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La Quinta Real Estate Blog

Kathleen O'Keefe


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Want to Sell Quickly...

by Kathleen O'Keefe


 Friday, June 27, 2014 — Every seller dreams of a quick sale—preferably at or even above asking price. As market conditions across the country continue to improve, those dreams aren’t so far fetched. While a competitive asking price is crucial to a quick sale, there are many other, perhaps less obvious elements that also come into play. How can you best present your home to potential buyers? What minor updates or fixtures “wow” home seekers? What must-haves are currently at the top of buyer’s lists? Before you get too overwhelmed, we’re here to offer some tips and suggestions to get your property ready for a speedy, simple sale.

Competitive Price Point

Listing your home at the most competitive price point will determine how quickly you’ll receive offers. Before agreeing upon the value of your home, request for your realtor to run comps of your neighborhood. This will tell you what other homes within your community are selling for, and also provide details around square footage, beds and baths, and any updates to neighboring properties. Always agree to look over an offer, even if you think the number will be low.

Curb Appeal

Though we’re taught not to judge a book by its cover, this popular saying doesn’t exactly translate in real estate. The curb appeal of your home is incredibly important in that it sends a message to potential buyers, and determines whether or not individuals will request a showing. Fortunately, you can DIY some highly effective curb appeal projects at minimal costs. A new front door in a bright, trendy color invites visitors in from the curb, as do seasonal flowers and a manicured, well maintained lawn. Even the smallest of touches, like upgrading your mailbox or replacing faded pavers make a drastic difference. Replace any outdated window dressings with fresh, modern shutters or opt instead for a nice neutral coat of paint.

Declutter, Minimize and Stage

Staging your home for sale is all about highlighting its strengths and downplaying its weaknesses. The first rule of thumb is to declutter and downsize. Eliminate mail, papers or books from any counter surface, leaving it barren and clean. The Container Store offers an array of decorative bins and boxes to camouflage clutter. If you’re house is full of personal mementos, minimize these items and leave buyers with a clean palette. Chunky furniture tends to drive attention away from the space itself, and also can make a room look significantly smaller. Eliminate these pieces and keep only the basics needed to complete a room.

Though it can be costly, hiring a professional cleaning service to scrub down your property from head to toe is worth it. Homebuyers want to walk into a clean, fresh environment that is both welcoming and distinctive. Garnish your entryway or kitchen with a bouquet of crisp scented flowersto add a soft feminine touch.

As for staging your home, ensure the furniture items you’ve kept flatter each room appropriately. Create a cohesive style that allows home seekers to get a feel for how they could potentially manipulate the space. Neutral colors for both furniture and paint are ideal, even if that means rolling up your sleeves and painting each room yourself. Keep everything organized within your home, from your cupboards to your closets, allowing viewers a chance to see how organized their own lives could potentially be.

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Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Kathleen O'Keefe

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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Photo of Kathleen O'Keefe Galigher Real Estate
Kathleen O'Keefe Galigher
50100 Avenida Vista Bonita
La Quinta CA 92253
(760) 567-7822

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