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San Diego Real Estate Blog

David Crowell


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What do buyers really want when looking for a house?

by David Crowell

Q.  What do buyers really want when looking for a house?

A.   Here are ways to tap into what every buyer wants:

• Every buyer wants a place to call “home.”  The decision to buy is emotional, not logical.  Buyers look at a “house,” but they’re really evaluating it for its potential to become their home.  Properly staging your house allows buyers to have an emotional experience – seeing their family living there.

• Every buyer wants a bargain.  Subtly influence buyers by using such phrases as “priced to sell” or “a unique bargain at this price.” 

• Every buyer wants to claim special discounts.  You can motivate a sale by creating a sense of urgency.  Consider using special terms that expire on a fixed date.

Want to learn more secrets about how to sell your home fast and for the most money?  Call and ask for my Free Consumer Report called “6 Steps For Selling Your Home For TOP DOLLAR.”  I’ll send a copy right over to you.

What advice can you give to first-time homebuyers?

by David Crowell

Q.  What advice can you give to first-time homebuyers?

A.  The best advice is to learn from the mistakes of others.   Here are three common examples:


• Not knowing what you can afford.  Examine your budget, get a copy of your credit report, and sit down with a qualified lender to determine how much of a loan you can afford.  Feel free to ask me for a list of lender recommendations, then make sure you comparison shop for a mortgage.

• Forgetting to consider the overall costs of home ownership.  You can make the monthly payment, but remember to add in the cost for homeowners’ insurance, property taxes, utility costs, plus maintenance. 

• Paying too much for a beautifully staged home.  The home looks perfect, but will it look that way when you move in your furniture?


If you’re buying a home for the first time, you should have a copy of my Free Consumer Report called, “Top 10 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes To Avoid.”  Email us at and we’ll send a copy out to you.

4 Clever Carpet Cleaning Tips

by David Crowell

4 Clever Carpet Cleaning Tips

Whether you have a full house of carpet or a few rugs scattered over sleek wood floors – cleaning carpets is always a pain.  Try these cleaning tips the carpet cleaner pros won’t always tell you:

1. Pet hair problems?  The trick is to dampen the carpet first.  Spray the carpet with a spray bottle full of water, then sweep all of the hair away in one direction.

2. Rug fringe dingy?  Take a dry scrub brush and brush away from the rug.  Then, vacuum up.

3. Stains?  Start with seltzer water to loosen dirt.  Blot with a clean towel.  If the stain is still there, try a dab of shaving cream.  Work into the stain, let dry, then rinse with cool water.  Not budging?  After testing on an inconspicuous spot first, try 3% hydrogen peroxide to lift out a tough stain.

4. Odors?  Dry-clean and freshen carpet by sprinkling baking soda and cinnamon or lavender and letting sit overnight.  Vacuum up in the morning.

Q.  How can I “stage” my home so it sells quickly for the price I want?

A.   Make sure you address both the outside and the inside of the house by cleaning and de-cluttering everything, from the front yard to the garage to the kitchen, bathrooms, and basement.  Put away your personal items so buyers can imagine themselves living there.

One way to take years off your home is with paint.  Check the home’s exterior paint job, and don’t forget the front door, mailbox, garage doors, and walkways.   In the interior, remove the pictures from the walls (as well as old wallpaper) and paint the walls in a neutral color. 

Also, consider these tips if you want to sell your home fast for a good price:  a) Hire professional cleaners to do the work; b) Get a home inspection before you put it on the market; and c) Make your landscaping look sharp.  

For a list of the specific steps you should take, ask for my Free Consumer Report called “4 Steps To Stage Your Home For A Fast Sale.”  Email us at and we’ll send a copy right over to you.


4 Surprising Cleaning Supplies You Already Own

by David Crowell

4 Surprising Cleaning Supplies You Already Own

 You probably know baking soda can be used to clean almost anything, but do you know about these uncommon cleaning solutions with common household supplies?

1. Ice cubes.  Clean your garbage disposal with a handful of ice cubes and citrus peel to keep your kitchen fresh.

2. Dryer sheets. You probably haven’t thought to use these for other things, but they’re great for cleaning pots and pans with stuck-on food.  Just put one in a dirty pot, fill with water, and leave for 12 hours.  The stuck on food will be unstuck.

3. Play-doh.  You can use it to pick up tiny shards of glass if you break something.

4. Paintbrush.  A soft-bristled paintbrush is perfect for dusting collectibles and furniture with nooks and crannies.

How can I secure a low mortgage interest rate?

by David Crowell

Q.  How can I secure a low mortgage interest rate?

A.  Securing a low mortgage interest rate helps make your monthly payment more affordable and saves money over the life of your loan.  Besides using a larger down payment, here are three things to do to secure a low mortgage interest rate:


1. Compare multiple lenders and meet with your top three.  Review the application process and your credit report to start working on any issues you may have.  The higher your credit score, the better borrower you will become.  Lenders will review the various loan programs with you.

2. Your debt-to-income ratio should be below 36 percent before you apply for a mortgage.  The lower it is, the greater your eligibility for a higher loan amount.


3. Don’t make any drastic changes such as changing jobs or making large purchases on credit cards.  You want lenders to see you have a stable job history and ability to make the payments.


To learn more, call me to request my Free Consumer Report called
“7 Secrets For Saving Thousands When Financing.”

De-clutter Your Home Fast

by David Crowell

De-clutter Your Home Fast

 Whether you are planning to sell your home or just would like to be more relaxed and enjoy spending time there, here are some quick ways to start the de-cluttering process – and keep it clutter free:

• Use the three-box method.  In the room you’re de-cluttering (try to focus on one at a time), set up 3 boxes and a trash bag for trash.  Label the boxes “Put Away,” “Give Away,” and “Keep” and go through every item in the room to decide which of the 4 spots the item is placed in.

• Try the closet hanger experiment.  Put everything in your closet in with the hangers facing backward.  When you wear an item and return it to the closet, face the hanger the right direction.  After 6 months or a year, get rid of everything still facing backward.

 Give away one item every day.  You don’t have to throw out everything at the same time.  Find one thing each day to donate, and make it fun by thinking about which charity or friend could most benefit from the item.

Who determines the value of my home?

by David Crowell

Q.  Who determines the value of my home?
A.  When you’re ready to sell your home, you may be wondering what price to ask and how much you’ll get.  There are two main people who determine the initial and final price of a home.

1. Appraisers will look at recent comparable sales.  You can look online and see what homes have sold for in the last 6-12 months.  Sold prices are a stronger indication than “asking” prices.  How similar are the homes that sold to your home in size and features?

2. Buyers will make an offer based on their ability to pay and how much they like your home compared to other homes for sale. 


Did you notice I left someone important out?  What about you, the
seller?  Only the market determines the final price at which your home will sell, however, as the seller you can influence how long it will take to sell by offering a reasonable price.

To learn more, ask for my Free Report called “6 Steps For Selling Your Home For TOP DOLLAR.”  I’ll send a copy right over to you.

How can I make my home attractive to buyers?

by David Crowell

Q.  How can I make my home attractive to buyers?

A.  When selling your home, look at your home through a potential buyer’s eyes, and follow these steps to make it show well and receive a good offer:

• Clean and repair.  Your buyer’s first impression is from the street.  Clean up the yard, the landscaping and check your exterior paint job.  On the inside, shampoo the carpets, scrub the floors and clear off all the counters.  Remove old wallpaper and paint the walls a neutral color. Fix things that need fixing, like squeaky doors, broken tiles etc.
• De-Clutter.  Get rid of all that “stuff” you’ve accumulated in the garage, the backyard and the basement.  And don’t forget the closets!
• “Stage” it to look like a model home.  Put away your personal items and remove large pieces of furniture.  Ask your REALTOR® for ways to “dress up” your home (candles, new linens etc.) to maximize your selling potential.

For more tips, ask for my Free Consumer Report called “Make Your Home Show Like A Model Without Breaking the Bank.”  Email us at and we’ll get a copy to you.

3 Ways To Update Your Kitchen

by David Crowell

3 Ways To Update Your Kitchen
Does your kitchen need a new look?  Here are three ways to give it a makeover without spending a fortune. 

1. Paint your cabinets and change your hardware.  You may choose to hire a professional or paint your cabinets yourself.  Search for “best way to paint kitchen cabinets” at  When you buy new cabinet and drawer handles, take your old ones to the hardware store to ensure the new set matches the holes.

2. Add a backsplash.  Again, have the job done professionally or do it yourself by checking out a YouTube video or searching for “how to install a tile backsplash” at

3. Swap your countertops.  Estimate the cost of materials and installation by using  Granite countertops can cost $100-$225 per square foot but you can spend less by looking at concrete, stainless steel, or laminate.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 30