Realty Trivia Challenge

TriviaWhat is considered the most expensive house ever built?

A. Bill Gates’ House in Medina, Washington

B. Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida

C. William Randolph Hearst’s Ranch in San Simeon, California

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Answer: C. William Randolph Hearst’s Ranch in San Simeon, California Publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst certainly knew how to live the high life. The Hearst Castle aka “The Enchanted Hill” is a 90,000 square foot compound with 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walking paths. This magnificent property features 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 entertaining rooms, a private cinema, zoo and airfield. It was built between 1919 and 1947 by architect Julia Morgan and cost more than 500 million in today’s dollars to construct. Overnight guests have included Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill and President Calvin Coolidge.

Have you ever been to Hearst Castle?  If not, put it on your list of things to do when on the Central Coast.  My friend Brian proposed to his wife Michelle there…..romantic!


Source:  American Home Shield

Real Estate Humor

flower arrangementA client bought a new home and the broker wanted to send flowers for the occasion. They arrived at the home and the owner read the card; it said “Rest in Peace”.  The owner was angry and called the florist to complain. After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist said. “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry you should imagine this: somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying, “Congratulations on your new home”.


Tips for Sellers

for saleIt can be a bit overwhelming when deciding to sell your property.  The most important thing to remember is to be flexible, especially with sale terms. Purchase price, closing dates, move-in dates, storage, appliances, furniture and fees may all require a little negotiation. Whatever the terms, don’t let personal feelings stand in the way of a good deal.

Start with the basics.  Curb appeal, cleanliness, overall good condition and updates are especially crucial. Any little flaw should be taken care of before the first buyer drives up.

  • Attend open houses in your neighborhood to see what “sell-ready” really looks like. If you’re shy, ask your Real Estate Agent to walk you through a few sell-ready examples.
  • Start with the exterior to ensure you’re  making a good first impression. Clean up the front area including the  yard, front door, porch and garage door.  Change the lights on the front of the house, and if necessary, reset the walkway stone.
  • Clean the interior beyond your standards.   Even if they are impeccable, rent an industrial carpet cleaner or hire a professional cleaning service. Brighten the interior ambience with light  fixture updates, as new lighting is one of the most inexpensive and noticeable improvements you can make prior to listing.
  • Fix leaky faucets and make sure the water pressure is strong in both the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • If necessary, a great way to improve the appearance of your home is to paint. Use only neutral colors that can easily lend themselves to different décor and styles of furniture.

Don’t reject low offers; negotiate

  • Don’t dismiss lower-than-expected offers. Instead, consider buyer incentives that help you meet your asking price.  Offer to pay the buyer’s closing costs, moving costs or loan origination fee. These can help the buyer with upfront costs. As well, you may consider offering a limited home warranty that covers HVAC systems and some appliances for a definitive period of time.
  • Be careful of purchase offers that are contingent on the buyer selling their home first. Their home may be in a softer market than yours and you could be in for a long wait. Be sure that the purchase agreement includes a contingency-release clause. This way you’ll be able to sell if another buyer comes along.
  • The purchase price is just part of the deal. Anything that makes your property stand apart from the competition will give it an edge in a buyer’s market.