4 Things You Must Do When Selling Your Chula Vista House

If you are trying to sell a piece of Chula Vista real estate, you probably want to sell it as quickly as possible. At the same time, you want to make as much money as you can. The problem is that selling a home to the first interested buyer can reduce your potential for profit, while waiting too long for the right buyer can be even more costly, especially if you have a mortgage payment.

There are four things that any home seller should do in order to avoid this conundrum.

  1. Be Realistic: It’s easy to get ahead of oneself when selling a home, but in the current marketplace, it isn’t wise to be overzealous. This isn’t a yard sale where you can negotiate with every potential buyer and meet in the middle, though. It may be best to set a reasonable selling price and accept an offer around your minimum rather than waiting for a better deal.
  2. Decide on a Minimum Price You’re Willing to Accept: You should definitely have a minimum acceptance price in mind before listing your home. This number will be below your list price, but high enough to meet your financial goals. You will need to discuss a market analysis with at least one real estate agent, if not several. Recent foreclosures and short sales in your neighborhood will affect the price, among other factors, so do your homework and don’t pick a minimum price above what people are paying for comparable homes in your area.
  3. Create a Memorable Yard: It’s all about the curb appeal, regardless of whether people are driving by or looking at photos online. A home with a well-manicured yard, colorful flowers and lush green foliage photographed with a high-quality camera is much more likely to spark an interest than a house with a drab front yard.
  4. Talk to the Neighbors: This one is simple! People probably like living in your neighborhood if they have decided to buy a home there, and perhaps they know someone who would also like to enjoy everything the area has to offer. So, before you listing your property, see if anyone around the neighborhood knows someone who might be interested in Chula Vista real estate. It could potentially be a much quicker and more profitable sale.

Five Tips to Get Your Chula Vista Condo Noticed

In Chula Vista, condos abound on the real estate market, so much so that it might seem downright impossible when you decide to sell. It is true that condominiums can present some challenges for sellers, but if you were attracted to your condo when you bought it, there are bound to be interested buyers in today’s market who will feel the same way. A condo can offer many advantages: convenient maintenance, affordable homeownership, a sense of community, and a plethora of amenities right in the building. It’s just a matter of using the right real estate marketing tactics to make sure your condo is getting noticed by the right buyers so you can sell those amazing features. Here are five tips to help you reach that goal:

1. Create a Website

It isn’t difficult or expensive to build websites these days, especially if you choose an intuitively designed template and spend some time checking out other real estate websites for inspiration. Make sure to use a lot of high-quality images featuring all the rooms of the condo, attractive shots of the building and any amenities you think buyers would want to see. Make sure the condo is clean and furnished, and all the photos are well-lit. Also, include as many details as possible in the description.

2. Design Matching Brochures  

In Chula Vista, condos are for the most part advertised with some sort of brochure; that’s nothing new. If you’re going to sell your condo, you’ll undoubtedly have brochures made up, but if you want to stand out and project a professional image, you will want to make sure they match the website. This will help people remember your condo’s “brand” when they think back on all the properties they’ve looked at.

3. Circulate Postcards

In addition to all the advertising you’re doing online and in the local area, it’s also a good idea to circulate postcards around your condominium building to let everyone know you’re selling your property. They may just know someone who is interested in moving to the building.

4. Get a Good Appraisal

When you pay to have your home appraised, make sure the appraiser quotes you the highest possible value. This number is what you should use in your advertising, but make sure to set your asking price a little lower – perhaps 5% lower than comparable homes in the area – so buyers feel like they’re getting a great deal.

5. Pay the Closing Costs

Another way to entice buyers with a bargain is by offering to pay off all their closing costs. This large amount of cash that buyers have to come up with upfront can be a huge burden considering the new mortgage payment they’re also taking on, so the savings can really make a difference.


Chula Vista Homes: House Updates To Make Before Moving

Some Chula Vista homes on the market are brand new, others are recently remodeled and a few “fixer uppers” need major renovations. Regardless of the condition of your new home, chances are there are some basic improvements you could make to create a more comfortable, safe and welcoming environment. While your instincts might be to move in right away and worry about these small home improvements later, this is not the best strategy. Experts agree that it makes much more sense to take care of these updates before moving in:

1. Remove Old Wallpaper

There are some tacky wallpaper patterns out there, but even if the design is tasteful, perhaps it just doesn’t feel like your own. This is an easy job, but messy, so it’s important to complete it while the house is still empty. There are steamers you can rent, as well as chemical cleaning products to remove the wallpaper.

2. Painting the Interior

This job is just a whole lot easier when there isn’t any furniture, boxes, pets or people inhabiting the rooms. You’ll need more than paint and a roller to do it. Make sure to get all your tools ahead of time, such as painter’s tape, stencils, brushes, rollers, extenders, airless sprayers and a dispenser to pour your paint into.

3. Replace or Refinish Floors

While some Chula Vista homes have perfect flooring that the new owners adore, other homebuyers might consider replacing the carpet, vinyl or tile flooring in one, several or all of the rooms. If there are hardwood floors, there’s also a good chance they are in need of a good refinishing. You may save money with the flooring company by doing this before moving in, because of the added convenience of working in an empty home.

4. Replace the Locks

For safety’s sake, it’s a good idea to change the locks on a new home before moving in. It’s unlikely that dodgy characters are roaming around with a spare key, but you never know. A locksmith can simply rekey higher-quality locks. Older locks can be replaced with new sets found at hardware or home improvement stores.

The above suggestions are just a few of the most important house updates to make before moving in. Other ideas to consider include installing new closet systems, updating the bathrooms, painting the garage floors or creating an organized storage system. Childproofing is an important update for parents to consider, as well.

Five Tips For Estimating How Much You Can Afford For A New Home

In beautiful Chula Vista, homes fitting nearly every taste are available on the market. As such, it’s easy to get carried away with dreams of making your first real estate purchase in the most desirable neighborhoods. Before you go any further, however, you will need to make a couple important calculations, familiarize yourself with the housing market, understand the costs involved and get a sense of what homeownership is like. Here are five tips to help make sure you purchase a home that fits within your budget.

1. Sit Down and Budget

First of all, you need to figure out how much cash you can come up with for a down payment. You’ll need at least a 5% down payment to secure a mortgage loan, but larger down payments are recommended whenever possible. Then you’ll need to calculate a monthly budget. When you are no longer paying rent and you have eliminated any unnecessary bills, what will be left for the mortgage payment and other fees?

2. Be Realistic about Your Resources

If you’re shopping around in Chula Vista, homes you love have probably already caught your eye, but it’s unwise to get carried away before speaking with a professional. You might be setting yourself up for disappointment. Get a few estimates from lenders to see how much you can afford to borrow, and avoid looking at properties that are out of that range.

3. Prepare Yourself for Homeownership 

There is a myriad of additional costs that come with homeownership that you must be aware of. Here are a few additional fees you will encounter:

  • Closing costs will come to about 2-5% of the total purchase price.
  • If your down payment is less than 20%, you need private mortgage insurance.
  • Home maintenance is completely the owner’s responsibility, e.g. gutter cleaning, lawn care, repairs and renovations, replacing old systems and appliances, sewage, termite inspections, water service, etc.

4. Think about the Future

Part of being realistic about and prepared for homeownership is imagining yourself in the future, after buying a home that you are interested in. You might think to yourself, “I’ll make it work,” when you see a gorgeous home in the perfect neighborhood, but will those numbers really work once you’re stuck with a mortgage you can’t afford for years to come? Before buying a home, try living as if you’ve already bought it for three months, and see if you can realistically live with that payment.

5. Set Your Sights at a Reasonable Level

When looking at homes, it may actually be better to start with homes that are below your budget limit, and keep an open mind. Then you can only go up from there, and you are more likely to find a home that fits within your budget without being too disappointed.

5 Tips For First Time Chula Vista Home Buyers

Perhaps you are ready to purchase your first house, but you do not know where to start. While you have a basic idea in mind of your budget, your wants and your must-haves, you still may be uncertain of what exactly yChula Vista Homesour dream house will look like. Putting a down payment on a home is a big decision, and one that should not be taken lightly.

Here are five tips to help make your search easier.

  1. Search online before hitting the market – We post pictures on our website of homes for sale. Do your homework and look through these listings before heading out in Chula Vista. Realtors can then help you to find what you’re looking for based on the ideas you’ve already formed about what you love and what you could live without. This will help you become a more discerning home buyer up front.
  2. Visit more than one house before making a decision – Your real estate agent will take you to homes that already meet your basic criteria. Chances are high that you will love the first house you see. Still, you should explore all of your options to be certain that there is not another home that you might love even more.
  3. Bring a digital camera – While our website and others have pictures of homes for sale, you should have your own personal documentation of what particulars you loved or did not like about specific homes. This will allow you to refine your search and make a better decision.
  4. Take note of the neighborhood – What constitutes your home is not limited to your lot alone. The way the neighborhood looks and feels and the local businesses available to you are equally important. As you drive through the neighborhood, it is a good idea to note where the closest stores are, how other lots are cared for, etc. In a great community like Chula Vista, realtors, as well as other local homeowners, will be able to clue you into the perks of certain neighborhoods.
  5. Revisit your top choices one last time before deciding – Purchasing a house is a monumental decision. While you may have fallen in love initially, your second trip back will give you a more realistic feel for the house you may be investing in. It is a good idea to revisit a property before finalizing a sale.


Your first home purchase is an exciting milestone in your life. Use these tips to find the perfect first house for you.

Team Ratcliffe - McMillin Realty

My husband and I are both first time home buyers and we went through 2 other realtors before we found team ratcliffe. We worked with Joe primarily and with Pam during the escrow process. They are extremely professional and friendly, they are easy to get ahold of and willing to answer any questions you have. They also have a reference to just about anything and everything you could need a reference for. We hit about a million bumps in the road, and ones that our past realtors couldn't get us over, and we still made it out on top. They are very willing to fight for you when they need to and they make you feel like you matter as a person and not just as a paycheck. I would recommend team ratcliffe to everyone and I plan to go back to them when we sell our house! ----Krisitin S, 7/5/2010

Miracle workers, that about sums it up. Joe and Pam worked endlessly to sell my home as a short sale in Eastlake. They made the impossible (working with Green Tree) possible. They dedicated countless hours month after month on this sale and kept me in the loop the entire time. I don't think I could emphasis enough the great communication from Joe. He answered his phone every time I called, even at wonky hours and weekends. An amazing team with integrity and the knowledge to sell homes. I would recommend to everyone. ---- Cassandra W, 5/3/2012

I found Matt Gover from an advertisement in a Realty magazine, I called him, he signed me up for e-mail listings of the type of home and location we were looking for within our price range. Due to the crazy lending market, it took us longer to find a home that met our "wish-list". Matt was patient and gave us no pressure for the length of time it took to find a home; he never gave up on us and was calm and mellow throughout the entire process; when we eventually found "the home", he got us in even though the listing was about to expire and there appeared to be no hope because the Sellers had higher than asking price offers, but Matt got us in to see the home and got our offer to the Sellers and our offer ended up being the offer the Sellers accepted. Matt is honest and responsive without that cheesy sales person pressure some realtors convey. He works under Pam and she is a wonderful Christian lady who adds that extra element of warmth that other realtors simply do not have to offer. ---- Deb C, 7/27/2011