Diamond Certified Blog

Category Archives: Real Estate Tips

Video: Pre-Sale Inspections in Real Estate

Earlier this week, we posted an article featuring expert tips on preparing to sell a real estate property. One of the aspects mentioned was the advantage of performing pre-sale property inspections. To learn more about what makes this a worthwhile step, watch this informative video by Diamond Certified Expert Contributor David Kerr, partner at Kerr & Jones – Terra Firma Global Partners.

 

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Diamond Certified Experts: Selling a Real Estate Property

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From presentation to marketing, there are several aspects involved in selling a real estate property. Photo: Kerr & Jones – Terra Firma Global Partners (2017)

Whether it’s an investment property or your family home, selling a real estate property is no simple undertaking. Besides the high stakes involved, there are various logistical steps to address, from sprucing up your property’s appearance to planning your marketing campaign. To help you make the most of your property sale, we’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors in the real estate field to provide some tips.

Presenting your property

In order for your property to stand out in the competitive Bay Area real estate market, you’ll need to get it looking its best. This consists of several steps, most of which fall under the category of “staging,” an industry-specific approach to home presentation. According to Patricia Scott Winslow, a real estate agent with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, staging goes beyond merely making the home appear clean and tidy—it also involves strategic use of light, color, foliage and furniture to achieve a desired aesthetic effect. Continue reading “Diamond Certified Experts: Selling a Real Estate Property” »

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Are You Ready to Build a Custom Home?

custom living room

Consumers who custom-build homes will need to make hundreds of design decisions. Photo: Timeline Design (2017)

We can usually get the little things in life just the way we want them: our coffee can have the perfect amount of sugar; our pizza, the perfect toppings. Unfortunately, when it comes to the big things, we’re expected to compromise. We’re supposed to ignore the little flaws of our partners, muddle through the less-than-glamourous parts of our jobs and accept the fact that there’s no such thing as the perfect home…or is there?

Rather than deal with the continual maintenance of an older house or attempt to shoehorn remodeling plans on a pre-existing structure, some people choose to build a custom home from scratch. Continue reading “Are You Ready to Build a Custom Home?” »

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How to Shop Online for a Home

When it comes to shopping online for a home, there are some common pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Photo: Bower & Cole Group (2017)

If you’re like most home buyers nowadays, you probably started your search online, but what you found may have raised more questions than answers. This is because consumer-oriented portals (i.e. real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow) operate in very different ways and, consequently, can produce very different results. By gaining an understanding of how listings are published online, you’ll be able to avoid common pitfalls and shop for properties with greater accuracy and efficiency. Continue reading “How to Shop Online for a Home” »

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Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2016

Followers of our Facebook page know that we post daily tips for Bay Area consumers. Whether these tips concern home improvement, auto care, health or something else completely, we strive to make them relevant, practical and helpful. Here’s a sample of 10 noteworthy tips from 2016. For more, be sure to “like” our page at www.facebook.com/diamondcertified.

Tip of the Day: While materials and workmanship are crucial factors in a fence’s longevity, another important aspect is preventative maintenance. To protect your fence from rot and premature wear, make sure fence posts are kept out of contact with the soil, and adjust sprinklers so their streams don’t hit the fence. To further promote fence longevity, apply a stain every two to three years. Photo: Arbor Fence, Inc., 2016 Continue reading “Diamond Certified Tips of the Day: Best of 2016” »

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Maximizing Your Credit Score for a Home Purchase

If you’re planning to apply for a home loan, you’ll first want to address your credit score. Photo: Howard Bloom – Intero Real Estate (2016)

If you’re planning to apply for a home loan, you’ll first want to address your credit score. Photo: Howard Bloom – Intero Real Estate (2016)

If you’re planning to purchase a home in the near future, you’ll need to address your credit score beforehand. A credit score is a three-digit number ranging from 350 to 850 (with 850 being the best) that lenders use to evaluate an individual’s capacity to repay a loan. Consequently, your credit score will play a central role in determining the kind of home loan and interest rate you get approved for—and whether you can get approved at all. That’s why it’s important to be proactive about maximizing your credit score long before you apply for a home loan. Here are some tips on how to do so:

Find out your credit score. Many people assume they have good credit, only to get a rude awakening when their loan agent runs the numbers. To avoid this scenario, determine your credit score well in advance so you can make any needed adjustments. Keep in mind that accuracy is critical with a credit report, so rather than getting a report from an online agency, a better option is to meet with a mortgage professional. Within minutes, you’ll get a full report from all three of the major credit agencies, including your FICO score, which you can’t get by going though just one agency. Continue reading “Maximizing Your Credit Score for a Home Purchase” »

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Reinforcing Your Home with Seismic Retrofitting

With geologists predicting a large earthquake in the coming years, now is the time to get your home properly reinforced. Photo: Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc. (2016)

With geologists predicting a large earthquake in the coming years, now is the time to get your home properly reinforced. Photo: Paradigm Concrete & Construction, Inc. (2016)

With David Lorber, owner of Superior Builders & Remodelers

Living in the Bay Area, we have a lot to be thankful for, from the mild, sunny weather to the lush, scenic landscape. Additionally, we’re spared from many of the severe weather phenomena that exist in other areas, such as hurricanes, blizzards and tornados. However, there’s one destructive natural force the Bay Area isn’t exempt from: earthquakes. While an earthquake may lack the portentous visual dread of a Midwestern twister, perhaps no other natural disaster is able to inflict such a devastating toll in such a brief span of time—often mere seconds. What’s worse, we’re due: Geologists predict that a large magnitude earthquake will occur in Northern California within the next 30 years, likely along the Hayward Fault. Continue reading “Reinforcing Your Home with Seismic Retrofitting” »

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Moving Up and Moving Out: 20 Questions to Ask Your Moving Company

how to choose a moving company

Before you schedule your move, make sure you know who is responsible for obtaining any necessary parking permits. Photo: You Move Me (2016)

For more helpful moving information, check out our Moving Resources Page. 

When it’s time to move, unless you’re planning to pack up your station wagon, you’ll need to select a moving company. As with all contractors, you should obtain at least three estimates before making a choice, but there are other factors to consider as well. Continue reading “Moving Up and Moving Out: 20 Questions to Ask Your Moving Company” »

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Frequently Asked Questions about Real Estate Agents

Ready to dive into the deep waters of Bay Area real estate? Your first (and possibly most important) step is finding a guide, helpmate, champion and problem-solver: your real estate agent. Not sure where to start? Read on…

What does a real estate agent do?
What is the difference between a real estate agent, a Realtor® and a real estate broker?
Do I need a real estate agent?
How do I find a real estate agent?
How does a real estate agent get paid?
What are some of the qualities I should look for in a real estate agent? Continue reading “Frequently Asked Questions about Real Estate Agents” »

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Tip Sheet: Five Ways to Prepare Your House for Market

Any successful home sale requires a number of preparatory measures. Photo: The Bower Cole Group (2015)

Any successful home sale involves a number of preparatory measures. Photo: The Bower Cole Group (2015)

It’s no surprise that homes which sell for the highest prices are the most attractive to buyers. That’s why Michelle Carr Crowe, owner of Michelle Carr Crowe and the Get Results Team, says sellers should utilize every available means to boost the appeal of their properties. Read Michelle’s top five tips for getting your home primed for the market. Continue reading “Tip Sheet: Five Ways to Prepare Your House for Market” »

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