Monday, April 27, 2015

Earth Day Tips

Happy Earth Day 2015!
 Okay Okay. You got me. Earth Day was last week. I've been a little busy.  That being said, we are never to busy to make a few small changes that can have a big impact on helping to work towards a healthier planet.  
So here are just a few tips that can go a long way.   

Using Alternative Ways To Save On Plastics and Other Similar Products
1. Buy some extra re-usable bags (or wait till I come knocking on your door looking for people to buy and sell their homes and give you a bag with my logo) and use them when you shop in places other than grocery stores.  Take them to the mall, to the hardware store and even to places like Target.
2. Get a couple re-usable traveling coffee cups for when you go to Starbucks and Coffee Bean.  They even offer a discount when you bring your own.
3. Don't ask the waitress for a kid's cup with a lid.  Bring your own if they need a lid or teach the children to drink from adult glasses.  Those small plastic cups are used for 30 minutes at most then tossed in the trash.

Water Saving Tips
1. Most all Water Sprinklers have a "rain day delay" on them. So when it rains (which isn't often these days) do the rain delay.  Saves water and $$
2. Turn the water off when brushing your teeth.
3. I'll try to be delicate on this one but you may not need to flush the toilet Every time you use it...ahhemmm, cough cough
4.  If you have extra water at the table after meals, water your plants or give it to the pets.
5. Keep and clean out your old milk and juice cartons. During those times when you are running water and waiting for it to get warm, fill the cartons and use that water to water your plants outside (something I just started doing and I'm saving a lot of water and a lot of my plants!)
6. These days, most all colored clothes can be washed with whites as long as the colors aren't too brilliant. I use the Shout Color catchers for helping to wash my clothes and keeping the colors from mixing and this allows me to do less loads of laundry.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fact Or Fiction: Real Estate Myths

1.  I can't put in an offer that would be under the asking price because the home just came on the market.
False - Go ahead and give them an offer.  Some people price their homes a little high expecting some negotiation to take place. So don't always assume what a seller may be thinking

2.  There are no photos, or not a lot of them, so the home must need work.
False-  Fact is some agents just haven't done a great job getting a lot of photos.  I've seen perfectly fine homes that just weren't marketed well.

3.  Per the contract, a seller is to clean their home after they move out for the buyer.
True-  But the sad part of this is that not only does it not always happen, but what is "clean" to one person, may not be to the next.  That, and if you move into a home that isn't clean, your only recourse may be to try and take the seller to small claims court.

4.  If I apply for a loan and can't qualify or qualify for what I was hoping to get, it goes on record and can affect me qualifying later on.
False-  Our financial situations can change often and quickly and the most important aspect to a loan officer is what you are bring in for income Now and what your work status is today.

5 . Realtors must receive some sort of financial benefit from recommending their loan person.
False-  We recommend certain ones because we are confident they can do a good job and we like to work with people we have confidence in. And when the loan turns out good, it reflects well on us too, being that we recommended them.

6.  The Realtor that is hosting the open house isn't always the listing agent for that home.
True- Sometimes we have multiple homes for sale at the same time and can't be hosting them if the open houses fall on the same day. So we ask our colleagues to help host them and they do it in hopes of meeting people who are in need of a realtor to work with (and it is a great way to meet your realtor)

7.  A real estate agent gets more money if they sell a property that is listed through someone in their office
False- Unless the agent that is listing the property is on a real estate "Team" with the agent that brings in the offer, there is no financial benefit for those real estate agents that is different from working with someone from a different company (and you can always ask if they are working together on a team if you're not sure)

8.  I got an offer right after my home hit the market.  I should hold out because that means more are coming and hopefully a better priced offer too.
False-  You will get the most interest on your home within the first couple of weeks that it is being advertised.  If you don't work with an offer you have in hand, you could loose out on a good deal.  And it's possible that there may be other offers coming but no one holds the magic ball to tell that so it would be a gamble you would have to be willing to make. (and it could turn out in your favor, but it could also be a mistake)

9.  I like the home that I saw but it's been on the market for a while now so I'm going to sit and watch it because they are bound to lower the price.
False- I've seen it happen time and time again that someone wants to wait before putting an offer in on the house and then another buyer submits an offer.  Never wait to put your offer in. You don't want to loose out on a home you like and it's best to avoid multiple offer situations if you can. 

10.  In a multiple offer situation, seller's will take 'all-cash' offers over the rest.
False-  First, sometimes people with 'all-cash' give lower offers because they think that using cash will get brownie points.  But also, don't assume what a seller may be thinking.  I've won multiple offers with clients that were using loans and up against all cash. There are too many scenarios that could factor into the seller's mind and equation of why they would choose one offer over another.

11.  I like a home that is in the area I want to be in, but it's on a busy street and that could affect the resale value.
True- There are a number of factors that could affect the resale value of a home and that is one of them.  But sometimes the area that we would like to purchase a home is a bit out of our price range so this may be a good option if you are okay with it.

12.  Amber Dolle is the hardest working agent I know.
True-  And this is a direct quote from a client that left a review on Yelp.  See here Yelp Review  And call me when you are ready to sell or buy your home!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Why Using A Local Realtor Is So Important

I just had a good friend of my husband's decide to list their home in San Fransisco.  He spoke to my husband and I was asked if I could do real estate transactions up in that area.  Well, yes, technically I can because my license is good in all of California.  But would it be wise of me to list a home up there?  No.  And I told our friend that same thing.  But another friend of his who holds a real estate license that lives here in LA had offered to list our friend's San Fransisco home for him. I did some research and found an excellent agent up in San Fransisco that knows the area like the back of his hand and does a lot of work there. I put the two in touch hoping that having a conversation with that Realtor, and also having had a couple long conversations with myself, would sway him to work with a local realtor. And the reasons to do so are endless...things such as the first hand knowledge the local realtor has of the market, the relationships he holds with other realtors, escrow officers, loan officers, inspection people etc.  Also the local marketing he will be able to do, the disclosures that are specific to that area that the seller will need to give to a buyer that someone from out of town would not know about and on and on....but here is a basic question:  Would you ask your friend that lives 6 hours away from you what the best local sushi restaurant is near your house?  Probably not.  So why would you put the sale of your home in the hands of someone who doesn't know your home?

As realtors we are part of a large network of other realtors within our own state and in most other states across the country.  If you are looking for an agent outside of LA, let me find someone for you.  I can interview them, look up their credentials, and know the right questions to ask to see if they would be a good fit for you.