Home Selling August 28, 2023

Why White Works

Sellers Often Ask, Why White?

Here’s a few reasons why we love white.

white walls
* Resale Value. Preferred color choice of Buyers
* Makes the space feel larger
* Easy to imagine oneself living in the home
* Looks clean and streamlined
* Fits every style
* Elegant and classic
* Buyers Are More Attracted To White Kitchen Cabinets As Well As White Walls
* White reflects light to make a room look brighter
* White color is associated with calm and serene. The purest of all colors, the white, holds clarity, freshness, simplicity and being organized in its traits. People who love white color are often seen to be calm, balanced, fearless, optimist, independent and have a strong opinion.
* Photographing the Home. It may be best to let your walls act as a supporting element and often white is a great choice
* COLOR is a personal
* Buyers can better imagine their own things filling the space

Our home has white walls, but we have lots of pink furniture and pink artwork. The white walls allows more flexibility. The next color palette I’m considering is white and tan: a more neutral look.

my pink and white living room


DiMaggio & Betta GroupHome Buying June 28, 2023

Gearing Up To Buy A Home: Key Factors That Go Into Writing An Offer

The following outlines the necessary elements of an offer to buy a house, helping you navigate this process with confidence and increase your chances of a successful purchase. Don’t get overwhelmed, just ask a lot of questions — now matter how small the question we can help.

Adam, Chase and I work as a team to make this experience as seamless as possible. Please connect us with your lender, if you are not working with one of our current partners, so we can position you for success when the time comes to present your offer. We will also refer insurance agents so when we enter into escrow you can obtain loan insurance for your new home.


The Offer:

Man typing on a laptop


  • Purchase Price: The purchase price is the most critical element of your offer. It represents the amount you are willing to pay for the property. Determine a fair market value by considering comparable sales in the area. Depending on the number of offers being made comps will become irrelevant if you wish to beat out the competition. We will discuss appraisal and loan contingencies when contemplating the offer price


  • Earnest Money Deposit: An earnest money deposit demonstrates your commitment to the purchase. It is a sum of money, typically 3% of the purchase price, held in escrow. Should the offer be accepted, this deposit is applied towards the down payment and closing costs. To insure confidence in the seller and seller’s agent we like to have funds wired within 24 hours, as per the default clause in the contract you have 3 days to wire funds to escrow which is to the title company who is the neutral 3rd party and takes instructions from both the sellers and buyers agents.


  • Financing Contingency: Including a financing contingency protects you in case you are unable to secure a mortgage loan. This contingency specifies a timeframe within which you must obtain a loan approval. If financing falls through within the agreed-upon timeframe, you can withdraw from the transaction without losing your earnest money deposit. However, it is typical that a buyer in our competitive area, you may want to waive this contingency. This is one of the reasons we need to speak with your lender ahead of writing an offer. He/she will provide confidence in your ability to obtain financing and if he/she thinks you need this contingency or not. We can then share our confidence with the listing agent providing them a reason to take our offer over any others. 


  • Appraisal Contingency: Lender will lend up to 80% of the value of the home. If the home does not appraise a buyer will have to make up the difference in their down payment if there was not an appraisal contingency in the offer. We will discuss this each time we write an offer. If we are in agreement that the value is there a buyer will consider waiving this contingency. 90+% of our offers are non contingent.


  • Inspection Contingency: Disclosures and Reports are typically provided ahead of time so this contingency (in our market) is typically waived in order to be competitive. On the contrary, in the LA area, agents/sellers do not provide inspections and/or disclosures ahead of time so there can be a renegotiation of price and credits. I prefer our area standards to theirs.


  • Contingencies: Contingencies are conditions that must be met for the purchase to proceed. Common contingencies include a satisfactory home inspection, appraisal, and the sale of your current home if applicable. Clearly outline any contingencies you require, along with specific deadlines for completing them.


  • Inclusions and Exclusions: Specify any items that you expect to be included in the sale, such as appliances, fixtures, or furniture. Conversely, outline any items you explicitly want to exclude. Being clear about inclusions and exclusions helps avoid misunderstandings during the negotiation and closing process.


  • Home Inspection: Include a provision for a professional home inspection. This contingency allows you to hire a qualified inspector to assess the condition of the property. If significant issues are discovered, you can negotiate repairs, credits, or even withdraw from the offer, depending on the agreed-upon terms.


  • Disclosures and Reports: Disclosures and reports are typically provided by the seller and their agent ahead of time —including property history, inspections, repairs, and any known issues. Review these documents thoroughly. Be sure to request the disclosure link for ANY property you are, or may be interested in, together we will be able to follow offer dates and obtain new information as it is made available.


  • Closing Date and Timeline: Specify the desired closing date in your offer. This is the date when the ownership of the property will be transferred to you. Consider factors such as your financing timeline, the seller’s availability, and any other pertinent factors that may impact the closing date. A typical closing date is 21-30 days. 

Interested in school information, local restaurants, cafes or activities? Need a doctor or dentist recommendation? We have you covered. We are also happy to make introductions to others who may help with school decisions, plus a myriad of other needs you may have as you target your search and settle into your new community. We are very connected and have a resource for anything you may need.

DiMaggio Betta Group

Debbi DiMaggio 510.414.6777 | Adam Betta 510.414.1250 | Chase Betta 510.418.3667


DiMaggio Betta Group

DiMaggio & Betta GroupHome Buying June 8, 2023

Common Questions Asked By Home Buyers

Potential home buyers often have numerous questions as they navigate the process of purchasing a property. Here are some common questions asked by potential home buyers:

  1. Affordability: Buyers often want to know how much they can afford and what their mortgage options are. They may ask about loan pre-approval, down payment requirements, and estimated monthly payments.
  2. Neighborhood and Location: Buyers frequently inquire about the quality of the neighborhood, nearby amenities (schools, parks, shopping centers), safety, proximity to workplaces, and transportation options.
  3. Property Features: Buyers want to understand the specific features and condition of the property. They may ask about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, age of the home, recent renovations or upgrades, and potential maintenance issues.
  4. Pricing and Negotiation: Buyers often ask about the listing price, recent comparable sales, and strategies for making competitive offers. They may seek advice on negotiation tactics and factors that can influence the final purchase price.
  5. Financing and Mortgage Options: Buyers may have questions about different types of mortgages, interest rates, and the mortgage application process. They may inquire about the best lenders or seek recommendations for mortgage brokers.
  6. Home Inspection: Buyers commonly want to know about the importance of a home inspection and what it entails. They may ask about potential issues that could be discovered during the inspection and how to handle them.
  7. Property History and Disclosures: Buyers often inquire about the history of the property, including past ownership, renovations, or any known issues. They may also want to understand the seller’s disclosure obligations and what information they should expect to receive.
  8. Closing Process and Timelines: Buyers may ask about the overall timeline for closing on a property, including the steps involved and any potential delays or contingencies that could arise.
  9. Homeowners Association (HOA): If the property is part of an HOA, buyers may inquire about HOA fees, rules and regulations, and any special assessments or upcoming projects.
  10. Future Potential: Buyers may have questions about the potential for property value appreciation, the resale value, and any planned developments or infrastructure projects in the area.

These are just a few examples of the common questions that potential home buyers often ask. Each buyer’s situation and priorities may vary, so it’s important to address their specific concerns and provide relevant information to assist them in their decision-making process.

We are ready to assist you with your personal real estate goals.

DiMaggio & Betta Group November 27, 2022

We Are All Created Equal

Real (estate) Conversations 1.5.  We are all created equal. 

hispanic woman holding a baby boy

Who do you see in this photo? 

Hosting an Open House gives a Realtor the opportunity to make a home available to the public  —to buyers, agents, neighbors, passerby’s, interior design enthusiasts, etc. Hosting an Open House also gives an agent a way to meet potential clients. It’s a party, and the Realtor is the host. 

The Saturday after Thanksgiving I was hosting my open house. When I host, I’m a little less intrusive than most agents. It’s just how I personally feel most comfortable. It’s just personal preference and style. When coaching new agents I encourage them to co-host Open Houses with a few different agents to see how each facilitates their “party”. Eventually they’ll find their own style. 

Buyers, agents, neighbors, open house enthusiasts, even young adults come through and with me, everyone gets the same warm greeting. I offer to answer questions and make small talk. Not unlike a cocktail party. I recall over 30 years ago being told this by a local legend I’d known since I was in elementary school. Her advice has stuck with me all these years. 

So, fast forward to Saturday, and not unlike any other Open House I host, I greeted each person, regardless if I thought they were a buyer, seller, or neither. I encouraged questions after their tour and later if I felt they wanted to engage I bit more we conversed. I never want to be overzealous as my goal is for each guest to feel comfortable and at home. 

A gal, her young son and sister walked in and I did as mentioned above. No change in my demeanor or conversation. Actually they were more engaging than most so we chatted a bit more. When they left I went over to say goodbye and that was it. A few moments later the younger gal walked back in and thanked me. I am puzzled. 

She said “thank you for being so kind, many people don’t see us or treat us how you did because of our color.”

I was surprised then hugely saddened. I told her the only thing I noticed was her absolute beauty. And I had actually mentioned it to my friend after you had left. (Selena Gomez came to mind.) 

I ended up giving her a big hug, gave her my card and said to please reach out anytime; I’m here for you. I completely forgot about why I was there. Next my girlfriend, after hugging her too, started asking a few real estate questions. Come to find out they are in the market. But I was so overcome by her history of feeling unseen and overlooked all her years it was all I could do but embrace her. 

After we finished inside I told her that I’d walk out with her and that I wanted to meet her sister. She corrected me, it was her Mom! I, of course, wanted to give her a big hug, too. Sometimes words just don’t communicate what a hug can convey. I surely didn’t think I’d attend my open house and end up moved to tears.

DiMaggio & Betta GroupHome Buying January 18, 2022

Top 5 Steps to A Successful Home Buying Experience

Knowledge is power. Experience is key. Relationships drive success.  Follow these 5 steps to lessen the length of time it takes to prevail in the home buying arena. 

  1. Identify the right Realtor. Ask a family member, trusted friend or colleague for a referral, speak to other professionals and do your due diligence. And  not everything you see online from ranking websites are accurate. Take Yelp for instance. Not all, but some of those Realtors listed as specialists in an area may have never even sold a home there. It’s a pay for play site. Take the time to speak with the agent you’re considering using. You’ll learn first hand if they’re the best for you or not.  
  2. Now that you’ve established who you’ll be working with, allow your Realtor to make an introduction to lenders they’ve had success with. It’s important that a buyer works with a reputable lender who your agent has worked with or at least confident the lender can get the deal done.  How does your lender do this? Speak to the lender, ask questions and ask to speak to an agent they’ve closed deals with in the past. The listing agent will want that reassurance as well.
  3. Begin your search early in order to gain insight and gather information. Oftentimes buyers will begin their search online and preview homes on their own. That’s a better option for the future but when you’re just getting started it’s helpful for your Realtor to preview a few homes together with you so they can best understand your likes and dislikes. It’s difficult to verbalize when you’re not yet familiar with the homes available in your desired market. Allow your Realtor to educate, guide and set expectations so you’re not disappointed at the onset. 

4.  Open Houses — After you know what you can afford and you’ve learned more about the various neighborhoods and their amenities from your Realtor attending weekend open houses and mid-week open houses otherwise known as Broker Tour or Broker Caravan. In the past the agent tour days were for agents only but now buyers are welcome to attend. A buyer can attend with their Realtor or alone. Many real estate markets move so quickly and homes sell with multiple offers over the asking price. It’s a good idea to see a home as quickly as you can so as not to miss an opportunity. Each market is different so you’ll want to speak with a local Realtor so as not to miss out. 

5. Best foot forward. Again, each area’s standards vary so we will highlight the East Bay —Piedmont, Oakland, Berkeley and surrounding communities. You may have heard about Seller Love Letters. In the past each offer presented by a buyer’s agent to a seller and his/her agent was accompanied by a note about themselves and their family — might that be children or their pet(s). It would detail what they did for work, where they were moving from and even shared their favorite hobbies or if newlyweds —where they met and married. It outlined why they love the home and how they would continue to take good care of it. These love letters are not required and are not a guarantee of winning the home, but we have stories where our clients prevailed due in part to their love letter. Of course, in any offer you’ll want to put your best foot forward and that includes a clean offer. When we write a clean offer that usually equates to a 21-30 day close of escrow, while waiving any and all contingencies —loan, appraisal and the home inspection. Again, in our market the seller will (99% of the time) provide a complete home, termite and sewer lateral inspection report and oftentimes a roof and chimney report and if warranted, foundation and/or drainage reports. 

Preparation and knowledge is key in order to win a home in multiple offers, this is why it’s crucial to work with a local Realtor who is experienced, knowledgeable, connected and well-liked. Not only do you, the buyer, need to be poised and ready by doing all of the above aforementioned, but your agent should be connected with the agents in the community and have cultivated strong relationships so they are responsive should you or your agent have any questions. Time is always of the essence.

How Can We Help You?

DiMaggio & Betta Group January 7, 2022

We Represent People Not Price

Buying or Selling, no matter your price point, the DiMaggio Betta Group represents people not price.  Here are a few of our favorites.

DiMaggio & Betta Group January 7, 2022

Honored, Grateful, Thankful

Honored to have closed $50M in 2021 while serving so many clients with their home sale, purchase, lease and referral, not including others we guided, showed homes and counseled throughout the year. And we could not do what we do for our clients without the help of our loyal service providers, stellar team members and family.

—The DiMaggio Betta Group wishes you nothing but the best in 2022!

Click To Learn More About the DGG 

Year End 2021 Sales

Seller Representation | 2021


DiMaggio & Betta GroupHome Selling January 4, 2022

Home Selling Checklist

One of the biggest investments in a one’s lifetime is owning a home; this is why it is crucial to properly prepare your home for market when the time comes to sell.

The following is a quick home sellers checklist our team assists each client with when they hire us to sell their home.

  • Paint. Painting both interior and exterior to create a fresh, clean slate.
  • Update Light Fixtures. I like to say, lighting is jewelry to the home.  Light fixtures make a big impact with very little investment.
  • Staging. Staging allows the buyer to see the home rather than look at the furniture. It is very difficult for a home buyer, even a Realtor, to imagine what a home could be if it is currently occupied by a seller as a buyer tends to dwell on “their” things rather than home.
  • Landscaping. You get one chance to make a good impression and the first thing a buyer will see is the front of the home.
  • Window Washing & Detailed Interior Cleaning. I always tell my clients after they purchase a home to remember to have their windows cleaned inside and out, yearly. It makes such a difference.

Beyond the shortlist, and depending on condition here are 5 additional improvements that can be made.

  • Kitchen Refresh: Paint kitchen cabinets, replace countertops, and replace knobs & pulls.
  • Bathroom Refresh: Paint bathroom cabinets, replace the mirror, update lighting and replace knobs & pulls.
  • Flooring: Replace carpet
  • Refinish hardwood floors
  • Replace sewer lateral

Allow the home to be presented in its best light.

Prior to any work being done, we like to gauge the condition of the home thereby generating the following reports. Depending on the market you are buying or selling a home varies as to whether the Buyer or the Seller will assume responsibility for any of the reports provided by a Seller. In the Bay Area market, for the most part, these reports and inspections and any work to be done on the home being sold will be passed onto the Buyer. In order to compete in a multiple offer situation, a Buyer has to put his/her best foot forward and that will include a very clean offer without any contingencies.

  • Pest Inspection
  • Home Inspection
  • Sewer Lateral
  • Roof
  • Fireplace/Chimney
  • Foundation Inspection (as recommended by the Home Inspector) and any others the home warrants further investigation

and depending on current market conditions a home is located and whether it is a Buyer or Seller’s market — the work to be done as is outlined in each report will either be passed onto the Buyer — as is the case in our area, however, if you are selling in a Buyers market – a credit towards repairs may be likely.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of properly preparing a home for market in order to gain the maximum return on investment.

Today, Buyers begin their search online. If a home fails to sparkle online there is a good chance many Buyers will not contact their agent to preview the home nor attend any of the public open house opportunities. Depending on what a Buyer sees online, a decision will be made in seconds whether to preview or skip it. Buyers are busy at work, travel, and play— we live in busy times. If a home misses out on being seen by potential Buyers an opportunity is missed. In order for a home to sell over the asking price that entails multiple bidders.

In conclusion, don’t short-change yourself or cut corners and leave money on the table; allow your home to shine online and make it readily and easily available for homebuyers to preview.  Should you seek further advice and information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Debbi, Adam and Chase

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Neighborhoods November 8, 2021

Hiller Highlands

Hiller Highlands is a small community situated on a ridge in the Oakland Hills bordering Berkeley and overlooks the entire San Francisco Bay including Mt Tam in Marin, the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, Alcatraz, Angel Island, Downtown San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville. The ever changing sunsets each evening is something to look forward to at the end of a long day. Hiller Highlands is conveniently located to highways 580,24 and 13 and is within close proximity to Orinda and Lafayette just beyond the Caldecott Tunnel, the charming Elmwood District in Berkeley, and the shops, restaurants and cafes on College Avenue, Piedmont Avenue and the Montclair Village. A beautiful place to live. We should know, we live here too.

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