Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I need a Realtor? I can access all the information I need on my computer.
A: Yes, it's true; you can do a lot of research and gain lots of knowledge on the internet. But it takes an experienced agent to interpret all that information and have it be useful for you. I can guide you in the right direction.

Q: What is the best thing I can do to get the highest price for my home?
A: First, listen to your Realtor! I have lots of experience and can help you make the right decisions.
A: Secondly, Stage your home! Hire a professional stager to come in and tweak the ambiance. Whether your home is model-perfect or in need of a make-over, it is so important to address issues that could be blocking buyers from seeing themselves living in this home. Changes don't have to be expensive, but most homes can use a little tweaking to make them more

Q: How important is it to price the property to sell? After all, I don't want to give it away.
A: Buyers these days are very well informed. Over 90% of all buyers have already been doing research on homes and prices before they ever contact an agent. The old adage used to be "well, we can always come down". Today's buyers are more instant gratification responders. If they don't see value, they are not even going to bother to look at a property. Your best shot is to have your home priced closest to what you and your agent think it will sell for. Buyers, after all, set the price, but sellers can really help themselves by positioning their property right where the most number of buyers will be looking. It is far better to have a bidding war, than to sit and wait and hope for a buyer to come along.

Q: Are you in the market or are you on the sidelines? What do you mean by that?
A: I mean price it right coming out of the gate.

Q: Mold issues are a big deal, aren't they? Do I need to steer clear of a property with mold?
A: On 2 recent listings I had the good fortune of working with a company that inspects for mold, and I was very impressed. So, No, you don't need to shy away. What you do need is an inspection by a licensed, experienced mold inspector. I want to share this company that I was so impressed with: ET&T - Environmental Testing and Technology. They are actually a lab that tests samples for other mold inspectors. I found them courteous, knowledgeable, quick to respond, and best of all, reasonably priced. (ET&T 760-804-9400 or 760-630-9300.) I am sure there are other reputable mold inspectors out there. I've just had good experiences with this company.

Q: Tell me about the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. Why is it considered so desirable?
A: Recently a buyer client told me why they liked this club so well. It is a neighborhood club, meaning the locals are the members. There are no corporate memberships. You must own Covenant property to be able to join. The club does have a very friendly, inviting atmosphere where everyone seems to know just about everyone else. See my website under "Golf" for detailed info on the Club.

Q: What is an Encroachment and how does it affect my property?
A: An encroachment is the projection of a building, improvement or object onto adjoining land belonging to another. Problems can arise when adjoining landowners begin to treat a portion of your property as if it were their own.
Common encroachments include Trees and vegetation, Fences or boundary walls, Landscaping, Driveways, Awnings and trellises, Decks, Garages or house overhangs.
When buying a property, ask for a HOP (Homeowner's Policy) title insurance policy. That is the safest coverage for encroachments.

Q: What role does Price per Square Foot play in pricing a home?
A: Price per Square Foot is one factor that an appraiser will use to arrive at the value of a property. It is not a perfect means of arriving at the price, but simply one part of that process.
Let's take for example Rancho Santa Fe or Del Mar.
You have 2 homes of similar square footage, lot size, and the same bedroom and bath count. On paper they would appear to be similar in price. But in reality, the most critical factor that isn't taken into account here is land value. One Ranch home could offer breathtaking views and the other is down in a valley, or one Del Mar home would be an oceanfront while another would be far back from the ocean.
A good appraiser will be unable to answer a question about the value of a home-based on price per square foot because he knows the most important factor to consider is the value of the land.

Q: What does the Selling Price per Square Foot tell us?
A: The selling price per square foot is a great indicator of the direction of property values. Since the median sales price and average sales price can be impacted by the "mix" of high- or low-end properties in the market, the selling price per square foot is a more normalized indicator on the direction of property values.
For example, the March 2014 Ranch selling price per square foot of $542 was up 11.5% from $486 of last month and up 15.6% from $469 in March of 2013.