Get off the fence…

We all know someone in Real Estate and we also know that everyone has an opinion about real estate… Rather than share my opinion, allow me to share my thoughts on our current market.

The way we see it is you have 3 options… Option 1, do nothing… stay where you are…  stay there for the next 3-7 years and live the same lifestyle you currently have with the anticipation of a 4% increase in rents year over year for the next 5 years (Case-Shiller).  Option 2, buy your first home… stay there for 7-10 years, build some equity, create a home for you and your family and you will be just fine, or Option 3, stop reading this post right now, because neither option applies to you, it’s not relevant or you just don’t care to hear about my thoughts.

The Orange County real estate market has been on an upward climb since November of 2011 on a somewhat of a regular and consistent basis.  This market has been fueled by extremely low interest rates, and very low inventory.  This is simple supply and demand.   The demand has been strong and inventory has not been able to keep up with that demand.

Let’s take a look at the most recent active and pending sales…   According to Trendgraphix, right now in North Orange County (Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Orange, Brea, Fullerton, Placentia and Yorba Linda), there are 700 active homes available, priced under $1,000,000.  With that said…  There are 536 pending sales within that same price range.  Based on these 2 numbers… if not another home were listed in this next 2 months, we would be out of salable inventory.  Now we know this isn’t going to happen, because the homes not selling in today’s market, well they aren’t priced properly, they don’t show well or have showing restrictions, they have some sort of issue (whether it be a high tension line, freeway traffic, street traffic, too close to the airport, oil rigs, etc.), or they simply aren’t being marketed well.  There will always be a pool of homes that won’t sell for whatever reason. 

If we look at the graph, and we learn from the past… we can also somewhat predict, with some accuracy, what is going to happen with active inventory and pending sales as we head into the Winter market.  Based on past years… inventory will decrease, and pending sales will trail off.  Buyers and Sellers alike simply check out of the market as they take to the holidays in full force.  We know this to be true… the market repeats itself every year, year after year, after year…

This is good for you as a buyer… We know that if you have been in the market for the past spring and summer, you are probably thinking about giving up… your tired or getting beat up, passed by, and just frustrated with the entire process and experience.  If you are working with us… we would tell you, stay committed.  Your competition will check out, and the sellers that list their homes during this time of year, have to sell!  They have an agenda, and it’s not to ruin their holiday season, its to sell their home and get to the finish line.  They will need your help.

Another reason to stay committed… Interest rates simply can’t stay where they are forever.  The Government has been putting downward pressure on the rates to keep the market moving, since the mortgage meltdown, and quite frankly, nothing last for ever.  Here are the predictions from Fannie Mae, The Mortgage Bankers Association and The National Association of Realtors:

Let me be clear… You are not buying a home today to make a ton of money!  I believe that you may, and yet the reason to buy a home is to make a home.  It’s to secure a property that you may not be able to get into for years to come should you wait.  The “invisible” cost of waiting is far greater than most believe.  What I mean by that is simple… If interest rates do go up as projected, you as a buyer must wait for pricing to come down to match that offset in price, or you have to make a lot more money in order to qualify for the lower priced home and the higher payment.  Here is a Mortgage Payment Chart to put it into visual perspective….  For every 1% increase in interest rates, you lose 10% in affordability.  That means, if you are qualified today at $600,000, interest rates increase over night, tomorrow you are qualified for $540,000 at about the same monthly payment.

Keep in mind… most market don’t decrease 10% overnight, and in the past interest rates haven’t only increased by 1%.  This is a very “Vegas” style approach.  Your gamble could pay off, and yet, it’s not probable.  Timing the market is tough… while it can be possible, it’s simply not probable for most.

If you or someone you know are on the fence and thinking about buying a home… Jump froggy!  Give us a call today or fill out our contact form here, as we would love to show you what we do differently in order to help position our buyers to win.   Whatever path you choose… we truly wish you well!

September 2017 ~ This month in Real Estate

 

September was another great month for sellers as it proved to be an outlier…  typically the market starts to slow down when the kids go back to school.  Inventory peels off which it has, and buyer activity normally slows.  This September appears to be slower based on  Closed Sales, and yet the Pending Sales are way up in Orange County… In fact they are up almost 21%.   Stay tuned for October’s Market Report as we will shed some additional light on the current “Market of the Moment”.

Can’t wait?  Give us a call or send us an email today and let us know what we can do to help you, right now!

This month in Real Estate – July 2017 Snapshot

Here is a quick update on the current state of our real estate market here in Orange County.

Curious on how your market compares?  Give us a call today or send us an email and we will run an analysis based on your zip code, or your area!

 

June… The month where inventory climbs and buyers decline

State of the market… Where are we, and where are we headed? 

May proved to be somewhat of an outlier… as inventory continued to increase as expected, and yet the buyer activity stepped up 11.4% which is not typical for this month.

May is the start of buyer hibernation.  Buyer’s become overwhelmed with activities… Mother’s Day, preparing for Memorial Day, Graduations, etc… and then comes June.  The “Shift” in the market where inventory jumps and then buyer activity declines due to all the things that buyers were preparing for in May… Father’s Day, Graduations, Vacation Bible School, and don’t forget the first summer vacation.  Buyers check out, and sales activity declines.  This is the new normal… this is the new seasonality, and it is what it is.   The challenge this past month was… well… that did not hold true.  Yes… inventory increased, and yet not enough to keep up with buyer demand.  Why?  Well… Interest rates declined back to pre-election percentages, and the lower price range buyer activity actually increased.

June inventory is increasing, and at the same time, we are starting to see that seasonal slide in activity.   The real question is… where is it headed?   The high end market is headed down… down… down… the mid market is robust and will be rich with opportunities for contingency sales…  and the lower end markets should remain strong as there is still a lot of demand.

If you are thinking about buying, selling or investing in Orange County Real Estate… give us a call or sending us an email, as we would love to share our additional thoughts and feelings about the market.  We are here to help you!  Thank you for your time and attention.

May 2017 ~ This Month In Real Estate

The Orange County Real Estate Market is still moving… and for the most part, is still a Seller’s Market.  Check out the numbers:

Who do you know that is thinking about buying a home, selling a home or investing in real estate?  Please don’t keep us a secret!!!

August 2016 ~ This Month In Real Estate

Hello again…

August was another busy month for Orange County, and by far one of the most productive months in years past.  Prices up… sales up… Who says the summer is over.

august-this-month-in-real-estate

Who do you know that is thinking about making a move?  Run an automated evaluation of your home right here, from the comfort of your own living room, office, cell phone… Check it out:

July 2016 ~ This month in Real Estate / Orange County Edition

This Month in Real Estate ~ Orange County Edition for July 2016

July 2016 shows signs of the typical summer, and yet with only a slight slow down.   August numbers should show a different tale as inventory continues to pick up.   What doesn’t show is the simple fact that the high end market is topping out, and in most Orange County communities is swinging well into a BUYER’S Market.  This is primarily because of affordability, in addition to the limited pool of buyers that are truly able to buy, without having to sell their existing property.

This month in real estate july 2016

 

Curious about your home value?  Go to www.SellMyOCHomeNow.com and get an auto evaluation prepared in minutes!  Feel good knowing there is never any cost, or obligation.

Thank you for stopping bye, and come back next month for the August edition of “This month in real estate / Orange County Edition” .

 

Hot Summer Nights…

Great for Car Shows… Not So Great For Real Estate!Hot summer nights

With the approaching summer, comes longer days, and hot summer nights!  When it comes to Southern California Real Estate, there is often a fallacy that states that summer is the best time of the year to sell.  This is a MYTH, and really couldn’t be further from the TRUTH.  The Truth is that as soon as we hit the first week in June, there is what we call the Summer Shut Down.  Buyers start pulling out of the market to address Father’s Day, Graduations, Vacations, Day Camps, Girl Scout Camps, Vacation Bible Study, you get the point.

Mom’s and Dad’s become chauffeurs for the more important things like the beach, the movies, and pool parties…   If your children are in dance or in sports, they have the end of season tournaments, championships, and all of these often involve travel!  More time, and more money that would have gone into their housing search and purchase.

Here is a year over year facts and trends report from Trendgraphix that will show you a bit more about what I sharing with you:

Trendgraphix 3 year report for Orange County Inventory

Notice that inventory has increased every summer for the last 3 years, while the red line represents pending transactions, actually trends down during the same time.  This creates a disconnect or what we call a SHIFT in the market.  While most of the time, the market self corrects, it needs to be noted that if you are thinking about selling during these months, you must be prepared, and ahead of the curve.  If you choose to over price your home during this window in time, you can end up chasing the market through the summer, and I promise that is not fun!

If you or someone you know, like and care about are thinking about making a move, and would like a complimentary Market Analysis, simply fill out the information on our contact page at: http://www.northorangecountymarketwatch.com/contact/ and feel good knowing that we will get back to you in a timely manner.  If you would like to have a conversation around the market, pricing, inventory or trends, give us a call today at 714-746-8103 as we would love to speak with you!

If you are thinking about buying… stay in the game, as your competition will pull out of the market, and your opportunities to win at the table will increase.  Its simple supply and demand!  Want to meet for a buyer consultation to see how we help our buyers win?  Give our Buyer Specialist Jane Yoo-Pappas a call today at 714-746-8103 ext. 105

 

Did you know that Buyers offer more on a staged home?

Did you know…. Buyers offer more for a staged home?

If you didn’t, now you do.  Staging is a great way to showcase what a home could look like, vs. what it looks like either vacant or with your own personal property.  Buyers need to see what the home is capable of looking like, and your home needs to be seen through the eyes of a buyer.  Here are some recent facts from the California Association of Realtors.

BuyersOfferMoreForAStagedHome (1)

I found this great article on Fox News, and hope you find it valuable:

If you are planning to put your house on the market this summer, it goes without saying that you are hoping to sell your home as quickly as possible and get your asking price. Set the stage for success with these 21 tips for styling and upgrading your home, and see results — fast.

1. Boost curb appeal. This is something you always hear, and with very good reason. Many people thinking of touring your home will do a quick drive-by first, often deciding on the spot if it is even worth a look inside. Make sure your home is ready to lure in onlookers with these tips:

  • Power wash siding and walkways
  • Hang easy-to-read house numbers
  • Plant blooming flowers and fresh greenery
  • Mow lawn, and reseed or add fresh sod as needed
  • Wash front windows
  • Repaint or stain the porch floor as needed

2. Welcome visitors with an inviting porch. Even if you have only a tiny stoop, make it say “welcome home” with a clean doormat, potted plants in bloom and — if you have room — one or two pieces of neat porch furniture. Keep your porch lights on in the evenings, in case potential buyers drive by. Illuminating the front walk with solar lights is a nice extra touch, especially if you will be showing the house during the evening.

3. Get your house sparkling clean. From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house. Don’t skimp — this step is key!

4. Clear away all clutter. If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go, end of story. It’s not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative’s garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so purge anything unnecessary or unsightly.

But it’s my style! Guess what? It may not be the style of those seeking to buy a house in your neighborhood. So even if you have an awesome vintage-chic look going on, rein it in for the sake of appealing to the most number of people. You can bring your personal style back into play in your new home.

5. Strike a balance between clean and lived-in. Yes, I know I just said to get rid of all your clutter (and you deserve a big pat on the back if you did it), but now it’s time to judiciously bring back a few elements that will really make your home appealing. Think vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh farmer’s market produce on the kitchen counter or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.

6. Style your dining room table. The dining room is often a blind spot in decorating the home. Between dinners, a large dining table can look bare and uninviting, so styling it up with visitors in mind can increase the appeal. An oversize arrangement can look too stiff and formal, so try lining up a series of smaller vessels down the center of the table instead.

7. Take a good look at your floors. At the bare minimum, give all floors a thorough cleaning (and steam clean carpets), but consider having wood floors refinished if they are in poor shape. If you don’t want to invest in refinishing floors, the strategic placement of area rugs can go a long way.

8. Rearrange your furniture. In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Pull your furniture off the walls and use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create an inviting conversation area.

9. Choose sophisticated neutral colors. Now is not the time to experiment with that “fun”-looking lime green. But that doesn’t mean you need to go all white, either. Rich midtone neutrals like mocha and “greige” create a sophisticated backdrop that makes everything look more pulled together.

10. Create a gender-neutral master bedroom. Appeal to everyone with a clean, tailored master bedroom, free of personal items and clutter. You can’t go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed.

11. Open those closets! Open-house visitors will peek inside your closets. Closet space can be a make-it-or-break-it selling point for buyers, so show yours off to their full advantage by giving excess stuff the heave-ho. Again, this is really important, so even if you need to store a few boxes elsewhere, it’s worth it. Aim to have 20 to 30 percent open space in each closet to give the impression of spaciousness.

12. Clean up toys. Of course there will be families with children looking at your home, but just because they have kids too doesn’t mean seeing toys strewn everywhere will sell them on the place. When people are house hunting, they are imagining a fresh start. Show them that in this house, it is possible to have a beautifully organized kids’ room, and they might be swayed.

13. Use “extra” rooms wisely. If you have been using a spare bedroom as a dumping ground for odd pieces of furniture and boxes of junk, it’s time to clean up your act. Each room should have a clearly defined purpose, so think about what potential buyers might like to see here. An office? A guest room? Another kids’ room? Whether you buy inexpensive furnishings, rent them, or borrow some from friends, making a real room out of a junk room will have a big payoff.

14. Try a pedestal sink to maximize space. If you have a small bathroom but a huge cabinet-style sink, consider swapping it out for a simple pedestal version. Your bathroom will appear instantly bigger.

15. Use only perfect personal accents. Especially in the bathroom, it is important that anything left out for visitors to see is pristine. If you have a gorgeous fluffy white bathrobe, hanging it on a decorative hook on the door can be an attractive accent — but if your robe is more of the nubby blue floral variety, you might want to hide it away. Look at every detail with a visitor’s eye — bars of soap should be fresh and clean, towels spotless, the garbage always emptied (you get the idea).

16. Entice people to explore the whole house. By placing something that draws the eye at the top of the stairs, in hallways or in corners, you can pique curiosity and keep potential buyers interested throughout a whole home tour. A piece of artwork, a painted accent wall, a window seat, a vase of flowers, a hanging light or even a small, colorful rug can all work to draw the eye.

17. Show how you can use awkward areas. If you have any room beneath the stairs, or a nook or alcove anywhere in your home, try to find a unique way to show it off. By setting up a small work station, a home command center with a bulletin board, or built-in shelving, your awkward spot becomes another selling point.

18. Beware pet odors. Really, this can be a big one! If you have pets, get all rugs steam cleaned and be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any extra-loved pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled.

19. Create a lifestyle people are looking for. Generally speaking, you want to play up what your neighborhood or area is known for. Have a house in a quiet, grassy suburb? Hanging a hammock in your backyard and a bench swing on your porch could be the perfect touch.

20. Stage the outdoors too. Even if your condo has only a teensy postage stamp–size balcony, play it up with a cute cafe table and chairs, a cheerful tablecloth and even a little tray of dishes or a vase of flowers. When people look at this scene, they won’t be thinking “small,” they will be thinking, “What a charming spot to have breakfast!”

21. Think seasonally. Make sure your garden is in beautiful shape in the summer, and that any extra features you have, like a pool or a fire pit, are cleaned and ready to go. Take advantage of the cozy vibe of the season in autumn and winter, by building a fire in the fireplace and simmering hot apple cider on the stove.

If you or someone you know is thinking about selling their home, and want to maximize your bottom line, staging may be a great way to do that.  Give us a call today at 714-746-8103 ext. 101 or send us an email here to set up your FREE, No-Obligation consultation.   Thank you for your investment in time…

Your Tenants Could Cost You!

Your Tenants could cost you!  Thousands!!!house and money

A question we often field is: “Do we sell our home and then give the tenants notice” or “Do we give the tenants notice, have them vacate and then sell”?

I’m sure if you ask a few different Realtors, you will get a few different answers, and my answer is a resounding ~ have the tenant leave, take possession of your property, and then sell!!!  If your lease is not ending soon, work with them, buy them out, or compensate them for their cooperation.  

This is not open for discussion… it’s not an option, as it’s a very simple answer!

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that tenants are bad… that is not my position!

My statement is based on past experience… and experience shows that in most cases, by allowing the tenant to stay in possession, it could cost you thousands!

  • There could be maintenance issues, repairs, cleanliness issues, that would be better served if taken care of.
  • There could be a loss in value due to the inability to get a larger amounts of people into the property in a short period of time (Demand drives value…)  You have to be respectfully of the lease and showing times as outlined in the lease agreement.
  • Minimal online photos due to tenants personal belongings and property (According to the National Association of Realtors NAR, 90% of all buyers start their search online, and over 80% of these consumers will leave a listing due to the lack of photos).
  • These items would likely lead to the property taking longer to sell, which would then lead to an increased cost to carry.
  • Additional Costs associated with the tenant rescheduling professional services, photographer, inspector, appraiser, etc…
  • Tenant stops paying rent or refuses to vacate due to the inconvenience or frustration in the process.  Then you have an adverse Tenant in possession and possible Eviction expenses.
  • Additionally… there could be possible tenant relocation expenses should there be a stall at the end of the transaction.

Landlords or sellers will often say, “I don’t want to lose a couple of months rent”… and yet, experience shows that if they simply have the tenant vacate prior to selling, they can often recover that loss, and even net more money.

Some of the many benefits of having the tenants vacate early are:

  • The property is much easier to access
  • While a furnished home almost always shows better…  most homes show bigger when the are vacant…
  • The property will show better staged then it typically would with the tenants personal property.
  • The properties are easier to access, and there are no scheduling conflicts as there is no one in possession of the home.
  • The buyers are able to see themselves in the home vs. looking beyond the tenants personal property.

Bottom line… if you are contemplating selling your house with a tenant in possession, it could cost you!

Give us a call today at 714-746-8103 ext. 101, and we will happily walk through your rental property with you and make you a list of what to consider, along with leaving you with our Room By Room review.  This report will provide you with 101 tips on how to set up your property to sell faster and for more money.