Home market values: how to spot a hidden gem – and snap up a San Diego real estate bargain


By Patricia Kramer & Patricia Lou Martin

Here in San Diego,

home market values

are on the rise, making for greater optimism on the part of real estate industry experts – and increased demand on the part of buyers eager to snatch up deals while conditions are still ripe. However, while home prices have certainly improved in recent months, they are still a long way from pre-recession figures. Therefore, in order to get the best possible price for their property, most homeowners choose to work with a real estate agent to stage their homes and secure the maximum market value. While these efforts tend to make certain homes look more appealing, savvy buyers can secure a San Diego real estate bargain by seeking out those homes that are poorly staged -- and therefore likely to sell below market value.

According to a recent

Fox News

report, the same signs that often prompt real estate agents to recommend décor shifts and home improvement projects to sellers can be a tip-off for smart buyers. Overly personalized spaces, oversized furniture or crowded rooms, poor lighting and out-of-date fixtures can make a home appear older, smaller and of inferior quality. That’s why staging experts recommend that sellers clear out clutter, get rid of dated items, rearrange the furniture to create more wide-open space and implement quick home improvements to spruce up the overall feel of a property before putting it on the market. Chances are, many sellers in today’s market will listen to their agents and make these changes – and those who don’t are likely to find themselves with a less than ideal home market value appraisal.

Fox News reports that there are many reasons why homeowners neglect such alterations prior to selling their homes, ranging from inconvenience to budget concerns. Most of the time, however, these issues have little to do with the genuine value of the property in question. Therefore, it behooves smart buyers to hone their assessment skills, look through the clutter and family photos and determine whether the “bones” of the house are worth considering.

Find your real estate diamond in the rough

Here are some tips for locating a worthy real estate investment likely to sell below market value.

  • Look for homes in good neighborhoods that seems reasonably priced and well located, but that just aren’t getting any traction with buyers.
  • Observe the interiors of these homes. Are they dark, cluttered or poorly designed? Is a poor choice in window treatments or light fixtures likely deterring potential buyers?
  • Zero in on essentials. Do you like the floor plan of a given home? Are kitchens and baths in decent condition? Is the neighborhood ideal? Are you willing to take on a few improvement projects to make this place the house of your dreams?

Ultimately, if you find yourself faced with a case of poor staging and can see past the surface concerns to the fantastic home underneath, it may be worth making an offer. To learn more about current San Diego home market values or Del Mar, Solana Beach or
Encinitas homes for sale

, or to discuss your real estate plans with an experienced local agent, contact us today at

Kramer & Martin Real Estate

  1. Get the best local real estate advice for buyers and sellers alike. We even offer in-house, professional decorating and home staging services, including complimentary staging consultations. For details, visit