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Hidden Backyard Deal Breakers That Are Lurking on Your Property

by Bill Nelson - Broker

Every time a prospective home buyer walks onto your Central Coast property, there are a few things that they will absolutely not put up with. These deal breakers can be anywhere in the home, but there is one area that we often forget about: the backyard.

The backyard is very important to family life, especially here on the beautiful Central Coast. After all, this is the place where children will enjoy their childhood and play in a safe and secured environment. Most home buyers prefer single-family dwellings solely because of the usable outdoor space! Take some time to focus on your backyard. After all, there are ways that you can update your backyard without spending money.

Pool in the Backyard

To many buyers, a pool can be seen as an expensive maintenance fee that they will have to pay for on top of the mortgage. Once they see a pool, they’re going to start doing some calculations in their head thinking, “Now how much is this going to cost me?” Whether it’s above or below ground, a pool can raise a flood of concerns over child safety. But then there are those like me who love pools and are prepared to maintain them. 

Size of the Plot

The appraisal of your home is typically made in two elements, the plot size and the actual value of the physical home. That said, the size of your yard comes into play so you want to make sure that you spend a generous amount of time prepping your backyard for visitors. Getting rid of clutter and opening up the yard to make your lot feel larger will help you when it comes time to sell.

Pet Products

Hide dishes, play toys, and photos of your pets as this may make the buyer feel like the home is dirty, especially for a homeowner that doesn’t like the idea of having pets inside the house. This will be a deal breaker if the buyer is allergic to cats and/or dogs.

Landscaping

With the price of water rising rapidly and droughts in California, grass isn’t as appealing as it once was. When frugal buyers see grass, they see a sky-high water bill that will eventually lead to a dead yard and a new project to be undertaken. Think about landscaping trends like xeric landscaping, native plants, and artificial turf to make your home more appealing to all home buyers.

Leaving Backyard Photos Out of your Listing

This is a rookie mistake. If you leave out photos of your backyard, homebuyers will think that you have something to hide. If you have a gorgeous yard, why wouldn’t you want to showcase it in your listing? Are you hiding any skeletons in the closet?

Noisy Neighbors

Now this may be seen as something outside of your realm, but it may be worth a knock on the door to let your neighbors know that you will be showing your house at a given time. Rowdy neighbors can be an instant turn off to potential buyers. Make sure your neighbors’ parties are held on a different day than your open house to give buyers a better peace of mind. After all, they will share a fence with these neighbors for an indefinite period of time.

So What Are Home Buyers Looking For?

A survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders found that new home buyers are looking for exterior lighting, lots of trees, a deck or patio, and a fenced in yard. Beyond the basics, an outdoor amenity that is rapidly gaining in popularity is the outdoor fireplace/fire pit, outdoor kitchens, and the outdoor living room.

Investing in the backyard can net you some of the highest returns. Knowing what real estate appraisers (and home buyers) are looking for will help you sell your property faster. That said, the exterior of your home is just as important as the interior of your home. Many people assume that the front and backyard aren’t crucial to the buying process so they overlook these pitfalls. Make sure that your backyard does not have any hidden deal breakers that could steer away new bids!

10 Ways to Make a Small Room Look Larger

by Bill Nelson


No matter how large your Central Coast home may be, there’s always one room that’s just a little too small. Luckily, with some quick design tricks, any room can appear larger. Try a couple of these suggestions and watch your room magically expand.

  1. Use lighter paint colors.
  2. Paint or wallpaper the ceiling in order to make a room look taller.
  3. Install wall-to-wall or floor-to-ceiling bookcases to make the ceilings look higher.
  4. Pull furniture away from the walls to create a feeling of spaciousness.
  5. Hang mirrors opposite windows to reflect light and make the room seem bigger.
  6. Keep knickknacks, framed photos, books, etc., to a minimum to create a sense of spaciousness.
  7. Use furniture that doubles for something else. For example, a lidded ottoman that’s also a seat that’s also a storage unit.
  8. Keep window treatments to a minimum to expose as much of the window—and therefore, light—as possible. Think sheer, white curtains. Or better yet, nothing at all.
  9. Stay away from bold prints and colors. Stick to smaller patterns and neutrals when it comes to rugs and upholstery.
  10. Deploy stripes, either on your walls or floors, which will make the walls look taller and the floors longer.

For more tips to make small spaces appear larger than they are, contact me today.

Expert Insights: When Is the Best Time to Sell a Home?

by Bill Nelson

Paso Robles CA- The best time to sell here in San Luis Obispo County is when you are ready, or when you must. That is, when you have outgrown the space in your current home, or you prefer to trade down to something smaller. Perhaps your marital status has changed, which necessitates a move, or you need to relocate for a job.

Market conditions also play a role, as do seasonal conditions. For example, your chances of getting top dollar for your home are more likely in a seller’s market, when demand outweighs supply, than in a buyer’s market.

Local and national economic factors also may dictate when to sell. If a major employer in your area is laying off workers, it may not be a good time to put your home up for sale.

People will be cautious about buying when the future seems unpredictable or bleak.

Most agents agree the best time to sell is in the spring. This is when the largest number of potential buyers hit the market. Your home is likely to sell faster and at a higher price, although sales begin to pick up as early as February and start to slack off in July, the slowest month for real estate transactions.

 

 

Outdoor Redo Projects Both Valuable Now, and Later

by Bill Nelson- Past President NCAOR®

Remodeling your SLO County home? Add an outdoor redo to the project.

According to a report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), an outdoor renovation can add significant value to a home come resale. The most valuable updates, per the report, are:

• Seeding the Lawn (Reaps 417 percent of its cost)
• Implementing a Standard Lawn Care Program (303 percent)
• Sodding (143 percent)

An outdoor renovation can also up the enjoyment factor—the “Joy Score,” according to the report. The highest project on the Joy Score scale? A pool, though it is one of the least profitable at a 50 percent return-on-investment.

The most appealing projects following a pool, the report found, are an overall landscape upgrade and a new wood deck.

“Realtors® know first hand the importance of curb appeal because when it is time to sell, a home's exterior is its first impression to potential buyers,” says North County Association of Realtors ® Past President Bill Nelson. “Realtors® also know that these projects—from flower beds to fire pits—can bring homeowners who have no plans to sell even more enjoyment and satisfaction in their home.

"Homeowners looking spend money on large, expensive outdoor projects should do it for themselves, for the enjoyment they and their family will gain from the finished results, and not only to improve the value of their home for when they sell,” Nelson cautions. “Smaller projects will bring potential sellers the most value back upon resale—and have the benefit of costing less up front.”

“Homeowners working with a landscape professional to embark on renovations—whether that means enhancing their turf and growing a lush lawn, rehauling their entire landscape, or incorporating new features like patios and exterior fireplaces—can rest assured that they are making a smart, worthwhile investment,” adds Nelson “Further, that investment is coupled with the immediate happiness received by beautiful landscaping and the long-term enjoyment of outdoor living spaces, which are priceless.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

The Best Way To Pick A REALTOR(R).

by Bill Nelson- Past President NCAOR®

Begin by asking someone that you know here on the Central Coast. Friends, relatives, co-workers, or neighbors who have recently purchased a home locally can give you a firsthand account and attest to their agent’s professional abilities. Pick agents who live here and work exclusively with buyers and sellers in SLO County. Once you have a list of names, interview at least three agents and ask questions about their community knowledge, professional experience, and commitment—some agents work full time; others only work at nights and on the weekends. Pick an agent that makes you feel comfortable and negotiates well with others. Remember that their negotiation skills are just as important as their marketing skills. Linda Sue and I receive several referrals from past clients per year. If a Realtor (r) does a good job for others and has numerous testimonials from past clients like we have posted on our website; then they are a great candidate for the job of listing your home. The company you list with is important too. In San Luis Obispo County there are several independent brokerages like Realty One Inc. that when combined with other independent brokerages; they outsell and maintain a higher market share than the big nationwide corporations. Quality customer service is agent specific and although many large firms have excellent Realtors(s) keeping it local may have even bigger advantages. Many local Realtors(r) like Realty One and others; support local community based non-profits, and charities that help enrich the lives on our neighbors here in San Luis Obispo County. 

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5