San Jose is Set to Become the Next Hotspot of the Silicon Valley… and Google’s the Reason

According to recent news, tech giant Google is slated to expand into the Silicon Valley city of San Jose, CA, bringing as many as 20,000 jobs and some stunning new developments to the area. Here’s what that means for those living in, working in, or relocating to the area.

Google Plans to Develop a New Tech Campus in San Jose

Meeting, Office, Working, Technology, Business MeetingGoogle and San Jose are talking big news… and it’s all about Google’s plans to develop a major tech campus in the heart of Downtown San Jose in the Diridon Station area. Not only will this new development add a potential 20,000 jobs to the city, it could also completely transform the culture and transportation of Downtown San Jose.

A Vision of New Development

business meetingGoogle plans on building its largest-ever tech campus in San Jose, creating a mixed-use development featuring over 6 million square feet of office and research and development space. Not only would this be the company’s largest tech campus (even larger than the Mountain View Googleplex), it could also help to maximize public transportation in the Diridon Station area.

The Effect on Diridon Station & Downtown San Jose

Businesswoman in subway reading message on smartphoneAs the home to Amtrak, Caltrain, and light-rail stations, Diridon Station is already a hub of public transportation. It’s also slated for new BART extension, and a potential high-speed rail in the future. Google’s development in the area will accelerate and enhance the pre-existing public transit; the plan is to focus on public transportation, transforming Downtown San Jose into an attractive and commuter-friendly area that vastly differs from the “auto-oriented urban sprawl” common throughout much of the Valley.

What Does This Mean For You?

happy home buyersHome buyers, job-hunters, and potential relocators, listen up! Google’s new developments are bringing great things to San Jose. Jobs, for one, and lots of them. New transportation options. And along with all of this, new housing developments in San Jose and throughout its surrounding communities.

Searching for the Best Place to Live in San Jose?

Beautiful young woman enjoying a hot drink with friends in a cosy cafe.Whether you want to live in the city or conveniently outside of it, in a quieter or smaller community, there are plenty of great options! Like Santa Clara, which has plenty of its own big-city opportunities… with a more laid-back small-town feel. There’s Campbell, home to the expansive Pruneyard Shopping Center open-air mall, and Sunnyvale, much-loved for its small-town charm, beautiful parks, and elegant homes. In nearby Cupertino, you might even find a job working at Apple, or in Milpitas, you can reach just about anywhere in the Valley in no time at all.

Thinking of Buying a Home in San Jose or the Silicon Valley?

If relocation and buying a home are on your mind, then it’s time to contact Gary & Robert. As your Silicon Valley expert realtors, we’re here to help you explore the community, search homes for sale, and discover the perfect place to buy your home.

3 Home Selling Prep Essentials

You’ve got to start somewhere when preparing your home to sell, but it’s not where you would think. Before jumping right into cleaning, decluttering, staging, and marketing, take some time to review. Having a solid understanding of the real estate market and the home selling process is essential for a smooth and stress-free sale. So let’s get to it.

1. Know What’s Happening in the Real Estate Market

aerial view of residential community

Are homes in your community flying off the market in just a couple of days? Are properties selling over asking price again and again? What have homes like yours recently sold for? Knowing about current market conditions will give you an idea of how quickly your home is likely to sell, as well as how high a price you’re likely to receive. Ask us for a Neighborhood Sales Report for an inside look at market activity!

2. Find Out How Much Your Home is Worth

You’ve probably asked yourself “what’s my home worth?” a dozen times over the past few years. Now’s your chance to learn the answer!

When we’re determining how much homes are worth, we don’t just pull a number out of thin air. Home buyers are the ones who determine what properties are worth, so we take a look at current market activity (which you’ve already done!) to see how much buyers are willing to pay for homes like yours. At the end of all of our research, we have a detailed report of what your home is worth, which in the real estate industry is called a “comparative market analysis.” Call us and we’ll provide one for your home!

3. Wait Before Making Drastic Home Improvements

highly upgraded kitchenBefore you decide to shell out thousands of dollars to completely gut your kitchen and bathrooms, talk with a real estate agent who’s familiar with your community and what buyers are looking for in a home like yours. You may be surprised to learn that your potential buyers don’t want top-of-the-line appliances, quartz countertops, under-cabinet lighting, or any of those “must-haves” that you see on HGTV.

Save yourself the time, money, and headaches and talk with us. We can tell you which home improvements are worth the money and which ones aren’t.

Bonus Tip: Find the Right Real Estate Agent

The best way to save time, money, and unnecessary headaches? Work with a professional. The best real estate agent takes the time to understand your goals, provides you with the resources you need, and tells what to expect when selling your home. Plus, your real estate agent will be there to answer any questions you have at any time in the process.

We’d be happy to talk with you about your plans to sell your home. Call us!

How to Find a Home in the Best School District of the Silicon Valley

happy new homebuyersA major concern for many home buyers in the Silicon Valley is the quality of the school districts their children will be attending. Even for those without their own children, particularly teachers, child-care providers, or other professionals, the quality of the local schools is a vitally important factor in their home search. But with about 70 different districts in the area, how do you find the best, and what do you do once you’ve found it?

Do Your Research

The best way to start off finding the best district is to narrow down your search based on publications, reviews, reports, stats, and other data. You can find this information easily enough on comparison sites, like Niche.com, GreatSchools.org, or SchoolDigger.com, or from the US Department of Education.

Examine All Criteria

While strict statistical facts and data—like test scores, ratings, and graduation rates—provide beneficial information, they certainly don’t paint a complete picture. You’ll want to consider other criteria that might be important to you or your child, such father walking little daughter with backpack to school or daycareas class size and school attendance, other available programs and activities, including sports, career education, community outreach, and creative or alternative education. Be sure to take your child’s specific learning style, strengths, and interests into consideration.

Visit & Ask

One of the best ways to learn more about a school district is to ask other parents whose children attend the district. You can do this online or through reading reviews. Even better, visit the schools in person to see for yourself what it’s like.

Consider the Neighborhood

Before getting excited about a particular school or district, be sure to take into consideration the area they serve. A great school in a location that’s too far from work or that doesn’t offer access to the other amenities you need might not be worth it. And likewise, a top-rated school in a neighborhood you cannot afford could create a stressful financial burden.

Ask Your Agent

Want some local expertise? Talk to a local expert! Your real estate agent will be experienced with helping buyers locate perfect homes—which commonly includes locating the perfect school district as well. And as such, they’ll know a lot about districts in the area. They might even have students in attendance. And what’s more, they’ll know how to locate neighborhoods within school zones you like that also fit your needs and your budget.

2017 Top-Rated School Districts in the Silicon Valley

We’ve started you off by pulling some recent data from school-rater Niche.com. On a recent survey of the best school and districts Young Family Playing With Happy Baby Son At Homein America, Niche considered important criteria, including strength of academics, quality of teachers, resources and facilities, student life, and reviews. Three districts in the Silicon Valley—Palo Alto Unified School District, Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District, and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District—were listed as the top 3 Best Public School Districts in California. Additionally, San Mateo Union High School District was ranked #11 in California and #6 in the San Francisco metro.

Other top districts included Fremont Union High School District in Sunnyvale, Campbell Union High School District in San Jose, Milpitas Unified School District, San Jose Unified School District, and Santa Clara Unified School District, all of which ranked in the Top 30 districts in the San Francisco metro.

Searching for the Perfect Silicon Valley Home in a Great School District?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Silicon Valley and you want to make sure you find just the right home for sale, one that’s also in a top school district, then it’s time to contact Gary & Robert. As your experienced Silicon Valley real estate and lifestyle experts, we want to ensure that your Silicon Valley home buying experience goes off without a hitch!

What’s Hot in Home Design This Summer

Bright sunshine, warmer days, and a ton of new trends come with the change in season, and this summer certainly won’t disappoint. In the real estate world, these new trends revolve around the latest and greatest in wall colors and decorations, space savers, and creative living arrangements. We have our eye on a few interesting home décor ideas and hot home features that we think you’re going to love!

laptop sitting on marble countertop

Marble: A Sophisticated Look for Summer

Whether natural or imitation, marble is one of the top home décor trends for summer 2017. Designers are incorporating this luxe look into bathrooms and kitchens as expected, but they’re also taking it to everything from flower vases to side tables.

table with vintage dinner plates

Vintage Looks are Back in Style

1960s floral patterns have resurfaced in today’s home design magazines. Old World-inspired indigo dyes are popping up in everything from fabrics to bedspreads. Colorful melamine dinnerware is becoming popular in indoor and outdoor table settings. These nostalgic summer looks are sure to create the perfect feeling of “home.”

Today’s Buyers Crave These Trendy Home Features

Seasonal trends are not all about home décor. Outdoor entertaining spaces and smart-yet-sophisticated interior features are what buyers are searching for this summer. Are these popular home features on your must-have list?

sparkling swimming pool

Private Swimming Pools

With warm, sunshine-filled days ahead for summer, pools are at the top of most buyers’ home search lists. Backyard pools continue to be sought-after as both a focal point and a fun outdoor entertaining space.

neutral room with light wood floors

Lighter Hardwood Floors

Darker shades are out; bamboo, oak, and pecan flooring are on buyers’ must-have lists this summer. With these lighter shades in your living spaces, your home will seem even more light-filled and spacious.

kitchen with open floor plan

Spacious Open Floor Plans

This home design trend continues to be popular among home buyers. It’s not hard to understand why! Open floor plans create an effortless flow into any home and maximize every square inch of space.

We’ll Help You Find Your Dream Home

Have these décor ideas and trendy features on your mind as you search for a new place? We can help you find the perfect home and move you quickly through the process. Call us and let’s chat!

Buying Luxury in the Silicon Valley? 6 Things to Consider in Your Home Search

stunning silicon valley luxury homeThinking of buying a luxury home in the Silicon Valley? With prices on the rise, now is definitely the time to make your purchase! But buying a luxury home can be a little more complex than buying a more moderately-priced home. After all, you’re investing a pretty significant amount of money and you want to ensure that your home perfectly suits your needs—but will also retain its value when it comes time to sell.

Here’s what you should consider when searching luxury homes for sale in the Silicon Valley.

Location, Location, Location!

One of the most important aspects of any home is its location. And with luxury real estate, this factor is vital. Carefully select your location based on its geographic landscape, its proximity to amenities like shopping and dining, as well as major employers, highways and transportation, and top-rated schools. Also consider the value of other homes in the neighborhood, the overall safety of the area, and whether the area is growing, holding steady, or declining.

Views & Lightingstunning hilltop view

Besides location, one of the #1 features luxury homebuyers consider is the view. What can you see out of your windows? You might be in a great location, but if you’re looking over a highway or street, it might not be that great. Buyers look for natural scenery, like parks and trees, urban spectacles, like skylines or downtowns, and of course, natural wonders, like mountains. Be sure to research whether your great views are protected from all the new developments springing up over the Valley. You wouldn’t want to lose your amazing mountain views to a new condo building!

Beautiful Architecture

Next, consider the layout and design of the homes you’re considering. Open-concept layouts make homes feel more open. Other important features include a solid foundation, high-grade materials, and artistic architectural components or unusual details and finishes—just be sure any design you choose will still be “popular” or “artistic” in a few years (or decades) from now. Remember, fashion goes in and out of style!

Practical Designstunning luxury home lit at night

Along with design comes functionality. Does the floorplan make sense? Personal spaces, like bedrooms and private bathrooms, should be kept separate from social spaces, like living and dining rooms. You’ll also want to avoid long hallways, excessive amounts of stairs, and unnecessary space-wasters. Another key feature to look for? Storage spaces. Walk-in closets, butler’s pantries, large garages, and more.

Modern Upgrades

Designs are timeless, but modern upgrades are must-haves! Homes equipped with the latest-and-greatest features and amenities, like stainless steel-appliances, energy-efficient features, professionally-equipped gourmet kitchens, and smart home technology are not only popular; these features have started to become standard in luxury living.

Useable Outdoor Spacesluxury resort style swimming pool

In places like California, where the weather is beautiful year-round, outdoor spaces are especially important. The only thing better than having lots of windows to enjoy the beautiful views around your home is having a great way to actually be outside experiencing the view! Popular outdoor amenities include outdoor kitchens, porches and decks large enough for entertaining, pools and spas with pool houses, large landscaped yards, and private balconies with amazing mountain or skyline views.

Always Work with a Silicon Valley Luxury Real Estate Agent!

When buying luxury in the Silicon Valley, make sure you work with an experienced local Silicon Valley luxury real estate agent! We know the local market, the buying trends, the hot neighborhoods and the best locations. We can help you find the perfect luxury home in just the right location. Contact Gary & Robert and let’s get started right away!

These 6 Simple Tricks Make Moving Surprisingly Effortless

two people packing cardboard boxesLet’s face it, moving to a new home is no picnic. Moving day will be here before you know it, and you feel like there’s no way on Earth you can sort through all of your belongings and pack your entire life into a moving truck in time.

We know how stressful a move from one home to another can be, so we wanted to share a few helpful moving tips to make it a much easier experience.

Create a To-Do List and Pin It to Your Wall

You probably won’t remember everything you have to do in the chaos of researching moving companies, calling your insurance provider, and closing on your new home. So before you start the bulk of cleaning and decluttering, take a few minutes to compile a detailed list of the tasks you will need to complete, no matter how small. These tasks can include:

  • transferring your homeowners insurance to your new address
  • compiling a list of your emergency contacts
  • labeling your moving boxes
  • fixing a squeaky door hinge
  • meeting with friends for coffee before you leave

If it helps you stay organized, categorize your tasks by room, deadline, or importance. As you’re completing all your to-dos, make sure you check them off your list as you go. It will help you see how far you’re come in accomplishing such a gargantuan goal.

Declutter Your Home Room by Room

a person moving a stack of boxesThe less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to pack. But as we all know, one of the biggest hurdles to moving is sorting through all of your belongings and deciding which ones you won’t be taking to your new home.

If decluttering your entire home seems overwhelming, don’t panic. Start small: Instead of trying to tackle the entire project in one weekend, spend an hour or two on just one room. Create three piles: Keep, Donate, and Trash. Go through your closets, bedrooms, and other hot spots first, then move on to the rest of your home.

Remember, you can always buy books, kitchen gadgets, and other things after you move. If you have a few sentimental items you’re having a hard time getting rid of, ask a friend or neighbor for objective feedback.

Host a Yard Sale or Moving Sale

Once you’ve sorted through most of your home, host a yard sale and set out items that you planned on giving away. Sell anything that you can that day, and anything that’s left over you can donate to charity or a local thrift store.

Get Creative with Your Packing

homeowner opening cardboard boxesYou’ll be surprised at just how many small items can fit into the nooks and crannies left over in your moving boxes. After you’ve packed your bulky appliances and decorative pieces, you can fill in the spaces with smaller items to act as extra cushioning and save a bit of space in the process.

Another way you can get creative with your packing is by stacking items vertically instead of horizontally. Instead of laying down dishes, bowls, plates, and other fragile items in a box, stack them upright and cushion them with socks and towels. This will prevent your glass items from shifting around during the move.

Use Cling Wrap Where You Least Expect It

Worried about bottles of shampoo, soap, lotion, or other liquids spilling out on the journey? Cling wrap is a surprisingly effective seal. Remove the tops of bottles and cover the openings with a bit of cling wrap, then twist the caps back on.

Cling wrap is also easier to remove than tape. If you have clothes and jewelry packed away in drawers, surround the drawers with a thick layer of cling wrap. It’s easy to remove, and you won’t have a sticky mess to clean up later!

Create an “Open Me First” Box

After your move, unpacking can be just as stressful as packing. To avoid digging through countless boxes just to find coffee or toilet paper, create a box of the essentials and place it on the moving truck last. Here are a few items you should consider packing in this box:

  • instant coffee or tea bags
  • a first aid kit
  • tools like box cutters and screwdrivers
  • toilet paper
  • soap, shampoo, and lotion

Ask Us for More Helpful Moving Tips!

first-time home buyers moving inWe hope these moving tips come in handy, whether you’re planning to buy a home or whether you’re selling your current home. We’re more than happy to provide you with additional tips to help you prepare for your upcoming move.

If you need more advice about buying or selling a home or want to know more about the area, we offer a wealth of resources to help you out. Call us and let’s talk about your plans!

14 Conveniences You Don’t Want to Forget in Your Home Search

You have it all planned out. You know exactly which shopping centers and conveniences you want to live near, you know which amenities you need within a few miles of your community, and you have a general idea of where your workplace, grocery store, and soon-to-be-favorite hangouts are located.

When it comes to searching for the right home, many buyers like you have “the perfect location” at the top of their must-have lists. But what exactly is “the perfect location”? And have you considered all of the conveniences you need near your next home?

Shops and Services That Buyers Take for Granted

You know where the basic conveniences are located near your home search location — shops, restaurants, grocery stores. But how about the services and places that you take for granted? As you’re trying to decide where to live and which home best suits you, use this list to determine which amenities you can and can’t live without. This will help you settle on the perfect location — and your ideal home.

bananas at a supermarket1. Specialty Grocery Stores or Farmers’ Markets

You likely already know how far the closest grocery store is from your home search location. But if you love cooking and trying gourmet recipes, you may also want to live near shops that offer the ingredients that traditional grocery stores don’t.

2. Medical Facilities That Take Your Insurance

While you’re searching for homes and determining your ideal location, call around to the doctors, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, and other medical professionals that you are considering. Find out which insurance providers these places accept to help you decide whether you need to change your location or your provider.

3. Schools

Even if schools don’t affect you, they can still affect your home search. If there is a school near the location you’re considering, be aware of lower speed limits during school hours, traffic congestion due to carpool lanes, and buses that may make frequent stops along major roads.

dog and cat sleeping by fireplace4. Veterinarians and Pet Stores

While you can buy basic pet supplies at a grocery store, there are still some things that only a veterinarian or a pet specialty store has in stock. If you know you’ll be visiting these places every month or so, you may want to choose a home search location that is closer to the veterinarian, pet store, or even an animal hospital.

5. Fire Stations, Police Stations, and Hospitals

It’s always a good idea to be aware of the location of emergency services. However, it’s also a good idea to be aware of the noise levels due to fire trucks, police cruisers, and ambulances. Sirens may go off at any time of day, and sometimes multiple times a day. Proximity to these emergency services can help you determine which location may be best for your new home.

6. Communities with Sidewalks

Sidewalks offer a sense of security and accessibility. If you know you are going to be walking your dog, jogging, or spending time exploring your community, you may want to consider living in an area that offers plenty of sidewalks.

shopping at a store7. Easily Accessible Shopping Areas

If you want to live near shopping centers, consider whether it’s easy to get in and out of the area. Do you have to turn left and cut across several lanes of traffic to enter the shopping center? Will you have to deal with congestion on a regular basis? Is parking abundant or hard to find? These questions may help you narrow down your favorite home search location.

8. TV and Internet Providers

If you’re moving to an unfamiliar area, go ahead and take the time to acquaint yourself with the local utility providers. If fiber optic providers are in the area, consider whether you want to live in an area or community that offers fiber internet.

9. Bookstores, Libraries, and Record Shops

Music apps and Kindles are great, but if you’re eager to get your hands on an album or a physical copy of a book, will you live close enough to one of these stores so that it’s worth the trip?

person on the treadmill10. Gyms and Fitness Centers

If your ideal community doesn’t offer an on-site fitness area, you may find it helpful to live close to a gym. If you prefer taking group exercise classes, you may want to live close to a place that offers fitness programs taught by certified instructors.

11. Furniture Stores, Home Goods Stores, and Home Improvement Stores

Chances are, you’re not going to keep the same furniture forever. You’ll want to update your home at some point! There may be a vase, an end table, a painting, or a light fixture that you want to purchase. Living close to an interior decorating or home improvement store will certainly come in handy as you’re making your home your own!

12. Auto Repair Shops and Gas Stations

If you own a car, you’ll have to take it to the shop for routine maintenance and inspections from time to time. Spend some time exploring the area you like and determine how close you want to live from mechanics, auto body shops, and gas stations.

waiter delivering food13. Restaurants That Offer Your Favorite Cuisine

It’s nice to live near your favorite types of restaurants, especially for the nights when you don’t feel like cooking. Take a look at online reviews to figure out where the best restaurants are and what type of cuisine they offer.

14. Moving Companies and Truck Rentals

You don’t want to do all the heavy lifting when moving furniture, major appliances, or other bulky items out of your home. Check to see whether your ideal home search location is close to movers or truck rental companies.

Have a Question About a Home or Community?

We would be happy to help you narrow your home search location and find the best home. Call us and we can talk about what’s most important to you.

lifeplanning

Life Planning Made Easy: The Best Tips On Preparing For The Future

Some of us get stressed at the mere mention of the words “life planning”, which can be quite an undertaking, but these days, there are so many ways to plan for the future that it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. The resources available to you range from college planning to saving for retirement, and all it really takes is a good plan and some commitment.

Here are some of the best ways to start planning for the future.

Start saving

It’s often easier said than done, but saving money is an important part of planning for your future. If you don’t have a savings account already, open one up with strict instructions to yourself not to access it until you’re ready. Try not to miss a deposit on payday, even if it’s just ten or twenty dollars. Every little bit helps.

You can also set up a 401K at work and have your employer take the money right out of your paycheck, so you’ll never even miss it.

Write down your goals

You can’t plan for the future without clear-cut goals for yourself, your family, and your way of life, so sit down and write out what you hope to accomplish in the next ten or twenty years. Is your biggest goal to buy a home? Start saving for your child’s college education? Get serious about your career, or go back to school? All of these things are attainable with the right preparations.

Plan for higher education

If you have children or you’re thinking about going back to school, the first step is to start saving. Your family may qualify for financial aid, but in many cases there are still out-of-pocket expenses. You can either open up a basic savings account at your bank, or you might consider a 529 college savings plan for your child. These plans are designed to cover school costs only, but you receive a generous tax incentive for opening up an account.

Plan for that move

If you’re thinking about buying a home, do some heavy research before making a decision. Think about which neighborhood you want, which school district the home needs to be in, how much room you need, and whether you’ll still be living there when you reach your retirement years. If you will, some things to consider include whether there are stairs to navigate and how big the lawn is; as a senior, it may be difficult for you to use stairs every day or take care of a big lawn. If the move is in the near future, plan for packing and finding help on moving day and consider whether you need to downsize.

Plan for your career

If you feel as though you’re stuck in a professional rut, it might be time to go to your boss and figure out your future with the company you work for. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise, promotion, or to be assigned to new projects that challenge you. As an employee, it’s your right to desire to do your best work and be aptly compensated for it.

Author: Jackie Waters | jackie_waters@hyper-tidy.com

Hyper-tidy.com

How New Technology Has Changed the Way We Buy Homes

The way we find and purchase homes has changed a lot throughout the years. Used to be, agents were the only ones in the know about properties and homes; we kept our listings on index cards and waited for buyers to stop by in hopes of finding a home for sale in our area. But the times have changed, thanks to the leaps and bounds technology has made over the years. Nowadays, buyers are the experts who find their own homes and even schedule their own showings.

Here’s how new technology has completely revolutionized the home search… and what has stayed the same.

The Way We Find Properties

searching for homesProbably what’s undergone the most massive overhaul is the home-search process itself. Long gone are the days of flyers, print ads, and index cards. Now, everything is online. Now, you can use an advanced search tool to find homes that fit only your specific criteria for specific features, locations, sizes, styles, prices, amenities, and more. You can even set email alerts for when homes matching your specific criteria hit the market, or search homes from your phone, on the go. It saves you time and narrows down your searches much faster—which is good because, thanks to the Internet, you’re also able to search through a much larger database of properties.

It’s safe to say that buyers are now completely in the drivers’ seats of their home searches.

The Way We View Properties

beautiful finished basementThe old print ads might have had a few photos to give you a general idea of the home, but it was the tour that made or broke the deal. You’d tell your agent what you wanted, we’d find 10 or 20 homes that fit your description, and together we’d go and look. Now, you can determine whether you’re going to like a home without ever even leaving your chair! High-quality high-definition photos, video tours, 3D virtual tours… you can be inside the house from across the world. Buyers have even bought homes without even setting foot inside—though most still prefer to take a look in person.

The Way We Learn About the Area

using google street viewYou find a home you like, seems like the neighborhood is nice… but what about the area? In the past, you might have walked around the neighborhood, talked to some of the residents, asked your agent. Today? You’ll likely be on the Internet, looking up safety ratings, mapping your commute to work, checking out the nearby amenities. You’ll Google schools, taxes, transportation options. You might even use Google Street View to get a firsthand feel for the neighborhood and what’s around it.

The Way We Find Mortgages

comparing mortgages onlineOnce again… it’s all online these days. Thanks to the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule, you can easily compare mortgage benefits and fees using online comparison tools to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal. The process has become completely streamlined—no more faxing or mailing. Everything is instantaneous and fast. Thanks to home mortgage calculators, you can even figure out how much home you can afford without ever talking to a lender or agent.

The result of all this accessible knowledge and tools? Buyers are actually more in the know because you’re doing more work for themselves, rather than letting a broker or lender talk you into something you don’t completely understand.

The Way We Find & Communicate with Our Agents

buyer texting her agentIn the past, referrals were king for agents. We got our buyers and sellers by word of mouth; past clients would send their friends, family members, and coworkers our way. Now though, buyers search agents online, and with access to online reviews, ratings, and past client testimonials, you can make decisions about working with an agent without any recommendations or referrals. And when you decide you want to work with an agent, you can just fill out a form or send an email to get started. Once you’re working with an agent, you might even keep in communication through text message!

One Thing Has Stayed the Same Throughout the Changing Times: Agents are Still Relevant

Most searches might start online, but 87% of buyers still purchase their home using an agent. You might not need as much help finding properties, but you do still rely on the expert advice of an experienced local Realtor.

If you’re thinking of buying a home and are looking for an expert Realtor in the Silicon Valley, then it’s time to contact Gary & Robert. We want to help you find your dream home!

When It Comes to Home Staging, Start Small

The secret to selling your home for more money in less time is all in how you present it. Your home should look so beautiful—both online and in person—that home buyers can’t help but fall in love at first sight. The best way to create that wonderful first impression? Start small and focus on the details. Here are a few simple home staging tips that can have a significant impact on your home sale.

Start with Your Entryway

front door of a homeHome buyers decide whether a home is worth a visit based on how it looks in listing photos. You can impress buyers in seconds by paying special attention to the area around your front door. Make sure your entryway is well lit, is free of clutter, and looks inviting. (Feel free to ask for a second opinion from a friend, neighbor, or even your real estate agent.)

When it’s time for showings, don’t let a squeaky front door ruin a buyer’s first impression of your home. Spray WD-40 on creaky hinges, tighten any screws that are loose, and take care of any other issues well before the first home buyer steps over the threshold.

Move On to the Kitchen

Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, as the saying goes. Follow these tips to enhance your kitchen’s appeal:

  • Replace old knobs and handles with stylish new hardware to give your kitchen an updated look.
  • Decorate your counters with bowls of fruit or potted plants to create an artsy pop of color.
  • Store unnecessary appliances and clutter out of sight.
  • Replace any light bulbs that have burned out.
  • Prior to showings, bake cookies to make your kitchen smell like home.

Focus on the Bathrooms

bathroom that is clean and clutter-freeNothing makes a better first impression than a squeaky-clean bathroom. Wipe down all surfaces including the inside of your toilet, eliminate any surface mold and grime from the bathtub or shower, and lay out a stack of carefully positioned hand towels as a finishing touch.

Make Your Windows Sparkle

Clean your windows inside and out, and replace any screens if necessary. Since it’s a smart idea to open your windows and let the natural light in, you can impress potential buyers with how well you have maintained your home.

Want More Home Staging or Home Selling Tips?

When you focus on these small home staging tips, it will be easy to attract home buyers to your front door and impress them with the details. If you would like additional home staging and cleaning tips, or if you’re considering selling your home and want to talk about your plans, contact us. We are happy to help.