Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I Think I May Need An Exorcist!

Sometimes we wonder why houses don't sell. Is there some sort of bad 'juju' on the home? Did a curse get attached to it?

Seriously!! We wonder, every once in a while, why one home just isn't selling.

Shows beautiful, priced well (well now it is), easy for buyers to view. But still, alas, no offer on the property.

Open houses had a massive amount of guests. Showings really picked up after the price adjustment.

Still no offers.

We agents do whatever it takes to get a house sold. Once I buried a St. Joseph, said a prayer, put him in upside down and covered him with dirt. We sold the house.

This one.....I may have to go a little further! LOLOLOL. Just kidding. But, everyday I get up, I say my personal mantra....and now I've added one just for that house!

Go Away Any Bad JuJu & Bring My Sellers A Good Offer Today!

Feel free to chime in with me. About 7am, daily basis. 

I'd appreciate it! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

It Pays To Communicate With My Affiliates!

Was looking at homes for a client recently and one of the homes we viewed had some sort of separation at a ceiling corner. Looked like sloppy workmanship. Seller says it was like that when they bought it just a few years ago as a short-sale.

My client didn't really like the floor plan so we moved on not thinking back. The next day or two, 3 in that same track came on the market in under 24 hours. I thought it was odd. But, again, client didn't love the floor plan, so I mentioned it to her, but moved on.

We are writing an offer today on a home she loves. One that is in a different neighborhood, but still nearby.

Talking with one of my affiliates, there was mention of some possible slippage and/or grading issues in a track around the same area. Now, there is an older neighborhood, we call 'Slippery City' across the main boulevard, but this was about a newer track. She said a co-worker had walked away from his house when 'overnight, the wall fell down'. Mentioned a couple of street names and it turns out it was the neighborhood where I saw the ceiling corner separation.

I sent an e-mail out to my company associates to see if anyone had heard of anything in the track with the ceiling problem, and/or, the track my client wanted to write an offer in. A few shocked responses but no one seemed to know of any issues.

Thank goodness for Google! 
So Google, here I went. Very, very quickly I did find a lawsuit in the track where we saw the ceiling issue. Something to do with substandard grading. The track my client loves the house in? Not involved, nothing I found of any discouragement. Phew! She was pretty happy too! 

I am constantly communicating with my affiliates. Constantly. Whether it is in person, on the phone, an e-mail blast, social media pages. We all work together to help our clients. 

Just a story of the week. Things to keep in mind.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

One of the Many Things I Love About Santa Clarita Valley!

We have super hot summers. Not even going to kid about that. I grew up 2 miles from the beach and while I loved going to Palm Springs as a teenager and young adult, the heat is annoying at times in Awesometown!

But, we do have lots of Summer fun! Focusing on our music here.

Concerts in the Park! Saturdays. Wow, what a great way to have a picnic and listen to music and dance a bit on the grass in your bare feet. Click Here ~ Concerts in the Park Series 2015!

Valencia Jazz and Blues Concerts are back by the Valencia Hyatt on Town Center Drive! Fridays. No dancing in your bare feet, but definitely dancing, food, cocktails! Click Here ~ Jazz & Blues Concerts Schedule!

Stevenson Ranch also has a Summer Concert Series on Friday evenings. Restaurants all around, maybe a bit of dancing can be squeezed in too! Stevenson Ranch Concert Series Can Be Found Here!

And, trust me, there's even more than this to be had!

Awesometown.......it's pretty awesome!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Changing Your Landscaping Due To Drought in California

Sold a house a couple of years ago, pre-California-drought. Home buyer changed their landscaping to the more Arizona-water-conservation looking front yard. Actually looks really nice.

Another prospective seller asked me what I thought about the removal of turf and putting in drought resistant landscaping. Still another current seller has dirt instead of grass in rear yard due to the drought.

Now, while we are in a drought, a very severe drought, it won't stay this way. Rumors of another El Nino will certainly change the current situation. Or, allowing that little gray fish to .....well, that's another thought that I won't mention in public!

The change in your outdoor landscaping is like a change in your indoor 'landscaping'. It has to be considered what you like but also what a buyer for your home will like.

So, should you call Turf Terminators now? Should you pull up all your grass and put in pretty little rocks with plants that don't need much liquid to survive?

It's a personal choice, of course. BUT, I feel, IMHO that when the drought is over people are going to want their lush, grass filled, yards again. 

We are not in Arizona. We are in California. While we have a lot of browning lawns in our community, they will come back. California style......not desert style.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Inventory Is Rising, But I Still Need More Homes For Sale

With inventory rising in Santa Clarita Valley, you'd think all my buyers would be squared away, yes? No. We have over 700 homes available for sale and I have a 1/2 dozen buyers we are still looking for.

Why is that you ask? Several different reasons. Budget, desires, needs. All compile the homes that I am searching for.

Are they out there you ask? Not yet. They are not unreasonable. Well, one I just can't find it in the price range. (See earlier blog post from last week!) But, all of my buyers are looking for homes that can be had......if they come on the market. If I can find one from my networking before it comes on the market. If a current buyer cancels and it comes back on the market.

We're in a quandary right now. Interest rates are a moving target, inventory is climbing, buyers are still readily wanting to buy. Sellers are wanting to sell.

It's the magic of putting them together. 

That's the spark of my day.

So, while I've got sellers wanting to sell, 2 coming up that want to sell, I've got buyers that want to buy. I'm creating magic daily. And, I Love It!

PS ~ If you reading this post, knows anyone that wants to sell out here in Awesometown and surrounding communities,.......let me know! Be part of that sparkly magic I speak of!

Friday, June 12, 2015

It's Not About Selling Homes, It's About Helping People Fulfill Their Dreams

A young couple I'd been working with for a few months was invited to my home office last night to have a 'chat'. Time to make some changes in our search. Time to have a real sit-down and see where we can go to get them in the home they desire. Well, the home we thought they desired.

I pulled out their original wish list. Talked about how that criteria had changed since we first started. Talked about the market changes. Showed them that what they want just can't seemingly be had at their comfortable price point.

He said he was willing to wait. Save as much money as possible for the right home. I discussed appreciation, interest rate possible changes. He was calmly adamant that he knew he was gambling but wanted to gamble.

We further discussed if he felt that their income was going to change significantly......

That's where I heard about one of his dreams. The desire he had for his family's life. He saw it, felt it, thought it was just slightly outside of his grasp right now. But they shared it with me last night.

A home was definitely one of them, a first child was another. But their was a career that he'd wanted since he was in his teens, if I recall the age correctly. I admit I became a bit emotional, I don't know if they saw it, so I may not remember exactly.

I very firmly told him to follow his dreams. Don't let those go by. He could always buy a house. But those dreams escape us some times if we don't take the steps to fulfill them.

The money they are working on saving towards a home? My suggestion was to go back to school, get the degree he needed, follow his dream. Buy a house later, way later if necessary.

I queried his wife to see that she knew of this, and found that she most definitely did. Found that she would be extremely supportive of this next step. Of course she would, they are a loving couple.

I told them I would certainly keep an eye out for them and let them know if I saw something that was exceptional. But as we hugged good night, I wished in my heart that I never see the right house until this wonderful dream of theirs is accomplished.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Who You Should Remodel/Upgrade Your Home For

This is a tough one. So much chatter about what will reward you financially when you sell helps people decide what will reward them while they are still living there!

Kitchens & Bathrooms, those have always been, and will continue to be, the biggest bang for your buck.

Pools, not so much. Unless it's wild over the top and aesthetically pleasing to the masses.

Therein is the key phrase......Aesthetically Pleasing to the Masses........that's the thing people always need to remember when doing a remodel or upgrade to their home. Small or large project. It always matters.

People say to me this will be their forever home. I always say....No, it likely will not. Things change, lifestyles change, change is the only thing we really know is constant.

So, while the green granite may be beautiful for you, I can guarantee you that the masses will not find that appealing.

The purple kitchen cupboards that you painstakingly refinished so you smiled every time you were cooking your family dinner? Yep, not such a good idea for re-sale. 

Paint, decorating accessories, those are quick fixes for your purple passion or green gotta haves. When it comes to kitchen and bath permanent fixtures....talk to someone who sees a ton of homes. Someone that has watched the trends change. Someone that knows what buyers like. Yes, talk to a Realtor.

Why? Because when this home you thought was going to be your forever home goes on the market to sell? You need it to be .......come say it with me......Aesthetically Appealing to the Masses!!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Real Estate Photography ~ Is It Like False Advertising?

I was showing homes yesterday in the Saugus neighborhood of Santa Clarita Valley. A couple of my buyers had seen the listing on line, it went into escrow rapidly, now it's a BOM....the dreaded Back On Market, remember those?

Now, I gotta tell you, it looked GORGEOUS in the photographs. I mean, really outstanding! In real life, not so outstanding, not gorgeous. All the flaws glaringly apparent.

So, Real Estate Photography. Do we use the wide angle lens? Should we put some sort of filter over the lens to soften the actual shot? Should we stage the house to look that gorgeous way they look on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles?

When I went to school to become an agent they taught us to only bring the client in the pretty way to see a house. I always bring them in the pretty, take them out the ugly. Or vice versa. If there is both ways. Full disclosure.

When I have my photographer shoot my upcoming listings he does not use a wide angle lens. He does not use any type of lens filter. He does not photo shop in any way. He crops, uses good lighting, he takes pictures of the true presentation of the home.

It's my job as the home owners Realtor to present that home in the absolute best way the seller allows me too. I have to educate seller on the reasons for any 'staging', light changing, flower planting, etc. That's MY job. Not my photographers.

Now my guy will certainly move a trash can out of the way. Even a cord I miss now and again. But, never, ever, has he created such an amazing picture that buyers are disappointed when they see the house in real life.

(this isn't my real guy!)

True story? Home in Canoga Park a few years back. Hot market. Only showed the home at an open house for one day. Multiple offers, hard to know who the buyer was that was the winning bidder. Turned out that the buyer had never seen the house in real life until he came for his final walk through last week of escrow.

Was he surprised by the house? Did it look different than the pictures? As a matter of fact, he distinctly said how pleased he was that the home DID look like the pictures!

So, yes, present the home in it's best light. But, do not waste your time bringing buyers into the home that they are going to be completely turned off by in real life. We want buyers that like what they see online and like what they see if real life too.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

What's Happening in Awesometown?

Well, not just Awesometown. I always include our surrounding communities. Acton to the east, Newhall to the south, Castaic to the north, and Stevenson Ranch to the west. Even though a couple aren't officially Santa Clarita Valley, buyers still consider it so.

All types of housing as well. SFR, condos, townhouses, manufactured homes.

Active listings ~ 689

In Escrow ~ 668

Sold in the last 30 days ~ 341

Is the market changing? It's always changing.
How's the market? Awesome!
How's interest rates? Under 4 for the most part.
How easy is it to buy a house? Depends on your price range.
How easy is it to sell a house? Depends on price and presentation.