Christine Rhoades | Laguna Beach Real Estate, Newport Beach Real Estate, Dana Point Real Estate


If you plan to buy a home in the upcoming days, weeks or months, it often pays to learn about the real estate market. By doing so, you can understand various best practices for purchasing a house and streamline the homebuying process.

Ultimately, there are several best practices for buying a house, and these include:

1. Become a Homebuying Expert

What differentiates a buyer's market from a seller's market? How do you submit an offer on a house? And what should you expect during a home inspection? These are just some of the questions that you'll need to consider to become a homebuying expert.

As a homebuying expert, you'll be better equipped than others to plan a successful homebuying journey.

Typically, a homebuying expert asks lots of questions and devotes the necessary time and resources to learn about the housing market. This individual also is open to expert homebuying advice and recommendations and will do whatever it takes to discover the right house, at the right price, regardless of the real estate market's conditions.

2. Get a Home Loan

For those who plan to buy a house, it helps to save money in advance. That way, you can shop for a house and have sufficient funds available for a sizable down payment.

Furthermore, you should start searching for a home loan as soon as possible. Because the sooner that you secure a home loan, the sooner that you can kick off a home search with a budget in hand.

To obtain a home loan, you should meet with several banks and credit unions. These lenders will evaluate your credit history, income and other financial factors and make a home loan offer.

After you accept a home loan offer, you can officially start your home search. And if you find a home that you'd like to buy, you can submit an offer without having to scramble to get a home loan at the last possible moment.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to buying a home, hiring a real estate agent is essential. In fact, a real estate agent will provide plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey, ensuring that you can discover your dream house without delay.

A real estate agent first will learn about your homebuying goals. Then, this housing market professional can help you narrow your home search.

In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings, submit home offers on your behalf and keep you up to date on homebuying negotiations. Perhaps best of all, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at any time.

Buying a home can be a quick, seamless process, particularly for those who work with a real estate agent. Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to making your homeownership dreams come true.


When you move into a home that you worked so hard to buy, it’s an exciting and overwhelming time. The biggest problem with a new place is that you don’t know your surroundings very well. Even if you have just moved down the street, there’s a lot of new things to be discovered from new neighbors to new places to explore. 


One thing that many new homeowners overlook is the way in which their new home functions. Do you know where the circuit breakers are? What about that switch in the corner of the living room that doesn’t seem to do anything? While the seller's disclosure and your home inspector will give you a wealth of information, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by asking questions. 


Sellers may not be eager to answer too many questions at first for fear that their answers could jeopardize the sale of their home. You can safely ask a lot of questions at the final walk-through or at closing since the seller will know that they’re secure in the transaction.         



What’s Strange About This House?


While you wouldn’t word a question to a seller in this exact way, you do want to know if there’s anything unique or anything that you should anticipate about the home. Remember that you should be subtle, yet curious in your question asking. 


What Type Of Repairs Have Been Made?


While you expect that most repairs will be on the disclosure statement, anything that has been done in the past is noteworthy as well. It’s helpful to know what’s been done in the house in the past so you have an idea of what to keep an eye out for.


Where Are The Important Utility Boxes In The Home?


Not all home inspectors are created equal. Your inspector may not be great at educating you as to where things are in the home like the circuit box, the water switches, the pump, or the controls for the furnace. The seller can often show you the location of these items in the house. This will prevent you from a lot of confusion starting at the time you move into the home. 


Have You Enjoyed Living In This Neighborhood?


You can discover a lot about a neighborhood if you just start a conversation about the seller’s own experiences. You can learn a lot through this simple question. Are there any crazy dogs in the neighborhood? Where are the best places to eat in the area? While you may not ask these questions directly, you can gain some powerful information just by being curious and conversational.

Gaining a good rapport with your seller can get you places. You’ll know a bit more about the home and the seller will even feel more friendly towards you. The seller could even leave some cool stuff behind that they don’t need like a microwave, a piece of furniture, or a patio set. All you need to do is be friendly and curious and you’ll be off to a great start in your new home.


For homebuyers, there may be nothing better than searching for a house in a buyer's market. Typically, a buyer's market is defined by several key characteristics, including:

1. Shortage of Homebuyers

In a seller's market, competition among homebuyers remains fierce. Therefore, a homebuyer may be forced to compete against several homebuyers to secure his or her dream home.

Comparatively, a buyer's market features a shortage of homebuyers, resulting in less competition for quality residences. As a homebuyer, this is ideal because it means that you may be able to improve your chances of securing a great house at a price that matches your budget.

If you're a homebuyer in a buyer's market, the ball is in your court. As such, you should take your time exploring the housing market and find a residence that suits your budget and lifestyle perfectly. By doing so, you likely will be able to secure your dream home without having to worry about the stress of competing against other homebuyers or exceeding your budget.

2. Abundance of Home Sellers

A buyer's market may be a tough time for home sellers. At this time, there may be many homes available, and home sellers might need to reduce the prices of their residences to stir up interest.

Meanwhile, an abundance of home sellers ensures there is a large supply of homes available. This may make it easier for a homebuyer to check out many terrific homes and find one at a below-average price.

Although a buyer's market presents many opportunities for homebuyers, it is important to avoid taking shortcuts. Instead, a homebuyer should devote ample time and resources to assess homes that meet his or her criteria and respond accordingly.

Furthermore, homebuyers should avoid the temptation to submit a lowball offer on a residence – even in a buyer's market. If you submit an offer that falls below a home seller's expectations, you may miss out on the chance to acquire your dream home altogether.

3. Steady Supply of Real Estate Agents

When it comes to shopping for a home in a buyer's market, working with a real estate agent is a great idea. A real estate agent can provide you with plenty of information about first-rate residences that you can enjoy for years to come. Plus, a real estate professional may be able to offer insights into a home that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere, making it simple for you to purchase a top-notch home at a bargain price.

Perhaps best of all, your real estate agent can offer recommendations throughout the homebuying journey. He or she also will be able to respond to any concerns or questions you have, ensuring you can remain calm, cool and collected as you transition from homebuyer to homeowner.

Employ a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey in a buyer's or seller's market. With a real estate professional at your side, you can navigate the challenges of the real estate market and secure your dream house without delay.


Shopping for a home is a long, arduous process. When you finally find one that you love, think you can afford, and spend the time to formulate an offer, it can be crushing when your offer is rejected.

However, getting rejected is simply part of the process. If you’ve ever applied to college, you might be familiar with this process. You send out applications that you poured your heart and soul into. Sometimes to get accepted, other times you don’t.

Making an offer on a home comes with one big advantage over those college applications, however--the opportunity to negotiate. As long as the house is still on the market after your offer is rejected, you’re still in the game.

In this article, we’re going to talk you through what to do when your offer is rejected so you can reformulate your plan and make the best decision as to moving forward.

1. Don’t sweat it

One of the most common fallacies we fall into as humans is to think the outcome is worse than it really is. First, remember that there are most likely other houses out there that are as good if not better than the one you are bidding on, even if they’re not for sale at this moment.

Next, consider the rejection as simply part of the negotiation process. Most people are turned off by rejection. However, you can learn a lot when a seller says no. In many cases, you can take what you learned and return to the drawing board to come up with a better offer.

Don’t spend too much time scrutinizing the seller’s decision. Ninety-nine percent of the time their decision isn’t personal. You simply haven’t met the pricing or contractual requirements that they and their agent have decided on.

2. Reconsider your offer

Now it’s time to start thinking about a second offer. If the seller didn’t respond with a counteroffer it can mean one of two things. First, they might be considering other buyers who have gotten closer to their requirements. Alternatively, your offer may have been too low or have had too many contingencies for them to consider.

Regardless, a flat-out rejection usually means changes need to be made before following up.

3. Making a new offer

This is your chance to take what you learned and apply it to your new offer. Make sure you meet the following prerequisites before sending out your next offer:

  • Double check your financing. Understand your spending limits, both on paper and in terms of what you’re comfortable spending.

  • Check comparable houses. If houses in the neighborhood are selling for more than they were when the house was previously listed, the seller might be compensating for that change.

  • Make sure you’re pre-approved. Your offer will be taken more seriously if you have the bank’s approval.

  • Remove unnecessary contingencies. It’s a seller’s market. Having a complicated contract will make sellers less likely to consider your offer.

4. Move on with confidence

Sometimes you just can’t make it up to the seller’s price point. Other times the seller just can’t come to terms with a reasonable price for their home. Regardless, don’t waste too much time negotiating and renegotiating. Take what you learned from this experience and use it toward the next house negotiation--it will be here sooner than you think!


If you plan to sell your house in the near future, it often pays to focus on your garage. In fact, doing so may help you find innovative ways to differentiate your residence from other available houses and boost your chances of a fast, profitable home sale.

Ultimately, there are many quick, easy ways to transform an ordinary home garage into an exceptional one – here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Remove Clutter

From rusty automotive parts to assorted paint cans and tools, your garage may be filled with a wide range of excess items. However, if you spend some time decluttering, you can cut down on excess items and improve your garage's appearance.

Separate must-keep items from excess ones in your garage. Then, if you have an abundance of clutter, you can host a yard sale or list excess items online.

Furthermore, if you're struggling to get rid of garage clutter, you may be able to donate some items to charity. By doing so, you can do a good deed and eliminate clutter from your garage at the same time.

2. Perform Deep Cleaning

A neat, well-organized garage can make a world of difference in homebuyers' eyes. Thus, you should focus on cleaning your garage from top to bottom.

Sweeping the floors usually offers a great starting point for garage cleaning. You also can wipe down tool benches and other garage surfaces and vacuum your garage as needed.

In addition, don't forget to err on the side of caution as you clean your garage. And if it's been many months since you last cleaned your garage, you should wear goggles, hand protection and a face mask while you clean.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to getting a home garage show-ready, hiring a real estate agent is a must. With a real estate agent at your side, you can find the best ways to enhance your house's appearance both inside and out.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you before you list your house. He or she then will examine each area of your home – including the garage – and offer honest, unbiased home maintenance and improvement tips. That way, you can prioritize various home upgrades.

A real estate agent will even provide expert support throughout the home selling journey. For example, if you need extra help cleaning your garage, a real estate agent can put you in contact with professional home cleaning companies in your city or town. Or, if you're unsure about how much your home is actually worth, a real estate agent can provide housing market data to help you price your residence appropriately.

Unfortunately, home sellers sometimes ignore garage cleaning as they prep their residences for the real estate market. But with the aforementioned tips, you should have no trouble upgrading your garage and transforming this area into a key differentiator for your home.




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