community celebrations or special events like the Super Bowl. Check out the forecast and try to schedule your open house on a sunny day; cold, rainy days tend to keep potential buyers at home.

Host a broker preview about a week before the open house. Agents can give you valuable feedback about your home’s appearance and whether your asking price will meet buyer expectations.

To prepare your Alamo home for showing, move some of your furniture into storage. By moving at least one piece of furniture out of every room, the space will look larger and much more inviting to those happy house hunters.

Make sure to remove any items not included in the sale of your home. It’s better to remove an item than have to explain to a buyer that it is not for sale.

Two or three days before the event, clean your house from top to bottom. Vacuum dust and cobwebs, wipe down the window sills, and wash the windows inside and outside. Pay attention to small details when cleaning your Diablo home. Make sure surfaces, appliances and floors are gleaming. Clean and fluff the bedding, towels and rugs and touch up any spots on the walls. Sweep out the garage, clean the sidewalk and driveway, trim bushes and dead flowers, and mow the lawn.

Twenty four hours before your open house, open all the windows and air out your home. Give every room a final review; stand in the doorway and take a good look at every detail. Add color and a great floral fragrance by adding floral arrangements throughout your home.

Now you are ready for your open house! Reward yourself for a job well done by going out to dinner. You’ll have a great meal and you won’t have to clean up again before the big day!

If you are ready to sell or buy a home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a real estate professional for 23 years. My qualifications include the production of over $105 million in sales within the past 5 years. 

Your East Bay Homes Front Porch!

With all of this hot weather streaming across the country, it would be a great time to find some time to put your front porch to use again.  Get out of the house and take in the breeze.

Not every porch or front entryways are put to good use.  After the winter and rainy season, the porch may have taken a beating and needs some repair.  Sometimes people use their front porches for storage and this is certainly not a great sight for any house hunters.

There are a few key points that realtors talk about that will help you sell your house.  They are location, curb appeal and pricing.  Buyers consider these their highest influencing factors.  Why you ask?  Well, location is very important to most every buyer.  In today’s real estate market, pricing is very important to almost every buyer.  Curb appeal will get the buyers out of their cars and into your home to view it!

So it makes sense that your East Bay front porch should look its best.  A little maintenance might just be what the porch needs!  This doesn’t have to take weeks either or cost an arm and a leg to do.

It’s all about the tiny things you do.  A tired looking porch can be brightened up with some simple repairs, replacements and a little rearranging.

An easy way to start is by using a critical eye and take a look at your porch.  If you have been using the porch for storing things that could be put elsewhere, move them off the porch.  Replace your old worn out mats or carpets.  Try some new colorful ones.  Take a look at the lighting on your porch.  Try brightening up the porch with an inexpensive lighting system.  This can be accomplished using solar lights if you wish too!  This will create a brighter, safer entry way into your home.

Take a look at your door handles.  Are they tarnished or corroded?  It is hard to turn the handle to open the door?  Your East Bay home will not look well maintained if the door is beat up and the hardware looks wore.    If your home looks messy outside, the prospective home buyers will only see that this home in not well maintained and some won’t go any further.  Look at your home like it’s the first time.  Like you were buying it!

Try adding some appealing decorations.  Try to create symmetry which works well and is easy to create.  Symmetry gives a feeling of balance.  Try putting some potted plants on both sides of the walkway to the porch.  Place a decorative wreath or floral display on the front door.  Try putting a small water feature on the porch.  A small fountain can make the new buyers feel relaxed in your East Bay home.

Just remember, the front porch is the first thing a buyer will see.  Make sure it leaves a positive impression.  Then take the time to go outside and enjoy yourself sitting on your front porch.

So now that you are ready to sell your home or buy a new home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years. 

A Good Impression for Your East Bay Home!

ImageWant to make a good impression for that house hunter?  Here are some tips that will help you do just that when selling your East Bay Home

You definitely need to put your focus on curb appeal.  In order to make that first good impression, you need to focus on the outside of your East Bay home!  You should keep the grass mowed and watered well.  The trees should be trimmed and any overgrowth definitely needs to be cut back.  Put in some blooming flowers.  Make sure you store toys, bikes and garden tools out of sight.  Why not try painting your trim and the front door?  This is a quick cosmetic fix!  Make sure the walkway and porch are clean of clutter and swept.   

Another great tip is to clear out the clutter in your home.  Buyers won’t purchase a house that they can’t see!  If the house has overflowing closets, cluttered counter tops in the bathroom and kitchen, too much furniture or tons of family photos and collectibles, house hunters won’t be able to see your home!  If there is anything you don’t need or use, pack it away or donate it to a charitable organization.  If you need these items, put them in boxes and put the boxes in your garage or basement.  You could even rent some off-site storage. 

Make sure your East Bay home smells good.  A lot of people don’t have a good sense of smell but other people can be very sensitive to offensive odors.  Make sure your pets are bathed, keep the litter box clean, clean your carpets, dry clean or wash your draperies and make sure your garbage cans, ash trays and recycling bins are empty.  If there are areas in your home that are prone to smells, just place an open box of baking soda there.  You should also refrain from cooking strong smelling foods or fish.  These odors can stay if the home a while, especially if the windows are closed.  Use air fresheners and potpourri to make the house smell good!  Open up a few oranges or bake a pie so the house smells fresh!

Make sure you do some minor maintenance on your home.  Buyers will notice leaky faucets, broken windows, burned out bulbs, appliances that don’t work and cabinets that stick!  Before you put your East Bay home on the market, make these repairs. 

Use your imagination to introduce accessories into your home and make it attractive and comfortable!  Put your best dishes on the dining room table.  Put your nicest towels out in the bathroom.  Make sure the spare room is made up.  If you have a fireplace, put some logs in it!

Then when this is all finished, walk up to your home and pretend this is the first time you are seeing it!  Do you notice anything?  How do you feel?  Does the house look inviting?  Is it well maintained?  Would you want to purchase this house?  If you answered yes to these questions, then the house is ready to be put on the market!

So now that you are ready to sell your home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years. 

 

Packing Tips

You’ve sold your home and now it’s time to get ready to move into your new East Bay home!  Here are some tips that will help you get ready.

First, gather all your packing supplies before you begin the packing task.  Make sure all your packed boxes are not too heavy.  They should be no more than 50 pounds each to make it easy for lifting.  Put heavier items at the bottom of the box.  Stuff your pillowcases, scarves, socks and other small fabric items in the crevices and spaces in the boxes.

You should make sure that all the boxes can close up properly.  They need to be able to be sealed so the top is flat.  Over packing may result in damage to the contents of the boxes.  All small loose items need to be bagged or boxed up and sealed securely.  This needs to be done before you place them into the larger boxes.  You should label each box so you know what is in them and where they will need to go in your new East Bay Home.

If you need to move any liquids, you will need to transfer them into sealable containers, tape the lid down securely, and put them in a waterproof bag.  Seal the bag and put it into a box right-side up.  Mark the box with arrows and “This End Up”.  Make an inventory list of each box and list its contents.  This will help you if a box is missing and you need to make a claim with the mover.

Keep your clothing in the dresser drawers.  This makes it easier when packing and you won’t have to unpack your clothing.  For all the essentials you will need when you arrive, you should label the box “load last”, “unload first”.  This way everything you need when you arrive at your new East Bay Home will be available for you.

Make sure to keep all your important records with you.  Make sure you don’t move them with the rest of your items.  Take them with you!

Try to keep things in their proper place.  What does this mean?  When you pack the silverware, keep it in its tray.  Just place bubble wrap around the tray.  This will secure the contents and make things easier when you arrive at your new home.  Try to keep items from the same room together too.  The contents will be much easier to sort once you are in your new home.

Keep any tools you will need to assemble furniture in its own box and label the box clearly.  This will allow you to assemble your pieces quickly and easily without going through the boxes to find your tools.

Lastly, make sure the entire family is involved.  Make a task list and divide up the work so each person knows what they have to do.  This will allow the whole family to feel like part of this new adventure!

So now that you are ready to buy that new home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years. 

 

 

Tips for Buying an East Bay/Alamo House

ImageThere are some things you need to know and consider if you plan on buying a house.  What are they, you ask?  Well, first you need to be able to stay in the home for a few years.  Because of the closing costs and fees associated with buying a home, if you sell any sooner, you may lose money. 

Next, because you will need to secure a mortgage for the purchase of your home, you need to make sure your credit is in good shape.  A couple months before you start home hunting, get copies of your credit report.  Fix any problems you see and make sure everything is correct on them.

You should really purchase a home you can afford.  A good rule to follow is to buy a house that is about two and a half times your annual salary.  Take into consideration any type of monthly payments you need to make, such as alimony. 

Lenders will usually want 20% down for the East Bay home you want to purchase.  If you don’t have that, there are a lot of public and private lenders who will offer you a low interest mortgage and only require you to pay a 3% down payment.

Try to buy your home in a good school district.  Even if you don’t have children, when it comes time to sell, you will discover good school districts are on the top of prospective buyer’s wants.

Make sure you get an experienced professional agent.  They will be able to help you with strategies during the bidding process and will have your best interests in mind.  You can research online but nothing beats a really great realtor!

Before you start house hunting you should get pre-approved for your mortgage.  It will prevent you from looking at houses you can’t afford, and you will be in a good place when you find that Alamo home you want!  Pre-approval is normally based on your income, debt and credit history.

So now that you are ready to buy that new home, call me, Brad Gothberg, at (925) 648-5326. I have been a professional in the Real Estate business for the last 23 years. My qualifications include production of over $105 million in sales in the past 5 years.