Home Seller Tip: Professional Photography Helps Sell Your Home

Jim Walberg, staff writer for The Bay Area Team

In the Bay Area buyers are searching for homes on the internet 89% or more of the time – mobile devices and laptops. The photos of a Seller’s home must be excellent. The Wall Street Journal states that home buyers spend 60% of their time looking at photos of the home as opposed to the description of the property, so the photos better be great.

When searching on the internet, whether on a laptop or a mobile device you have 20-seconds to grab a home buyer’s attention with photos, and only 2-seconds without photos. Plus, you receive 62% more views of an online property with photos than ones without. Are you getting the “picture”? Continue reading

Home Buyer Tip: Hire A Realtor With Proven Negotiating Skills

Jim Walberg, staff writer for The Bay Area Team

As a Buyer who is wanting to purchase a home in the crazy world of Bay Area real estate it is critical to hire a Realtor who is a proven and effective negotiator. Why does this matter? The amount of homes for a Bay Area buyer to select from is at historic lows. And, the buyer pool for Bay Area homes is at an historic high, equaling a “Sellers Market”. Having a highly skilled negotiator by your side is even more critical in creating a successful outcome for any home buyer. Continue reading

Cycle For Survival – Helping Find Cures For Rare Cancers

Jim Walberg, staff writer for The Bay Area Team

Cycle for Survival is the national movement to beat rare cancers. It is a high-energy indoor team cycling event that has 22 rides across the country in February and March. This is my fifth year leading a team of riders – a 14-bike team of four riders each. Our ride is February 10th in San Francisco at the Equinox Health Club.

I am a “Cancer Thriver”, and this is my fifth year leading The Bay Area Team’s 14-bike team of riders. In the past three years our bike teams have raised over $310,000 to support cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center. In 2017 the national rides raised over $34 million with 100% of every dollar going to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Research Center. This year we are working to surpass $400,000 for the amount of donations our team has gathered in the past four years. Continue reading

The 2018 Tax Act: Impact on Bay Area Homeowners

By: Jim Walberg, staff writer for The Bay Area Team

NOTE: Contact your tax professional regarding how the 2018 Tax Act will impact your personal situation. Nothing in my article is intended to act as a tax expert or tax consultant. There are lots of resources for you the check out. Got it?

The new Tax Act will have an impact on Bay Area homeowners. Some will not notice any impact and many will. Let’s start with a brief summary of the three most important aspects of how the new Tax Act will impact Bay Area homeowners tax returns as it applies to real estate, mortgage deductions and capital gains.. Continue reading

The “Other” Wine Country – Livermore Valley

By: Jim Walberg, staff writer for The Bay Area Team

In Northern California, the world’s attention is on the Napa and Sonoma wine regions. Each wine region in the United States has an appellation designation; Napa, Sonoma, Willamette Valley, etc. Well, there is another wine region / appellation in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area – the Livermore Valley.  You can be wine tasting at 67 different wineries within 25 minutes from Danville. Continue reading

Home Selling Tip: Staging Matters!

By: Jim Walberg, staff writer for The Bay Area Team

Statistics confirm that staged homes sell faster and for top dollar.

Staging is a strategic marketing tool designed to show a property in its best possible light. Professional stagers believe in the power of home staging, and we completely agree with them.

According to the Real Estate Staging Association, professionally listed staged properties simply look better; spend 73 percent less time on the market; typically sell for more money; end up on buyers’ “must see” lists; are viewed as “well-maintained;” and have fewer concessions requested of the seller. Only 10% of home buyers can visualize the full potential of a non-staged home. First impressions count. Buyers typically form their opinion in the first two minutes of touring a home. Continue reading

Affordability: The “Wild Card” Of Bay Area Housing

By: Jim Walberg, staff writer for The Bay Area Team @PacificUnion

Two-hour commutes to work! Bumper to bumper traffic on the 580 and 680! Does this ring true for you? Greg Gross, Metrostudy regional director for Northern California, said recent statement, “The story in the Bay Area housing markets will be affordability for the long term.”

The lack of housing affordability results in more than just Bay Area residents paying high percentages of their income on rents and mortgages. It causes families to be pushed out of job markets in order to find homes they actually can afford. We can all agree that moving 40 miles away from your job is not a sustainable solution for individuals and families. The Bay Area’s housing affordability crisis is so widely acknowledged that it sometimes can seem like the new normal. Continue reading

A look back at 2017 and Predictions for 2018

By: Jim Walberg – Staff Writer for The Bay Area Team @pacificunion

2018So, another amazing year in real estate has come to a close in the Bay Area. And, 2018 is about to begin. My article is about how my predictions for last year turned out, and what to expect in the East Bay world of real estate in 2018.

Continue reading

A Bold Move: Pacific Union Names Selma Hepp VP of Business Intelligence

Selma HeppMark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union, announced today another bold move within the residential real estate industry. Pacific Union names Selma Hepp VP of Business Intelligence to the newly created position of ‘Vice President, Business Intelligence’.  Selma joins Pacific Union from her position as Chief Economist for Trulia.

Prior to Trulia, Selma Hepp was Senior Economist for the California Association of Realtors and Economist for the National Association of Realtors, both trade organizations dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. Continue reading

2015 San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Predictions

A look at 2014 and 2015 predictionsFirst off, what a year in real estate we had in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014! A few of the highlights were; the continued decline in homes to purchase; the growing of off-market home sales; mortgage interest rates remained at record lows in spite of the Feds ending their purchase of mortgage backed securities; the continued appreciation of home values; the continued lack of new home construction which impacted the lower number of homes to sell. And, given all of these factors the value of the total of homes sold still exceeded 2013 totals! Job growth is the key indicator for any healthy real estate market. Continue reading