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August 25th, 2014 at 11:00 am

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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 20th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

hot-chocolate-and-cookiesWhen you’re in the process of selling your home, consider what you look for when buying a home. In order to get a buyer to make a purchase, they must feel an emotional tie to the home. Factors like location and price play a prominent part, but by appealing to a buyers’ emotions you’re putting the icing on the cake. An emotional pull is likely to outweigh other factors. One of the easiest ways to create that connection is by creating an inviting sensory experience.

The sense of smell might be the most impactful of all the senses. Think about your own life, do certain smells conjure up both happy and sad memories. Smell can transport you to a different time and place. As a home seller you can use this to your advantage. Start by thoroughly cleaning your home; steam clean carpets, air out closed off rooms and invest in lightly scented air fresheners (be cautious of anything too bold). Pay attention to anything that can cause an unpleasant odor, like garbage cans and dirty laundry, and make sure these areas are cleaned before an open house or showing. If you have notice of an open house or showing, consider baking homemade goodies. Accompany the treats with a handwritten note inviting the guests to sit, relax and enjoy. The aroma and hand written note will make the potential buyer feel right at home and hopefully remind them of fond memories associated with the scent.

On that same note, taste can also be used as a way to build an emotional connection. Set out coffee, fresh baked goods, fruit or even candy. This can help buyers to feel comfortable and leave them with a pleasant impression. (more…)

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August 15th, 2014 at 4:15 pm

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Nicki Marcellino

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices reported that the La Jolla office was #1 for sales production through the first half of the year, out of the company’s vast network of offices in North America. The results point to another year of dominance for the La Jolla office, which has ranked #1 nationwide for nine of the last 11 years.

“We always expect a strong performance from our team in the La Jolla office, yet they always find a way to surpass our expectations,” said David M. Cabot, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties. “I would like to thank our agents and staff for the teamwork and perseverance they display on behalf of our clients.”

The La Jolla office has topped the residential marketplace in San Diego and La Jolla for 14 years running, for all real estate brokerages serving the areas.

“I am very proud of the agents who tirelessly strive to be the best they can be and have earned the recognition for this office,” commented Nicki Marcellino, manager and vice president of the San Diego County region. “Consistency like this is the result of a team effort, with everyone taking personal responsibility for the experience our clients have with their transactions.”

“The La Jolla market has traditionally been stable and it will continue to remain an extremely desirable area,” adds Cabot, “but that could never be the sole explanation for such a remarkable track record. Our agents and staff deserve a tremendous amount of credit for this achievement.”

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August 13th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

8530 Hedges LA

The Wolff Residence is on the market and represented by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties’ agents Simon Salloom and Tyson Park. The home, designed and built by John Lautner, AIA in 1961 is a modernist architectural masterpiece that blends elements of wood and stone and features stunning views from 16’ floor to ceiling windows. The awe-inspiring four-bedroom home sits on a private cul-de-sac, includes a beautiful pool and one-bedroom guesthouse.

Taking full advantage of the terrain, The Wolf Residence climbs down a steep hillside and is reminiscent of a tree house. Lautner often stated that this was his finest homage to his mentor Frank Lloyd Wright. Expressive engineering and design seamlessly integrate the residence into its natural environment. The home is so impressive that in 2006 actor Vincent Gallo purchased the home and had it classified as a historic building under the Mills Act; a special designation that allows the city to award homeowners breaks on property taxes in exchange for restoring and maintaining their properties.

(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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