Top 11 Reasons Sellers Should List During the Holidays

Festive holiday wreath hanging on a blue door#11 By Selling Now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the spring, when many more houses are on the market! This could allow you to sell high and buy low!

#10 You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!

#9 Even though your house will be on the market, you still have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days around the Holidays.

#8 January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy, you need to be on the market during the Holidays to capture that market!

#7 Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!

#6 Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than during the regular work week!

#5 Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price! 

#4 Houses show beautifully when tastefully decorated for the Holidays! 

#3 Since the Supply of listings will dramatically increase in January/February there will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money for you!

#2 Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you! You did want to net the most amount of money, right?

And, the Number One Reason Homeowners Should List, the Number One Reason Homeowners Should List Their Homes During the Holidays…
#1 People who are house-hunting during the holiday are more serious buyers!

Professional home staging has significant impact

Savvy Sellers know professional home staging has significant impact on the results of a home sale. 2014-2015 statistics from over 300 Certified Stagers and over 3,500 sold homes showed that homes that were professionally staged sold on average for 10% more than the comparable, un-staged homes in the same neighborhood.

Top reasons to stage your home for sale:

Stages Homes Sell for more money

Stages Homes Sell for more money

Professionally staged homes spent 72% less time on the market.

Buyers can visualize living in your home.

Your online photos will stand out. 95% of buyers begin their search on the internet before visiting a property.

You can be confident you have done everything to show your home in its best light.

Even in a sellers’ market, competition is stiff. Buyers have high expectations. Successful agents understand professional staging creates great online presence, drives buyer traffic to the home and brings offers. It’s impossible to be completely objective about your own home, so why go it alone?

The Dayna Wilson’s Real Estate Team provides complimentary staging services and gives Dayna’s home sellers access to one of the East Bay’s top staging companies.

Source: Home Staging Resources

July 2016: What Savvy Sellers Need to Know

Real Estate Building SignJuly is Sizzling Hot! Home sellers are in an advantageous position this summer, with demand high and the strongest sales in almost ten years. Planning to list your home in the coming weeks? Get the most for your house before the season’s past by giving the buyer as much information about your home as possible. Why? Every home buyer wants to know all the details about a home they’re considering writing an offer on. I recommend clients make as much pertinent information available upfront and online as possible.  Being an open book can help you get the most amount of money for your home in the least amount of time.

This information may include:

  • How old is the roof, HVAC, hot water heater, appliances?
  • What is included in the list price? (Appliances, ceiling fans, lighting, shed, washer, dryer, swing set, fountain, window treatments, etc.)
  • What are the home’s annual costs? (Electric, municipal water, gas and electic, lawn care, pool maintenance, etc.)
  • How old is the wiring? Is it up to code? Was an addition or modification done with permits?
  • If the property has a well, is it operational and has the water been tested?
  • Are there any outstanding liens on the property? Taxes been paid?
  • What are the homeowners association fees? What amenities are included and what is covered by HOA?
  • Has a home, pest, chimney, sewer lateral or roof inspection been completed in the past 30-60 days?

Providing these answers up front not only meets prospective buyers on their terms, but could lead to an offer sooner than later. As I’ve shared in past blog posts, I recommend sellers consider getting pre-sale inspections completed prior to their homes hitting the market. This puts sellers in the driver’s seat and allows them to price their home accordingly.

JUMP into the Real Estate Market

June is the month for graduations, Father’s Day and the first days of summer and also a great time to jump into the real estate market! mp into real estate. Jump into Real Estate

June is the busiest home-selling and home-buying month in our area. With the warmer weather, more daylight, and the impetus to get into a new house before the next school begins, buyers are more likely to shop during this time of year. Summer is also the most convenient time for the majority of people to move. Sellers’ who are looking to stay in the area have a greater chance of finding their next home with the most inventory listed now.

There are pros and cons to the busiest selling month.

With more houses on the market, buyers can afford a bigger wish list. If your home needs repairs, buyer might simply pass it by for the one down the street. Add in the fact most buyers aren’t shopping under pressure and you have a pool of selective shoppers.

Bidding wars are a headache for buyers but a big plus for sellers. Multiple offers mean more money in a seller’s pocket. It also usually means buyers are less likely to make repair requests or other demands. Lastly, interest rates remain extremely low which continues to keep the buyers out in force and actively house-hunting.

Inexpensive Kitchen Updates

Inexpensive Kitchen Updates. A neighbor called me yesterday asking what she should do to get her kitchen updated should they decide to sell their home. She stated she was getting bids to tear down walls, rip out cabinets and do a total remodel. Wait! Did you know you could give your kitchen a makeover without breaking the bank? I suggested they may want to skip the custom cabinetry, as a few key changes could make a huge impact.

1. Reface or paint cabinets

Buyers like bright, clean sleek looking kitchens. If your is rocking the 70’s with a dark oak finish, why not paint them a soft white, light grey or even sage green? Think out of the box. Look at pictures in magazines or on TV for looks that are popular. You get an entirely new, fresh look for little expense.

2. Buy new hardware

Have you thought about changing the knobs and pulls? New hardware comes in a myriad of finishes, and looks.  Hardware to cabinets is like earrings that set off an outfit you are wearing. When you go shopping, bring a current drawer pull to ensure your new pieces match the size of your old hardware and holes that are already drilled into doors and drawers. If your cabinets and drawers don’t have any hardware, consider installing pulls and knobs or handles and see how it adds that finishing touch!

3. Replace your faucet

Another easy update is adding a more modern, statement faucet. Look for a finish and style that works well with your kitchen’s aesthetic. I would consider leaning more towards the modern and bold. The finish should work with the other metals in the room.

4. Purchase new lighting fixtures

Update your lighting fixtures with stylish, modern replacements. Do you have a space, perhaps over a breakfast counter where hanging pendants in a bold colored glass would work? Take out florescent tubes and replace with canned lights. Think about adding under cabinet lighting to set the mood. Work surfaces should be well lit, and the lights can be an amazing addition to the overall look of your kitchen.

5. Replace counters and backsplashes

If your cabinets are in good shape, but you have tile counter-tops, there are inexpensive sold surface alternatives, like granite, that are pre-cut and ready to be installed. Couple a new counter with a updated backsplash and your kitchen will look modern, fresh and ready for your first open house! Other lower cost updates that won;t break the bank include: new window coverings, doors, fresh coat of paint on the walls and a thorough cleaning. Make it shine. Remember, the kitchen is the heart of the home and the old adage that ‘kitchens and baths sell a home’ still ring true. So, if you plan on staying put and enjoying your homes for many years to come, go ahead and knock down those walls. But, if you are preparing your home for sale, consider the information shared above. For more seller tips to preparing your home for sale, please contact Dayna Wilson Real Estate for a personal consultation.

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4 Curb Appeal Trends for 2016

Research has found that improving a homes curb appeal can boost it's value by 17Research has found that improving a homes curb appeal can boost its value by 17%. Folks see the photos online and drive by the home. Make the buyers want to come inside to take a closer look! Here’s how:

  • Lights: Update the exterior with elegant lighting. Make it bright and cheerful. Think about up lighting trees or architectural features to make your property shine day or night.
  • Garage Door: Do you have an old wood one? Perhaps it even sags in the middle. Time to make a change! Choose a popular carriage-style or a steel roll up version with windows to let some light into the garage. Match the garage door to the style of the home.
  • Look at the Landscaping: Create a pop of color by planting flowers and adding colorful pots with more flowering plants. Trim hedges, bushes and trees. Mow and edge the lawn. If you have adopted the belief that ‘Brown is the new Green’ due to the drought, there are companies that will paint it green! Or, take advantage of the Contra Costa Water District’s Drought Program and take the lawn out completely, replacing it with drought tolerant plants.
  • Front Entrance: Your front door should send the right first impression. Replace with a new door or paint your existing door a color that compliments your yard and the house. Bright bold colors like pumpkin or peacock blue are gaining in popularity. If there is room, add a piece of furniture on the front porch with a colorful pillow or cushion.

More Hard Cold Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

More Hard Cold Facts about Real Estate Home Selling:

More Hard Cold Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

More Hard Cold Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

#1 Communication is key to a transaction: Once the decision has been made to sell your home, it’s critical for your communications to be prompt and timely. Now is not the time to start ignoring your agent’s requests for answers to questions regarding the contract, disclosures or timelines. Silence from either side of the transaction will simply create irritation to all parties concerned and possibly kill the deal. Be available, prompt and courteous when selling a home. And, please try to schedule your out of country vacation for another time.

#2 Take yourself out of your home: When you’ve decided to sell your home, it’s imperative your home looks like a home most anyone would want. You’ll be moving soon anyway, so begin packing now. Take out personal mementos, remove all photos on display and anything that says “you” live there. The word to focus on is “neutral”. This includes paint colors, flooring and almost all surfaces in your home. This is because too many Buyers can’t picture themselves there, so it’s best if you make it easy for them. And, also make yourself scarce during an open house or agent showing.

#3 Pictures can say a thousand words: You’ve heard that saying before, and it’s true. – When your home is listed for sale how do you want it to look for potential buyers? What do dark, fuzzy pictures, photos loaded sideways or, my favorite, showing the bathroom with the  “seat up” say  about you and your home? Yes, photos make a difference. Over 90% of Buyers start their home search online and they want to “see” your home. Do yourself a favor and show it in it’s best light.

#4 You can’t hide: Don’t think that just because you choose to not disclose something about your home, that it can’t come back to haunt you. You never want to get a call from an attorney, and the most common occurrence of this unhappy event is failure to disclose some fact about your property that effected the value or desirability of your home. Buyers can move in and learn about something months later from a loud-mouthed neighbor, or while simply living in the home. Typically, a Buyer’s inspections will unearth most issues, but not all. Do the right thing and tell the truth. It will protect you in the end.

#5 Win/Win or no deal: That’s one of the Keller Williams Realty values. Cooperation goes a long way and quite often ends with a favorable outcome for a home Seller. Don’t fight the Buyer over every little thing, as they’ll immediately put up their defenses. And, often everyone loses. A little give and take, a meeting of the minds more often than not, results in superior results.

#6 Close of escrow =  moving day: Unless you have negotiated a rent-back period, by your close of escrow/recording date, all of your belongings must be packed, moved out, and the home should be clean for the next buyer. This includes the pile of junk left on the side yard, your overflowing garbage cans and anything that was not negotiated to stay with conveyance of the property. You would want to move into a cleaned, move-in ready home, right? It’s good Karma!

#7 Require your Buyer be Pre-approved: Real Estate Agents shouldn’t even be showing Buyers your home unless they know the Buyers have been financially reviewed by their lender to make sure they can indeed afford to buy your home. Unfortunately, not all Real Estate Agents adhere to this common sense business practice. Make sure your listing agent reviews any and all incoming Buyer’s offer for their ability to actually pay for your home. And, if you have an over-list priced offer, ensure the Buyers have the wherewithal to come up with the discrepancy should the appraisal come in low.

#8 Experience matters: Hiring a skilled, trusted, local Real Estate professional will get your home sold in the shortest amount of time for the most amount of money. Your choice of a Real Estate Agent matters.

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling.  Mom was right. She taught me honesty is the best policy which is why I must tell it like it is, if you want to have any chance of success in selling your home. This article won’t be for the faint of heart as we’re being brutally honest. Ready? If you get a bit uncomfortable then you know I’m stating the truth. You DO want an honest Realtor on your side, don’t you?

What are the 10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling? 

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

10 Cold, Hard Facts about Real Estate Home Selling

  1. Understand your local Real Estate Market –  What’s happening today, this week? What happened last month? If you don’t know, make sure your Realtor does. For instance, in a neighborhood I sell a number of homes in each year, The Woodlands in Walnut Creek, I sold a home ‘off market’ and another ‘pocket listing’ just closed escrow.  These home sales will impact what other homes will sell for as they are comparable sales. If your Realtor doesn’t know, find another Realtor. Real Estate will always be local and to be able to sell your home, it’s critical to know what the local trends are for your neighborhood.
  2. An uncluttered home sells – A messy, over-packed home knocks thousands of dollars off your bottom-line, net proceeds.  Yup, a big chunk of money can be lost for not putting in a little elbow grease.  Perhaps one of the greatest payoffs to home selling will be the time you spend cleaning and de-cluttering your home. While you are at it, take off all the family photos and personal items from your walls, shelves and refrigerator. Don’t forget the windows; they are the ‘eyes’ of the home and will let more natural light in if clean!
  3. Homes priced right sell – Price your home to sell. From the very first day that you list your home for sale, you will attract the most qualified and most interested Buyers. The first two weeks of a new home listing gets the most attention from buyers and agents. Your new listing draws the attention of Buyers waiting for a new home to hit the market when they have seen all the others that fit their criteria. Buyers who just started looking will see your home priced right, and will be rushing your way to get a closer look.  A listing that sits longer than the average days on market becomes stale and people begin to wonder why it hasn’t sold. They’ll either assume something is wrong with the home or that it’s priced too high. If Buyers think that something is wrong, they’ll want to make low-ball offers. If it’s priced too high for the area, you may not even get buyers wanting to preview it at all and you will have the dreadful disease called, “no showings!’
  4. You will be inconvenienced – Your home becomes a house for sale and it’s a paradigm shift that needs to be embraced. Your attitude plays a large part as to your level of stress during the process. Getting your home ready to sell, packing, keeping it clean all takes time and effort. You will have calls from prospective Buyers, and you will want to vacate the home while they are there.  When you’re able to anticipate this, it can make the process a lot less painful. This is part of the process and will pass…keep you end goal in mind which is to sell your home.
  5. Repairs left undone could cost more than the repair itself – Deferred maintenance can be a lot less expensive if you address it BEFORE you sell your home. You can’t hide the issues as buyers will discover them during their inspection period. I typically see Buyers either want a credit or want the repair done. When they see a simple repair that could have been fixed by a handyman/contractor they wonder what else is in need of repair. and if the home was properly maintained.  First time Buyers especially want to see a home with a clean bill of health and feel confidant they are making a sound financial decision. Having a clear ‘Section 1″ pest report is highly recommended to give Buyers peace of mind.
  6. Buyers love to negotiate the home sales price after the home inspection – After all inspections there will always be a hundred of little things and hopefully, you aren’t blindsided with an unknown major needed repair. Typically, buyers in Walnut Creek order a pest, home and roof inspection. Chimney and sewer lateral inspections are becoming very popular, as well. Sellers should know about major repairs ahead of time and disclose to Buyers prior to the presentation of offers. This way you know the offer reflects the defect.  As discussed above, fix your repairs so as not to give a Buyer a reason to want a discount, or worse yet, to back out of the contract.  The inspection period will require a skilled negotiator. Make sure the Realtor you hired, is an effective negotiator as they’ll be worth their weight in gold here.
  7. Buyers love to grill Sellers present at home showings – When a Buyer has schedule a visit to view your home, it’s important for you to leave for many reasons.  First, you want the Buyers to be able to walk around your home and feel comfortable without you following them around, as you want them to envision themselves living in your home. They need to be able to speak freely with their Realtor about their thoughts and feelings. More importantly, you don’t want them or their agents to try and wiggle out the details from you regarding why you’re moving that could give them a reason to offer you less money for your home.  If they learn you “need” to move and feel you are very motivate for a quick close they may offer less.
  8. Smelly homes sell for less money – Nothing is worse than a smelly home from pets, smoking or even cooking.  A thorough cleaning of your home, along with the fabrics, walls and carpets will go along way in removing pet, smoking and food odors.  If you have carpeting where pets had accidents, replacing carpeting would be must-do. You may need a restoration company to address some of these issues.
  9. Cash is not always King – When Buyers using financing compete with cash Buyers, they can make their offer look very appealing in a number of ways. First, their offer needs to written accurately without any errors and complete. Next, their Pre Approval letter must indicate their strong financial ability to secure the mortgage to buy the home. In addition, the Buyers can make sure that they’re going to follow specified time frames. Sadly, I have received all cash offers written poorly and worse yet, no proof of funds. Lastly, Buyer stories or what I call, “love letters” can pull on a Seller’s heart strings, especially if there are happy memories from living in the home. I have personally had home sellers who chose a lower priced offer, because they shared the cutest pictures and strongly expressed their love of the home!
  10. Overpricing your home helps to sell your neighbors’ – It’s true!  Picture this. Buyers are qualified to buy a certain priced home, so they’re looking at homes that they can afford. They will look for the homes with the most features, benefits, upgrades and square footage. Buyers might look at your home but will end up purchasing the larger home, in better condition for the same amount of money; it’s called value in the eyes of the buyer?
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5 Great Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

Most home sellers don’t want to sell their home during the busy holiday season. However, here are 5 great reasons to sell during the holidays:

5 great reasons to sell during the holidays

5 great reasons to sell during the holidays

#1 Home buyers looking during the holidays tend to be very motivated, serious buyers.

#2 Due to vacation time not yet taken, buyers often have more time to see homes for sale and may be looking during the weekdays.

#3 Buyers are more emotional during the holidays and tend to spend more money as a result. They may even have a tax incentive to buy before the end of the year.

#4 Many other sellers tend to take their listing off the market during the holidays, which mean less competition for you. The supply of homes for sale in January increases substantially. If you are selling and then buying, you will be well positioned to offer a non-contingent offer in 2016 when there will be more homes on the market to choose from.

#5 When we quickly find the buyer for your home, I can negotiate a longer close of escrow and a rent-back to extend your occupancy until next year.

Whether you are considering either selling or buying a home during this holiday season or waiting until January 2016, the correct timing depends on what is right for you and your family. Together, let’s create the best strategy for positioning your home on the market for a quick sale for top dollar.

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Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results

Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results! It can take anywhere from two weeks to two months to prepare your home for sale. Did you know that my team has a full service program to make that happen?

Home Sellers - Preparation gets Results

Home Sellers – Preparation gets Results

If you are like our other sellers you are busy and feeling overwhelmed with what it may take to get your home ‘market ready.’ Just the thought of having to locate a reliable painter, picking out new carpet, dealing with a handyman for small repairs during work hours could make your head spin. My recent Walnut Creek home seller had no idea how much all this would cost, or even where to store his belongings during the process. I showed him how our contractor quotes the updates and repairs, line by line. I acted as his project manager-overseeing all the vendors, from handymen and cleaners to stagers and photographers. As the home seller, he can now just focus on his plans to be married in January! His home was prepared according to his budget and it is scheduled to close escrow next week!

Want to learn more? Call for a 15-minute consultation and I’ll show you how we’ve made this same plan work for our other happy clients!

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