If You Want the Best Real Estate Financing…

If you are planning to purchase a new home or would like to refinance, contact Mike Giltner, Senior Loan Officer of Nations Mortgage.  I have known him for many years and he has arranged financing for my clients and for me, personally.  You will not be disappointed!

Mike Giltner | Senior Loan Officer

Nations Mortgage

Direct: 310 421-4670

Cell: 310 971-1856

Nations Mortgage Website

22939 Hawthorne Blvd. #202  

Torrance, Ca  90505

When Selling, Don’t Overlook the Details

There are so many things to do when you are selling you home: making sure the house is clean all the time; making sure you answer all the calls from agents wanting to show it to prospective buyers; finding somewhere to go when showings take place; and so on and so on.

A very important part of the marketing process (a detail), is the listing itself. Don’t forget to ask your agent (hopefully me) to show you the listing submitted to the Multiple Listing Service. I’ve noticed that some agents take tons of pictures and many of them do not show the best features of your home. A townhouse listing I was looking at had ten pictures of the outside stairways, the front door, and even a picture of a neighbor’s dumpster! It’s not the number of pictures, it’s the pictures themselves. Also, we are able to label the pictures, and they should all be labeled. If your property has a view of the ocean, coastline or city lights, there should be good photos of the view, not extensive verbiage about how spectacular the view is. If the listing reads, “spectacular, panoramic views of the ocean and coastline”, and a prospect sees the home and notices that there is only that view if you are out on a deck with a telescope, he may be so disappointed that he will pass on your home. However, if the description is accurate, or maybe even under-played a little, the prospect may just fall in love with the view, and the offer to purchase will be put on the table. Unless your bathrooms are simply spectacular, there should not be pictures of them. If you have a large yard, as long as it is well kept, include pictures that show how large it is.

If the showing appointment times are limited and your home is difficult to show, it will be difficult to sell. Perhaps asking for offers “subject to inspection” may be an option.

I’m sure I haven’t covered all the little details, but remember that “the devil’s in them”.

A Brief Suggestion for Those Looking at Houses to Buy

When I show homes to potential buyers, I notice that I am always looking up toward the ceiling in the rooms. I often notice evidence of leaks. It dawned on me that when buyers are viewing homes, if they are couples, one should be looking up, as I do, but the other should be looking down. That way, any potential problems with the property should be detected.

Some Little Tips for Selling Your Home

1. Pricing it right: Find out what your house is worth and work with your agent (hopefully me!) to establish a price that will bring buyers with offers.
2. Half-empty closets: Storage is something a buyer is looking for and never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets, then neatly organize what is left. Be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.
3. Light it up: Maximize the light in your home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs, and cut the outside to let in sunshine.
4. Conceal your pets: Not everyone is a dog or cat lover. The bowl of dog food, the smell of the litter box, tufts of pet hair may give buyers the impression that your house is not clean.
5. Do not over upgrade: Quick fixes before selling should pay off, but major makeovers may not. Do updates that that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls (I have a great painter, if you need one), replace door handles and cabinet knobs, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout (a toothbrush with cleanser works),
6. Depersonalize: The more personal items in your house, the less potential buyers can visualize themselves living there. Also, I have had buyers who looked at personal items so much that they really did not see the features of the home.

Five Steps to Create the Kitchen of Your Dreams

When you decide to remodel your kitchen, follow these steps to design the space you have been dreaming about:

  1.  Create a budget:  It is important to determine how much you are willing to spend to achieve your ideal kitchen.    If you need basic upgrades or a complete remodel, setting your budget will help create a realistic plan from the start.
  2. Think about what you need and what you want:  Think about how you use the kitchen.  Do you do a lot of baking and need more counter space for rolling out confections?  Would you like to have a stone oven for your homemade pizza?  There is one area that everyone should update-the kitchen faucet.  Because it sees so much use on a daily basis, think about ways to make tasks easier, like installing a new pull down faucet.  No matter what the task, you will quickly notice the difference made by this simple update.  Beyond a new faucet, here are some of the most popular items for the kitchen:  A chef’s stove is a dream appliance.  Use soft, neutral colors in the kitchen.  Purchase stainless steel appliances.  A custom pantry is a popular kitchen storage item, followed by a utensil drawer.
  3. Research and plan:  Sources for ideas and inspiration are infinite, especially online.  Visit sites like Pinterest and Houzz that provide design concepts for your new kitchen.  Visit a kitchen showroom .  Magazine articles and features can also provide valuable how-to information.
  4. Determine your approach:  Will you hire a professional or do most of the work yourself?  Moving walls or doing electrical work is best left to licensed contractors and electricians.  You may be comfortable installing a new faucet or painting your new space, but remember that when you do-it-yourself, fixing one thing may lead to other jobs that need to be accomplished.
  5. Get to work:  With the perfect plan and a list of updates to incorporate, you will be able to create your new kitchen space.

How to Price Your Home to Sell

Getting the price right is the most important factor when you are putting your house on the market.  Here are some hints for setting the price just right:

1.  Look for information about similar homes that have sold and closed escrow, those that are in escrow, and those that are presently on the market.  The location, condition, amenities should be close to those of your house.  We are in an area where many homes are custom and have unique floor plans.  Even the best comparable homes are not just like your home.  Only in a tract or condo development will the homes have identical floor plans.  I usually look at homes of similar square footage, using a range based on the size of my client’s home.  If the subject property is 2500 square feet, I would probably search in sizes ranging from 2100 to 2900 square feet.  Some of the homes found will have additional bedrooms and bathrooms and I will make adjustments to the price based on statistics obtained from the Multiple Listing Service.  The presence of an ample backyard is a big factor.  A swimming pool, I have found, is a feature that usually does not add value or subtract value for most buyers.

2. Time on the market is an important factor.  In a normal market homes should sell within thirty days if they are priced correctly.

3.  When pricing your home, try not the be at the top of the price range for similar competing homes; this is a factor often overlooked by homeowners and agents.

4.  If you put your home on the market and you are having a lot of viewings, but no sale, your price is probably too high.  If you are getting very few showings, there may be something wrong with the property itself.

5.  If your home is not in escrow within the first thirty days on the market, I recommend cancelling the listing and re-listing it, rather than simply lowering the price.  Homes that are new on the market, or appear to be new on the market, always get more attention and are many times e-mailed out to prospects put into the system by their respective agents.

6.  Look at the situation often, as new houses come on the market and hopefully many are selling, as well.

Contact me for a complimentary market evaluation of your home!