Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14

You made buying a property a fun experience !

by The Zwemmer Group

Just got this on my desk:

Dear Rob:


This letter is overdue but we want to thank-you for the excellent professional service you gave us during the purchase of our condo in PGA West.  You made buying property a fun experience.  Your motto, you told us, was to provide service above our expectations.   You were always patient when we didn’t see the “right” property for us and ultimately, you did find something that we like very much.


Rob, we feel you gave us accurate information re. the Real Estate market, listened to our wants and needs, and really paid attention to us as your clients.  In no way did we ever feel that we were just dollar signs to you—a characteristic we have found in some realtors.  We always felt that you really wanted us to be satisfied and happy and that you steered us in the right direction.  We love the location of our new condo and are happily having a little up-dating work done as I write this.


Not only did you successfully complete this sale but you have continued to help us.  We can’t thank-you enough for helping us unload a refrigerator and a couple of other heavy items from our rental truck when we brought some things we’d had in storage to our new condo.  Thank-you, also, for arranging a bid with some potential contractors for work we wanted done.  It is so nice to know that you are there for us and that we can call on you if we need help.


We hope our friendship will continue.  Besides being our realtor, you are a very interesting person.  We look forward to showing you the results when we finish having the work done.




John and Dorothy Terrill

Can a Comparative Market Analysis Help You?

by The Zwemmer Group
To get the most accurate estimate of how much you should list your property for, your Real Estate agent can provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties in your area. It generally takes into account various aspects of your home, including size, features and annual costs. Reviewing comparable homes that have sold within the past year, along with the listing or asking price on current homes for sale, should help you determine a fair sale price for your property.
CMAs can include homes that are currently for sale and those which have recently sold. They can cover areas as narrow as one or two streets surrounding your home, or as broad as an entire subdivision.
Most Real Estate agents will give you a CMA for free, hoping you'll list your home with them. Each CMA contains valuable information on several recent sales, including:
  • How long each property stayed on the market
  • How close the sale price was to the asking price
  • Notes comparing each home to yours, i.e.; number of bedrooms and baths, approximate square footage, sizes of major rooms, amenities such as fireplaces and pools, age of the home, property taxes and more.
The CMA is an informative selling tool, but like any tool, it doesn't work by itself. For this reason, the CMA will always need to be interpreted by a professional or with complete objectivity by the seller or buyer.
Remember, too, that the CMA is also a buying tool; it is considered just as seriously by the buyer and his or her agent. As you and your agent are going to use the CMA to ask the highest possible price for your home, the buyer is going to use it to find reasons to either choose or eliminate your home, and to arrive at the lowest price possible.

Marching Aztecs going to Hawaii

by The Zwemmer Group
The Palm Desert High School award winning Marching Band will be going to Hawaii to compete early 2008. The Zwemmer Group has committed to donating 25% of our net commissions for all referrals mentioning the band. Going to Hawaii and competing against bands from all over the United States is a great opportunity for them and the Zwemmer Group wants to help them raise their funds. If you want to help the band, please visit  You can donate through the site, see photos, get competition results, etc.   Good Luck Marching Aztecs……!!!!

Protecting Your Home

by The Zwemmer Group
One of the crimes most frequently reported to the police is residential burglary. It's also the most preventable. It doesn't take much or cost much to out-smart most burglars. They're usually not professionals, but rather people taking advantage of an easy target. Burglars may do more than steal things. If they're surprised by someone coming home or if they choose a home that's occupied, someone may get hurt.
Tips on Safeguarding Your Home
  • Make sure all exterior doors have good locks-at least dead-bolt locks with a 1" throw.
  • Always lock up when you go out, even if only for a few minutes.
  • Secure sliding glass doors with bars or locks, or put a broom handle in the door track.
  • Make sure your windows have good locks, especially those at ground level.
  • Make sure all porches, entrances, and outside areas are well lit.
  • Trim any bushes or trees that hide doors or windows.
  • Maintain your yard and keep ladders and tools inside when you're not using them.
  • Don't hide your keys under the doormat or in a flowerpot. That's the first place burglars look! It's much better to give an extra key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Mark your valuable property like TVs, VCRs, computers, cameras and stereos with your driver's license number.
  • Keep a record of your property in a safe place.
  • Install an alarm system for summoning emergency help.
  • If you park your car outside, never leave a garage door opener in the car.
When you go away
  • Ask a neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers, and offer to return the favor.
  • Put an automatic timer on at least two lights and a radio. Consider photoelectric sensors to turn outside lights on and off automatically.
Tell a trusted neighbor when you're leaving and when you'll return. Include an itinerary and phone numbers where you can be reached in an emergency.

Setting the Stage for a Successful Sale

by The Zwemmer Group
What’s the best way to help your home make a glorious first impression on would-be buyers? Real Estate experts agree that “staging” (also called “fluffing”) your home to show it in the most favorable light is well worth your time and effort.
Beyond the pre-sale cleaning and organizing you would expect to do, successful staging includes strategically arranging objects and furniture, adding decorative touches and more. Here are a few tips from the pros to help buyers make an immediate emotional connection with your home:
  • Add a pot of fresh blooming flowers to the entryway (yellow is a very welcoming color)
  • Open blinds to show off nice views. A vase on the window sill plays down less attractive views
  • Add throw pillows, a soft lap blanket, candles and a candy dish for a cozy living room
  • Use a soft bedspread, quilt, pillows and a throw rug to turn a bedroom into a relaxing retreat
  • Set your dining room table with dishes, placemats, wine glasses, etc.
  • Banish television sets, computers, kitchen and bathroom appliances from sight
  • Don't forget the garage! Make sure surfaces are clean and neat. Store tools and gardening products to make room for cars.

Whether you do the staging yourself or have your home fluffed by a professional, one Chicago-area expert confirms that homes that are staged often sell 75% faster and for 3%–6% higher than the asking price!

Luxury Home Trends

by The Zwemmer Group

One of the best ways to update your home and ensure a good resale value is to adopt trends from the luxury home market. These cutting edge trends eventually find their way into the new construction market and become mainstream styles. While most households can’t afford in-home elevators or a custom wine cellar, here are a few of the affordable latest luxury home must-haves that are well on their way to new homes across the nation.

In the Kitchen

Warming drawer — Better than the warm setting in your oven, warming drawers keep foods hot and moist until guests arrive or the rest of the meal is ready.

Refrigerating oven — Program it to refrigerate during the day then log on remotely to start the cooking and have your meal ready when you get home.

Multi-level islands — A raised portion of a kitchen island adds dimension, a comfortable eating surface and, if placed strategically, can mask the clutter around a sink or stovetop area.

Three-door refrigerator — Two French doors on the top and a large one-drawer freezer on the bottom make for easier access to the items you use most.

Food prep sink — An extra sink doesn’t need to take up a lot of precious counter space but in a large kitchen it can improve the work flow and even encourage others to participate in the food preparation.

In the Bath

Vertical spas — One of the hottest trends in today’s baths, these incorporate multiple showerheads, water diverters and sophisticated temperature control systems into your shower.

Heated tile floors — Add to the spa feeling with cozy radiant heat under tile flooring. If you’re considering new flooring, this is easy to install and a big selling point.

Towel warming drawers — This luxury trend started in the kitchen and is taking electric towel bars to a new level by warming up your robe and slippers.

Stone countertops — Granite, marble and soapstone come in natural colors that complement most bathroom cabinets. They’re also easier to keep clean compared to traditional tile.

In the Master Suite

Fireplace — Gas fireplaces are quickly becoming fixtures in luxury homes. Builders are maximizing their effect by constructing them into a wall adjacent to the master bathroom so they can be seen from both sides.

Walk-in closets — Walk-ins are almost required in new homes today, but the luxury market has taken them to a whole new level with the addition of extravagant cabinetry and center islands with storage drawers.


Outdoor kitchens — More and more homeowners are taking their cooking and entertaining out back with the addition of fully functional kitchens that include grills, custom cabinets and worktops, and even wood-fired ovens.

Heated patios — An emerging trend in cooler climates, radiant-heated patios and driveways melt snow and ice and keep walkways safe.

Whether you are thinking of selling soon, or simply want to enjoy the benefit of upgrading your home while you’re still living there, these affordable luxury trends are certain to hold their appeal for years to come

Two Left Feet = Rob Zwemmer

by The Zwemmer Group
Our very own Rob Zwemmer has been asked to represent Keller Williams in the “Stepping Out with the Realtors” dance contest fundraiser. Here’s the catch…Rob can’t dance!!!   But, thanks to Kathleen Buy’s of Old Republic Title, Rob will be taking daily dance lessons until the big event on September 27th, 2007 at the Hyatt Grand Champions in Indian Wells, California    The Fundraiser will be benefiting the C.D.A.R. Scholarship Foundation and the Theresa D. Holden Foundation. We’ll keep you updated on Rob’s progress…and yes we will be there taking pics every step of the way! Good luck Rob! 


by The Zwemmer Group

Most states now have either statutes or precedent court decisions that require home sellers and their Real Estate agents to disclose, in writing, known defects with the residence. However, some sellers and realty agents have "selective memory," meaning they forget to reveal some defects, hoping the buyers won't discover them.

When a home buyer can prove the seller and/or realty agent knew or should have known about a home defect, the buyer's legal recourse is to either (a) seek rescission of the sale or (b) sue for monetary damages. However, the buyer's difficulty is proving the defect was known before the sale closed.



by The Zwemmer Group

Fortunately, most on-site problems with new houses are correctable, such as paint scratches or doors that don't close right. buyers of new houses should (a) understand the terms of the builder's warranty; (b) hire a professional inspector to thoroughly check the house before the sale closes; and (c) inspect the house with the builder (called checking a "punch list") so both parties are aware of problems needing correction under the builder's warranty. Realizing the importance of having satisfied customers, the best builders promptly take care of any defects reported by the buyers

Six Selling Myths Uncovered

by The Zwemmer Group

Myth #1:  You should always price your home high and negotiate down.


Truth:  Pricing too high can be as bad as pricing too low.   If you list too high, you'll miss out on buyers looking in the price range where your home should be.  Offers may not even come in, because buyers who are interested in your home are scared off by the price and won't even take the time to look at it.  By the time you correct the price and list your home at its fair market value, you will have lost that window of opportunity when your home draws the most attention from the public and Real Estate agents; i.e. the first 30 days that it is on the market.  A well-trained Real Estate agent who looks out for your best interests will consult with you on your home’s fair market value and different pricing strategies for the current market.

 Myth #2:  Minor repairs can wait until later. There are more important things to be done.


Truth:  Minor repairs make your house more marketable, allowing you to maximize your return (or minimize loss) on the sale.   Most buyers are looking for homes that are ready for them to move into.  If your home happens to attract a buyer who is willing to make repairs, he/she will begin asking for repair allowances that come out of your asking price.  The amount of an allowance that you have to offer a buyer is usually more than what it would cost for you to make the repair (or hire someone to make the repair).  Remember, buyers are comparing your home to other homes that are currently on the market.  Your home should be inviting so that everyone who looks at it can see themselves living there. 


 Myth #3:  Once a potential buyer sees the inside of your home, curb appeal won't matter.


Truth:  buyers probably won't make it to the inside of the home if the outside of your home does not appeal to them.   buyers and their agents often do drive-bys before deciding whether a home is worth their time to look inside.  Your home’s exterior must make a good first impression so that buyers are compelled to stop and come inside.  All it takes is keeping the lawn mowed, shrubs and trees trimmed, gardens weeded and edged, and clutter put away.


 Myth #4:  Your home must be every home buyer's dream home.


Truth:  If you get carried away with repairs and replacements to your home, you may end up over-improving the house.   There is a point where improving your home doesn’t pay off.  The key is to consider what competing properties feature and look like.  A highly-motivated Real Estate agent will consult with you on what competing properties have to offer – he/she can even show you competing properties so that you can make sound home improvement decisions.


Myth #5:  You are better off selling your home on your own and saving money on the commission you would have paid to a Real Estate agent.


Truth:  Statistically, many sellers who attempt to sell their homes on their own cannot consummate the sale without the service of a Real Estate agent.   Homeowners who succeed in selling their home by themselves usually net less than if they had a Real Estate agent working for them.  The National Association of REALTORSâ surveys consumers every year, including homeowners who succeeded in selling their home without a Real Estate agent.  Over 70% of these homeowners say that they would never do it again.


Myth #6:  When you receive an offer, you should make the buyer wait. This gives you a better negotiating position.


Truth:  You should reply immediately to an offer!  When a buyer makes an offer, that buyer is, at that moment in time, ready to buy your home.  Moods can change, and you don't want to lose the sale because you have stalled in replying.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14