Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why Do My Offers Keep Getting Outbid? And What Does The Real Estate Market Have In Store For Me In 2013?

It's December 20, 2012 and the real estate market here in LA took a sharp turn. If you have been in the market to buy a home in the past 6 months, you will have definitely seen this change. Have you put offers in on homes and been outbid? Have you even put the full asking price in on a home and still not gotten it? You are not alone. Far from it. There are many people out there that are looking to purchase a home and have not been successful with their offers. Here is what is going on with the market as of today. It is true that prices are on the rise. According to the MLS, the average single family resident home's sold price in Valley Village from 11/1/2011 to 12/1/2011 was $589,250 compared to the average sold price from 11/1/2012 to 12/1/2012 which was $784, 552. And in North Hollywood from 11/1/2011 to 12/1/2011 the average home's sale price was $326,104 compared to 11/1/2012 to 12/1/2012 which was $345, 891.  One thing you can not do is look at where the market was six months ago and expect those prices. The market is always changing and when the market is on the rise or is falling, you can only compare prices to a month or two ago.

Not only are home prices rising but as of today, the number of homes on the market for sale is less that the number of buyers looking to buy a home. So the supply of homes for sale is short.  Also, there are still a lot of investors out buying homes with the hopes that they can buy a home today, fix it up, and sell it in a few months while the market is still on the rise. You may have heard that you were outbid by an "all cash offer".  A lot of times investors use all cash to buy a home and sometimes the seller feels more secure about selling their home to an all cash offer rather than someone who uses a loan to get a home. Loans are not always guaranteed and could fall through, even with the best of the best people looking to get them. Okay, so knowing all this, what do you do now? Well, one option is to raise your budget so you can get the home you would like. Although the market is rising we still have amazing prices from where the market was at a number of years back. We also still have fabulous interest rates available and those won't be around forever either. But maybe you are already at the top of your budget. Another option is to look for something different. Maybe try a different area, or a smaller house or look at some great condos. Another thing you can do when making an offer on a home is ask your real estate agent to write a very nice cover letter about you, informing the seller of how interested you are in their lovely home and what your plans are for their home. Not everyone selling is looking for top dollar. Remember, these are people's homes and people have fond memories made there and personal touches they worked hard on in their homes. They have neighbors they have formed friendships with and some people truly want a nice person that will take care of their home when they leave. It is also possible that your agent can present your offer in person to the seller and hopefully tell them many great things about you and your plans for their home. I know this market can be discouraging for those of you out there that are feeling like none of your offers are working for you but there are options and as always, make sure you are working with a realtor that is on your side and really cares for you as a person and professionally as a client. And when you are looking to buy or sell, please give me a call and I will be more than happy to help with all your real estate needs

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What is a Probate? And What is a Trust?

When my client's are looking for homes, sometimes they use internet search sites such as and Zillow and then I get questions about terms they find on these sites or hear from other sources.  One of the big questions I hear a lot is "What is a Trustee Sale?" and "What is a probate sale?".   Without getting into too many specifics I will try to answer this for all of you wondering the same thing.

First off, every state has very different laws and regulations in regards to real estate.  So this may not pertain to you if you are looking to buy or sell in a place other than California. Now, to be clear, there is a large difference between a "trust sale" and a "trustee's sale".  A trustee's sale, here in California, simply put, is a foreclosure. I believe what most people are really asking about, when it comes to these terms, has to do with probates.

I have included the following information that is written on the California Association of Realtor's webite CAR.ORG

Q 1.  What is probate?
A "Probate" is the court-supervised administration of a decedent's estate. The procedure begins with the filing of a petition with a probate court for the probate of a decedent's will or for letters of administration if there is no will.
The probate proceeding involves "proving the will" (if there is a will), appointing the personal representative, determining the decedent's assets which are subject to probate, determining and paying the decedent's debts and taxes, and transferring title to the beneficiaries (if there is a will) or to the heirs at law (if there is no will).
Q 2.  What property is subject to probate?
A The probate proceeding, generally, is required only for property to which the decedent directly held title at his or her death, and not property which is indirectly held, property owned by contract, or which passes by operation of law to another at the decedent's death.
Q 3.  What property is not subject to probate?
A  The following property is not subject to probate administration:
  1. Property held in a trust (Cal. Prob. Code § § 5000, 13050, Estate of Heigho (1960), 186 Cal. App. 2d 360, 364-365);
  2. Property held by decedent as a fiduciary or as trustee for another (e.g., Totten Trust) (Cal. Prob. Code § § 80, 5000);
  3. Property held in joint tenancy (Cal. Prob. Code § § 5304,  13050);
  4. Property held in a multi-party account (Cal. Prob. Code §§ 5304, 13050);
  5. Property which is a life estate (Cal. Prob. Code § 13050);
  6. Property held as community property with the right of survivorship (Cal. Civ. Code § 682.1);                                                                                                                                             
    Okay, so you don't want your property to go through probate? Then something you can do is put your property into a "Trust". This next bit of information was also taken from

    In an attempt to avoid probate costs, court supervision, and public access to private information, many people put title in their property into a revocable living trust.
    First, the trust document needs to be created designating the names of the trustors, trustees, and beneficiaries.
    Second, title of all real (and personal) property needs to be placed into the trust in the following way:
    “We, John Smith and Mary Smith, husband and wife, quitclaim to John Smith and Mary Smith, co-trustees of the Smith Family Trust, the real property…”
    Furthermore, unless the trust instrument expressly provides other wise, community property that is transferred into a revocable living trust remains community property during the marriage, regardless of the identity of the trustee, if the trust provides that the power to modify the trust may be exercised only with the joinder or consent of both spouses.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I hope you this answered questions you have about probates and trusts. Always consult your Realtor or an attorney when you have questions regarding your property. And feel free to call me when you are ready to buy or sell