SELLERS-If your home has been on the market for 3 - 4 weeks, it's time for a price adjustment. This very hot market has made seller's think that they can charge over what the comparable sales are showing. That is not always the case. If your home has been on the market for 3-4 weeks, especially if you have not had any offers, the reason is that your home is over priced.
BUYERS-Don't low ball your offers. Even if the seller doesn't currently have other offers, making a very low offer does not mean you will get the property and you may not even get a response. The seller can reduce the price a little and typically get multiple offers rather than selling it to you at a steep discount.
BUYERS-The listing price may be the starting price. In this seller's market, the listing price is often the starting price of the home. You may only get one chance, so put your best offer and terms into your offer.
TAXES - Your tax bill isn't due yet but since it is available to the escrow companies, if you are in escrow please make sure you talk to your escrow officer and ask how you are to pay your taxes. Many will ask that they be able to pay your taxes through escrow rather than you paying them and having to show proof. If you pay them and cannot show proof, then escrow will have to withhold that amount of your proceeds until they can confirm they are paid.
Another IMPORTANT fact is for the seller to LEAVE THE TAX BILL ON THE COUNTER FOR THE NEW BUYERS! You get only one tax bill and the city does not issue a new one on change of ownership. So we ask that you do the new buyers a favor and leave the tax bill on the counter when you vacate. That way they can pay their bill and not get penalized for not knowing when/if it was due.
BACK UP OFFERS - Buyers shouldn't forget to have their agent check homes that are seeking back-up offers. The reason agents put the home in back-up position is because something about the offer they have isn't spectacular. Maybe the purchase is contingent on the buyers home selling or maybe they haven't removed all of their contingencies yet.
You won't know if the house could be yours if you don't actively seek out these homes to view.
I personally have had my backup offers accepted and have accepted back up offers on my listings which closed escrow. Everyone is looking at the "new" listings...if you're a buyer, also take a look at homes in back-up status.
Preparing your home for listing can feel overwhelming. The easiest way to do it is one room at a time. Fix anything you know to be broken, stage the room for it's intended purpose, clean and declutter. Doing it one room at a time makes it manageable and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Before you know it, you whole house is ready!
Buyers order your appraisals when you enter escrow. It is taking a very long time for the appraisal to get through the process so don't wait or you and your lender may miss your contingency removal date and in this market do you really want to be kicked out for not being able to remove contingencies after it took so long to get your offer accepted?
Where's the deal? The deal is in the interest rate. With home prices going up, people are asking where the deal can be found. We are still at very low interest rates for loans so that is where your deal is.
Multiple offers are the norm these days and buyers are getting frustrated. If you are looking to buy a home, make sure you understand the market. You may have to take a property completely as-is with no repairs and most likely you will have to go significantly over asking price. Start your search under your budget. If you are looking for a good deal, look for something that has been on the market for a while.
Most people know that they have to have their credit pulled to buy a home and that they have to give their tax returns to the lender. What most people don't know is that it's not your income but the adjusted income that the lenders use. If you have a lot of tax deductions which for filing taxes is great but for lending not so much. You want to qualify for a higher mortgage but may not be able to because you had an adjust income significantly lower than your salary. So, make sure you do advanced homework and speak to a lender and your tax advisor if you plan on buying a home this year before filing your 2015 taxes.
It's the beginning of another year and time to start thinking if you plan on selling your home this year. If the answer is yes, there are many things to consider. Even though it is a seller's market in many of our areas, remember to price your home within the comparable ranges. It still has to appraise and if you want the most exposure, overpricing can hinder your homes exposure to buyers. Other things to do are - repair any broken items even if they don't bother you, they will bother buyers; make sure the curb appeal is the best it can be; clean, de-clutter and clean again and if you have pets you may not notice any pet odor but try to de-odorize as much as possible.
For buyers - if you are thinking a property is overpriced but it has been sitting on the market for 3 weeks and hasn't sold, view it and make an offer before there is a price reduction and multiple people bid.
If you want to sell your home this winter price it right. If your home has been on the market for over 30 days without an offer something is wrong and it's usually the price. With many buyers out there still looking for homes and low inventory, if your home hasn't had an offer in 30 days on the market it's over priced for it's condition or location. You amy have the best home but if it's over priced, it's going to sit there as buyers aren't going to pay more than it's worth.
So you can consider a few things - reduce the price, give an incentive or if the condition is older make improvements.
Coming soon are changes to the mortgage industry regarding disclosure and the timing of events. These new rules are called TRID. What does this mean to you come October 2015? For both buyers and sellers it can mean a much longer escrow period. 45-60 days will become normal rather than the 30 days we are used to.
Buyers should make sure BEFORE they start their search that their lender has ALL of their documentation and can do a true pre-approval in order to be able to move swiftly on their loan.
Sellers should ask their agents to either fully cross qualify the buyers OR at a minimum have the agents call the lenders to find out exactly what has been submitted and how quickly the process will be able to move.
On the back end of the transaction the last 17 days have specific timeframes that may not be able to be altered. MAKE SURE ANY CREDITS from SELLER TO BUYER HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATED AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE! If not this can start the 17 days all over again extending the closing date.
Whether you are a buyer or a seller the best thing you can do is listen to your agent even if they are telling you something you would rather not hear.
Some DIY projects for your homes...
For Sellers - If your home is priced right and is still not selling what else can you do? Announce incentives to buyers. Willing to pay for a home warranty? Let the buyers know. Willing to pay for a paint or flooring allowance? Let the buyers know. Anything you are willing to do to incentivize let the buyers know. Gauge the buyers reactions by asking your agent to ask the buyers what their favorite things are about your home and their least favorite. That will tell you where the issue is.
For Buyers - Whenever you change ANYTHING about your job while you are in escrow, please notify your lender and your agent as this can cause delays. It can be a small thing like changing departments but having a new boss and needing to update the person the bank calls to verify employment or a large item like changing jobs entirely (for the latter PLEASE WAIT UNTIL AFTER YOU CLOSE ESCROW TO DO THIS!).
Ways to make your offer better - In this competitive market there are ways to make your offer stand out. In many areas like Burbank, there is still very low inventory so multiple buyers will be bidding on homes. Whether they be fixers or completely done, if priced correctly, they may have multiple offers and go over asking price.
1. Can you move up your inspection contingency? The default is 17 days which is very long and likely to get countered.
2. Are you really pre-approved? Can your loan get approved within 15 days? Get ALL documentation into your lender EARLY and ask them if they need anything else to secure your loan quickly. If they can, then move your loan contingency up to 15 days instead of the 21 days on the contract.
3. Are you willing to bring cash to close? With this hot market many homes are being bid over asking by tens of thousands of dollars. Are you willing and able to make up that difference if the home doesn't appraise?
Nobody wants to fall out of escrow but things happen. Are you willing to be a back-up offer and negotiate the terms up front?
With the new year there are new forms!
The Residential Purchase Agreement is now 10 pages long! Make sure your agent uses this new form or you will be instructed to redo it by many listing agents.
ALSO - COMING SOON!
New listing in Pomona. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with central air and nice backyard! Beautiful picture window in the spacious living room and hardwood floors! Don't miss this house! $325,000. Call for private showing 818-239-9599.
HOW TO CHOOSE A REAL ESTATE AGENT
There have been some great articles/blogs on how to choose a real estate agent. Some things to watch for when interviewing are:
1. If you are listing your home make sure the agent shows you the comparable properties. Some agents will simply tell you that your home is worth much more than it is in order to get the listing. This usually makes for a very frustrating listing period and can net you less money simply because it will sit on the market and have multiple price reductions before it's sold.
2. If you are buying a home make sure you meet them at their office to discuss your needs before heading out to view properties. Price is only one factor. A good agent will make sure you are pre approved for your loan, think about your life style needs and ask you for a commitment in the way of a buyer broker agreement. Many buyers are leery about signing this but it assures you that the agent is working for you. If you were the agent, who would you focus your time on? A buyer who committed to you or one that did not?
3. Avoid agents who over promise and under deliver. Ask for their stats.
4. Avoid relatives unless they know the area. So many people hire their relatives and were sorry they did especially when they are out of the area. A local agent knows the market, the areas both good and bad and can give you a more realistic picture of the market.
5. Lastly but most importantly - HOW IS THE AGENT WITH COMMUNICATION? Do they answer your calls and emails timely or does it always take a day or longer?
Many home are sitting on the market for longer before selling right now. Where there were once buyers willing to make quick and over asking offers about 6 months ago, now they are taking their time. There are still homes that receive multiple offers we aren't seeing 10+ offers like before but 2 or 3 and that is when it is priced to sell below market value. There are more homes out there for buyers to choose from so make sure you price it right for your area and be patient.
OPEN HOUSE ETIQUETTE
During a recent open house I saw some behaviors which leads me to write this post about open house etiquette.
1. Please don't bring your pets. The owners could be allergic or your pet could have an accident on the home owners property or worse your pet could injure another open house guest.
2. Please don't touch the decorations or personal items. . It's okay to open closets, look inside cabinets and open stoves or dishwashers. It is not ok to touch knick knacks, open dresser drawers or touch their computer.
3. Please hold the hands of small children. Children are naturally curious and love to touch things. It is very important that they understand that the objects in the home are not to be touched or climbed on.
4. Please ask if you can take photos. There are typically photos on the internet for reference.
5. Don't assume the home is vacant. Even if you think it is staged don't assume that. Many times the home is actually occupied.
What is Close of Escrow? It is when the property has recorded the change of ownership. This is when the buyer now owns the home and the seller no longer does. Unless you have made other arrangements, the seller must vacate the home by 5 pm on the date of close of escrow. Sellers are not entitled to stay in the home after that point.
Part way through the prime selling season we are seeing steady sales and prices. There are still more buyers than homes for them to buy. Buyers-Go early and write early! I recently represented a home that didn't have an offer within the first week. It was a holiday weekend much like this one and while we had a steady open house buyers who were clearly interested did not write an offer. The following open house just one week later landed us a great offer with the "threat" of 2 more. I PRESENT OFFERS AS THEY COME IN! The second and third offers came in too late even though I told both agents that I had a counter offer out to buyer #1. I can't have my sellers consider an offer that I don't possess. So, to all the buyers out there who are considering writing on any property - GET YOUR OFFER IN EARLY! At least that way you have a shot at the home otherwise it could be GONE!
Speaking of homes for sale - I have a great NEW LISTING and will be having an OPEN HOUSE this Sunday, JULY 6th from 1-4.
Go to www.dainaburness.com and click on
5817 Colfax Ave North Hollywood
This is a terrific home with nothing to do but move in! I hope to see you there.
No fooling - it's a sellers market in Los Angeles county. It's the beginning of the spring selling season so get your home ready if you are thinking about selling. I listed 2 properties on Friday!
Visit www.dainaburness.com to get information about:
1027 E Orange Grove Ave in Burbank and
1874 Raylene Place in Pomona
Both are great properties and are having open houses Sunday April 6th from 1-4PM
Don't procrastinate or the home will be SOLD! Today's market in this area is HOT! If you are a seller, now may be the time to put your home on the market. If you are a buyer-see the home and make a decision quickly.
DON'T STOP LOOKING! If you are a buyer, don't stop looking through the holidays. Many buyers put their searches on hold through the holidays. Don't be one of those buyers as now is your chance for less competition. If you are looking for a great home, I have a listing in North Hollywood. Check out http://6220Simpson.dainaburness.com
Don't wait to write your offer. There are some sellers that want to see offers as they come in and some agents like itnthat way too! Put your best foot forward but don't hesitate!
As the real estate market continues to thrive buyers are faced with competing with many other buyers.
Sellers should know that if they don't have an offer in 2 weeks, the home is probably over priced for it's condition and/or features. Features can include square footage, bedroom/bathroom count, air conditioning, etc.
Buyers - LIMITED INVENTORY! - Buyer's who are actively looking are finding it hard to find a property to buy. With such limited inventory and prices on a steady rise, buyer's need to do the following:
1. See the property AS SOON AS it comes on the market.
2. Have your pre-approval, proof of funds and check book with you so that if you find the right home you aren't wasting time. The property could be gone before you have the chance to get everything together.
3. Be PRE-APPROVED! This is not the time to shop for a loan. Do that BEFORE you pick a lender.
4. Make a strong offer in price and terms - you may only get one shot at it.
Understand that you may get outbid but persistence wins in the long run!
Sellers - With so little inventory, homes are selling FAST! Prices are climbing steadily and there are multiple buyers for every home when priced and marketed correctly. Spring selling season is almost here! If you are planning to sell, now is the time to walk through your home and complete any needed tasks. Call me for a free market analysis - 818-239-9599.
BUYERS- KEEP LOOKING! I know it's the holidays but if you are actively searching for a home, now can be the time for you. Many people take time offo from looking for their home during this time so why not be the buyers that keep looking! You could find exactly what you are looking for!
SELLERS-YES, PUT YOUR HOME ON THE MARKET NOW! Much like the buyers side, many sellers take this month off and think it may be better to wait until after the first of the year. No so, the serious buyers are still looking and hopefully you could get your home in escrow before the New Year!
I put a property on the market last Friday. By Sunday evening we had 17 offers. Burbank is experiencing a shortage of inventory. Many home buyers are looking but they are experiencing the competition of multiple offers and prices on the upswing.
If you or someone you know is thinking about selling, this may be a good time.
Burbank's Wood Shake Roof Update
for new deadlines on Burbank's Wood Shake Roof replacement!
Sellers of Short Sales - Are you thinking of selling your home and you owe more than your home is worth, you may want to consider a short sale sooner rather than later.
Debt Forgiveness Relief from IRS and State of California expires December of 2012!
To understand what may expire at the end of this year please visit http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=179414,00.html
Although time frames are improving, it can take months to complete a short sale. If you are considering a short sale, and have questions, please call me on 818-239-9599 so that I can assist you in getting answers to your questions. That way, you can make an informed decision about what is best for you and your situation.
Buyers and Sellers - Burbank inventory for single family homes has gone from a 3.6 month supply a year ago to a 1.6 month supply at this time.
What does that mean for you? For buyers it means even more competition and not to wait to see a possible property or to make your offer. It also means you should make a good offer up front including price and terms. Look at the comparable sales and don't assume you can offer less than asking. Many sellers are pricing their properties at or below market value so the comps will tell you where you need to be in terms of an offer price. You may only get one shot at it with all the competition.
For sellers, it does not mean to over-price your home or that it is a seller's market...it's not, but it does mean that if you price your home accurately for it's condition, you should have a sale within two weeks. You may even have multiple offers but remember that one good offer is all it takes.
Stop by as many open houses that you can during National Open House weekend! April 28th-29th. I will be having a Buyers Seminar on April 28th from 11:30-1 pm along with other Realtors® and Lenders. Come ask your questions!
Then on April 29th, I will be hosting an open house at 2229 N. Frederic Street in Burbank from 2-5 PM. Stop by and view a terrific starter home at a FANTASTIC price!
Knowledge is power as they say so if you are a buyer and you are looking for knowledge, come to our free Buyers Seminar! Real estate and Loan Officers will be there to answer your questions.
Location: Little White Chapel's Social Hall - 1711 N. Avon St Burbank from 11:30 am-1pm on Saturday April 28th!
The spring selling season is here and contrary to the National News, locally Burbank is thriving in the housing market. Getting your home ready for sale can feel daunting but a great real estate agent can help you through it. A combination of Marketing, Staging and of course Pricing will get your home sold!
For buyers, there are many buyers looking for homes and Burbank homes that are priced correctly are selling in days with multiple offers. Make sure offer as clean as possible and strong.
What should you bring with you to sign your loan documents? It used to be that one form of identification was sufficient. More and more we are noticing that 2 forms of picture ID are required.
Ask your escrow and loan officer what you need to bring with you.
Also, many banks are requiring funds to be wired not a cashier's check. Check with the escrow officer on how far in advance your funds need to be received. Many banks will not wire their funds until the buyers funds have arrived and cleared.
Knowing the numbers - for both buyers and sellers the numbers are important. Knowing what similar homes are selling for in the area you want to buy or sell is key. This should not be the only factor but it is a good indicator of where the prices are going. IT IS LOCAL! No matter what you hear in national news, real estate is local. In highly desired areas, you may notice that there is low inventory, multiple offers on every property that is priced correctly and many are closing at and over asking price.
Differenciating between single family homes and condo/townhomes is also important. Make sure when you are looking at the numbers that they only include the type of property you are looking to buy or sell.
Realizing when a property is priced under market value is also key. When bidding on a short sale or bank owned property if the property is priced low to get multiple offers, the comparable properties become that much more important. You may only get one chance to make your offer stand out. DO NOT UNDER BID! Look at the comps and make your best offer in price and terms. This is a very large mistake that buyers make often when they just start out. You could lose the home you want simply by thinking you can bid lower when the numbers show you that the home is priced under market value. A buyer who has made this mistake in the past (usually multiple times) is likely to listen to the numbers and bid accordingly.
Buyers and Sellers - Did you know that as of today Burbank's Single Family Home's supply is only 95? There are only 145 properties for sale total which is only approximately 2 months of supply! Properties are getting multiple offers if desirable and priced right and are selling at or above 97% of list! Call me if you want to sell your Burbank Home!
GO GET YOUR FOREVER STAMPS!
Postage goes up on Sunday, January 22nd to 45 cents for a letter.
Sellers - Contingency periods for loan and appraisals seem to be getting longer and longer. Contracts say 17 days normally, however, the lenders are taking longer to fully approve the buyers. Don't be surprised if they ask for an extension. Only you can decide to give one or not depending on the circumstances.
To Everyone - Life can be very stressful, especially now with these economic times. From now until the end of the year, give yourself permission to forget the worries and enjoy the season.
Buyer's and Seller's - What matters is the legal description! In some cases you will find that the mailing address of the property doesn't match the title. The APN and the legal description are what are important. There can be many reasons why the mailing address is different for the post office. Talk to the title representative if you are confused - they are the ones insuring your purchase.
Sellers - Most buyers look on-line first and continuously for their choices of homes to view. Make sure that your home is on-line in multiple websites and that the pictures placed there accurately depicts your home in it's best light. If the picture is of a corner of a room, the buyers will skip right by it. Worse yet, if there are NO pictures! Yes, I still see this!
The photos should be clear and in focus. The home should be cleared of clutter to show off it's square footage. If vacant - minimally stage the home. Homes that are staged show better. The rooms are defined and that helps buyers remember the space.
Buyers- When you are on a budget and searching for a home, don't overlook a home just because it's not updated. The biggest concerns should be health and safety. Following that would be is everything in working order? If yes, know that "cosmetics" are things you can change over time and that way you get what you want.
Don't like the kitchen counters or want hardwood flooring? Save up and do these projects over time. It's more important that the area and home are safe and that the home is in working order.
Buyers - Don't Change your Debt to Income Ratio!
When you are looking for a home and have been given a pre-approval by your lender, they are basing that pre-approval partially on your debt to income ratio.
DON'T GO OUT AND SPEND MONEY!
What I mean is keep your spending habits in check. Do not take on additional debt such as a new car payment, buying furniture that may reduce your savings or anything that can adjust your debt to income, FICO scores or your cash reserves.
Wait until AFTER you CLOSE ESCROW to make any new purchases. They DO RECHECK your income before giving you the loan!
Cleaning up Hazardous Waste -
Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste and E -Waste
Saturday, September 17, 2011 9:00-3:00pm
1845 Ontario St, Burbank at the Fire Department Training Center
We can clean up Burbank safely!
Paint and Thinner
Pesticides or herbicide
TVs and cellular phones
call: 1800 238 0172 or visit www.CleanLA.com
Buyers - What do you do if you like a home but don't love a home but you've been searching for a long time?
My advice is to not write the offer. I am not saying that you won't have to comprimise on some things but if the feel of the home isn't right then you won't be happy with the home or the process.
One important thing is to listen to your agent about market value. A home that was a fixer and was sold for $50,000-$100,000 less is not going to be a comparable property to a home that is completely remodeled so try and look at home comparables in the same condition and within the appraiser guidelines.
The right home for you is out there! And it takes what it takes to find it. This can mean months of looking but my past clients will tell you that it is out there and I never give up!
For ALL - It's only a year away! Burbank's Ordinance for replacing your wood shake or shingle roof is fast approaching! On August 14, 2012 you must have your wood shake or shingle roof replaced even if it is under another layer.
Call or email me for additional information. email@example.com
Patience & Perseverance are key in this market -
Whether you are a buyer or a seller in this market the key to success can be patience, in addition to perseverance. You need patience because sales are just not happening as quickly as they used to for the sellers and perserverance because homes that are under price will get multiple offers which can knock a buyer out of the running especially if they don't counter.
Take a deep breath and know that if priced well your home will sell and if you are buying, know that you will find your home.
Buyers - Don't pass by a home that has been on the market for a while. There may be nothing wrong with the home but buyers ask themselves if there is if a home has been on the market for over 2 months. It can simply be that the sellers overpriced their home at the start and are now chasing the market down.
Go see them, it may be the home of your dreams!
Buyers and Sellers - Don't be afraid to tell your agent what you want.
What do you expect in your agent means everything. From communication intervals and technique to how much you want to spend. The things that are important to you should be communicated to your agent.
We are interested in what is important to you. For a brief survey please click below and tell us!
Survey - What is Important to You
Buyers - What do you do if you want to make an offer on a property but you think it's too much money? Depending on how long the property is on the market, it may be over-priced, it may not have a feature that most are looking for or it may need more work than people are willing to put into the property. Whatever the reason, the property hasn't sold. If you are truly interested and want to make an offer...
Ask your agent to run comps. Do they support the price of the home?
Has the property been on the market for over 2 months? Maybe they have dropped the price once or twice but maybe it's not enough.
What would you pay for the home? Ultimately it is the buyers of the market that determine the value of the home.
Don't let the fear of insulting the homeowner get in the way. It's more insulting to not have an offer than it is to have one lower but within comp range of the home.
Sellers - When interviewing Real Esate agents make sure you ask questions. Don't necessarily go with the agent that gives you the highest value for your home. You want the agent to show you what your home is really worth - that is the truthful agent. You also want them to show you how they are going to market your house. Know what is important to the buyer's who will be looking at your home. What sets your agent apart from the others?
For a Free No-Hassle Market Analysis visit - What Is Your Home Worth?
All - The new carbon monoxide detector law will go into effect July 1, 2011 - Go get your detectors and install them, this includes landlords of rental property.
The California SB 183 bill - California Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010
Sellers - Difficult topic - Disconnect the emotion. When you buy a home it's a very personal and often an emotion feeling that you have with the home. When you are selling you home, you have to take the emotion out of it and treat it as a marketable commodity. The goal of selling is to allow buyers to see it as their home. By de-personalizing your home you put yourself on a path to selling your home faster.
Know the Law - When it comes to your mortgage you need to know the laws for lending.
On Friday, March 18th, HUD issued important information pertaining to how mortgage loan originators comply with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) with regard to the Federal Reserve Board's Loan Originator Compensation rule, effective April 1st. This information clarifies RESPA requirements related to proper disclosure on the
GFE and HUD-w settlement statement.
Happy May Day! Let's talk about Title.
Buyers - There are many different ways to hold title. When you are in escrow you will be asked how you would like to hold title and you will normally be given a grid to look at that explains each choice. If you are unsure, you should speak with your tax professional to see if there are any benefits or liabilities to holding title in a specific way.
Sellers - Fill out your Statement of Information when the listing is first put on the market! Your agent should then turn it over to the title representative of choice to make sure that there are no issues with title for the property OR the people holding title to that property (typically you!). Mistakes have and can occur so wouldn't it be best to know up front if anything needs to be addressed and take care of it prior to getting into escrow? You don't want to lose your qualified buyer because of a delay to sort out a title issue.
Buyers and Sellers - Curb Appeal
Sellers - Curb appeal in the buyer's first impression of your home. Stand outside your home and look at it as if you were seeing it for the first time and are the buyer. Is there pealing paint, overgrown bushes that need trimming, are you in deed of a new garage door? Does the curb appeal make you want to go inside to see more or turn you away?
Buyers - Don't judge a book by it's cover! Believe it or not, some people care more for the inside of their home than the outside. They live on the inside so that becomes their priority. If the neighborhood is good, take a look inside.
Buyers and Sellers - Multiple Offers?
Yes, they still exist! But don't get too excited if you are a seller or too discouraged if you are a buyer.
BUYERS - If you preview a home and you love it, make an offer but don't wait as if you love it, chances are someone else will too. Ask your agent to call to see if there are any offers on the property. If the answer is YES - come in with a very strong offer as you may only get one shot at it. A strong offer will consist of price and terms. Look at the comps and try to compare like for like - i.e. if the home is upgraded try to find comparable properties that are also upgraded. If you cannot find upgraded home comparables, adjust your offer upwards to account for those upgrades. For terms consider, do you really need to ask for closing costs, length of escrow- how short can it be, contingency removal timeframes- make them reasonable, etc.
SELLERS - You are excited that your agent has told you that you have multiple offers on your property. Buyers who have agents that don't call ahead to see if there are other offers or buyers who think they can offer $50,000-$100,000 less for your property are out there! Not to worry though, if your home is priced right for condition and the market, it will sell for market value. Consult with your agent about the best way to respond when you have multiple offers on your property. You have choices...you can counter all or some of them, reject all or some of them, or accept one and reject the rest. Not all counters have to be the same.
Buyers and Sellers - Mortgages are about to be harder to get.
SELLERS - You may ask why Seller's should care about this and I will tell you why. Obviously if buyers have to put more money down in order to obtain a "sellable" mortgage, then it will affect the amount of buyers that can qualify to buy your house. We have contingency periods in our contracts but as a seller you have to understand that it will take longer for the unconditional approval needed for buyers to remove those contingencies. Most of the time, it is the underwritering that is delaying the approval because they add on more conditions. Don't blame the buyer...be patient and make sure your agent stays in touch with the lender for updates. The article below speaks to the new lending practices being discussed.
BUYERS - You need to stay on top of things and have your agent assist you in things you don't understand. Make sure you discuss everything that comes up with your lending representative. I can't stress enough that the underwriters WILL ASK you for: 1) things you have already provided; 2) items that may seem above and beyond what should be required and 3) any financial documents - ANY! This can come at any time before they fund and close the loan. You will have funding conditions and closing conditions - give them what they ask for exactly - no more and no less. Be timely in your response and do not procrastinate. This is where buyer's get in trouble - they wait too long to provide documents and the seller's agent issues a notice to perform.
Sellers - Minor staging can assist in your home sale. Many buyers have a hard time seeing if there furniture will fit when looking at an empty room. If you want them to know for sure that their queen or king sized bed will fit in the bedroom, stage it with one! If there is an area in your home that you used to use as an office but vacant it may not show as well, stage it will a desk (or table) and chair so that buyers can see what that area can be used for. When in doubt, ask your realtor or give us a call and we can assist!
For All Homeowners - Los Angeles County Energy Upgrade Contest. To apply go to https://energyupgradeca.org/county/los_angeles/makeover_contest
For All - Daylight Savings is this weekend. Remember to set your clocks ahead 1 hour before you go to bed on Saturday March 12th.
Also, for home owners, April is fast approaching. Good tax information can be found in an article on Trulia.
Sellers - Read a great article today...Homebuyer Turn-offs!
Sellers - What you put in your listing can make impressions on buyers. Here is an article that let's you know what buyers expect.
Short Sale Sellers - Here's an article on the HAFA program. Daina is a certified HAFA specialist.
Buyers - Do I Need an Inspection on a New Building? - The answer is YES! Just because a building is new doesn't mean that an inspector won't find something that needs to be repaired or adjusted. What is an item is not to code? How will you know if you don't get a home inspection? A home inspector is looking past the new and the pretty and is looking specifically for defects. When you are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, spending a few hundred can be the best money you ever spent to ensure that you are getting a solid home.
Sellers - Here is an article titled "Resolutions for Home Sellers in 2011"
In this article it affirms what many real estate agents probably will tell you but it's nice to get it from a third party source.
Short Sale Sellers - If you owe more than your home is worth and you are having a heard time making your payments don't wait too long to explore the short sale option. The foreclosure can be stopped temporarily if you have an agent that can assist you in negotiating a short sale. These sales used to take 9 months to a year but are now under 6 months in most cases. Stop the stress and talk to an experienced short sale agent to see if this option may be better for you.
Home Staging Tips for different types of buyers - visit the link below for some areas to focus on...
Buyers - Expanding your areas can bring pleasant surprises. Areas you may not have thought of, can bring more for your money.
New Law for 2011- SB183-This law enacts the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2010. The law requires a carbon monoxide device to be installed in a "dwelling unit intended for human occupancy." Owners of residential rental property must also comply w/this law. Install Time Period: On or before 7/1/11 for existing single-family dwelling units
On or before 1/1/13 for all other existing dwelling units
This is NOT upon resale - this is for ALL.
Buyer's - Time to take advantage of Mortgage rates or if you already own look in to refinancing.
Buyer's - Visit Congressman Brad Sherman's website for an article about the Maximum Conforming Loan Limits.
For Agents, Buyers and Sellers - Here is a link to a story about how long it can take for loan approval. Our contracts typically say 17 days. Don't be surprised when the buyer's agent has to ask for an extension...many times it's not the buyers fault.
For Buyers - You may want to consider locking in those mortgage rates.
Cut Costs - Save Energy...
Tips to WInter-Proof your home...
Some tips on what to do if disaster strikes...
Sellers - Pictures are so important! Stacy and I hire a professional photographer even though we can take good photos. We also use a virtual tour so that the flow of the house is established. More and more buyers are searching on the internet for their home long before they contact a real estate agent. Ask your agent to see the photos/tours that are in the MLS. Are they good enough to get buyers in the door? Click on the link below to view some tips on how to take good photos...
Shopping around for a mortgage? Here are some tips but I will add one thing...SHOP BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR OFFER! DO NOT TRY TO SHOP ONCE YOUR OFFER HAS BEEN ACCEPTED!
Your credit score - make it better before shopping for a home...
Lead Based Paint Rules and Replacing Windows. This article can help you understand the new rules...
Make small spaces appear bigger...click the link below to see how.
Let's talk Home Inspection!
Buyers - Please do a home inspection! You hear it time after time and it always amazes me when a buyer chooses not to have one. Spending hundreds could save you thousands. This is probably the biggest purchase you will make so knowledge is key.
If you are not buying a new home, chances are the home has some flaws. Be realistic in what you ask to be repaired. If it is a health or safety issue then by all means ask. If a system during inspection is functioning but is closer to end of life - it is not a repair! You just have knowledge to perform yearly maintenance and keep a close eye on it...that's it...it's functioning!
Ask yourself - if you were the seller would you fix it if it were working?
Sellers - If you get a list of repairs don't get emotional. If the repairs are health and safety - fix them or offer a credit. If not, go through the list and see if you are willing to fix any of the items on the list. Some fixes can be minor and it can be a show of good will.
Ask yourself - if you were the buyer would you ask for it to be repaired?
Sellers - Staging your home for sale can bring top dollar.
A room is hard to define for most buyers if there is no furniture. It can appear smaller to a buyer than it actually is and the buyers tend to wonder if their "stuff" will fit.
Clean, uncluttered rooms with furniture and a splash of color will give the buyer a vision of what can be done.
FHA BUYERS -
FHA is changing what they will be charging for Mortgage Insurance. If you are an FHA buyer please read this article to see how this change will impact you and your purchase price!
Buyers - Are you being realistic? Clients who have been looking a year or more should ask themselves this question. Do you find fault each time you view a home? Patience is key when looking for a home but buyers need to be realistic for whatever price range they are in. You usually do not get everything you are looking for and if you have very specific needs in one or two areas, chances are even less that you will get everything on your list. Ask yourself "are you serious about wanting to buy a home"? Be honest with yourself and your agent as the agent is spending time without compensation. Ask yourself "would I work for free if my boss asked me to?"
A good article about how to reinvent your space...http://rismedia.com/lowes/8355/9885
Burbank Buyer's and Sellers - Does your building have a wood roof? If your Burbank property has a wood shake or shingle roof, the wood shakes or shingles must be removed and replaced by August 14, 2012 even if they are covered by another type of shingle. You have 2 years to get this done so if you are buying or selling in Burbank make sure you ask yourself if there is a wood roof under any existing layers. A building permit is required. For questions visit www.ci.burbank.ca.us/index.aspx?page=587
Sellers - Why is my home not selling?
Typically it's price. If it's priced right for the homes area, the market and the condition of the home then it sells. Usually if you are priced right, you will have an offer within 2 weeks. After the 2 week mark, you have to ask yourself and your agent why. If the home is in a desirable area and the comparable properties show you are priced right then it's something else like condition.
If you are getting a lot of showings but no offers consider offering to pay for some of the buyer's closing costs.
If you are not having showings consider a price reduction.
New Burbank Retrofit Upon Resale -
Please visit www.burbankwaterandpower.com to learn about the new ordinance and how Burbank's Grenn Home House Call can assist you in your efforts to comply.
For All - Appraisals - Beware of New Regulations...
For SELLERS - Now more than ever it is important to price your home correctly. Since the expiration of the Federal Tax Credit mortgage applications have dropped considerably. That means less buyers are in the market. Be flexible on pricing and be willing to do some repairs or give credits. If you get an offer...work with it.
Read this article for more information: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11160047
I am sure I have said this before but FOR BUYERS - prior to making your offer - get pre-approved by a lender and DON'T CHANGE LENDERS AFTER YOU HAVE AN ACCEPTED OFFER!
You've worked hard to get an offer accepted and there are only 17 days to get full approval on your loan. You could lose the home if you change lenders and go shopping for a "better" rate. Most rates are close for all lenders (don't believe what you read on internet sites) and are based on credit rating and other criteria. The only thing you would be shopping for are their fees and points.
If you are unsure of a lender you have come in with, communicate your concerns to your agent. Agents typically have a list of lenders they are familiar with and can put you in touch with a few that can suit your needs. Interview them PRIOR to making any offer and choose one.
In the summer we use more energy. Try some of these tips to make your home more efficient.
LITTLE THINGS HELP
Some other low-cost or free energy-saving moves:
Special Provisions for Military Families. Please visit the link below to see if you qualify...
New RESPA Rules that should be known by both Buyers and Sellers. There can be delays through no fault of the Buyers, just be aware of the new rules. This is a good article:
If you are buying or selling a home and you are moving this article has Tips for moving...
Sellers - is your home having an open house? There may be some things you don't even realize about your own home so be sure to check the following:
Walk through your home with a friend. Critique it as if you were seeing it for the first time and were going to be the buyer of the home and not the seller.
Fix the little things! If you don't fix the little things, buyers may thing that you haven't fixed the big things.
Make your rooms feel bigger by decluttering and take down posters and pictures that show it's your home. Buyers want to view it as their home.
More Light!!! Brighten up your home. There are many ways to do this...open the blinds, change colors on dark furniture with slip covers, wash the windows, repaint a lighter color and buy some "up" lights or additional lamps to brighten darker rooms.
Get Rid of Odors! I can't tell you how many times I walk through with buyers and the first thing we smell is a dog or a musty odor from no fresh air. Open your windows, steam clean the carpet especially if you have pets, light a scented candle or bake some cookies. Good smells in the kitchen are vanilla or apple.
And last but not least - clean! Put each room in it's best light by dusting, vacuuming or cleaning the hardwood floors, pay particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Shine the stainless appliances, clean the stove inside and out and mop the kitchen floor. In the bathroom, freshly washed towels, clean grout and a nice fruity candle go a long way. Throughout the home remove smudges from walls and switch plates and wash the windows and the sills.
Buyers - Please read this atricle on New Last Minute Lender Credit Checks before Closing! http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-fi-harney-20100516,0,2723546.story?track=rss
Part of the article states...
"The last-minute credit report will be designed to find out whether you've obtained — or even shopped for — new debt between the date of your loan application and the closing. If you've made applications for credit of any type — for furnishings and appliances for the new house, a car, landscaping, a home equity line, a new credit card — the closing could be put on hold pending additional research by the lender."
I say it all the time to my buyers..."don't buy anything new until your home closes". It can change your debt to income ratio!
Sellers - Small fixes can benefit you. You may not think that the faucet you have in the kitchen or bathrooms that has been there for years is a big deal but it can be...it's about perception. Changing small things can net the seller more in purchase price for the home. They don't need to cost a lot of money to do.
Interior Painting - Before listing paint all rooms a neutral color. Host a painting party and enlist the help of your friends. This will get you started packing as well and declutter the walls.
Fixtures - replace the faucets and hardware on the cabinets to new styles.
Carpet Cleaning - If your home has carpets, have them professionally cleaned. It makes the home smell clean and gives a welcome feeling to the home.
Last but certainly not least - Yard work...Curb appeal is huge. It's the first impression of your home. If your yard needs help, consider a trip to the home improvement store of your choice and talk to the experts on how to bring it back to life with minimal costs. Bring pictures of your problem areas (you can take them from your camera phone for easy portability) so that they can see what you are talking about.
Buyers - Don't make these mistakes before you buy a home:
1. Not knowing your creidt score is huge. Your interest rate will depend on your credit score. The lower the score, the higher your cost of borrowing will be. Look over your credit report and make note of mistakes and get them corrected.
2. Don't make any big purchases! - Want to buy that new car? If you plan on buying a home, don't do it before your home purchase CLOSES.
3. Don't change jobs! Stay at your current place of employment until your home purchase CLOSES!
4. Thinking of cutting costs by not having a home inspection? Not wise...know the problems of a home before you buy. A home inspection can find problems where you can't see.
5. Don't write a non-contingent offer.
Buyers - What should you do when you get countered and the seller's have checked the "multiple counter" box? This means they had more than one offer that they are considering. NOTE - Not all counters have to be the same! They could counter your price and some terms and counter another offer differently because all offers are unique.
When you are countered with multiple offers and still want the property - go in strong. Even if they seller's don't counter your price, it doesn't mean that another offer won't come up in price to get the property. Decide if you want to go up in price and how much and decide if you will make any of your terms better. For example, consider shortening your inspection contingency or shortening the closing time frame.
Always ask the advice of your Real Estate Representative.
Buyer's - While this is still a buyer's market in many areas, there are areas where inventory is low and the prices are rising modestly. Do not underbid in these areas. Don't overbid either because the home will have to appraise. If you underbid in these areas, chances are sellers will not even respond to your offer as they probably have multiple offers. Offer fair market value. Look closely at the comps for that property. Take into consideration any and all upgrades that have been done and put your offer in accordingly. Standard Sales are still out there and with the tax credit deadline going away shortly, these are the most desirable properties.
Buyer's should read Realty Trac's article on why FHA buyer's should buy now before changes are made.
When conducting your search for a home, visit the home and area at different times of day and days of the week. If you tour the home on a Sunday afternoon open house and you like it, take time to at least drive by the area during the week in the evening.
How is the First time buyer tax credit affecting you and your home? If you are considering selling your home, now may be the perfect time. The first time home buyer tax credit brings more buyers to your home. In order for buyers to get this credit, they must have their offer accepted by April 30th and close the transaction by June 30, 2010.
December's statistics for California were improved. Go to http://rismedia.com/2010-01-26/c-a-r-reports-december-2009-home-sales-increased-1-7-median-home-price-increased-8-4/
to read an article on the home market in California. Keep in mind that home sales figures will depend on the area and are highly localized. Check with a Realtor ® for home prices in your area.
Call Stacy or Daina to see what your home is worth in today's market.- 818-239-9599.