Mitch Lichterman - TargetRate.com Santa Monica, California Real Estate


Getting ready to buy a new home? You'll want to hire a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey, as this professional will possess the skills and know-how needed to ensure you can find your dream home quickly. There are many great reasons for homebuyers to work with a real estate agent, including: 1. You Can Check Out a Wide Range of Homes That Fit Your Needs. Whether you're looking for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the city or a small residence on the outskirts of town, a real estate agent can arrange home showings to ensure you can check out a variety of houses that fit your needs. Remember, a real estate agent works for you and will do everything he or she can to help you find your ideal residence. This professional will conduct research into homes that meet your criteria and even work with a home seller's real estate agent to make sure you can view a house at your convenience. 2. You Can Receive Expert Support During the Negotiation Stage. No homebuyer wants to enter the negotiation stage alone. Fortunately, a real estate agent will help you manage negotiations. Negotiations with a home seller can become contentious if you're not careful, but your real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to help you get your dream house at the right price, regardless of the circumstances. 3. You Can Get Extra Help with a Home Inspection. Completing a home inspection is paramount before you finalize a purchase agreement with a home seller. And with a trusted real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble finding a reliable home inspector who will be able to identify potential issues with a house before you buy it. Your real estate agent also can help you minimize stress if a home inspector encounters problems with a house. For example, your real estate agent will speak with a home seller to ensure any home repairs are completed before you finalize your purchase agreement. Thus, you'll be able to buy a home that you can enjoy for years to come thanks in part to the support provided by your real estate agent. 4. You Can Enjoy a Simple Closing Process. The closing process often represents the final step before you can move into your new home. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the paperwork that is included as part of this process and ensure you are comfortable with each form you sign. Your real estate agent, meanwhile, will be with you during the closing process and can explain the importance of each form. Furthermore, your real estate agent will be happy to respond to any concerns or queries and help you feel comfortable throughout the closing process. Ultimately, your real estate agent may play a key role in your ability to find the perfect house. As a result, be sure to spend some time interviewing prospective real estate agents in your area to find a real estate professional that you can collaborate with during each stage of the homebuying journey.

Adding a residence to the real estate market can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you maintain a positive outlook as you await offers on your house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller remain calm, cool and collected after he or she lists a residence.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Although a first-time home seller might expect dozens of offers in the days following a house's addition to the real estate market, it may take some time to stir up interest in a residence. However, a home seller who establishes realistic expectations from the get-go will know how to stay the course throughout the property selling journey.

A first-time home seller should understand both the best- and worst-case scenarios. That way, a home seller will know how to respond to any potential pitfalls that may arise.

Furthermore, a first-time home seller should have a plan in place for what will happen after a home offer is accepted. This will ensure a home seller is fully prepared to vacate a house as quickly as possible.

2. Learn About the Housing Market

The housing market is exceedingly complex, especially for those who are selling homes for the first time. Conversely, a first-time home seller who takes a diligent approach can gain the real estate market insights to make confident decisions.

For example, a first-time home seller should analyze the competition closely. By looking at the prices of similar houses that are available, this home seller can establish a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.

A first-time home seller also should check out the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. By doing so, this home seller can find out whether he or she is entering a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home may seem like a simple process on paper, but challenges can quickly arise that prevent a first-time property seller from achieving his or her desired results. But with support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller can get the assistance that he or she needs to remain confident at each stage of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and will help a property seller avoid such problems. In fact, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert guidance to help a first-time home seller operate like a home selling professional.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to a first-time home seller's concerns and queries. This guarantees a home seller can obtain unparalleled insights into how to set a competitive price for a residence, how to bolster a house's interior and exterior and much more.

Want to keep things positive as you proceed along the home selling journey for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain a positive outlook as you navigate the home selling cycle.


Many times, it’s the quick projects around your home that make the biggest difference. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your home. Without the right lighting, the entire mood of a room can be offset by the poor ambient quality. Lights are practical and help work on our emotions in the most subtle ways. Here, we’ll show you some of the updates that you can make to the lighting in your home that you may have never thought of. Kitchen Many kitchens have only one source of lighting. If the kitchen is short on windows that bring in outside light, this single-source lighting can be an even bigger problem. Try under cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops and preparation areas. This is great for not only safety, but to bring more light into the room in a unique way. Bathroom There's nothing creepier in the bathroom than strange shadows. That’s where recessed lighting comes in. You also don’t need to apply makeup in the wrong way due to poor lighting. Having lights available in several areas of the bathroom will make getting ready in the morning easier. Proper lighting will also make showering safer and less like a horror film! Bedroom The bedroom is perhaps the simplest room of the house to light. You’ll need lights by the bed for reading and other tasks. Usually wall mount fixtures work best for these purposes. They make great task lights and also look fantastic on the wall as part of your bedroom’s decor. As a bonus, lights on the wall will create less clutter in the home. Dining Area Look for task lights and lamps for your buffet to brighten your dining room. Try adding lighting fixtures in places where you’ll be doing a lot of task-focused activities. Aim for more recessed lighting over the dining table so guests won’t feel that they have the spotlight on them. Living Spaces In shared environments, lamps that are easily made portable can work best. This is simply because people tend to forget a lamp that’s tucked in the corner somewhere. It’s also a plus to put your lamps on timers. If you know that you get home at 7 PM every evening, set the timer so that you walk into a bight, inviting home and not a dark one. Highlight Things In The Room It’s always a great way to light a darker corner by placing lights over a plant or a painting. This helps to highlight the decorative aspects of the room even in the dark.

The home selling journey can be long and time-consuming, particularly for those who are listing a residence for the first time. Lucky for you, there are many quick, easy ways to avoid the danger of becoming a "typical" home seller, i.e. someone who lacks the skills and know-how to generate plenty of interest in his or her property.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to become an expert home seller.

1. Review the Current State of the Housing Market

The housing market often fluctuates. As such, a buyer's market today may quickly morph into a seller's market tomorrow.

Ultimately, an expert home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the current state of the real estate market. He or she will be able to identify housing market patterns and trends and collect extensive real estate market data to map out the home selling journey accordingly.

To learn about the housing market, take a look at some of the houses that are currently available in your city or town. Evaluating available houses in your area will allow you to find out how your residence stacks up against the competition.

Also, assess the prices of recently sold residences in your region. This may help you differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market.

2. Analyze Your House's Interior and Exterior

For a home seller, it is paramount that his or her residence makes a positive first impression on potential homebuyers. And if you enhance your house's interior and exterior, you may be able to boost your chances of a quick, seamless home sale.

A property appraisal usually represents a great starting point for home sellers. This appraisal involves a full evaluation of your house by a property inspector. Then, you'll receive a report that outlines your home's strengths and weaknesses and will help you plan any home improvement projects.

Also, it is important to remember that there are many simple ways to upgrade your home's exterior and interior.

Home exterior improvements like mowing the front lawn and clearing dirt and debris from walkways can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers.

Removing clutter from your home offers multiple benefits as well. De-cluttering allows you to free up space inside your residence as well as get rid of unwanted items.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to navigate the home selling process on your own. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent to help you remove the guesswork as you proceed along the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to promote your residence to large groups of potential property buyers. In fact, he or she will set up property showings and open houses, offer honest, unbiased home selling suggestions and respond to your home selling queries at any time.

Don't settle for an "average" home selling experience. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become an expert home seller in no time at all.


Whether you're selling a home or buying one, the amount of storage space a house offers can have a major impact on its perceived value. Even if you're a first-time home owner who hasn't had the chance to accumulate a lot of clothes, household supplies, and other possessions, you can be sure that's not a permanent condition -- especially if you have a growing family!

So if you're looking for a new home to settle into, storage space will become increasing important. If, on the other hand, you're preparing to sell your home, then showcasing and enhancing storage space will help increase its marketability.

Everyone Loves Big Closets

Walk-in closets are considered a highly desirable feature because they not only accommodate a large and growing wardrobe, but they offer a lot of functionality from shelves, compartments, and other storage areas. They can also be customized to suit individual needs and preferences. The fact that walk-in closets are separate from the master bedroom also creates a feeling of spaciousness and luxury. The additional space and storage features make it easier to keep clothes organized, fresher, and in better overall condition. If clothes are squeezed together in a small closet, they tend to wrinkle faster, become mustier, and are harder to find -- especially when you're running late for an appointment!

Other Valued Storage Areas

Basements, attics, backyard sheds, and two-car garages are great places to store sports equipment, tools, supplies, appliances, old furniture, toys that your kids have outgrown, and other items you're not quite sure what to do with. The big challenge is to avoid accumulating clutter and hoarding things you don't need. Finished basements and attics are especially appealing to many home buyers because they provide additional living space and are more aesthetically pleasing than unfinished areas.

Basement Problems and Remedies

One cautionary note to keep in mind when storing things in a basement is that excess moisture and humidity can wreak havoc on everything from photo albums and old books to musical instruments and framed paintings. One solution is to monitor the moisture level with a hygrometer and install a dehumidifier to extract excess moisture from the air. While other measures may need to be taken to assure a dry basement environment, these two steps should help improve conditions dramatically. If mold is present on your walls, wood structures, or cardboard boxes, then you can be sure it's not a favorable environment for storing anything of value. Most wet basement problems are correctable, but professional and sometimes expensive solutions often need to be sought.

So assuming you don't have water in your basement and bats in your belfry, then lots of storage space will make your home easier to sell and more enjoyable to live in!




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