Seller Information

TOP 12 Items to be Aware of with a Contingent Purchase

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WARNING: this is an “information heavy” post. You can either be an informed buyer or seller, or one with your head in the ground – so buckle up buttercup and let’s do this!

headshot heather ostrom coldwell banker listing agent realtor roseville rocklin marketer

By Heather + Steve Ostrom

*If you live outside of the Sacramento region, please stop here* Each area has it's own process, behaviors, rules, and regulations. Please consult a local REALTOR for proper process.

Meet with a listing agent that has a successful track record of contingent closings. Interview them in person and see their work online.

  • In an ideal world, you want that listing agent being your buyer’s agent so that there’s “less information chefs in the kitchen.” This isn’t always reasonable or wise, if both sales are not in the same area. Always err to an agent that has expertise in that city.
  • COP – Understand the forms involved – you will see or might see. Don’t just take the lip service of the listing agent’s success dealing with and negotiating a contingent sale or purchase. Have them walk you through the California= Association of REALTOR’s form – Contingency of Purchase (COP) – line-by-line.
  • Forms: Also the  Seller’s purchase of replacement property form (SPRP) Not everyone will use the SPRP and we have limited use with it as well – but something you should be aware of … it can be a limiting item towards finding buyers willing to take that risk on your first home.
  • Contingency removal form (CR – shown below) and how those dates will be potentially modified by the COP form (link above)

Have your trusted listing agent contact an Escrow and Title company (of your choice) to create an “estimated seller net sheet” drawn up on a realistic sales price, at a few different price points perhaps – as you never know what changes will occur in the market. This will be needed for the next step.

  • There are numerous title and escrow companies to choose from – in our area, title and escrow are usually housed in the same place. A great title and escrow officer can be the difference between a stressful and smooth transaction based on their experience, and knowing when to spot trouble on a file, and also ensure the lender gets their fees quickly.

When you need to sell your current home, in order to buy your next home – this is referred to as a “contingent sale.” Your purchase of your next property is “contingent” on the sale of your current home. As we are primarily listing agents working in Roseville and Rocklin, California and the greater Placer County region – we often receive offer packages that could stand for some improved presentation.

Speak to a lender and ensure the lender gives you buyer fees estimate and is upfront about your financial scenarios. Ensure your lender is connected with your listing agent and connect the estimated net sheet with them.

  • If you feel guarded or concerned with the lack of numbers being shared by your chosen lender – consider this a warning and red flag.
  • Interview with a few lenders – no listing nor buyer’s agent should boss you around on your lender, but you should also ask if they have trusted lenders that they know create positive outcomes for their clients. Most agents just want you to have a positive experience. We can’t tell you how many lenders have waited to the last minute to shock our clients – and then everyone loses and then potentially puts all files at risk for cancellation.
  • Have your lender explain what TRID is and how the dates involved with TRID cannot be modified.
  • Need a lender? Here are a few of our favorite local lenders to check out

Unless reason for concern, or past bad experiences, try to keep all escrows with the final listing purchase’s escrow company. Reason, if each day matters that you’re not in the next home – having at the same escrow company can be the difference between a same day closing versus a Friday closing on the first home, and Monday on the next, with money being wired to next escrow company. Yet numerous buyer’s agents continue to push for their escrow companies. The last house in the domino chain of closings risks the most – if your buyer’s agent has a legitimate concern for the escrow company, we get that – it’s happened to us too. As long as everyone understands and is disclosed the “why” … do what you need to do. Contingent sales are a group effort.

When offering on your “dream home” ensure the listing agent has access to updates without having to badger– from all lenders, listing agents, buyers agents, and title companies. All parties should be understanding of the elevated stress levels of the party at the end of the closings. This also includes updates about contingencieson all properties involved and dates involved. Contingencies: loan, appraisal, HOA docs (if applicable), preliminary report, seller disclosures, sale of buyer’s property (4B), buyer investigations, buyer’s physical inspection, review of liened items or leased – be mindful if a solar lease is involved.

Ensure you have contingency removal dates and closing dates for all properties involved– clearly marked on a calendar. It will be information overload that has the risk to have you twiddling your lips, but stay strong – this is a small window of stress for a lifetime of happiness to get your dream home. Education and information are your friends.

pebble creek rocklin kitchen towards bkyd

Understanding the upfront fees – the appraisal fee will be an upfront fee. The inspections (depends on the area) are often steered by the buyer side with a few exceptions in Northern California for country properties where you sometimes see septic and water tests on the seller. A delay on coordinating any inspections once you’re in escrow (while being mindful of when your inspection period starts and your contingency of purchase form are critical here). If you do not need to start inspections because of the way the COP form (see above) is marked – be mindful of this …

  • Do not wait to order your appraisal or hold off inspections – your delay as a buyer can be self-sabotage and risk a seller issuing a “notice to perform” if you do not hold to your contractual obligation. There will only be so much your lender or agent can do to protect you, if an appraisal review runs late or there isn’t anyone to have race out to an inspection same day past your contingency period.
  • Example, you have a home inspection on day 4 of a 17 day inspection period – you wait until day 15 to order a roof inspection or HVAC inspection because your home inspector suggested further evaluation – and then you need to race to ask for an extension. You can’t assume that you’ll be granted this modification to contract.
  • Warning: Contractors and inspectors can be booked out for a week or two, particularly for specialty items, or any testing involved. Some may be free for a bid, but some may be a fee (and a fee that is worth the cost for your review – there may not be any recourse after close of sale).
  • Fluid communication and updates between all parties (buyer + seller) can often solve a lot of these concerns if the time extension is genuinely needed, but it cannot be assumed it will be granted – particularly in a hotter market.
  • If you have a credit coming – be sure to loop in the lender that it might be coming (example a credit as part of negotiations from a buyer request for repairs).

ALWAYS have a housing solution, plan B. Your homes may not close on time and one deal may fall out and go back into escrow and affect a perfect closing.

  • Sometimes you have such a cherry “all-cash” deal closing on your primary home, that you have to just make it happen and find a rental solution.
  • If things fall apart, never force a home sale – it’s too big of a purchase and sometimes things don’t work out and it does stink. Sometimes renting is the temporary and right solution.

Seller Occupancy After Closing – Negotiate this Upfront when you’re a seller. Delays can happen on files. It happens, even on the most perfect of files monitored. There are numerous bodies behind the scenes on loan and this can affect your closing. Along with TRID – be aware of this as a buyer. TRID can delay you alone (see #3 above, last bullet).

  • Most lenders will not allow over 60 days of occupancy by seller after closing, and most buyers aren’t the biggest fans of much of anything past 30 days (if any at all)

It stinks if the seller knows you have to buy their home and they take advantage of this fact, when it comes to negotiating repairs or a credit after your inspections. All the more important to also have a plan B for housing if you need to walk away and it’s becoming too much. BUT having stated that, sometimes we need to see big picture, is it truly a crisis or an easy hundred dollar fix that isn’t worth walking away from your dream home. Break down all the costs and get bids to make an educated decision that’s right AND wise for you. Education and information is King/Queen.

Sometimes it’s best to take the credit and sometimes it’s important to wait to see request for repairs executed before close of escrow (COE). It depends on the scenario what’s the right route.

  • If it’s pest work, sometimes it’s important to have the house  opened up for review, to ensure there’s no other underlying issues or damage that can’t be revealed by a general inspection.
  • If you have work being done, as part of your request for repairs – ensure there’s mention of all work being done BEFORE close of escrow.
  • Sometimes it’s best for buyer to take the money credit – to take control of overseeing repairs by their own trusted contractor that way they know who the work is being done by, and may be able to save cost.
  • Ensure that a licensed contractor is doing all work and receipts are provided before COE (close of escrow)

Spread the word

All this coordination and effort – is worth it. These transactions can be a bit stressful, all the more reason you should work with us – we’re educated, experienced, happy, and we get it done. Plus we’ll do all the stuff behind the scenes to keep it less stressful for you. (Note: most of our wrinkles are either from our three kids or contingent sales). 

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REALTORs Steve Ostrom + Heather Ostrom – 916-308-2446 – – Coldwell Banker 2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661CALBRE# 01344154 + 01899313

Smart Home in an Ostrom Home

So maybe you’re new to all the “smart-home” technology. Perhaps it scares or overwhelms you? Welcome to the club, the Ostroms are right there with you … Yes, we’re in California, and sometimes we see a few things sooner than most in seller homes, but let me tell you folks … there’s a good chance your clients know more about smart-home technology, so let’s get you on a quick start on the Smart-Home highway.

*This is Roy and I at CES (consumer electronics show)  in Vegas, and admittedly overwhelmed*

Smart-home items are showing up in homes for sale, and if they haven’t yet in your area, I promise you many of your clients are quietly adding these gadgets to the place they call home, even if you’re not seeing these homes on the market. There’s a lot of information out there, so we’re going to do our best to lay down in a blog post (or  two) … how to get smart-home savvy in your house *cue some Miami #GenBlue Memories* with a few tips from us and our buddies.

Yep this is my fun and funny family – Welcome to our house …

Pro-tip: before beginning in the adventure of “smart-home” makeovers, and putting a ton of money into a system, be sure your internet is up to speed and working fast enough to support a smart-home network. CNet has a great article to help check your home system and connectivity.

When it came to our house just last year, the only smart home device we had in our house, was a Chrome Melody speaker lightbulb in our bathroom … and we thoroughly enjoy having it. The app for this bluetooth lightbulb speaker is of little use to us (in fact I don’t even have it on my phone). I just sync via “bluetooth” on my phone – it’s nice to have a speaker for our iPhones in our bathroom (and it drowns out our awful voices when we sing in the shower #realtalk).

  • Pro-note: I am starting to notice the failure of many apps for smart home devices, is that they’re buggy and not user friendly in navigation. but let’s be real, it’s the only thing cool in this bathroom … goody gravy, check out those awful 80s lightbulbs behind me, *bless our own hearts.*

So after I got back from “CES” (Consumer Electronics Show) with the Coldwell Banker crew and my good buddy, Roy Powell (see his thoughts on Smart Homes here)I came back to my home in Roseville, with a smart-home fire in my heart and was ready to make the plunge into learning more about Smart-Home tools and slowly start adding items to our home system.


So we started out with Amazon’s Alexa (which we had bought for ourselves at Christmas, but we hadn’t done more than plug in Alexa and listen to music).

  • Pro-Tip with Alexa: “Go in the Amazon Alexa App” and play around. See what you can “sync” up with other devices so you can fully utilize all of the skills for maximum enjoyment. She can do SO much – I lurve her.
  • Pro-tip with Alexa: If you have Amazon Prime, have fun with the music,
  • Pro-tip with Alexa: With your iphone, if you want to just play your music on Alexa from your phone, go to “settings,” then to your “bluetooth,” and then select your Amazon component (in our case, it’s “Echo”)
  • Pro-tip with Alexa: Be sure to go into the app and play around the “Smart Home” option in the drop-down menu (see above) and “Skills” to really maximize the fun and usefulness of Alexa.

Our next piece we added was the “Ring” doorbell. I know there are a few options out there, so I encourage you to check for yourself, what’s the right tier of coverage for you, whether standard or pro works better for you … I have a close friend, Denise who loves her “Skybell.”

  • Pro-tip 1. I would also encourage for you to see what angles work for you before installing, particularly if you get direct sunlight to your doorbell. In this case, I’m just lucky that the T-Rex was a friendly one.
  • Pro-tip 2. Also for installing power by using an existing doorbell so it can utilize your current “chime/bell” noise in place, be sure to read the warnings about the power being off, so you don’t fry your system. Otherwise, you’ll be like us, and being forced to buy a supplementary piece called the “Ring ‘Chime’” … which we have and we have it set for cuing any motion or someone physically pressing the door bell button. It’s SUPER cool all the variations you can do from the Ring app on your phone for “motion detected” and separate chimes for “door bell” rings.
  • Pro-tip 3. Great for knowing when packages arrive at your doorstep.
  • Homeowner tip / or nightmare (no judgement) for the Ring Doorbell: “Our kids use the Ring doorbell to call us, and it’s a tool for communication since it’s a two-way microphone.
  • Homeowner tip: “If you have the Chime’ plug-in as your way of hearing the doorbell ring, you can go into the app on your phone and change “motion” notifications and “doorbell” rings as separate sounds (there’s even a ‘dog bark’ option – great for say folks like us, that have chihuahuas, that are probably more like cats, than dogs)


Okay, the next piece, is easily my favorite addition to the home, the Schlage Connect deadbolt … We have three kids, our lives are busy, and we’re REALTORs, our lives are always at a fast pace. This has been the best solution for us … now, there are SO many options for keypad entry, but we went with the highest tier option, because security is important to us (and I feel it should be for everyone when it comes to property access). This one is fingerprint resistant, ANSI Grade 1 (whatever that means), and it will cue me if someone tampers with our lock. But paired up with my “ring” doorbell, I’ll have an image of anyone that should NOT be on our porch. We bought the “Schlage Sense” and we stayed within our “oil rubbed bronze look” of metals we have in the house (yes, this stuff matters) and we already had “Schlage” keys in our house, so we decided to stay with the same key system we had currently in place. We used to do a lot of rekeys so you might as well stick with whatever “key” group you’re already using in your home. We opted to ONLY do the keypad.

  • Pro-tip: 1. Pay your trusted locksmith to help install or just kick down for the professional installation on this one. You want the auto-lock option moving smoothly and clean. Unless you’re a superhuman tech savvy person. If I wasn’t tech-savvy, I would have paid the Amazon technician to install. In our case, we had our locksmith install the key pad/deadbolt.
  • Pro-tip: 2. You’ll need to involve a locksmith if you buy online or if you know how to get the deadbolt keyed to your system.
  • Pro-tip: 3. Stay with the brand of keys you already have in the home (whether Kwikset or Schlage) – so to stay on the same system, work with what you have … or talk to a locksmith before kicking down the big bucks
  • Pro-tip: 4. The app is a bit rough … get a bridge piece that offers an app to house all your smart home pieces (see below)


Okay, we also have a “smart hub” with is Z-Wave compatible (for our deadbolt and some other pieces you may purchase). Don’t let this jargon frighten or deter you – focus my friend, you got this now I have a few buddies that preferred hub pieces to connect a few of their smarthome pieces, but I got this for free when we bought some Samsung appliances, and we have been happy with this little tool, but I can also see why it has a poor rating. End of story, it does the job and I can use this tool to lock my home off-site, I have Samsung smart outlets.

There’s not much to state, but because we have this component, Alexa will interact with our deadbolt (we set up actively in the Amazon Alexa app the SmartThings connection).

  • Pro-tip: 1. There is rarely a passive / automatic set-up in connecting devices to “talk to one another” (example having Alexa “lock the front door” as a taught skill), so you’ll need to play around in the apps, to see how to sync different pieces. It’s not hard, but you do have to have a wee-bit of determination. See some of my screen grabs throughout this post – and hopefully that will give you a leg-up on knowing what to look for …
  • Pro-tip: 2. If you have a deadbolt or pieces that have a “Z-Wave” based smart home piece (Z-Wave is a wireless radio frequency technology that lets devices talk to one another in a connected environment – and Z-Wave is stated to be one of the more secure routes of communication).

So what’s on our wish list for next pieces: we’re going to tackle the thermostat (Nest or Ecobee) and maybe some interior cameras in the house (most likely Nest, if we go that route).

Update (5/5/17)

Thermostat Smart Honeywell
Wi-Fi Thermostat 9000 Color Touchscreen

We have added a Honeywell Thermostat to our repetoire of Smart Tools and we had a pro install (you should do the same, if you don’t know what you’re doing – and particularly if you need a “C” wire installed – which we did). I’ll be adding more about our addition here shortly – but I’m SO happy with our choice.

 Links to items I addressed in the video and post:

  • Schlage Smart Sense Padlock (there are SO many options between dealers – kwikset, schlage, and more)
  • Ring Door Bell – 1-way wi-fi camera + 2-way speaker
  • Alexa (Amazon)play music, control your smart home, get information, news, weather, and more using just your voice
  • Samsung SmartThings: Hub / bridge (some devices, including some Z-wave using devices, will need a hub – there are many options out there); you can tie in water monitoring devices, alarms, switches, and much more.
  • Chroma Melody Light Bluetooth Bulb: there are so many bluetooth lightbulb out there. Fun product, does have a cap on loudness, LED light, changes colors (I don’t use that), and has an app – I would encourage research.

Suggested Smart Home Components, from friends and other REALTORs:

Top Smart-Home Pieces our Clients and Agent friends have in their home (click the highlighted name to visit their site)

  • Sonos – wireless music system + home theatre (I had no clue what it was either – so don’t sweat – thank you Mel, Michael, and Stacie)
  • Skybell – door bell – 1-way wi-fi camera + 2-way speaker (thanks Denise)
  • Google Wi-Fi (not a smart-home tool) but if you notice that your internet is fast, but your router needs a step-up in it’s game – I’m told Google Wi-Fi is amazing. (thank you Aaron)
  • Google Home: Google’s Alexa
  • Apple Kit: Hub  (be mindful of what interacts and look for the “apple kit” logo to ensure compatiability)
  • Nexia bridge (Z-Wave compatible) hub / bridge / Z-Wave repeater – home connect (thanks Amy)
  • Life360 – from their website, “Life360 runs on your mobile device to allow you to view your family members on a map, communicate with them, and receive alerts when your loved ones arrive at home, school or work.”
  • Piper – works with Life360 and is a home security system
  • Vivint.SmartHome – Total system set-up and integration with different components (thanks CB + Tami) – security, cameras, doorbell, garage, temperature regulation, and more.
  • Simplisafe Alarm System – build your own customized alarm system with varying tiers of coverage, and no long-term contracts. (thanks Carol)
  • multi-use control and alarms system (thanks Ben)
  • Foscam – IP cameras – great for rental properties to see the status off-site – IP Cams (and I saw the quality and it was amazing – even in snowy conditions – even the neighbor makes use of my friend’s camera to watch his property as well; and see how conditions at the property are as far as weather).
  • Canary Cams – waterproof security system, indoor and exterior solutions for wifi cameras; including solutions in areas without wifi. Plus pet-monitoring (thanks Randy)
  • August Locks – doorbell, locks, and a good solution for AirBnB (per their website) – (thanks Randy)
  • Ecobee – thermostat with room sensors (thanks Randy)
  • Nest – thermostat, cameras (indoor/outdoor), smoke + CO detector, and more (thanks Peggy, Jody, and everyone)
  • Lutron systems + smart shadesLutron has light systems, shades (I have seen on a property recently, and they’re amazing). (thanks Stephanie)
  • Crafstman Smart Garage Opener – can be used as a way to provide home access, you know when the garage is up and when. Our friend has it with a keypad and enjoys it – just for knowing “in and out” traffic.
  • Wemo Switch – turn on/off electronics off-site via wifi, and is compatible with most systems – including Android and Apple. ( thanks Randy + Jeremy)
  • Phillips Hue – personal wireless lighting (thanks Randy)
  • AlertLabs (monitoring system) – not sure if Canada support only** – water consumption, leak, and flood monitoring (thanks Melissa)

  • Explore Coldwell Banker Smart Home Blog pieces – explore what already exists at your Coldwell Banker fingertips, re-blog and use the tools your awesome CB team has already produced.
  • CNET – reviews of products and tools: a great place to compare products for smart home products and where to start your research, outside of the awesome Coldwell Banker blog.

CB Agents ONLY: If you watched the video and you’re interested in purchasing the Coldwell Banker “Smart Home Staging Kit” for clients or yourself at a discount:

  • Affiliate CB – login into CB Exchange (and search “Smart Home Staging Kit)
  • NRT offices login to NRT Gateway first, and go to CB Exchange (and search “Smart Home Staging Kit)

If you have any questions – hit us up, or if I typed something inaccurate here – correct me. We’re all here to learn and succeed and we hope you enjoy our research here.

Seller Strategies: The Importance of Home Showing Instructions


Seller Strategies:
the Importance of Home Showing Instructions

Those first two weeks your property is on the real estate market and MLS – they’re important. It’s usually when the most eyes will be drawn to the property, to see if it’s a great candidate for someone – as their next place to call a house “their home.”
In today’s “seller strategy” session, we’re discussing positive ways to improve your pool of potential buyers – by ways of how your “home showing instruction”s are set-up on the MLS (Metrolist / Prospector – main hub for all real estate input in our area – Placer and Sacramento County). 
If you don’t understand the pros and cons of home showing instructions when you’re active and on the market and getting ready to entertain buyer showings, be sure to ask your listing agent, or give us a call if you’re looking to interview a listing agent. Steve O and I, are both full time REALTORs®. (psst, this is Heather Ostrom – our contact info is below)
Your home may fall into a separate category, and may not apply to these set of suggestions, but we do believe this applies to a majority of homes that hit the market.

The more friction and challenges you create, to not allowing your home to be shown, can backfire on you and limit your “buyer-interested” audience. 

Types of showing instructions:
Vacant with Lockbox
Call 1st Lockbox
Appointment with the Owner
Call Listing Agent
Call Listing Office
Appointment with Tenant
(there are many more, but these are some of the common ones)


Stay educated and always make smart choices – both in marketing, accessibility (and of course, which listing agents you choose). Short-term discomfort, can possible expand your opportunities to a larger bottom line at the closing. 

SAFETY REMINDER: (Placer and Sacramento County) Never allow someone who states they’re an agent, into your home off the street or that drives up to your home. Force them to use the Metrolist lockbox, that way they’re proving their ability to access the home, when an agent “pings” or accesses the Metrolist iBox, it creates an electronic time stamp as the agent, accessing the home – all with their name, company, email, and cell number. If you’re in our area and you’re not using the Supra Lockbox – iBox BT LE – you probably picked the wrong listing agent. Joking / Not Joking. ~ When in doubt, call your listing agent. 

More about Metrolist MLS and Participants

Property Questions or Showings? 916-308-2446 – – REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

See more informative posts at: – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle

Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR

Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446 – – Coldwell Banker  – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01344154 + 01899313 2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661

Learn more about listing your home with us!

Best day of the week to list your home for sale

best day of the week to sell your home

Best Day of the Week to List Your Home for Sale

Steve + Heather Ostrom

on Seller Series

Life is all about timing, and it doesn’t change with real estate and listing your home. Each real estate market and area is different, but we have noticed there are definitely better days than others, to list your home. Granted sometimes life doesn’t always play by “ideal rules,” and ultimately, the seller is our boss, so we will always be awesome – no matter what day you’re able to list your home. But if we can have an ideal world, we have strong opinions for homes in Placer County, California to be listed …
Our why? Well, check our featured video on “seller advice video” series. And don’t worry, I’m not quitting my day job for any karaoke work.  
Along with the three “hot” reasons why in this video, we also have another set of reasons. By default, the offer won’t expire till Monday, unless specifically set to expire before Friday evening. So it gives us a full weekend to be on the market. It’s always nice to have it exposed to the broadest audience, for the largest pool of the best buyers out there – while your home is still “fresh to the market.”
Plus, reality check, a lot of folks are on their email – even at work on Friday morning. We like that email showing up in folks’ email boxes Friday morning when they’re setting their schedules.Each home and neighborhood is unique – so let us know if you would like a detailed analysis on your home.

Buyers: Start Your Property Search

Whether you're a contingent buyer or first-time home buyer - let us know how to help. Guide us on: How to Help Tailor Your Property Search, If you Need Lender Suggestions, and How quickly You need to be In Your Home?
steve heather ostrom coldwell banker

REALTORs Steve Ostrom + Heather Ostrom – 916-308-2446 – – Coldwell Banker 2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661CALBRE# 01344154 + 01899313

Podcast Ostrom Time with Marguerite Crespillo

So we have always been good friends with the awesome Marguerite Crespillo for years, and she has a fabulous real estate podcast “Real Estate Real World.” Marguerite is and has been a top-producing REALTOR and broker in our area, for years. She and her husband Joe, are fixtures in our area, always at Placer County Association and supporting local agents, and their doors are always open to all.

Marguerite is a wealth of knowledge and experience, she’s a real estate trainer and coach, and she loves to help others.

So, what did we cover in our real estate interview podcast? Well you’re going to need to listen in, and hear the scoop! We covered: marketing, in-town behavior philosophies, agent-to-agent interactions, our love of #OstromOrange, why you rarely see Steve O not in a suit, the issue of low inventory (Placer County), and finally … “best tips for any new real estate agents.”

I truly believe you’ll enjoy, you’ll be educated, and I’m certain you will be entertained, while learning. And we hope you take away a few Awesome Ostrom, RE Nerd Nuggets!

Quick background on Marguerite: She’s a real estate coach and trainer. On Marguerite’s real estate podcast, she has interviewed Hal Elrod, the awesome Sean Carpenter, Tamara Dorris, Bob Corcoran, and Ryan Lundquist (and many more). Be sure to subscribe to her Podcast channel – I promise you’ll enjoy. And if you’re not a podcast listener, let me tell you – it’s changed my life. Since there’s no visual, you can still do work, walk, exercise, drive, and still listen in … I love podcasts!

I can’t thank Marguerite Crespillo of Realty First in Roseville, CA. Thank you for having us on your show, and I’ll be tuning in and listening to all the back and future real estate episodes. 


iPhone Users – this is what to look for on your phone 🙂

So listen here – and give us your feedback! We would be honored to have you listen in. (you can listen on the link, and/or go through iTunes and subscribe to Marguerite’s channel). And as my awesome friend and CB trainer, Sean Carpenter always says to all – “Build Relationships, Solve Problems, and Have Fun!” 

Property Questions or Showings? 916-308-2446 – – REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

See more informative posts at: – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle

Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR

Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446 – – Coldwell Banker  – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01344154 + 01899313 2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661

Learn more about listing your home with us!

Ostroms Featured on Seller Tips Series for

Recently we were honored with the opportunity to be part of’s new “Seller Tips” Video Series under their “News + Advice” drop-down menu on the main site. (“” > “News & Advice” > “Advice” > “Sell”).

sell advice ostroms

We always try to be forward and upfront in our thoughts, with the intent to help our sellers. So we hope you enjoy these videos, and feel free to share the links with friends, that might need some help.

We hope you’re educated on some topics for seller preparation and also that you’re entertained, in an Ostrom-sort-of-way. 

To all the sellers that already know how we are, and love us still – thank you for your support. We wouldn’t be here without you. If you’re new to knowing us, whether virtually or in-person and are looking for someone to list your home – know we’ll always be honest, to the point, and always have the mind-set of having you win in the world of home selling (and hopefully in terms of less time on market and higher-price point).

Thank you for watching and thank you for sharing our “seller conversations” – we have three listed below (with hopefully more to come). If we haven’t answered one of your seller questions – comment below – or call or email us.

Video One: Seller Advice – “Awkward Seller Conversations”


Video Two: Seller Advice –“Smells Don’t Sell”


Video Three: Seller Advice –“Three Things Tall REALTORs See, That You May Not …”


If this is your first time visiting our site – welcome … we’re REALTORs (husband + wife duo) in Roseville, CA at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

We primarily work with sellers and their listings, and move-up buyers. So we have had a lot of great learning experiences and opportunities to help our sellers. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it doesn’t – but we’re always learning how to be better. But what we’re not is … we’re never afraid to tackle awkward conversations, if it means our seller having a better opportunity for a better experience with selling (and hopefully maximizing their bottom line, to the best of our ability – we want our sellers to win).



Property Questions or Showings? 916-308-2446 – – REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

See more informative posts at: – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle

Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR

Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446 – – Coldwell Banker  – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01344154 + 01899313 2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661

Learn more about listing your home with us!


2016 Real Estate Market Predictions – Roseville + Rocklin, CA


First thing we need to do, is thank our friends and family for an amazing 2015. You are the reason we continue in this business. Thank you for your support and referrals. There’s no greater honor, than to be trusted with your business.

So on to the show … what you’re all waiting for …

2016 Real Estate Market Predictions – Roseville and Rocklin, California.

We quickly review 2015, real estate market patterns we observed, and items we experienced … (and if you are a buyer, be sure to ask what TRID – TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure is before you start your loan adventure – but that’s another blog post, by itself).

So … thank you for watching. We promise you’ll be entertained and educated … always.

If you would like to specifically know about your neighborhood and/or home, and current pricing for your home – give us a call or shoot us an email (info below). We’re happy to provide feedback, always.

Property Questions or Showings? 916-308-2446 – – REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

See more informative posts at: – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle

Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR

Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446 – – Coldwell Banker  – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01344154 + 01899313 2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661

Learn more about listing your home with us!


We were recently featured on – check it out:


The Closing Process in Placer County

The process for a home closing in Placer County

Every area has their own procedure with home sales, regarding signings at title (or via notary) and the closing process. This is one of the most confusing topic for buyers and sellers. Below, we’re addressing sales specifically in Placer County, CA. “All-cash” deals will have their own (quicker) timeline, and maybe that will be a topic for another video 🙂 This video applies to buyers with a loan.

You’re not alone if you’re confused on when do you sign paperwork, how does the closing happen, and when do we hand over keys? We will do our best to equip you with all the right information, so you feel as prepared and informed as possible.

More “Closing” Questions Answered

  • Do buyer and seller sit at the same table to sign paperwork? No, they’re typically separate appointments at the title company. In our area, escrow and title are in the same location (much easier). You’re not sitting with the opposite party, signing at the same time.
  • What if I can’t come to the title company? It happens, a notary can come to you, at an additional fee. We usually encourage the buyer or seller, to go to the title company for a signing of final paperwork, but if it’s a “larger brand” title office with multiple branches locally, we can sometimes have you signed, with warning, at a nearby office, if the main title company isn’t convenient to access (example signing in Roseville vs. going to a Sacramento office).
  • Can we schedule our signing in advance? Not always, depends on loan docs arriving at title. Depending on the type of loan, the seller can sometimes sign earlier. But best not to assume, lets have that dialogue in advance, if one seller will be inaccessible – starting to about a week, before closing.
  • What if I can only sign after-hours or on the weekend? If you’re on vacation, or have limited signing capability, let us know and for a small fee, we may be able to have a notary come to you. This can pad a day or two to closing, and if you’re out of the country when loan docs come in, this is definitely dialogue we want to have in advance.
  • When we sign, does that mean we’re closed on the home? No. If the buyer has a loan – it depends on when funding occurs (can be near immediate, immediate, or 24-48 business hours after review). If you’re buyer, have this communication of process, as the lender is at the steering wheel at one point, determining much of these timelines. If you don’t know what questions to ask, we can help you.
  • Why is there a “Final-Walkthrough” by the Buyer? It’s the buyer’s right to ensure the property is in the same condition, as when they went into escrow. Your home is most likely in chaos-mode with packing, so don’t fret, but know that this visit will happen right before closing.
  • When do we turn off utilities? Unless otherwise specified in contract, utilities are to always stay on, until we know we’re going on record / closing that day.
  • How clean does your home need to be? It’s a touchy subject as you can imagine. Do as agreed to, between buyer and seller. When in doubt and a professional clean is requested, it’s not a bad idea to consider hiring who the buyer prefers, to avoid any disputes of “what’s their interpretation of ‘clean.'” We think it’s a good gesture to hire a professional cleaner. Typically, “broom swept and clean” is the asked for item, but expectations are always different from folks.
  • Is it okay if I leave trash on the side yard, or items in the garage or attic? All furniture and personal property, inside and outside the home – MUST be removed. With extra paint that belongs to the house, typically you’re going to want to see a new home owner want to have that … to avoid painful paint-matching, but all other items, when in doubt, ask buyer-side, and don’t make assumptions what’s okay to leave behind.
  • When and how do the buyers get the keys? Keys can be retrieved, the day of closing, by default 5pm. Check your contract first – that’s what determines “what time.” Typically, one key is left in the Metrolist Lockbox, that the buyer’s agent can retrieve at the right time, and hand that key over to the new buyers. If you’re a new homeowner – PLEASE re-key your home, always.
  • Will the sellers leave me items, to help out? If you’re a seller, before closing, ping your agent to share with the buyer-side, all utility info and where you’re storing appliance manuals, extra keys, mailbox key, when trash day is, and any helpful info that might give the new home owners a “leg-up” … the buyers will be grateful.


Property Questions or Showings? 916-308-2446 – – REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

See more informative posts at: – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle

Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR

Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446 – – Coldwell Banker  – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01344154 + 01899313 2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661

Learn more about listing your home with us!

Disclosure: Always consult local regulation and your trust real estate agent representing you. All items in the video, and above, are how we would educate our clients here in Placer County. Any financial items, always consult your trusted financial and/or tax advisor.

Black Widows, Buzzing Wasps, and Beetles – OH MY!

Discussing Pest Service Zack Finley Steve Ostrom
Discussing Pest Service with Zack Finley and Steve Ostrom

So perhaps you’re considering regular pest service … or maybe you just need one-shot to get rid of wasps. Black widows are another item we see often in our area. They’re the shiny, eight-legged vampires of the night – you won’t always see them during the day, but look out once the sun is down. Okay, I know … that’s not nice that I am typing this and freaking you out (bleegggh, they freak me out)

Black Widow

The reason we love working with Zack is he’s a good person, that knows and loves what he does, and helps home owners with their pest problems. And he always has an idea for how to tackle pest problems.

Sometimes one visit takes care of items, but sometimes the right solution is on-going service.

So listen in to what options you have with regular or one-shot pest service. I know my Mom and I both re-watched this video and it’s amazing how much we learned just from listening to Zack.

Also one other thing to mention, if you’re considering putting your home on the market for sale, a clear pest report is a great thing for a listing agent to have or know about, so be sure to mention to your listing agent (but of course, that’s us … right?) * wink wink *

If you’re looking to have a WDO review or pest inspection done … read up more here.


Visit Finley Home Services: Termite and Pest Control Website 916-741-2847 (BUGS) or

Property Questions or Showings?

916-308-2446 –
REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

See more informative posts at: – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle

Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR

Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446 –
Coldwell Banker  – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01899313 + 01899313
2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661

Learn more about listing your home with us!

Sellers: How Should I Prepare for a Pest Inspection?

Finley Home Services Discussing Pest WDO Inspection
California: Zack Finley Explaining What Happens at a WDO / Pest Inspection

Californians: so your property just went into escrow and your inspection period has started.

Sellers are you ready? Is your home ready? Do you know what’s going to happen?

If you watch the video below, you’ll be thanking us, I promise. It’s a great prep tool for sellers preparing for a pest or WDO inspection (wood destroying organisms).

Avoid last minute scrambling, moving items in your garage, cutting back bushes, and most importantly … avoid an unnecessary re-inspection (that could have been avoided – which will cost the buyer or seller additional money for a re-visit and could delay closing).

Before you do ANY packing or rearranging of your home, AND BEFORE your home goes active on the real estate market. Watch Steve Ostrom and Zack Finley review the important items to be ready for in a pest inspection.

 Whether it’s called a Wood-Destroying Organism Inspection or a Pest Inspection, you’re going to love the great tips from Zack Finley of Finley Home Services: Termite and Pest Control. You’ll be ready to go for your pest inspection and less stressed.

More tips:

  • Buyers, talk to your real estate agent about timelines and who’s paying for “what inspections”
  • Before doing ANY repairs – always verify your contractor is licensed (active) and bonded before any inspection or review or repair is conducted. DIY projects can bite you in the tail. Do you really want to take on that risk if something goes wrong after the close? If you think you’re immune to this, we can share some horror stories of why it’s best to pay a few extra bucks and waive off that liability.
  • Pest inspectors: ask for recommendations from your agent or friends. We love Zack Finley with Finley Home Services. Their contact info is below (serving the greater Sacramento and Placer County area)
  • Ask about pricing for inspections  (in advance vs. through escrow) – it may be cheaper to pay on-site or in advance.
Visit Finley Home Services: Termite + Pest Control Website

Visit Finley Home Services: Termite and Pest Control Website 916-741-2847 (BUGS) or

Buyers and Sellers – always speak to your own real estate agent first, for counsel, direction, and ordering your inspections. This post is not meant to interfere with your buyer or seller’s decision or pest inspection. 


Property Questions or Showings?
916-308-2446 –
REALTORs Steve + Heather Ostrom


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

See more informative posts at: – Roseville and Rocklin Real Estate + Lifestyle

Author: Heather Ostrom, Real Estate Marketing – REALTOR

Steve Ostrom, Primary Listing Agent + REALTOR – 916-308-2446 –
Coldwell Banker  – Roseville, CA – CALBRE# 01899313 + 01899313
2200 Douglas Blvd B-200, Roseville, CA 95661

Learn more about listing your home with us!