Do I Have Real Estate Options During the Holiday and Winter Season?

A home decorated for Christmas can indeed sell at Christmas in Roseville CA-call Kaye Swain REALTOR for your real estate needs 400It’s holiday time! According to all my favorite Christmas carols and hymns, a wonderful and joy-filled time with lovely and cheery home decor abounding.

Here in Roseville, California, I have my Christmas tree, two favorite snowmen, and various and sundry teddy bears – stuffed as well as cute figurines from the grandkids – decorating my bookshelf. I didn’t use all my Christmas home decor this year but it definitely looks bright and cheerful and my senior mom and granddog both gave their approval. I’ve also been to my first Christmas party of the year – a neighborhood party full of friends, fun, and yummy holiday desserts. And, ahem….have you noticed my blog is also decorated for Christmas? :)

I know the big question in many readers’ minds at this time of year is, “I need to sell my house but can I?”  OR “I need to buy a new home but can I? At Christmas?” You’ll be happy to know the answer can be YES.

There will be fewer people looking, but the ones who are out house hunting are likely to be more serious which is great for sellers. And there’s less competition for houses buyers. For the many people who tried to buy, participated in multiple offers over the summer, and were unsuccessful each time, that should come as great news!

In fact, NAR – The National Association of REALTORS – has even listed eight excellent reasons TO buy right now:

For sellers, putting your house on the market does require extra work and constant care to keep it clean all the time. (I have several great resources and checklists to help with that at my Pinterest site – just click here.) However, it does wind up being quite handy to always have a clean house for those unexpected holiday visitors.  Speaking of whom, if your house is for sale now, be sure to send several flyers with a photo and full description of the home with each of your friends and family to share with THEIR friends and family! Great marketing exposure to help.

Plus, all that lovely holiday decor (it’s wise to decorate moderately – not too much or dramatic) will be an added boost when home buyers come to look at your home. Especially if you add some lovely baking fragrances – perhaps with one of those wonderful plug-in Scentsy or other options. One other tip I shared last year, be sure to keep your house nice and warm in the winter on chilly days. Many times sellers will adjust the thermometer to save a few dollars on the utilities – especially if the house is empty, not realizing that could cost you big dollars by discouraging buyers who are too cold to go all the way through your home – or worse, causing them to think the heater doesn’t work. So I highly recommend keeping the temperature set to a comfortable 70 or 72 degrees along with keeping those lights on all day and evening to make the house sparkle cheerfully. :)

Here is a chart from our MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Metrolist for REALTORS with some interesting and encouraging real estate market statistics and trends for Roseville, California – showing number of homes for sale, sold, and pending for the last year, through October 2014. Yes, the numbers go down in fall and winter BUT they don’t stop.  And that’s especially true for our lovely area in Placer County CA with our great weather all year round.

Roseville California Real Estate Market Trends and Statistics through October 2014 via Kaye Swain REALTOR

If you do decide to buy or sell your house now, I’m definitely available to help you. Whether now or later, do CALL KAYE 1-916-844-0469  or 657-229-Kaye  or email me at and let me help you with your real estate needs.


Getting your House Ready to Sell – Part 2

Painting your house is a great way to prepare to sell your home-via Kaye Swain REALTOR Roseville CAIn my last post, I shared ideas about preparing your home for sale by DEcluttering, DEdecorating, and DEpersonalizing. Today, it’s all about DEep Cleaning and REpainting – maybe even REcarpeting?

This is the time to go through each room, cleaning all surfaces. It might be good to remove shelf paper – either leaving it off or, if you are more coordinated than I, putting fresh new shelf paper down in a quiet color like beige or off-white. (In my case, the shelves generally look much better if I do NOT add shelf paper. I use it for me, wrinkly though it is, but would remove it before putting it up for sale :) ).

I love those Mr. Clean cleaning erasers. They really do help get persistent stains off most of the time. Lysol wipes are great too and have the added advantage of making the house smell extra good while helping you clean quickly and easily.

If you have pets, make sure you clean extra thoroughly in any of their areas. I love my sweet granddogs, but when it’s time to sell a home, they do add to the challenge because so many home buyers have allergy issues. One of the best ways to combat the challenge is to have their items in as few places as possible where buyers might look when going through your home.

You’d be amazed at what people will look at when shopping for a new home – inside the refrigerator, the shower, maybe even the toilet! So clean each and every surface. And don’t forget to clean the garage and yards well too – including picking up any pet toys and other items.

A dog home coloring page

If you’d like a complete checklist, Flylady is another excellent resource for decluttering, organizing, and maintaining your home. Click here for an extremely detailed checklist for cleaning a home in general. She also has some great tips for moving.

Once the house is pretty much clean, it’s time to paint. When I sold a new home that was only about four years old, I was able to save some money and just have the walls and window sills painted to match the ceiling which I did not paint. It still looked great. When I sold my vintage “fab 40s” home, we repainted every wall ourselves. Even my sweet dad flew in to help me. And when I sold an in-between house that had bright/dark green and cranberry wall color, we had the whole house painted and the rooms with the darker paint had to have three coats to cover the darker color paint.

In all those homes, we used Navaho White and a complementary off-white for the window sills and bathroom and kitchen. Why? The colors are really pretty and fun. But they might not match the furniture of a prospective buyer. And THAT might lead them to look at other homes that don’t need to be repainted when they move their furniture into the home.

If your house has been recently painted, including with darker colors, and really truly doesn’t need any painting, you can try selling it with the existing colors. But personally, if I was in a hurry to sell my house, I’d buy some of that paint that is supposed to cover anything in one coat and have a painting party with famiily and friends. I suspect the results could be well worth it.

If you do have to paint, I would DEFINITELY encourage the light generic shades. Navajo white has been around for decades making it easy for the buyers to match later if they need to.

Don’t forget to check the outside walls to see if they need touching up or a complete paint job. And if so, pick a shade that blends well with the neighborhood. For those of you with Home Owners Associations MAKE SURE you get your house color approved before painting. You can’t even assume the original color will be acceptable as they may have made a change. It would be so frustrating, not to mention costly in time and money, to paint the house and then have to repaint it because the HOA requires it!

Now that it’s clean and freshly painted, it’s time to think about carpeting or other types of flooring throughout your home. When a friend of mine helped coordinate the relocation of several families working for a large organization, she did a ton of research and learned that new carpeting will pay for itself many times over in a speedy sale as opposed to offering a credit for the new buyers to put in their own choice of carpeting. Our budget was tight and I knew I would prefer to pick my own carpet color, so when we put our own house on the market a couple of months later, we tried to sell it with our lovely brown short-shag carpet and a generous credit to buy a new carpet of their choice. Nothing happened for 3-4 months. When we finally put in an ultra cheap, off-white carpeting, we sold the house within 2-3 weeks!

The vast majority of people who are looking for a new home to buy really do want to be able to buy it and move in to it and not have to do a single thing – even if they are given the money to make changes. Thus the pool of buyers for your home will be much larger which will hopefully enable you to sell faster and for a great price

Selling your house and moving to a new-to-you home is definitely NOT a “piece of cake.” But taking the important steps of cleaning thoroughly and making sure your house is looking super by painting and re-carpeting will usually be well worth it in the end, hopefully by seeing your house sell faster and for a good and fair price!

I love the roses of Roseville CA and beyond-Kaye Swain REALTOR in Roseville CA

Kaye Swain REALTOR loves to visit the Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday

Pink Saturday is a fun visit to lovely pink things including cute houses for real estate agents to enjoy

P.S. Want more ideas and tips to help you sell your home? Click here for Part 1.




Getting your House Ready to Sell – Part 1 to Sell Your Home

No matter what shape your home is in – whether totally pristine, looking comfortably “lived in,” or a wee bit on the messy side – deciding it’s time to get your house ready to sell can easily raise the stress levels a bit! While each home is different, there are a few do’s and don’ts to help most of us homeowners. Everyone’s list is a bit different, so I thought I’d share some of mine over the next few weeks. And yes! I’d love your suggestions for ideas you might want to add. Those are always a big help for all of us, including some upcoming first time homebuyers I know.

Basically, my goal when preparing a house to sell is to make it appealing to the widest variety of home shoppers as possible.

DeClutter, DeDecorate, and DePersonalize!

The first thing I always do when I am about to move, and that I recommend to everyone – DEclutter, DEdecorate, and DEpersonalize!


Clutter’s Last Stand was a big help to me many years ago. I got half way through that book and was so motivated after reading about why and what and how to declutter, I spent the next few days actually DOING it and it looked GREAT! What a difference it made to eliminate items we hadn’t used in months or years and have less “stuff” in the way. And we weren’t even moving to a new house then.

It’s even more useful to declutter BIG time when you ARE moving. Each item you give away or throw away is one less thing to pack and, if you are paying for movers, it’s going to save you money as well.

One important tip I learned from Clutter’s Last Stand and still practice – make three piles: Giveaway, Throway, Put Away/Storage

When preparing to sell your home I highly recommend that, if you have a lot of items that have to be stored and/or if you have very little room for storage, rent a storage unit until you are ready to move into your new home. If you call around, you are likely to find a storage unit offering a discount to new clients. We did that a couple of times when we were moving and were quite happy we did! One loved one was going to use storage/moving pods for moving their household goods. They had them delivered early and filled them full. They decluttered their home AND were packed and ready to go when the moving van picked them up a month or two later.

This cute toy is of the moving pods that can be used to help declutter a house you want to sell-via Kaye Swain REALTOR living in Roseville California

The less of “our stuff” in a home we are selling, the easier it is for a buyer to see how big it is and be able to visualize how “their stuff” would work in the house – a vital part of shopping for a new home.


Make sure you also box up any and all specialty home decor items. If you’re not specifically staging your house, I’d probably suggest you leave some generic pictures hanging in a couple of rooms. Overall, though, simple blander home decor makes it easier for a prospective home buyer to “see” their furniture in your home. For example, I LOVE the vintage country rustic home decor style, as do several of my friends. Then again, I have several other friends who would never decorate that way. Their tastes lean more towards traditional formal and if they were househunting at my house with my home decor, they might leave thinking they didn’t care for the home when it was actually all my cute country teddy bears and and quilts they weren’t comfortable with. :)

Country home decor is my fave-Kaye Swain REALTOR


While you are decluttering and dedecorating, don’t forget to depersonalize too. Any family photos, trophies, most books, pet accessories, etc. should be packed up in preparation for a move to your new home where they can again be special for your family. Remember, it’s nothing personal!

A cute pink photo of your baby might not be to a buyers taste-Kaye Swain REALTOR

It’s just another good way to help the most homebuyers see their own families, friends and personal lives intertwining in your house with the goal of having them make a great offer to you to buy it. So pack all those sweet treasures safe and snug to be rediscovered after you sell this house and move to your own new home.

Keep Your Eye On The Prize!

It’s so vital throughout the whole process of preparing to sell your house to “keep your eye on the prize.” And, of course, the prize is selling your home as quickly as possible and for selling it for the highest price.

Now that your house is nicely decluttered, dedecorated and depersonalized, it’s time to move on to the next suggestions for getting your home ready to sell… (Check back soon for Part 2 :) ).

Kaye Swain REALTOR loves to visit the Dedicated House for Anything Blue Friday

Kaye Swain WA REALTOR from Roseville California loves Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound


P.S. Part two will be popping up soon. If you can’t wait for more ideas, click here for my Pinterest Board full of tips to help you with getting your house ready to sell.

P.P.S. If you are ready to sell your home NOW, or want to know the current market value of your house, click here or give me a call at 657-229-5293 or email me at Even if you live outside my area, I can help you find an excellent REALTOR who can help you sell your home in YOUR neck of the woods.