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June 2018 LA County Real Estate Market Statistics
Buying a first home is scary, overwhelming and exciting. The largest hurdle is where and how to start. Most buyers do not know that realtor’s services are free to the buyer. So they are fearful to hire an agent. A realtor has fiduciary responsibilities to protect buyers. They assist buyers with everything from financing and finding that dream home to negotiating the best price, and a smooth close. Time to buy a home? Call today 323-717-2262
1. Is it a buyer or a seller’s market?
2. Do you have a good real estate agent?
3. Have your space needs changed?
4. Can you afford to move?
5. What’s your timeline?
6. Is your neighborhood changing?
7. Is it a good time of year to move?
8. Is your home in good shape to sell?
Time to sell your home? Call/text 323-717-2262 today
When you show your house to potential buyers, you need to put your pets away so that they are safe, not stressed out, to reduce odor and so that buyers who are allergic or afraid can still visit.
# Kennel the pets inside the house
# Take the pets to a kennel outside the house (at your local vet or service like the Wag Hotels)
# Ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to watch the pets
# Put the pets behind a baby gate
# Have moved to your new home with the pets already
Here’s What You Need to Worry About When You Close Your Single Family Home
1. Get the Papers Ready for Escrow
Escrow is when the money for the single family home sale gets transferred to the escrow officer, who acts as a third party to keep everyone’s money safe until the transaction closes. The escrow officer also orders the title transfer. As you’ll recall, this is the point in the sale process where Melissa P. and her family got tripped up.
Make sure that you know whose name is on the title of the house and that you will be able to transfer it without hassle. The escrow officer will also prepare closing statements.
At this point, you need to make sure that everything is all set with your title, you’ve paid off any outstanding loans secured by the house, and you’ve sent in any personal information to the escrow officer.
You’ll most likely need to send your escrow officer documents related to your property. These may include:
• HOA paperwork
• Mortgage statements
• Smoke detector certificate
• Property tax bills
Specialized documents should be listed in your purchase agreement, as they will be different for every sale.
When you open escrow, your escrow officer will send you documents. The most common documents include:
• Escrow Holder Agreement
• State specific forms
• Grant Deed
• 1099-S Input Form
• Property Information Statement
• Statement of Information
• Affidavit of Nonforeign Status
Then, when you meet to sign documents at the closing table, you need to bring:
• Photo Identification (your Passport or Driver’s License)
• All house keys
• Records of home ownership
• Most recent paid utility bills
• Deed to the house
Be Aware that You’ll Probably Have to Pay…
• Fees associated with escrow, title, and any legal costs (Use this Seller’s Net Sheet Calculator to figure out what these costs may be for your area)
• The real estate agent commission (6%)
• Any outstanding mortgage loans
• Property tax, homeowners insurance, HOA fees
2. Get Set Up for The Home Appraisal
• The home appraisal happens after both you and the buyer have settled on the buyer’s offer and sign the purchase agreement for your single family house. You won’t have to pay for the home appraisal, but you will have to get the house ready.
• The appraiser ignores your personal belongings and focuses on the bones of your property. While they won’t assign a value based on the gray suede leather couch in your living room, you should still make sure the space is as clean as it was when you staged the homes for showings–it just leaves a better impression.
• If you have not already done so when you prepped the house for sale, make sure you handle these 3 things before the home appraisal happens:
• 1.Tidy Up
Clean and declutter enough so the appraiser can see small, unique details like a bay window, crown molding, beadboard, or original or new hardwood floors
• 2. Tackle the Smell
Make sure you air out the home and deodorize it with the DIY simmer pot you made in Chapter 3 or the reed diffusers you set out
• 3. Touch Up Your Landscaping
Re-mow the lawn and pull any weeds that popped up
• You need the house to appraise for at least the number the buyers said they’re willing to pay for it. If your single family home appraises for less, you or your buyer will have to make up the difference in cash because the bank will not issue a loan for more than the home is worth.
• This is the ultimate determination of your house’s actual fair market value.
3. Get Ready for The Home Inspection
The buyer also pays for the home inspection, but again–you need this to go well because the buyer could ask you to make repairs or could walk away after the results. We identified several problem areas you can look to to try and minimize any issues that could come up during the home inspection.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, as unknown and rare problems could occur, but it should help prepare you.
1. All wiring should be functional, properly installed, and up to code
2. Make sure that water properly drains around your house as to not seep into the foundation, basement or interior of the house
3. The roof needs to be sealed and free of leaking or cracked tiles
4. Check in on your foundation to make sure you don’t have any large or small scale foundation problems
5. There should be no peeling paint on the exterior
6. Watch out for signs of disrepair (cracked appliances, floor tiles, or any other unsightly cosmetic issues)
7. Watch out for mold. Mold can be hazardous, and it can aldo signal leaky pipes or circulation issues. Get mold analyzed ASAP and figure out the cause
8. Leaky pipes. These cause so many issues–mold, foundation problems, and dry rot, to name a few. Get these fixed
9. You need a functional HVAC system
Put Your Closing Documents in Order
When it’s time to sign all of the closing paperwork, this is what you need to bring to the meeting:
• A check (if you aren’t going to make money on the sale)
• Your driver’s license or passport for identification
• House Keys
• Mortgage information
• A list of home inspection repairs (if any)
• Property tax information
• The deed to the house (if you own the home)
You’ll then have to sign the closing documents. After this meeting you no longer own the house, so you should be fully moved out at this point.
Be Extra Careful with Contingency Sales
Get everything in place during closing if the purchase of your new house depends, or is contingent upon, selling your single family house. Chris Bessette had one buyer/seller situation where all three parties involved had to get to closing, or else none of the three transactions would have gone through.
“There were a lot of moving parts. If buyer A from the third party agent didn’t close on buyer B’s house and they couldn’t close on seller A’s house, then they couldn’t close on their transaction. It was a big domino effect.”
You should take precautions in the listing contract so that you’re protected if your sale becomes contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home. Make sure there is a clause in the contract that says you can accept other offers while waiting for the buyer’s sale to close.
You should also be able to give the buyer the opportunity to remove the contingency up to 48 hours after getting another offer so that they either purchase your house then and there or let you sell it to the other buyer.
What to Expect at Closing: Communication With Your Agent is Key
The stakes are high at the closing table. Stay informed about everything that needs to happen during closing (your real estate agent should keep you up to speed), and make sure you prepare and protect yourself from potential risks.
Do some research about how often pending home sales fall through in your area and you’ll see just how delicate these real estate deals can be.. Some cities, like Las Vegas, have a higher closing fail rate (7.6% compared to the national 3.9%), so if you live in an area like this you need to stay extra aware.
The more you communicate with your real estate agent and the more fixes you make to your property, the better chance you have for a smooth closing. (source homelight.com)
Zillow reports that the best time to sell a house to get the highest price and minimize time on the market is in the spring — specifically, during the first half of May. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Though homes listed for sale during this window sell nearly two weeks faster than average, and for an extra $2,500 to boot, a big part of that has to do with weather-related factors.
In parts of the country where all four seasons exist, spring has the advantage of attracting potential buyers who are done hibernating and are ready to do the legwork of visiting homes in person. Houses also tend to have more curb appeal in the spring, when flowers are blooming and grass is vibrant and green. But in some parts of the country, seasonal weather doesn’t come into play nearly as much
The rise of mobile applications has transformed our daily lives by shaping the way we work, spend leisure time, and search for information. In 2014, global usage of mobile devices surpassed desktop usage and it has continued to be preferred channel to consume information. With over 2.2 million mobile apps to choose from, users stay glued to their phones, causing consumption to drastically increase.
The real estate industry has capitalized on this trend and created a mobile marketplace where buyers can easily search for homes by using real estate apps. And their marketing efforts are proving to be successful. 68% of new home shoppers use real estate mobile applications throughout the entire house hunting process.
It’s not enough to show up on the big real estate websites. These days, you need to think mobile first. In the Apple App Store, the top six real estate apps listed for buyers include:
List your properties here to ensure the high visibility and talk with your real estate agent to for additional insight on city-specific mobile applications that you should be listed on. (source: homelight.com)
Thinking of selling your home? Call me today for an over the phone consultation.
Seeding your lawn to make it lush and green gets you all of your money back plus a whopping 317%. This improvement has the highest return on investment out of all the renovations on both Cost vs. Value and the National Association of Realtors’ lists. (source: homelight.com)
Want to sell your home for Top Dollar? Price it to end in 99
“Psychological pricing” is the phenomenon where items with prices ending in .99 sell more and faster than items with prices without the .99 tag. Zillow paired its data with studies that examined the effect of psychological pricing on consumers.
A study by Schindler and Kibarian examined retail sales and concluded that items with a tag that ended in .99 sold 8% more than items that did not. Zillow found that houses sold up to one week faster when priced ending in .99, eg. 429,900. You can use this strategy with your agent to get an edge on subconscious buyer appeal. Learn more about Zillow’s data studies in our list of best real estate books for 2016.