Jeffery Birkenseer | San Rafael Real Estate, Novato Real Estate, San Anselmo Real Estate


Selling a house should be a fast, simple process. Unfortunately, potential pitfalls may arise that make it tough to achieve the best-possible home selling results.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you prepare for the home selling journey.

Now, let's look at three steps that every home seller should take before listing a house.

1. Evaluate the Real Estate Market

The housing market fluctuates week to week. Thus, a real estate market that favors sellers one week may favor buyers the following week, or vice-versa.

A home seller should examine real estate market data closely. By doing so, this seller can analyze housing market patterns and trends and plan accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This housing market information will allow you to see how long homes were listed before they sold and help you set realistic expectations for the home selling journey.

Also, examine the prices of local residences that are comparable to your own. With this housing market data, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish a competitive price for your house.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal

Don't wait to conduct a home inspection and appraisal. If you perform these assessments before you list your house, you can gain valuable home insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

During a home inspection, a property expert will assess your house both inside and out. Then, this property expert will provide an inspection report that you can use to prioritize assorted home repairs and upgrades.

Meanwhile, a home appraisal can help you determine the present value of your house. The appraisal will be conducted by a property expert who will examine your house, as well as review myriad data about homes in your neighborhood and the local real estate market. Next, this property expert will provide a property valuation that can help you determine how to price your residence.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the challenges commonly associated with selling a house. Fortunately, this housing market professional also knows how to identify and address these challenges early in the home selling process, increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your home selling goals. He or she then will help you put together a strategy to sell your home quickly and maximize your earnings.

When it comes to promoting a residence to potential buyers, a real estate agent knows exactly what to do too. He or she will help you craft an engaging and informative home listing that hits the mark with the right buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will host open house events and home showings to provide buyers with plenty of opportunities to view your house.

Want to list your house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can boost your chances of a terrific home selling experience.


If you're on the lookout for your dream house, it helps to be persistent. In fact, there are many reasons to take a persistent approach to the real estate market, and these include:

1. You can pounce on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

A persistent homebuyer should have no trouble finding lots of homes that match or exceed his or her expectations. Then, this buyer can take the necessary steps to submit an offer on his or her dream house and finalize a home purchase.

As a persistent homebuyer, it is essential to submit a competitive offer on any residence that you want to acquire. By providing a competitive offer, you can increase the likelihood of receiving an immediate "Yes" from a seller.

2. You can stay ahead of the competition.

When it comes to buying the best house at the lowest price, the early bird catches the worm. Thus, a persistent homebuyer may be better equipped than others to find and purchase his or her dream residence as soon as this house becomes available.

To stay ahead of the homebuying competition, it helps to assess the real estate sector closely. This will enable a homebuyer to identify his or her dream house in no time at all.

Furthermore, a homebuyer should create a checklist of dream home wants and must-haves. This list will allow a homebuyer to narrow his or her home search, making it easier than ever before to discover a great house.

3. You can boost the likelihood of a seamless homebuying experience.

No one should be forced to deal with a long, arduous homebuying experience. Fortunately, a persistent homebuyer can act quickly on available houses, ensuring this buyer can accelerate the homebuying journey.

For a persistent homebuyer, it often is a good idea to get extra help from a housing market professional as well. Thankfully, real estate agents are available who can provide comprehensive support to persistent homebuyers in any city or town.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house in a buyer's or seller's market and is happy to share his or her industry expertise with a homebuyer. By doing so, a real estate agent can provide valuable insights to help a homebuyer accomplish his or her goals.

In addition, a real estate agent offers plenty of support at each stage of the homebuying journey. He or she will learn about your homebuying aspirations, set up home showings and keep you up to date about new residences that become available. Plus, once you find your dream house, a real estate agent will help you submit a competitive offer right away.

If you want to pursue your dream house, it may be beneficial to take a persistent approach to the housing market. With the aforementioned tips, you can enter the real estate market as a persistent homebuyer who knows exactly what he or she wants to find. Take advantage of these homebuying tips, and you can move closer to acquiring your ideal house.


Arguably one of the most private rooms in the house, the bathroom is a place to relax and unwind. To wash off the stress of the day and give yourself some much need pampering. If you invest in top of the line skincare and spa services to maintain your health it’s only wise to also invest in your personal oasis. You’ll extend the benefits of professional treatments and create a relaxing environment where you just might find you don’t need to leave the vicinity of your own home quite as often to fully unwind.;

Turn your normal showering experience into a serene spa-like experience with a steam shower. A steam generator is discretely installed and operated from a digital panel within the shower. More than just a relaxing experience a steam shower helps to promote blood circulation, clear skin, and easier breathing.

No one is ever happy about stepping out onto cold tile after a relaxing, hot shower. Radiant heat flooring will keep your feet warm no matter the temperature outside. This heating system works well with almost any flooring style you would install in a bathroom including natural stone. As an added bonus radiant heating also keep the room a steady, even temperature, unlike traditional heating methods.

Stay luxuriously cozy after bathing with a fluffy towel fresh off a towel warmer. With several types and styles, you’ll have no problem finding one that matches your particular taste. There are drawer varieties as well as rails. And like radiant heat flooring, it helps to keep the room warm.

Relax in a freestanding soak tub for an indulgent afternoon. Cast iron retains heat and brins classic style to your home. Another luxe option that retains heat well is a stone soak tub. Both of these require extra reinforcement to flooring but little maintenance over time. Alternatively, solid surface tubs offer a more lightweight option for your home flooring and still offer similar styles as to their cast iron and stone counterparts.

Bring extra room into your oasis with skylights. They allow for natural lighting while retaining privacy. There are tech options with built-in blinds and smart auto close features by detecting weather conditions. If placing a bid on a home with a skylight ensure to have it checked for proper installation. And if upgrading after purchase do so with a well-qualified expert.  

While nothing can replace the experience provided by spa professionals completely by investing in your bathroom you’ll create a home resort that comes pretty close. So whether you’re schedule is too packed to book a spa day or you would love to indulge in them more often these five upscale upgrades will have you looking forward to home sweet home.   


Let's face it – the mere thought of informing family members about your decision to pursue a new home may cause your blood pressure to rise. However, there are many reasons why it often is beneficial to notify family members about your decision to kick off a search for a new residence. These reasons include:

1. You can identify and address potential homebuying hurdles.

Your family typically has your best interests in mind. As such, family members can help you plan ahead for the homebuying journey and resolve any potential conflicts.

For example, family members can help you analyze prospective home financing options. They may even be able to put you in touch with local banks and credit unions that can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have home financing in hand, you can enter the real estate market with a homebuying budget at your disposal.

2. You can gain homebuying insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Family members who previously bought homes may be able to provide you with property buying insights that you probably won't receive elsewhere. With these insights, you'll be better equipped than ever before to understand the housing market and make the best-possible homebuying decision based on your individual needs.

Of course, family members may be able to keep you informed about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns too. Because if family members know where you want to find a home, they can help you accelerate your property search.

3. You can receive plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey.

Your family is there for you during good times and bad. If you inform family members about your decision to pursue a new home, they can provide you with comprehensive support throughout the property buying journey. As a result, family members can work with you to help you achieve your desired homebuying results in no time at all.

When it comes to getting help in your quest to discover your dream house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert assistance as you proceed along the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent is committed to helping you find a great home at a budget-friendly price. First, he or she will meet with you and learn about your homebuying criteria. A real estate agent next will craft a personalized homebuying strategy and notify you about new homes that become available that match your property buying criteria. And once you discover your dream residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase this house. Lastly, if your homebuying proposal is accepted, a real estate agent will help you finalize your home purchase so you close on this residence and move into your new house.

Take the guesswork out of buying a house – hire a real estate agent today, and you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.


Moving groceries is not the most ideal of situations. You’re left worrying about spoilage, spillage and, let’s be honest, having another thing to move. Lighten your moving day load by planning ahead of time so that you have little to nothing left in your fridge and pantry to take with you.

To do this well it’s important to start at least a month before the move. Start by cleaning everything out - the pantry, your fridge and your freezer chest if you have one. Get rid of everything that is expired, stale or you just aren’t going to eat.

Take inventory of what’s left and categorize this list much like you would when creating your grocery list. So categories could be: meats/proteins, frozen vegetables, toaster/microwave items, desserts, dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, sauces, condiments, and snacks.

Next, it’s time to get creative and meal plan around these ingredients supplementing with items from the store occasionally as needed. The idea though is to do as little shopping and use up as much as you can with your meals for the month ahead. If you feel stumped on how to use what you have on hand utilize recipe websites that can pull recipes based on the ingredients you input into their system.  

Write down the meals you plan into your calendar or day planner. If you use an app for planning you can write down the recipe and set a reminder to it. Apps like Trello, Evernote and Asana are all free and perfect for this.

A few meal ideas:

Use ingredients to create items that are more stable, like baked goods, to take with you. Make homemade pizzas, soups, stews, salads, omelets and casseroles. The beauty of these types of dishes is the variety of ingredients you’re able to use in them. Be playful and make hybrid meals - spaghetti on pizza, taco omelets, a buffalo chicken rice bowl, french fries in a casserole (similar to hotdish, a Midwestern classic).

Hectic. Chaotic. Busy.

Moving week is many things, but there is one thing it is not - the time to cook elaborate or the creative dinners you’ve been eating throughout the month to use up items.

Plan this week well ahead of time, if not first, and make it all the easier by planning freezer meals you can just pull out and heat up.

Cooking items to keep out as you begin packing:

Salt and pepper

Cooking spray or oil

Spatula and a pan or two

A chef knife

A mixing bowl

Enough cutlery for everyone

Enough plates, cups, and bowls for everyone

Sponge and dish soap

By using up all your items as much as possible before the move you are creating the perfect opportunity to start over with your pantry. As you clean out items take note of what your tossing and steer clear of those when restocking or note to buy a smaller package to avoid future waste.