Latest Posts

What's in a Name?

As a part of reviewing all of the documents you’ve received from escrow and your agent, you read that the deed to the house is in the name of Minnie Pearl and the contract for the sale of the home was signed by Minnie Mouse.  You assume that Minnie divorced Mr. Pearl and you feel strongly that a house where a divorce occurred is really bad karma, will make for bad fung shui, and will set off a string of recurring bad vibrations for you and your family.  In a moment of panic, you cancel the escrow.  Somehow, this pretzel logic becomes know to the sellers and their agent. Once it becomes clear that Minnie bought the house as a single woman while her last name was still Pearl, and then married Mr. Mouse, and subsequently changed her name – there’s a moment of clarity and serenity.   You realize that, just because she never got around to changing the deed in to her married name, your tenure in the home will not be tainted.  With this new-found peace of mind, you submit another offer on your dream home and do what it takes to close the escrow with Minnie Mouse and move in.  

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Seller Do's and Dont's

Even though we are in a very low inventory situation, where there are not enough homes available in most price ranges for the number of buyers looking for homes, sellers still need to put their best foot forward when it comes to making their house available for buyers to see in person.  While the following advice to home sellers may seem obvious to you, these are not obvious to all sellers.  How do I know?  Because these are all things I’ve actually witnessed in the last few weeks as I’ve been out looking for houses for sale with my well-qualified buyers.  

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The final hurdle: Can the buyer qualify for a loan?

The California Residential Purchase Agreement gives the buyers in most cases 21 days to remove all of their contingencies. 

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The Right Rhythm Can Beat the Home Buyer Blues

Timing is everything. 

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Buyers Contingency Removal and the Sellers Notice to Buyer to Perform

We recently talked about the agonizing wait that sellers are in for when they finally reach an agreement with qualified buyers and enter escrow. 

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October 2017 Orange County Market Update Video

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The Waiting is the Hardest Part for Home Sellers

I love the legacy Tom Petty leaves behind.  Where were you when you first remember singing these lyrics “the waiting is the hardest part” at the top of your lungs? For me, I was on a road trip to Palm Springs. 

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St. Joseph to the Rescue

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Your lease is up when?

After years of saving, planning, fixing your credit, and living in a rented condo with a next door neighbor whose kitchen is on the other side of your bedroom wall and runs his garbage disposal at 5:30 AM, every single morning, you decide you’re ready to buy your own home.  Where you’re bed is not adjacent to the garbage disposal. 

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California is different – even when it comes to selling a home

Buying a home in California is ddifferent than buying a home in many other states in our great nation. 

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September 2017 Market Update

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Four Footed Tools of the Real Estate Trade

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You Can't do it All on Your Smartphone

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It’s a contract

Most people enjoy shopping for homes.  Even people who aren’t looking for a home enjoy shopping for homes.  They’re called Lookey Lou’s and Lookey Louises and I meet them every weekend at my Open Houses.  Suffice it to say that shopping for a home is about the only fun part of the home buying process.  Because once you make the decision to submit an offer to purchase a house, you’re now dealing with a contract, and there’s really nothing fun about contracts.  

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Filling in the Blanks

It’s just human nature.  We want to know the whole story. We want to meet all the players and understand their motives, goals, fears, and tactics.  However, in a real estate transaction, the most we usually get is an 85 page PDF file that lands in your email inbox which you read on your phone.  And as you read through the pages and pages of the official contract the CAR legal team created to keep us all on the same page and out of court, which are full of dates, dollars, percentages, and disclosures.  You usually also get names of the buyers and sellers as well, but sometimes you only get the name of a trust or an LLC, which doesn’t do very much to help you figure out anything about the people on the other end of the transaction.  

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August 2017 Orange County Market Update

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Check Your Insurance Coverage

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As is means what exactly?

When you put your house up for sale, you have lots of options about what you do to get ready; fresh paint, new flooring, new windows, all the way up to a complete remodel, topping it off with staging.  Or you can do nothing.  Sell it “as is;” with the stained and faded carpet, wood rot, broken and/or outdated appliances, ancient AC compressor, and completely outdated décor. 

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What Happens When the Appraiser Comes Up with the Wrong Number?

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What’s in a seller’s closet? Look, but don't touch

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Sellers go all out for home showings

Life happens, especially during the summer in sunny Southern California. 

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Full Disclosure is a Two Way Street

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Trends in Marketing Photos of Homes for Sale

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Ditch the Dated Stuff if You Want Offers to Roll In

Home fashion changes more rapidly today than ever.  Blame it on the internet, providing an infinite number of resources for trendy home design, materials and furnishings and the plethora of new construction where they pay beau coup bucks for design and décor.  Add in the countless real estate web sites that show you 35 pictures of each and every home for sale, including everything inside and out; from top to bottom.This puts your house under the bright hot spot light in an era of compete transparency, leaving nothing much to the buyers’ imagination.  After checking out all the photos, buyers immediately place your house into one of two categories: Upgraded/Remodeled/Currently Fashionable or Dated.  It’s a brutally bi-polar divide.  Dated being a code word for less desirable, a money pit to bring it up to current fashion standards and a target for a low ball offers . Your listing only includes a photo of the front your house? This immediately puts into the Dated category because you must be hiding something So what actually puts you in the Dated category?  Here’s the primer. 

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More Days on Market?: A Sign of Trouble or Another Opportunity

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These are a few of Orange County home buyers' favorite things

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July 2017 Market Update

Prices for Orange County homes have been steadily increasing for over five years now.   We all know that the real estate market has peaks, troughs, and valleys.  Many people are asking "when will the market begin to reverse?"  The answer is "not any time soon."  Here's why.  

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Peaks and Valleys in Orange County Real Estate

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Close of Escrow Creates Cause for Coordination

There are the obvious things that need to be done in a real estate transaction that take coordination between the buyers and sellers when the sellers are still living in the house – like when the buyers and the home inspector can literally take over the house for three to four hours; when the appraiser can make arrangements to collect all the date necessary to generate his or her report; and when the buyers can perform their final walk-through.  There are a few more events that tend to occur toward the end of escrow that can take some coordination to avoid miscalculations, misunderstandings, and disruptions.  

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June 2017 Orange County CA Market Update

The transition to the Summer market in Orange County has officially begun!


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Everything you need to know about your real estate transaction you learned in Kindergarten


There’s something about buying or selling the most expensive thing you’ve ever owned, usually your house, which brings out the most basic instincts in people.

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Does your Real Estate transaction take a Summer vacation?

Does your Real Estate transaction take a Summer vacation?

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Heros in Our Midst

In any residential real estate transaction, it is the home buyers and sellers who call the shots.Sure, the agents, lenders, home inspectors, termite inspectors, contractors, loan processors, loan underwriters, and plenty of other people have a hand in the deal according to their specific role, but the buyers and sellers are the boss – they make the final decisions on price, terms, and the fabulously fun process of figuring out what to do with the information in the home inspection report.  I’d like to tip my hat to a few of my recent heroes – folks who made the home buying and selling process delightful.

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Buyers and Sellers are Usually Polar Opposites

 ln most residential real estate transactions there are two points where the buyers and sellers are polar opposites of each other – negotiating the purchase price and the terms of the sale; and once again when the home inspection report comes in and the buyers submit their request for repairs.  Here’s a look at the polarizing aspects of these two epic events.

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Orange County CA Market Update May 2017

The  low inventory market conditions continue into May in Orange County real estate - inventory is up only 2% in the last two weeks bringing our total current number of homes for sale up to 5,387

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No More Faxes, Please!

As we have passed the mid-point of the first quarter of the 21st century, isn’t it about time we get rid of fax machines all together?  Seriously, when was the last time you used, saw, or were asked to send something via fax?  Why would you fax anything when you can email or text a picture of the document with your smart phone?  Where’s the gal outside my local grocery store with clip board holding the petition to ban fax machines from Orange County?  I’d sign that in a heartbeat.  Traditional faxes are hard to read, usually crooked when the print, and frequently have a line or smudge running through in the middle of the document.  

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Seller’s Stash of Showing Secrets. Shhhh!

As more homes are hitting the market now that we are in the full swing of the spring selling season, it feels like a good time to highlight what every home seller needs in their stash of secret showing strategies.  Here are a few of my favorites.

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What Adds to Your Home Value When You Sell?

Home sellers love to highlight all they’ve done to their home when it’s time to get it sold.  The best way to do this is through the listing photos, which go to a gazillion websites where the home will be seen. Some home sellers feel that creating an itemized of list things they’ve done over the years by identifying the area they addressed and the actual cost of the work they completed will help buyers want to offer closer to their asking price.  Others elect to include all the furniture and accessories they’re willing to “give” to the buyer – for the right purchase price.  Here’s a quick guide to what a seller can and cannot include in the sale of their home and expect to receive any significant bump in sales price.

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Home Photo What Not to Do's

Apparently not every single home seller and Realtor in Orange County reads this blog.  Don’t get me wrong.  Several of you enjoy this little shot of real estate reality and are occasionally kind enough to let me know that I’ve provided some useful information, and for that I am deeply grateful.  So loyal readers, forgive me if I repeat several key pointers regarding home listing photos that we’ve talked about before, with the hope that the right home sellers and Realtor is reading me this week.  Off we go on what not to do when it come to the listing photos.

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Market Update April 2017 - Low Inventory Condition Continues

Low Inventory of Homes For Sale Continues in Orange County CA


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Logistics and Timing Get 'Er Done

There are usually some things to be done around the house, especially if you’re in escrow to buy or sell a house.  Here are a few examples of some “projects” that your neighbors either wanted or needed to take care of and the logistical, timing, and sequencing considerations we tackled to get ‘er done.

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Termites are Abundant in Orange County

Termites are abundant in Southern California.  When they are found flying around inside the house that’s in escrow, and the solution is to tent the house in order to complete the extermination process, which calls for injecting the house with lethal gas to get to all the termites throughout the entire house including the nooks and crannies that are inaccessible to humans, there are some steps to consider and consequences to plan for – namely bagging, moving and fixing.

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You're in Escrow!

Where did the term “opening escrow” come from?  Is it a box, like Pandora’s, that some person with a special designation has to open in order for your home sale to move forward?  Does it require a magic wand or an Etch-a-sketch? I’ve only been a Realtor since 2001, so I may have missed the origination of this reference.  As far as I’ve ever known, opening escrow means sending the fully executed contract to the designated escrow company and waiting for an escrow number, wiring instructions for the buyers’ initial deposit, and the escrow instructions.

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Leaky Roof?

We take our roofs for granted here in the American Rivera, where sunny days are the norm and torrential rain is very uncommon. But with all the rain we’ve had this winter, we’ve had an equally large torrent of roof leaks all around Orange County.  Which brings me to today’s topic – what to do if you have a roof leak.  Even if you don’t currently have a roof leak, you might want to read further.

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March 2017 Orange County Market Update

It's a strong sellers' market in Orange County as we kick off the month of March, due to low inventory and high demand, especially for homes priced at $1M and below.

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Putting Deals Together From Miles Apart

Getting Orange County CA homes sold while all the major players are literally on opposite sides of the country can take some unexpected turns!

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Agents Come in Many Varieties

The following are excerpts from the chapters on advice to real estate agents from my soon to be written self help book.

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Who Picks the Team of Professionals for Your Escrow?

Who picks your team of professionals working to make your escrow smooth and stress-free?  See how it really works in Southern California real estate transactions.

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February 2017 Orange County CA Market Update

Welcome to February 2017!

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Coming Soon in Coto de Caza!

Looking for an recently upgraded, remodeled totally turnkey home on the golf course in Coto de Caza?  This one will be on the market soon!  It's got five bedrooms - one downstairs - and three bathrooms.  Beautiful white kitchen with shaker cabinets, quartz counters, stainless steel appliances, stylish back splash and all the bells and whistles like two ovens, a wine fridge, pot filler above the stove, pull out drawers, soft close drawers and doors, and instant hot water at the sink.  All three bathrooms have been re-done with new quartz counters, fashionable tile and marble accents.  The master bathroom has a ENORMOUS two-person shower, dual vanities, and a walk-in closet with closet organizers.  The hall bath even has a laundry shoot.  The crown and baseboards were also upgraded to extra-thick proportions, and the raised panel wainscoting is just the icing on the cake.  The plumbing and electrical were upgraded during the renovation, and the three car garage includes a charging station for your electric car. 

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What's Your Interest in Interest Rates?

Interest Rates and When They Matter to Home Buyers

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Sequence is Key to Getting Your House Keys!

When you’re buying a home, it is crucial to get the sequence right for the best outcome.  Here are three groups of events and how you want to time the activities for the best results.

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You Decide How Far You Go to Get Your House Sold

Selling your house is a big decision.  How you get your house ready to sell is also a big decision. Here are just a few options you have to choose from when it comes to selling your house today.

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Community Spotlight - Rick Hale and South Coast Steam Team

In this episode of Community Spotlight we're talking to Rick Hale, owner and operator of South Coast Steam Team.

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Community Spotlight - Wellness Choice Mission Viejo and Jay Djavid

Is your health your priority?  If it is, and if you might benefit from losing some weight, Wellness Choice and Jay Djavid can help you.

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Community Spotlight - Dr. Auto Rancho Santa Margarita and Sam Sargent

Dr. Auto Rancho in Santa Margarita, owned and operated by Sam Sargent, is the subject of this episode of Community Spotlight, brought to you by your Realtor Leslie Eskildsen.

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Upgrades, Staging, and Interest Rates Will Be in the Spotlight in 2017

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Professional Home Staging - A First Hand Look

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Happy Endings that Don’t Happen Every Day

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You Might Actually Sweat the Small Stuff

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Contact
Agent Picture

Leslie Eskildsen
Realty One Group

(949) 678-3373

leslie@mymvhome.com

Find Your Dream Home