Sarah Arnold - Orinda, CA Real Estate
Sarah Arnold - Realtor License #01713564

Preparing to Sell Your Home

  • Eight Ways to Improve Your Home Appraisal

    (Reuters) - When Kellie and Michael May decided to refinance their home in the New York suburbs, they wanted to take advantage of historically low interest rates. But before landing a new 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, they had to get through a home appraisal.

    "It was a major stumbling block," says Kellie May, who has owned the 4-bedroom, 3-bath colonial for seven years. Not that she and her husband were unprepared; they'd been through an appraisal for another refinance in 2010, so they knew to point out improvements they'd made to the 3,400 square foot home, and supply prices for other ...

  • All Signs Point to Robust Housing Market in 2013

    2013 is shaping up to be a busy year for real estate in the Bay Area.

    Interest rates for long-term loans are at the lowest levels ever recorded, and the Bay Area economy is growing significantly faster than the rest of the country. Tech companies are hiring again, and tourism is rebounding. Thousands of new jobs are being created every month.

    It’s an ideal environment for homebuyers.

    “Everything is pointing to a strong year in 2013,” said Mark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union International. “The fundamentals of the Bay Area economy are solid, and after years of stagnation the pent-up demand for homes in ...

  • Why the Fall and Winter months are GREAT to SELL

    Listen to why statistics show that the FALL and WINTER months are actually ideal for SELLING your home. Although most people think that its smart to wait until after the holidays, you may be missing the critical mass if you do.


  • Relocating Tips

    Your boss has just given you the career opportunity of a lifetime, but the job is in another state.

    Soon you discover that moving your family to another city may be one of life’s hardest tasks. The thought of leaving behind old friends and schools for a strange town can be frightening. The biggest challenge of all, however, is to preserve the equity in your housing investment so you will be able to purchase a similar home in the new location.

    Not to worry. Even in these uncertain times homeowners can sell at very satisfactory prices in a reasonable period ...

  • Showing Checklist

    Fully preparing your home for sale can make considerable difference in the time it takes to sell it. You can help eliminate buyer objections before they arise by making necessary repairs and improvements, some of which are suggested below.

    __ Spruce up gardens and lawn; trim shrubbery and replace dead plants.
    __ Yard and patio should be neat; outdoor furniture should be clean and in good shape.
    __ Clean or paint your front door - remember first impressions last longest!
    __ Manicure your front yard, driveway and entry - you can’t sell what you can’t see.


    __ Check ...

  • Remodeling Your Home

    The classic way for homeowners to increase the value of their house is by remodeling existing rooms or adding on to its current plan.

    Some choose to build recreation rooms and studies while others add new appliances, fixtures and cabinets to enliven rooms and make their home more attractive to future buyers.

    But, when should you decide to stop sinking money into a home and buy a bigger place? And how much rehab is too much when it comes time to recovering remodeling costs through a home sale?

    For instance, if you’ve just spent $1,000 remodeling your living room and ...

  • Selling Your Home In Winter

    In many parts of the country, selling a home during the winter months can be a challenge. Dreary, cold weather and the end-of-the-year holidays can keep buyers away and heighten fears of your home staying on the market longer than expected.

    However, there are a few things you can do to enhance “curb appeal.” And when that happens, buyers will take notice.

    For example, if your home has been on the market for several months, it's probably time to change our sales approach. There are several factors that we can review to determine improvements that can be made. We may ...

  • Home Improvements

    What home improvements really pay off when the time comes to sell your house?

    That’s an important question for any homeowner contemplating moving or remodeling. And the only possible answer is a somewhat complicated one.

    That answer starts with the fact that really major improvements – room additions, total replacements of kitchens and baths, etc. - rarely pay off fully in the near term. It ends with the fact that small and relatively inexpensive changes can pay off in a big way in making your home attractive to buyers if your decision is to move now.

    It’s often the case ...

  • What's Your Style?

    Styles of houses vary across the country. From the New England Cape Cod to the Victorians of San Francisco, the choices are almost endless.

    Following is a quick guide to help you recognize and use the professional terms for many of the most prevalent house styles:

    Cape Cod: This compact story-and-a-half house is small and symmetrical with a central entrance and a steep, gable roof. Brick, wood or aluminum siding are the materials most commonly seen.

    Dutch Colonial: The Dutch Colonial has two or two-and-one-half stories covered by a gambrel roof (having two slopes on each ...

  • Getting Prepared

    One of the great challenges to selling a home can be showing all of its space, decor and natural light potential. For example, every home has crowded closets and dead space. Sellers should be aware that areas such as these are easy to spruce-up with a little elbow grease and old-fashioned innovation.

    Begin by evaluating your closet/storage space, determine which areas can cut-down in clutter. Go through old clothes, shoes, etc., and get rid of anything that will not be used and in turn create more space. Consider organizing shelves and other areas to make better use of your storage ...