How to Negotiate the Best Price For Your New Orange County Home

So here’s a question: when you want to buy something, do you:
Settle for the price with no questions asked?
Cave in when you ask for a deal and it is rejected?
Stubbornly hold on to every last cent so you can say you won?

If you see yourself in one of these categories, you might want to read some tips on how to negotiate a deal in the hot SoCal real estate market. Right now it is definitely a seller’s market, but you don’t have to be taken to the cleaners. You have to work smart, knowing when to start negotiating, and more importantly, when to stop.

Right now there is a shortage of inventory in the Orange County area, so that means you need to get your financial house in order, and know what you can and want to pay for a property in order to move quickly on it. For example, a home in Orange County that is under, say $750K may be off the market within a day or two.

So do you need a real estate agent? Think about this. Your home will likely be the most expensive purchase you will ever make. You only make that decision a few times in your life. Why would you think you should do it alone, rather than get the advice of a professional who works with buyers and sellers every day? At The Kovacs Connection, we have a team of experienced agents with an in-depth knowledge of the market, and we have negotiated many, many deals, and know what it takes to get you from “I want it!” to “Sold!”

Some home buying tips to consider with your agent:
Do the Math
Figure out how much house you can afford. That means getting your mortgage value pre-approved. A pre-approved buyer is a lot more attractive to a seller because they realize there should be no glitches once both sides agree to a price.
Don’t Be a Donkey
You know who you are…people who will get hung up on a few thousand dollars. Interest rates are low, so a $5000 difference in price over the life of a mortgage can be peanuts when you and your agent pull out the calculator. If you won’t budge, you can lose the house in this market. If your Significant Other has his/her heart set on the house….hmm…might want to be a bit more flexible with your offer.
Be Realistic
You need to put in an offer based on the value of the home. This is where an experienced real estate team is invaluable to you. They know the area, and the comparables, and what prices like-sized homes in that neighborhood are bringing. Say you see a home in a neighborhood you really like, and your realtor tells you it is below market value. Chances are high that the price won’t be going down.
Quick on the Draw
In a seller’s market, a low-ball offer can be rejected quickly. If you fall in love with a property, then give the seller a good, respectable offer. A good offer from a pre-qualified buyer can go a long way with a seller to give you the nod.

Ask Some Questions
Why is the seller moving? Maybe the seller has relocated with a new job out of state and wants to sell quickly at a decent price. Maybe the seller is going through a divorce and wants a quick sell to get legal matters tied up. Is the property in foreclosure? How long has it been on the market? Or maybe the seller doesn’t have another residence lined up, and is waiting for the right price for the property. Having this information from your realtor can assist you in tailoring your offer.
Let It Go, Let It Go
Nothing is perfect. You won’t find the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood at the perfect price at the perfect time. The wisdom is in knowing where you need to compromise. Is the house in a neighborhood you love, but is outdated? Ok, some sweat equity can fix outdated countertops, appliances and carpeting.
Bottom Line
This will likely be the most important purchase of your life, so join with the professionals at The Kovacs Connection to get the house of your dreams at the best price!

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Living in Coto de Caza

Our zip code is 92679. Welcome to Coto de Caza. We love this area and would love to invite you in as a new neighbor. If you are not familiar with the area, we thought we’d give you a few little known facts to set the stage for this magnificent part of Orange County!

  1. Coto de Caza is known as a CDP (a Census Designated Place) and is a gated, guarded suburban planned community of around 4000 homes. As of the last census taken in 2010, almost 15 thousand people call it home. It is one of Orange County’s oldest and most expensive planned communities. The name Coto de Caza means ‘hunting preserve’ in Spanish. In 1968, the area was envisioned as a hunting lodge. That vision came true, now known as the Lodge at Coto de Caza. The community also includes Los Ranchos Estates, a rural community of more than 350 acres that features large custom-built homes.
  2. While it started as a hunting preserve, it has evolved into an exclusive community. The hub of the community is the Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club which opened in 1991. Four years later, another golf course to the south opened, giving residents a picture perfect spot to enjoy a round of 9 or 18. Still, in 2017, the country club remains the social hub for Coto, with residents meeting there to work out or grab a cocktail.
  3. Coto de Caza is surrounded by the Thomas F. Riley Wilderness Park. The park wraps it’s green belt around the neighborhood on the east, north and south. The park is both a treasure and a sanctuary: it is known for its diverse plant and wildlife. Huge oak groves, sycamore trees and several creeks wind throughout the park. The 500-acre park also boasts of 6 miles of equestrian, hiking and biking trails. A few things have been added in the last few years, including the main country club’s Spa and Sports Club, a polo arena and a dog park known as the Canine Corrals.
  4. Speaking of outdoor activities, Coto de Caza hosted a portion of the 1984 Summer Olympics. The community hosted riding, running, shooting and fencing portions of the Pentathlon Olympic events. Princess Anne of England was here to support an athlete, Richard Phelps, who finished 4th at the event. Via Masala is near Coto’s equestrian center, and it was named of the the event’s gold medal winner, Italy’s Daniele Masala.
  5. As you drive around this beautiful, gated community, some areas might look familiar. The Bravo reality TV show The Real Housewives of Orange County is filmed here. Still, Coto de Caza remains a secluded and quiet community. Residents love keeping up the annual traditions, including its Easter EGGstravaganza and the big parade on the 4th of July.
  6. We mentioned our zip code. Homes in 92679 are much sought-after, and we’d love to assist you as we look for the home of your dreams. Homes on the market here in Coto de Caza move quickly, with the median selling price north of $850,000.

So if you are wanting to call this exclusive, gated planned community home, contact our team at The Kovacs Connection!

3 Reasons Selling a Home Is Easier Than Ever

Selling a home is a process, but it has become easier than ever in the last few years. There are several reasons why, but we want to talk about three main tools that you can utilize now to make selling a home much easier.


Everyone knows that technology is an absolute game changer in the world, but its impact on the real estate industry has been huge. In the past, every house put on the market would have to go up through printed media like newspapers.

While this isn’t altogether a bad route to go if you want to increase your awareness of your home, it is being seen by fewer and fewer people these days. Online home listing websites are now the best and most used tool for selling a home quickly.

The other reason online listings are great is that they allow you to see what homes similar to yours are selling for. Using this information will aid you in setting up your initial price when putting your property on the market.

Another great tool to use is social media. You can post on your social media page about putting your home on the market and ask your friends to share it. You might just be able to reach a buyer just using this tool.

Using your Facebook or other accounts can even be ramped up by using their advertising tools. Advertising is best left to your realtor, but that might be one of the many online tools that they will implement when putting your home on the market.

If you aren’t utilizing the internet, you need to do so today!

More People Than Ever

The population of the world continues to grow, which is great if you’re trying to sell a home because everyone needs a place to live! Knowing this fact, it isn’t hard to see why the old open house method is still so effective.

Utilizing for sale signs and an open house is still one of the most efficient strategies to find a buyer that we implement when selling a home in Coto De Caza, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Mission Viejo.

The main reason it works so well is that people want to see things first hand. It’s very similar to buying groceries. Most people are fine with buying most things online, but when it comes down to picking out fresh produce, you want to handle it yourself to make sure you’re getting the best quality.

The same can be said about real estate.

Finding a beautiful looking home online and buying it doesn’t make sense, especially with the magic angles that photographers can use to make a room look bigger than it actually is. When it comes down to it, everyone wants to see a home first hand.

The truth is, people still find signs on houses they want to look at by driving around in neighborhoods they want to live in. Use that!

Put the for sale signs up and have the open houses, you never know how many people will walk up off the street to take a look. This happens at least once with almost every open house we do!

Realtors are Always Improving

Not only are there more real estate agents now than at any time before, but they are also better trained! The advances in technology have made it easier to get a top notch education in real estate much more accessible.

The number of highly trained and effective realtors is higher than ever, which means finding a good one isn’t as complicated as it used to be. Years ago, you had to search through ads or hope your family had a good referral. Now, the number of quality realtors is much higher, and so is the number of available homes out there.

Thanks to condos and new housing developments, the market is continuing to thrive and grow evenly with the number of new realtors out there. What that means for you is that you won’t have agents trying to steal you from another agent like was more common when the market took a turn several years ago.

The stability of the housing market today means that you’re able to find high-quality realtors to aid you in selling a home in pretty much every area you could imagine in the US!

We Want To Help!

If you’re thinking of selling a home this year and could use more information, please call us at 949-350-0146 or email us at and we will give you more details on everything that we offer!