Monday, August 5, 2019

Utility Companies In The Valley


To start, stop, transfer or general inquiries regarding service here are some contacts in different areas. 


San Fernando Valley

Water and Power  1-800-342-5397  LADWP

Trash  (800)773-2489  LA City

SoCal Gas   1-877-238-0092  SoCal Gas

Burbank

Water and Power  (818) 238-3700  Burbank Water and Power

Trash  (818) 238-3800 Burbank City Public Works

SoCal Gas   1-877-238-0092  SoCal Gas

Santa Clarita Area

Power  1-800-655-4555 Edison

Water (661) 297-1600  SCV Water

SoCal Gas   1-877-238-0092  SoCal Gas

Waste Management Industries 661-259-2398 Waste Management Industries



Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Earthquake Preparedness List

I've compiled some of the best Earthquake Preparedness information from experts and people who have been through a major earthquake. Please save this and share it with loved ones and friends.
   
Things to Have Ready In Case Of An Earthquake

1.  Have a photo of every family member, including pets, stored on your phone or somewhere safe

2.  Put a notification to update your earthquake bag(s) every six months for growing kids and water/food expiration

3. Strap Furniture to the wall

4. Remove all glass from hanging picture frames if possible

5. "Baby proof" all kitchen cabinets that hold dishware, glassware and anything heavy so that the cabinets will hopefully stay shut during a major shake and not throw heavy objects at people and break on the floor.  Here is what I use Magnetic Locking system

6.  Make sure your home has an Automatic Seismic Shut-Off valve on the gas meter

7.  Make sure your hot-water heater is properly strapped to the wall.

8. Keep closed toe shoes near each bed.

9. Things to keep in your nightstand: Extra set of clothes, batteries, flashlight, phone charger cord and battery pack, blanket, socks, glow sticks, glasses if you wear them.

10. Don't store anything heavy over chest height

11.  Make sure your selves have lip straps

12.  Earthquake bag should include:  Medications needed, cash, food and water for a week, baby and/or pet essentials such as formula, food, Tylenol, Benedryl, epi-pen (and any other medical necessities)

13.  Camping materials would be great to have available.  Tents, sleeping bags, portable cooker and so on

   Some things to do and not do during an earthquake:

1. Don't run
2. Don't go upstairs (although I'll likely run to wherever my kids are to be honest)
3. Don't get under a door frame
4. Get away from the windows
5. Get away from heavy objects such as hanging mirrors
6.  If your AC is on your roof, keep a mental note of where that is in your home
7. Duck and cover your head/neck under something like furniture if possible
   
                                                                     

Sunday, June 23, 2019

4th Of July Around LA 2019

From Skydivers, bull riders, carnivals, concerts and fireworks, here is a list of place around LA that will be having 4th of July events this year 

Avalon/Catalina
July 4th- Firework shows at sundown.
Annual 4th of July Parade, Fireworks Display, Buffett at Descanso Beach Club 
Gold cart parade down Crescent Ave starts at 1PM.
Fireworks start at 9PM over Avalon Bay
1 Casino Way
Avalon, CA 90704
(310) 510-1520

Burbank
Starlight Bowl - July 4th An American Celebration
1249 Lockheed View Dr.
Burbank, CA 91505
Gates open at 5:30 pm show begins at 6:30PM
Concert includes Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Purchase tickets online or at the Community Services Building, located at 150 North Third Street http://www.starlightbowl.com/portfolio-item/july-4-2019-big-bad-voodoo-daddy-rumble-king/

Cabrillo Beach
Cabrillo Beach 3800 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro, CA 90731
For the Annual 4th of July Spectacular
Cabrillo Beach will host a FREE 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks show with music, activities and food trucks.

Calabasas
Calabasas High School
Gates open at 5 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m.
Celebration includes live music, rides, crafts and games
Musically choreographed Fireworks Spectacular!
2855 W. Mulholland Highway
Calabasas, CA 91302
$10 admission price includes parking, entertainment and all activities
Tickets must be purchased in advance

Carson
StubHub Center
Soccer game and fireworks 
LA Galaxy VS Toronto FC
Game starts at 7:30 p.m. Last year's event had fireworks after the game, however this year it is not clearly stated on the website that there will be fireworks. Please call to find out if you are interested in going. 
18400 S Avalon Blvd
Carson, CA 90746

Cerritos
Let Freedom Ring Celebration
Begins at 4 p.m., with fireworks at 9 p.m.
Cerritos Civic Center
18125 Bloomfield Ave.
Cerritos, CA 90703
(562) 916-1254

Claremont
4th of July Festival & Contests 
Memorial Park
840 N. Indian Hill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711
The day will be filled with a festival of games, concert, food, fun, parade and fireworks

Culver City
West LA College
9000 Overland Ave
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 287-4200
*Has been cancelled this year. Please check back next year

Diamond Bar
Music, food trucks and fireworks
 Diamond Bar High School
21400 Pathfinder Road
Diamond Bar, California 91765
https://culturela.org/event/city-of-diamond-bars-annual-4th-of-july-blast-3/

Dodger Stadium Fireworks and Game
Los Angeles Dodgers!



Downtown Los Angeles
4rth of July Block Party in Grand Park
200 North Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 887-4427
Attendance is free, event begins at 3 p.m.


Hansen Dam
11770 Foothill Blvd.
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342
featuring music and other live entertainment, food, and fireworks.
10 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.;
Event is free to the public
(818) 891-9399
*No information can be found for fireworks in 2019

Hollywood
Hollywood Bowl
Nile Rodgers & CHIC
2301 North Highland Ave
(323) 850-2000

Hollywood (2)
E.T
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles CA
Cost is $38. Doors at 7:15PM and Movie at 9PM


Irwindale Park
4th of July fiesta and fireworks spectacular
Fiesta begins at noon. Fireworks begin at 9PM

La Crescenta
tickets are just $9 each pre-sale until July 3rd. They will be $10 at the gate. Children 7 and under are free.
Check website for advance ticket sale locations (recommended).
 Crescenta Valley High School, 2900 Community Ave.
(818) 248-2271

Lancaster
4-7:00 p.m.   Entertainment and food outside of Grandstand area
7:00 p.m.      Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro Division
7-8:30 p.m.   Entertainment in grass area outside grandstands
9:30 p.m.      Free Fireworks Show*

Long Beach 
Fireworks cruise:
Tickets are about $45 dollars ages 3 and up; Boarding approximately 7:30 pm. Cruise approximately 2-2 1/2 hrs. in length. To purchase tickets please:
Call (562) 983-6880,

The Queen Mary All-American July 4th  
   A day of entertainment for the whole family ends with a giant fireworks extravaganza. Prices are $49.00 per adult (ages 12+) if tickets are purchased prior to July 4th.
On July 4th at the door the price is $59 per adult (ages 12+)Prices are $29.00 per child (ages 4-11) if tickets are purchased prior to July 4th.
On July 4th at the door the price is $39 per adult (ages 4-11)
Best Dressed on 4th of July Contest


Marina del Rey
Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. and are launched from barge across the Marina's main channel
Parking is limited and local street closures (see “Road Closures” below) are planned to commence as early as 1 p.m. in some areas. We recommend that you arrive no later than 1 p.m. and stay for the day. See “Getting Here” section on the website for alternative ways to get around the Marina once you have arrived in town; use these methods for transportation to kayak/paddleboard rentals and other water activities to enjoy while you wait for the show.

Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way) and Fisherman's Village (13755 Fiji Way) are premier viewing locations
Parking fees range from $7 - $15
(310) 305-9545

Moorpark
July 3rd!! Fireworks
Arroyo Vista Community Park

Pacific Palisades
Begin your day with the 41st annual 5k/10k cross-country run. 
4Pm: Food/Concert Gates OpenKid’s Activities 
Openers  Featuring:Arielle Martinez Cohen and Skull Rock
6pm: Main Stage Concert Featuring Palishades
9PM: Fireworks


Pasadena
"Americafest 2019" at Rose Bowl Stadium
1001 Rose Bowl Dr.
Pasadena, CA 91103
12:00 PM – Parking Lots Open
2:00 PM – Family Fun Zone- Area H Opens 
5:30 PM-Doors Open
7:00PM- Performances Begin
9:00 PM – Fireworks Begin

Tickets: $15 - General (5 and under free), $35 - Reserved
(626) 577-3100

Pomona 
Pomona Fairplex
1101 W. McKinley
It's the annual fireworks spectacular at Fairplex.
Motor cross, Monster trucks (with rides) and Quad wars! 
Pit Party 5:00- 7:30PM 
Honor Guard and National Anthem 7:50PM
General Admission starts at $18.50. Kids under 2 are free. 

Porter Ranch
Shepherd of the Hills Church
19700 Rinaldi Street
Porter Ranch
A variety of free inflatable jumpers and obstacle courses until 8:30PM.
Free face painting until 8:30PM
Flyovers by US Air Force 146th Airwing and skydivers
Lots of food trucks! 
Event is FREE

Redondo Beach
100 Fisherman’s Wharf Redondo Beach 90277

Rosemead
Rosemead Park- 4343 Encinita Avenue, Rosemead, CA. 
Parade, carnival, and Fireworks 

San Pedro -
7-10 p.m. Celebrate the Fourth of July on the water!
 Tickets are $75 for adults, $25 for children.

Santa Clarita
festivities kick off in Newhall with the Independence Day 5K and 10K around 7:00AM
Fireworks will be on display at the Westfield Valencia Town Center
24201 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia, CA 91355
l


Santa Clarita (2)
Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Coca Cola July 4th Fest
July 2, 3rd and 4th

Santa Monica
No firework shows are happening in Santa Monica however, there is a great parade starting at 9:30am. 

South Gate
4900 Southern Avenue
South Gate, CA 90280
Dazzling Fireworks Display starts at 9 pm on Baseball Diamond #1. For more information please call 323.563.5479

Stevenson Ranch
*Have been canceled this year

Studio City
This year Studio City will not be having fireworks but check back next year as things may change.

Sunland Tujunga
I could not find any information out about fireworks this year in Sunland. 

West Covina
*I could not find any information about fireworks in West Covina for 2019

Woodland Hills
July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza
Warner Ranch Park
21820 Califa St.
Woodland Hills, 91367
PARKING: $20 – Park in any of the Warner Center structures between Topanga and Canoga or Califa and Oxnard. Over 20 food vendors, arts and crafts booths and a children’s play area for your enjoyment. COME EARLY!
General admission if FREE but there is a VIP treatment you can find our more about. 
Concert is Ryder Green
http://valleycultural.org

                                                                         

Monday, February 18, 2019

I Lost Out On A Great Listing...And Here's How

Last week I lost out on a great listing with a top executive at one of the world's largest companies. It happens, right? Well, yes...but I walked out of this knowing I had the best marketing strategies, the highest level of professionalism, the most competent knowledge of the market, his house and our industry. I have combined a top level of understanding of the technical side of real estate matched with the intimate side of the sale of a home. So How did this happen?

This same week I lost out on this listing I went to a class offered by Compass that goes over different personality types. They teach you what your personality type is, and how to discover what someone else is. In learning this, you find that some personality types simply can not hear what the other type is saying. It's not because the information is wrong, bad or incomplete. Rather, it's not delivered in the best way to communicate effectively so that the other person can hear what is being said. Months ago, I met Chris Voss who was the Top FBI hostage negotiator for many years (and you thought selling real estate is all about where to point your open house signs and cute bus bench photos) He spoke with me and touched on something I hadn't thought of before. He said "Amber, you seem very competent and direct in your communication. I'm the same way. But is the person you're speaking to able to hear you or do you need to communicate with them in another way?" That was the first light tapping that got me thinking. Then I took this course last week that hit the nail on the head. Some people simply have a way that they take information in and process it. And while all the great information I have may be good for some, others may not hear it the way they need it to be delivered. And I had just left a listing appointment with the CFO of a world-wide company thinking what a great job I had done. I mean, I really went into that meeting giving him all the information I had, with my background in real estate and every top notch marketing piece mixed with technological advances my company and I had in our pockets. Yet, I got the call two days later that they went with another agent. What?! I didn't see that coming. At least before I had taken this class through my company about how to deliver information to different types of personalities. And believe it or not, after I had completed this class and before I got this seller's phone call, my mind had changed on what a great job I had done during our meeting. See, I still believe I left him with everything any top executive looking to sell their home would want from a Realtor. What I didn't leave him with, was the best way he could have heard what I was trying to deliver.

So, lesson learned. And I'm always excited about good lessons. I don't believe I can do my job at a top level without being able to step back and see where I could make improvements and putting that to work.



Monday, February 4, 2019

How Much Personal Information Does Your Real Estate Agent Know?

Buying and Selling a Home is a very intimate process.  The people you work with have an up-close POV to a lot going on in your life.  And of course, there are many people who work with a friend who is an agent.  So how much personal information does your agent find out about you?

When I go to meet a new client or someone I know who is going to be selling or buying, the questions I ask are:
--"Why are you selling or buying now?"
--"When do you hope to move?"
--"If you are buying, Have you been pre-approved with a lender?"

Once a client has been pre-approved, here is what I find out:
--"What budget a client would like to stay within"
--"How much down payment a client has to use for a purchase."
--"What a client's FICO score is." (sometimes I don't even know this)
--"If a client is being given money to help in the purchase. This is called a "Gift" and is usually from an immediate family member"
--"The amount of proceeds a client may be receiving from the sale of a house."


Here is what I don't know and can't find out unless a client chooses to tell me:
1. "What a client's salary is."
2. "Any bonuses a client has received from an employer"
3. "What taxes they paid or their tax returns" (sometimes if a client is renting a landlord may ask to see this)
4.  "Any debts, or credit card bills a client has."
5.  "How much money a client has total in savings, retirement, stocks or any other investments"
6.  "If a client has been previously married or divorced" (unless the home you are selling still has a previous spouse still attached to the title or loan.
7.  "How much and on what a client spends for personal use each year."



I write this blog because so often I am helping a personal friend/acquaintance to buy or sell a home as many real estate agents do.  And no matter how close we are, there is still information that most people prefer to keep private.  I completely understand and am actually the same way, especially when it comes to some of these financial pieces of information.  The lender is the one who finds out most, if not all, of the very personal financial information a client has. The lender is not allowed to share these things with me and it is a good idea for every buyer/seller to talk with their lender about what information they share and with whom do they share it.  A client can also just tell the lender (even though it is already this way) to not share any extra un-needed information with anyone, especially just for the piece-of-mind of saying it out loud and letting it be known that you want to keep things private.
                                                                           

If you are looking to make a move this year, call me. I would love to help you make a move.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

7 Tips to Help You Downsize Quickly and Painlessly written by Michael Longsdon

7 Tips to Help You Downsize Quickly and Painlessly
written by Michael Longsdon

If the current housing shortage is any indication, older adults aren’t eager to downsize their homes. For many, it’s not because they don’t want the benefits of a smaller home. Rather, retirees simply aren’t ready for the big change. Seniors who wait to downsize put themselves in a tough situation. Instead of downsizing in their 60s when they’re healthy, older adults are waiting until their 80s when they can no longer live independently. Without the stamina for a big move, seniors in their 80s are more likely to end up in assisted living.

If you’re committed to aging in place, it’s better to downsize early. Not only will you have a safe home to age in, but you’ll also increase your financial security in retirement. A smaller mortgage, lower utility bills, and fewer maintenance expenses mean more money to live on and less stress. As HomeAdvisor puts it, “Having fewer financial- and maintenance-related responsibilities will allow you to focus more on your happiness and less on your home.”

If more financial security and fewer worries sound like something you want, don’t wait to downsize. Instead, use these tips to make downsizing as painless as possible.

1. Think twice before moving far.
A destination retirement might sound endlessly appealing, but moving far from your community has major drawbacks. Not only do you have to deal with the logistical aspects of a long-distance move, but you’ll have to rebuild a social community from scratch or risk isolation. Most seniors are better off staying in the same area.

2. Start culling possessions early.
Downsizing belongings can be the most overwhelming part of moving for many older adults. Rather than paying for an expensive storage unit or cramping a new home with too much stuff, start culling belongings a year before the move. The earlier you start, the less stressful it will be.

3. Know your ideal home size.
It’s hard to know how much to get rid of if you’re not certain what size house you’d like to live in. Research the local market to discover what size homes are available in your price range. Then, drop into a couple of open houses to see if it’s a realistic size for your lifestyle. In addition to home size, consider the aging-in-place design features explained at Next Avenue.

4. Practice living with less.
Can’t decide what to keep and what to give away? Box up the items on your “maybe” list and practice living without them. If you don’t miss them, you know you’re ready to say goodbye.

5. Hold an estate sale.
Selling items piece by piece is incredibly time-consuming. And usually, it’s not all that profitable. Instead, host an estate sale to sell a lot of stuff in one go. You can host your own estate sale, but hiring an estate sale company makes the process much easier.

6. Spruce up your home before moving.
A minor facelift can make a big difference in your home’s market appeal. If your home is well-maintained but hasn’t been updated in many years, it’s worth investing in some home improvements. An updated appearance helps your home appeal to today’s buyers without putting a big dent in your budget. Bob Vila recommends 13 inexpensive upgrades for sellers.

7. Know the floor plan.
Moving items that won’t fit in your new house is a waste of money. After buying a house, measure your furniture and compare it against the blueprint to see what fits. Creating a floor plan also lets you tell movers exactly where to set heavy items.


Our final tip? Hire help. Downsizing is overwhelming enough without trying to do it all yourself. With a trusted real estate agent, a crew of movers, and a senior move manager on your team, you can navigate this big transition with confidence that you’re making a smart move.

*Don't forget, Prop 60 and 90 were designed for people 55+ in LA county and other select counties in California.  It allows the transfer of your current property tax to a new home. Find out more here
https://assessor.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/E-20.pdf

                                                                                                     



Michael Longsdon reached out to me about him writing an article that I would put on my blog, which has always been my own writings. However, I believe that this is a great article and Mr Longsdon has a lot of great advice to give when it comes to caring for aging friends and family.  You can read more of his columns here  elderfreedom.net

Did You Know? Tips And Tricks For Your Home

Did You know...you can track your mail through a service provided by USPS.  Sign up here https://www.usps.com/    Look for the "Track And Manage" Tab and under that choose "Informed Delivery".  UPS and Fedex also offer similar services.

Did You Know....You could be eligible to get $400 rebate for a new Clothes Washer through LADWP?  Find out more here https://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/faces/ladwp/residential/r-savemoney/r-sm-rebatesandprograms?_adf.ctrl-state=fcerei2y0_4&_afrLoop=646652632687252

Did You Know....LADWP also offers free AC Optimization services from installing a new thermostat, replacing air filters and adding coolant to your unit?  Find out more here
https://www.ladwp.com/ladwp/faces/ladwp/residential/r-savemoney/r-sm-rebatesandprograms/r-sm-acopt?_adf.ctrl-state=fcerei2y0_4&_afrLoop=646866475158789

Did You Know....Using DW40 to help doors and windows open better may work but spray silicone is what most professionals would recommend you use instead

Did You Know...Watering your grass in the middle of the day can waste water as most of it will evaporate from the sun's heat.  Watering your grass at night may work better but may also cause the growth of mushrooms.  Watering in the early AM is typically a better option for most.

Did You Know...Even though your holiday lights say they can be used outdoors, rain and moisture can still short them out or corrode the plugs over time.  Some neighbors either zip-tie or use electrical tape to cover the plugs with a plastic bag.



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Today's Real Estate Market: The Twists and Turns

2018 has held a lot of twists and turns for our real estate market.  Here are some of what you may be seeing and what to expect in the near future. 

Back in June of this year, I wrote about the shift happening in the real estate market.  It didn't take long for our market to switch from a Seller's Market to a Buyer's Market, which we are now in.  If you're not in an up-to-date knowledge of the real estate market, this news may come as a surprise as you've likely been watching homes go into multiple offers and get over asking price for years.  And while some places may still have more than one offer on them, we may not be seeing the frenzy of house buying like this again for quite some time.  The housing market, just like our economy, has its ebb and flow and the housing market had been going up strong for about the past 6 years.  So it's no surprise that we are entering into a new market.  As an agent, my job is just to set up my client's expectations with where the market is and how best to market a home for sale for my sellers in this market or negotiate a deal for a buyer.

My advice for my sellers: Market their homes with the unique features it may have that surrounding homes may not.  Make this the big, bold, first sentence marketing bit. Show the pictures of this feature first.  Does your home have solar?  A pool?  Maybe you have an "office" that could really be a bedroom if it only had a door.  I would ask my sellers to install a door or list that house as having that extra bedroom for marketing purposes than disclose to buyers that it is not a true bedroom. The way in which you market your home, and to who you market it to, is of the highest importance.  Especially in this new market.

My advice for buyers:  Don't let a home that has been sitting for a while, or gone on and off the market scare you.  This will become something we will see more and more of moving forward.  Negotiation of the price will be more and more common and prices are already showing drops so this is a good time to buy if are looking for a deal.  Especially in the winter time when people who sell their homes are usually selling because they have to, not because they want to. 

Not only am I the Valley agent that national and local media turn to when they want an expert's help in putting together their news and articles, but I am also in constant contact with other local agents and well as some of the best agents in other major markets. I listen to where other markets are and take in the ways other agents in these markets are working through their own market shifts and challenges. 
                                                                     

Monday, November 12, 2018

11 Ways You Can Give or Receive Help #Woolsey Fire

11 Ways You Can Give or Recieve Help From the Woolsey Fires

1. Los Angeles Fire Dept Foundation
http://supportlafd.org/
2. United Way of Greater Los Angeles
https://www.unitedwayla.org/en/
3. Ventura County Community Foundation
https://vccf.org/
4. Humane Society of Ventura
https://www.hsvc.org/
6. California Community Foundation
https://www.calfund.org/wildfire-relief-fund/
9. LA County Animal Shelter
https://lacountyanimals.org/
10. Direct item donation. Any and all items welcome
Tuesday, November 13: 2 pm - 7 pm
Wednesday, November 14 - Friday, November 16: 12 pm - 7 pm
On Saturday, November 17 from 12 pm - 7 pm the warehouse will open for whoever needs to pick up supplies. We have partnered up with some amazing local restaurants who will be serving hot dinner on Saturday too!
Warehouse location:
31360 Via Colinas suite 101
Westlake Village, CA. 91362
located in the Westlake Village Industrial Park
11. Send thank you cards and messages to our Frist responders here and those who traveled to California to help.

Monday, October 22, 2018

A Few Things To Expect In The Near Future For Real Estate

Back in June of this year, I wrote an article about the market shifting.  Some people didn't agree, some people didn't like it but none-the-less it had begun.  We are now in October and the market from Beverly Hills to the beaches to the Valley have all experienced this shift.  And what exactly is the shift, you may be wondering?  We have pretty much been in a seller's market from about 2012 till just recently.  This means there were more buyers looking to buy than houses that were available.  This creates a market where the seller typically has more say-so in a transaction because it was harder for buyers to get an accepted offer and then once they did, the buyer had very little leverage in negotiations during the transaction.  The seller's market is no longer here, and while some houses may be still selling quickly and maybe even some selling with multiple offers, it is more common to see houses sit on the market for a bit and possibly even drop their price.  With this happening, it also leaves the buyers in more control during the transaction.  And what does that mean, you ask?  For starters, the purchase contract is written such that the buyer has more abilities and options to cancel than the seller, up to a certain point.  Also, the buyers have more abilities these days to negotiate during the transaction because if buyers and sellers don't agree on repairs or credits during the transaction, the buyer can walk away leaving the seller to put the home back on the market and look for a new buyer which some sellers don't want to go through again.

What does this mean for the near future? I believe we will continue to see homes sitting a little longer on the market than before.  This means we have to set up buyer's expectations that just because a home may be sitting, doesn't mean anything is wrong with it.  It's just going to start becoming the norm.  Also, homes will be off and back on the market more while we are in this transition since buyer and sellers may be trying to hold their grounds stronger during negotiations.  And again, this won't mean something is wrong with the house. We may also have sellers experiencing wavering of decisiveness from the buyer throughout the transaction.  When a seller wants to sell, they are typically set on their plan to sell and move.  But that's not the same as a buyer.  Buyers can say they want to buy one day, then change their minds the next. They may have an idea of where they want to buy and what the home needs to have but then go in the opposite direction when they actually buy.  It's just the nature of buying a home.  And when buyers aren't under any pressure to buy, the way they were in the seller's market, then things can feel a little rollercoaster-like during the transaction as the buyer may not be set on their decision. I hope this gives perspective buyer and sellers some insight into what to expect in the near future for our Los Angeles Real Estate Market.  And when you start to think about moving, give me a call. I'm always here to help.


                                                                           

Sunday, September 9, 2018

What Should Your Agent Be Doing For You?

It's hard to know what to expect from your agent unless you have bought/sold a number of homes.  So many times, people work with agents and really don't know what their agent should be doing for them. They wind up talking to friends and comparing stories to get a feel for what they are experiencing (good or bad).  I've worked with a number of clients before, who conveyed to me, that they were very surprised by what I was doing because their previous agent worked in a much different way. So here are some things you should expect and hopefully receive from your agent:

When selling a home:
1. He/she should offer to meet you in person to fill out disclosures that may require more than just a signature
2. They should hire a professional photographer to take amazing photos of your home! This is must!
3. They should have disclosures filled out by you ready for any buyer prior to the acceptance of an offer.
4.  They should have the city report called a 9A be requested and paid for by you before an acceptance of an offer (these can sometimes take weeks for the city to get and they hold up the closing of homes way too often because of the time they take)
5.  They should talk to you about what to expect in terms of needing your house to be ready for a retrofit inspection and what that looks like and may cost.
6.  They should have a title report run on your home prior to putting your house on the market to make sure there isn't anything that needs to be taken care of now before your house is in escrow and issues can arise.
7. They should have you fill out a "Statement of Information" so that the escrow company can start working on making sure there aren't any liens or other information found out about you that could affect the sale of your home. (many times someone with a seller's same name can come up on a title report that looks as if the seller has a lien or judgment when in fact, it is another person by the same name and this "Statement of information" is meant to clear up situations like this.
8. The agent should give you an idea of what open houses they want to have for your home and if your home doesn't sell right away, they should be available (or have someone available) to hold more open houses on your home for the weeks to come if you choose.
9.  They should clearly explain to you what the listing contract means, how much commission your agent and the buyer's agent receives, and what it would take to get out of that contract if you're not happy. (you should see this in writing)
10.  They should tell you in what manner your home will be shown to prospective clients.  Will you, the seller, be showing it? Will your agent meet the other agent and buyers themselves to show? Will there be a lockbox on the property for buying agents to gain entrance themselves? (Personally, I don't typically leave a lock box on a property AND also advertise that it is there on the MLS.  Regardless if agents say they need to call the owners prior to showing your home, it happens too often that if an agent reads that there is a lock box, they don't read the comments regarding calling the agent first and they just show up.)
11.  Your agent should try to be there for the inspections the buyer has on your home. It's best to hear, in person, what the inspector says regarding the condition and possible issues of a home.  It's also a good time for the listing agent and buyer's agent to communicate.
12.  Your agent should be advertising your home in whatever manner they deem best for your home.  Social media, mailers, neighborhood flyers etc....
13.  Your agent should clearly go over any offer and the pros and cons of what it may mean.  There is SO much more to an offer than the price.  Who is the buyer's agent? Does your agent know them? Who is the buyer's lender? Are they good? What are the time frames the buyer has for inspections? After inspections are completed and agreed upon by buyer and seller, does the buyer still have the right to come into your home before closing? Can the buyer just walk away from the purchase? If so, under what conditions?
14. Your agent should be able to do "Reverse Prospecting" which is looking up buyer's agents who have sent your property's MLS link to their clients. Your agent should be able to reach out to these other agents to ask for feedback or advertise your property to them.
15. Your agent should be able to give you an HONEST answer on what your home may be worth/sell for.  Some agents will get your hopes up by telling you your home is worth more just so they can get the listing signed and then later convince you to lower the price of your home.  (If your agent is convinced your home's price is more than other agents you've spoken with and you choose that agent. you have the right to have wording added in your listing agreement that states if your home doesn't sell for a certain price, you can cancel the agreement)
16. Your agent should discuss with you the possibility of them also representing a buyer for your home. And if they do that, what does it mean? What should you expect?  Personally, I've only done this a couple times and only at the request of the seller.  There is much to be discussed about this situation.
17. They should tell you about what is going on in the market in your area and what to expect in terms of how long your house may take to sell.
18. They should tell you who pays for what during the sale. Does the seller pay for certain closing costs or the buyer? (each transaction is different)

When Buying A Home:
1. Your agent should first have you get preapproved with a lender.  Not all lenders are good and just because you are pre-approved does NOT mean you will get the loan.  Lenders can be a huge hickup in the middle of a purchase.  Get recommendations from your agent or friends. Don't just call someone from the internet.
2.  He/she should be sending you homes that come up, or change price on a regular basis.
3.  They should be able to ask fellow agents if they have listings coming up that are not yet public.
4. They should advise you on how to put your offer together.  Should you offer the asking price? More or less? Will you be able to hold all needed inspections in the time frames on the contract?  What are your rights to walk away from this purchase if you choose?
5. They should have inspectors they have worked with and can recommend.
6.  They should be reasonably available to come with you to listings or have someone they work with take you.
7.  They should give you an idea of what to expect once your offer is accepted. How long till you put your deposit in escrow? How do you do that? What is included or not included in the purchase? What about things like solar panels, water softeners and security systems?  When should the owners be moving out or are they staying past the closing date?  Can you have things fixed on the home prior to closing?
8.  They should be with you during inspections of the home and be able to give you guidance on what the inspections mean.
9.  They should CLEARLY explain what the contingencies are prior to putting in your offer. What is at risk regarding your deposit with the contingencies?
10.  They should go over the disclosures with you and tell you what they mean and how they may affect you.
11.  They should go get you your keys/remotes to the new home when the home closes!

                                                                     


If you are looking to sell/buy a home, please give me a call.  I work hard, not only for my clients, but to get their future recommendations.  My clients and their needs are always my top priority.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How To Get Free Maintenance For Your AC

Was it really just 115 degrees outside last week?  Even the dust was crying it was so hot.  And how about all those Air Conditioners that went out?  No fun for anyone who had to suffer through that heat. And while many people had to call on someone to fix, or replace their air conditioners because of that heat wave, I have some good news for those whose units made it.  You may be eligible to have your AC maintenance done for free! Here are some of the service provided by LADWP

  • Replacement or cleaning of standard air filters
  • Outdoor coil cleaning
  • System diagnostic test
  • Refrigerant charge adjustment (up to 2 lbs. of refrigerant will be provided, if applicable)
  • Installation of smart, Wi-Fi enabled thermostat (for compatible residential systems only, if customer does not already have a smart thermostat*)
    • Zoned systems only qualify for one thermostat
  • If the customer’s home is not Wi-Fi enabled, or would prefer not to have a smart thermostat installed, the following AC system or Heat Pump alternatives can be installed at no charge to the customer:
    • Western Cooling Control

Along with these great services, you can get rebates on new A/C units and much more.  Visit their website here: