5 Ways Spring Home Sellers Can Gain an Edge

Make your home stand out among the competition with some simple improvements.

A real estate agent stands in front of a sold house.


Home sales are expected to jump this year to a 5.25 million rate.



Along with tulips and daffodils, "For Sale" signs will soon be popping up across neighborhood lawns. An improving labor market in the U.S. is expected to spur increased home sales in 2015, so if you've been wanting to sell your home, low interest rates and tight inventory levels should create an attractive environment.

"With the improving economy, we will see more people leaving their parents' homes. Living in your parents' basement isn't part of the American dream," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. "Nearly three million new jobs were created in the last 12 months, and that provides incomes for families and confidence for making long-term decisions."

NAR forecasts a jump in existing home sales in 2015 to a 5.25 million rate, an increase from 4.93 million sales in 2014. The national median existing-home price was $208,500 in 2014, a 5.8 percent increase from 2013, according to NAR. Yun forecasts the median home price to rise again in 2015 to $218,300.

Inventory levels, or the number of homes for sale, remain tight, which could give sellers an edge. "For most of 2014, inventory stood at 4.5 to 5.5 months of supply. That compares with a more balanced market of 6 to 6.5 months' supply," Yun says.

There are several things you can do to help your home stand out among other listings. "Makeovers can be inexpensive, but give back big returns," says Gary Rogers, broker-owner of Waltham Realty.

When it comes to readying your home for sale, think about three things: clean, clutter and color, says Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, managing broker at Traders Realty in Peoria, Illinois.

Here are five things you can do to get a leg up on the competition this spring.

1. Spring-clean your home. Take the time to do a deep cleaning on your home. Clean your windows. Consider a fresh coat of paint. Clean the grout in your ceramic tile. Consider whether your carpets need cleaning. "When you walk into a nice hotel room, everything is nice and sparkly clean. You want the same thing for your house," Whitehurst says.

Even small things can make a difference. "Make sure the furnace filter is clean. If it is dirty, potential buyers will wonder how you have taken care of other mechanicals in your house," Whitehurst says.

Cleaning also means sprucing up your landscaping, which includes flower beds and bushes. "People wait until the last minute to prepare the outside, and sometimes it just doesn't get done," Rogers says.

"The earlier you can have a professional landscaper come in to do a spring cleanup, the better. If the weather will tolerate it, put some more plantings in. Why not get a fresh look and fill out a flower bed? It can take some time to for those to set and mature, so the sooner the better," Rogers says. "A good professional spring cleanup could be $400 to $500, but is probably the best return dollar-for-dollar. It will get people to go into the house, and it makes people think you cared about the house."

Also take a look at your house from the street. What do you notice? Have your shutters faded over time? Does your front door need a fresh coat of paint? How does your mailbox look? Ask yourself: "Can I do something simple to make it look like I take pride and ownership in my property?" Whitehurst suggests.

Consider your backyard as well. "Curb appeal means the back, not just the front," Rogers says. "Have your decks power-washed, or painted or stained. Consider getting a plastic shed for rubbish barrels. Have a clean, neat place to store rubbish barrels."

2. Clear the clutter. It's time to get out the packing boxes. "If you are serious about moving, start packing now. Think about getting a small storage locker. Lighten up the house. If the living room has too much furniture, it doesn't look usable," Rogers says.

With spring just around the corner, consider packing away your winter clothes, so the closets appear more spacious. "People want to go into a property and see that there is ample room for their things," Whitehurst says.

3. Use color themes. It's OK to be a little bold with color, but make sure everything matches. "It used to be that everything had to be neutral colors — beige or white. Now, people are bringing color into their homes. But make sure that everything goes together," Whitehurst says.

Does your bedspread match the room color? If not, buy an inexpensive bedspread that will coordinate. The same goes for throw pillows on your couch. Use small, inexpensive items to pull color themes together to create an appealing appearance.

4. Consider getting a home inspection. Typically, many homebuyers get a home inspection before completing the purchase of a home. Why not find out ahead of time which items the home inspector will report need attention?

The key is to be proactive. "Maybe there is a small drip in the faucet or there aren't electrical ground-fault circuit interrupters where they are supposed to be, near water. These can be a small fix, and it creates a less-hassled transaction," Whitehurst says.

"We are seeing transactions fall through because of issues over home inspections. Then the house has to go back on the market, and everyone is disappointed," Whitehurst says.

The bottom line: Don't give prospective buyers reasons to check your house off the list. "When people look at a house, they are really looking for reasons not to buy. They are looking for things wrong with it," Rogers says.

5. Don't hike up the sale price. Real estate experts advise being realistic when it comes to your selling price. It needs to be competitive.

"Buyers are looking for the best value. Research often tells us that if you price your home close to what it will sell for, it will sell faster and actually for more money that if you price it too high to begin with," Whitehurst says.

Pricing a home too high can eliminate some potential buyers from even viewing your house, and that could mean your house sits on the market longer. If eventually you decide to do a price reduction, buyers may wonder what is wrong with the home.

"You can price your home to get sold, or to get your neighbor's house sold," Whitehurst says. "If my house is priced higher, which one will look like the best value?" Kira Brecht, US News


Are you ready to sell your home?  Call me, text or email me to schedule your Premiere Move Consultation.  I am happy to share my proven strategy and Premiere Marketing Plan to help you get your home sold faster and keep more of your money in your pocket. 


My Commitment Is To Your Success

Posted on March 9, 2015 at 5:57 PM
Alison Peterson | Category: Home Seller's Tips, Housing Market, How's The Market?, Military Relocation, North County San Diego Real Estate, Relocation, San Diego Real Estate, Stage to Sell | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Housing Expectations for 2015

The latest report for Housing Expections for 2015 has been released by the National Association of Realtors®.  All arrows are pointing up!  This is great news not only for the housing industry, but for our overall economy.  Real Estate is historically on the first wave of recovery from a down economy and other sectors will follow suit. 

While this is a National Report we need to keep in mind that Real Estate is "hyper-local" and some areas of the country fare better than others.  California is on the higher side in general which means that we lead the pack in recovering our strong and stable Real Estate market. 

The info-graphic below will give you a snapshot of what is predicted to come in our Real Estate market. 

Are you ready to make your move?  Contact me to get your specific neighborhood review and know what your greatest asset is worth.  If you've been sitting on the fence, now is the time! 

Alison Peterson, Realtor®  760-889-7934  AlisonPeterson@me.com

Certified Military Relocation Professional


Experience, Commitment, Integrity

Posted on February 2, 2015 at 7:52 PM
Alison Peterson | Category: Home Buyer's Tips, Home Seller's Tips, Housing Market, How's The Market?, Military Relocation, North County San Diego Real Estate, Real Estate Rancho Carrillo, San Diego Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Safety First When Selling Your Home

To sell your home you have to show your home.  This means that a bonded and trustworthy Realtor will be bringing potential buyers in to your home and they will be in your most personal spaces.  As your trusted advisor, my first priority is maintaing your safety, securtiy and privacy while performing my duties of selling your home. 

As a rule you need to remove any items of value from sight and preferably lock them up in a safe if you have one.  Small things like jewelry, keys, credit cards and cash need to be out of sight. 

Use this list to clear your home and protect you and your family.  It's a good idea to keep these items in a safe place at all times, but especially when you are in the process of selling your home.

High Risk Items to Remove or Lock Up:

  • Cash
  • Credit Cards
  • Bank Statements/Checkbooks
  • Jewelry
  • Keys
  • Perscription Medications
  • Firearms, knives and any type of weapon
  • Valuable Items that are breakable
  • Passports, Birth Certificates, Social Securty Cards and any other documents that have personal information on them. 
  • Small Valuable Items….if can fit in a pocket remove it.

It's always best to be safe rather than sorry.  Protect yourself from loss and liability.  The inforgraphic below is a simple guideline to follow when selling your home. 



by Alison Peterson, Carlsbad Realtor and Certified Military Relocation Professional

Contact me today to work together in accomplising your Real Estate Goals!

Experience, Commitment, Integrity

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 7:22 PM
Alison Peterson | Category: Home Seller's Tips, Housing Market, North County San Diego Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2015 Housing Market Forecast

With more available homes on the market for sale, California’s housing market will see fewer investors and a return to traditional home buyers as home sales rise modestly and prices flatten out in 2015, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2015 California Housing Market Forecast.”


The C.A.R. forecast sees an increase in existing home sales of 5.8 percent next year to reach 402,500 units, up from the projected 2014 sales figure of 380,500 homes sold. Sales in 2014 will be down 8.2 percent from the 414,300 existing, single-family homes sold in 2013.

“Stringent underwriting guidelines and double-digit home price increases over the past two years have significantly impacted housing affordability in California, forcing some buyers to delay their home purchase,” said C.A.R. President Kevin Brown. “However, next year, home price gains will slow, allowing would-be buyers who have been saving for a down payment to be in a better financial position to make a home purchase.”

“Moreover, prospective buyers should know that it's a misperception that a 20 percent down payment is always required to buy a home. There are numerous programs available that allow consumers to buy a home with less down payment, including FHA loans, which lets buyers put down as little as 3.5 percent,” continued Brown.

C.A.R.’s forecast projects growth in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product of 3 percent in 2015, after a projected gain of 2.2 percent in 2014. With nonfarm job growth of 2.2 percent in California, the state’s unemployment rate should decrease to 5.8 percent in 2015 from 6.2 percent in 2014 and 7.4 percent in 2013.

The average for 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates will rise only slightly to 4.5 percent but will still remain at historically low levels.

The California median home price is forecast to increase 5.2 percent to $478,700 in 2015, following a projected 11.8 percent increase in 2014 to $455,000. This is the slowest rate of price appreciation in four years.

“With the U.S. economy expected to grow more robustly than it has in the past five years and housing inventory continuing to improve, California housing sales and prices will see a modest upward trend in 2015,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “While the Fed will likely end its quantitative easing program by the end of this year, it has had minimal impact on interest rates, which should only inch up slightly and remain low throughout 2015. This should help moderate the decline in housing affordability we saw occur over the past two years.”

“Additionally, the state will continue to see a bifurcated market, with the San Francisco Bay Area outperforming other regions, thanks to a more vigorous job market and tighter housing supply.”


Information provided by California Association of Realtors

Posted on December 10, 2014 at 1:52 AM
Alison Peterson | Category: Home Buyer's Tips, Home Seller's Tips, Housing Market, How's The Market?, Military Relocation, North County San Diego Real Estate, Real Estate Rancho Carrillo, Relocation, San Diego Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alison Peterson Earns NAR’s Military Relocation Professional Certification

Alison Peterson Earns NAR’s Military Relocation Professional Certification
Military Personnel and Veterans Benefit from
REALTOR® Expertise in Military Benefits, the Relocation Process, and Support

Carlsbad, Califorina, November 10, 2014 — Alison Peterson with Windermere Homes & Estates has earned the nationally recognized Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification.  The National Association of REALTORS® confers the MRP certification to REALTORS® who want to help military personnel and veterans find housing solutions that best meet their needs and allow them to take full advantage of their military benefits.

When military staff and their families relocate, the services of a real estate professional who understands their needs and timetables can make the transfer easier, faster and less stressful.  REALTORS® who earn this certification know to work with active duty military buyers and sellers, as well as veterans.  

Homeownership is an important part of the fabric of America, and having a stable home environment is vital when men and women of the military are called away to serve their country. Working with a REALTOR® who understands specific needs and timetables related to military service will help make their transfers easier, faster and less stressful.  The Military Relocation Professional certification will help REALTORS® hone their knowledge and skills for working with veterans and active duty military buyers and sellers to ensure that homeownership remains affordable and accessible to them.

The certification provides NAR’s members with resources to accommodate current and former military service members at any stage of their military career.

To learn more about your VA Home Buyer’s and Seller’s options and see how working with a Military Relocation Professional can benefit you, contact Alison Peterson today at 760-889-7934. www.PCStoSanDiego.com




Posted on November 10, 2014 at 9:53 PM
Alison Peterson | Category: Home Buyer's Tips, Home Seller's Tips, Military Relocation, North County San Diego Real Estate, Relocation, San Diego Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What Zip Code in San Diego Ranks 6th as Best in the Nation?

There are lots of great places to live in San Diego, but one of the county's ZIP codes shines above the rest.

The real-estate website Movoto says that San Diego's 92121 ZIP code is not only the best one in the county, but the sixth best out of 28,061 in the United States.

The area stretches from the University of California San Diego, east to Miramar, and north to Sorrento Valley and Torrey Pines. It includes the biotech cluster around the university as well as Qualcomm's headquarters, located off Mira Mesa Boulevard.

Movoto bases its rankings on data, such as median household income, unemployment rate, average commute time, median rent and home worth, high school graduation rate and the number of families below the poverty line, from the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

"This ZIP code shows that San Diego has a lot of culture and history to go around," says the Movoto post, written by Laura Allan. "What it also had was some great numbers, in the way of a short 17-minute average commute, unemployment rates of less than four percent, and a median household income of more than $96,000."

The site reports that more than 97 percent of the ZIP code's residents graduated from high school, and fewer than 1.5 percent of the families live below the poverty line. In 92121 area, the median owner-occupied home value is $587,500, the average rent is $1,633, and the unemployment rate is 3.72 percent, Movoto reports.


Here are the top 10, according to the study:


  1. Washington D.C. – 20004
  2. Houston – 77005
  3. Medina, Wash. – 98039
  4. Sea Ranch, Calif. – 95497
  5. Amagansett, N.Y. – 11930
  6. San Diego – 92121
  7. Chicago – 60603
  8. Chicago – 60602
  9. Wichita, Kan – 67230
  10. Kansas City, Mo. – 64113                           Movoto post, written by Laura Allan

Want to learn more about San Diego Real Estate?  Ready to buy a home in one of the best cities in the country?  Call, text or email me and we can get to work today!


Alison Peterson, REALTOR

Cal BRE # 01872325

Proudly serving San Diego County

Posted on October 21, 2014 at 4:09 PM
Alison Peterson | Category: Home Buyer's Tips, Home Seller's Tips, How's The Market?, North County San Diego Real Estate, Relocation, San Diego Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,