Tuesday, August 29, 2017

5 Secrets to get sellers to choose your bid in a hot market

Touring prospective houses can feel like wandering through an infinite, imaginary desert: You’re tired, you’re cranky, and you’re not sure if the experience is EVER. GOING. TO. END.
So when you’ve finally found “The One,” it’s an amazing feeling. You can already picture your first brunch in its adorable breakfast nook.
But wait. Before you summon the moving truck, your dream home’s seller has to pick you, too. Luckily, the key to locking down your ideal abode doesn’t always mean offering the most cash. Here are five ways to tip the odds in your favor.
#1 Negotiate with a Smile
Unlike most commercial real estate transactions, the buying and selling of a home is complicated by all kinds of emotions, explains Sara Benson of Benson Stanley Realty in Chicago. Often, how the seller feels about you can be more important than your money.
“People tend to do business with those they like and trust,” she says.
One of Benson’s favorite examples of this phenomenon occurred when one of her clients was second in line for a home. While the first-place bidders were negotiating their contract, they whipped out a long list of unreasonable demands for the seller.
“This infuriated the homeowner, who finally told them, ‘My property isn’t for sale to you at any price!’” Benson recalls. The seller ended up offering Benson’s clients the house, even though their bid was $10,000 below that of the first buyers.
Lesson learned? “Don’t nitpick over items that are insubstantial, like a torn window screen or a $50 valve on a hot water heater,” says Benson. “This will anger a seller more than anything.” And that, she says, could be a deal breaker.
#2 Get Personal
Bruce Ailion, an agent with RE/MAX in Woodstock, Ga., agrees that profit isn’t always the seller’s primary motivation. He recalls a recent deal in which he was representing an older couple selling their long-time family home.
“We had two offers: one from an investor paying cash, the second from financed first-time buyers.”
Despite Ailion’s recommendations, the sellers chose the first-time buyers, even though the cash offer was higher and would have been a much simpler transaction. Ultimately, what mattered most for Ailion’s clients was to pass their beloved home on to a deserving young family.
#3 Figure Out the Seller's Unique Motivation
Understanding why the sellers have put their home on the market is yet another powerful tool a buyer can bring to the negotiating table, says Ailion.
“Some sellers want a quick sale; others need time to find a home. Some are focused on price, others on certainty,” he says. “There are so many intangibles. It takes a deep understanding to make a good deal for everyone.”
See what information you can glean about the seller — from your agent or even from the seller’s neighbors — to arm yourself with as much information as possible.
“The more flexible a buyer can be on closing and possession, the more likely they’ll be able to negotiate a lower price,” agrees Benson. “They’re giving the seller peace of mind and the comfort of not having to rush out.”
#4 Write a Love Letter
Sometimes, a heartfelt note from a potential buyer can make all the difference, even when the chances seem pretty slim.
Darcey Regan, a Chicago-based HR executive, had already bid on another home when she and her husband stumbled upon a gorgeous old Victorian. Instantly, they were smitten. “I grew up in an old house, and the sellers had done a really great job of maintaining and renovating this one,” she says.
Unfortunately, multiple people had already placed offers on the house, including several developers who were planning to demolish the property. Regan felt her only hope was to write the sellers a letter. In it, she talked about growing up in a similar house, and how much she respected the owners’ efforts to preserve their home.
Within 24 hours, the sellers told her the house was hers. “It turns out they really wanted someone who would keep the house rather than tear it down,” she says.
Though it felt like a long shot, Regan believes her note was successful because it was genuine. Her advice? “Write a letter only if you’re really in love with the house, not because someone told you to.”
#5 Work With a Pro
It also helps to have a knowledgeable, well-respected pro on your side — someone who understands market realities and who will work well with the seller’s agent.
How do you find that seasoned pro with the sterling reputation? “Ask for referrals from your personal and professional network, and interview at least three different [agents] before you choose the one you feel most comfortable working with,” advises Benson.
Residential real estate is a game of both head and heart. Smart buyers who employ both are the ones most likely to win the home of their dreams.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This month's real estate news

This month's real estate news:


SELLING YOUR HOUSE? BETTER PREPARE FOR THE HOME INSPECTION

You’ve got a contract on your home for sale—congratulations! But before you pop the cork on the champagne, you’ve got to go through an ordeal that could make or break that sweet deal: a home inspection.

The home inspection is a contingency written into most offers, meaning that if the buyers aren’t happy with the result, they can cancel the sale without losing their earnest money deposit, or reopen negotiations and ask for a price reduction.
So it’s important to prepare yourself and your home for this important step of the process. How? Hey, we’re glad you asked! Let’s start at the beginning.
Will there always be a home inspection?
If your buyers are planning to tear down your home and build their own dream house, you might feel a pang of regret, but at least you won’t need to worry about the quality and condition of your property. These buyers are trying to get the lowest price possible and, if they think a clean contract without an inspection contingency will make them an attractive buyer in a competitive market, they’ll often forgo an inspection contingency.
But most buyers who are planning to live in your home want to know what they’re getting into. They want to know which systems work, and which don’t. They want to know how much money they’ll need to plow into the purchase, and which items you, dear seller, are willing to fix or replace to seal the deal.
The results of home inspections can give buyers peace of mind, or a tool they can use to bargain down the price. In the worst case, people with buyer’s remorse will use results of a home inspection to back out of the deal without penalty.
Sound scary? Don’t fret just yet. That first home inspection will let you know everything that’s wrong with your home. Armed with that information, you can fix problems before the next buyer shows up, adjust the price to reflect necessary repairs, or simply have a ready response when the issue comes up again.
Read more......

Here are some local number's; home prices for May 2016-July 2017 vs. same period last year:


   
Glendale+   15.0%
Burbank     +   10.7%
Toluca Lake+     5.0%
Pasadena+   14.8%
Studio City -     2.6%
Hollywood Hills -   14.1%
Valley Village+     6.6%
Sherman Oaks    +     3.9%


Call me if you would like home selling strategies that net top dollar!
Ana Connell 818-795-8474.



Weekly mortgage rates:

30 yr. fixed rate        3.90      0.03
15 yr. fixed rate         3.18      0.00
5 yr. adjustable rate  3.14       0.01
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Tip of the month


Saturday, August 19, 2017

6 Surefire signs it's time to sell your home

Most people don’t plan on living in their first (or second or maybe even third) home forever, but knowing when the time is right to put that baby on the market can be tricky.
In fact, it can feel kind of like breaking up with a longtime boyfriend or girlfriend. Deep down, you knew you wouldn’t be with that person forever—but ending things can be way easier said than done.
Sometimes life changes force the issue: There’s little reason for self-doubt or trauma-level angst if you’re relocating to another state or you know your newborn twins won’t fit in your one-bedroom bungalow. But without a pressing reason staring you in the face, it can be hard to know when you’ve outgrown your home.
So how do you know when it’s the right time to let go?
1. You’re feeling cramped, and you can’t add on
Your family might not be growing, but that doesn’t mean your lifestyle still fits in your current house.
If you’ve started working from home, for example, or you’ve adopted an extended family of indoor cats—or maybe you’ve just never gotten over your dream of having a sewing room—your house might be too small.
But before you jump to conclusions, see if paring down your possessions works to free up some space.
Another option might be to finish an attic or basement, add another room, or even add a whole story to your home. But, of course, that won’t work for everyone.
“If your property isn’t large enough or your municipality doesn’t allow it, moving to a bigger home may be your best option,” says Will Featherstone, founder of Featherstone & Co. of Keller Williams Excellence in Baltimore.
To decide which route to take, check your local building laws and get estimates from two or three contractors. It also wouldn’t hurt to check with your REALTOR®. Sometimes adding on won’t increase the value of a home, and you don’t want to make big-time improvements that will bring only a small-time return on your investment.
2. You have too much space
On the other hand, perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by vacant rooms and silence. (Hello, empty nesters!)
“In this case, it no longer makes sense to have, say, four bedrooms and a basement,” Featherstone says.
Saying goodbye to a family home can be difficult, but you should consider how feasible it is to stay. If yardwork and house upkeep are getting to be a little too much, or soaring utility bills are cramping your style, it might make more sense to move.
3. You’re over the neighborhood
Maybe you can no longer deal with the rigid rules of your homeowners association, or perhaps your neighbors turned their house into a rental for frat guys. Whatever the reason, neighborhood dynamics can change dramatically over time.
And sometimes, you can change. Maybe the 40-minute commute to work didn’t seem like such a big deal the first few years, but now you’re dreading it every day. Or your kids are getting older, which can be a big problem if you’re not in the right location.
“If you can’t afford a private school system, you are limited to one school for your children,” Featherstone says. “Moving may be a benefit to your child’s education.”
4. Remodeling won’t offer a return on your investment
Giving your kitchen or bathroom a face-lift can make your house feel like new again, which might be all you need to decide you want to stay put for years. But that doesn’t mean it’s a financially sound decision.
“Before making significant improvements, you should really study the neighborhood and know the highest price point of your neighborhood,” Featherstone says.
If your home is already similar in style and condition of some of the priciest homes in the neighborhood, remodeling might be a bad idea, and you should consider selling instead.
5. You can afford to sell
Sure, you’re going to make money when you actually sell your house, but as the adage goes, it takes money to make money. So seller beware: You probably won’t be sitting around and waiting for the dollars to roll in.
“Before you consider selling, you should have the funds available to prepare your home for sale,” Featherstone says.
Most sellers need to make some minor improvements such as painting, landscaping, or updating flooring to get a good price on their home. Those costs will come out of your pocket at first, so it’s a good idea to have a cushion before you start.
6. You’re ready to compete
If you’re living in a seller’s market, you might be enticed to offload your home before things cool off. But don’t forget—once you sell, you’ll probably be a buyer, too.
“If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but keep in mind the home you buy also will be more expensive,” Featherstone says.
If you’re going to get out there, you should make sure you’re ready to compete.
By: Angela Colley

4 Curb appeal projects to max out your home value

You’ve been spending so much time on projects inside your home (like that new shower you have to drag yourself out of), that your front yard is starting to scream for a bit of attention.

Poor neglected, thing.

You know your yard has some super curb appeal potential, but where to begin?

Check out the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features (full disclosure: NAR is HouseLogic’s sponsor). It’s got some interesting data on how landscaping affects home value, especially those with tons of curb appeal. They beat out all indoor projects when it comes to adding value to your home!

Below are four projects with so much curb-appeal juice, any money you invest in them is likely to pay you back much more.

#1 Add or Replace a Few Design Basics
Every few years, you overhaul your closet, replacing your worn-out basics with a few new pieces to ramp up your wardrobe. Why not do the same with your yard? Give it a basic makeover so it has some good, classic, value-boosting “bones” to build upon.

Landscape design basics like:

• A winding flagstone walkway
• A couple of stone planters (6 feet by 2 feet)
• A few flowering shrubs
• A deciduous tree about 15 feet tall
• Quality mulch

Why you can’t go wrong: The median cost for this makeover is $4,750. But the recoup (how much more your house would sell for after doing this project) is $5,000! Pretty sweet, right?

#2 Add Color and Texture in the Right Places
Experts call it “softscaping.” But basically, it’s adding plants in a designed, intentional way that makes your yard interesting to look at year-round.

It’s a great project if your yard is already in pretty good shape with some basic design elements mentioned above.

A typical softscaping project includes:
• Five trees
• 25 shrubs
• 60 perennials
• Natural edging
• Boulder accents

Why you can’t go wrong: You’ll invest about $7,000, but you could recoup every cent in home value, according to the Report. Plus, here’s what the report doesn’t include: You’ll get super energy savings.

Who doesn’t love lower utility bills?

Just three trees in the right location can save up to $250 a year in heating and cooling costs, says the source for energy-saving stats: the U.S. Department of Energy.

Shade trees help boost curb appeal

#3 Build a Deck or Patio if You Don’t Have One
If you’re spending sunny days admiring the great outdoors from indoors, it’s time for a change to get you outside… like finally building that deck or patio you’ve been dreaming of.

Why you can’t go wrong: A patio costs about $6,400 and recoups 102%. A wood deck will cost $9,450 with a slightly higher recoup of 106%. Plus, how can you put a price on all those evening cookouts and Sunday brunches al fresco?

#4 Heap Loads of Love on Your Lawn
Yep, you read that right. Especially if you know you’re going to sell in the next year or so.

It’s the easiest project to do — and it has a whopping ROI of 303%!

Lawn maintenance is simple:
• Fertilize
• Aerate
• Weed
• Rake

Why you can’t go wrong: It’s the cheapest project to do with an annual cost of only $330. Every year, you’ll reap the benefits of a lush, barefoot-friendly lawn.

(But note that unlike the other landscaping features listed in this article — deck, patio, hardscaping, trees, etc. — you’ll only get that fabulous 303% ROI on your maintenance costs for the year right before you sell. That’s because lawn maintenance has to be repeated annually, unlike the other projects).
By: Anne Arntson