Friday, October 25, 2013

Tune in to HGTV To See Me

This coming Sunday, October 27th, I will be on HGTV's House Hunter's Renovation. See myself and my associate Judy as we help a great couple find and fix their home right here in LA.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Real Estate Market or Roller Coaster?

It is October 2013 and the real estate market this year has really been looking like a roller coaster over the past 12 months. I could barely beg my clients last year during the summer to buy...then around November/December my phone was ringing off the hook for many months. The rates took a slight climb around June and things started to slow down (compared to the speedier prior 6 months).  The summer looked like the ride was leveling off and going at a good pace.  Now, I'm wondering if we will repeat the look of last year or just coast till Spring of next year.  These things now are evident...once again, we are starting to see a lack of homes for sale. The homes that were out there, were selling if they were priced right but there seems to have been a shift that coincided with the recent government shut down (or maybe it's just because the seasonal holidays are coming closer but I'd like to blame it on the shut down anyway:) But here is my prediction for the winter months to come and how the real estate market will fare. And if you've been following my blog for a couple years now, you know I have been right on about my predictions. But as my husband says...I can't always be right...we'll see about that.  Fact is, these holiday months are typically a slow time in house sales. Most people don't want to move around holidays and cold/wet weather.  But last year didn't keep anyone from going out and looking and the places that were for sale were snatched up the minute they had a for sale sign out front. I think if you are thinking about selling, this may be a good time to market your house. Reason being is that again, there won't be much competition out there. And yes, rates have wiggled around again but lets face it folks, they don't look to be going back down again, they are still remarkable rates, and there is only one way for them to go from here...and I think buyers are thinking that exact same thing and they don't want to gamble with where the rates will be in the spring. I don't think we will have the frenzy we had last year with house sales but I think if you market and price your house well, you will have a great chance of selling it to a great buyer with great conditions on your side. And if you are a buyer out there looking to buy, I think you will start to see a lack of homes to choose from. That being said, that doesn't mean there won't be any good homes out just takes one home to fit you to be the right home and when you find it, I suggest you move quickly and don't dilly dally. I think we will see one more small climb on this roller coaster before it takes it's tracks to a smooth level ride.  But we will see.  And that is my prediction for the winter of 2013/2014. Please call me if you live in the Los Angeles area and are thinking about buying or selling your home. I am always happy to help.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Questions You Should Be Asking Agents Regarding Listing Your Home

So you are thinking about selling your home and now you need to hire a real estate agent to help you. Most likely, you are going to interview with some agents that you just get a good feeling from.  But what else do you need to know about them and the job they are going to do for you? Well, here are some questions you may want to ask:

1. How often do you directly communicate updates to me- verbal vs. writing?

2. What is your sale ratio? (how many have you sold vs how many were cancelled/expired or taken off the market?)

3. Do you or your company charge any other “fees” besides the commission we agree upon?

4. What is the average length of time for your listings to sell?
5. How quickly is my property exposed to the market and other brokers?

6. What type of social media do you use and how will you use it to promote my property? And how else do you advertise my home?

7. Can I see examples of the flyers or mailers, as well as the photographer's work you will use to promote my home? 

8. Tell me the pros and cons of listing my place higher or lower than what you suggest the price should be. 

9. Do you suggest to have open houses? Agent caravan's open houses? Private showings where you meet the buyer here? A lock box on my property? A sale sign out front or not?

10. If you leave town, or are unavailable for any reason while my house is for sale, what is the plan? 

11. What separates you from your competition?

12. If I hire you to list my home, can you, or would you, submit offers that you wrote for perspective buyers and if so, what are the pros and cons of doing that?


And as always, when you are thinking about buying and selling your home, please consider calling me. I am happy to help you anytime.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Sherman Oaks Street Fair 2013

Can you think of any reason to head to Ventura Blvd if you know it's going to be packed with thousands of people? I can! The Sherman Oaks street fair is coming on Sunday October 20. It will be crazy with tons on live music, activities for the kids (yes I will be bringing mine), local business sponsors with booths, and all of our neighbors in one spot! It's going on from 10-6 between Kester and Van Nuys. See you there.  Find more info here

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Wait To Submit An Offer

I see it too often...I'm out showing clients homes and they see one they like. Then, they tell me to keep an eye on the home and keep in touch with the other agent to see if any other offers come in. Don't do it folks! You will not be doing yourself any favors in this market. When the market is super hot, sometimes an agent will use the first offer that comes in as a bar to which they will ask the other agents submitting offers to exceed. But the market has leveled out somewhat and we aren't fighting a lot of other buyers for all the homes out there. But...that's not to say that there won't be other buyers interested in the same home you are. So if you see a home you like, put in an offer right away.  I know that instinctively we may feel better about our home choice if someone else wants it too, right?  Or maybe we think that if no one else is putting an offer on it, that maybe they see something wrong that you don't see. I know you are thinking these things. But fact is, you want to avoid being in a multiply offer situation. And that is really the key because as soon as more than one offer comes in, then your room for negotiation gets less and the price may go up. So, if you see a house you like, go for it...and don't wait to be in a bidding war.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

5 Projects That Lower A Home's Value

I read this article online that lists 5 projects that lower a home's value. I don't necessarily agree that they "lower" the value but they may not be things that help show your home either. Here are a few they didn't mention that I think can really hurt your home's value:

- Adding a bedroom where the only entrance is through another bedroom

- Removing the entrance to the on-suite bathroom in a bedroom or remodeling your master bedroom to have an open floor plan that includes a bathroom with no separating walls (I call this the divorce-maker)

- Adding a pool to your back yard that takes up the whole yard

- Remodeling your home 1 room at a time and having each area not matching the next.
 ie different flooring in each room or an ultra modern styled bathroom with a Tuscan styled kitchen and den

- adding any square footage or rooms that create a bad flow to the house's overall layout

 Read the article with the other 5 things here