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LA Digs - Northeast LA Real Estate Blog

Welcome to LA Digs, the real estate and Northeast Los Angeles community blog written by Realtors Tracy King and Keely Myres.

Here, we share tips, market updates, and local news bits to keep you informed on what's happening in Northeast Los Angeles and the surrounding neighborhoods. Read on to learn about the latest in your neighborhood!

The Best Time To Sell Your House Is When Others Aren’t Selling

If you’re thinking about selling your house, you should know the number of homes for sale right now is low. That’s because, this season, there are fewer sellers listing their houses for sale than the norm.

Looking back at every April since 2017, the only year when fewer sellers listed their homes was in April 2020, when the pandemic hit and stalled the housing market (shown in red in the graph below). In more typical years, roughly 500,000 sellers add their homes to the market in April. This year, we saw fewer than 400,000 sellers entering the market in April (see graph below):

While there are a number of factors contributing to this trend, one thing keeping inventory low right now is that some homeowners are reluctant to move when the mortgage rate they have on their current house is lower than the one they could get today on their next house. It’s called rate lock.

As a recent survey from Realtor.com explains, 56% of people who are planning to sell in the next 12 months say they’re waiting for rates to come down.

While this wait-and-see approach is right for some sellers, it also creates an opening for more eager sellers to jump in now.

If your current house truly doesn’t fit your needs anymore and you’re ready to move, don’t miss this chance to stand out. When fewer sellers are putting their homes up for sale, buyers will have fewer options, so you set yourself up to get the most eyes possible on your house. That’s why your house could see multiple offers as buyers compete over the limited supply of homes for sale – especially if you price it right.

As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

 

“Inventory levels are still at historic lows . . . Consequently, multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties."

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to sell now, beat the competition before it comes onto the market. If you do, your house should stand out and could get multiple offers. Let's connect to get you market ready.

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Two Reasons You Should Sell Your House

Wondering if you should sell your house this year? As you make your decision, think about what’s motivating you to consider moving. A recent survey from realtor.com asked why homeowners are thinking about selling their houses this year. Here are the top two reasons (see graphic below):

Let’s break those reasons down and explore how they might resonate with you.

1. I Want To Take Advantage of the Current Market and Make a Profit

When you decide to sell your house, how much you’ll make from the sale will likely be top of mind. So, here’s some good news: according to the latest data, the average seller can expect a strong return on their investment when they make a move. ATTOM explains

“The $112,000 profit on median-priced home sales in 2022 represented a 51.4% return on investment compared to the original purchase price, up from 44.6% last year and from 32.8% in 2020.”

Even though home prices have declined slightly in some markets, they’re still much higher overall than they were just a few years ago. To understand what’s happening with home prices in your area and the current value of your house, work with a local real estate professional. They can give you the best advice on how much you could gain if you sell this year.

2. My Home No Longer Meets My Needs

The average person has been in their house for ten years. That’s a long time when you think about how much may have changed in your life since you moved in. And typically, those changes have a direct impact on what you need in a home. Whether it’s more (or less) space, different features, or a location closer to your work or loved ones, your current house may no longer check all the boxes of what feels like home to you. If that’s the case, it could be time to work with a real estate agent to find a better fit.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your house, there’s probably a good reason for it. Let’s connect so you can make a move that’ll help you accomplish your goals this year.

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An Expert Gives You Clarity in Today’s Housing Market

The housing market has been going through shifts lately. That’s why it’s so important to work with an industry professional who can be your guide throughout the process.

A real estate expert uses their knowledge of what’s really happening with home prices, housing supply, expert projections, and more to give you the best advice. Someone who can provide clarity like that is critical right now. Jay Thompson, Real Estate Industry Consultant, explains:

“Housing market headlines are everywhere. Many are quite sensational, ending with exclamation points or predicting impending doom for the industry. Clickbait, the sensationalizing of headlines and content, has been an issue since the dawn of the internet, and housing news is not immune to it.”

Unfortunately, when information in the media isn’t clear, it can generate a lot of fear and uncertainty in the market. As Jason Lewris, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer at Parclsays:

“In the absence of trustworthy, up-to-date information, real estate decisions are increasingly being driven by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Buying a home is a big decision, and it should be one you feel confident making. You can lean on an expert to help you separate fact from fiction and get the answers you need.

The right agent can help you understand what’s happening at the national and local levels, and they can debunk headlines using data you can trust. Experts have in-depth knowledge of the industry and can provide context, so you know how current trends compare to the normal ebbs and flows in the industry, historical data, and more.

Then, to make sure you have the full picture, an agent can tell you if your local area is following the national trend or if they’re seeing something different in your market. Together, you can use all that information to make the best possible decision.

After all, making a move is a potentially life-changing milestone. It should be something you feel ready for and excited about. And that’s where a trusted expert comes in.

Bottom Line

For expert advice and the latest housing market insights, let’s connect.

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Forbearance Does NOT Equal Forgiveness

As news and information about relief assistance swirls around in the midst of this crisis, there are lots of questions about what to do with your mortgage payments. To some, it can be interpreted that if you just don't pay your mortgage payment right now all will be forgiven. This is not true, and can have some serious affects on your financial health, and truly the health of the economy as a whole. 

Here is information from a lender friend of ours, Scott Groves with Movement Mortgage, that explains forbearance and how it works:

"If you, or your clients, are in dire-straights and having to make the toughest of financial decisions - like, what bills do I pay or how do I buy food - then I understand that you must do EVERYTHING you can to improve your cash-flow situation.

That being said, applying for a FORBEARANCE on your mortgage payment should be an ABSOLUTE LAST RESORT when it comes to your finances.

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Home Upsizing, Downsizing Or "Rightsizing"? That Is the Question

Home Upsizing, Downsizing Or "Rightsizing"? That Is the Question

When we consider the important elements of our lives - like buying and selling our homes - the words we use and how we think about it matters.

Helping homebuyers and home sellers buy and sell real estate in NELA for as long as I have, I’ve seen it all. Homes for sale in Mt. Washington, for instance, offer large modern homes as well as tiny bungalows. Homes for sale in Pasadena offer ginormous California Craftsman homes as well as very small ones. Many are buying and selling homes to upsize. They need more space. But we also see many trying to downsize. They require less space.

Rather than thinking “upsize” or “downsize”, for many good reasons, we might ought to consider the modern term “rightsizing”.


Right-sizing is often about our quality of life. Often a much larger home requires a lot more work and effort to maintain. That time could be better used for other endeavors. Time is the last luxury. We are ALL running out of it.

This is one of the 6 points that Leonard Steinberg, Compass' President, itemized in his daily email regarding downsizing, or  rightsizing as he calls it. I'm dealing with a couple of downsizing/rightsizing projects myself, and I know how stressful it can be. My husband and I often ask each other--how did we end up with so much stuff? Then there's my mother, who is 91 and facing the same issue with only my sister and me to help. And I'm 300 miles away! 

But enough about me. I loved Leonard's conclusion:

Scaling down your home often feels like a regressive, negative moment in life, but I see it as the exact opposite. I have bumped into clients months after they made this stressful shift only to find them happier, less stressed and with a new sense of freedom. Remove ego from homeownership and the decisions made are often much wiser.

The wisdom of removing ego from homeownership, and from all kinds of real estate transactions, is so true in so many ways. For instance, your house will not sell for more than a flipped completely done house that's bigger no matter what you think of their taste. It's not about you and how cool you think your house is. It's about buyers and what they think. And they speak with their feet these days.

"Why don't they make an offer?" Sellers ask this all the time. It's because they don't want to offend you, or they don't want to bother, or they've been trained to believe that you really mean your price.

Here's another example: real estate agents who try to dominate a transaction, like "I would never let my buyer get less than half the credit I told him to expect from the seller." What? This agent thought she had some eerie power over the seller and the buyer in this escrow. My seller said "Let's kick this buyer to the curb and go to the next one." We had a great backup buyer and we did exactly that.

We all have some interest in real estate. After all, we all live somewhere, even if it's under a bridge or on our buddy's couch. Let's figure out what we need and let go of at least some of what we want and maybe we will all be a little more content with our lives.

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This Real Estate Rule Changed over Twenty Years Ago

This Real Estate Rule Changed over Twenty Years Ago

If the home you sell was your primary residence two of the last 5 years, guess what? There is no tax on your capital gains!

Whether we’re talking homes for sale in Glassell Park, commercial real estate in Eagle Rock or homes in Mt. Washington, nobody can dispute that it has been a seller’s market. Northeast Los Angeles real estate market remains red hot and many property owners have cashed in.

Though surely not everyone …

I can’t tell you how many times over the last 29 years someone has told me, “I don’t want to sell because I don’t want to pay the tax if I don’t buy another property within 2 years.”

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Green LA and Save Our Trees!

Green LA and Save Our Trees!

The more sustainable "Green Thinking" we do in LA's Northeast, the more beautiful - abd valuable - our communities will be.

The communities that make up Northeast Los Angeles have generally been seen to be progressive and environmentally conscious. More and more, we see homes in Highland Park and real estate in Mt. Washington and Eagle Rock and Glasell Park coming on the market with what is today known as "sustainable landscaping".

Landscaping that requires little attention and resources is seen by homebuyers as a positive attribute in a home for sale for many good reasons.

For instance, did you know that if you're a homeowner in Los Angeles, you can still get a rebate from the Department of Water and Power (DWP) for removing your water-guzzling lawn and putting in a sustainable landscape?

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The 3 Ps of Increasing your Home’s Resale Value

The 3 Ps of Increasing your Home’s Resale Value

For Northeast LA home sellers, it pays to hire an experienced realtor who knows the ins and outs of price, preparation and promotion.

Over the past decade homes in Highland Park and Eagle Rock have become sought after, not only by those moving into the region, but by real estate investors looking to capatlize on the hot, hot market. Consequently, real estate in Glassell Park and Mt. Washington and other areas of Northeast LA have risen in value, too.

Naturally, the question on every homeowner's mind is, "What is my home worth?"

Since you are probably curious about your home’s value, I wanted to give you some tips on how you can increase your home’s resale value.

The best way to get more for you home is to work on the 3 Ps of home sales:


  • Preparation - getting the right things ready so buyers will value your home’s features.
  • Price - pricing your home to avoid Limbo Land, a place where homes sit on the market indefinitely.
  • Promotion - marketing your home to get your home found online and generate buyer interest.

On our team we work with home sellers to implement the 3 Ps and sell homes for higher than the average real estate agent.

If you’d like to learn more about the 3 Ps of home selling and how we can assist you in increasing your home's resale value, contact us today.

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First Time Homebuyers: Feel Like You Have a Tiger by the Tail?

First Time Homebuyers: Feel Like You Have a Tiger by the Tail?

If today's homebuyers want to score big in the hot and active Northeast LA real estate market, it behooves them to think like a seasoned investor.

Many first time buyers in the crazy Northeast Los Angeles real estate market do feel like they have a tiger by the proverbial tail. From their point of view, they looked at dozens of homes for sale in Highland Park or Eagle Rock, dutifully attending open houses. They have competed time after time, pouring their hearts out in charming "I love your house and we are the cute couple you should pick to buy it" letters, scraping together every dime they can, revealing all their financial secrets to people they've never met and probably never will. And then, the 13th or 23rd time they go through this, they win!

They get to buy a house! Now what?


Now they do inspections and, oh my! This house needs work! It costs more than anyone they are related to — anyone they've ever known — has ever paid and it's not perfect! Not only that, this crazy market has been going up way too long and they just know that the minute they close escrow, the crash will happen and they will be stuck with an overpriced turkey that still needs work. Yikes! They have listened to their friends and reluctantly to Uncle Joe the accountant who bought his last house in 1982, and they are beginning to think the family and friends might be right—they are being chumps and they'd better get out while they can.

But they have a buyers' agent who reassures them that even though the house was sold as-is, even though the homeowners provided a general inspection and even a chimney and sewer inspection that revealed these issues, they can still ask for credits and repairs and negotiate the price down.

What the seller may choose to do about the requests is anyone's guess — but often they say no, or maybe they'll negotiate a little bit. Now the ball is back in the buyer's court. What next?

General thoughts: you can say yes, no, or negotiate somewhere between. But if this was a multiple offer situation, there is a good chance the seller has a backup offer, maybe even higher than yours, just waiting for you to back out. Or if you just give up and back out, often the property ends up selling for even more than you were willing to pay. We had that happen a few times in the last year, and sometimes it was a very significant amount of money.

Ask yourself if what you are feeling about this house is really your fear talking. After all, this is a big financial step for you—it might be the biggest step you've ever taken and you don't want to make a mistake. If you are asking all your friends and family what you should do, remember that the best advice they can give you from their perspective is to not take the step— because that is the "safe" choice. But in a couple of years when you still are renting an apartment and prices have continued to go up, will it really have been the safest path?

Some background: this crazy market has been recovering from the Great Recession for a good 5 to 8 years depending on where you are and what you define as "The Bottom." The majority of buyers have only been aware of it for about 4 years, when the number of homes on the market around my 'hood in Northeast Los Angeles dropped to almost nothing and prices started spiking up. For about the last 3 years, some people (many of them smart savvy Realtors) have said that this market is unsustainable and prices will soon level off—possibly even go down!

Suggestion #1: Look at what investors are doing. The beginning of the Renaissance of Highland Park began in 2009 when it truly was the bottom and investors came in and bought crummy thrashed foreclosures for cash, fixed them up with some style so that the people who could get a loan (if only from the Bank of Mom & Dad) would be attracted by the good looks and affordable prices and buy them—and the investor made a good profit. When the great deals got scooped up after a few years, eventually most investors moved on to higher priced neighborhoods where the profit margins were even higher again. Look at what's going on now, though—the investors have come back! Now NELA is where they can make a profit.

Many buyers today say that investors have scooped up all the "deals" and they cannot afford to buy the $million-plus flips that they produce. My question is, why didn't you buy the fixer when it was affordable and fix it up yourself? I have often heard buyers say that that is what they would like to do, but the investor went in and scooped up the property for themselves. In many cases, that is just not so. Here are the facts: in the 90041 Eagle Rock zip code, there were 34 $million + sales in 2016. Of them, 19 were flips. Of them, 12 were listed in the MLS, they were on the market an average of 69 days, and they sold for an average price of $645,000, which was slightly under the average asking price. And they sold fixed up for an average of $1,184,000 in 20 days on the market. That's about a $500,000 gross profit. Figuring in maybe $350,000 in renovation and sales costs, you have a net profit of $150,000. I'm guessing on costs, by the way.

But let's assume you never wanted to buy a fixer. The other interesting lesson to learn from where the investors are buying is that they think Northeast Los Angeles can sustain their investment/profit formula. Remember, they have a lot of risk—they generally pay cash (often with expensive hard-money loans), often self-fund the renovation, and generally take several months to complete the project. They do not want to risk so much money and time and then see the market go away, so if they have faith in the future market, that's a good sign.

Suggestion #2: Don't be confused about what you are really buying. Fix-it items on a house are just that, fixes. What is really important is the location, the lifestyle it offers you, the amenities nearby. I know my friends in the Midwest think our market is crazy—and they thought so 34 years ago when we bought our first house in Eagle Rock for $95,000. That particular house is probably worth $750,000 today, while the same house in Springfield, Missouri might be worth $125,000 today, maybe not that much. If the price of the home is that important or necessary to you, by all means, move to a less expensive area.

Keep in mind that real estate is primarily a long-term investment. If you are planning to move on in 2 years, maybe you should rent. But if you have the money and it seems like the right next step in your life, don't let your fears hold you back.

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How to Be the Most Successful Seller

How to Be the Most Successful Seller

When we talk to a homeowner who is thinking of selling, we outline our process. Some people choose to follow every step we describe and they are usually the most successful sellers we have.

We just congratulated the Sellers of a lovely home in Mount Washington on the successful close of the sale of their home. They told us how easy we had made it for them. Selling a house can be a stressful process whether it ends well or not, so this was high praise. Mt. Washington real estate is a hot region, but doesn't mean selling is always a simple matter. The Seller stated, "We just did what you told us to when you told us to do it, and it all worked out."

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Why You Should Short Sell Your House Now

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether to proceed with selling your house as a short sale, you should read this article by Lew Sichelman.

A short sale is a transaction in which the homeowner owes more on the home than they can sell it for. What is owed includes the mortgage debt owed to the lender as well as the closing costs they will incur when they sell, such as commissions, title and escrow fees, taxes, etc. The property can’t be transferred unless the lender agrees to take less than they are owed because the lender has a recorded lien against the property that has to be satisfied before the title can be transferred to the new owner. Of course, a lender isn’t going to forgive the debt unless there is no hope of having it paid in full, and that’s where the homeowner’s distressed financial situation has to be evaluated. Also, there is a penalty to be paid which has been both a big black mark on the homeowner’s credit score and a tax penalty by the government for what is called “debt relief.” This tax penalty has been lifted for the last 5 years because of the severity of the economic downturn.

As the article points out, this 2007 tax relief law expires at the end of 2012, but short sales and foreclosures can take several months to complete. If you have been hanging on to your house, hoping for the market to return to 2007 levels so you can sell it, you may want to reconsider your strategy. In our market area of Northeast Los Angeles, Pasadena and surrounding communities, the average sales prices are mostly still down 20% to 30% from 2007 levels.

There are buyers looking for properties to buy now. Mortgage interest rates are still very low. Inventory is very low. These conditions make it a perfect time to put your house on the market–if you can sell it for what the market will bring you. We are experiencing the best time in the last four years to sell a home. Some homeowners have had the pleasant experience of thinking they would have to short sell their home and finding that it sold for enough to be a regular sale! We would be happy to meet with you confidentially to discuss your own situation.

Tracy King 626-827-9795 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. DRE#01048877

Keely Myres 323-243-1234 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. DRE#01834633

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Spring Cleaning Before Spring Listing

Spring-time is commonly known as the "buying season," and we've definitely seen some more movement in the Northeast LA and Pasadena-area real estate market recently.  Home buyers are out there making offers on homes for sale.  In fact, several Eagle Rock homes have sold in multiple offers for over the listing price.  If you are thinking about making a move, this could be a great time to do so.  We'd be happy to sit down and discuss your home selling options, just call us for a consultation.  In the meantime - get ready to stand out from the competition with these spring cleaning tips:

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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Seller Questions: Why Won't They Just Make an Offer?

We hear this from sellers all the time. We discuss reducing the price after we have marketed the property for several weeks and have received no offers. Sellers don’t want to reduce their price because they are hoping that they will get lucky and some desperate buyer will pay their price. We talk about how buyers don’t want to make an insulting offer and anger the seller. The seller claims they would not be offended (food for another blog). So they say, if a buyer likes the house, why don’t they make an offer?

I have discovered the truth about this: buyers don’t make offers on properties they think are overpriced because they are conditioned not to! A prospective buyer called me about a listing that has been on themarket about 3 weeks. She wanted to know if we were planning to reduce the price soon. I chatted with her about the house, which she had seen at an open house and she loved it. But she felt it was priced too high. However, she said she knew that often a house would come on too high and they would reduce it if no offers came in.

What does this tell us? This woman has been looking for a house for a while and has been seeing patterns in the marketplace. She has seen significant price reductions happen fairly soon after a house hits the market. She has seen enough properties that she has an opinion about what she believes the value is. Also, she didn’t want to insult the seller by making a low offer, she wanted to find out if the seller's price was negotiable by seeing him make a reduction.


What kind of offer would she want to make? It turns out that she thinks it’s about $100,000 too high. I told her that the seller was not in a position to sell it for that much less. I also told her she might want to look at homes priced under $450,000 if that was her price range.

After we hung up, I thought of a listing I have that is coming on the market next month. I called her back and told her about it--a cute house in the hills of Highland Park near Eagle Rock that will come on at $399,000--a short sale that has been tenant occupied for a year. She said she would be interested if it was just as nicely done as the one she had seen.

Who knows if this buyer is at all realistic about values, but she does have an educated opinion. She may be hoping that $400,000 will buy her a perfectly done house in a nice neighborhood in Eagle Rock--a not very likely possibility. When my new listing is ready for the market, you can be sure that I will call her to tell her about it and find out just how serious she is.

But the lesson here is for sellers: buyers don’t want to begin a negotiation on a negative note by making a low offer. They have seen a lot of properties have price reductions after being on the market a fairly short time. When they see a price drop, they know that a seller is willing to negotiate and are more likely to make an offer at that point. So if you have been trying a higher price and it hasn’t brought any offers, consider making a price reduction to stimulate activity, because often that is just what a buyer is waiting for.

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Why you Should Short Sell Your House Now

If you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether to proceed with selling your house as a short sale, you should read the column by Lew Sichelman printed in the Los Angeles Times last week.

A short sale is a transaction in which the homeowner owes more on the home than they can sell it for on the open market. What is owed includes the mortgage debt owed to the lender as well as the closing costs they will incur when they sell, such as commissions, title and escrow fees, taxes, etc. The property can’t be transferred unless the lender agrees to take less than they are owed.

As the article points out, the 2007 tax relief law expires at the end of 2012, but short sales and foreclosures can take several months to complete. If you have been hanging on to your house, hoping for the market to return to 2007 levels so you can sell it, you may want to reconsider your strategy. In our market area of Northeast Los Angeles, Pasadena and surrounding communities, the average sales prices are mostly still down 20% to 30% from 2007 levels.

There are buyers looking for properties to buy now.  Mortgage interest rates are still very low. Inventory is very low. These conditions make it a perfect time to put your house on the market--if you can sell it for what the market will bring you.

Did you know that many buyers look at Super Bowl Sunday as the beginning of the Spring buying season? Now is the time to make it happen!
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Three Tips for Staging Your Home to Sell

3 tips for staging your home to sell Source: lowes.inman.com Today's buyers are looking for turnkey homes. That is, they want to move right in without having to do a lot of work. Buyers with busy lifestyles pay a premium for listings that are in prime condition. Staging can make the difference between a listing selling or not, the time it takes to sell, and the ultimate sale price.
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Will the Real Estate Market be Better in the Spring?

This is the hot question for Sellers as we head into the intense heavy holiday season post Halloween, pre-Valentine's Day.  Common wisdom says that people aren't interested in shopping for houses when they have toy firetrucks and the latest video game to buy for the kiddies and spouses.

But we here at the Tracy King Team at Teles Properties do not believe in the "common wisdom" theories of real estate sales because we are not common and neither are our sellers and buyers. We are exceptional! And we believe in doing business all twelve months of the year.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving week we brought a new La Canada listing on the market and sold it in 7 seven days. We also brought a Pasadena listing on the market the week before the holiday and had 100 people at the broker's open house on Thursday and 50 people at the Sunday open house in the pouring rain! We also put an Eagle Rock listing back into a new escrow and finalized opening a new escrow in Highland Park.  Buyers are not halting their home shopping!

On the national front, DSNews.com, a distress property servicer news organization said:



Existing-Home Sales Rise Unexpectedly in October


Sales of previously owned homes got an unexpected boost last month while the number of homes on the market continued to decline, according to data released Monday by the National Association of Realtors. The trade group recorded a 1.4 percent month-over-month increase in existing-home sales in October.


Since our corner of the Los Angeles metro area is generally doing better than the national averages, this is especially positive news.

I know you're still thinking to yourself, "But will the market be even better in the Spring?" - well, that is almost 4 months away and my crystal ball is currently in the shop.  The way we're working, we could be listed, marketed, sold and closed escrow by then - and you could be onto the next part of your life!

So what are you waiting for?  Home buyers sure aren't waiting!

 

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The Emotional Home Sale

Q: How can I get as much for my property as you got for my neighbor?

A: As I told one neighbor recently, I know that sometimes it looks like I pulled a rabbit out of the hat to have sold the house for more than others of a similar size, but I am really not a magician! The magic comes from a perfect combination of style, amenities, location and price - as far as the house itself is concerned. But there is more: it also takes a team made up of the seller and the agent.

The seller has to have a certain sense of style to either create or maintain such a special environment (or hire someone who does! Here is some information on staging that could get you started). S/he also has to be open to strategizing with the agent regarding the pricing and marketing and showing the property. We want to create or emphasize the best atmosphere to encourage a buyer to fall in love with the home. We want to create an urgency as well, to result in an I-have-to-have-this-house attitude. This means the house must look its best for every showing and open house.

The agent has to understand the current real estate market and how to use price, staging, photography and marketing to position a property to look its best.

The houses I've sold for the highest prices this past year were all very special houses on, for the most part, very special lots. Seclusion, space, great landscaping, privacy, and a California-lifestyle indoor/outdoor entertaining space are all elements that bring out the swoony feelings in buyers who are willing to pay a premium for a special place to call home.

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My recovered couch!

Thank you, Jesus the Upholsterer! Great job on my couch's new look.

 

Photo

 

Tracy King
Teles Properties
DRE #01048877
Interesting homes for Interesting people
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Tracy's LA Real Estate

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Should I Decorate for the Holidays If My House is on the Market?

The answer used to be yes, everyone loves a house dressed for Christmas. But especially in a large metropolis like Los Angeles, we now have some good reasons to tone it down.

First is the viral nature of marketing: once a photo is uploaded to the Internet, it quickly goes to hundreds of sites and it’s not so easy to get them off. What if your house is still on the market on January 2? Now those colorful stockings hung from your mantel look kind of sad. If you’ve had professional photography, who needs the added expense of re-shooting photos without the holiday decor? Many people don’t even think of doing that.

Second, whatever your own holiday or religious persuasion, do you have any idea what your prospective buyers' are? What if you have your house all ready for Hanukkah and your potential buyer is Muslim? Or Hindu? Or Quaker? Your decorations might look like nothing more than clutter to them. And we know that the biggest 'don’t' is clutter. We want the buyer to see the house, not your personal expression of holiday cheer.

So have the house photographed with no holiday decorations at all so the house can be seen as fresh on the market in any season. If you want to have some decorations, be minimal. Wait till closer to the holiday to put up anything. In some traditions, the Christmas tree was not put up until Christmas Eve and it was taken down before New Year’s.  Limit yourself to a wreath on the front door, a small table top tree, a nice centerpiece on the table. Say to yourself  'Less is More' whenever the urge to haul out every decoration you’ve saved for the last 5 years comes to your mind.

And remember, a nice plate of freshly baked cookies says a timeless Happy Holiday any time of the year.

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Win $500! Stories of Home Contest

Be entered for a chance to win one of four $500 Lowe's Home Improvement gift cards by entering the "Stories of Home" video contest on Facebook.  All you have to do is record a quick video about working with your realtor or being a homeowner.

Here's how to play:


Contest ends on November 30. For more information visit www.ChampionsofHome.com.

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