Tag Archives: real estate agents

Tech-Smart Homebuyers

Real estate home buyers out there are becoming more and more tech-savvy.

Tech Smart Home Buyers

What do buyers use technology for when shopping for a home?

  • Reading real estate agent profiles
  • Using online real estate resources
  • Sending documents to lenders (and once in the transaction process, back-and-forth to their agent)
  • Looking at neighborhood maps
  • Browsing active real estate listings (<–click to do your own personal home search!)
  • What do you use the Internet for in the home-buying process?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices map

The map below displays all Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices affiliates and their location in the U.S. The La Mesa/El Cajon Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties office is located in the bottom left-hand corner of the map. 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Affiliates

Stop by the office; it’s located at 9555 Grossmont Summit Dr, La Mesa, CA!

The Path to Buying a Home

The basic process on becoming a homeowner

find a home

While buying a home is, for most people, an important life goal; the path to owning a home is an unknown one for every first-time home-buyer. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Following are a few of the basics you should consider early in the home search/buying process–but be sure to check with your agent for more tips and advice on buying a home. Continue reading

Housing Distress Dropping or Hiding & Could be Scarier than Halloween?

San Diego-based Data Quick said last Tuesday that Foreclosure Starts or properties entering the foreclosure process are at the lowest point since 2006. See the article-(Click here

The question is, how valid is this statement? Or is this just a preliminary report, “hiding” the fact that there is still plenty of underwater property being led to the slaughter by the nation’s lenders, albeit in a timely manner so as not to disrupt the housing recovery?

It does make sense that lower unemployment & Real Estate Inventory causing rising values, then mortgage servicers and lenders bending over backwards to keep homeowners in their homes that these numbers are falling to record lows; however the flood waters being held by the dam do continue to swirl, albeit a lot of nervous homeowners wondering what will happen or do next.

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A 6-Month Outlook of the Real Estate Market with Value-Demographic Changes in Santee, CA

In my never ending quest to predict the real estate market like most news people, economists, and real estate agent bloggers, it is obvious that there really are no long-term accurate predictions.  A short term prediction up to 6 months is palatable, given there are no environmental disaster, economic meltdowns among financial strapped countries,  terrorist attacks, or oil refinery breakdowns that have a direct impact on Worldwide Economic Markets, who also influence in the end, interest rates in the real estate sector of the United States.  Faith that ALL is well does continue to prosper, while the doom and gloom attitudes or I might say the glass isn’t even half full attitude will always have an opinion, but somehow never does prevail in the big picture. housing market trend

With inventory lower now than ever before, the current trend in San Diego, CA real estate in particular is a continued strong upward swing in home values for the next 6 months.  Last Tuesday, June 11, 2013, DQNews and the San Diego Union Tribune Zip Code Chart lists the changes in values. In the East County, this example shows Santee, the old cowboy bustling town of years past showing a new image and strong values with desirability coming in 4th place to Alpine, Jamul, and La Mesa, beating out the rest of the East County Towns.  Santee’s resurgence of the past 5-10 years of rebuilding: restaurants, shopping, recreation and new construction is the reason why it has leap frogged its neighbors Lakeside, El Cajon, Lemon Grove and not too distant Rancho San Diego (at one time the most desirable East County area) & Spring Valley in overall Medium Price average of all home sales combined Condominium and Single Family Homes.

 In an article from the same source in DQ News: Southland May Home Sales Highest in 7 Years; Median Price Hits 5-Year High, available here: www.dqnews.com

30% of all sales are cash! That’s huge, no loan!  Also the inventory is about 4800 units in San Diego County and that’s an uptick of 7% from last month, but 22% less than a year ago. So inventory continues to be extremely tight.  Now is the time for you sellers to explore your 5-10 year life goals of where you want to be or where you will actually be in that time NOW!  The market could change after the next 6 months wishing you had.

 I am always available for any one-on-one questions, feel free to call.  Thanks for reading and cheers to you all for a fabulous kickoff to summer 2013!!

Home improvements that pay off

The temptation is strong: Clean up the yard, declutter the house, and put it on the market without spending time and money sprucing the place up for sale. This is especially the case if you anticipate losing money on the sale.

Some real estate agents recommend you do little if anything to get your home ready for sale. This could work if you price the listing to look like a bargain. However, most buyers in today’s market are nervous and picky. They aren’t in a hurry and they want a house that’s move-in ready.

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Buyers pay premium for move-in ready homes

First impressions are lasting. Home buyers and real estate agents remember what they see, not what you say your home will look like after you reduce the clutter, paint, and replace outdated floor coverings and light fixtures.

Most people don’t have the ability to visualize how a home will look spruced up. If you show your home to prospective buyers or their agents before it’s ready to show, you could lose out on a possible offer because they’re turned off by the lack of appeal. It’s often difficult to get someone back for a second look after you’ve made improvements.

One couple who’d been looking for a home that was big enough for their family heard that one of the largest homes in the neighborhood was coming on the market. They contacted the sellers and asked if they could look at the house before it went on the market. If they liked it, they could save the sellers the expense of preparing the house for sale.

The sellers agreed. The prospective buyers looked at the house but turned it down. They couldn’t see past the dated décor.

The house went on the market months later. The interior was painted in decorator colors; old carpet was removed and the hardwood floors underneath were refinished; the overgrown yard was pruned and a new lawn was installed; and all the seller’s belongings were moved out and the house was staged.

The house looked fabulous. It received multiple offers and sold for well above the asking price. Ironically, the couple who had seen the house before it was fixed up and passed on the opportunity were encouraged by a friend who attended the open house to take another look.

They did and ended up making an offer in competition. Unfortunately, another buyer made a better offer. The couple who first saw it lost out on an opportunity because they couldn’t visualize the property’s potential. This worked to the sellers’ advantage because they netted much more on the sale than they would have if they’d sold it to the first buyers for the list price.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Many sellers resist the notion of fixing their house up for someone else. Although it’s not a good idea to make major renovations just before selling a home, cost-effective cosmetic improvements can make your home more salable and could increase the amount you recoup when you sell.

Most sellers find the decluttering process tedious. The bonus of weeding out what you no longer want or need is that you don’t have to pay to move these items. And, you’re making your home easier to sell.

Some agents don’t want to take time to help sellers prepare their home for a more profitable sale even though buyers pay more for a home that’s in move-in condition. Ask your real estate agent how much your home might sell for in both its “as is” condition and after making cosmetic improvements. If you decide to prepare your home for an advantageous sale, use an agent who will assist you with this by prioritizing what should be done and helping you find people to complete the work.

It’s not always possible for sellers to cosmetically update their homes before selling. The trade-off will be a lower sale price.

THE CLOSING: Make sure if you are going to spruce up your home for sale that you don’t show it before the work is done.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience, and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

Six ways to improve your odds with a contingent sale offer

From a seller’s point of view, contingent sale offers are risky. What if the buyers’ home doesn’t sell? Will the buyers list their home too high? Is their home in good condition and ready to go on the market? Many sellers would rather wait for their own home to sell to a non-contingent buyer than face the uncertainty of a contingent sale offer.

Buyers who can buy another home only if their current home is sold need to convince sellers that it’s worth the risk to accept their contingent sale offer. One strategy that can work in your favor is to list your home for sale before you present an offer on the home you want to buy.

This lets the sellers know you are serious about selling your home. Some buyers are tentative and won’t list their home until they have an accepted offer on the one they want to buy.

A lot of home-sale transactions are put together with the help of the agents involved who communicate freely with one another. As a buyer who must first sell his current home, your listing agent can help to convince the sellers to accept your offer by arming the agent who’s representing you as a buyer with information that will help sell the deal.

Ask your listing agent to prepare recent sales information of listings in your area similar to yours that sold recently to show that your list price is in line with current market conditions in your area. The sellers will want to know how long on average it’s taking homes like yours to sell. They also may want their listing agent to talk to your listing agent to confirm the information your agent provided.

Your chance of a timely sale will depend on buyer demand for homes like yours and on how many homes like yours are currently for sale in your area. In a low-inventory market where demand is high, your home may sell quickly. If there are a lot of listings in your neighborhood, you will need to be aggressive with your list price by pricing lower than your competition.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: The sellers will want to know how long it will take for you to put your home on the multiple listing service. They are unlikely to wait a month or so for you to get your home ready for sale. As soon as you have made the decision to buy a new home and sell your current one, you should start preparing it for sale. This will make it possible for you to put your home on the market quickly.

If you find your dream home earlier than you thought you would and your home is not ready to market, enlist your agent’s aid in lining up a crew — handyman, painter, stager, etc. — to assist you with a fast prep-for-sale project. Ask friends and relatives to help with decluttering, donating what you no longer want, and packing up items to go to storage that you want to keep.

Before you make an offer, make sure you can provide the sellers with a letter from your loan agent or mortgage broker that indicates you are creditworthy and have the financial means to close the sale once your current home is sold.

Although it may seem silly, write a sincere letter to the sellers about how much you like or love their home and why you want to buy it. Sellers who have a pride of ownership and an emotional attachment to their home can be swayed in the right direction by a well-crafted letter.

THE CLOSING: Offer to pay the asking price, or more, if the market warrants it. Buyers usually pay a premium for a contingent sale offer.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.