Sense-sational Real Estate: Selling to All the Senses Stockton Real Estate Sales Using the Other Four Senses Real Estate Sales: Don’t Forget the Other 4 Senses!

When we think of traditional Stockton real estate sales scenarios, most of us would initially picture the photos that dominate the MLS listing and the information we read onscreen. Then, if those impressions were positive, the next step would be seeing how well the property presents itself as a prospective buyer approaches (the renowned “curb appeal”).

Notice that every impression up until the next step, positive or negative, had been exclusively visual. In fact, I think most of us think of real estate sales scenarios in exclusively visual terms. That’s not wrong—the majority of what impresses prospective buyers comes to them through their eyes.

But, whoa! Seeing is important (in fact, “seeing is believing”) but sight is only one of the five senses. Stockton homeowners who are preparing their homes for market can also benefit from thinking about using the other four senses to make a winning impression. It may sound like an unusual way to look at Stockton real estate selling, but when you think about it, a useful one!

Examples:

SOUND: when your visitors open the front door, if it squeaks, the quality message is less than satisfactory. Likewise for stair railings that creak, air conditioners that squeal, or windows that rattle in the wind. On the more positive side, when a musical background is present (but not too loud), it can supply a pleasant aura for a showing or open house.

SMELL: kitty boxes—well, you know! Bathrooms, bedrooms, and other living areas benefit from the kind of quality scent enhancement that can be provided by candles or aroma dispensers. And floral bouquets add more than just visual appeal.

TOUCH: back at the beginning, if the prospective buyer opens a front door handle that feels loose and flimsy, that’s a first impression that sends the wrong message. Likewise, if the door feels lightweight, it communicates an entirely different feel than one that’s heavy and substantial. That’s why consumeraffairs.com rates front door replacement among the top two tweaks for ROI (Return on Investment) for sellers. Any feature that would-be buyers might touch—from sticky light switches to obstinate sliding doors—are also worth fixing before visitors arrive.

TASTE: this sense is by far the least relevant. But I’ve seen tired prospects whose energy perks up considerably at the sight of a welcoming plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies!

When you are selling your Stockton home, it’s not a bad idea to be keenly aware that your home’s next owners will be using all their senses when they visit—even if they aren’t really aware of that. Another sensible idea: for any and all Stockton real estate sales matters, do give me a call!

 

Stockton Virtual Tours Can Use Your Help! Stockton Virtual Tours Prep – Sellers Can Help! Stockton Virtual Tours: A Smart Trick for a Quick Sale

They are  a home seller’s dream come true: a miraculous gateway through which the world’s prospective buyers can tour your property 24 hours a day without your having to sweep the front porch, put flowers in vases, turn on all the lamps or light the fireplace. Here your house is always tidy and gleaming, its best foot forward (if your home had feet; well, you know what I mean!).

Of course, we’re talking about Stockton virtual tours—the 21st century’s most far-reaching and transformative of real estate marketing tools. Whether you’re buying or selling a Stockton home, chances are you’re finding yourself spending more and more online time immersed in virtual tours. If you’re on the buying side: tour away! You’re saving a lot of time and motion as you whittle down the possible in-person visits. If you’re an owner preparing to list, on the other hand, you can contribute greatly to the success of your own Stockton virtual tour. Here’s how:

  • Eliminate Excess. Real estate photographers are experts at knowing how to accentuate the spaciousness of your home by selecting the right angles and lens focal lengths. But you can make the results more impressive yet by ridding every nook and cranny of all clutter—including extraneous furnishings. One wise investment to promote a speedy sale is the renting of storage space to accommodate all that stuff. To showcase the full potential of your home, it’s probably worth the trouble of lugging a few pieces of furniture to temporary storage.
  • Be Ready to Stash. Look around to spot items lying around the house that can be hidden. Find temporary lodgings for items like TV and stereo remotes, books and magazine, etc. Only slightly more troublesome are the kitchen blender and Cuisinart—or all the bathroom counter bric-a-brac. Have a number of smaller cardboard cartons ready to serve as temporary containers—they’ll go out of camera range.
  • Give the Place a Thorough Going-Over. Stockton virtual tours—whether they be motion videos or the more common still photo compilations—can memorialize your home at its sparkling best only when it’s been made dazzling for the occasion. The camera tends to see flaws, and although some can be “fixed” in processing, the best virtual tours result when the property is actually in tip-top shape. Literally camera-ready. To that end, clean the bathrooms, mop the floors, dust, and vacuum – you know the drill! A few places that often get overlooked are baseboards and kitchen cabinet doors.

There’ll be a bonus coming your way afterward, too. In addition to having provided your home’s listing with one of the most appealing Stockton virtual tours in town, after the shoot, your family can enjoy the house at its spectacular camera-ready best (at least for a little while).

The combined efforts of a seasoned professional and motivated homeowner create an unstoppable formula for success. I hope you’ll think of me when it’s time to choose your agent!

 

Some Lucky Stockton Consumers see Credit Score Bumps Surprise Credit Score Rise Affects Lucky Stockton Homebuyers This Month, Stockton Credit Scores May See Surprise Rises

It isn’t exactly Christmas-in-May, but for some Stockton consumers, a valuable present they weren’t expecting will show up this month. The surprise gift will arrive in the form of a boost to their all-important credit score. The newly minted credit scores could be improved by as much as 30 points—enough of a jump that some Stockton recipients could find themselves newly eligible for home loans with lower rates. That will happen if the increase promotes them from one credit score “band” to the next.

The windfall comes as a result of a revision in the way the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—deal with tax records (the negative ones, that is). Up until mid-April, any tax lien that appeared in Stockton consumers’ credit records resulted in significant dings to their credit scores. An overdue tax bill of any kind was scored as a major no-no—and until mid-April, that was a black mark that marred more than 5 ½ million U.S. citizens’ credit scores.

This was true even though the reporting agencies had already removed almost all civil judgment data from consumer records last July—including about half of existing tax liens. The reason then was the same as the reason now: scads of incorrect identifying information. It seems that simple mistakes like same-name cross-ups or bureaucratic updating failures had become so common that the histories could no longer be considered reliable. That put the credit agencies in legal jeopardy—a situation that could only be remedied by striking all of the tax lien records.

For consumers with Stockton credit scores that had been affected, the impact on their home loan prospects will vary. If they are already in a superior rating band, the result will be a ho-hum. But for those with lower scores, the boost might be decisive.

Credit scores are one area where it pays to be vigilant when it comes time to buy and finance a home. Another is in selecting the right experienced Stockton real estate agent. That’s where I come in: I hope you’ll give me the nod!

 

Sell Your Stockton Home by Neutralizing the NuancesTo Sell Your Stockton Home: Go Boring!A Boring Palette Helps Sell Your Stockton Home

It may sound paradoxical, but one proven way to sell your Stockton home is to make it boring…or at least, a little bit more boring.

The principle here stems from buyer psychology—specifically, the difference between a house that would make a great tourist attraction and one whose first impression is more apt to lead to a sale. At first blush, the flashy version might seem to be not only memorable, ­­­but more valuable as well. But that’s not typically true.

A potential buyer can remember your house in two different ways. One memory might be of striking red walls and purple tile that call to mind images from an architectural magazine. That sort of memory will be vivid, but it doesn’t necessarily help to sell your home. A different type of memory could be of a living room that is just the right size for a couch, with a bare spot over the fireplace mantle that would be perfect for…whatever—the specifics will be personal for every potential buyer.

To sell your home, the odds are good that the second impression will sell your Stockton home to more prospects than will the first. The better result is to leave buyers with the mental image of a home they could see themselves living in—rather than one they might admire as a design exhibit.

The difference between these two types of memory is highlighted in an analysis published by Consumer Reports. Their research found that homes painted in neutral colors sell at a premium of up to $5,000 more than similar homes painted in brighter, more distinctive colors. Results came from an analysis of thousands of photographs of homes for sale. Today’s neutrals tend toward greys, taupes, and beiges—but even when fashions change, the underlying wisdom remains. The principal reason these colors help sell a home is that they form unobtrusive backgrounds to buyers’ own imaginations—in other words, “boring” becomes “memorable” when it allows onlookers’ own imaginations to take over. Neutral colors accomplish that by creating a canvas onto which potential buyers can paint their own masterpieces.

First impressions are important for laying the groundwork, but it’s your Stockton real estate agent who makes all the difference when it comes to following through. That’s where I come in. Give me a call!

 

Your Stockton Agent and the Importance of Chitchat! Easy Communication with Your Stockton Broker—It’s Vital! An Often-Overlooked Key to Choosing an Agent!

One of the most important yet seldom discussed factors that should rate near the top of your list of requirements for a Stockton agent is how comfortable you feel in conversation with him or her. What might sound like New Age feel-goodery is actually a crucial ingredient in the buying and selling of Stockton homes.

Selecting a real estate agent is more than a personnel decision—it also becomes a pivotal team-building exercise.

Professional qualifications necessarily come first. In addition to being licensed to carry out the duties and obligations required by the California authorities, the agent you tap should be able to point to a successful track record of accomplishment in Stockton as well as being demonstrably competent in the use of the latest tools in the virtual (as well as actual) real estate marketing arenas. You’ll also be looking for a full-time professional—someone whose response time is measured in hours rather than days.

But added to those professional credentials are some often-overlooked reasons why you should also select a person who is easy to talk to. Whether you are enlisting your Stockton agent to help you buy or sell, success is much more likely to follow when the channels of communications open effortlessly—and stay that way.

If you are looking to sell, the more broadly informed your agent is, the more competent that agent will be when escorting prospects around your property. A stock of amusing and informative anecdotes—the stray bits and pieces that go with living in a place—will only be available to your agent if you’ve been comfortable swapping tales during strolls around the home. Experienced agents know that buyers automatically sense when the agent in charge is a relative stranger to the property—a setup that’s antithetical to having prospective buyers feel they can trust what they are being shown and told.

For buyers, too, free and open communication with your agent is invaluable for tagging all the Stockton homes that should be considered and visited—and those that needn’t be. The best Stockton agents not only have an encyclopedic knowledge of all current Stockton listings—in short order, they also know their client.

Needless to say, I strive to be the Stockton Realtor® who qualifies on all counts. I hope you’ll give me a call to get communications flowing!

“Last Step First” Idea for Landing Stockton Homes for Sale Last Step First Planning Lands Stockton Homes for SaleIn Multiple Offer Scenarios, Last Step First Wins the Day

Particularly when the supply of homes for sale falls well below demand, house hunting can take more determination than usual. Since U.S. residential real estate markets have been long mired in exactly that lean-inventory situation—the accompanying publicity could discourage folks who’d otherwise already be in the hunt for Stockton homes for sale.

While it can take some stick-to-it-ness to locate the ideal Stockton home that’s for sale at a price that fits your budget—the truly frustrating thing would be for your offer to be passed over in favor of a competitor’s. If the other party swoops in with an over-the-top offer that would bust your own budget, there’s not much you can do about it. But if a competing offer wins out for other reasons, that’s truly crazy-making. Such a scenario might play out if the other party had prior experience in the process of landing homes for sale. They would have foreseen the value of putting the “last step first.”

The last step first in this connection refers to the steps involved in buying and selling a home. The buyer takes many steps leading up to the closing table. But a knowledgeable buyer also considers the process strategically from the other guy’s standpoint. And when you think about things from the seller’s POV, the last step comes with the weighty decision about whether to accept an offer.

When a seller gets the good news that an offer (or multiple offers) have been submitted, beyond the dollar amount, there are crucial dependability factors. If the buyer can’t actually follow through with the purchase because of credit score problems or some other factor, it means the last step in the seller’s process was a misstep. It can be an expensive one. The seller may have lost qualified buyers while the bank was deciding not to fund. And now the property may be seen as less desirable than other Stockton homes for sale which haven’t lingered unsold for nearly as long…

When the seller’s choice is between one offer from a buyer who has been pre-approved by a lender and another from someone who is just beginning to feverishly gather pay stubs and tax returns, the prudent decision is pretty clear. The first buyer foresaw what the seller’s decision might well hinge upon—and dealt with that last step first.

Part of my value as your agent is in knowing all the steps you as a buyer or seller will encounter, and helping you prepare for each in a timely and wholly stress-free manner. I hope you’ll call me!

Ageless Real Estate Advice Heartens Stockton Homeowners Real Estate Wisdom to Cheer Stockton Homeowners Millionaires & History Agree on One Thing: Real Estate

It seems as if inflation is starting a slow creep back into Stockton supermarkets and gas stations—something that hasn’t happened for quite a while. For families on a tight budget, it’s hard not to notice—especially when it comes to trying to put something extra aside as a long-term investment.

By way of partially alleviating that concern, it’s worthwhile reviving some elevating insights from past eras. They stem from a chorus of exceptionally qualified voices when it comes to sophistication in investing: namely, economists, millionaires, and billionaires.

These elevating insights can be heartening whenever Stockton householders write a monthly mortgage check that pays down the principal. That only seems like a monthly expense—and hard-earned dollars out the door. In reality, those dollars are on their way to a happier place: the long-term investment column. And there’s been major agreement among history’s titans of finance that it’s a pretty smart destination, too! Here are a few of the many encouraging dictums that appear through the ages:

The major fortunes in America have been made in land.”

That’s investment advice that doesn’t beat around the bush. It’s all the more convincing when you consider its source: the first great American oil baron—John D. Rockefeller.

Land…is by far the greatest of monopolies…and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly.” –Winston Churchill, statesman.

“Landlords grow rich in their sleep without working, risking, or economizing.”—John Stuart Mill, political economist.

“Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.”—Andrew Carnegie, industrialist.

“The best deal investment you can make is to buy a primary residence that you’re the owner-occupier of.”—John Paulson, billionaire hedge fund manager.

Buy real estate when other people want to sell. Hold what you buy!”—John Jacob Astor, first American multi-millionaire.

  • — — — —

If I may, I’d like to add one more timely piece of advice,:

For any and all of your own Stockton real estate matters, just call!”—me, your Stockton Real Estate Broker

Beyond Listing Strategy: One for the Record Books Stockton Listing Blurbs and a Strategic Demonstration Last Month’s Jaw-Dropper Stockton Listing Strategy

When it’s time to put your Stockton house up for sale, one of the most important built-in marketing tools at your disposal is the write-up at the top of its Stockton listing.  Ad people call short descriptive essays like this “blurbs.” In Stockton listings, its importance is second only to the curb-appeal of the photo that appears above it.

When the blurb is thoughtfully crafted, it can shape prospects’ expectations by way of highlighting the best features while softening the importance of less desirable details. A huge backyard could be emphasized as “park-like”—while a tiny patio could be “cozy” or even “intimate.”

That’s why, after a lightning-fast sale took place last month in Sunnyvale, California, the agent who’d authored its blurb had to have been more than pleased. Realtor® Doug Larson had been working with a home that was definitely “cozy.” The blurb called it “a charmer”— a carefully-chosen adjective given its size (just 848 square feet of living space) and unremarkable lot size (about 1/8 acre). The blurb diplomatically pointed out a “large backyard patio.”

Now, the fact is that even though the single-story house clearly belonged in the “modest” category, its proximity to leading Silicon Valley campuses like Google and Apple merited a hefty asking price—even though Sunnyvale is a more affordable community than neighboring Cupertino or Palo Alto. At only $1.4 million, the listing price represented a strategic exercise in attracting motivated buyers by setting an asking price below comparables. Larson hoped that offers of $1.6 million or so would be forthcoming eventually.

The listing appeared on a Wednesday, but by Friday, despite a request that offers be withheld until a week had passed, a “persistent” Realtor® submitted her client’s offer.

If you are reading this while standing, please sit down.

“I was blown away by it,” said Larson. The offer was for a flat $2,000,000. That jaw-dropping sum works out to $2,358 for each and every one of the 848 square feet —making it not only the highest square foot price recorded in Sunnyvale; it is the highest price per square foot ever recorded in local MLS history. It generated headlines from coast to coast.

Stockton sellers might be forgiven for regarding this tale from a notoriously super heated market as somewhat irrelevant—but I’d argue that there are real-life Stockton lessons to be learned. For one, this is now the season for the kind of active market you may expect when springtime breaks out after a long, cold winter. For another, strategic under pricing can actually draw motivated buyers in a hurry. This particular example is hyperbolic, to be sure—but the takeaway is authentic.

For more ideas about maximizing your own Stockton listing’s marketing impact, give me a call!

Buying a House in Stockton, First Step First Buying a House in Stockton Means Charting Your Course Buying Your First Stockton House Takes a Game Plan

Once you’ve settled on the goal of buying your first Stockton house, it’s hard to resist getting out there and getting started immediately! No matter if you know how vital it is to stick to a realistic budget on a purchase that’s this substantial, as soon as you’ve begun to save for that down payment, you’ll be hard-pressed not to at least stop by whenever you see an “Open House” sign. Even if it’s in a neighborhood where you know prices are half again what’s in your price range.

There may be no harm in that—but realistically, only if you are already following a delineated game plan. One that’s reality-based. Hard-headed. Businesslike. If not, it’s a better idea to resist the house hunting (even pre-house hunting) until your plans are charted out and underway. The danger in getting ahead of yourself is that buying your Stockton house is at least partially an emotional undertaking—and falling in love with the wrong house is the last thing you need. What’s at stake is gaining the incomparable feeling that now you control the place where you live (rather than the feeling that it’s the house that is controlling you)!

Drawing up a game plan that sets everything in motion the right way doesn’t take Pulitzer Prize creativity. Financial guru Dave Ramsey has even boiled it down to “7 simple steps” for buying a house. I’d go further: the most pivotal parts can actually be found in his first three:

  1. Save for a down payment
  2. Get pre-approved for a mortgage
  3. Find a real estate agent

The first step takes no more than a sheet of paper, a sharp pencil, and determination to calculate how much you can realistically set aside each month. The second step comes after your savings are nearing the percentage likely to be required for your down payment. I might disagree with Mr. Ramsey that this comes next—teaming with your Stockton real estate agent might be a better Step 2. I know that clients sometimes ask me for information on special home loan programs that support discounted down payment percentages.

Once those qualifying steps are out of the way, the remaining steps can proceed like clockwork: 4. Go house hunting; 5. Submit an offer; 6. Get a home inspection; 7. Close on your house.

Of course, this step-by-step is over-simplified, but laying out an advance strategy for buying a house does keep you in the driver’s seat. It also makes it much more likely that the Stockton house you wind up with will be one that guarantees homeownership will be a joy instead of a burden. When you call me in to help at an early stage, I’ll work hard to make sure that happens!

 

 

Easter in Stockton—Why So Late This Year? This Year’s Stockton Easter: Why So Late? Stockton Easter: Is It Really Late This Year?

Stockton real estate agents are like everyone else when it comes to Easter Sunday. There is the holiday part, the spiritual part, and the kids-searching-for-hidden-Easter-eggs part. The day can also serve as a sort of mental signpost that reads “Spring is here!” (or something like that). When I think back to major events that happened around this time in years past—like memorable spring vacations—Easter is usually the clearest mental reference point: This happened just before Easter or that happened a couple of weeks after Easter. I bet I’m not alone in that.

But for Stockton real estate agents, this time of year has some other, distinctly professional overtones. It’s the time of year when keeping a clear calendar becomes more necessary than ever because the phones start ringing like crazy, and the scheduling calendar needs constant vigilance lest appointments overlap (we don’t let that happen).

Now that we’re on the subject of Stockton’s Easter and this year’s calendar, doesn’t it seem as if the 2019 edition arrives later than usual? Checking into this yielded two pieces of information—one of which is relevant.

  • The date for Easter moves from year to year—it’s dependent on the lunar calendar, falling on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox (no wonder regular people have to go to Wikipedia to figure it out). That puts it anywhere from late March to mid-April. So yes, this year it’s a little earlier than usual.
  • The second piece of Easter trivia was just something that’s always seemed a little bit irregular about the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll. Isn’t it actually more of a hunt than a roll? The answer seems to be that it’s both. A few lucky tots get to push their Easter eggs down designated ribbon-designated lanes using what look like colorful spatulas, but all the others get to stampede across the lawn, snatching up eggs (or wooden replicas of eggs) in complete and utter child pandemonium.

I hope you and any little ones with whom you are lucky enough share this year’s Stockton Easter have a delightful, appropriately colorful Sunday. But should any questions arise about how the Easter Bunny happens to have baskets full of chicken eggs, please don’t call me—I’ll never figure that one out. For Stockton real estate matters, on the other hand, please do call!