Home 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.

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DiMaggio & Betta Group January 7, 2022

We Represent People Not Price

Buying or Selling, no matter your price point, the DiMaggio and 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!

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Year End 2021 Sales

Seller Representation | 2021

 

Home Selling January 4, 2022

Home Selling Checklist

One of the biggest investments in a persons 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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