Gain an Edge: Home Buying & Selling Tips for the New Year

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• New Year, New Home: How to Get Yourself into a New Place this New Year •

Whether you bought or sold a home this year — or you were thinking about it — some big things happened in the San Diego real estate market.

By the numbers, San Diego saw an overwhelming increase in real estate transactions and record home prices. As we close out the year, we want to share some of our top tips to help you get ahead of the game next year.


Tips for Buying a Home


1. Get your financials in order — go beyond just getting pre-approved. If you want to be competitive, having a fully underwritten pre-approval before even searching for properties is key. You’ll have an edge over other buyers if you take the time to go through this step, for a couple of reasons.

First, it means as a buyer you can go in without contingencies. With so many multiple offers, this will give you the advantage to place offers without financial contingencies.

Second, you can reduce the transaction timeframe by 1–2 weeks, potentially allowing you to close faster than other buyers. The home will still go through the appraisal process, but timelines related to approving you as a buyer will be reduced.

A quick note about stock options. Make sure if you do have stock options, that they are liquid and available. Check with your company to find out how quickly the options can become liquid if they are needed to buy a home.


2. Have the most competitive offer possible, make sure it’s a home you want. After submitting hundreds of offers for Reali buyers, we’ve found having the most competitive offers typically come down to the highest price. In a seller’s market like San Diego, make less “asks,” have your financials in order, and be prepared to move quickly.

Once you’re ready to make an offer, make sure it’s the house you really want — and don’t get overly attached to the home. It takes an average of six offers before a buyer’s offer is accepted in San Diego. Depending on the market, buyers are paying anywhere from 5–15% over the listing price. Search for homes in a price range lower than your maximum purchase price. This will give you room to increase your offer price so that you are competitive. For example, if your maximum purchase price is $1 million dollars, you should look at homes in the $800K range.


3. Find out what’s important to a seller before you make an offer. Whether it’s an emotional connection or a logistical one, sellers choose buyers for many reasons. Retired baby boomers selling a home where they raised a family may connect with a buyer who has young children. In this case, sharing a homemade video or letter introducing your family could make your offer more meaningful. A seller may have to move out of their home before you can move in, and if you can make an offer that meets their needs — in this case, offering to rent back to the seller for a couple of months — you may have a higher chance of getting your offer accepted.

The bottom line: reach out to the listing agent to find out what’s important to the seller before you make an offer.

Have questions? Call us at (858) 880-0195 or email We’re here to help!


Tips for Selling Your Home


Here are a few more tips to keep in mind for those of you who are selling a home:

1. Get your home inspection done before going on the market. The best way to avoid surprises is to get your home inspection done early. For example, if you accept an offer from a buyer before the home inspection and you find out your home has termites, a buyer could ask for a price reduction.


2. Make a great first impression. We recommend that Reali Sellers start with a clean, vacant home. A clean, clutter-free environment will attract the best offers.

You should also take care of all repairs before going on the market and disclose any issues related to your home. It’s best for all issues to be out in the open before a home goes into contract. You don’t want to get into a situation where potential buyers find out about problems later.


3. Select a qualified buyer. If a buyer is getting a loan, it’s important to have your agent check in with the mortgage broker to confirm that the buyer not only has the ability to buy the house but also enough cash reserves to cover closing costs and other necessary expenditures.

Get in touch to find out more about selling your home through Reali. Call (858) 880-0195 or email We’re here to help! 

The Bottom Line

Call us at (858) 880-0195 or email to get started.

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About The Author
Portia Green, REALTOR®

Portia Green is a highly experienced full-time REALTOR® specializing in the representation of Sellers, heralded by her clients as data-driven and an effective negotiator. Producing $25M total in residential sales volume, Portia's goal is to help her clients achieve the best results when selling their homes and to make their experience an enjoyable one. She has successfully sold real estate since 2008 and has gained an in-depth knowledge of local real estate markets & seasonal trends. Portia has achieved a 100% customer satisfaction rating and wants to share her expertise & personal service with you in the sale of your home. When listing your home with Portia Green and Compass, you'll receive the hands-on service you need and desire. Portia will help you manage the entire process of selling your home from pricing, preparing and staging the house, to marketing, negotiating offers, inspections, all the way to closing. She will recommend skilled vendors for any job needed, personally host Open Houses, and ensure that all showings are accompanied. At Compass, Portia offers a wise no-nonsense way to sell your home for the best price and the least hassle. With a keen eye for staging & preparing listings to maximize Buyer appeal, all of Portia Green's listings are professionally photographed using HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography to provide the highest quality photos in the industry. Professionally printed marketing materials are prepared for all Open Houses. We also capture a 3D scan of your home that creates an interactive walkthrough online along with a custom-designed floor plan and targeted digital marketing campaigns on Google & the most popular social media channels. Compass participates in the Multiple Listing Service, which is the local real estate database of homes listed for sale that all REALTORS® use in helping their Buyers find houses. Your home will appear on every real estate website, in its best light, making a stunning camera-ready debut. Portia Green's home valuation expertise and extensive experience in comparative market analysis will help price your home accurately. She has refined her skills to help you pinpoint which features of your home will result in more showings and better results. Her mantra is for you to be ready to sell your home and feel good about that first. Portia knows that home inspectors always find a problem; that drones take some of the best photos in town; and that her eyebrows will grow to the floor in the time it takes her to read everything that's happening with your HOA, but that doesn't mean she won't do it anyway. Eyebrows be damned. You'll always need a place to unplug, connect, dream, grow, or just be yourself. That makes what Portia does even more meaningful. She’s ready to go the extra mile to help you find just the place. Whether you're selling your very first home, offloading an investment property, or want a vacation getaway with passive income, she is attentive to the details of every home sale. Portia helps busy people navigate this crazy real estate market like a pro, so don't be shy. Every great relationship starts with free advice and a friendly chat. Ask as many questions as you need to. Selling houses is her jam!