Buying a Property, Selling a Property and Making an Offer on a home in Orange County can be a stressful experience — but NOT if you have the right Orange County Realtor. As we have mentioned in previous posts, the Orange County real estate market is on the upswing, making it a great time to get in on the action. In addition to working with a realtor that has experience and trusty referrals, you might be interested in following these tips for buying and/or selling a property in Orange County, California.

Tips for buying and selling an Orange County home:

1. Research – When buying or selling a property in Orange County, perform your due diligence. Get information about the neighborhoods, schools, crime rate, home prices, and other important factors. Whether buying and selling, you want to know what your home is worth and comparing it to comparable homes in the neighborhood is a useful tool. An experienced Orange County realtor will provide you with current, accurate comps.

2. Inspect – A requirement when the house goes into escrow, a thorough inspection, with a reputable inspector, is a must. As the buyer, this is your time to look for any flaws or property damage that might decrease the home’s value. As the seller, you want to be certain that you are selling a home that is up to code.

3. Make Friends – Always good advice, this is especially helpful when you are interested in buying a property.  No one knows the home and its surrounding neighborhood better than the sellers. Getting to know them makes it easier to ask questions like “Why are you selling?” “How are the neighbors?” “Any spots my children and I should avoid?” You also want to know the details behind the sale — have they found another home? Are they desperate? Your Orange County real estate agent will help you ask the right questions.

4. Negotiate – If you are buying a home, know that the asking price is just a starting point. While sometimes it might be an accurate number, sometimes the seller is willing to go lower. Another reason to get to know the sellers and their reasons for moving!

5. Set Your Price – Before you make an offer on an Orange County home, discuss your price limits with your realtor. Make sure you are comfortable with how high you are willing to go.

7. Follow the Market. Part of your due diligence, make sure you know what’s happening in the Orange County real estate market, specifically your neighborhood as each Orange County zip code can have markedly different home values.  For example, in Orange County, many property prices are rising, making it more of a seller’s market and leaving you less room to negotiate. But being aware of what homes are actually selling for, as both the buyer and seller, will help you during the negotiation process.

8. Remember Your Poker Face – Whether you are the buyer or the seller, make sure you are holding your cards close to your chest. You do not want the other party to know how desperate you are to buy or sell.  As the sellers, make it known that you have other interested buyers. As the buyers, let the sellers know that you are looking at other properties in the areas.

9. Be Clear. Whether you are the buyer or the seller, be clear of what is included in the sale of the house. Fixtures and furniture are not necessarily included, so discuss these important details with your Orange County realtor.

10. Think Positive! Sellers and buyers who go into the Orange County home selling or buying process with a positive outlook will have a far better experience than those who don’t! It is important to surround yourself with like-minded, supportive individuals — including your Orange County realtor!

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC or check her out on Facebook at CherylSellsOrangeCounty.

Cheryl Marquis has been an active and successful real estate agent in South Orange County, California for more than 25 years. As a TOP PRODUCER in her company, Cheryl has received the specific accreditation of a Certified Relocation Specialist (CRS) and Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR) and is a member of the Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate, a select network of the world’s leading luxury home agents. Cheryl is a member of C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors), N.A.R. (National Association of Realtors) and O.C.A.R. (Orange County Association of Realtors). To talk to Cheryl about buying or selling a home in Orange County, call her at 949.683.1501 or visit her online at