Author: Matthew Carpenter

How to Choose a Real Estate Broker

As a new real estate licensee, the first step you’ll need to do is choose a real estate broker. The process of picking a broker can start early, as some states require that you be sponsored by a broker when you take your real estate exam. Don’t let the process of finding a real estate broker to work for intimidate you. We’ve put together some information to help you learn how to choose a real estate broker that’s right for you.

How do you select the best brokerage for your new career? Review the following five steps to learn how to choose a real estate broker.

Step 1: Ask about the commission split

Most real estate agents get paid on commission. When you’re not selling, you’re not getting paid. But when you’re selling, you’re going to split the proceeds with your broker. Brokers offer different commission structures. (And some brokers offer salaried positions, but these are few and far between.) While factors like company culture, resources, market share, reputation, and support will also come into play, you’ll want to pick a brokerage that offers you a commission split you can live with—keeping in mind that commission splits often get better with experience and sales volume.

Here’s how commission splits work: Let’s say you sell a $300,000 home and the average commission in your area is 6%. That 6% is first split between the buying and selling agent. Now you’re down to 3%, which works out to be $9,000. Next, you’re going to have to share that with your broker. If you’re on a 60/40 commission split, you’re taking home 60% of that $9,000, or $5,400. Of course, this is before expenses and taxes.

What’s a good commission split? That depends on the business, your market, the broker’s support and resources, and a number of other factors. Just make sure you understand the split and how you might get a bigger percentage over time.

Keep in mind that some brokerages these days are offering real estate agents a salary and benefits, or a hybrid model, so you might want to shop around if this approach to compensation appeals to you.

Step 2: Evaluate the brokerage culture

Before you choose a real estate broker, ask yourself: What kind of company do I want to work for? How much support do I want from my coworkers? Just like other businesses, real estate brokerages develop a company culture that informs the way they do business. Are you looking for a small, mom-and-pop brokerage with an intimate, family-like brokerage culture? Or would you prefer a big-box franchise brokerage that’s more likely to let you fend for yourself? Are you looking for weekly get-togethers and company caravans on open house day? The best ways to know and understand a company’s culture are to chat with agents who work there or attend a company function.

Step 3: Decide between a franchise or independent brokerage

When it’s time to choose a real estate broker, another big question to consider is whether you prefer to work for a franchise or independent brokerage. Big-name brokerage houses like RE/MAX or Keller Williams have offices all over the country. A mom-and-pop brokerage might have been serving a single community for generations. Franchises tend to exert more control over their agents than an independent firm, but they usually offer more support and training. Independent firms are usually locally based and consist of a small- to mid-size team. The benefit of working for an independent broker is that you have more freedom to conduct your business the way you want to.

The National Association of REALTORS® reports that the majority of REALTORS® (53%) choose to work for independent firms. If you relish your independence and dislike corporate culture, an independent brokerage may be the way to go. The main advantages of a franchise are the many resources they offer in terms of information and marketing support—and the name recognition.

Step 4: Learn its reputation and niche

When you start your research, begin with a simple Google search as if you were a buyer. Search for “homes for sale in [community name]” and see who comes up. You want the brokerage you select to have a strong market presence and a quality reputation. If they have a high market share, you can depend on them to help you find leads. And we all know how important a brokerage’s reputation is.

Just as important is the niche your brokerage is in. Studies show that the right brokerage can triple your income. The right niche for you will probably be a combination of your interests, lifestyle and the opportunities available in your area.

Step 5: Make sure it will offer support

Some brokerages are very hands-on and offer extensive mentoring, free training, and marketing collateral. Other brokerages are just places to hang your hat while you get to work growing your own business. You might take the occasional sales training class or meet for a monthly brokerage meeting, but otherwise, you’re on your own. You’ll find many variations between the two extremes, and it’s largely a matter of finding the corporate culture that you prefer.

When you’re ready to choose a real estate broker, keep these considerations in mind. Finding the right brokerage involves research and interviewing. Don’t be afraid to sit down with several real estate brokerages in your area to see who fits the best with your learning style and business goals.

Why it’s necessary to choose a real estate broker

Why is broker selection so important? In your first year as a real estate agent, you’ll have a ton of questions, uncertainties, and getting-your-feet-wet experiences. You’ll need to choose a real estate broker that will be there with you each step of the way.

When you’re first starting out, you won’t have the funds to compete with the big real estate brokerages when it comes to marketing, lead generation, and conversion. You’ll need a broker’s help getting your name out there, and you’ll want to use the broker’s tools and systems to kick start your career.

The Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent

Buyers and sellers are on separate sides of the fence when it comes to home sales. What one is trying to achieve is often diametrically opposed to what the other wants to see happen—the first usually want to steal the property while the other wants top dollar. And yet, they share the same ultimate goal. They want a sale.

Both sides can benefit significantly from hiring a real estate agent to assist them, but their reasons can be different.

It’s All About the Money…

 Consider this if you’re contemplating going “FSBO”—for sale by owner—when listing your home. Of course, you want to get as much for their home as possible, and you might think that means not parting with extra commissions. But a 2017 study indicated that FSBOs fetched about 30% less for their owners than agent-listed properties. 

And you’re probably going to have to pay a commission anyway if your buyer is represented by an agent. The buyer’s agent’s commission is typically factored into the deal—although you’ll still save on the commission you would otherwise have paid your own agent.  

And why not use an agent if you’re the buyer? After all, the seller is paying the commission, not you. Of course, there’s always a slim possibility that the seller will refuse to do so, but you can probably move on and look at other properties if it appears that this will be the case, although it can depend on whether you’re shopping in a buyers’ or sellers’ market and who has the upper hand. 

…And Attention to Detail

You might be far out of your element when it comes to reviewing and understanding the multiple documents involved in a real estate deal, and you should have a thorough understanding of what you’re getting into regardless of whether you’re buying or selling. Purchase agreements alone can top 10 pages, not to mention federal, state, and local document requirements. 

Luckily, your agent will be far more familiar with all this paperwork than you are. Consider this if you’re still thinking about saving money: Some mistakes or omissions in these documents can cost you as much as that commission you were trying to avoid paying—or even far more. 

Here’s an example: Maybe a buyer makes an offer on a home, but it’s contingent on getting a mortgage. There’s no possibility that the buyer could purchase the property without first securing financing—but there’s no such contingency or escape hatch built into the purchase agreement to let the buyer out of the deal if financing fails. The buyer is obligated to go through with the sale or be sued if it turns out that a mortgage isn’t happening. 

Consider hiring a broker for a smaller one-time fee to simply review your contracts before signing if you’re still dead set against hiring an agent to take care of all this. 

Privacy, Confidentiality and Fiduciary Duty

Your real estate agent has your back whether you’re a buyer or a seller. Agents have what’s known as a “fiduciary” responsibility to their clients. They are legally obligated to put their clients’ best interests first. 

This duty imparts a very high standard for confidentiality. As a buyer, do you really, really want to turn over your most intimate financial details to a FSBO seller who’s under no legal obligation to keep the information confidential? The same goes for turning any and all information over to the seller’s agent, who has no fiduciary responsibility to you but only to the seller. Your own agent would know whether any information the other agent is requesting from you is reasonable. 

You do have recourse if you’re the buyer and the seller’s agent has lied to you, misled you, or disclosed confidential information. You can report it to the agent’s professional association, such as the National Association of Realtors. But again, this assumes that the seller has an agent. You’ll have far fewer options if the property is FSBO. 

Agents Know What to Look For

Buyers usually have a pretty firm idea in mind of what they want in a property, from number of bedrooms to an attached garage to any number of other must-have and must-not-have factors. You’ll probably feel pretty comfortable looking at homes with that list tucked firmly in the back of your mind.

But your agent will be alert for issues that might not cross your mind, such as furnace issues, leaks, roofing problems, and mold and insect issues. An agent will recognize the telltale signs of these problems and know how best to approach them. Again, this experience and knowledge can end up saving you thousands down the road. 

You know exactly how much you want for your home if you’re the seller, but is the price you’ve arrived at reasonable? You might only know for sure if you’re able to identify comparable sales that confirm that you’re in the right range—or not. Agents can do comparative market analyses in their sleep. 

An agent can hand over researched, current, and reputable data regarding a neighborhood’s demographics, crime rates, schools, and other important factors. That’s a lot of time-consuming research to do on your own, particularly if you don’t know where to start. 

Agents Have Superior Negotiating Skills

You might not be a negotiation shark if you don’t happen to be an attorney, mediator, union rep…or a real estate agent. Remember that fiduciary responsibility your agent has to you. It’s your agent’s job to get you the best possible price for your home, or to see to it that you get the best possible deal on the property you want to buy. 

Agents are trained to negotiate well, if only from experience. They know what normally works and what does not. Most have tried-and-true techniques all their own. And, most importantly, they have no emotional stake in the outcome that can cloud their thinking. 

You, on the other hand, might be willing to come up with $10,000 more to purchase that to-die-for home, never realizing that it’s really not necessary because you possess certain bargaining chips. It’s just more money saved if you have an agent who prevents you from taking an unnecessary financial plunge. 

The Bottom Line

Henry Ford once said that it proves that you’re smarter than they are when you hire people who are smarter than you. The trick is to recognize when you need help and to find the right person.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to hire a real estate agent?

You’ll typically pay between 5% and 6% of the price you sell your house for, which will be split between your agent and the seller’s agent.1

How can I find a real estate agent?

Word of mouth can be a great way to find an agent. Ask friends, family, and coworkers whom they would suggest. You can also contact reputable real estate offices in your town and ask which of their agents have experience selling in your neighborhood. Once you narrow it down, interview your top real estate agent choices, and ask them to prepare a listing presentation to show you how they would market and sell your home.

What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor?

A real estate agent is licensed to sell real estate, and so is a Realtor. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors. Members of NAR must adhere to a code of ethics and take ongoing education to keep their designation as a Realtor.


If you’re getting ready to buy or sell a house, you might be weighing the pros and cons of hiring a real estate agent. Some people will avoid working with agents or realtors because they think real estate agent fees are too high. Others wouldn’t hire one because they’ve had bad experiences in the past. However, this only emphasizes the importance of having a good agent to work with. In addition, if the only reason you’re not working with an agent is to save money by not paying fees and commissions, then you’re overlooking the main benefits of hiring a real estate agent. What does a real estate agent do and how do they make your transaction easier? Here are the top 10 reasons why you need a real estate agent whether you’re a seller, buyers, or a property investor.

#1 Agents Know What to Look For

Those in the market to buy a house or an investment property usually have a firm idea of what they want, from the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to a swimming pool and other must-haves. You’ll probably feel comfortable looking at homes for sale with that list tucked firmly in the back of your mind. However, there will always be properties in the area you wish to live in. So the question is, which one of these homes will suit your specific needs and budget?

If you’re buying a home without a realtor, then you’ll have to sift through all the available options yourself. Anyone can imagine how time-consuming this task is. An experienced real estate agent, however, will shortlist properties for you based on your wish list. Realtors typically know every house on the real estate market and it’s their job to find the one that fits your needs and budget. The agent will also guide you through the buying process, making it smooth and stress-free.

#2 Agents Have Extensive Market Knowledge

No one understands current real estate market trends and conditions better than agents. If you’re a property investor, this is one of the main reasons and benefits of hiring a real estate agent. Top agents are well-versed with all aspects of the housing market, especially how different factors like mortgage interest rates and the unemployment rate can affect it. They also have intimate knowledge of street-by-street and even house-by-house market, for both buyers’ and sellers’ markets. Thus, they know the ins and outs of the market and know more details of homes for sale than the info found on the MLS.

The type of real estate data they possess includes the median and average sales prices, ratios of list-to-sold prices, and average price per square foot of similar properties. They can also identify real estate comparable and hand this information to you, so you can make an informed decision quickly. Other market knowledge that only a local agent will know include which neighborhoods are near great schools, which neighborhoods saw the greatest increase in market value over the years, and what are the most promising projects in a given area. All of this allows agents to help you determine whether or not a certain neighborhood is good for real estate investing.

#3 Agents Have Professional Networks

Real estate agents are professionals at networking. They know just about everyone involved in the process of buying and selling a house. Many will have a list of preferred providers who they have worked with in the past and who they trust. This is one of the benefits of hiring a real estate agents that both buyers and sellers will find very helpful. For example, if you’re selling a house, a seller’s agent will give you a list of contractors, home repair professionals, staging companies, title companies, landscapers, plumbers, painters, etc.

Buyers also need to work with professionals including inspectors, appraisers, real estate lawyers, and mortgage professionals. Instead of researching these people individually and reaching out to them on your own, you can tap into your buyer’s agent’s network. This is especially beneficial for a beginner real estate investor as it’ll help you start building your own network of professionals whom you can trust and rely on for future property investment deals.

#4 Agents Spot Potential Problems

Next on the benefits of hiring a real estate agent is also great for both property buyers and sellers. When selling a house, owners need to make sure that the property is in great shape. That helps in attracting more buyers and potentially sell the property faster and at a higher price. Buyers, of course, are also looking for homes for sale that are in good conditions so they don’t have to spend money on repairs after they’ve just paid for the house. However, there are some problems that might not cross your mind or that may be hiding out of site and which could potentially disastrous hazards.

This is another reason why you need a real estate agent. Realtors have trained eyes that identify potential problems that you may not see like furnace issues, roofing problems, leaks, and mold and insect issues. An agent will also have a home inspector provide a detailed report on problems with the house. A buyer’s agent will have a good sense of what’s reasonable repairs to request. If you’re a seller, your property agent will let you know of the best approach to fixing these issues. Remember, your real estate agent responsibilities include protecting your interests, so this knowledge will help you save thousands down the road.

#5 Agents Provide Valuable Price Guidance

As a homeowner, you might think you know how much your house is worth. But is the price that you’ve arrived at reasonable? Most of the time, emotions may cloud your perspective which would lead to overestimating your home’s value. Some might also stumble on the wrong side of the equation and drastically undervalue their homes. The only way for you to know for sure is by identifying real estate comps that confirm that you’re in the right range. This will help you sell for the optimal price or buy at the right price. But, the easier way is working with real estate agents.

Most real estate agents can set a price on a home the minute they walk through the door. While anyone can spend a few minutes online and pull information on sales of comparable properties, agents have the experience to know whether a specific house is overpriced or underpriced. They will also perform a comparative market analysis to evaluate all the data that affects home values. As a result, they help sellers develop an accurate and realistic listing price that would attract buyers. Buyers’ agents, on the other hand, will help in making the right choice regarding how much to offer on a house.

#6 Agents Have Superior Negotiating Skills

benefits of hiring a real estate agent - negotiation

Buyers and sellers want one thing: to get the best real estate deal possible. To achieve this, you need to have savvy negotiation skills. Negotiating directly with a buyer or seller is difficult, which is another reason why use a real estate agent. Realtors are skilled negotiators as they have years of negotiation experience under their belts. They know what normally works and what does not. Moreover, it’s your agent’s job to always strive to get you the best possible price – whether you’re selling or buying an investment property. They will use their analysis of real estate comps in the area to build a strong case so you can get top dollar. And, most importantly, they have no emotional stake in the outcome that can cloud their thinking.

#7 Agents Provide Home Staging Advice

Selling your home but not sure if it’s aesthetically up to par? Your agent can handle that! The goal of home staging is to make it easier for buyers to see themselves living in the house. This will help find a buyer quicker and decrease your time on the market. And agents are pros when it comes to staging homes for sale and makes them look great to attract the right buyer. A top real estate agent knows what buyers are looking for and uses his/her tools and resources to make your home appeal to the most likely buyers. Whether it’s moving furniture around or bringing in some of their own props, they know to make your home look like it’s ready to be sold.

#8 Agents Have Access to Off-Market Listings

Are you still wondering do I need a real estate agent to buy a home as an investor? Well, here’s another reason why you need a real estate agent – access to off-market listings! MLS listings and property search websites can show you an array of properties for sale in an area. However, there are cases in which sellers don’t want the fact that they’re selling to be widely publicized. So, they don’t list their homes or put a “For Sale” sign on their yard. In those cases, only agents are aware that the homeowners are looking to sell and try to find buyers.

Hence, one of the best ways to find off-market properties is by working with real estate agents. Savvy investors know that these real estate deals are some of the best investment opportunities out there because they’re cheap and have high ROI potentials. With access to both listed and off-market properties, your agents can offer you a wider selection of investment properties to choose from. The more options you have as a real estate investor, the better your chances of finding the best investment property that fits your criteria.

#9 Agents Know the Best Marketing Techniques

This is one of the benefits of hiring a real estate agent that sellers should pay attention to. Many who choose to sell a house without a realtor end up either not selling or selling for less than their asking price. One of the reasons why those “for sale by owner” deals don’t sell is because they’re not marketed well enough to attract buyers. Property agents and realtors, on the other hand, have been working in the real estate industry for several years and know that best marketing strategies that will get the house in front of potential buyers and make sure people show up for an open house.

For example, they might already know someone from their network who is interested in buying a home exactly like yours. They also have access to the Multiple Listing Services. A person without a real estate agent license can’t have access to the MLS. So if you want your home to be posted on there, you need an agent to post it for you. This will greatly increase the amount of exposure your house gets. Not only that, but agents also know what to focus on when marketing a property. They know what a specific buyer is looking for and how to market it to the masses.

#10 Agents Save Time and Energy

Closing a real estate transaction is typically a long and lengthy process. Working with real estate agents, however, can make the process easier for you. If looking to sell a property, the agent will handle open homes and showings so you don’t have to make all those appointments yourself. The sellers’ agent will also filter all those irritating phone calls that lead to nowhere and, hence, help you in identifying serious buyers. If you’re a buyer, your agent will similarly protect you from being inundated with calls and the marketing tactics of sellers.

Moreover, the process of closing real estate deals involves exhaustive paperwork. This includes tricky contract documents, requests, offers and counteroffers, settlement statements, federal and state-mandated disclosures, and more. Most home buyers and sellers are shocked by the sheer amount of paperwork they need to deal with when closing a deal. You can make things a whole lot easier for yourself by hiring a real estate agent who knows how to handle everything, makes the process more convenient, and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, an agent is your ally. As you can see, there are numerous benefits of hiring a real estate agent. Keep in mind that agents and realtors depend on referrals to grow their business. This means they’ll make all their efforts to ensure you’re happy and satisfied with their service so you can recommend them to your friends and family. In addition, the agent you hire is going to be around for the long run and will be there for you when you need to sell or buy another property. This is a bonus benefit and one more reason why you need a real estate agent.

10 Reasons Why You May Need a Real Estate Agent

real estate agent setts out for sale sign, 10 Reasons Why You May Need a Real Estate Agent

If you’re thinking of selling your home, your mind may be swirling with questions about the process. While it may be tempting to try selling your home on your own, there are many reasons why you may want to consider working with a professional real estate agent. To gain insight, it’s helpful to understand what a real estate agent does and why you might want to hire one. You also may want to consider hiring a Realtor®, which is a professional designation for real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). NAR members subscribe to a strict code of ethics for real estate professionals.

Why You May Need a Real Estate Agent

Just as you’d likely hire a licensed professional to make repairs to your home, hiring a real estate agent can help give you peace of mind and confidence throughout the selling process. Below are 10 reasons why you may want to hire a real estate agent to sell your home.

1. Real estate agents can help price your home to sell.
Generally, as the seller, your primary goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible at the best price, so you can move on to your next place. However, a significant factor in making a quick sale is ensuring your house is appropriately priced for the market. As the homeowner, it’s easy to think you know what your home is worth, but there’s likely a bit of subjectivity that goes into your estimate. A real estate agent has a more fact-based process that involves pulling comparable recent home sales within a specified radius and reviewing your home against these to determine a fair asking price. If he or she is a professional with no emotional attachment to or biases against your home, your real estate agent can guide you in setting a competitive price that makes sense for the real estate market in your area.

2. They have home selling expertise.
Whether you’ve sold a home in the past or this is your first time, working with a real estate agent can help you gain home selling knowledge that only an expert can provide. That’s not to say tackling the process on your own is impossible. However, since a real estate transaction is likely one of the largest financial transactions you’ll ever make,1 it makes sense to leave the ins and outs to a professional to help ensure all goes smoothly.

3. Real estate agents offer valuable professional service.
As a seller, you can expect to pay a commission to your real estate agent at the closing. That factor alone is the reason behind many “For Sale by Owner” situations. However, it’s worth noting that many real estate agents offer their sellers certain perks at no additional cost, such as a professional photographer to take beautiful photos of your home, a deep-cleaning session, staging advice and more. All of these extras can make a big difference when it comes to how quickly your home sells and may not cost you anything out of pocket.

4. Real estate agents recommend ways to sell your home faster.
One thing most sellers wrestle with is whether they should tackle certain home improvement projects before listing their home for sale. A real estate agent can offer advice that will help you make an educated decision before you invest in a big home project that may or may not pay off during the selling process.

5. Only real estate agents can get your home on the multiple listing service (MLS).
One of the biggest challenges of selling a home without a real estate agent is finding the best way to distribute your home listing to potential buyers. Advertising is a pay-for-play process, so selling your home on your own will require you to spend money up front in order to get your listing in front of as many eyes as possible. Working with a real estate agent provides your home access to the MLS, which is generally considered to be the primary system all real estate agents use to search for the most up-to-date home listings. MLS listings are what most buyers look at when searching for a home.

6. Real estate agents have important connections.
Another benefit of working with a real estate agent is his or her access to valuable connections in the industry. Whether it’s putting you in touch with pros who can help with home repairs or simply sharing your listing with other real estate agents in their office who may have interested clients, your real estate agent can offer resources that may be superior to tackling the process alone.

7. They market your home professionally.
Marketing your home doesn’t begin and end with the listing. There’s much more that goes into it. Real estate agents are constantly marketing your home via their own websites, social media, videos, flyers and through events like open houses or broker luncheons. That alone may be a great reason to work with a real estate agent to sell your home. Not only is marketing your home on your own time-consuming, but you may not necessarily have access to all of the tools that a real estate agent has at his or her disposal.

8. Real estate agents take the time, so you don’t have to.
Speaking of time, selling a home requires a significant time commitment that most people simply don’t have. If you have a job or a family, it will be challenging to manage the entire selling process, from marketing your listing to scheduling showings and handling negotiations. Working with a real estate agent takes all those responsibilities out of your hands and allows you to focus on other things like keeping your home show-ready and finding a new home to move into once your current home sells.

9. Real estate agents handle the negotiation process professionally.
One of the trickiest, yet most important, aspects of the selling process is handling negotiations with potential buyers. A good real estate agent will tackle negotiations professionally and work hard to sell your home for the maximum price so you don’t have to give up any additional sale proceeds aside from agent commissions. Real estate agents handle negotiations day in and day out, so you can feel confident in their ability to look out for your best interests.

10. Real estate agents can offer objective support.
Let’s face it: selling a home is an emotional process. Your house is more than just four walls and a roof; it’s the place you called home and where you created memories that are special to you. Hearing feedback from potential buyers could be a tough pill to swallow – whether it’s something about the house or yard they don’t like, or maybe they do like the house but offered a lower price – having a real estate agent with an objective mindset can help to keep your emotions and stress at bay.

Once you’re on your way to selling your current home, be sure to keep homeowners insurance in mind when purchasing your next home. Learn more about San Diego Real Estate homes for helping to keep your biggest investment safe and sound, and when you’re ready to get started, get a home insurance quote or contact your local independent agent.

6 Tips for finding the right Real Estate Agent for you!

Selling a home or investment property is a big decision. There are a lot of things to consider and questions to answer. A good real estate agent can really make a world of difference.

But how do you know which one is the right one?

There are so many options to choose from, which can make it seem a bit overwhelming! From the big, well-known agencies to the smaller, local specialists – here are some tips to help you find the best agent for selling your property:

Finding the right Real Estate Agent for you

1. Ask around: the opinions and experiences of people who have “been-there-done-that” are incredibly valuable. If anyone you know has recently bought or sold the property, ask them who they dealt with and how it went for them. Ask friends and family- the more information you have the better decision you can make.

2. Check online: just like most subjects, the internet is the place to go for any information about particular agents or agencies, whether good or bad.

A legitimate agency will have an official website with testimonials from previous clients. Most will also have Facebook pages that contain reviews and recommendations. Individual agents, especially from larger companies, will often have their own social media pages so you can see feedback related directly to them.

You can be fairly sure that if anyone has had a bad experience with a real estate agent – it will most certainly be on the Internet!

3. Pay attention to professionalism: if you have found great feedback about an agent online or someone has recommended them to you personally, you have a good base to work from. But, you should also consider the little things.

  • Are they professional and polite?
  • Do they respond to calls and emails promptly?
  • Do they seem genuinely interested in helping you?

Some of the “best” agents are the ones with the busiest portfolios, so they are also the ones who forget to reply to your queries, miss appointments, or maybe can’t remember who you are when you call. Finding someone who clearly has respect for you and wants to offer you great service is important.

4. Consider your target buyers: what kind of agent does your property require? Selling family homes, investment properties, or “fixer-upper” properties all have very different target markets and you will want an agent with proven success in the area you need.

5. Check commission and other hidden fees: ah yes – the big question! How much money are they going to be taking off of your selling price? And what other hidden fees might pop up? These will most likely include marketing and admin fees, but you might find others. Ask about this upfront so there are no surprises further down the line.

6. Ask Questions and research: like we said, this is a big decision and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure you are getting the best person for the job. Ask prospective agents for sales histories, their strategies for getting you the best deal, and what they believe sets them apart from the rest.

It is also a good idea to get familiar with the Real Estate Authority (REA) Code of Conduct so you know what your rights are.

Choosing the right real estate agent can be the difference between selling your home for what it is worth and not getting the sale or the price you are after. So do your homework first!

Looking to buy a new site?

If you’re buying a new property don’t forget to do your due diligence in full! This should include reviewing the building consents and resource consents on the property- make sure you know what’s been legally established and what resource consent conditions you need to meet. Don’t forget that part of the service we provide is due diligence; contact us if you have any questions.

How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You

Hiring a professional real estate agent when buying or selling a home can help you make smart decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

But not just any agent will fit the bill. Here’s how to choose the right real estate agent for you.

Real estate agent basics

Before you start looking, it’s helpful to know what to expect from an agent and some of the terminologies you’ll encounter.

What does a real estate agent do?

Real estate agents help people buy and sell homes. Agents educate their clients about current market conditions, guide them through each step of the process and make referrals to other professionals, such as home inspectors and real estate attorneys. Their particular titles depend on who they’re representing in a real estate transaction.

  • A buyer’s agent helps buyers find and shop listed homes, make competitive offers and negotiate with sellers.
  • A listing agent helps sellers price, list and market their homes, and negotiate with buyers.

In some cases, an agent can represent both sides in a single transaction, but it’s best to have someone who’s solely in your corner.

Realtor vs. real estate agent

Not every real estate agent is a Realtor. Realtors have licensed agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors. Members pledge to abide by the association’s standards and code of ethics.

All real estate agents must be licensed in the states where they work and abide by national and state laws. Licensure requires agents to complete a certain amount of coursework and pass an exam. Check with your state’s real estate commission website to find out if a particular agent is licensed.

» MORE: Tips for first-time homebuyers

Difference between a real estate agent and a broker

A real estate broker has gone a step beyond the agent level with additional training to get a real estate broker license. Like agents, brokers must complete state-required coursework and pass an exam to get licensed. A broker can oversee other real estate agents, work under a managing broker or operate independently.

How to find and interview real estate agents

Ask friends and colleagues for referrals to find several prospective agents. Look up the agents’ websites and online profiles, read about their specialties and experience, and check out customer reviews.

Choose at least three agents to interview and dig into specifics about how they would work with you.

What buyers and sellers should ask real estate agents

Here are the key things to find out, whether you’re buying or selling a home.

Will the agent represent my interests?

You might assume any real estate agent you choose will represent only your interests. But in some cases, real estate agents aren’t legally required to represent solely the buyer or the seller in a transaction. For example, a “dual agent” represents both the buyer and the seller in the same deal, and a “transactional agent” works with both sides, but has no fiduciary responsibility to either.

Understanding the nature of the agent’s role when working with you is critical. Ask prospective agents if they will represent only your interests through the entire process, and request a written form that discloses the relationship, advises the Consumer Federation of America.

What experience and training does the agent have?

How long has the agent been working with clients, and what training or recognition does the agent have? Look for an agent with a good track record of serving clients like you.

Will the agent or assistants work with me?

Agents sometimes have assistants working for them on a team. Will you work more with the agent or with the assistants? An efficient team can serve your needs well, but make sure you’ll have enough direct access to the agent.

How much will the agent be paid?

Usually, the seller pays the real estate commission, which the listing agent splits with the buyer’s agent. A typical real estate commission is 5% to 6% of the sales price.

As the seller, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate, particularly for a high-priced property, according to the Consumer Federation of America. As the buyer, you can ask for a rebate of a portion of the buyer agent’s commission.

Agents may not be willing to budge on the commission, but it’s worth asking.

» MORE: How much does it cost to sell a house?

Were recent clients satisfied?

Request references and talk to clients who worked with the agent in the last year. Were they satisfied with the agent’s work? What went smoothly, and what didn’t go well? How did the agent deal with challenges? Conversations with recent clients will give clues as to whether the agent is a good fit for you.

Finding a real estate agent: Tips for buyers

Here are some things to think about when choosing an agent to help you buy a home.

  • What challenges will I face as a buyer in today’s market? A good agent will set realistic expectations by explaining the availability of listed homes and the level of competition you’ll face with other buyers.
  • How will you help me find listed homes in my price range? Ask for examples of how the agent has recently helped other buyers similar to you. This will give a sense of how well the agent will serve your needs.
  • How will you help me make competitive offers and negotiate with sellers? Look for an agent who will help you stay grounded within your budget and goals.

» MORE: How to find a buyer’s agent

Finding a real estate agent: Tips for sellers

Here are some things to think about when choosing an agent to help you sell a home.

  • What are the comparable listings in my area? An agent should provide a comparative market analysis, showing homes similar to yours that were sold in the last six months.
  • What do you think my home is worth and why? An agent who recommends the highest price isn’t always the best choice. Choose an agent who backs up the recommendation with market knowledge.
  • What should I do to improve my home? You may need to fix things up to sell your home, depending on the local real estate market. Listen for solid reasoning about what your home needs and the return on investment for making those improvements.
  • How will you market my home? Agents will likely suggest putting your home on the Multiple Listing Service and real estate websites, such as Zillow. Get details about other promotional tools the agent will use, such as photos, video tours and advertising. The level of marketing required to sell a home depends on the market. Less marketing may be required when there are more buyers than homes for sale.

» MORE: How to find a listing agent

How to choose a real estate agent

Compare agents’ experience and approaches, as well as their ability to establish rapport. Is this someone you’ll feel comfortable working with? Choose a competent agent with a working style that clicks with yours.

5 Different Types of Real Estate Property Investments

types of real estate investments

Investing in real estate properties can grant you several opportunities to build your equity over time. However, that is not the only reason why so many people consider these investments a wise choice. 

Despite the rising prices of mortgages and housing, the real estate market continues to experience a steady rise. According to investment analysis, the Philippines is expected to see a favorable growth of 7.8% within 2021.

The demand for real estate properties has also significantly increased beyond the supply in the current market, which makes it the perfect time to start your investments. However, before you even begin to take part, you must first understand the types of real estate investment available. 

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages. These different property types can benefit various kinds of investors depending on their needs and goals. 

1. Residential real estate

Residential real estate refers to any property used for housing. These include family homes, cooperatives, duplexes, and condos where the investor or a party renting the property lives in. This type is ideal if you are looking to start building your dream home or begin a family. 

Properties such as condos continue to remain in high demand due to their primary location. These properties are popular because of their convenience and access to nearby essential services such as malls, hospitals, and stores. 

Residential real estate is a good investment because of the returns you can get. For example, a real estate company in the Philippines typically has a pre-selling period when you can buy properties at a lower price. Investors take this opportunity to purchase and sell them later on when their value in the market increases. 

2. Commercial real estate

Commercial real estate refers to any property where the main purpose is to host business operations and services. These properties typically include apartment complexes, stores, gas stations, hotels, hospitals, parking facilities, etc. 

Investors in this category are typically business owners who want to establish their brand in a particular location or create a working space for their employees. While sales and transactions do play an important role in creating cash flow, most of its returns come from the rental profit of the property. 

3. Industrial real estate

Industrial real estate refers to all lands, buildings, and other properties that accommodate industrial-sized activities. These activities include production, assembly, warehousing, manufacturing, research, and distribution of goods and products. 

Zoning laws will typically specify which areas in a city these real estate properties can be designated so they won’t disrupt residential and other nearby places during its operations. The return on this investment is influenced by multiple factors, including the type of property you choose.

4. Raw land

Raw land typically refers to undeveloped or agricultural land such as farms, ranches, and timberlands. Many investors look at these properties as a good investment because they are tangible and finite resources. Additionally, these properties save you from the trouble of running renovations and worrying over stolen or damaged goods. 

Compared to buying a residential property or warehouse, raw land can be a significantly cheaper investment that requires no property insurance. However, a major downside to this is that it cannot generate income on its own. 

5. REITs

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) manages or owns commercial properties that produce an income. Investments with these companies can be made through an exchange-traded fund or a mutual fund. 

REITs are one of the assets that perform exceptionally in the real estate market, meaning better returns for your investment. There are also different types of REITs to choose from to better leverage your portfolio, such as retail, office, healthcare, residential, and mortgage. 

Investing for the future

As the world population continues to grow, the demand for housing and other real estate properties continues to rise. This makes it ideal to begin your real estate investments as early as possible to get the best deals for your preferred properties. They can help grow your income, benefitting you financially.

While several real estate properties are available in the market, residential continues to be one of the most popular choices. This is because many prime spots in the Philippines have established residential properties, such as condos, for convenient living. Email today to find the best properties located in these key areas. 

12 unmissable interior design tips – to style a house into a dream home

When it comes to making a house feel like a home there’s more than meets the eye. Pulling a room together and transforming the features to make it functional and stylish yet homely is not often an easy task.

From working out what paint works best in different rooms and lighting options to where to place furniture – there are so many elements to consider. That’s where an  interior designer’s help and expertise becomes invaluable.

Whether you’re renovating an entire house, sprucing up the kitchen or adding a splash of colour to freshen up a living room – these helpful DIY and decorating pointers are not to be missed. Leading interior designer Vanessa Arbuthnott shares her designer tips and secrets to gain insider knowledge for transforming homes like a professional.

12 of the best interior design tips

light and bright modern dining room with pastel dining chairs, oval dining table and statement dome ceiling pendant
1. Make it your own
Remember it’s your home. ‘There are no rights nor wrongs in interior design, everyone has the potential to design their own home,’ says Vanessa Arbuthnott.  ‘It’s just a matter of getting an eye for it. Remember that you are in control, taking the latest trends into account is worthwhile but always put your own personal spin on something to make it special. Your home is where you spend most of your time, so the space needs to reflect you.’

2. Seek design inspiration for a mood board
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‘Transform your interiors from tired to revitalised by gathering inspirational images from magazines, Instagram, Pinterest etc’ Vanessa advises. ‘Once you have a strong collection you will begin to see the look you would like to achieve. Creating a mood board is a great way to use your creativity to unleash any hidden design inspiration you may have subconsciously seen.’
Vanessa goes on to explain how she does this, ‘Buy a large foam board and pins from your local art or stationary shop and collate samples, images, samples of the fabrics, wallpapers, furniture and flooring that you might want to use. This way you can see how they would all sit together within the room.’ Stressing, ‘ it is important to add textures through flooring, rugs and fabrics such as velvet, wool, and tweed. Place the mood board in the room and live with it for a while.’
3. Consider colours and fabrics
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‘Start to hone in on the colours you want to use – for the painted walls or wallpaper, furniture, blinds and curtains. The third colour could be a highlight for cushions, lampshades, bed quilts and accessories such as a tablecloth or even a painting.’
Vanessa offers this brilliant top tip: three colours are always better than two – use these colours throughout the room.
4. Try before you buy paint and paper
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‘Remember that colours can change depending on lighting so buy sample pots and paint’ Vanessa warns. ‘Paint at least A2 sized paint patches, on the lightest and the darkest walls in the same room – to see how the natural light affects the shade.’ This is especially effective for finding the best white paint, because it changes so much in the light.
Same goes for wallpaper, ‘Tape wallpaper samples to the walls and drape large returnable samples over existing furniture or pin them to existing curtains and blinds. Stand back and see what you think!’ she enthuses.
 5. Transform old to new
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‘If you have a blank canvas it’s easier, but more often we must work with existing sofas or rugs etc. Look closely at the rug and see if you can work with the colours within it. Maybe you can reupholster the old favourite sofa to give it a new lease of life? Decide if you are someone who likes pattern or plain; traditional or contemporary; and look at a colour wheel or nature itself to see what colours go with what. For instance, pinks and reds with greens, orange with duck egg, yellows with grey and blues.
6. Size up the furniture
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‘Decide on the furniture you want in your room. Think about scale, in a large room you need a big sofa and footstool’ Vanessa advises. ‘Most designers recommend that even small rooms should have one large statement piece, even if it is a headboard in a bedroom. A balance of large and small pieces will create an appealing living space.’
7. Analyse the look and take your time
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‘Collect pieces as you come across them, this way you will purchase things you’ve fallen in love with. Rather than settling for what’s available in certain stores or online at the time you need something’ are Vanessa’s wise words. ‘You can spend time analysing the look and colours of your room with accessories. The more time you take to add things into your house, your interior design knowledge will expand as you can understand what works best with certain features.’
8. Order returnable samples
‘Once you have narrowed your choice right down and have a good idea of what you might want, order some returnable samples’ Vanessa reveals. ‘These are half metres of fabric which works best draped over backs of chairs and pined to existing curtains and blinds. The test will see if you’re still happy with them after a few days. This is also a great way to see how fabrics look against the paint colours.’
9. Be bold with paint ideas
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The days of strict paint rules are over, the key to interior design in modern times is to embrace the paint idea that works for you. There are no rules of painting doors frames, skirting boards and ceilings in a brilliant white anymore – in fact some top interior designers argue against it!  Kelly Hoppen’ s advice for painting skirting boards is a game changer, she explains how painting the skirting the same same colour as the walls can help to make the room feel bigger.
10. Remember measuring is key
Red curtains with green blinds by interiors designer Vanessa Arbuthnott
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‘Decision time happens when you measure up your windows.’ Ensure you have the correct measurements before you even think about ordering blinds or curtains in particular rooms. Read more on that here: What not to do when choosing curtains – from measuring to styling all is revealed.
11. Add finishing touches
‘The finishing touches are the fun bit!’ Vanessa exclaims.  ‘Lampshades, rugs, cushions, paintings and plants can all make a huge difference, but are sometimes hard to choose until you have the walls painted or papered and curtains hanging. Even the colours on the spines of books in a bookshelf, a throw on the back of the sofa, or in a kitchen ceramic, tablecloths, create opportunities for accents of colour.’
12. Fill a room with a signature fragrance
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Take note from hotel-style and give your home a signature scent, it’s incredible how much this can transform your home. Luxury hotels with select a key scent to have throughout, which then becomes associated with that place – adopt this by choosing your own signature smell for home, to engage the scenes. There’s no place like home, so ensure all your senses are alerted to the feeling of home the minute you step through the door. Use the best home fragrance for your via scented candles, diffusers and essential oils.
Be sure to make use of this wisdom for your next decorating project.

6 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast

1. Find the Right Real Estate Agent

If you want to sell your home fast, then the first step is to hire a real estate agent. The ideal person will know the local market and have a sales record that proves they know how to sell.

Keep in mind that a real estate agent will help with the entire process, from hiring a professional photographer who will take top-notch photos of your home to negotiating for the best price. They also will write up a real estate listing that sells, schedule and host showings, and market your property to get it seen.

2. Price It to Sell

One of the most effective ways to sell your home fast is to price it competitively. If you price it too high, then your home will spend more time on the market. Also, if your home is overpriced, then you may end up selling it for less eventually—it will just take a lot longer.

Your real estate agent (or Realtor) will research comparable homes (aka “comps”) in your area to set a realistic price. If you really need to sell fast, then consider pricing your home a little lower to attract interest (and maybe even spark a bidding war). If you haven’t received any offers by a certain date, knock the price down.

It’s also helpful to think about the price points that buyers search for in your area. If you list your home for $302,000, for example, then you’ll miss all the potential buyers who are looking for homes under $300,000. It’s probably not worth asking for the extra $2,000 if it means fewer buyers will see the home.

3. Clean, Declutter, and Depersonalize

Buyers need to be able to picture themselves in the space, but they won’t be able to if your house is a mess. Give your home a thorough cleaning from top to bottom, get rid of clutter, and hide the family photos and other personal items.

While you’re at it, rearrange the furniture so your home looks inviting and so buyers can move through your home without bumping into anything. If necessary, put bulky items in storage. A crowded room looks like a small room.

Consider hiring a stager to help you showcase your home’s best assets, impress potential buyers, and sell it quickly for the best possible price. Staging isn’t cheap, but the National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that, on average, staged homes sell 88% faster and for 20% more than non-staged homes.1

6 Tips to Sell a House Fast in Any Market | Money Girl

4. Boost Your Curb Appeal

If you want to sell quickly, then it’s essential to make a good first impression. And the first thing a buyer sees is a home’s exterior and how it fits into the surrounding neighborhood. To boost your home’s curb appeal:

  • Paint the front door
  • Plant flowers
  • Sweep away any spiderwebs and debris from windows, eaves, and porches
  • Wash the windows
  • Fix broken light fixtures and mailboxes
  • Make sure the trees, shrubs, and lawn are nicely manicured

Keep in mind that a tidy exterior not only looks nice but also signals to potential buyers that you’ve taken good care of the place.

5. Take Care of Quick Repairs

You won’t have time for any major renovations, so focus on quick repairs to address things that could deter potential buyers. Survey the house and take care of the easy fixes:

  • Fix loose tiles
  • Tighten leaky faucets
  • Touch up paint
  • Tighten door knobs and handles
  • Remove carpet stains

Depending on how much time and money you want to spend getting the home ready, you might also want to update fixtures, buy new appliances, install new hardware on the cabinets, and give the interior a fresh coat of (neutral) paint.

6. Sweeten the Deal

Another way to make the home and deal more attractive is to offer something to sweeten the pot. You could offer, for example, to pay some or all of the closing costs. Buyers are looking for a deal, particularly in a down market, so do your best to make them feel that they get one.

Another tip is to offer a transferable home warranty, which provides discounted repair and replacement services for household appliances and systems. A potential buyer may feel more at ease knowing that the home is protected, which could make your home more attractive than a competing home.

The Bottom Line

Selling a home can be stressful—even more so if you’re on a tight deadline. Fortunately, whether you need to sell fast because of a new job, a life event (e.g., a divorce), or financial reasons, there are ways to speed up the process.

If you don’t have a big budget to get your home sell-ready, then focus on that first impression. Buyers can make a decision within seconds—a few from the curb, and a few when they step inside the front door. Make those seconds count with a tidy yard, a sparkling home, and if you can swing it, a fresh coat of paint.

Architecture & Home Styles in San Diego

The road to San Diego has become more traveled since the pandemic began. It is one of the hottest real estate markets in the nation and offers future residents an unrivaled outdoor lifestyle. The list to describe San Diego’s allure is long, and it’s no secret why it is considered one of the best cities in Southern California. 

Aerial view of homes in La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego

San Diego stands out from other cities in California precisely because of its climate and unique neighborhoods that surround the enormous Balboa Park. Yet, it also shares in the beauty of modern architecture and vibrant home styles seen throughout the city. So, once you’ve decided to move to San Diego and have everything set to purchase your first home, the fun begins in choosing the perfect style for you. 

Below we compiled a list of the most popular home styles in San Diego to help buyers kick off their search.

Home styles in San Diego

  • Victorian
  • Spanish Revival
  • Craftsman Bungalow
  • Mid-Century Modern
  • Ranch
  • Modern Farmhouse
  • Mission


When San Diego began developing into an immense hub, Victorian-style homes were the most common. The architectural style was born during Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837 to 1901 and flourished under the Industrial Revolution. 

A classical Victorian has all the makings of a fairytale home. The iconic turrets, asymmetrical facades, and colorful decorations have always placed Victorian homes as a popular architectural style in San Diego. The famous Gaslamp District alone in Downtown San Diego features 94 Victorian buildings, most of which are historic landmarks.  

Victorian homes are rare in today’s housing stock, but there are potential savings involved if purchasing one, thanks to the Mills Act. Because most Victorian homes are registered historic landmarks, the state mandates the owners to maintain the property up to standard. The Mills Act can cut property taxes on such homes by up to 70% as an incentive.

With luck, you can find Victorian homes for sale in Hillcrest, Mission Hills, or Coronado, among others.

Spanish Revival 

The stark white walls and red tile roofs of a Spanish Revival home make it one of the most popular types of architecture in San Diego.

In 1915, the Panama-California Exposition took place in Balboa Park, cementing San Diego as a commercial hub. The buildings that adorned the park were designed by the architect Bertram Goodhue, and they were the prime example of the beauty of Spanish style.

Low-pitched roofs covered in red tile, white-washed walls reminiscent of old Mexico, and open-air courtyards blend to create a perfect home style under the San Diego sky.

Homebuyers searching for this style should look in Point Loma or North Park, but Mission Hills will also feature some of the most stunning Spanish Revival homes on the San Diego market. 

Craftsman Bungalow

This American style of architecture was born in Pasadena, California, making it a common sight throughout the Golden State and one of the most popular home styles in San Diego.

Britain’s Industrial Revolution pushed aside the value of the craftsman’s art, which evoked a response in the Arts & Crafts movement. The Craftsman-style home was the result, utilizing manual labor and attention to detail that only the wealthy could afford.

California experienced an Arts & Crafts movement of its own, but the Craftsman architecture gave way to a smaller, “Bungalow” style. The cheaper materials helped make it available to the middle class, and by the early 1900s, it became a standard home type in San Diego. 

The Craftsman style stands out by its appealing symmetrical design. Most will feature a low-pitched roof with a wide eave overhang and usually stand at one or one and a half stories. The wooden exterior might complement a stone porch supported by two columns.

North Park will be the neighborhood of choice for homebuyers who want to call this American classical style their new home, but there are plentiful options in Mission Hills and Hillcrest as well.

Mid-Century Modern

The gleaming modern homes overlooking the pristine beaches of the San Diego Coast are unparalleled in their luxurious appeal. Although the classical home styles of San Diego always enjoyed popularity, the Mid-Century Modern style swept San Diego by storm.

Few home styles adhere so well to the San Diego lifestyle as the Mid-Century Modern. The flat roofs and sprawling open-floor plans allow the outdoors to blend in with the inside, creating an illusion of wide-open space with stunning panoramic views thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early-to-mid 1900s, the modern style sought to harmonize architecture with nature. Thus, many Mid-Century Modern homes are built on hills to take advantage of the views and skyline. 

La Jolla and Point Loma are prime areas to find a Mid-Century Modern. Bankers Hill and Middletown are also significant areas for homebuyers looking to be closer to downtown.


The sprawling, one-story Ranch is a homestyle born in the United States. The Ranch style became one of the top home styles in San Diego as the automobile became readily available. It allowed homeowners to spread out from the city center and is the reason why so many pre-war Ranch homes are situated away from downtown.

Most Ranch homes feature an attached garage, another byproduct of the automobile becoming an essential part of people’s lives. The facade is usually asymmetrical with an off-center entryway, and the roof is low-pitched. Its charming features include an exterior wooden pattern side-by-side with brick or stone. 

Any homebuyers who want a piece of uniquely American architecture should search for pre-war Ranches since the quality of the post-war version could be inferior. The style’s popularity led to large-scale construction, but the quality suffered from cutting on construction costs. 

Homebuyers should look for pre-war Ranches in La Jolla or Mission Hills.

Modern Farmhouse

Homeowners who want a blend of rustic and contemporary should search for the Modern Farmhouse style. Although the charm of wooden interiors and classic farmhouse decor has been in vogue for some time, the Modern Farmhouse has garnered attention only recently.

The Modern Farmhouse is primarily an interior style and features vintage furniture on a modern canvas of neutral color and straight lines. Minimalist rooms that echo a contemporary feel might have charming wooden ceiling beams and wooden tables and chairs that blend into a cozy yet sleek feel.

The exterior of Modern Farmhouse homes can vary, but most feature two stories and an attached garage, with large windows and wooden patterns on the facade. 


Many of San Diego’s neighborhoods, such as Mission Hills and Mission Valley, derive their name from the same source as this iconic home style. 

The unmistakable red-tile roofs and white walls closely resemble the Spanish Revival style, but the Mission style dates back to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in San Diego.

Junipero Serra founded the first mission in California in present-day San Diego back in 1769. The original missions featured the iconic roof curvature and church bells, but the highlights that transferred to today’s homes are the open courtyards and exterior stucco.

It is rare to find a traditional Mission style home on the market since many available now more closely resemble the Spanish Revival style. Yet, the few that might be available will feature the classic red-tile roofs and invoke the old-Spanish feel that established it as a popular home style in San Diego.