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August 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am

Pen/Signature

As is evident over the last few years, the real estate market ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s a buyer’s market (many homes for sale, few buyers) and sometimes it’s a seller’s market (many buyers, few homes for sale). The market climate can make a big difference in relation to how much a buyer has to “do” in order to secure their dream home. In Southern California we’ve seen ups and downs, but premiere properties are typically highly sought after, as is the coveted paradise living environment, which makes the real estate climate here more of a seller’s market.

When looking for homes you’ll be competing with others out there who have fallen in love with your dream home. A home-offer letter is written by the buyer in an effort to convince the seller why they should sell their home to the buyer. These letters can be highly effective if executed correctly. However make no mistake, a home-offer letter does not replace a lender’s letter, which is required by many sellers.

A home-offer letter is supplemental information that you can provide to the seller. In your letter you want to demonstrate why you stand out. Answer the question “why should I sell to you?” Don’t be shy when it comes to your emotions. You want to include these in your letter in order to develop a bond with the seller. Avoid turning your letter into a negative or sad story, try to keep any unfortunate situations, events or struggles somewhat upbeat. In order for your letter to have maximum impact you’ll also want to keep it brief. After all, the seller is much more likely to read a one-page letter instead of a five-page letter. (more…)

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August 7th, 2014 at 10:00 am

Zillow-Trulia

The real estate industry has been buzzing about the Zillow – Trulia merger. Separately, these are the two largest online real estate listing companies in the United States. The plan to merge swirled throughout the industry last week and have since been confirmed; causing a substantial gain in Zillow’s stock price. However, the merger will do more than boost the bank accounts of those invested in these companies, it will also affect the real estate industry as a whole.

What Likely Will Not Change

If you’ve ever used either of these sites before you’ve probably also noticed that there isn’t as much information available for a property when compared to a local real estate agency. This fact is not likely to change as neither site is an MLS. Plans to take over MLSs have not currently been discussed in terms of this merger. Consumers should not expect to get access to more listings or depend on better information, but the ease and functionality of these sites should continue to improve. Most buyers begin the process online and these two sites are the most popular places to start. Consumers expect to receive hyper-local content from local real estate companies. Although they may begin their search online, those in the market to buy a home will be looking for local information from an agent.

Likely Changes (more…)

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August 5th, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Kitchen

No one said the home buying process was quick and easy. In fact, for most people it takes months from the time a buyer starts looking for a house until they actually close on the house. As you near closing there is no shortage of items on your to-do list – inspections, finalizing loans and setting an escrow closing date to name a few. However, you’re not done quite yet! You still need to complete your final walkthrough.

What is the final walkthrough?

The purpose of the final walkthrough is to make sure everything is as it should be for closing. This is the step where you make sure the seller has fixed anything that needs fixing, if you negotiated keeping the refrigerator, now is the time you ensure the refrigerator is there and no additional damage happened as a result of the seller moving out. Your real estate agent will coordinate your walkthrough about a week before closing and you can expect that it will take about 30-60 minutes to complete a full walkthrough.

Why does it matter?

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June 27th, 2014 at 8:37 pm

Home Sale

The road to buying a home looks a little different for each traveler that sets out on the journey. There is no one-size-fits-all solution or a map leading you from start to finish. However, with the right knowledge and the help of the right realtor, you can enter the market equipped with the tools required to make your big purchase with ease. Part of the preparation process is knowing what types of loans and/or programs you may qualify for. One specialty loan on the market is the VA loan.

What is a VA Loan

The VA loan program was created in 1944 in an effort to help service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. The Department of Veterans Affairs does not lend money for the loans, rather it backs private lenders such as banks and mortgage companies.

Who Qualifies

  • Veterans (you’ve served 90 consecutive days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime)
  • Active-duty personnel (you’ve served 90 consecutive days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime)
  • Reservists/National Guard members (you have more than 6 years of service)
  • Eligible surviving spouses (for spouses of service members who’ve passed away in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability)

The Difference (more…)

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