When it’s time to sell your home, it’s the little things that count.
Quick Tips For a Fast Sale
- Sweep the street in front of your house and clear all steps and walkways of debris, including pet droppings.
- Make sure the siding on your house is clean. Wash all the windows until they sparkle. – Consider a fresh coat of paint. At least paint the trim, front door and shutters.
- Check all lighting to make sure they work. Install new bulbs, if needed.
Pump up curb appeal
- Water and mow the lawn. Rake the leaves.
- Trim trees. Plant colorful flowers.
- Stow bicycles, toys, gardening equipment and other items typically left outside or in the yard.
- Garage the car or park on the street to leave ample parking for prospective buyers.
Set the stage
- Organize. Remove all clutter, including items such as small appliances, gadgets, toys and memorabilia.
- Hide or temporarily disconnect tangles of obtrusive extension cords, computer network wiring, cables and like wiring or cabling.
- Organize cabinets to demonstrate ample storage space.
- Recycle or store away newspapers, magazines and other publications.
- Board pets, send them to the neighbors or keep them out of sight. Remove pet odors, put away the litter box, store pet toys.
- Bake cookies, burn scented candles or fire up the fireplace to make the house smell pleasant and feel cozy.
- Stash valuables, including medications, in a safe, secure place.
Offer informative disclosures, via fact sheets, brochures
- Have any inspection on hand.
- Provide a list of all home improvements, new appliances, fixtures, etc.
- Prepare take-away brochures and flyers about the property, the neighborhood, area schools and local services, attractions and destinations.
Be a good neighbor
- Make sure your agent has communicated with the neighbors to inform them of any open house dates.
- Invite the neighbors for a private showing one hour prior to the public open house.
Late Tuesday night, Congress reached a settlement in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. As a result, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act has been extended for another year. The measure will continue to exempt from taxation mortgage debt that is forgiven when homeowners and their mortgage lenders negotiate a short sale, loan modification (including any principal reduction), or foreclosure.
4775 La Villa Marina #D, Mariana Del Rey, CA 90292
Tri-level townhouse with direct access to 2 car private garage, living room with hardwood floors & fireplace opens to private patio, Berber carpets, kitchen with granite counter tops & stainless steel appliances, inside laundry room, recessed lighting, spacious dinning area, master bedroom with soaring ceiling & remolded bath & private balcony, spacious second bedroom with own bath. Complex has beautiful pool & landscaped grounds. Close to shops, restaurants, theaters, & 90 Freeway.
Offered at $2,950/month
The median list price in SANTA MONICA, CA this week is $849,000. The 159 properties have been on the market for an average of 146 days.
820 California Ave #202, Santa Monica, CA 90403 Great New Listing! Bright Contemporary, Located north of Wilshire in a small building, this is a bright contemporary unit with high ceilings, hardwood floors, balcony, inside laundry, & 2 car side by side parking. Garage has extra room for storage. Great location near beach, Promenade & Montana Ave. shopping & restaurants. Offered at $699,000 Norma Sayour firstname.lastname@example.org Prudential California Realty 3130 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 100, Santa Monica CA 90403 310.829.0629 Office 310.463.0065
Buying a home is not like shopping for anything else. For some, a car, boat or other big investment might come in second. But, despite the significant importance of buying a home, many buyers still fail to have a strategy to go about determining which home they really want.
Today, there are many systems available to help buyers. There is plenty of information online from articles to sites that have calculators to determine how much home you can afford. There are even apps to store your notes, photos, and links of your favorite home so that they’re accessible on your mobile devices and smartphones.
However, in this column, we’re going back to the basics. I discovered a sheet that’s offered by HUD. It’s a good tool for buyers to use to make notes. Some buyers simply bring along a notepad and jot information down on sheets of paper. By doing this they often run the risk of not making good enough notes to decipher later when they’re trying to review what they liked or didn’t like. Also, without a standard form, the notes buyers take can vary drastically from home to home.
Printing out a form like the one mentioned above, or creating one based on this form, allows you to have a handy tool to put the information about the homes you view in one central place. It’ll make it that much easier when you’re ready to review the homes.
I suggest getting a three-ring binder and placing many copies of this form in the binder. Include blank notepaper as well. Make sure there are pockets to store loose pages, cards, etc.
As you make your way through the house-hunting process, you’ll find a binder and a home buyer’s checklist are invaluable. Just think about how they can help. For instance, when you’re leaving work on a lunch break, you won’t be searching for a notepad or the Multiple Listing Service sheet that your real estate agent sent you. Instead, have that information stored neatly inside your binder with your checklist ready to go. Grab the binder and you’re on your way.
Because I am a huge fan of digital files. I would scan the information in, or if you really want to be creative, you can create a PDF that you can type in the information you want to record using an iPad while you’re at the homes you are viewing. Combine that with photo-sharing sites and you have a great way to record your facts and thoughts about the home all online or in your personal computer. You can then print them out and place them in the binder.
If you’re going the digital route, then you should look at some of the apps that help you imagine what a home could look like. There are some good ones, and some that are more about what you create once you’ve taken a photo. I like Skitch. It’s an app offered in the iTunes Store and allows users to take or use photos from their own photo library and then write and draw on the photos.
This way you can snap a photo of a home you’re looking at and later mark up that photo with changes you would make, such as tearing down a wall or removing the wall paper. You can save the photos and your notes using another program called Evernote. This one will make sure all your digital devices have the same information including your Skitch designs.
At the very least, you owe it to yourself to have a home buyer’s checklist printed and with you at all times during your house-hunting. Having one will help you stay organized when it comes time to choose which home you like best. When the homes all seem to start blending together, it will help you recall the important characteristics of each one.
It took loans an average of 48 days from application to close in July, a number that has inched up slowly over the last few months. There was little difference in the time required to close a refinance loan and a loan for the purpose of purchasing. Jonathan Corr, chief operating officer of Ellie Mae said, “The combination of extremely low interest rates and a strengthening purchase market pushed out closing times for both refinance and purchase loans in July. These time frames are similar to what we saw in January of last year, when a surge of activity challenged the industry’s capacity.”
For several years now there has been a shortage of buyers, but today things have changed and now there’s a shortage of available homes. With foreclosures down, interest rates at record lows and home prices beginning to creep up the bidding war has started up again.
Today’s housing inventory is now as low as it was right before the housing market collapsed and as a result bidding wars are now breaking out even before a property has a chance to be listed. Even real estate agents are scrambling to help their clients whether they’re buyers or sellers.
Would be buyers are finding it’s much more competitive now when it comes to finding a home and these days real estate agents are concerned that with it taking longer for their buyers to secure a home, potential future buyers might lose interest seeing the difficulty buying in a home which will only add to the already struggling housing market.
We are no means out of the woods yet regarding a sustained market recovery, but things do seem to be headed in the right direction.