Home Seller Tips
If you are interested in what is to come in Orange County real estate, then listen up as Leslie Appleton Young has provided us with some great insights. We had the chance to attend one of Leslie’s recent luncheons, and she gave us great information we needed to know for the upcoming Real Estate shift.
As mentioned in our recent video summary on YouTube (embedded below), Leslie stated California Realty is a “Bright Spot in the California Economy; and that the bottom has been reached and is on its way up.” We also found demand is starting to grow, big time! 83% of Real Estate investors are buying to hold. 57% of homes in Orange County are recieveing multiple offers of more than asking. There are an average of 4.3 offers per property!!! Homes are flying off the market right now as well – the average days on the MLS is cut in half from a year prior. Southern California Median home prices are up 14.3 %. Things are looking much better for Orange County and California real estate in general…great news!!
Are you ready to get your Orange County home on the market and upgrade? Call The Weeks Team…877-230-3211
|SFH Resales (000s)||441.8||546.9||492.3||497.9||523.3||530.0|
|Median Price ($000s)||$348.5||$275.0||$305.0||$286.0||$317.0||$335.0|
f = forecast
The Weeks Team
949 – 338 – 7408
Happy Memorial Day!! We hope you have a nice and relaxing long weekend planned :) Here’s an interesting email we received about homebuyer recovery from the folks at FirstTuesday.us and Barry Zanck, one of our preferred lenders. What do you think?
California Home Buyer Recovery
2005-2009 California economic development stagnates.
2007-2009 The Great Recession
2009-2010 The Federal Reserve takes direct control of long-term interest rates – all new mortgages are Fed funded by bonds.
2009-2016 The Lesser Depression, characterized by persistent slow job growth and low demand from home buyers, while dominated by speculators.
2010-2015 Home sales remains on a “bumpy plateau” recovery approximating their 2010 numbers. The state’s homeownership rate drops below 55% (state’s historic point of stability) to near 50%. Collectively, short sales, foreclosures sales and REO resales remain high.
2012-2013 The most likely bottom for home sales volume to users, followed by an extremely gradual sales volume recovery for lack of user demand. Apartment construction begins to rise noticeably in response to tenant demand.
2014-2015 Prior low pricing and low interest rates spark a bounce in home sales volume. This bounce is short-lived, as the Federal Reserve raises rates to control the pace of recovery and prevent momentum buying. Property prices keep pace with the rate of consumer inflation. Speculators holding SFRs acquired two or three years earlier begin to dump them
2014-2016 Home sales stabilize. Shortsales, foreclosures, bankruptcies and REOs remain high. 300,000-400,000 new jobs are created annually for a return to the December 2009 peak level. Generation Y begins to come of age and buy homes.
2016-2017 Full recovery mode for employment, home sales, then pricing. SFR construction rises, though no where near Boom-time heights.
2017-2018 Interest rates rise again.
2018-2020 Excess inventory of vacant homes finally returns to pre-recession levels. Generation Y begins to pick up homebuying activity en masse. Homeownership in California is at 50%.
2020-2025 Negative equity homeowners who refused to strategically default finally work their way out of debt and return to a stable financial status, the poorer for it.
2025+ Home prices return to peak levels of 2006. The lessons of the Great Recession forgotten, and home sales hedonism returns. The mistakes of the past are repeated and the cycle continues.
We agree that we are probably at the bottom right now, as we’re already seeing an uptick in California homebuyer interest, and a decrease in inventory. We disagree that interest rates will stay low until 2017…..although wouldn’t that be nice???! We also agree (unfortunately) that the lessons of the past will be forgotton by 2025, and the market will again cycle. It always does!
What do you think? Please comment below or tweet us @angieweeks or @weeksteam. Should you be interested in buying ‘at the supposed bottom’, please call us at 877-230-3211, and we’re happy to show you homes over this Memorial weekend!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Many of you have heard of Home Staging and thought “OK, maybe, but does it really work? Is it really worth the money?”
Last night I got a call from a home-owner I worked with at the end of March to pick up some props. When I staged their house I left some items behind and told them to give me a call when the house sells so that I can pick them up. In today’s market houses usually sit for a few months before an offer is made so you can imagine my surprise when I got the call. What happened? Why did they ask me to come pick up the props? Surely the house could not have sold so fast.
Orange County home sells 4 Days after staging – accepted offer was above asking price!!!
Let’s look at how much this staging saved them. For each month that a house is on the market a seller has to pay mortgage, utilities, insurance, taxes and any other owner related bills. Assuming the average mortgage is around $2,000 that is a lot of money spent each month the house is on the market. Knowing that, how much would you be willing to pay for a service that can help sell your house faster? Would it be worth $1000 to save months of those expenses? My services for this house cost these owners well under $1,000 and we used only what was already there. The owners were still living in the house and had everything we needed on hand.
If you are considering selling your house make the investment in Staging. It will save you so much money in the long run, and get your house sold much faster.
For more information check out our website dedicated to Orange County Staging!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
If you’re involved with a short sale for an Orange County home, the last thing you need is a mountain of delays. Fortunately, there are 10 steps you can take to help minimize logjams and power through the sale at a reasonable pace.
- Make sure buyers, sellers, and agents are all on the same page as far as expectations go. Everyone needs to understand that the process is complex, and things don’t exactly happen overnight.
- Homeowners should complete all necessary financial hardship documentation. It is important to update these docs on a consistent basis.
- Get the sale property up on MLS and market the heck out of it.
- Come to an agreement regarding any external third party fees before submitting HUD (agreement should be valid for 60 days). Possible external fees include short sale negotiation, reconveyence, document preparation, and notary.
- Before submitting short sale documents and/or images, go over them with a fine tooth comb for accuracy.
- Lagers can cause some serious delays. So make sure customers and agents complete all necessary tasks in a timely manner.
- Do your best to get a purchase offer that reflects the best possible fair market value and highest return for investors.
- Submit fully executed purchase offers, making sure all addenda have been signed by buyer and homeowner. Provide any supporting documentation with offers.
- Get busy and obtain a release on outside liens as early in the process as possible.
- Be on the lookout for any of the following situations, as they invite delays:
a) A change in buyer, agent, or terms
b) Customer files for bankruptcy or divorce
c) Changes after approval letter is issued (please note expiration date)
If you’d like to learn more about short sale opportunities in the Orange County Real Estate market, I’ll be delighted to help. You can connect with me at 949.338.7408 or firstname.lastname@example.org, @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Keren Shamay of Shamay Staging & Redesign Inc. here. I am currently in AZ at Real Estate Investment school. Today’s topic? Fix and Flip. How to do it the right way. What are the hazards? What problems come up? During one of the discussions we ran across a house that had terrible pet odors. The kind that happen after years of more than 5 dogs living in a house, some of which never went outside. Imagine walking into that kind of house as a buyer.
Most home owners do no have that scale of problem on their hands. Many however do have a less offensive version of it. Most buyers may not say anything, but will definitely cross your house off the list of potentials to buy. So as a seller with a pet odor problem, how do you remedy it? The answer that will help the majority of homeowners is paint. Get enough paint to repaint the inside of your house. Go to a store that sells essential oils and get one vial of Cedar-wood and One vial of Orange. Mix 5 drops each of the oils per gallon of paint and paint your walls.
This should solve many of your problems. If it does not fix the problem, call a Stager who is experienced with this process for the next steps. You are at a point where you may need much more than basic staging advice. They will be able to help you resolve the toughest of issues. As a home Stager I am very familiar with this remedy, and the next steps should they be needed. No matter who you use, a Stager along with your Realtor are your best allies in getting your house sold.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
When looking for a new home and you want to keep your furniture but you’re not sure if it fits into your new room? Here’s a website that can help you out!
Take the measurements of the room and the measures of the furniture and your on your way to having a great fitting room for your new home!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Some say looks aren’t everything. But in the competitive world of Real Estate, appearance counts for a lot when your home is up for sale. We’re talking right up there with price and location. A properly staged home can make the difference between a timely sale and forever and ever on the market.
Mary Jayne Barnett, expert stager and owner of Revamp Your Home, has some fantastic advice on staging your home to look its irresistibly best, using only what you already have. Have a look!
If you’d like to learn more about staging your Orange County home to look its best, Mary Jayne will be delighted to help. You can connect with her at –
f 949.459.6118Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Disclose Before You Close
When it comes to selling a home, it seems that you just can’t disclose too much. Yes, certain details matter a great deal. In fact, from a legal standpoint, sellers must make these details available to prospective home buyers. And it is the responsibility of every agent to dig deep and make certain these facts come to the surface in a timely matter.
One of the facts that must be disclosed concerns a death that occurs on the property up for sale. The law states that a death must be revealed if it has taken place within three years prior to a home being offered for sale. This is an important piece of information to bring to the surface, is it potentially carries a lot of emotional weight for a would-be buyer. If you’re not sure about disclosing such an occurrence or any other fact you think might be relevant, it’s best to follow the simple, time-tested guideline of ‘when in doubt, disclose it out’.
I can’t stress the importance of over-disclosing facts such as these enough. I mean, think about how you would feel if you were on the other side of the fence and some important detail like this was left out of the picture. Remember, it’s an agent’s job to sell a property honestly – in all its aspect. So you as a home seller should disclose EVERYTHING to the person representing your property. Complete information will help your agent price your home appropriately for all matters involved.
If you’d like to learn more about California home sale disclosure requirements, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact me at 949.338.7408 or email@example.com. And be sure to follow me @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Today I’m taking a few hours out of the busy day to listen to Allen Seelenbinder, a VP with Bank of America, tell Realtors how to work better with B of A to get our short sales closed quicker. Definitely good use of time, because short sales take waaaaay too long!!! For Realtors looking for Equator tips, check this post.
Allen said the goal of the bank is to help preserve homeownership, they WILL attempt to modify your loan & help you stay in your house if you want to. It’s part of being on the HAFA program, and you can even try multiple times if you get denied on your first loan mod request! Good news if you’re late on the mortgage & want to keep your home, but you have to keep communicating & trying.
BUT…Did you know 60 percent of all loan modifications fail in the first 9 months? Yikes, make sure you are working with a professional modification specialist so you are not a statistic! Most times if you default on your modification, you’re not going to get another one, and its time to short sale.
For those who can’t afford the mortgage, & don’t see light at the end of the tunnel soon, you have options…
1. Deed in lieu – leaving your home and giving the deed back to the bank willingly
2. Foreclosure – defaulting on payments until the bank is forced to take your property back
3. Short sale – selling your property for less than it is worth
Short selling your property will allow you to buy again sooner than if you get a foreclosure, so its a good option. BUT, its complicated, so you need a good Realtor who knows what they are doing to help.
If you’re drained on the process, please keep trying. If you allow foreclosure, your credit will have a huge hit, and you know how important your credit is! Allen warned many times employers are looking at your credit as a gage on your responsibility, fight to keep it in tact as best you can!!
Short sales are the new normal! Buyers, sellers, investors, Realtors, & banks need to work together :) There are over 6 million homeowners late on their mortgage right now, and many more projected in the upcoming months. Short sale will continue to be a household term for the next few years, unfortunately.
Why is the short sale process so long? Well…theres a lot of hoops to jump through:
- the process doesn’t begin until an offer is received, you could have a sign in the yard for months.
- an appraisal & bpo must be done
- the offer must reasonably meet current market value
- the buyer must qualify
- the seller must demonstrate hardship & provide documentation
- arms-length has to be proved (that means sellers aren’t in cahoots w buyers)
- the mortgage investor must approve the offer
- 3rd party approvals (mortgage insurance, helocs, second liens.)
Unfortunately, there is a lot of red tape to untangle. Buyers need to be prepared for at least 60-120 days for close, and agents from both sides need to constantly keep communication lines clear and all parties in the transaction updated.
What is financial hardship? Its better to say what it is not. Financial hardship is NOT that you are under water on the property, that is simply a bad investement. Its also not hardship if you can’t get a renter. If you are widowed, but have assets, death is not financial hardship, its emotional hardship :( there are a lot of people now trying to claim hardship when they do not have truely have one. You need to be able to show your hardship on paper.
One of the biggest challenges right now is getting 2nd loans, liens, and MI to reasonably come in line with the short sale loss. Sellers, be prepared for agents to ask questions about ALL loans & liens on the property, and please offer up front and honest answers. There’s going to be some back & forth necessary between the parties you owe $$ to.
Want to know if you are eligible for HAFA? Check bankofamerica.reo.com/hafa to make sure you qualify! B of A is also working on a program similiar to HAFA, but with better guidelines, called the Cooperative Short Sale.
B of A Cooperative short sale
Yes, its still in the works, but its pretty good!! It will:
- proactively outreach to customers
- offer preapproved short sale pricing
- promise offers reviewed/approved within 2 weeks
- be similiar to hafa, but wider scope
- rollout hopefully August 1st
Banks including B of A are all trying to make the best of our current market, and short sales are a huge percentage of it. Look for more posts (and videos!) soon to help you through the short sale process. If you or someone you know is late on their mortgage, The Weeks Team keeps everything confidential and we will be happy to discuss options! 877-230-3211 or firstname.lastname@example.orgRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
First let me wish a ‘Happy New Year’ to all. Yes, folks, 2010 is here. And with the new year, there promises to be a wealth of new opportunities emerging in the bustling world of Orange County Real Estate. So get up off your comfy couch and do what you’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Don’t let opportunity pass you by. Add that to your list of New Years resolutions right now.
So maybe you’re thinking about buying your first home. Perfect! If you’re an Orange County first time home buyer, the time has never been better. A major reason for such bright prospects is that there currently are a number of available incentives created to improve your overall experience.
If selling your home for the first time is on your mind, optimism is in order. Buyers are returning to the marketplace. So sellers rejoice! The market is definitely moving in the right direction. In fact, there are a number things going on that will make selling easier, from listing to close. If you’re worried about Uncle Sam taking a chunk, be aware you might be able to reduce your tax obligation with a few easy and yes, legal steps.
Perhaps you’re opting to make your first Real Estate investment. Believe it or not, there are well-focused ways to improve your financial future without getting an advanced degree from the school of hard knocks.
Indeed, the door of opportunity is opening wide in 2010. If you’re ready to learn more about the diversity of emerging Orange County Real Estate opportunities, I’ll be happy to help. Contact me at 949.338.7408. Or follow me @AngieWeeks or @WeeksTeam.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Thought you’d enjoy this real estate update from Suze Orman – feel free to post questions below!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
The Orange County Real Estate market is moving. What direction? Many. What are we seeing? Good deals, strapped homeowners. What are we hearing? Happy stories, Sad stories. There’s a positive and a negative in every environment, and we always encourage you to look at the glass as half full.
BUT….if your house is on the market right now….are you chasing the market down? What if your Realtor is doing it for you? Are you AND your agent strong enough to take the truth? I read this sad story on a popular Realtors ”hub” online, its from a Realtor working out of Florida.
OC Sellers and potential sellers, you often choose to work with the agent who says your home is worth the most money. I want to encourage you to question the pricing method, not just get “sold” on potential dollar signs. Question the marketing strategies, your agent better have the money to do traditional marketing or they better be able to kick butt online. ASK how many contacts they have in their database, how many listings they have had expire, how many buyers they have searching on their website. If the agent at your listing appointment has a dog and pony show, and you buy into that without question, it could be a nightmare for everyone in the end.
Also, expect to be QUESTIONED yourself. A good agent is mostly questions, tayloring their strategies to your specific needs and situation. A good agent will listen to and really hear what you have to say, but they will also be strong and smart enough to TELL you things you may not want to hear.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
For those of you upset your home prices have declined, we have a little good news for you. If you purchased a home prior to 2006 during the “hot” OC market, here is your chance to save some extra money.
It’s tax time, and your property tax bill is one of many. Because the market went down, your taxes can go down, too. To see if you are eligible, do a few simple things:
1. Contact the Orange County tax assessors office at 714.834.5400.
2. Let them know you purchased before 2006, and you are requesting to have your bill reviewed, for this year. REMEMBER, if you want THIS year’s bill reduced you MUST CALL BEFORE APRIL 1st. http://www.oc.ca.gov/assessor/pdf/RequestForInformalAssessmentReview%203-08.pdf
3. The assessor will initiate a re-assesment of your property, and hopefully lower your taxes – saving you potentially thousands of dollars!
There are some circumstances in which this can not be done, however if you think your taxes on your property are too high, then you are probably right. Its worth giving it a try – you can comment on how it works out!
By going to the following link and filling out the form, you can start working on reducing next year’s bill right now.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
Hello Friends!! For all of you who are looking for information regarding the Orange County housing market (like who isn’t?)…here is the Economic Forecast from Gary Watts. Gary is one of the most respected Real Estate forecasters in the nation. His conferences fill up where ever he speaks and his insightful information is beneficial for all types of investors.
Please enjoy the report.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Hope you had a great weekend – ours was very nice! We went to a baby shower for a couple of our past clients, which was so fun. (Did you know like 50% of our closed clients have a baby within a couple years of moving in??? OMG!)
There were gifts galore – the place was littered with pink and fuzzy everything. One awesome gift that Grandma-to-be got for our friends was 3 months of cleaning services. Way to go Grandma!! She mentioned she wasn’t sure of any cleaners in the area, though, and I felt bad that I have not done a better job of telling people all the resources we have available on our website (like cleaners and painters and CPA’s). Bad Realtor, Angie, BAD!!!
Mike and I do a ton of networking in Orange County, and we come across all kinds of businesses and business people in our line of work. One thing we do as a service to our past, present, and future clients, is keep a database of these community services. We even put many of them online right here on our website, on the Local Services page:
I want to encourage all of our past and future home buyers and sellers to use our experience to save time and money on Orange County services. Mike and I take feedback from our clients and add / remove businesses regularly from our website. We keep only the best people on there, and if you have a bad experience we WANT TO KNOW, we will take the contractor or business off of our website, AND warn others.
We would love nothing more than to advertise all the best businesses in Orange County based off of YOUR feedback. Please help us be a better resource to you by giving us your good and bad stories on some of the people you used from our site.
I hear many complaints from buyers and sellers who bought with another Realtor…they say that agent just dropped off the face of the earth after the deal closed, never to be heard from again. We feel that quickly and painlessly providing good info and direction to our clients is ALWAYS our job, whether we are in escrow or not. We understand all our clients are busy and we want to make life easier for them all the time.
Every Realtor should be a RESOURCE, and we are happy to be your Orange County, CA business connection :) Don’t hesitate to email us if you ever have questions about someone on our website. Another great way to find “the dirt” is to Google the business name you are considering using, or check the Yahoo local ratings. Hope this helpsRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Just wanted to give you some quick stats from my CAR newsletter on the California real estate market. Its nice to see the median home below 600K again. Now is a great time to buy. I saw a really cute 2/2 in Rancho available for 370 today – nice :)
Calif. median home price – June 07: $594,260(Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. highest median home price by C.A.R. region June 07: Santa Barbara So. Coast $1,375,000 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. lowest median home price by C.A.R. region June 07: High Desert $306,310 (Source: C.A.R.)
Calif. First-time Buyer Affordability Index – Second Quarter 07: 24 percent (Source: C.A.R.)
Mortgage rates – week ending 8/31: 30-yr. fixed: 6.45%; Fees/points: 0.5% 15-yr. fixed: 6.12%; Fees/points: 0.5% 1-yr. adjustable: 5.84%; Fees/points: 0.8% (Source: Freddie Mac)
I also wanted to give a shout out to one of our favorite lenders, Derek Besiner, for keeping everyone up to date on the mortgage market / crisis so we’re informed. He’s been sending out great informational emails about what’s going on in California mortgage land. At times like this, people need unbiased updates, so its much appreciated!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
« Previous Entries