Why Use a Licensed Torrance Realtor?

Why Should you use a realtor®?

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®.   REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84% of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.

Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions in Torrance today usually exceed $800,000. If you had a $800,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $800,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.

But if you’re still not convinced of the value here are twelve reasons to use a realtor:

1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power — that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders — banks and mortgage companies — offer limited choices.

2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.

3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS®have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you’ll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written.
reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.

6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.

7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.

8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.

9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The
REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.

10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.

12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

Keith Kyle is a licesnsed Realtor with Vista Sotheby’s International Realty with offices throughout the South Bay.  Keith has been a full time realtor since 2005 and a “Top Producer” in the area every year since 2007.  He has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers in Torrance and the Beach Cities and looks forward to helping you as well.  Contact Keith for all of your real estate needs.

Common Mistakes Made By Home Sellers

Common mistakes that Torrance home sellers make

And how to avoid them

When the market favors buyers (and even when it doesn’t) it is important to do everything possible to avoid the common mistakes which often lead to homes sitting on the market. Without question price is the most important aspect of getting your home sold, and the most common mistake that sellers make. Here is a list of common mistakes and how best to avoid them.

1.  Pricing Your Home Too High

Solution:  Price is almost everything! We are area experts and can research comparable sales in your area and advise you of the appropriate price range of your property. Every homeowner feels that their home is special, but it is critical to know what the competition is, and what they are priced at. Overpricing a home is the most common, and often the most costly, mistake home sellers make. After sitting on the market for a while, often price reductions don’t draw great interest and the home often sells for much less than it would have if appropriately or aggressively priced from the beginning.

2.  Not Using Up to Date Information

Solution: Many home sellers base the “value” of their home on what a neighbor’s home sold for 6 months ago and figure that the market has gone up in that time, and their home is nicer than their neighbors. What happened 6 months or a year ago may be irrelevant and lead to unrealistic expectations.  In the current market, with prices either going down or softening, it’s important to know the prices of the homes currently on the market similar to yours, and more important to know the prices of the homes that are in escrow or recently sold.

3. Not Utilizing Current Marketing Technology

SolutionWe are always up on the latest technology and market heavily on the internet. With 80% of home buyers starting their search online, it is critical to get your home exposed to as many of these potential buyers as possible. See “How We Market Your Home” for more information. We are e-Pro certified and are up to date with all of the facets of online real estate.

4. Ignoring the Importance of First Impressions

Solution: Sales have been not happened for minor reasons such as messy yards, cluttered closets, unpainted front doors, locks that didn’t work, bad colors, stains, lack of light and bad smells. Spend some time onthe little, and simple, things. Double up on your gardening, keep things cleaner than usual, tidy up the clutter and make sure your pets are under control.

5. Not Providing Easy Access for Showings

Solution: There are many ways to show a home. “Appointment Only” is the most restrictive and lock boxes are the most accessible. If your home is easy for agents to show, more prospective buyers will see it, improving your odds of getting the deal you want. However, your lifestyle or situation may not be compatible with frequent showing. We can help you determina a solution that best fits the situation.

6. Not “Staging” Your Home to Show it’s Best

Solution: Staging can mean lots of things for various homes and situations, but in general it means presenting your home to appeal to the greatest number of potential homebuyers. In some situations (vacant home) it may mean consulting a professional “Home Stager” and renting furntiture to give your home a warm and comfortable feeling. Often times it makes financial sense to have carpets cleaned, walls painted, and the home professionally cleand. In other situations it may mean removing clutter and adding small touches to make things look cleaner and larger.

Some simple solutions would be to put some items into storage, create more light, play music, set out candles and improve the overall ambiance. We can help create a great first impression.

7. Not Knowing the Competition

Solution: We strive to give our clients the best information as to what’s out there that a potential buyer might also be looking at.  When possible we like to take our clients to look at the other homes and look at them from a buyers perspective. If you were viewing both homes, which would you buy?….and why?

8. Believing Your Agent is Not Doing the Job When There Aren’t Any Offers

Solution: Most sellers are unaware of all of the activity that goes on behind the scenes. Any agent can do the basics, but we strive to update our clients on all of the networking, advertising and marketing that continually goes into how we try sell homes. In general if the home is in good showing condition, is easily accesible and hasn’t generated any offers or interested buyers, it may be time to re-evaluate the price.

9. Not Re-Evaluating the Marketing Plan

Solution: We sit down and re-evaluate the marketing plan several times a month. We look at who is showing the house, the feedback we get, where we are targeting the marketing and advertising and are we reaching the right buyers. Every home is different and appeals to different type buyers.

10. Errors in Market Timing

Solution: We can help you determine whether the market cycle is poised to net you the most money. Many homesellers do not have the luxury of waiting, but for those that do, it may be best to list right away, wait a while, or even rent the home until the market is right.

11. Not Giving the Sales Effort Enough Time

Solution: You should never give too little time to what is inherently a long process. Homes may take 3-6 months to sell in any market. Estimate how much time you have before you “need” to sell and then plan ahead to allow extra time. You don’t want to be forced to accept a disappointing offer.

12. Taking  an Inflexible Position on Financing

Solution:  We can explain what financing options are available. Being flexible on financing terms may secure a better selling price, with other advantages as well. In markets that favor the buyer, certain financing offerings (such as seller financing) may be what makes your home sell while others don’t.

13. Not Making the Right Kind of Repairs

Solution: Don’t be tempted to make improvement’s or upgrades prior to listing your you home without consulting a real estate professional. Some upgrades will not yield any real increase in value which others may increase property value substantially.

14. Believing That Selling Property is Seasonal

Solution: Don’t base selling decisions on the seasons or time of year. Homes that are ready to show and priced well will sell year round.

15. Not Screening Prospects Adequately

Solution: One of the best reasons for hiring a Realtor® is their ability to pre-qualify a prospect financially before valuable negotiation time is lost. More importantly, your agent may discover when a prospect may just be shopping or “looking for a deal”.

16. Believing That You are Not Part of the Marketing Plan

Solution: According to some statictics the sellers themselves are responsible for at least one out of every ten sales. You can network your home to your business and personal friends, neighbors, and keep the house in move-in condition. We can help let you know just how you can help.

 

If you are considering selling your home in Torrance or the South Bay we would love to help.  With extensive experience and expertise in the Torrance real estate market we are a great asset for all of your real estate needs.  Keith Kyle has been a top  producing realtor since 2005 and has the backing of one of the most reputable real estate companies with unparalled national and international reach.

Staging Makes a Difference

Does staging a home make a difference? It absolutely can and absolutely does.  Staging takes the guess work out for many buyers…..bedrooms look bigger, spaces look brighter, and it all helps buyers see vision of what the house could be.  For sellers the cost of staging is usually more than recovered in a higher sales price and often a shorter time on the market.  We can help you with the staging process from helping you to select a stager, coming up with the perfect design, and in some cases even helping stage your home at no additional cost.

Home Buyers -Should You Try and Time the Real Estate Market?

Should You Try to Time the Market?

Many Torrance buyers I meet and work with are interested in waiting to buy until the market goes down or even better….at the bottom of the market. It is certainly natural to want to purchase a home, perhaps the largest and most significant purchase in one’s life, when you are confident that the price will not go down any further and when investment opportunities are at their highest. With the South Bay real estate market slowing down and some area housing markets getting hit on a number of fronts, including an over abundance of inventory, increasing foreclosures, higher interest rates, and more restrictive lending practices, whether to wait, and for how long, is a very important question.

The Economy and Buying a Home

There are times when the economy is humming and everyone feels confident about his or her prospects for the future. As a result, they spend money. They buy cars, they buy TVs, they go out to dinner more often and……

…They buy houses.

Then, for one reason or another, the economy slows down. Companies lay off employees and people become concerned about where they spend their money.  As a result, the economy slows even further.  When it real slows down we have a recession.  Although that’s certainly not the current situation and the economy is on fire, people still often think a dip or recession is just around the corner.

During such a time, fewer people are buying homes. Even so, some homeowners find themselves in a situation where they must sell. Families grow beyond the capacity of the home, employees get relocated, and some may even find themselves unable to make their mortgage payment.

Very Rarely Does One Time the Market Perfectly

Keep in mind that only a lucky few actually buy at the bottom or sell at the peak.  For most others they buy a home while the market is either going up or going down.  Trying to time it perfectly may mean missing out on a long term opportunity.  We know many folks who waited and waited until they were finally priced out of an area and then were kicking themselves for waiting for the perfect deal.

Supply and Demand

In the current market sellers When the supply of available houses is greater than the supply of buyers, appreciation may slow and prices may even fall, as happened in the early eighties and the early to mid-nineties.

If you are lucky enough to purchase a home during a slow period, you can be reasonably certain the economy will begin to show strength again. At times, real estate values may even surge drastically.
The Reality

While the goal is always to maximize your investment by purchasing when prices are more affordable, trying to time the market is nearly impossible. Keep in mind that there are very few that get “lucky” and time the market…..most either buy on the way down, or when the housing market is on the way back up. One problem with attempting to time your purchase to the bottom of the market is that no one can accurately predict the future.

Why You Should Not Necessarily Wait

The current home buying environment generally works best for first-time buyers. People who already have a home usually need to sell it in order to buy their next one. If a “move-up” buyer wants to buy a home during a depressed market, that means they usually have to sell one during the slow market, too. If a seller wants to sell his home to take advantage of a “hot” market when prices are fairly high, they generally have to buy their next home during that same hot market.

My advice to my clients in this market is twofold. First, it is important to consider your situation carefully. If you are planning on owning a home for a while, price fluctuations are not quite as important and you’ll have the ability to ride out any downturn. In the meantime the money saved on rent over the next few years can be significant, as well as the tax breatk. Secondly, the current market offers buyers the opportunity to search for homes price well below market value and with a built in price proctection.

A Home Isn’t Just and Investment

For those buyers looking for a home and not just looking for an investment property, keep in mind that a home isn’t just an investment.  Owning a home can make a huge difference in someones life.  It’s where memories are made, friends are made, it’s picking a school system and friends for life.  If a home purchase is likely short term you have to look at the investment aspects first, but if it’s a long term purchase you must look beyond the immediacy of the “deal”

It tends to Balance Out

Finally, the business cycle can change over time. Since 1983, we have had two fairly long expansions with only a slight recession in between each. You would not want to wait nine years to buy a home, would you? You could miss out on a substantial amount of appreciation by waiting, and end up paying much higher prices.

The Do’s and Don’t Of Home Staging in Torrance

Home staging is an important part of the preparation process when selling a house.  Whether fully staging the home using a professional stager, or simply de-cluttering and adding something to the owners current furniture, staging can make the difference between a home selling quickly and sitting on the market.  Here are a few pointers to help prepare your Torrance home for sale.  If you have given any thought to selling your home in Torrance or the South Bay, we can help.  Contact us for information on how we sell homes or find the value of your home in Torrance CA.