Friday, February 27, 2015

Inventory Is Low, Why Isn't Your Home Selling?

Marketing is so extremely vital. Networking, showing follow-up, putting your best foot forward on the condition of your home.

Pricing, however, is the absolute most important thing for your home. I don't care what anyone says, correct pricing is top priority.

I've just been refused an offer by a seller for a buyer of mine. He wants to wait for a better offer, a higher offer. Ours was the 2nd he had received, the other he deemed too low as well.

If your home is priced too high, you're going to get what you would consider low offers. That's it. If your home is priced too low, you're going to get multiple offers. If your home is priced right on, you'll get a couple of good, quality...."I really want this home" type of offers. Those are the ones you want, trust me on this.

Home in question has been on the market for 3 weeks, it's at least 30k over priced, at least. It's not in one of the high popularity contest neighborhoods. It's a lovely neighborhood, don't get me wrong, just not one of the ones people are fighting to get into. The home itself is gorgeous. Needs a couple things, but basically move-in ready.

BUT, it's over-priced!!

No two ways to look at it, it just is.

I'm going to show another one today, on the market for 71 days.....on a main street in the track....overpriced I tell ya.

Our inventory is still amazingly low. If your home hasn't received an offer in the first couple of weeks.....You Are Priced TOO High!

Getting off my soapbox now..... 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

An Offer Is Not Always What It Appears To Be

An offer comes in on a listing I have and since my fiduciary responsibility is to my seller I have to check out the details of the offer. Make suggestions on counter offer points, clarify anything sellers do not understand, and determine if the loan qualifications are good.....they sure best be.

I see properties come back on the market all the time and the agent remarks sometimes say "Buyer Could Not Get Loan". I think, hmmmmm, didn't the listing agent verify the capability of buyer before putting their seller in a position to lose valuable time on market?

At any rate, offer came in yesterday. Agent writes a note that says buyer is well qualified with high FICO scores. Offer is excellent price wise, terms, a couple items need to be corrected is all. I let my seller know that it's been received and that I am communicating with buyers lender to confirm qualification to close the loan.

Here is where a good agent, like myself, works through necessary items for their client.

First off lender is from out of state. So I confirm that he is licensed to do loans in California and knows about timing differences here vs. where he is. Yes he is and does. Then I ask.....have you done an income verification with tax returns and run credit or did you just do a phone interview? Sheepishly he says he just did a phone interview. I tell him do income verification and run credit....then get back to me. So a few hours later he e-mails me to tell me that while the buyers agent says buyer has high FICO scores, lender determines otherwise.

At this time, I say, yep, we need to cross qualify with my preferred lender. If this lender says it's a good loan, do I trust him? Or, do I continue to protect my seller and insist on buyer cross qualifying with my lender that I know will give me the full story and tell me if this buyer can really close on this purchase?

This morning I'm waiting to hear from original, out of state, lender about the probability of closing. Then, in between other appointments, I'll let buyers agent know that even though his lender says it can happen....we need my lender to say the same.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Farmhouse Sinks ~ Add This To Make Them Even Better

A current client and I talked about Farmhouse sinks the other day. I think they are gorgeous. She mentioned two different kinds but, quite honestly, I can't recall the 2nd one!

As I read articles about housing, etc., one is about decorating. Needless to say, one this morning had a great idea about Farmhouse sinks and their installations.

These sinks were originally fabricated due to the need to conserve water. Brought in water in buckets, warmed up, and poured into these large sinks. They are designed to conserve every last drop of precious water.

The interesting thing I saw, and it could certainly be done with any type of sink, is the counter top having grooves carved into them. The grooves gradually go downhill, become larger, as they get closer to the sink. What a great way to keep all that dang counter top water heading back into the sink!


Depending upon the type of cook you are, they can be on both sides of the sink, or just the one. Right or left of course. Yes, the sink would need to be below counter depth of course!

I wonder if they can get grungy though?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Let Me Help You In All Aspects Of Buying Your Home

This is just a recent story, and one that opened the eyes of a client of mine. So, I share.

Let's say you're about to buy another home. Let's say you've used the same lender many times in the past. Let's say I review the pre-approval information and ask "So, what's going on with closing costs?" I wonder how much the lender has quoted. Wonder if the buyer is aware of everything related to their down payment and closing costs. I have to help them with everything, right?

Well, I probably don't have to, but I sure don't want my client upset when something falls apart because I didn't dig a bit deeper.

I try to let the lender explain everything, let them do what I consider to be 'their' job. But, I definitely stick my nose in when it's just not clear enough. Or I can tell that my client, the one I've sworn to do my fiduciary responsibility to, doesn't quite know what's the real skinny.

So, my lovely little nose sticks in, very politely mind you, to find out exactly how those closing costs are getting paid.

And, the lender very clearly states exactly how it's going down. Buyers rate is bumped up a bit to get a credit back to help cover some of those costs. 

Now, that's a pretty typical way for a lender to 'cover' closing costs. But, what my client didn't realize is that the rate was pushed up to get the credit to get the 'cover' offered by their lender.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the scenario. Just that the client wasn't aware of how it was going down. They were under the impression it was more of a nice credit directly from their lender, not the bumping up of interest rate to do so.

So now? I'm going to work my butt off to hopefully get a seller to credit those closing costs instead, to get the lowest possible interest rate available to my peeps!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Subject Is Likely A Repeat, But Important Enough To Do So

I'd truly have to go through all my old posts to see if I've blogged about this already. You reading this likely hasn't read ALL of my posts so here we go.

Patience is a true virtue. It's important in all aspects of our lives. It's very hard to be patient sometimes. With our children, spouses, co-workers. Yep, it can be hard.

I do ask you though, when buying a home for you, or you and your family, be as patient as possible.

I'm not saying snooze through looking at properties.
 But, I am saying, don't make yourself crazy.

Our inventory has been very low for the last several years. I can remember in 2002, when I started my Real Estate career, there were about 1100 active home available for sale at any given time. 

Then, well you know what happened. We dropped down in inventory, had tons of distressed sales, and are just now coming back to what some would say is a normal market.

In Santa Clarita Valley, my home base, we've had as little as 300 properties active in the MLS. That was for a couple of years too! Now we are hovering around 600-ish, give or take a few.

So, understand that your home purchase (or sale or course) is one of the most important times in your life. One of the most stressful too. And, can likely cause some panic if you miss out on what you think was the perfect home, or you consider settling....some is necessary of course.....for a sub-standard 'dream' home.

There is a buyer for every home. There is a near perfect home for every buyer. Just be patient until we find yours. I know, I know, it's hard. I've been a home buyer too!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Man Oh Man, Being Bank Of America Right Now.....Well, That Just Sucks For Them!

Since they took over Countrywide in 2008 for 4 Billion they've had to shell out much more to pay for the mess Countrywide made.

16.5 Billion to the Department of Justice in August last year due to the selling/packaging toxic mortgage backed securities.

Now, they have to pay another 1.27 Billion to Fannie & Freddie. They tried to fight that one but lost Tuesday and were denied a request for a new trial as well!

Based upon the 'Hustle' (HSSL) program for selling those same mortgage backed securities to Fannie and Freddie. The government said the program emphasized speed over quality of the loans sold. Supposedly staff members were rewarded according to sales volume. Well, that's a standard of practice in many companies....just hopefully the volume (in other companies) wasn't crappy volume as well.

Ah, dang it, poor B of A. Wonder what it will do to it's customers to recapture this money paid out. Surely they have that all planned out already.....and been collecting alllllll along!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

MLS Activity for Awesometown and Surrounding Communities

I still get a kick out of the Valencia campaign of Awesometown!

MLS information includes Acton to the East, Stevenson Ranch to the West. Newhall to the South and Castaic to the North. Not all are officially in the Santa Clarita Valley....but we're all friends out here by Awesometown!

Active properties available for sale ~ 591

Under contract ~ 450

Closed escrow in the last 30 days ~ 166

Yes, only 166. That's about 1/2 of a normal month last year.

No worries, we are experiencing interest rates below 4%, inventory is climbing! We'll likely see many more closed sales this same time next month.