Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Have A Very Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

We hope you and your family enjoy all that this amazing holiday has to offer.

We just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support throughout the years. We wouldn’t be where we are today without your help!

Thank you for watching, asking questions, and giving us feedback!

It truly brings us joy to help you make your real estate dreams a reality. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help you in any way we can.

In the meantime, have a very merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

4 Demands to Make to Your Real Estate Agent

To distinguish between average real estate agents and great ones, you should make sure they can accommodate these four demands.

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Are you thinking about buying a home but dreading the challenges that come with the process? If you’re concerned about the unanswered questions surrounding what kind of house you can afford, how to schedule showings, and making sure that the paperwork is done right, I have a solution for you.

Hiring a real estate professional can take away most of the challenges involved in the home buying process. Like a great doctor or great accountant, a great real estate agent is always worth more than the commission that they charge.

Here is the best part: when buying a home, you don’t even pay the agent; you only pay for the loan officer who is getting your loan. I think that this is the reason that we hear more horror stories about buying a home than we do triumphant ones.

A great real estate agent is always worth more than the commission they charge.

If you want to lock down one of the best agents in your market, you must be able to distinguish an average agent from a great agent. According to many studies, an average agent sells just one to two homes per year. Great agents like us sell more than 50 homes every year. The agent you work with matters every single time. Here are the four demands you should make of your real estate agent when deciding which one to hire:
  1. Tell the truth about the price. When making an offer on the home you want to buy, make sure that your agent walks you through the entire plan for getting your offer accepted. Too many agents just take the offer that you suggest and then try to work both you and the seller in negotiating phases later. In a competitive market, you need an agent who is going to help you make the best initial offer so that you stand out from the crowd. In today’s market, every house must be sold twice: once to you and once to your bank. If your agent doesn’t discuss this with you at the time of the original offer, this should raise a red flag.
  2. Understand the time table that you and your family are dealing with. You’ll be moving yourself and your family into a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or a new job relocation, balancing the move and your life can be very emotionally draining. Demand that your agent appreciates the timetables you’re setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact time for your move, but they should exert any influence they can to make sure it all works out for you and your family.
  3. Remove as many challenges as possible for you. It’s imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise in the transaction, and, more importantly, set the right expectations for you so that you’re prepared for them in advance. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market. Remember, if you have a weak agent who’s negotiating with you on parts of the purchase offer, don’t expect them to turn into a superhero when they’re negotiating with the seller.
  4. Find the right house for you. There is a reason that you’re putting yourself and your family through this arduous moving process. You’re moving on with your life for the better in most cases. The reason for moving is important, or you wouldn’t be dealing with all the headaches and challenges that come with buying and moving. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Make sure that they keep you and your family’s real estate goals at the top of their list of priorities. If they discover that something needs to be done in order to obtain your real estate goals, insist they have the courage to inform you about it.
Good agents know how to deliver good news; great agents know how to deliver tough news but get you fantastic results. In today’s market, you need a great agent! If you have any other questions about buying or selling real estate in the Orange or LA County area, give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to help you!

Friday, October 28, 2016

11 Reasons the Holidays Are a Great Time to Sell

Contrary to popular belief, the holiday season is a great time to sell your home. There are a full 11 reasons as to why this is.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for Halloween. It puts me in the holiday spirit!

When it comes to real estate, though, the holiday spirit takes on a different meaning. A lot of people thinking about selling their home either to put the pedal to the metal to move forward or pump the brakes so they can enjoy the season. This is because the natural thought is that homes don’t sell during the holidays.

Here’s the thing, though: that couldn’t be further from the truth. Right now is a fantastic time to sell your home. How fantastic? My team and I have come together and provided a list of 11 reasons why you should take advantage of the holiday market:
  1. People who look for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers.
  2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from. Less competition means more money for you.
  3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there will be less demand for your particular home if you list then.
  4. Houses show better when they’re decorated for the holidays.
  5. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price.
  6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays than they do during a regular work week.
  7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons. 
  8. January is traditionally a month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees can’t wait until spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that group.
  9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the holidays.
  10. You can sell now for more money and we’ll provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until the following year if necessary.
  11. Selling now gives you an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the springtime when there will be more houses on the market for less money. This will allow you to sell high and buy low.

Right now is a fantastic time to sell your home.

If you don’t absolutely need to, feel free to stay put, take your home off the market, and enjoy the holidays. I know I will. However, there are some great benefits to selling now that you won’t get during the rest of the year.

If you have questions about your home or putting it up for sale during the holidays months, let’s talk. Give me a call or send me an email so we can figure out how we can get the highest price for your home. I look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Your Latest Real Estate Market Update

The wonderful world of real estate tends to run in cycles. Our market is shifting right now, so there are a few market trends that you need to be aware of.

As we all know, the wonderful world of real estate runs in cycles. There are times when the market is up, times when the market is down, and in-between times when the market seems flat. For those of us who have been through multiple upswings and downturns over the years, the worst downturn we’ve seen lasted from 2006 to mid-2011.

If you look at most cycles in real estate, we typically have four or five years of a really good market and then 12 to 36 months of an adjustment or downswing before starting that upward cycle again.

Since the recovery from the Great Recession began in mid-2011, it would only be natural for us to hit the next real estate cycle soon because it has been about five years since our last major downturn.

So, what are the signs of a market adjustment? Typically we will see increased inventory, more days on market, and frequent price reductions. This is exactly what we have seen over the last 10 months, and the market continues to adjust today.

What is causing the adjustment? As mentioned, we have had the five-year recovery period already, and it is time for the market to adjust. We are also experiencing enormous uncertainty in the stock market in the wake of Brexit; this causes people to slow down when it comes to purchasing a home, as some may not have enough money for a down payment. The uncertainty also slows down the market in the upper price points.

At the same time, we are in an election year. Election years cause economic concern and slow down the real estate market. Unfortunately, there have also been both national and international acts of terrorism, which further breed fear, uncertainty, and caution in our market.

Overall, the real estate market is doing great.

That said, it’s not all doom and gloom. The market isn’t going down anytime soon. My team and I cover 25 different cities in three major counties, and we are on track to help more than 60 families buy or sell a home anywhere from $400,000 to $2.5 million. In short, I have a direct pulse on what’s taking place in our market.

The good news is that homes are still selling and buyers are still taking advantage of the historically low interest rates, which means demand remains strong.

We are starting to see the market slow down in the higher price points of any market. In some cases, the top end of each market is starting to show signs of a buyer’s market. However, in the bottom three-quarters of the market, we are still experiencing a seller’s market. It’s not that insane seller’s market where there were 10 or 15 offers per property, though. Instead, the remaining three-quarters of the market is fairly healthy.

Overall, the real estate market is doing great. I would just say that you need to expect a little more volatility throughout the year. If you want more details about the market in your city or if you have any other questions, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What Home Sellers Need to Know in Today’s Market

Before we got the listing, it had been on the market for a year. The story of this listing is very relevant to what is going on in our current market.

I am standing in front of one of our newest sales; in fact, we just put the ‘Sold’ sign up today. I wanted to share the story of this listing with you because I think it is very relevant to what is going on in our current market for home sellers.

These sellers had put their home on the market with two different real estate agents. The home was on the market for an entire year between these two agents and neither one got results. These sellers went through the sales process twice, cleaned their home for showings, and no one came through the property. Instead, the agents kept telling them to just reduce the price.

I called these sellers and told them about our aggressive marketing strategy and the results that we’ve been getting. The home sellers took a leap of faith and gave me the opportunity to market this property.

It seems like everyone has a real estate license these days.

I put the home up for sale, communicated with the homeowners throughout the process, and gave them all the information they needed in order to make the best decisions for their situation. They were looking for a certain price and we were able to sell their home for an excellent price in less than 45 days.

I cannot tell you how relieved these home sellers were when they got the results that they wanted.

I wanted to tell you this story today because right now, we are in an environment where it seems like everyone has a real estate license. When you go to put your home on the market, you might think you are hiring a professional because they dress professionally and know how to talk the talk; in the end, though, you might not get the results or the communication that you want.

If you or someone you know is having a similar experience while trying to sell their home, give me a call. I would love to give you the information you need to sell your property. If you have any other questions about real estate, let me know. I would be happy to help you!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Why Paying Less Commission Will Cost You More Money

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Why is paying less commission going to cost you more money?

A good, strong, professional Realtor usually charges about 6% commission to list, market, and sell a property. Why are there Realtors out there who would charge less than half of that?

Let’s think about that for a moment. If a Realtor is going to reduce their fee to sell your home, what are they going to do professionally to market your home outside of the MLS? Because I specialize in listing and selling homes that other Realtors couldn’t sell, I can say from experience that most discount Realtors have extremely low marketing capabilities. Under their guidance, homes take longer to sell and receive lower offers due to their lack of negotiating experience.  

If you pay less, you’re going to get less.
At first, it seems like you would be saving 1% or 2% on commission, but in reality, you’re losing 4% to 7% on the sales process. Another thing you should be concerned with regarding a Realtor who reduces their fee (i.e. paycheck) is how strong their negotiating skills are in the first place. If they can’t even defend their own paycheck, how are they going to defend the equity in your home?

You want a Realtor who’s going to market your home aggressively, negotiate the highest dollar, and
has a great team behind them to give you world-class service. For example, we’re getting almost 5% more for our homes than the average Realtor in the marketplace. Our clients are walking away with almost $21,000 more than the average Realtor can get.

In real estate, you get what you pay for. If you pay less, you’re going to get less. Any Realtor that’s any good in this town, or any town, is going to charge at least 6%. Any agent that offers less is either part-time or new to the business. I can’t guarantee it, but 99% of the time I’m right.

If you’re thinking about selling or know somebody who is, call me or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Preparing Your Home Without Breaking the Bank

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It’s summertime, and a lot of people are getting ready to sell their homes. If you’re in preparation mode, you want your home to look as good as possible to increase its value, but you don’t want to break the bank in preparing it. We have five easy and cost-effective ways you can spruce up your home’s value without investing a ton of money into the preparation.

1. Paint. A fresh coat of paint and a splash of color is an easy way to warm up a home and make it look more updated. Use a soft, neutral color to warmly welcome buyers. If you want to add some bright color, put it on the front door. It can differentiate your home from others on the outside and make it shine from the street.

2. Curb appeal. Aside from the front door, a few simple tasks can help your home look great to the buyers who are walking up to it. A layer of mulch is the easiest and quickest thing to do. Pulling weeds and making sure the yard is maintained by mowing and planting a few flowers here and there will make a big difference as well. Add touch-up paint to the eaves and baseboards too.
If you want to add some bright color, put it on the front door.
3. New appliances and hardware. Even if the rest of the kitchen needs work, new appliances or hardware can further entice a buyer.

4. Quick bathroom updates. A newly painted vanity, hardware, fixtures, and new lighting can make a tired bathroom look fresh again. A fluffy set of towels, a nice rug, and sleek accessories make the space look good too.

5. New bedding. You would be surprised how new bedding can transform the look of your bedroom for next to nothing. There are two schools of thought on how to apply this tip. You can either get a cheap bed set that looks nice, or spend a little more for something with the look and feel of luxury.

We have been helping a tremendous amount of homeowners get top dollar for their homes without breaking the bank in the process of getting it ready. If you want to talk more about your home, your future goals, or you’re just curious about how these things enhance your sale, give us a call or send us an email. We would love to help.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Best Time of Year to Sell Is Nearly Over

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With less than a month left in the spring market, the best time of year to sell your home is about to end. The window of opportunity is closing, so if you want to take advantage of the strongest buyer demand of the year, now is the time to get your home on the market.

It is incredibly important in this market to price your home correctly. In Orange County, homes priced below $750,000 are in a hot market. Many sellers are drawing multiple offers, some even over asking price. The same is true for homes priced under $600,000 in LA County, as well as homes priced below $500,000 in the San Bernardino area.

There are already signs that the market is shifting.
That said, there are already signs that the market is starting to shift. Demand is peaking in certain price points and the active listing inventory is actually growing. Despite low interest rates, demand is not continuing to grow for two reasons: homes are not realistically priced, and graduations mark the beginning of summer distractions. Buyers are sidelined this time of year because they are out celebrating the successes of family and friends instead of looking for homes.

Don’t worry, though; this is a cyclical downshift in buyer demand. Every year, the listing inventory increases around this time and demand just naturally drops. When that happens, the market cools.

Overall, depending on your price point, the market is extremely hot, and interest rates are low. Still, it is a great time to buy and sell real estate. If you have any questions, give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Top 4 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Realtor

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There are many great questions you could ask a real estate agent before hiring them, but today I want to talk about four specific questions that will quickly tell you whether you should work with this person or not.

  1. Does the agent have a lot of experience? You’ll find that agents have varying levels of experience in the market. If you’re unsure about someone, ask about their track record and demand to see an agent report card. 
  2. What is their communication plan for you? This is essential, and you need to be able to get in contact with your Realtor without hassle. Look for someone who is responsive, and someone who will not pass you off to an assistant.
  3. Is this agent passive or active? You don’t want an agent to stick a sign in your yard and hope that it sells (it won’t). You need someone who has a dedicated marketing plan that utilizes social media, Internet marketing, print marketing, and word-of-mouth. 
  4. Does the agent have the tools to sell your home? How do they generate leads? What is their marketing strategy? How will they get buyers inside your home? These are all questions that you need to be asking.

Thank you for your time. If you know someone who needs this information, please don’t hesitate to share it with them. I want to educate as many people as possible.

Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Get Ahead of Your Competition in Southern California

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With the holiday distractions and New Year’s Resolutions behind us, the housing market in Orange and Los Angeles counties is thawing up! We’re picking up the pace and likewise, experiencing increased real estate activity.

Buyer demand actually dropped from the beginning of the year to the last week of January. That hasn’t happened in over a decade. You might be quick to blame the recent interest rate hike or global real estate market turmoil for this, but it’s not the case. Rates are lower today than ever before; the rate hike is intertwined with treasury bonds, not long-term loans. Although another rate hike could impact Southern California consumers, it’s unlikely to happen given international real estate instability and the fact it’s an election year. This creates a great opportunity for sellers.

The spring market approaches. There’s already an increase of inventory, but there’s less competition currently compared to the spring market. If you’re thinking of buying, it’s better to hit the ground running now rather than wait. Start today and get ahead.

I understand the local market and sell homes regardless of its climate. Although the media anticipates home prices will appreciate this year, it could work against you from supply and demand. There are more homes on the market compared to last year. More homes sit on the market, and there are more open houses as well. This happened eleven years ago just before the market shifted on everyone. Afterwards, so many clients told me how much they wished to sell their home before the market turned!

If this resonates with you, and you’d like to know your home’s value, let’s talk and get you ahead of your competition. Give me a call or email today!

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Secret to Selling Your Home Fast and for More Money

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I've been in real estate for nearly two decades now. We sell 10 times more homes than the average agent and we sell them 3 times faster. On top of that, we get our home selling clients 7% more money in the process!

The bottom line is that I have the experience, the track record, and a proven 21-point plan of action to get your home sold for the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time, with the least amount of hassle to you. Over the years, I've found that home selling is a collaborative endeavor. We'll sit down and talk about the entire process together in order to clearly lay out your goals and expectations.

My top priorities are giving you world-class service, attaining the highest possible price for your home, and making you feel comfortable throughout our time together. I believe the most important thing I can do is give you all the information you need and show you our strategy so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Ultimately, I care deeply about the people who have entrusted me with the largest asset they own. Although I realize that real estate is an incredible investment, at the end of the day, real estate means home, and that's something I feel really blessed about helping people with!

If you're thinking about buying or selling a home, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation. We would love to help you get the real estate results you desire!

Five Affordable Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

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Today we'll be discussing five different ways to increase the value of your home in Los Angeles County. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to install a new kitchen or bathroom to get a good return on your investment. There are much smaller and less expensive ways to add value to your home.

  1. Refresh your kitchen: Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and where most people gather during parties. Instead of buying updated appliances, you can simply add in new lighting fixtures, replace old knobs, and repaint cabinets. The small things can add up and eventually make your kitchen feel very different. 
  2. Brighten up the bathroom: You can add a fresh coat of paint, re-grout, replace light fixtures, and maybe even install new sink and shower fixtures. This is far less expensive than remodeling your entire kitchen.
  3. Replace light fixtures: These can be very inexpensive and they can add beautiful detail to each room. The brighter your home the better. Buyers don't like to buy homes that are dimly-lit. It makes them think that you're trying to hide something.
  4. Don't forget curb appeal: Buyers will begin to form opinions about your home before they even enter the driveway. This means your home has to look perfect. I suggest power-washing your entryways, trimming your hedges, and maybe even planting some extra flowers. 
  5. Consider how the buyers will see your home: Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves living in your home. This is why it needs to be clean, organized, and decluttered. The buyers need to see your home, not your stuff!
Just these small things can help add extra value to your home. It doesn't take a ton of extra money to get a good return, it just takes a little extra effort on your behalf. 

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!