Your Real Estate Update

    As we enter the 2nd half of this year, the market is continuing at a steady pace.  Median sales prices for all residential properties in the South Bay slightly decreased in July to $652,750 from $663,500 in June.  The median days on market remained at 13 for the second straight month.  In Manhattan Beach, the median sales price slightly decreased to $2,425,000 in July from $2,600,000 in June and the median days on market moved up from 9 days in June to 13 days in July.

    For this month’s newsletter, we’ll go into some helpful tips for both home buyers and sellers.

    Steps to a smooth transaction for first-time homebuyers

    First time buyers often ask how to start the buying process. Here are the steps I advise to help guide the process of buying a first home.

    • Check your credit score. Get a copy of your credit report at Look for any errors and correct any mistakes.
    • Determine how much you can afford. Lenders generally look for a total debt load of no more than 43% of your gross monthly income.
    • Research lenders and REALTORS. A buyer’s agent will work in your best interest to find you the right property, negotiate with the seller’s agent, and guide you through the closing process.  Your agent can also be instrumental in finding a lender who is familiar with first-time home buyer programs.
    • Research neighborhoods and start visiting open houses. Use sites such as to find out about neighborhoods, public transportation, and cost of living.
    • Get pre-approved for your loan.
    • Start shopping for your new home. Once you are pre-approved, your buyer’s agent will be able to target homes that meet your priorities in your price range.

    Seller staging Tips That Help Buyers Fall in Love

    While there are many things that go into ensuring a successful sale of your home, staging is one that can help make you money.  Below are a few of my staging tips.

    Living Room

    • Light it up with lamps. Chic lamps provide both added lighting and appealing décor.
    • Whatever amount of furniture you have in your living room, remove a few pieces to make the room feel spacious.


    • Clear everything from countertops except one or two decorative items, like a vase of flowers or bowl of fresh fruit.
    • Remove any fridge magnets and give the door and handles a good cleaning.

    Dining Room

    • Set out some chick place settings around the table or a few wine glasses to let buyers think of entertaining.
    • Strike a balance between overly formal and too casual with an attractive runner and a few fun, decorative elements – small floral vases or short candle holders.


    • Go gender neutral in the master bedroom.
    • Pack up any clothes you won’t be wearing to make your closets look larger.


    • Re-caulk around the tub and sink if necessary
    • Pack up and hide all your personal products – from medicine to razors.

    Throughout the House

    • Box up books, clothes, and personal items and place them neatly in the garage or a storage unit.  Family photos, diplomas, and the kids’ artwork should all go.
    • Swap dim lights for high-wattage bulbs.
    • Do a deep clean. Hire a professional cleaning service to clean your home from top to bottom, including carpets, before showings.

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