Friday, March 28, 2014

The Home Buyers Wish List

I don't think I've touched on this in a while. But, It's a good topic so I'm talking about it again.

So many things to think about when I get a new buyer client referred to me. Their loan, their down payment, their work schedule, their future expectations. And, of course, their infamous Wish List!

Sometimes it gets a little carried away. Not that you shouldn't have one, just that it needs to be realistic based upon your price range and location searching. Of course, if you have the infamous Champagne taste on a Beer budget.....we will never get too far in my car!

But, when you're first talking with your Realtor, make a list of the 10 most important things for you in your home purchase. Talk with your agent to see if those are realistic. Things like home size, number of bedrooms, amenities, upgrades, fixer-upper, pool....those kinds of things. Also include your list of 'Don't Wants' clearly on there! 

We'll let you know pretty quickly if your wishes have any possibility of coming true! Please don't expect all of them to come true though. Understand, as well, that you will likely change that list as the house hunt process moves along. Something you thought was so important, no longer becomes vital. An absolute No-Go before becomes an okay!

Ultimately, when that list gets fine tuned? Anticipate getting about 7 out of 10. Anticipation of all 10 will just put a block wall up when it comes to finding your next home. Block walls are great for your back yard, but not so great for house hunting!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Still Staying On Task

Some days are just crazier than others. Some days Realtors are pulled in fourteen different directions, seemingly all at the same time.

What makes one Realtor better than another? Staying on task, keeping with their schedule, committing to and keeping their promises to their clients, themselves, and other people involved in a transaction.

I'm one that needs, note needs not likes, to get things done before I move onto something else. I write notes a lot. To-Do lists. Check my e-mail list in my inbox to make sure I've replied to everyone...more than once! Re-check my text messages so I don't miss a To-Do that I read but noted to get to when I wasn't driving!

That's the way I would want it if I was a home buyer or seller.

Every once in a while my mouth can't quite keep up with my brain. Or I'll interrupt someone to get my thoughts out. I apologize in advance. My brain works faster than most! And, I want you to have everything, every bit of knowledge, I can possibly provide as instantaneously as can possibly be delivered.

So, while I do talk fast, and I do interrupt, and I am a bit OCD with my's all for you. And, it helps to keep my To-Do's more of a To-DONE!

So, yes, I'm staying on task for you! Well, LOL, yes, and for me too!

Friday, March 21, 2014

West Coast To Be A Sellers Market This Spring

And, yes indeedy, my specialty areas are considered the west coast! Although I'm not quite sure I'm completely buying the headline I read today.

It all depends on inventory and pricing and interest rates and economy and jobs! So, a lot depends on it being a sellers market.

Although last year sure was, I believe we still have to be careful and always consider the items I just listed above.

Inventory in Santa Clarita Valley for active homes is just under 600. We seem to have bumped up there rapidly but now stuck at that for a couple weeks. That's good for sellers.

As it grows, that will change for sellers. But, this week, offers I've written have been more on the sellers side! Two new listings I just put up...we'll see if they are attractive to more than one buyer!

I'm just sharing with you what some of the news is saying about our expected Spring market, that we, per the calendar, just came into.

As always, be wary about what the broad news is saying.
 Trust your Realtor with the neighborhood stats he/she brings to your kitchen table.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Should A Seller Speak With The Buyers Appraiser?

Hell yes! Oh, scuse me, Heck Yeah!

Sellers pay attention....

Once your home is in escrow, as surely your Realtor has mentioned, the buyers lender (unless you're one of the lucky sellers that has an all cash buyer) will be sending an appraiser over to view your home and determine its value.

They will look at comparable sales, neighborhood, amenities in your home. That kind of thing. They will only be able to read what is written in the MLS about your home and visually anything that they can see while at the property.

Remember when you spruced up the house for listing photos? And, again, made the bed and cleared off the counters for every showing? Same applies here. You really must prepare your home for the appraiser as if he/she is a prospective buyer.

You should also go above and beyond and present, in written format with dates and all, the upgrades that you have completed to compliment the value of your home.

Appraisers can be nice and chatty, well sometimes too chatty. Or they can be closed lipped. But, you the seller, can totally speak with them. Don't tell them you have to get a certain price, that's not cool. But, do present your home in the best light and make certain to hand over a list that shows the appraiser your upgrades/costs/dates to assist him/her. Yes, to assist only.

You want the home to appraise at purchase price.
Hopefully it will.....with some effort on your part, it just may!

Friday, March 14, 2014

1031 Tax Exchanges ~ Franchise Tax Board is Cracking Down

Brief explanation of the 1031 Tax Exchange is where an investor sells a piece of property and instead of paying capital gains taxes it is reinvested in a like-type property to defer those monies being paid to the IRS and the FTB.

Well, California is watching you would be 1031 Exchangers. And, they are really cracking down if you're not following it to the T letter of the Tax Exchange law.

So, while it's a great way to defer tax payments, be careful. Make sure you are doing everything as legally as you are supposed to. Utilize a 1031 expert to complete the exchange for you.

Since California pretty much follows the Federal guidelines on 1031's, read here from the IRS:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Neighborhood MLS Stats March 11, 2014

So my blog friends, we're now pushing a 3 month supply of homes for sale in our local MLS!

I include Acton, Agua Dulce, Canyon Country, Fair Oaks Ranch, Saugus, Santa Clarita, Newhall, Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Val Verde, and Castaic.

593 show as active today.
543 show as under contract.
Only 213 closed sales in the last 30 days.

I can only stress how important it is to price your home correctly for sale,
 and to prepare it correctly for showings.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Boomerang Buyer

Boomerang buyers are the ones that lost their home to foreclosure or short sale between 2007 & 2013. The ones that are re-purchasing, or have already.

Almost a million have already bought a replacement home. About one and a half mill will be trapped in rental housing for a few more years. And another almost three million will become homeowners again in the next seven years. Or so says the article I read today.

A lot of those Boomerang buyers are utilizing the FHA loan program. Which has reduced it's loan limits so those buyers will likely be buying smaller homes.

Which then, in turn, hurts the first time home buyer that isn't a BB (Boomerang Buyer) due to competition created.

Just a tid-bit of info for you today that I found worth sharing.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What Is My Home Worth?

It's only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. There, this blog post is over....all done.

Oh, okay, I'll explain!

So much of what Realtors do is valuation of homes. For a buyer we check comps to see if the home is over priced or under priced.  We discuss appraisal problems with over priced homes. We discuss the likelihood of multiple offers with unrealistically under priced homes.

Same for seller. We show them the comparable sales in their are. We add and subtract for amenities or lack thereof.

But, quite honestly it boils down to what a buyer is willing to pay to have that particular home.

A seller story and a buyer story:

Ran the comps and suggested a list price for a new seller. He asked if I would take an open listing and sell it for $50,000 more and we would share the profits and he would increase the commission paid too. I get it, he thinks I would possibly be monetarily motivated to get someone to pay way more than it's worth so we'd both be happier. However, it can also be a complete waste of valuable marketing time by listing too high. Trust me, no buyer would pay that price for that home. Nope, nada, none. Not in the current market. I told him in 2021 maybe!

Buyer story goes a little different. Found a property, showed buyer the comparable sales. Again, making adjustments for similar homes with and without the same amenities. They decided to write at 10k over list price. Okay, then we get into a multiple offer situation and they bump up their offer another 5k. Really pushing the limit on appraisal. Listing agent collects a few more offers and then calls me to see if my buyer would go up to 35k-ish over list price as they have some in that ballpark. More than one too!

I love my buyer. The says: "What are they crazy? They can have it for that price!"

You see, it's only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. It wasn't worth it to my buyer. Maybe someone else's....but certainly not mine. Smart cookie my buyer is!