Build Your Next Backyard

It’s a commons misconception when buying a newly constructed home that there is no need for a REALTOR® of your own. Nothing can be further from the truth. As a REALTOR®, I have the inside scoop and can offer advantages that the builder cannot.

If you already found the location you would like to build your new home, don’t depend on the builder or sale representative to help you through the new construction home buying process. Bringing me into the process can help you in many ways, including saving money on upgrades and overall costs.


  1. The sales agent works for the builder. When you walk into a model home, the friendly salesperson who greets you is employed by the builder. Their bottom line is not to help you – it’s to generate sales for their boss – the builder. I will be your partner in the process. I work for you and your best interest throughout the entire journey. As an experienced REALTOR®, there is a change that I have potentially worked with this builder in the past, and I already have relationships that will help negotiations run smoothly.

  2. I can help you stick within your budget. In new construction real estate, there are endless selections available to you. It is easy to want all the fancy bells & whistles, but when you have a set budget that you need to stick within, I can help you stay on track. If you’re trying to decide what upgrades to go with and what to skip, I can help!  I will focus on negotiating with the builder on upgrades to get you the best deal possible!

  3. I am aware of builder promotions and may be able to help you negotiate. While I may not be able to negotiate the overall price of the home, I will not stop at negotiating for some of those fancy upgrades. Often REALTORs can negotiate with the builder on things like paint color or even garage door style, especially if the new construction is in the beginning stages.

  4. I won’t allow you to be pressured into a certain lender. Most builders have their own “preferred” lender that they will try to steer you to, but I will encourage you to shop around to get the mortgage that works best for your financial situation.

  5. I genuinely want to help you. My bottom line is to keep you informed and get you the best deal possible. When there is an issue or problem during construction, as a REALTOR®, I have your best interest in mind when working on any corrective measures.  Without a REALTOR®, the builder will only be looking out for their best interest.  Having experience working through building and construction issues, I know what can and should be done to correct issues or help in working out monetary compensation for the ones that cannot be resolved.


If you want to be sure that I will be looking out for your best interest, tell the builder on your very first contact that you are already working with an agent; me! If you do not communicate this information upfront when you are buying new construction, I won’t be able to represent you and watch out for your best interest.  Any inquiry either on-line or in-person that is made where a REALTOR® is not registered or mentioned is difficult to get added to the process.

Know that I will gladly visit with you the areas and projects that you are interested in to guide you through the process from the beginning.



Posted on December 15, 2020 at 8:22 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Get Ready

No matter where you’re moving, moving is time-consuming and could get expensive. If you’re buying and selling simultaneously, you might consider temporary housing, so you don’t have to worry about timing your sale and purchase perfectly. Along with moving, you will have to make a lot of phone calls to all kinds of service providers! We will help you by taking it all off of your hands through our C21 Utility Connect, or by reminders from our administrative team.

Step 18:  Schedule the Closing Date On Your Calendar

Step 19:  Hire Movers and Start Packing!

Step 20:  Schedule to Disconnect Your Utilities

Step 21:  Cancel or Transfer Your Homeowner’s Insurance

Step 22:  Hire a Cleaning Person





Next Stage

Posted on March 25, 2020 at 6:11 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Inspection Period

This is the stage of our journey that I will be closest to you. At this time, knowing all of the deadlines agreed on the contract, and keeping them in mind is crucial. The home inspection a buyer does on your home can bring potential issues that can come up between the time you accept an offer and closing day. If our buyer is financing the home, the appraisal could also become a hurdle. Here is where my value as a negotiator will come to play.

Step 16:  The Home Inspection

Step 17:  The Appraisal







Next Stage

Posted on March 25, 2020 at 6:01 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Accept An Offer

Getting that great offer is a great hurdle to the process of selling your house, but once your house goes under contract, we are still jumping through the hoops! But don’t worry, I will go through each one of them along with you:

Step 13: We’ve Received an Offer

Step 14: We have an accepted offer!

Step 15: We Couldn’t Come to An Agreement.  (this might not be your case!)







Next Stage

Posted on March 25, 2020 at 5:49 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

On The Market

Once your house is ready for buyers, the next stage is to get your listing in front of as many buyers as possible! Let’s go through the next steps of our journey:

Step 9: My Property is Live in the BLC

Step 10: Putting Your Listings on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, etc.

Step 11: Time for Showings

Step 12: The First Week Your Home Is On the Market






Next Stage

Posted on March 25, 2020 at 5:37 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Make a Plan

Preparing to sell your house will take some work, wheater it will be your own or some professional improvements. You want buyers to have a love-at-first-sight experience when they walk in to see it!

Step 3: Time to Declutter and Stage

Step 4: Conduct a Pre-Market Inspection

Step 5: Repair Time

Step 6: Deep Clean

Step 7: Professional Photography

Step 8: Pre-Market Your Home





Next Stage

Posted on March 25, 2020 at 5:28 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Thinking of Selling

Perhaps you have been thinking that is time to sell your house and you don’t know where to start. You’re not alone. The average seller spends an average of seven months thinking about listing their house before taking action. Spend some time writing down the reasons for selling.  Click on the links to start our Step by Step journey:

Step 1: Find a Realtor, Find Your Advocate

Step 2: You’ve Hired a Realtor. Now What?








Next Stage


Posted on March 25, 2020 at 5:02 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

CMA: Comparative Market Analysis

How to Use a CMA Comparative Market Analysis

by Elizabeth Weintraub


Before putting a home on the market or listing with a real estate agent, savvy home sellers obtain a comparative market analysis, also referred to in the industry as a CMA. You’ve probably received direct mail letters or postcards from local real estate agents about CMAs. These pitches offer you a free report to tell you how much your home is worth. Sellers use a CMA to figure out home pricing.

What is a Comparative Market Analysis?

Although reports can vary, from a two-page list of comparable home sales to a 50-page comprehensive guide, the length and complexity of the report depends on the agent’s business practice. However, standard comparative market analysis reports tend to contain the following data:

  • Active Listings. Active listings are homes currently for sale. These listings matter only to the extent that they are your competition for buyers. They are not indicative of market value because sellers can ask whatever they want for their home. It doesn’t mean any of the prices are realistic. The offered sales prices do not reflect market value until they sell, and in buyer’s markets, for example, most sell for a lot less.
  • Pending Listings. Pending sale homes are formerly active listings that are under contract. They have not yet closed, so they are not yet a comparable sale. Unless the listing agent is willing to share information about the pending sale — and many are not — you will not know the actual sold price until the transaction closes. However, pending sales do indicate the direction the market is moving. If your home is priced above the list price of these pending sales, you could face longer DOM.
  • Sold Listings. Homes that have closed within the past three months are your comparable sales. These are the sales an appraiser will use when appraising your home for the buyer, along with the pending sales (which will likely have closed by the time your home is sold). Look long and hard at the comparable sales because those are your market value. You can use 6 months of comps if there are not enough sales to produce a good report with three months.
  • Off-Market / Withdrawn / Canceled. These are properties that were taken off the market for a variety of reasons. Usually, the reason homes are removed from the market is because the prices were too high. The median prices of this group will almost always be higher than the median prices of comparable sales. However, listings cancel also for the following reasons:
  1. Seller’s remorse. The sellers decided they cannot part with their home and no longer want to sell.
  2. Priced too high. Nobody made an offer or the only offers received were low-ball offers, which were rejected.
  3. The DOM were too long. Agents sometimes withdraw listings so they can put them back as a new listing and entice more buyers.
  4. Repair requests. The homes were once under contract and after the home inspection, the buyer requested repairs which the seller refused.
  5. Seller fired the agent. It’s not uncommon for unhappy sellers to fire an agent and hire a new agent.
  • Expired Listings This group will reflect the highest median sales price because they did not sell and were probably unreasonably priced. Some of the expired listings could also show up as an active listing, listed by a new agent at a new price. Listings also expire because they were not aggressively marketed or because the home was in need of repairs.

Examining Comparable Sales

Comparable sales are those that most closely resemble your home. It is difficult to compare a tri-level home to a single-story home. Select the homes from this list that are mostly identical to your home in size, shape and condition, such as:

  • Similar square footage Appraisers compare homes based on square footage. Larger square-foot homes are worth less per square foot than smaller square-foot homes. The variance among a group of median-priced homes ideally should not exceed more than a 10% to 20% variance in square feet, plus or minus.
  • Similar age of construction Ideally, the age of the home — the year it was built — should be within a few years of other comparable sold homes. Mixed-age subdivisions are common. For example, in one area of Sacramento, a subdivision consists of homes built in the 1950s, and then they jump a couple decades to the 1970s. Although the homes are located next door to each other, the homes loaded with character from the 1950s sell for more than their newer Brady Bunch counterparts. If your home was built in 1980, say, and brand new homes up the street are selling for more, you cannot command the same price as a new home.
  • Similar amenities, upgrades, and condition Appraisers will deduct value from your home if other homes have upgrades and yours does not. A home with a swimming pool will have a different value than a home without a pool. Pools aren’t worth as much as you think. A completely remodeled home is worth more than a fixer. Homes with one bath are worth less than homes with two or more baths. Deferred maintenance will count against you.
  • Location Everybody knows that real estate is valued on “location, location, location,” but have you considered what that means? A home with a view of the city, for example, is worth more than a home facing a cement wall. Homes located on busy thoroughfares are worth considerably less than homes on quiet streets. Compare your home to those in similar locations. If your home sits across the street from a power plant, look for other homes with power plant exposure or those located along railroad tracks, among other undesirable locations.



Posted on November 28, 2018 at 5:49 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Importat Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Realtor



Important questions to ask BEFORE hiring a Realtor

  • What do you know about this area?
  • Are you a full time Realtor?
  • How long have you been in real estate?
  • How many clients have you worked with this year?
  • What is your average Days on Market?
  • What is your average list to sales price ratio?
  • What tools do you have especially for sellers?
  • What areas do you primarily work?
  • Will you be showing our home or will it be on a lockbox?
  • How do you negotiate deals?
  • Do you attend the home inspection?
  • Do you handle the inspection negotiations?
  • Do you attend the walk-through?
  • Do you attend the Closing?
  • How do you feel about dual agency?
  • What qualities differentiate you from other Realtors?




Posted on November 28, 2018 at 5:39 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |

Staging and Decluttering Check List


• Thoroughly deep clean the entire home including ceiling fans, baseboards, oven, and closets
• Steam clean carpets and rugs using a company such as Stanley Steemer
• Consider replacing carpet if stains are prominent
• Consider refinishing hardwood floors if they are really scratched up or show damage
• Buy long white curtains from Ikea and change all curtains to matching white curtains (I believe they are $9.99 for two panels)
• Fix any knicks, cracks or holes in the walls. Repaint if needed. Neutral paint colors only, such as beige, cream or light grey. Pale blues and sage greens are suitable for bathrooms
• Take down all personal photos and any personalized items such as wall hangings, picture frames
• Remove all valuables including jewelry, prescription drugs and password protect all computers to prevent identity theft
• Make sure all light bulbs are working and place the highest wattage bulbs you can safely put in each lighting fixture. Add lamps to any rooms without adequate lighting
• Declutter, declutter, declutter. Your home should no longer look like a home. It should look like a hotel or model home. Remember, it is no longer your home! It’s now the buyer’s home
• Each room should only have one purpose. If you use your dining room as an office and a dining room, remove the office items and put them in storage
• Closets and cabinets should NOT look full. They should look organized and have empty space

Living Room

• Remove excess and oversized furniture. Remember, the less furniture, the better
• Rearrange furniture to maximize space. Consider pulling furniture away from the walls
• Furniture should be arranged in groupings with a rug anchoring the area
• Make sure the fireplace is clean and have a chimney sweep clean it

Dining Room

• Push all chairs in and set the table
• Consider fresh flowers for the middle of the table or a nice candle
• If you have more than 4 – 6 chairs put the additional chairs in storage
• Remove anything from the dining room that is not food/eating related
• Before showings, set the table


• Remove everything but one or two items from the counters
• Scrub tile, backsplash, counters and the inside of the oven
• Organize the inside of your cabinets and pantry
• Clean and organize your fridge. Don’t forget to wipe down the top of your fridge
• Clean the inside of the microwave
• Replace old caulking around sinks
• Remove stains from sinks
• Hang fresh towels
• Change outdated cabinet hardware and make sure it all matches
• If the kitchen cabinets are outdated, consider painting them white or grey to modernize them


• Clear your office desk of all paperwork and personal items
• Remove anything with your name on it or any other personal information
• Password protect any computers
• Put away all bills, valuables, checkbooks, passports, etc. Consider putting these items in a safety deposit box until your home is sold


• Buy new white bath and hand towels which are only put out for showings
• Take everything off counters except a plant or apothecary jars filled with q-tips, cotton balls, etc.
• Clean out and organize bathroom cabinet
• Buy a portable shower caddy and put anything on the counter you use in it such as your toothbrush, make up, etc. Put it under the sink before each showing
• Scrub tiles and considering regrouting the shower if needed
• Replace old caulking around sinks and bathtubs
• Remove stains from sinks, toilets, and bathtubs
• Keep toilet seat lids closed for showings
• Thoroughly scrub the shower door or consider a new shower curtain


• Make beds before showings
• Put away everything on dressers/nightstands except a few books, an alarm clock, and a lamp
• Organize your closet so that there is one inch of space between each hanging item and so the shelves aren’t full. Store out-of-season clothes
• Laundry hampers should be hidden in the closet out of site


• Have a place to hide pet beds, litter boxes, toys, and food containers during showings
• Arrangements should be made for pets to be out of the home during showings


• Put away all toys
• Hide anything with your child’s name or date of birth on it
• Put away all photos of your child

Exterior and Garage

• Paint the home’s exterior if needed, including trim, doors and shutters
• Check front door, doorbell, address number and a welcome mat
• Power wash the siding and windows
• Inspect the roof and make repairs as needed
• Repair cracks in the driveway and sidewalks
• Sweep the entryway and walkways
• Mow, water and fertilize the lawn
• Trim shrubs and trees and rake the leaves
• Plant colorful flowers and shrubs
• Store any toys or equipment lying on the yard
• Clean up pet droppings
• Clean the gutters and downspouts
• Organize the garage


• Hire a chimney sweep
• Have the outside of windows and your screens professionally cleaned
• Have your furnace and AC tuned up
• Change air filters
• Maintain clean drains by adding a half-cup of baking soda followed by a half-cup of white vinegar. After 10 minutes, flush with boiling water
• Drain or flush water heater
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you set clocks back in the fall
• Check windows and doors for weather-tightness and install weather stripping where it’s needed
• Have furnace professionally inspected
• Consider paying for an inspection to be done before listing the home

Remember, Your House Is No Longer Your Home –

It’s Now the Future Buyer’s Home!

Posted on November 28, 2018 at 3:15 pm
Lee Ann Balta | Posted in Uncategorized |