Your Real Estate Mom
10 Reasons Why I Wont Sell Your Home

I am a Real Estate Agent committed  to selling  your home at the highest possible price in the fastest amount of time making the experience as seamless as possible.  

My first task is to guide you in preparing to sell your home. Here are 10 things why I will not sell your home.

1. I will NOT sell your home if there is clutter where prospective buyers cannot see the beautiful details of your home.

2. I will NOT sell your  home if you have so many pictures on the walls that the buyers are distracted and are unable to appreciate the flow of your home.  

3. I will NOT sell your home if the home doesn’t have the curb appeal that invites prospective buyers to look inside.

4. I will NOT sell your home if your home has clutter in the yard.

5. I will NOT sell your home if you don’t make arrangements for your precious pets  while your home is to be shown.

6. I will NOT sell your home if you have tree limbs growing close to  your roof.

7. I will NOT sell your home if it smells from smoke. If you must smoke, please smoke outside.

8. I will NOT sell your home if you stay home during showings. This distracts the buyers.

9. I will NOT sell your home if  the home is not neat and  clean.  Please wash your windows so you can see the outside.

10. I will NOT sell your home if there are visible leaks.


If your willing to take care of these 10 items, you will be amazed in how fast I will sell for the highest price possible. I will  gently guide you through the whole  process.

Just call or contact me:

Arlene Lafferty Your Real Estate Mom, 310 704 4416

Patience is a virtue in this Market

Wanted to share with you this article that I read in Sunday’s L. A. Times entitled “Home shoppers are advised to be patient”.  It confirms what I believe is so with this market. It  is being primarily driven  by investors that are bidding prices upward. Six months to a year from now, this market should shake out, inventory should improve with investors moving on and pent up sellers making their moves finally as they recover their equity positions. So it still a matter of what is best for you, evaluating the trade offs and making it an intelligent decision based on reason and faith.

How Can I Have a Smooth Move?

These are the steps that make it possible.


As soon as you know you will be moving start cleaning by selling, donating or discarding items that you do not need or do not wish to move.

Request quotes from a few different moving companies. Make sure the quote is based upon a visual survey and not a phone quote. Use a reputable mover and do the research to confirm that. The quote should include weight, distance and services rendered. Schedule your move dates early.

Obtain packing materials and begin packing.

Arrange moving your pets if needed and ask about regulations for licenses, vaccinations, tags, etc.

Have prescriptions on hand or transferred to new doctors. Get referrals for medical professionals in your new area.

Make sure you have copies of your  medical records.

Get referrals of vendors, ie. cleaners, hair dressers, yoga classes.

Assuming you have done your homework regarding the best schools for your children, now would be the time to enroll them in the new school and inform the former school that you are leaving.



Two weeks Before Moving


Hire the moving company. Read all the documents before signing with the mover. Make sure you have adequate valuation coverage. Additional insurance can be purchased through the carrier or through your home insurance policy.

Have a yard sale, post on Craig’s list, or donate everything that is being discarded.


One Week Before Moving


Contact Utility Companies to shut off existing service and request service in your new home.  Get refunds on all deposits made.

Contact insurance companies to change the address for coverage.

Change your address with the post office, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, friends and family, etc.

Cancel or transfer services such as newspaper delivery, magazine subscriptions, lawn service, pest control, laundry.

Transfer funds to a new bank, arrange check cashing in the new location.

Use up perishable foods.


One Day Before Moving


Confirm arrangements for TV, Internet, Cable, Utilities.

Confirm the movers time of arrival.

Review with vendor the special care needed for infants and pets.

Leave your new contact information with the new residents so they can forward any mail that slips through the cracks.

Have cash on hand to cover moving expenses until you can get to the new bank at your new destination.


Moving Day


Empty and defrost the freezer and plan use of foods.

Carry jewelry and documents yourself or use registered mail.

Let a close friend or relative know your route and use them as your message headquarters.

Double check closets, drawers, shelves to be sure they are empty.

Give the home a final clean up.

Leave your house keys with your real estate agent or a neighbor.


At Your New Address


Have appliances checked and have all utilities turned on.

Check the pilot light on the stove, hot water heater and furnace.

Ask the Mail Carrier for mail he or she may be holding for your arrival.

Have a new address recorded on your driver’s license.

Register your car within five days after your arrival if applicable, to avoid penalties.

Register to vote.

Register your family in your new Place of Worship.

Begin unpacking. Take photos of any damaged items and save packing materials that involved broken items to help support claims filed with the moving company.


Relax and enjoy your new home! Know that moving is stressful.

The Key is to plan well in advance.








What to Expect from a Home Inspection?

           What to Expect from a Home Inspection?


A home inspection can give a potential buyer an accurate perspective of their purchase and could possibly lead to cash or repair concessions.


 A professional home inspector will review the major, visible and accessible components of the home and provide a detailed written report rating each element. Included are the heating system and air conditioning system, interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof, attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors,  foundation,  and basement.


The objective of the report is to provide a detailed information so that the buyers can make informed decisions about the findings. He may recommend further investigation  from a  specialist, ie. a foundation contractor, fireplace contractor, a video of the waste lines by a licensed plumber,  or a test for mold.


 Retrofitting, health and safety items,  and code violations are examined, ie, a recalled electrical box, a recalled heater, missing smoke detectors, the absence of low flow toilets,  water heaters that are not strapped to earthquake safe standards, asbestos, lead paint, and mold.


He will design his report for the buyers to determine what is a cosmetic fix and what is structural. It includes evidence of settling from soil problems, drainage or grading problems, notes the effects of dry rot and termites and  deferred maintenance, inspects the roof and attic for signs of water leaks, checks  the foundation for settling,  and looks for signs of   weather damage.  He answers the following questions.

 Are there adequate gutters and drainspouts to take the water away from the buildings?

Are there satisfactory roof overhangs to protect the windows and walls, any settling or soil problems?

 Does the home have all the modern conveniences?

 Does it have adequate electrical wiring?

Is the plumbing adequate? Is it in good working condition? Will it need replacement?

Is the heating and air conditioning unit sufficient for the size and quality of the home? Does it need repair or replacement?

Does the ceilings show signs of water leaks?

Are the walls cracked and why?

Are the floors level?

Are there any water stains under the sinks?


 Finally, besides being helpful for buyers, home inspections can assist the seller in knowing what maintenance or upgrades they need to perform, especially before placing their property on the market. This  mitigates haggling that could risk the sale.

 Home inspections  can be important in the purchase of new construction. There could be issues missed by the contractor as well as items missed by the local jurisdiction’s harried building inspector.

Do I Rent or Do I Buy?

                             Do I Rent or Do I Buy?


This is a topic that I discuss in more detail at my complimentary initial consultation.

There are two important components to evaluate.

First, the Financial.

Second, the emotional

Regarding Financial,

First, do you qualify for a loan?

Do you have the credit, reserves, job history, down payment to make this purchase?

Do you believe in the next ten years that interest rates will increase?

Do you believe in the next ten years that rents will increase?

Do you believe in the next ten years that real estate prices will increase?

Is this then a long term or short term investment?

Finally, do you believe this investment will build your wealth and be a positive asset to your retirement portfolio?


How secure is your job?

Is this your dream job?

Do you see yourself moving in the next ten years because of your employment?

How flexible are you regarding the product?

How flexible are you regarding the areas that you want to live in?

What’s important to you about owning?

Is it pride of ownership, freedom to make repairs, forced savings, privacy, upgrades, building roots?

Why is your Credit Score Important?

Why Is your Credit Score Important?


It is important because it will give you the ability to get a loan, and the opportunity to get the best rate possible.


How Is your Credit Score Determined?

  The biggest chunk of your credit score, 70%,  comes from your payment history.

35% is based on how much you owe compared with your total available credit.

15% of your score is based on the length of your credit history. The longer you successfully manage revolving debt, the better you look.

10% is on based on how well you manage a mix of credit types, such as mortgages, car loans, and credit cards.

10% is based on new credit.


How do you Improve your Credit Score?

1.     Pay your bills on time. Enter recurring due date reminders on your computer calendar. Set up automatic payments.

2.      Have 70% of credit available. If your limit is $10,000, only charge up to $3000. Know your limits, watch for changes. Pay down your debt to lower your utilization rate or apply for additional credit to increase your overall credit limit.

3.     Don’t cancel your oldest cards. And don’t let them get canceled on you. Regularly use your credit accounts.  Rotate the usage of the cards. If you have cards you don’t regularly use, you can make payments more frequently than monthly.

4.     Apply for new credit sparingly Don’t chase teaser rates.

5.     Check your credit reports regularly for errors. You get one free report a year from each of the credit reporting agencies.

6.     Dispute errors. If the creditor can’t verify the information or doesn’t respond, the item should be deleted.


How to Get Maximum Dollars for Your Home

                How to Get Maximum Dollars for your Home


There are two areas that may need your attention.

The outside to give it curb appeal.

The inside to make people fall in love with your home and want to stay forever.


First the outside.


1.    Mow it and plant it. Create great curb appeal. Most home buyers will spend about 10 seconds looking at a digital photo of your home on the Internet. If they like what they see, they’ll do a drive by showing. You have appx. 6 seconds to impress them.  Make the most of what you have by giving your landscape a power-lift. Trim hedges and trees, plant colorful flowers, mow the grass and edge your beds. New grass in the front can make an old yard look brand new. Add new house numbers, a nice doorbell or knocker, and a plush new entry mat. Make sure the front door looks great and functions perfectly.  Then, power wash, touch-up, or repaint the exterior of your home for an irresistible package.


 Now for the inside.


1. Clean it. Give your home a thorough cleaning from top to bottom. This includes the walls, floors, and windows,  window treatments, carpets, faucets, and fixtures . Dust, scrub and polish until everything sparkles and smells clean.


2. Organize it. Take everything off of your kitchen and bathroom countertops, half the books off your bookshelves, and start packing the clothes out of the closet that are not needed for this season.


 De clutter and pare down. Potential buyers want to see your home, not your possessions. A sparse interior containing just enough furniture to suggest each room’s purpose and to provide a sense of scale is ideal. Clean out drawers, empty closets and attics, vacate the basement, and tidy the garage. Consider renting an inexpensive self-storage unit for items you don’t want in the house during a showing. And most importantly, remove the family photos. You want the visitor to think of the home as theirs, not yours.


3. Fix the cracked windowpanes, sticking doors, dripping faucets, running toilets.  Caulk your bathtubs and showers. Screw in the knobs, replace the rotting wood mantels, and repair the holes in the porch screen door. The better shape your home is in, the more a home buyer will pay for it.


4. Paint it. The fastest and cheapest thing you can do to help you sell your home is repaint. A fresh coat of paint quickly makes your home look and smell new. Choose a soft neutral color and accent the trim with white. If your wallpaper is peeling or dated, strip it off and paint.


5. Finally, let the sun shine in. Open draperies and curtains. Illumination is important. Let prospective buyers see how cheerful your home can be. If you have pets, keep them out of the way and preferably out of the house.