Bay Area Real Estate

April 19, 2024

10 Things Sellers Shouldn’t Keep in Their Home

 

Selling your home can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, but a smooth transaction involves more than just staging and marketing. It’s important to allow buyers the chance to see the property before they put in an offer. However, you never know who will be walking through your front door.

 

That’s why Varsha Realty Group recommends keeping a few safety tips in mind to best protect you and your loved ones. Here are ten items to remove from your property when selling your home.

 

Sensitive Financial Information

Ensure all bills and monetary documents are securely locked away to prevent prying eyes from wandering. Store them correctly in a locked filing cabinet to add an extra layer of security against potential criminals who may seek out important information.

 

Personal Photos

Safeguard your family's privacy by removing photos, holiday cards, and personal memories. This will help protect against scammers who use sensitive information to trick you into potential cons.

 

Valuables on Display

To mitigate the risk of theft during showings, keep valuable items like jewelry and expensive watches out of sight. Consider storing them in a security box, entrusting them to a neighbor, or placing them with a family member.

 

Prescription Medications

Some more personal items we recommend stowing away are medications and prescriptions. America is facing an opioid crisis with six times more opioid-related deaths and overdoses in recent years compared to 1999 (CDC). You never know who is touring your home, so it’s better to play it safe when it comes to prescription misuse.

 

Security Camera (without a sign)

If you have a security camera—or even an infamous RING doorbell— it's essential to display a sign notifying visitors of surveillance. This is a legal requirement in many areas and also provides transparency to potential buyers. Now, anyone attending a showing or open house of your property will be at ease and attentive when touring the home.

 

Relax About Cleanliness

While it's important to keep your home tidy when selling, avoid going overboard. Excessive cleanliness and rules can turn away potential buyers. So, adopt a practical mindset and remember that minor messes can be easily cleaned.

 

Pets in Listing Photos

We know you love your pets, but the presence of your furry friends might deter potential buyers. To increase your home's appeal, it's essential to remove evidence of pets, like dog kennels and cat towers, before taking listing photos. This will help prevent potential buyers from forming biased opinions about cleanliness or odors. 

 

Avoid Signs of Distress or Desperation

Avoid revealing personal circumstances like divorce or financial distress through obvious signs in your home. For example, if sellers are working through a divorce and need to sell the house, it’s not difficult to put the pieces together when the closet is half-full and half the furniture is gone. So, do your best to minimize any major home changes during the selling process. There’s no need to let buyers make assumptions and attempt to negotiate a lower price.

 

Hide (or Disguise) Safes

Before taking your listing photos, consider covering—or even disguising—your personal safes. Photos of your home will be advertised across the internet, so it’s always best to avoid drawing attention to these items. You can get creative by placing a cardboard box over those obvious safes to help maintain a low profile and protect your valuable possessions.

 

Absent During Open Houses

Finally, what is the #1 thing that shouldn’t be in your home during an open house or a showing? YOU! (We know that might sound a little harsh, but it’s true.) It’s important to give potential buyers the space they need during open houses and showings. Buyers are more likely to provide honest feedback when the seller is not around, and this allows your real estate agent to gather valuable insights and negotiate effectively on your behalf.

 

Please keep in mind that many of these scenarios don’t happen every day. Rarely do people maliciously target sellers, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

For more listing guidance and info on the Bay Area market, make sure to reach out to Varsha Realty Group! We’re always here to keep it real when it

Posted in Home Tips
Feb. 21, 2024

8 Real Estate Negotiation Tactics Every Buyer Should Know


If you're looking to purchase a home in 2024, you're in for a thrilling ride! Navigating the Bay Area real estate market can be as exhilarating as it is challenging, and mastering the art of negotiation is your golden ticket to success.

 

Below I'm handing you the keys to the kingdom with 8 powerful tactics to help you not only secure your dream home but do so on your terms. Get ready to outwit, outplay, and outbid your competition – because the keys to your dream home are just a negotiation away!




1. Know Your Highest Bid Before Negotiations Start

Before diving into negotiations, have a clear understanding of your budget constraints. While it’s important to know the price of your initial offer, it’s also important to determine the highest amount you're willing to bid. This foresight ensures that you don't overextend yourself and fall down the slippery slope of offers and counteroffers.

 

2. Know The Market

Before entering the battlefield of negotiations, arm yourself with knowledge. Research the local market trends, comparable sales, and the neighborhood's overall vibe. Understanding the playing field will empower you to make informed decisions during negotiations, such as how much you should be offering. The benefit of working with a seasoned real estate professional is they should be doing the heavy lifting here, providing you with both information and guidance.

 

3. Appeal to a Seller’s Non-Financial Needs or Concerns

Understanding the seller's motivations can be a game-changer. Beyond financial aspects, identify their non-monetary concerns or needs such as an expedited timeline or a desire to not make many repairs. Tailoring your offer to address these considerations may give you a significant edge in negotiations.

 

4. Make a Cash Offer for a Property, if Possible

Cash offers are powerful negotiation tools. Not only do cash offers speed up the selling process, but they provide many other benefits over traditional financing such as lower costs, less stress, and reduced risk. While this is not an option for every homebuyer, it’s a great tactic for investors and those with expansive savings.

 

5. Leverage Closing Costs

Closing costs can be a pivotal point in negotiations. While buyers typically cover these expenses, proposing to share the burden with the seller can be a strategic move. When a buyer does this, they typically end up paying a higher price for the home. However, this tactic might satisfy the seller because you are willing to pay above their asking price—but YOU will get to save some money when it comes to paying off the title insurance and home warranty.

 

6. Create Win-Win Scenarios

Successful negotiations result in both parties feeling like winners. Look for solutions that benefit both you and the seller. This collaborative approach can foster goodwill and make the overall transaction smoother.

 

7. Know When to Walk Away

Of course—the turning point of every difficult deal. If negotiations reach an impasse or the terms no longer align with your goals, be prepared to walk away. This demonstrates strength and may prompt the seller to reconsider their stance.

 

8. Factor in Repairs on the House

The allure of a perfect home can be enticing but don't overlook potential hidden flaws. Work with your agent to spot red flags and assess the property thoroughly. If significant repairs are needed, factor this into your offer to ensure a fair deal that reflects the property's true condition.

 

In today’s seller’s market, it’s important for buyers to stay informed and up to date on ways to navigate the housing market. And as helpful as these tips may be, the ultimate path to success is through an experienced real estate expert.

 

Reach out to Varsha Realty Group today to embark on your home purchase journey!

Posted in Bay Area
Jan. 19, 2024

9 Ways to Give Your Home A Wellness Makeover

 

February is National Heart Health Month, and it’s important to establish a calm and relaxing homebase to help relieve the stressors of day-to-day life. While some elements of chaos can’t be avoided, crafting a safe space within your own home is a great way to strike a healthy balance.


Keep reading for a few tips to optimize your health within your home.





1. Decluttering

Untidy environments can often increase stress for most people (WebMD). Take the first step toward crafting a relaxing space by decluttering your home and removing unnecessary furniture, clothing, and décor. Start by assessing each room and parting with items that no longer serve a purpose. This process can be liberating, allowing you to create more space for the things that truly matter.

 

2. Furniture that Accommodates Your Lifestyle

The furniture in your home should not only be aesthetically pleasing but also cater to your lifestyle and favorite activities. For example, if you enjoy watching movies with family, make sure you have an adequate television and plenty of comfy seating to accommodate weekly movie nights. A comfortable and well-arranged living space promotes relaxation and engaging in hobbies you enjoy, positively impacting your overall heart health.

 

3. Neutral Colors and Thoughtful Décor

Create a visually calming environment by opting for neutral colors and avoiding loud, distracting décor. Soft, muted tones contribute to a serene atmosphere, promoting relaxation and stress reduction. Thoughtful decoration choices, such as soothing artwork or simple ornaments, can enhance the overall ambiance of your home.

 

4. Make Chores Easier

Simplifying daily chores is a great way to maintain a stress-free environment. Implement organizing hacks to make chores easier and more enjoyable. For example, hang plenty of hooks in key areas like the entryway and bedroom to keep essential items within easy reach. Utilize bins and baskets to organize items neatly, and establish dedicated stations—such as a drink station—to streamline your morning routine.

 

5. Incorporate Indoor Plants

These aren’t just decorative. They're mood lifters and air purifiers rolled into one. Adding a few green friends like spider plants or aloe vera can transform the feel of your home. The presence of greenery has been linked to reduced stress levels and enhanced overall mental health.

 

6. Maximize Natural Light

Increase the amount of natural light in your home to create a brighter and more uplifting atmosphere. Exposure to natural light has numerous health benefits, including improved mood and better sleep. Arrange furniture to maximize sunlight exposure and consider sheer curtains to allow light to filter through while maintaining privacy.

 

7. Adjust Humidity Levels

It’s all about balance. Too dry or too humid, and your comfort takes a hit. A simple humidifier or dehumidifier can make your home feel just right. You can also reach out to your HVAC company to install a whole-house furnace humidifier.

 

8. Create a Zen Spot

This is your personal retreat within your home. A corner for meditation, reading, or just unwinding with a cup of tea. This little spot can be your sanctuary for daily tranquility. You can also display personal mementos and meaningful things that you've accumulated throughout your life so you can look at them every day.

 

9. Keep Things Cosy

Our homes are a respite from the rest of the world, so making it as comfortable and cozy as possible is important. It's worth it to invest in comfortable sheets, pillows, and a good mattress so you can guarantee a good night's sleep, but comfort also goes beyond how things feel physically. Creating a relaxing bedroom or other space with soothing colors that can be somewhere you go to get away from it all and truly feel peaceful can go a long way.

 

As your real estate guide, Varsha Realty Group is here to make sure you find the perfect space for a happy and healthy future. From purchasing the perfect space to remodel recommendations, make sure to reach out to us for all your homeowner questions and requests.


Posted in Home Tips
Dec. 18, 2023

8 Tips For First-Time Real Estate Investors


Want to build wealth through real estate? Investing in rental properties can provide you with a steady income stream and long-term growth potential. However, the landlord life might not be for everybody. If you’re looking to get started with long-term rentals but leery to dive in — keep reading! Here are eight considerations to help you to get off to a great start.





1. Set Clear Financial Goals

Before buying your first rental, it's essential to set clear financial goals. What are you looking to achieve with your long-term property investments? Are you in it for additional cash flow, or do you want to buy something that will increase in value over time? Having a well-thought-out financial plan will keep you on the right path.

 


2. Choose the Right Location

Location matters—a lot! When it comes to property investments, make sure to choose areas with high rental demand, top-notch school districts, low crime rates, and easy access to amenities like shopping, transportation, and parks. A desirable location can attract quality tenants and boost your property's value over time.

Pro Tip: Looking to buy a rental property in another state? We can help! Our team is connected to a network of 5-star agents across the country who can help you find investment opportunities.



3. Market Research

Knowledge is power in the real estate world. Stay on top of the market by consulting with a real estate agent who keeps an eye on trends, rental rates, and potential property appreciation in your chosen area. Market research will help you make informed decisions and identify properties with investment potential.



4. Designate A Rental Savings Fund

Being a landlord involves financial responsibilities beyond the initial property purchase. Make sure you've saved up and have reserves to cover property maintenance, insurance, property management fees, and any potential vacancies. Having a cushion will help you weather unexpected expenses.



5. Pick the Right Property

Selecting the perfect property is a make-or-break decision. Make sure to work with an experienced real estate agent (that’s us!) and consider factors like property type (single-family homes, apartments, or condos), property condition, and the potential need for improvements.



6. Know the Landlord-Tenant Laws

Each state and region has its own set of landlord-tenant laws. It's crucial to understand these regulations—including tenant rights, eviction processes, lease agreements, and security deposit rules. Staying compliant will help you avoid legal issues and maintain positive landlord-tenant relationships, so make sure to consult Varsha Realty Group about any rental questions you might have for the Bay area.



7. Consider Professional Property Management

While some landlords handle everything themselves, others opt for professional property management services. Hiring a property management company can save you time and reduce the stress of day-to-day property maintenance and tenant communication. Decide based on your availability and expertise, and talk to Varsha Realty Group if you need a property management recommendation.



8. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Effective and friendly communication with your tenants is the key to a successful landlord-tenant relationship. Address their concerns promptly, conduct regular property inspections, and maintain open lines of communication. Happy tenants are more likely to stay longer, reducing vacancy rates and maintenance costs.


While buying an investment property can be nerve-racking, it doesn’t have to be. Being informed can help ensure that you’re getting off to the best start possible. So brush up on your real estate investing best practices, and then contact our team. We’d love to help you start growing your own rental empire.

Dec. 4, 2023

Holiday Home Safety Tips

The holiday season is here! While this is a time for joy and celebration, it's also important that your home stays safe and secure. Whether you're planning a holiday getaway or simply enjoying festivities at home, safeguarding your property should be a top priority.

That’s why Varsha Realty Group is here to share some tips to help you keep your home safe during the holidays.

1. Lock All Entry Points

Locking your doors and windows may sound like common sense, but it's often overlooked during the holiday hustle and bustle. Make sure all entry points are securely locked before leaving your home or heading to bed. Deadbolt locks provide an added layer of security.

 

2. Invest in Smart Home Security

Modern technology makes securing your home more convenient than ever. Consider installing a smart home security system—complete with cameras, alarms, and doorbell footage—to mitigate porch pirates. You can also monitor your property remotely and receive alerts in case of any suspicious activity. This definitely comes in handy with all that holiday traveling.

 

3. Don't Advertise Your Absence

While it's natural to share your holiday plans with friends and family, avoid publicizing your absence on social media. Burglars often scout for vacant homes online. Save the vacation pics and updates for after your return.

 

4. Adequate Lighting

Keep your home well-lit, especially during the evenings. Motion-activated lights on entryways and pathways deter potential intruders. You can also use timers for indoor lights to give the illusion of an occupied home.

 

5. Secure Your Mail and Deliveries

A pile of mail or packages on your doorstep is a clear sign that no one's home. Request mail holds from your local post office during your absence or ask a neighbor to collect your packages. Alternatively, you can use a package locker or a parcel drop box for added security.

 

6. Hide Valuables

Stow away your valuable items, like jewelry and electronics, in a secure location. Consider investing in a home safe for added protection, and don't leave tempting items in plain sight from windows or doors.

 

7. Ask a Trusted Neighbor for Help

Good neighbors look out for one another. Talk with a trustworthy neighbor about your travel plans. They can keep an eye on your property, collect your mail, and even park their car in your driveway to create the appearance of an occupied home.

 

8. Keep Your Home and Yard Maintained

An unkept home and yard can signal that nobody is home. Make sure to maintain your property—even in your absence. Arrange for snow removal or lawn care to uphold the façade that someone is home.

 

By following these tips, you can enjoy the holiday festivities with some peace of mind. Also, reach out to our team for more real estate tips and tricks. Varsha Realty Group is always happy to be your guide to the Bay Area real estate market. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!

Posted in Home Tips