Three Obstacles to Selling in the Bay Area

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Through years and years of selling in the Bay Area, we've pinpointed three problems that you may encounter when trying to sell quickly and for top dollar. We've helped a lot of families buy and sell homes, and we would like you to know these things so that you can have a good real estate experience.

We recently had a transaction where we helped a seller overcome these three common obstacles. The home was listed at $499,800 and we managed to sell it for $648,000 - that's $148,000 above asking price! We received fifteen offers and more than 200 buyers looked at this home. On top of this, our 3.68% commission rate was able to save the buyer $8,500.

Here were the three major obstacles that we helped the sellers overcome:
  1. It's very important for home sellers to get a home inspection and a termite inspection report before putting the home on the market. This allows a seller to foresee potential problems that could prevent the home from selling, and buyers appreciate this proactive approach from a seller. These inspections provide peace of mind to both parties, and that's gold in this industry.
  2. This particular seller was an out-of-town owner, so he wasn't around to spruce up the property. However, we have a network of contractors, painters, home stagers, cleaners, and more. We hired people to finish all of the cosmetic work, and they turned this tenant-occupied property into a turnkey listing. The seller didn't have to lift a finger!
  3. San Bruno requires an updated sewer lateral report for all homes that are being sold. This home had a problem occurring during the inspection, and this required the seller to pay $7,000 to fix the sewer problem. Unfortunately, the seller had to pay for this problem to be corrected, but we handled all of the inspections required by the city and found the right people to fix the problem for the seller. Once again, we did the work for the seller, and he walked away a very happy client.
As you can see, we managed to sell this listing for more than 30% above its list price. The seller enjoyed a stress-free sale and all the work was done for him.

If you want a smooth and worry-free real estate transaction in the Bay Area, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Last but not least, we want to wish you a very happy and safe Holiday season. Your referrals and your business mean the world to us, and we wouldn't be where we are today without all of your help and support. You are extremely valuable to us, so please do not forget that!

Happy Holidays from the MC Investments Advisory Team!

Why Do We Love the Coastal Style?

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The “coastal” style is universally popular, especially for those of us who love to be outdoors or want to invoke a tranquil atmosphere with beautiful natural sand tones, or the rich blue tones of the beach. I recently came across a video on HGTV’s YouTube Channel, where professional designer Brian Patrick Flynn details how to create a seaworthy vibe in any room. 

If  you aren’t careful, nautical/coastal rooms can become very cliche and/or juvenile. To avoid this, stay away from any decorations that involve anchors, fish, crabs, or lobsters. Brian and the folks over at HGTV recommend a more sophisticated approach to the coastal style. 

In the video above, Brian brings in sand tones with a Jute Boucle rug, as well as oatmeal-sandy tones in the upholstery. As for the blues, you don’t have to only focus on navy. Bring in navy to anchor the room, and add in some blue-grays and seafoam tones to diversify. A few blue-tinted touches of glass can be reminiscent of sea glass, which you can see in the lamp, as well as in some vessels. 

Driftwood is the ultimate beachy texture, but you should use it sparingly, maybe in just one or two elements or accessories. 

If you are looking to bring a coastal feel into your own home, stay away from the more cliche approach and do it in a more unique and abstract way. 

If you have any questions for us about this video, or anything else real estate related, feel free to give us a call or send us a quick email. We would love to hear from you!

What Are 5 Different Ways to Style A Room?

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Today I wanted to take a break from talking about the real estate market and the latest numbers to give you some valuable home design advice. Whether you are trying to stage your home for sale, or just want a different feel than the same old room you’ve always had, we’ve got you covered. 

In the video above, from HGTV’s YouTube channel, Brian Patrick Flynn, a very talented interior designer, goes through five different ways to style a room. The furniture never changes, just the accessories around them, and that’s the beauty of interior design. Today we will go through the 5 different ways Brian styles this room, and detail how each of them offers a different feel from the next.

1. Traditional
For a traditional look, add fresh flowers and soft coral accents. Accessorize the room with understated accents, like a stone bust, and keep the color palette soft. 

2. Masculine
To create a more masculine look, utilize bold prints, and different shades of blue. Use only a few large accessories to make a bold statement.

3. Feminine
Adding bright pink, cozy, soft fabrics and curvy accents is the best way to add that feminine touch to your room.

4. Neutral

For a neutral look, adding colors like ivory, beige, and taupe and accessorizing them with patterns in varying sizes and textures will keep this neutral look interesting. 

5. Coastal

Creating a coastal look in your room requires using organic accessories, as well as hints of blue. Instead of the wicker furniture that beach homes are known for, substitute with a wicker lamp to keep the feel of a beach house within the comfort of your living room. 

There you have it, five great, unique ways to style any room in your home. If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We would love to hear from you!

What's Happening with Real Estate in San Mateo County?

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We're here to give you a brief market update for San Mateo County. What we're seeing right now is that median home prices have stayed relatively steady ($1.3M). Active listings have dropped by 3.5%, and the average days on market has dropped by 3.2%.

Year-over-year, home prices do seem to be increasing by 8.2%, which is excellent news for homeowners in the area. The average home sale price rose by 21%, and the average days on market fell by 21.8% year-over-year.

This is placing us in a very nice seller's market. High demand and low inventory are fueling this market, and we don't expect this to change too much in the next few months. This means that if you've been waiting to sell your home, now would be a great time to do so. Inventory continues to drop, so we are in need of good homes to sell.

Mortgage rates have risen very slightly in the last few weeks, but we don't expect a major spike anytime soon. With an election coming up next year most people do not expect rates to rise too much until then. What this means for you is that now is your opportunity to buy affordably. If you wait to buy, your buying power will take a big hit even if interest rates rise only by 1%.

What this all means is that now is an excellent time to sell, and an excellent time to buy. If you need help doing either in San Mateo County, please don't hesitate to contact me!

How to Make a Small Kitchen Feel Bigger

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We recently found a good video on HGTV that we thought would be helpful to our clients who may own an older home with a smaller kitchen. Whether you're still living in the home or are planning on selling it, there are many ways to make the kitchen feel bigger without changing the home layout.

First of all, make the cabinets as long as possible. Extend them up to the ceiling. Then, take the fronts off the cabinets and replace them with glass. Making the cabinets taller gives you more storage, and the glass creates a sense of depth.

Choose a patterned tile for the backsplash. This also creates the illusion of more depth, which makes the entire kitchen feel wider.

Another thing to consider is your sink. Adding a farmhouse sink allows you to fit more in the sink without taking up any more counter space.

Rolling pantries are great as well. They provide a lot more storage than flat-faced cabinetry.

If you have any questions about other small renovations that can improve your home's value, please reach out to us. We would love to hear from you!

How to Handle Multiple Offers as a Seller

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We're seeing a lot of multiple offers popping up in the Bay Area. Almost every listing in the area is getting multiple offers, and this is especially true for our listings because we use a minimum-bid pricing strategy where multiple offers are common.

Buyers in this situation should know that cash is not always king. Sometimes a seller will want the most money, but you can beat out other offers with your terms and conditions. You could amend your offer in order to close faster, and you could offer to pay some of the closing costs. It's also helpful to write a personal letter explaining why you love the home and why your family deserves to win the offer.

As a buyer, it's also very important to be pre-approved when you make an offer on a home. This way, sellers know that you can actually afford the home, and this will make you stand out as a buyer. Sometimes if you're not pre-approved, you won't even stand a chance against other buyers.

Another thing you've got to know as a buyer is the difference between a lender's loan commitment letter and a loan broker's pre-approval letter. A loan commitment letter by a mortgage lender indicated that your home loan has been approved. If a loan broker says you are approved for a loan, but you haven't supplied any documentation, recognize that the broker is actually saying you are "pre-approved" for a loan, but have not yet secured it.

Now, as a seller, you can do a few different things in order to get multiple offers on your home. A pre-inspection is a good gesture towards buyers, and they'll appreciate it in the long run.

Once you do get more than one offer, be sure to pick the one that suits your needs the best. You may not need a ton of money for your home, but you may need to move out quickly. Whatever you need out of the transaction, choose the offer that best suits your wants and needs.

Thanks for tuning in again. If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact us. We're always willing to help you buy or sell in the Bay Area!

How we helped Andrew with his real estate transactions by paying attention to detail


"I was very satisfied with what they did. They sold my condo, and then we bought a single-family home. They were very meticulous. They recommended a house inspection before we did the first showings. The even suggested a contractor to improve the kitchen floor of the condo!"