Home Seller Tips
It’s common knowledge that you’ll get the most for a property when it’s upgraded, staged, and correctly marketed. But for some Orange County home sellers, this isn’t an option. Sometimes there was a problem insurance didn’t cover, sometimes the property was inherited and needs 40 years of updates, or other times there is a divorce or a death that requires a fast move. Whatever your case may be, there are buyers out there who want to exchange your ‘problem child’ for quick cash.
This week, we interviewed one of our investors to learn a little more about the types of property she targets. She told me “Angie, we buy other people’s problems.” Here’s a deeper look into those problem homes and how an investor or all-cash buyer may be your solution to avoid headaches.
Southern California Hoarder Homes
If you’ve got a hoarder home on your hands, definitely consider your time and cost to clean it out. The process can take weeks, even months, especially if you have an emotional connection to any of the items inside. On top of that… under all the clutter is probably some deferred maintenance waiting as well. Rather than going to market with today’s buyers who all like everything clean and new, it may be best to strike a deal with an investor who will take the home as-is.
The Family Property
You’ve had Thanksgiving & plenty of holiday parties here, and over the years your parents haven’t had any garage sales, and they have kept every memory packed away in the attic and 4+ bedrooms. Now it’s time to move them to a condo or assisted living facility, but what to do with all this STUFF?
It’s not a problem for an investor. She says:
“…We purchased a property earlier this year. It was from an agent who had a client that she knew the whole family, and the mom had to go into a home. The kids did not want to deal with all of the stuff in the house, they just came and took family photos and a few things. We bought it as she left it – full of her things. We donated belongings to charity and then proceeded with the work.
As a matter of fact, the last several we have bought have been similar situations – that the agent knew the family and they just wanted a quick cash sale. It made it easy for both sides to sell before the house ever hit the MLS.”
The Money Pit
Ever tried to be an investor and failed? Ran out of money, time, or resources before the flip was done? It happens, more than you may realize. Especially with all the flipping shows out there right now! If you’re ready to throw in the towel on problems with the city, or a red tagged, unfinished construction, you’ll probably NEED to find a cash buyer or investor. Lenders won’t typically loan on partially completed construction.
The Get Me Out NOW Divorce
Sometimes, you just want out. You have other things on your mind. You don’t want to deal with a buyer whining about repairs, or people traipsing through your home when you’re trying to pack up and move out. And you definitely don’t want to sit with your future in limbo waiting for the lender who promises the world… but delays at every corner. Nasty divorces are a perfect fit for a cash sale; we’ve all got a story on that one. Sometimes it’s best to cut your losses and move forward on a new path. Like now.
The Residential Zoo
Ever walked into a home with too many animals? Barf. Ever try to sell a home with pet smells? Good luck! Homes that had a lot of animals living in them, that were not taken care of, can require a lot of time and attention to air out. Plus, you’ve got the unfortunate situations that have feces inches deep on every surface including walls…damage to doors and baseboards from scratching… definitely a candidate for the investor buyer.
The scenarios are endless, but for every home there is a buyer. It just may not be the traditional kind. If you’ve got a challenge on your hands, give the AskAngie team a call at 949-338-7408 or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation on the best way for you to sell without headaches.
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Wondering if you should add solar when you buy your home? It’s one of our most common questions, so let’s check into it! Today, we attended a solar seminar with Alan Issacs & GoSolar from our LeTip group to find out more on this popular subject.
The average monthly cost of electricity for a CA resident is $183/mo, or $2200/yr. On top of that, it’s constantly increasing, on an average of 5% per year. So if you think your bills are big now…just wait…
How does Solar work?
Solar panels convert sunlight into the same electric energy you get from the utility company. Materials consist of solar panels installed on your roof, and inverters. In many cases, you’ll still be connected to the grid, so you will have access to electricity if your panels don’t generate enough, and you will get a credit for the excess energy you generate – win win so far!
Solar Installation & Purchasing Tips:
- Size your system to produce 80% of the energy you need, not 100%. You can always add panels later if you want to, as long as you are using a micro inverter instead of a string inverter.
- If you buy solar (not lease) before Dec 31st 2021, you’ll receive a 30% federal tax credit
- Just like homeownership, the really big savings comes over the long term; check out this 20 year projection graph:
Interested in Going Green Now? Steps to Go Solar:
- Solar Energy Consultation
- Solar Site Assessment
- HOA Approval (remember many HOA’s only meet once a month, and many times they require neighbor approval – plan in advance!)
- City Permit – the company you select for solar will usually pull this for you
- Installation – these work on EVERY type of roof, and typically takes 3 days
- Net Energy Metering (NEM) agreement
- Permission to Operate (PTO)
The entire process takes about 4-8 weeks, depending on weather, how many panels you have, and various other factors.
How Should I Pay For Solar?
It’s all about options – and there’s plenty. Some are by far better than others. Let’s explore them further:
- Upfront – typically pays back within 5 years and offers a 30% tax credit
- Consumer Energy Efficiency loan – also eligible for tax credit. This is also tied to you the owner, which will save headaches when you go to sell your Orange County home.
- HELOC – you can use your current home equity to purchase by taking out a Home Equity Line of Credit
- HERO / PACE loan – a secured loan where your credit is not even checked. Be careful of these options, it can scare buyers if you go to sell your home. If you KNOW you’re going to stay in your property until it’s paid off, then go for it. The interest rate is usually 8%; so it may be better for you to take out a HELOC if you have equity.
- Lease / Power Purchase agreement – the worst option for payment, because you are not eligible for tax credit, it’s typically a TWENTY year agreement, and your lease payments typically increase annually (around 3%). This option can also make it difficult for you to sell your home.
If you’d like more info on Solar, feel free to reach out to 949-338-7408 or tweet @AngieWeeks, and we’d be happy to connect you with multiple people we know in the Solar industry!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Today I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie Appleton Young with California Association of Realtors, and hearing a ton of facts and figures about where real estate stands in the state of California. Wow have we come a long way since 2007! Congrats to all of you who held on to your property!!
As of 2015, the housing market has officially recovered, and we’re rolling along at a steady pace. Over 94% of homes were equity sales this year🙂 Median price is $482,150. Jobs look good; OC is actually #3 on the list up 3.2%, and construction is #2 on the industry list. All great news for housing. But the big question is…
What About Interest Rates????????
Leslie doesn’t really believe rates are going to jump the way other forecasters do. Well that’s good news…if she’s right🙂 She said there may be an increase next year, but it happens, she’s not expecting rates to go up until March 2016…so you’ve got a little time to get going! (But please note the best time to buy in OC is always Oct-Jan)
Market Stats & Demographics
We are below average with first time buyers in the market right now, less than 30%. On the other hand, over 30% of properties sold this year went to all cash investors. 75% of boomers are homeowners. 20% of millennials are homeowners. The good news is that 43% of all boomers worry about their children’s down payment… and are willing to help their millennial offspring with gift funds. International buyers are actually down to 4% this year, they were at 8% in 2013. 45% of Millennials have NO IDEA if they could qualify for a loan or not. What?! Need to check on that kiddos!🙂
If you’d like all of CAR’s facts, figures, and 2016 economic forecast click here.
Why aren’t people buying homes?
- Foreclosure pipeline is dry
- Trouble qualifying for a loan
- They’re happy where they are (average time between homes right now is 10 years)
Regardless of what the facts & figures say, home prices are on the rise right now and many people are getting priced out of the market. Don’t let this happen to you – TAKE ADVANTAGE of interest rates and consider picking up an investment or upsizing to build a strong portfolio and long term wealth! Tweet Angie today @angieweeks or text or call 949-338-7408.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Appraisers…..we love to hate them. They scrutinize your house, call your ‘baby’ ugly, and they tell you it isn’t worth as much as you would like. But they are a critical part of every real estate transaction when you’re getting a loan, so we have to learn to speak appraisal language. What does an appraiser do, anyway? In a nutshell, appraisers determine an unbiased price your property is worth at any particular moment in time. They do this by pulling ‘comps‘ or comparable properties near you, and then factoring in upgrades and features to nail down a property price. The bank hires an appraiser to confirm the loan they are about to give you is on a safe, solid, properly priced property. This week we had the pleasure of hearing long time Laguna Beach appraiser Mary “Vicky” Wilson tell us how we can get closer to the right numbers. As an agent in the business 11 years, some of this info was totally new to me! I’m sure you’ll learn a few things too – so read on🙂
First off, appraisers take a completely factual and non-emotional approach. So to get on the same page with them…you’ve gotta use your head, not your heart. Every price adjustment and comparable property needs to be validated with a series of facts behind it, not just thoughts or feelings.
Basic guidelines Orange County Real Estate appraisers follow:
- **Appraisers do NOT NOT NOT use a price per square foot average.** Don’t even try to value your property like this. You may be able to justify it to the buyers agent, buyer, and yourself, but the appraiser isn’t buying it, and they give the bank the green light needed to lend the money needed & close this deal. Now, lots and land are an exception to this rule, but the main dwelling is NOT.
- Comps must be reasonable substitutes. ie single level properties vs 2 story properties are NOT comparable. Read that again because it takes a minute to sink in. SERIOUSLY?? The 2 story that is 3 doors down is not a comp if you’re a single story??? Notsomuch in the eyes of the appraiser. Be careful not to price a less desirable model in a neighborhood the same as the most desirable if they differ in stories.
- To follow along these lines, lenders don’t want an appraiser to compare properties that are 15% plus or minus in size. If you are the smallest model, you may not be a comp with the largest, and vice versa.
- Lenders require 4 closed sales AND 2 backup or pending sales that support the value opinion & your price tag. Pay attention to active, pending, & backup listings because the appraiser is! They are looking for upward or downward trends in your local market. One high closing in your area won’t help you, remember FOUR closed properties are needed, plus 2 more that are under contract.
- Did you know there are only 17-20 line items on an appraisal? Appraisers stick to the cold, hard facts.
- L O C A T I O N is the #1 consideration. Location also trumps distance from property. So if you are the only ‘ocean view’ in your community, an appraiser may go to a neighboring community to pull other ocean view comps instead of other non-view properties in your same neighborhood. Same would go for a ‘corner lot’ or ‘end unit’ location.
- Time is of the essence. Appraisers like 3-6 month old closed comps, not more than 1 mile away. Pull up this data before you price your property so you are in line with the realities of today’s market.
- No, your converted detached garage, pool house, or Mother In-Law suite is not part of the square footage of your property. Ever. Rule of thumb: If you have to walk outside the main structure and have air or water or wind touch you then it’s not part of the square footage😦 Furthermore, to be considered square footage, permitted improvements must be above soil grade & under the main roof. Sorry, but your cool casitas or underground grow and wine rooms can be appraisal line item adjustments, but NOT included in the square footage.
- .75 bath (toilet, sink, shower) is counted as a full bath in appraisals!!!! .5 baths with no tub or shower, on the other hand, are only noted as .1….so if your property is 5 full and 3 1/2 baths… it’s a 5.3 on the appraisal; not 6.5.
- Appraisers only have 48 hours to send their appraisals in, and they get paid less than $500 per report. Banks have high expectations and short timelines, so this is where a good agent comes in to assist your appraiser in understanding your home’s true value, quickstyle. More agent tips coming if you keep on reading….
- The market will *usually* pay back 50-60% of what you spent on upgrades!!! Sellers who try to add the entire price of remodels or upgrades into a purchase price always end up disappointed. Remember this ratio and come to terms with it now.
- If you do have an unpermitted addition, appraisers will ask: Does it have intrinsic value to the property? Is the addition positive or negative to the overall home? How is the condition? Remember, non-permitted additions won’t count toward square footage, ever, but it can be added as a line item to the overall valuation.
Tips for Realtors and homeowners to better work with appraisers:
- Be present at the appraisal appointment with a comp packet. Or email it early. The appraiser is in the field NOW, not in 3 hours when you get back to the office and your email. Don’t expect appraisers to drive back to see your comps. Make sure to support upward and downward trends with comps and a possible market report, too.
- Inform – appraisers need to know what was upgraded and how much was spent. Readily offer full access to everything.
- Don’t approach an appraiser negatively or with an attitude if you don’t agree with their valuation.
- Don’t say: “You should have no problems with the value”. Famous last words.
- During follow up: don’t ask the value, they can NOT tell you the number directly. Instead ask: “Did you find any problems with the home that may be an issue?”
Wanna Ask the Appraiser more specifics?
Want an Orange County Market Report and professionally pulled comps?
Contact the AskAngie team and we’re happy to help! You can reach Angie direct at 949-338-7408. Or just email Angie@AskAngie.com or tweet @AskAngieTeam so we can help you get the research you need to sell your biggest asset for top dollar!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Want to buy a home, but don’t know where to start? Or are you trying to sell your home, and everything is going wrong? Have an interest in investing? Then you came to the right place. All your questions can be answered On March 29 2014 at the Southern California Home Ownership Day located at University Drive Orange, CA 92866 !! This event is a do not miss opportunity.
The Southern California Home Ownership Day
California Home Ownership Day is hosting. Some of the seminars include Buying after a Short Sale Foreclosure, Steps to Buy Your First Home, The Escrow Process, What to Expect With Your Home Inspection, and Ways to Reduce Your Electric Bill. Each class is taught by a well educated instructor.
Do you want to be an Automatic Millionaire Homeowner?
The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner seminar is a slow play way to become a millionaire in real estate. I am teaching this class, please click on this link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ochomefairclass01). You can also enter to win a free raffle to win the book The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner by David Bach.
The best part of this event is that it’s FREE!! But you need to hurry and register a seat for the classes you would like to attend. Don’t know how? To learn more about this event visit http://www.OCHomeFair.com or Contact me at (949) 338-7408 or Tweet me @AngieWeeks
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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 )
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