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Pat and Paul Rassmusen feeling grateful that homes do NOT sell themselves

Maybe you’ve heard the expression in a sellers market that, “real estate sells itself”. Have you wondered if that’s true? Do all the homes selling at neck-break speed for over asking, sell without much effort required of agents or sellers? I sold the Rasmussens, the beautiful couple pictured here, a new home that was being built by a builder in Paradise. This couple personified good values – easily the most gracious people I’ve served ever. But during construction of that home the builder poured the concrete foundation incorrect dimensions! And not only that, due to supply delays and labor shortages the builder would not be able to finish the home by even the latest estimate they had given previously. It was a devastating blow because my buyers had already sold their home in Oregon and needed a place to live in just a few weeks. Not months! I had to cancel escrow and pivot immediately to find this couple another home – in a seller’s market!

I showed them a dozen homes over 2 days and not one home would work for their needs. But I persevered and through word of mouth discovered a brand new home in Paradise nearly complete and being sold by the owner/builder without a listing brokerage. I contacted the seller, arranged a showing for my clients, successfully negotiated a purchase price and contract, and negotiated my own compensation since the property was not on the market. My buyers and the seller signed a purchase contract and we opened escrow about a week after canceling the first home. Cash, no loan, and no appraisal. Amazing, right! Yes and, guess what? This second home did not sell itself. No it didn’t! And I was even doing all the extra mile things which clients care so much about. I can tell you that the owner/builder almost blew the deal on us two times getting so frustrated by state required disclosures early on and again by being ticked off by the title insurance company requirements one day before we were scheduled to close. This came to a critical moment where the buyers and I sat in the bathroom of the new house on the toilet and the bath tub – hey, there were no chairs – and we faced the most certain fate of having to start all over again a third time but with no time left on their clock. It was the lowest point of all. What did I do with buyers that are facing homelessness, a seller stressed beyond belief, and pressure as their real estate agent to just make everyone happy? Here is what I did. I dug down deep and I helped. I called the Seller right there from the bathroom of the house. With the brightest attitude I helped both parties understand their options and their duties to one another. The seller didn’t give in easy – he needed to make several calls and jump through hoops. We had to wait and see what could be done by the next day.

We closed it! The seller called me after the sale to thank me for being patient and tell me it truly warmed their hearts for such a sweet couple to have the home they built. My buyers now own their perfect home and are sleeping soundly in it tonight! It was a house hunt for the history books. Friendships made that will last my lifetime. 

It almost didn’t happen two times for these truly special folks. But working harder, a lot of prayer, and more communication is what got it done! Often people go along with the expression that a house sells itself. But I am grateful homes do not sell themselves. Otherwise I would miss out on such important ranges of emotions and feelings in life. By relentlessly working to provide housing – which is a need – I get the privilege of being connected to people – which is also a need. People need to know that they matter and they want to be where they feel like they belong. We provide clients with support and always look to add value at Upside Real Estate. If you’re a home buyer, seller, or a Realtor looking to belong, please contact us

Home for sale! Watch the virtual tour and read below for more detailed information.

Virtual tour video walkthrough of home for sale 325 Antelope Creek Avenue Chico CA 95973

$549,000

OPEN HOUSE TIMES:

Thursday July 15th 10 AM – 4 PM
Friday July 16th 2 PM – 4 PM
Sunday July 18th 2 PM – 4 PM

Beautiful home with tons of upgrades in a great neighborhood near parks and schools in north Chico. This 4 year old home was very well thought out inside and outside. It has one of the most sought after floor plans in the Hartley Park Subdivision. Tall ceilings, open floor plan, owned solar, dreamy back yard, putting green, white kitchen cabinets, 3 car garage, beautiful hard surface flooring in all the right places. Take a tour! Walk in through the formal entry. To the left and down the hall are the bedrooms and bathrooms. Straight ahead is the kitchen with island, quartz counter tops, windows with views of the large backyard, and large pantry closet. From the kitchen open the door to the huge inside laundry room with sink, counter space, hanging rod, and extra storage in the upper and lower cabinets. The kitchen is open to the dining and living areas. Walk out the sliding door to the perfectly designed landscaped yard and cobblestone paths. Relax and dine under the large covered concrete patio space in the backyard that can be accessed by the living or the master bedroom sliding glass doors. The owners had Webb Homes put in several upgrades which include painted white kitchen cabinets, kitchen island with drawers, wood textured tile flooring, gas fire place, carpet in bedrooms, granite counter tops in the bathrooms, and warm color tiled shower enclosures. Enjoy all the energy efficiency built in: central heating and air controlled by a Nest smart thermostat, owned solar (installed 2018), attic insulation, exterior walls insulation, dual pane windows, whole house fan, ceiling fans, and low flow water fixtures. The master suite has a walk in closet, walk in shower, dual sink vanity, and sliding exterior door. The 3 car garage looks like a normal 2 car garage from the street. It is a tandem garage, meaning that it is an extra deep garage with the ability to fit more than it looks. Use that space for extra storage, boat storage, work shop, work-out, home office, or whatever you need. The Sellers are taking with them the kitchen fridge, washer and dryer, and water softener. They planned ahead for the next owners by having the builder pre-wire for a pool and hot tub in the backyard.

3D Virtual Tour

Check out the virtual tour where you can take a virtual stroll through the house and see the “doll house” overhead floor plan view

Listing Photo Gallery

Are you looking to buy but need to sell a house in order to do it?

In this article I’ll cover some of the most successful ways to buy and sell. 

1. Purchase financing.

You’re only a Seller if you’re a bonafide Buyer, you need to start this process thinking like a buyer. In other words, find a lender you want to work with and ask to be pre-approved for a purchase. I can help you figure out what price you can expect to sell your current home. After that, I can estimate how much you’ll net from the sale of your home to put toward the purchase. If you currently have a mortgage on your home it must be paid off in full when you sell.

2. Should I list my home first, or wait to list until I find the home I want?

This is a great question, and there isn’t one answer that fits everyone. That being said, it is important that I have contingencies written into my contract to protect my clients. I do my best to negotiate these protections for my clients so that if the purchase doesn’t work out they can cancel the sale of their home and vice-versa. Moreover, if the sale of their home gets canceled they won’t be locked in to buying a home they no longer qualify to buy.

3. More tips for buying And selling successfully

Every individual situation is different. Ask questions. Be a good listener. Insist you have loan pre-approval unless you’ll have enough cash to buy. Research your property for any identifiable problems to sell. Consider staging your home for sale. Market your home aggressively. You must convincingly persuade the Seller of the home you want to accept your offer instead of another. Get through all the disclosures, inspections, and repairs (if any). Complete all necessary tasks for both escrows quickly, ensuring both escrows close on time.

Buying and selling example’s from past clients.

In recent years clients of mine have done it all different ways.
For example, the C’s moved out of their house and into a rental house, so they could fix up their home and sell it vacant. If a home they really like comes on the market they’ll jump on it ending their lease early to do so.

The Z’s decided to list their home first and trust that a great home would come along at the same time. They accepted an offer on their home before finding a house. I negotiated with their buyer for a contingency that if The Z’s didn’t find a home within 30 days their buyers could cancel. They found a home within a week. Both the sale of their home and purchase closed concurrently.

The G’s had me and my photographer in their home months before finding a replacement home, and we were ready to pull the trigger on marketing their home the second they decided to make an offer on a new home.

The F’s found a home they wanted to buy, and so the same day we offered on the new home we rushed to list their house. They got a strong offer on the first day and that made the owner of the house they want to buy confident enough to accept their offer. We negotiated some time for them to remain in their home while they made a few changes to the new one before moving in.

The W’s sold a home they inherited and didn’t want to live in. They used the proceeds as a down payment on a new home they bought.

Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions of one’s life.

Buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions of one’s life, and costly mistakes can add up quickly when you’re trying to do it on your own. If you’re trying to save money and considering selling your own home without a Realtor, or working with a “discount” real estate company promising a low commission in exchange for helping you do all the work… then keep on reading.

At Upside Real Estate, we will create value for you and save you money too. We are experts in the area, and know how to get you the best price and best terms. According to the National Association of Realtors 2017 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, homes listed for sale with a real estate agent typically sell for $60,000 more than houses for sale by owner. So let’s discuss a handful of reasons why working with an agent at Upside is better than selling by owner.

MARKETING:

It would be crazy not to market your home on the internet, right? How many buyers will you miss if your internet marketing is nonexistent, incomplete, or inaccurate? How many buyers will keep scrolling when your home is poorly photographed? On the flip side, can you handle the many phone calls, emails, showing requests, and property questions that come as a result of excellent marketing? The more exposure your home has through the MLS and thorough marketing efforts of a professional Realtor, the more likely you are to sell for what your home is actually worth, or more!

OBSCURE REQUIREMENTS:

Many FSBO sellers don’t know about the various city ordinances that they must comply with, costing the seller more time and money. For example, not complying with the City of Chico Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO) could result in surprise costs. In the Town of Paradise there are several laws to know about when selling or buying property pertaining to septic clearances, trees, property boundaries, weed abatement, and so forth. Failure to obtain clearances and properly document information during the sale will result in fines and corrective actions by the local government. At Upside, we know the requirements specific to your home’s location needed for a successfully closed escrow.

DISCLOSURES:

Qualified buyers view sellers with out agent representation cautiously, as these sellers often give little, incomplete, wrong, or misleading disclosures about their property. As a result of poor disclosures, sellers can be sued and not only pay attorney fees but also pay money to fix a problem that they didn’t properly disclose. Right here in our own county, judges have sided with buyers and forced sellers to buy houses back. If you think paying a Realtor 6% commission is high, try being sued! Second to divorce, people sue each other over real estate more than anything in California. This being said, we are your advocate, your guide in how to legally disclose issues that come up with your home. This in turn makes the process more enjoyable, protects you from legal trouble, and reduces your financial risk.

PRICE AND NEGOTIATION:

Price strategy is tricky. Pricing your home too high will cost you time plus your mortgage payments for every month your property is still on the market. Pricing your property too low will certainly increase interest in your property. So how do you negotiate the price you want? Sellers love a bidding war. However, many buyers don’t. Negotiating price with buyers should be done with great care and skill in order to get you the best deal and keep the good-will of the deal strong.

EXPERIENCE:

An agent from Upside Real Estate will work with you to understand your needs, and help you think of many things you should consider. Sometimes during a listing consultation we help sellers realize they need to do more before they are ready to sell. Prior to signing a listing agreement and going on market, there are a lot of things to consider. Are you pre-approved for a loan or have enough cash to buy your replacement home? We need to check for any title issues that may need resolving. Is the property ownership held by a trust? We’ll ask if you have deferred payments on your mortgage or recently been given a notice of default.

We’ll provide you with a comparable market analysis (a CMA) and discuss our marketing plan. It’s important that we look together at the CMA in order to show how your home compares to others like it, or what adds value and what is detracting value from your home. We can strategize with you on ways to improve your home’s value before you go on the market.

IN CLOSING:

With nuisances like completing extensive paperwork, pricing the home correctly, handling necessary legalities, selling within the planned length of time, coordinating inspections, negotiating repairs, dealing with a low appraisal, and most importantly, having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale, a Realtor is the right person for the job. Working with a knowledgeable agent, you are much more likely to sell your property faster and for a better price, and overall be satisfied with the outcome of your transaction.

Upside Real Estate is the game-changing element for having the smooth transition you anticipate. We have the knowledge, expertise, and skill to effectively and efficiently navigate through the complexities of selling you home. We know the buying and selling processes, the contracts, the law, how to spot red flags in a transaction, and more. Having bought and sold several properties ourselves, we know what you’re feeling, and we’ll be devoted to your success.

1555 Arch WayChico, CA 95973

If you’re looking for a great house in a wonderful neighborhood check this one out! This home has the location, so many things within walking distance of your front door. You are just a five min drive to hwy 99 on ramp and literally a five min walk to a grocery store and schools! This one is worth looking at! Super clean home in excellent neighborhood close to schools and Upper Bidwell Park. Soaring ceilings and an open floor plan. Nice newer carpet and paint. Laminate floor in the kitchen and dining nook. Kitchen has recessed lighting, a long bar-stool counter, solid surface formica counter tops, gas oven, and an extra deep stainless steel sink. From the dining room, sliding doors open to an enormous covered patio, a great setting for outdoor BBQing and lounging in the shade. Outdoor shed included. The primary bedroom has a vaulted ceiling, private bath with two sinks, shower in tub, walk in closet with shelving. Bedrooms have roomy closets, ceiling fans, and great natural light from the windows. Indoor laundry with washer and dryer included. Two-car finished garage offers space for your vehicles as well as additional storage space. Central heating and air and whole house fan will keep you comfortable throughout the year. Faux wood blinds in every window. Extra wide driveway and side yard with wide double gates to park a camper or RV. Check out the Matterport virtual walk through.

Listed by: Dustin Cheatham Realtor, Founder Upside Real Estate

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Founder, Realtor Dustin Cheatham talks about the creation of Upside Real Estate.

Is there value in considering and budgeting for multiple inspections before buying a home? The answer is YES, any inspection you deem essential to put your mind at ease before sealing the deal is worth it. Keep the second-guessing out of the equation and be confident knowing you inspected your investment to your satisfaction

Buyers should consider the importance of hiring professional inspectors and budget accordingly. In addition, saving for a down payment, closing costs is important. The value to having an expert investigate your home is money well spent. A residential purchase contract states clearly that investigation is the buyer’s responsibility, even if the Seller has provided some inspections up front. Sellers and Realtors in a transaction must disclose to buyers any defects they are aware of, but many problems go unknown until a house is looked over by multiple inspectors.

When working with buyers, I use a helpful form created by the California Association of REALTORS® named the Buyer’s Inspection Elections. It lists about 40 different inspections you can pay to have done on a home. Most buyers choose to have between two to five inspections. Some of the most common include wood destroying pests, whole house, roof, septic, sewer line camera, heating and air conditioning, chimney, pest control, electrical, tree, pool, and the list goes on. Many buyers simply have never been aware of so many aspects to consider when buying a home. And when it comes to hiring someone to do the inspection, many buyers don’t know who to call. I can recommend trustworthy professionals for every kind of inspection you could have. 

A REALTOR® has an affirmative duty to advise buyers to consider inspections, but REALTORS® can not/should not try to wear the hat of an inspector. 

To the degree you don’t like any of the following cramping your budget while living in a home: water leaks, cold, heat, pests, trees, sewage, etc… Have the home inspected before buying it. Let me know how I can help guide you to a successful inspection of your new home. When working with buyers I advise them the same way I would want to be treated, often that means going the extra mile.

So, you want to buy a home? Great! You’re about to embark on one of the biggest decisions of your life. There are many ways to write an offer. All of my following tips will strengthen your offer and still keep you in control of the deal, but remember, “The Right Agent Matters”. Because we’re working in a competitive market, you need an agent who knows how to present your offer and you in the best light. Choosing the right agent will make the difference between you or someone else getting the house you love. 

1. Loan approval. Work with lenders. This is key and I highly recommend getting your loan fully approved before we tour houses. Having the loan approval fully completed makes your offer stand out, furthermore it develops a base line for homes you can begin to pursue. This being said, loan approval is much stronger than just loan pre-qualification, and the seller will notice the difference. Approval accounts for time saved on your end and your agents! Therefore, sellers will feel more confident with your offer, knowing the money is there. And think of how much more enjoyable purchasing a home will be for you when you KNOW the money is already approved!! You can focus on the home of your dreams!!

2. Focus on Value, Not Price. In other words, finding a house you love means the house works for you. Knowing a good value is our primary concern. When we have found the house you love, be decisive, there could be competitive bids on the the table for that same house. Be ready to come in with a strong offer, showing you’re serious with the seller. Further more, keep in mind that waiting too long to submit an offer could result in the absence of your offer being considered. With loan approval in hand, you’ll know your budget, being able to make a decision promptly and confidently.

3. Impress the seller with a large deposit. The deposit is the “good faith” money you’re willing to deposit in escrow with your offer. The bigger the deposit, the more confidant a seller is that you are serious about the purchase. Incase you find yourself needing to cancel escrow, rest assured my contracts provide you with many legal protections for your deposit.

4. Letter to the seller. Sellers are humans, a well written letter can can go a long way. It may be the reason they put their trust in you and pick your offer versus another buyer’s offer. However, it’s important to keep descriptive personal characteristics out of your letter so we don’t violate Fair Housing rules. Anything in your letter that could create bias for or against persons of a protected class should not be shared with a seller. I’ll review your letter with you to determine if it should be shared or needs editing. A seller reading a personal letter from you describing the love and care you wish to extend to their home can be huge.

5. Lastly, the Right Agent Matters! Choose who your agent will be and work exclusively with them. Your agent will be your greatest guide and biggest advocate in your real estate venture. If you have questions about a property or want to schedule a showing, be sure to contact me so that I may represent you and protect your best interest. This being said, simply contacting a listing agent of a property you are showing interest in will not give you an advantage. Note, the listing agents primary duty is to their seller. Anything you might say to them will not necessarily be confidential if agency relationship is not established with you. And if you are considering buying new construction, allow me to schedule an appointment with the sales office of that builder and go with you to your first appointment. This will ensure they treat you like a serious buyer. If you initiate contact with them they will regard you as a new prospect without a Realtor and they will not compensate me for referring them to you. Therefore, know that I will guide you at every step of the way, benefitting you with a smooth transaction. 

 Wow, we are already in November and just around the corner we will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the the New Year. The holidays hold special opportunities for both buyers and sellers. If you think you have too much going on in life right now and can’t imagine selling or buying during the holidays, think again! You certainly don’t want to miss a good window of opportunity. Simply stated, during the holidays buyers have fewer houses to choose from.

1. Less homes for sale generally means Sellers can get a reasonable price for their home. Coincidently fewer buyers out looking at homes can also mean better deals for buyers. Which is why a well priced home in turn-key condition will get multiple offers even in balmy weather. 

2. People who look for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers.

3. Houses show well when decorated for the holidays. Embrace the season. Put your Christmas tree up in the front window and a for sale sign in the yard!

4. You’ve probably heard that Spring is the best time to sell. Actually the supply of listings will dramatically increase February through May as it always does. So if you wait to list until then you will be competing with many homes similar to yours. Right now, buyers are looking for a home like yours and they are not finding it. Why not list now? Your home might get multiple offers. 

5. Want to sell now but don’t want to move during the holidays? We can certainly provide a solution by negotiating a long escrow or even a short escrow where you rent back (remain in your home) until early next year. 

6. Buyers and Sellers are more emotional during the holidays. We can find out their motivation and use that to get you reasonable terms.

7. Some people must buy or sell before the end of the year for tax reasons. Since they can’t wait until spring they must make a deal soon before their clock runs out.

8. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays with having time off work, more than they do during their normal working schedule. 

9. Your house can be on the market, but if you need flexibility to limit showings during certain days, people will be very understanding at this time of year.

10. Mortgage interest rates are still very low. Higher interest rates typically have an effect on how much buyers can afford. Meaning if sellers wait to sell in the Spring and rates tick higher their home may not be able to sell for the price that it could sell for now, and for buyers, if rates tick higher they may not be able to afford as much home as they could now.

Dustin Cheatham Realtor Founder of Upside Real Estate is a top producer in the Chico Area, pictured here sitting on the curb in front of a Tudor style home

If you’re thinking of selling your house, it’s best to set aside time to strategize with me early! If you can, list your home as soon as possible. Inventory of homes for sale now are remarkably low, which means more buyers and less listings to compete with. We tend to see more listings come on the market March through August. There are often aspects of your home that go overlooked prior to selling. I hope my selling tips are helpful to you. I look forward to meeting with you and working together to form a marketing plan tailored specifically to meet your needs.  

1 Evaluate the condition of your home.

Even if you are on top of home maintenance, you’ll need to look at your house with fresh eyes. The best way to do this is to invite new eyes into your home. I recommend having your home inspected by a certified home inspector and a structural pest inspector. Any major issues should be fixed before putting your home on the market.

2 Disclosures

A seller has a statutory duty to disclose in writing to the buyer things they are aware of that affect the value or desirability of the house. The best strategy for documenting your disclosures is to put them in writing early and as complete as you can. Early and complete disclosers will help us negotiate the best terms for the sale of your house. Things you should disclose include but are not limited to, insurance claims you’ve made on the property, repairs, improvements, reports, title issues, environmental hazards, HOAs, etc.   

3 Stage your home!

A buyers first impressions are most important as they approach and walk in your home. New exterior paint, pressure washing, landscaping, tree trimming etc makes a big difference in the eyes of buyers. A homes interior should be staged. Declutter and move 80% of the personal items into the garage or storage space. Seriously consider hiring an interior designer to stage the home or to give you ideas for where to place your existing furnishings. Watch a video with Dustin and Chico Home Staging as they go through one of Dustin’s staged listings. Staging can help homes sell for a lot more than the list price, and the cost of professional staging is a lot less than a price reduction!

4 Motive for selling.

The reason you need to sell should be clear. Don’t let money be your only motivation. Are you moving to be near family, a job relocation, a death in the family? If you’re not sure you need or want to sell, consider discussing your decisions with your family, financial advisor, or an attorney. Once you have your home on the market, avoid being indecisive. Don’t be unreasonable to a good buyer. When you receive an offer avoid taking to much time to respond. It’s not unreasonable for buyers to ask for repairs or closing cost credits. I’ll go over all your options when we review offers. The important thing is for you to feel confident and have a great sale.

If you are going to sell your home with me, I’ll work up a marketing plan and price strategy you’ll be pleased with. For more tips to keep in mind when selling your home stay tuned for more articles I’m working on, and read my advice here. We have hot seller’s market. It’s important to work with a pro. In the last 12 months I’ve sold 44 properties!

“Early and complete disclosers will help us negotiate the best terms for the sale of your house.”

– Dustin Cheatham, Realtor
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