Articles, tips, and suggestions for home sellers.

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Everyone knows that other than the condition of the home itself, nothing is as important to a buyer as location. The adage of "location, location, location" rings true. There are many factors and considerations when looking at the impact location has on property valuations. Here are six location factors that may affect a home’s value. 

1. Trees

According to a recent study by the University of Washington, trees can have a significant impact on the value of a property. Here are some of the findings:

  • Mature trees in a yard result in a 2 percent price increase
  • Mature trees on the street equate to 3 a percent gain
  • Trees in the front yard give a 3–5 percent boost
  • Mature trees in a high-income neighborhood can result in as much as a 10–15

The economy is constantly in flux and changing but when you stick to the New Rules of Real Estate, the results of your home sale will always be the same. With 40 years of business under our belt here at First Team, we know what works when it comes to getting the right price for your home.

If you're considering putting your home on the market, here are some helpful tips.

Start Selling Early

Rise and shine, it's real estate time! 

A lot goes into selling a house. It will surprise you how long it will take to get the house ready for showing, find the right realtor, negotiate, close the deal, and move. The earlier you start, the less pressure you will feel. This will prevent you from signing a deal lower than you want, and it will prevent you

You’ve listed your home for sale, and you’re taking all the right steps to ensure you sell it quickly and for the price you want: You’ve chosen a trusted real estate agent, you’ve done your spring cleaning, and you’ve finally tackled that list of repairs in order to get your home ready for sale.

But what about staging your home? Staging gets thrown around quite a bit, but is it really necessary? Here's the solid data that proves it is. These 3 facts are part of the reason why staging actually helps sell your home for more money. That's what you want, right?

Increase your home’s value by as much as 15%

That's right, according to the National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Staging, staging your home can increase the dollar value

If you’re considering putting your home on the market this summer, your head may already be spinning at the mere thought of getting it ready for sale. But there’s no need to be overwhelmed, considering you can start now with a series of small, yet powerful, steps guaranteed to make the end goal easier to realize. We’re talking about spring-cleaning, and even if you’ve no intention of selling your home anytime soon, you’ll surely benefit from these tips.

1. Purge your clutter

Always our favorite task with which to begin a solid spring-cleaning, getting rid of superfluous belongings will prove a satisfying experience in more ways than one. Make a list of rooms in your home, and go one by one, removing things you don’t use or need. Bonus: it’s never

There are many issues that can detract from your home’s value if you don’t address them. Whether you want to sell your home or spend the rest of your life there, it’s important to address problems that only get worse over time. The following are four of the biggest issues that can drop the value of your home faster than an unprotected iPhone. 


Pests can cause serious damage to a home. Some pests are merely a nuisance. Others, however, can do serious harm to your home’s foundations. Termites and carpenter ants in particular can literally destroy the structure of a home over time. Rodents can also cause serious damage by gnawing away at walls, floors and ceilings. If you have a pest problem, you should consult with a professional pest control

Southern California is still experiencing a seller’s market, but your house won’t sell like the hot cake that it if you shoot yourself in the foot right out the gate. No matter what market your area is experiencing, there are certain selling mistakes will have your home sitting on the market gathering dust and doubt in the eyes of homebuyers.  

Should you manage to escape the following traps and pitfalls, you can be sure that potential buyers will see the unique value in your home. Avoid these selling mishaps and you’ll be sitting pretty with multiple offers in no time.

Incorrect pricing

Inaccurate pricing is the mistake that is most likely to get your real estate stuck on the market for a very long time. On the one hand homebuyers may be weary

Everyone wants his or her home to be as valuable as possible. Most of us want to get the most out of our homes if we ever needed to sell them. Sometimes older homes can have problems that reduce their value. 

If you are looking to sell an older home, here are some tips you can use in order to increase the value of your home. Some may be more obvious than others, but are all guaranteed to increase the value of your home if you use them correctly. 

We used the 2016 Cost vs. Value Remodeling Report for the Los Angeles area to help you get an idea of what will work best in your home. The numbers for job costs, resale value and cost recouped are averages for the LA and Orange County area over the past year. 

Kitchen Cabinets

Minor Kitchen Remodel

Listing a home only to have it sit on the market day after day can be a very frustrating experience for sellers. Being unable to close the deal quickly can leave home and property owners with limited options, and may even increase the risk that future market volatility may have a negative impact on the sale price.

Here are just a few insider tips that can help ensure you are able to attract the interest of the right buyer, sooner rather than later. 

Enhance the Curb Appeal

First impressions are very important. A shabby exterior or unattractive lawn can be a significant liability when it comes to a quick and successful sale. Landscaping upgrades, new exterior siding, or paint and other simple cosmetic upgrades that will enhance the curb appeal of

In a favorable real estate market, it’s common for potential sellers to fall victim to the notion that they can do no wrong. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth! That's why home pricing with local market knowledge is one of our New Rules of Real Estate. It's that important for success. 

Avoid these classic mistakes to ensure you attain the highest possible value for your home, in the shortest amount of time.

Taking a ‘Zestimate’ as gospel.

Estimates from sites like Zillow are just that—estimates! To determine a logical listing price, it takes a trained professional. That's because a trained professional takes into account things that a simple estimate database can't like daily or weekly market conditions and intimate neighborhood

An investment property, particularly in Southern California, might seem like a can’t-lose prospect—something that’s wise to hang on to for decades to come. And, in many instances, investment properties will prove incredibly lucrative for a very long time—but as is the case with any other investment, it cannot be assumed the good fortune will last forever.

It might be that your investment property will bring you positive dividends for years to come, but you can’t assume that’s the case. Here, some questions to ask yourself to help determine whether it’s time to sell your investment property once and for all.

1. Is the depreciation tax deduction still available?

The depreciation tax deduction applies to any given property for a finite amount of