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Advantages | REM #46

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Did you know you have an advantage in real estate right now?

If you could use an advantage in real estate – and it’s not the typical, “buy low, sell high” type of advice, what would you do with it?

In boxing – you hear about one of the boxers having a reach advantage.

In hockey – you have the power play and a numbers advantage.

In basketball – one team might have a height or speed advantage.

In all of those examples – having the advantage leads to one thing – winning.

In real estate, having an advantage might mean being a cash buyer with no contingencies. It might mean having a conventional loan when other buyers are offering with FHA.

However, there’s an ability to have an extra advantage in real estate. That advantage? It’s called representation. Having a trusted advisor. Having someone in your corner, on your team that represents your best interest. Someone that can help you negotiate from a position of strength and advantage, everytime, regardless of your circumstances.

That person – is your Realtor.

Updated VA Loan Program: Real Estate Minute #45

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Hello…  this is Sandy Darling, Sales Manager for the Fig Garden office at Guarantee Real Estate, and I’m here to tell you about an exciting new program for the veterans in our Community. 

So often sellers are reluctant to accept a VA offer, as there is a perception that it will cost the seller more money when all is said-and-done.

Well, times have changed and so has the VA loan program…  but, just to make sure that our veterans get an additional “leg up” on their home purchase, the Fresno Association of Realtors® has a grant program from the Housing Affordability Fund at the California Association of Realtors®. 

With this grant, we are able to give participating sellers a $2,000 incentive to sell to a veteran.  Now that’s a win for both the buyer and the Seller!  And we like that, especially when it helps somebody who has served our great nation.  

If you’re thinking of selling your home, or you’re a veteran looking to buy — please contact me or the Fresno Association of Realtors® for more information.  

Why List High?: Real Estate Minute #44

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Why don’t we list high so we can leave room for negotiation?
This is a common question most home sellers have in pricing their property for sale.
If that’s you – you’re actually right thinking you need to take this into account in how homes get sold. The reality however, is that homebuyers are deterred by this.

You see homebuyers often see homes priced too high as a sign of an unmotivated seller.

If you come out of the gate, overpriced, homebuyers and agents that show properties write you off. The higher the price of the property, the less the seller seems they need to sell it. . . at least that’s what buyers believe from their past experiences.

Now, this approach also assumes that you’ll lower your price down later. Most buyers don’t realize that you’ve lowered the price and depending on email notifications, or flyers to go out means a good chance it’ll go unnoticed.

My advice – price it right from the beginning. Your odds of agents showing it with interested buyers are much higher.

I’m just spit-balling here, but what if you turned this a little like so:

Why don’t we list high so we can leave room for negotiation?
This is a common question most home sellers have in pricing their property for sale — and it’s on every sellers mind at one point or another whether they ask the question or not.

I certainly understand that line of thinking, especially when everyone has been saying how hot the market has been for so long. The reality, however, is that this approach can really work against you. In today’s world, where neighborhood comps and pricing tools are just a few keystrokes away — for anyone with access to the internet — it becomes very clear when a home is over-priced. Being perceived as over-priced will deter potential buyers. Your strategy of lowering the price if you need to — only works if you know that you need to. You will likely never hear from interested buyers who perceive you as overpriced. And you don’t want to be perceived as an unmotivated seller.

My advice… price it right from the beginning. You’ll be glad you did.

How’s the Market 2019: Real Estate Minute #43

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Can you guess the number one question I get asked at Starbucks, my kids’ sports events, or church?

The person asking the question typically knows that I’m in real estate.

They ask – how’s the market?

In 2018 Fresno County sold over 9,000 homes! That’s a great year!

Our average sales price increased 3% – that’s not as high as in year’s past, but the slowing up of appreciation is healthy. Nobody needs prices to get out of control.

The biggest shift in our market has been inventory.

A year ago it was challenging for a first time buyer to find a home and today, with over 20% increase in the number of homes for sale, buyers have just that – more choices.

Interest rates are at or below 5% at the time of this recording and this is the real wildcard for the 2019 forecast.

While I don’t have a crystal ball that works – the outlook for 2019 is good for residential real estate- a balanced year of supply and demand with modest price appreciation.

Guarantee Home Loans Reopens!

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Guarantee Real Estate is proud to announce the reopening of its home loans division-Guarantee Home Loans!

When Guarantee originally opened for business as a home savings bank, the goal was to offer high quality services through its skilled and trustworthy advisors. We plan to offer that same service today, but with added benefits.

The Guarantee office at Palm & Herndon will serve as the location for our new Loan Officer Scott Reba. Scott is a professional who maintains an exemplary level of trust and respect in the real estate community. Through his past history with Guarantee, Scott has gained knowledge of the Guarantee brand and he plans to provide a valuable service that’s exceptional and incomparable.

“I am a Fresno native and my family has worked in the valley housing industry my entire life. My father managed the Guarantee office at Marks and Bullard for 10 years and now I get to carry on that tradition through mortgage services. I’ve served for the past 21 years in the mortgage industry, and I am a member of the local Mortgage Association. I look forward to bringing my knowledge and expertise to Guarantee Home Loans.”
Scott Reba, Mortgage Loan Officer, Guarantee Home Loans

If you are in need of a home loan and would like to discuss your options for financing, don’t hesitate to CONNECT with Scott today.

Toys For Tots

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We are happy to announce that Guarantee Real Estate sales offices will serve as drop off locations for Toys for Tots.

Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to local children whose parents can’t afford to buy them for Christmas. Guarantee Real Estate is pleased to join the mission of the program which is to “DELIVER” smiles through giving new and unwrapped toys.

Teamwork and community involvement will make this project a huge success. Therefore, every Valley resident is encouraged to share this announcement throughout the surrounding communities. Please encourage everyone that you know to join our efforts in providing joy, goodwill, and cheer to children less fortunate. It doesn’t cost much to put a smile on a child’s face, but a smile that YOU create by giving is priceless!

The sales offices listed below will accept new and unwrapped toys between now and December 13. The offices are open during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.


7050 N. Palm Avenue, Fresno, CA 93650

5210 N. Palm Avenue, Fresno, CA 93704

180 W. Bullard Avenue, Clovis, CA 93612

3 River Park Place East, Fresno, CA 93720

1049 G. Street, Reedley, CA 936524

29369 Auberry Road, Prather, CA 93651

Five Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

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Written by: Leverne Brown

The countdown for hosting Thanksgiving Dinner is on! Are you ready? We know that planning and cooking for a huge crowd can be overwhelming. We have five tips that will help you prepare for an exciting meal with your loved ones. From the entire team at Guarantee, we want to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Set Your Table the Night Before
How many times have you actually set your table the night before Thanksgiving? Taking one thing off of your “to-do” list can relieve more stress than you can imagine. Here’s a bonus tip: If you have small children that are visiting, allow them to help set the table the night before. You can even make it into a family tradition by allowing them to pick the centerpiece or color scheme.

Use a Thermometer!
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service advises cooking turkeys until the thermometer reads 165°F; this is the “instant kill” temperature for any bacteria that might be present. Use a good digital probe thermometer to let you know when the turkey has reached temperature. For other cooking tips and instructions for turkey prep, visit the USDA website HERE. If you experience issues with cooking your turkey, feel free to reach out to the Butterball Hotline.

Order Your Desserts From a Local Bakery
It may sound shameful to serve store bought desserts at a family Thanksgiving feast. But just for a moment consider the time, cost, and preparation, that goes into all of that baking… Quality desserts can be purchased at local bakeries for the same amount you’d spend on the ingredients for baking your own desserts. Click HERE to order your pies at a local Marie Callender’s!

Serve a Buffet-Style Meal
Oh how wonderful it would be to display all of your dishes on the table, and to have Grandpa Joe carve the turkey right in front of everyone! But you’ve just spent hours cooking a beautiful meal for your guests to enjoy. Why not establish order and provide convenience to everyone? Consider serving your holiday dinner buffet-style. By doing so, your guests will have the opportunity to put what they want on their plates without having to pass a number of dishes around the table. The food will remain fresh and warm during the entire time!

Relax, Have Fun, and Be Thankful!
Although preparing a holiday feast can be stressful, don’t forget to relax and take some time for yourself before your company arrives. Oh!!! Don’t forget those classical holiday movies that you can watch while you cook. Click HERE for a complete list of holiday classics and show times. Click HERE for the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade channel guide.

Be sure to stock up on board games, uno cards, dominoes, trivia games, footballs, basketballs, softballs, etc. Remember the easel for a few rounds of pictionary during dessert! Make sure the person in charge of music and entertainment has a variety of activities for EVERYONE.

Most of all, don’t forget the real reason of the holiday. “Thanksgiving” is an expression of gratitude for family, friends, and loved ones that are dear to your heart. It’s a time of celebration and happy memories that can be shared for generations to come. Have fun and be THANKFUL!

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Leverne Brown

Guarantee Blog Writer

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Here Are The Facts!

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Election season is here and we want buyers and sellers to know the FACTS regarding the local housing market. In this week’s Real Estate Minute (REM) with CEO, Andy Nazaroff, he talks straight TRUTH as it relates to appreciation and increased inventory.

What’s Really Happening in the Valley’s Housing Market?
As home inventory continues to gradually increase and the Valley’s market returns to normalcy, appreciation will continue to slow down. Current homeowners and potential buyers have little to be concerned about. Here’s why: Amidst a market cool down, the housing market will show sustainable growth and homes will become more affordable to Valley residents!

Equity Gained is Shift Towards Style and Opportunity!
During the first quarter of 2018, we encouraged homeowners to maximize their equity gain by using their appreciation to upgrade. We’d like to remind you that you still have time to gain the most from your equity. However, the “window of opportunity” will not stay open for long.

Are you looking for BETTER STYLE and OPPORTUNITY? This is the best time to sell and upgrade. Take a look at our Featured Luxury Homes page and view all of our premium style homes listed at 450K and up.

Your home may be worth more than you think! CONNECT with us TODAY to get a complete analysis of your home’s value.

Guarantee Sponsors Break the Barriers

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Guarantee Real Estate just announced a $1,000 sponsorship for Break the Barriers’ annual production of A Nutcracker Like No Other! Please continue reading to find out more.

About Break the Barriers
Almost 36 years ago, Break the Barriers (BTB) was established to celebrate awareness and victories of all abilities and disabilities. This organization educates the community in artistic expression, performing arts, and most important, it breaks barriers between people and groups by fulfilling acceptance and human interaction. Break the Barriers has made a significant impact locally and globally, and it has been recognized by the US Department of Education as a National Role Model for Inclusion.

How to Get Involved
On November 17, the performing arts division of BTB will host its annual production of A Nutcracker Like No Other. This year’s production will feature disabled veterans, giving them an opportunity to participate in the creative process and crew membership. Please help by clicking HERE to purchase a ticket to the show and other events that are produced by BTB.

The Guarantee Goodwill Network Fund is a donor-advised fund, established at the Central Valley Community Foundation, to encourage Guarantee employees to give back to the communities where they live and work.

Guarantee Home Safety Tips for Halloween

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Many children look forward to Halloween-The one day they can dress up and collect as many candy & treats their hands will allow. At Guarantee, we want all of our neighborhoods to enjoy the festivities of Halloween, but we want to encourage safety as well. Below are three important safety tips to keep top of mind when handing out treats this year.

Use Lots of Lights and Avoid Using Candles
A dark home can tell people you’re not expecting visitors. It could also be an accident waiting to happen. Be sure to keep the pathway from the street to your door well-lit. A glowing jack-o’-lantern makes your home warm and welcoming to children, but using a candle to illuminate a pumpkin can be dangerous. Costumes and paper decoration are easily flammable, so instead of using a candle, use fun light-up decorations that are battery operated.

Keep Your Walkway Clear
The fall season produces lots of leaves. Remember to sweep away dirt, leaves, and branches from your driveway or sidewalk. Trick-or-treaters are usually too preoccupied by counting their candy to pay close attention to where they’re walking, so it’s important to inspect your yard for hazards. Be sure your yard and walkways are free of water hoses, sprinklers, and loose gravel. If your home has an irrigation system, turn the system off so your lawn and walkways have a chance to dry.

Use Your Garage
The night before Halloween can be full of mischief, and the night of Halloween can lead to a yard full of kids. If your car is left outside of the garage, it can be a target for pranks, accidental dents and scratches. Be sure to park your car inside of your garage. If you don’t have a garage, try to park your car in a place with low traffic.

Have a safe and fun Halloween from your friends at Guarantee Real Estate!

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