If you have had your offer accepted, congratulations!  That is a big step.  You may think now is the time to relax.  After all, you've worked hard to get a mortgage pre-approval, connect with a Realtor, see homes, submit an offer, negotiate, and agree to the terms.  However, there is much left to do, so it's important to stay focused to get through the Escrow process.  We have broken the next steps down into small, manageable tasks that will help you stay on track.  Your Realtor will be there for you every step of the way, guiding you through each task.  If you follow these 10 steps after your offer is accepted, you'll be on track towards closing your Escrow successfully.  


 

 

Earnest Money 

You need to submit your Earnest…

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An escrow is a deposit of funds or deed from one party, with the intention to deliver it to the other party upon completion of a series of events, as laid out in a contract.  Escrow "opens" upon delivery of escrow instructions and a fully executed real estate contract to a certified escrow company.  The escrow officer processes the escrow, essentially by making sure all of the terms of the agreement set forth by both parties have been met.  Once they have all been met, and the trust deed is recorded at the city recorder's office, funds/deed change hands and escrow is then "closed."  In short, Escrow makes sure everything that the buyer and seller agree upon in the contract are carried out correctly.  

Escrow officers and companies are…

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I want to share with you a few common mistakes that home buyers make, so that you can avoid them at all costs when you buy a home yourself.

Eek! This is a biggie. You probably know your approximate monthly budget for your groceries, car payment, student loans, gas, and weekend outings. So why, then, would you go into a home search without a budget? The best advice I can give it to speak with a mortgage broker early on in your home search to get a sense of your budget. This way, your agent has a number to be respectful of, and you won’t fall in love with a house you can’t afford. 

 

 

Try not to get too excited or downtrodden throughout the process.  I know you are passionate about your new home. However, there will likely be many…

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"Can I keep it?"  This is a very common question amongst homebuyers, and comes up in almost every real estate transaction.  The Realtor usually starts talking about fixtures vs. personal property to help the buyers determine what will be theirs and what won't be.  There are, though, a lot of grey areas regarding what is considered a fixture and what is personal property.

Fixtures are items which are affixed to the property (usually bolted in).  Typical examples of fixtures are light switches, plants in the ground, windows, mail boxes, garage doors, etc.  Personal property includes items which can be easily moved and removed from the property.  Examples are art work, potted plants, TVs, standing lamps, tables, etc.  However, consider the following…

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You only get one chance to make a first impression! Whether you are selling your home or just want to spruce up its curb appeal, here are some easy and budget friendly tips to help your house look great from the outside:

Dress up your front door

Give your door some TLC with a new coat of paint and a new door handle.  I personally love brightly colored front doors.  Your fabulous new door is sure to be noticed by everyone who walks into your home.  

 

Improve outdoor lighting

Beautiful lights on the sides of the door or path lights leading up to your home can make a huge impact.  It looks great, AND helps guests see the path in front of them.  

 

Boost your garden

Plant easy-to-maintain bushes, trees and flowers.…

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 Today's post is about the option of doing For Sale By Owner.  Some home owners opt to sell their home themselves, without the service of a real estate agent.  This can be done successfully, but it's difficult and here are some reasons why I'd recommend using an agent rather than selling a home yourself:

1.  Commission -- You'll still have to pay commission to the buyer's agent regardless of whether you use an agent yourself or not.  The vast majority of buyers use an agent, so the seller is responsible for paying that agent's brokerage if that sale goes through.

2.  Coordination -- Your agent will coordinate open houses, showings, lockboxes, yard sign installation, home inspections, appraisal, and more.  All of these things take time, and many…

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In California, the commission of the buyer's agent is usually paid by the seller.  The listing agent charges a certain percentage of commission to split between herself and the buyer's agent.  This is one of the main costs of selling a home.  Since the services of a Realtor come at no cost to you, the buyer, I highly recommend reaching out to a Realtor when you are getting ready to purchase a home.  in California, more than 9 out of 10 homebuyers use a Realtor, so you are in good company! 

 

 

 Realtors have a Fiduciary Duty to their clients.  This means that Realtors must always protect the best interests of the client.  More specifically, it means the Realtor must provide full disclosure, proper accounting, confidentiality, obedience,…

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Deep Clean 

Your home should absolutely sparkle when it is on the market!  If you are a great cleaner or enjoy doing it, go ahead and deep clean your home yourself.  If not, consider hiring a cleaning service to do the job.  Your house should look and smell lovely to make a great impression on potential home buyers.  If you are going to be living in your home while selling, remember to KEEP it clean throughout the process.

De-Personalize 

We know you love your family photos!  However, potential buyers want to envision themselves living in their future home, not your current home.  It is extremely helpful to remove personal decorations and photos, and leave only neutral ones that everyone would appreciate.  

Remove Evidence of…

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Swimming Pools

Pools do not add much, if any, value to a home in San Diego.  Pools require a lot of maintenance and upkeep, and it can be a burden to keep them safe for kids and dogs.  Many buyers do not want a pool, and will not even come look at your home if you have one.  That being said, if a pool is something that you or your family will love and enjoy, then you can certainly consider adding one for your own use.

 

Expensive Landscaping 

Great curb appeal is a huge plus when it comes time to sell a home.  Landscaping should look pretty and clean.  However, expensive landscaping that was custom designed for your home with high end plants and flowers will not yield a good return on the investment.

 

Custom Upgrades 

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