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The FHA Lending Limits Take Effect

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has revised loan limits on single-family mortgages as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Although the revisions went into effect on January 1, 2014, the change has been long anticipated by economists and real estate professionals alike — especially in terms of forecasting and what this might mean for the housing market. Passed in 2008 and intended to be active at the start of 2009, Congress delayed it due to what they called, “continuing strains in credit markets” as reported by the HUD at that time. The changes amount to this: according to Mortgagee Letter 13-43, the FHA single family loan ceiling limits will come down by nearly $100,000 – capped at a $625,000 lending limit from the much higher $729,750.

Changes to Qualified Mortgage Rules

In an article on CNNMoney, titled, What the new mortgage rules mean for you, it reports that the bulk of the impact will be felt in Qualified Mortgage rules. Here the major changes:

  • · Changes in debt-to-income ratio – it must be below 43%. Banks can still make loans to people with debt-to-income ratios if there is a high level of assets, justify the risk.
  • · Qualified mortgages cannot include risky features, such as terms longer than 30 years, interest-only payments or minimum payments…
  • · Upfront fees and charges cannot add up to more than 3% of the mortgage balance.

Los Angeles & Ventura County FHA Lending Limits

Most Southern California area realtors are bracing for impact as the FHA guidelines impact the market, although the larger picture still looks quite positive. For the coastal communities—where the homes tend to be $650,000+ and up—many wonder what this means long term? Home owners planning to sell—especially in this first quarter when buyers may be reticent due to changes—may feel a big impact.

In Los Angeles County the new FHA lending limit is $625,500 and in Ventura County, it’s now $598,000.00. These new FHA lending limits could force those in a higher priced market like Ventura County to lower the initial listing price. On the flips side, the changes could ward off those that wereready to buy from actually taking the plunge. Ultimately, whether this means sales will slow, or sellers will hold indefinitely, we’re currently in the speculative stages, but the conversation is none-the-less, important.

Austin Lampson of OnQFinancial, says the biggest impact will be on first time buyers and it may indeed slow the successful boom reported by many realtors last year in Southern California. Lampson says:

This [change] can greatly impact one’s buying power in high-cost areas of the Gold Coast, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. For example, right now the single family limit for an FHA-insured mortgage in Santa Barbara County is $729,750. If you are putting the minimum 3.5% down, that equates to a $756,217 sales price…at the updated loan amount of $625,500, $648,186.

Home Buyers/Sellers in Ventura County…

One inevitable truth: the housing market is as excitingly unpredictable as it is volatile as it is rewarding and that will is predictable. So as the FHA, in an effort to restore the economy and incentivize banks to lend to the under-served, imposes lending limits on the higher priced markets, we all brace for impact…and it’s only January! Happy house hunting!

If you have questions on any of the issues raised in this article or you would like to list a home or view listings in and around the Ventura County area, contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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Finding 'My' Home on HGTV's 'HouseHunters'

Recently I appeared on HGTV’s HouseHunters on an episode titled, New Parents Look for a Home with Good Feng Shui in L.A. The segment centered on new parents Jake and Jenny who were ready to buy a nicer home outside of Los Angeles. The couple’s hope: to relocate to a bigger home in the suburbs right outside of L.A. However, the conflict—because all TV needs some conflict— in this particular episode was that Jenny had a requirement. She had compromised on style in her first home with Jake and chose not to do that this go-around. The deal: Jenny insisted on an open, airy design with good Feng Shui. Enter the realtor—that would be me. My job ultimately, was to find the couple a Mediterranean style home in the suburbs of Los Angeles with the open, airy feel and good Feng Shui that Jenny insisted upon but in addition—in order to keep Jake happy—find a property which also fulfilled his wish to have a home with a cozy feel and a sense of privacy.

HGTV admitted in the teaser as the episode air date approached:

… their healthy $750,000 budget will limit their options in L.A.’s pricey housing market.

My Road to HGTV…

My buyers Jenny and Jake absolutely loved their home buying journey with me. Because they not only loved the experience of buying the house but also are fans of HouseHunters, they asked if I would participate in an episode. Of course, it sounded like fun so I agreed. The couple submitted their story for review. We all had to submit videos as well to make sure we were right for TV and the tone of the show. Production loved it – before I knew it I was filming the episode. The total filming took 4 days all of which was a very fun experience.

In the end – and this is what matters most to me—my clients Jenny and Jake now live happily in the home they selected.

From HGTV to You: What Will Your Realty Experience Be?

Whether on TV or in my community of Westlake Village, my approach to home sales remains consistent. As a top ranked Southern California realtor, I am a staging expert for the home seller and I have a lengthy track record of happy home buyers. If you, like our featured couple Jenny and Jake on HGTV’s Househunters, have a specific wish list, contact Lydia Gable today to view listings or meet for a consultation.

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What is a Staging Expert? Why It's Important?

Will the Dining Room Table Fit?

What is a staging expert? Essentially a home staging expert is there to anticipate the home buyer’s expectations before the showing. The staging is sort of the visual answer to common questions like “How will my furniture fit in the space” or “Where will my bed go?” or “Is the kitchen a good space to cook?” and “Does the home get a lot of light?”

When a realtor stages a home with real furniture and accessories, it’s easier for the buyer to visualize where things will fit. The aim is usually to create an upscale feel in order to achieve the desired sale price. A good staging expert not only knows the space, but has a good understanding ofwho the buyer is.

An Over-Looked Part of the Selling Experience

As a staging expert myself, I can’t stress the importance of finding a realtor who is an expert in this often over-looked part of the selling experience. Good staging is a balance between enough furniture to fit the space while still creating the element of spaciousness, imagination, and minimalist design. (For more 2014 design trends that lean more toward clean minimalist spaces and a blue palette, see my article, Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014).

When choosing a realtor, make sure that he or she is indeed an experienced home staging expert. Below are a few must-dos when staging the home for buyers, so you know ahead of time, what itshould look like.

1. Maid Service Anyone?

It’s no accident that five star hotels present rooms as first and foremost, sparkling clean right down to a fresh, corner-folded roll of toilet paper. Your house should be sparkling clean. Don’t assume that the buyer will understand that someone lives there. Most staging experts will have a cleaning service come in to make the floors sparkle and the place have that scent of clean. Remember, buyers will open the cabinets, the closets, look behind doors, and under throw rugs. Don’t let dust or grime become deterrents to a great sale.

2. Your Home is a Show Case

An article in Realtor Magazine, Staging: Small Things Can Make a Big Difference does a really nice job of illustrating through the use of before and after photos, how small changes can make a huge difference psychologically for a buyer.

In these before and after pictures the kitchen counters are transformed from ‘lived in/organized’ into a kitchen show piece. As stated in the article, the expert purchased just a few items including vases for $40; pears and a tray for $25; and towels $8

Photo: Cynthia Howe

3.) The Home Starts at the Curb

As I stated in my article How Do You Increase Your Home Sale Value, don’t ignore the home’s curb appeal. The garden, the light fixtures, the walkway even the front door—all of these elements are ‘on stage’ when a buyer drives up to the home. Even a door knocker – believe or not — can add to the feel of the home.

‘It Used to be an Extra, Now It’s Just an Essential’

Real estate mogul and the ABC’s Shark Tank star, Barbara Corcoran suggests that staging is no longer a choice if you wish for your home listing to be competitive. In January, Barbara Corcoran spoke at the Real Estate Staging Association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas. In an interview with RESA’s CEO Shell Brodnax, Corcoran summed up the need for home staging.

There is no better way to end this article and sum up the importance of good home staging the with Corcoran’s succinct statement:

… 9 out of 10 people start their search online…home staging used to be an extra, now it’s just an essential. Why wouldn’t someone stage a home if they want to get more money for their house?

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® and staging expert who has helped countless clients buy and sell homes in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities. For more information on any topics covered in this article or if you are interested in buying or selling a home in Westlake Village or the surrounding areas, contact Lydia Gable today for a consultation.

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2014-15 School Tours in the Conejo Valley

Schools and the respective school districts in the Conejo Valley are promoting upcoming tours, inter-district permits and registration slots for 2014-2015. If you have children and live in the area, or if you’d like your children to attend school in this high-ranked school district, the CV is now advertising open enrollment as well inter-district enrollment. If you are new to the area, planning on a buying a home in and around the Conejo Valley, or you want your children to attend school at any of these top ranked educational locales, you need to jump in now.

Take a look at the information below.

Wonder Preschool

Have a little one at home? Is it any wonder that it’s already time to send him or her off into the world. Wonder Preschool is a beautiful place to start. It is located in the Conejo Valley and will soon be offering tours. Enrollment begins February 1st, 2014.

  • Wonder Preschool

Conejo Valley Unified School District Early Childhood Center
2801 Atlas Avenue, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30 to 4:00
Phone: 805-492-3567

  • Tour Dates:

Wednesday, January 22nd at 9:30 AM
Wednesday, January 29th at 9:30 AM
RSVP to our office @ 492-3567 if you would like to attend.

WonderPreschoolTours

MATES

Meadow Arts and Technology Elementary School is a charter elementary school in the Conejo Valley. Open enrollment for the 2014-2015 academic year is from Jan. 6 – Feb. 13, 2014. Parents of prospective students should plan to attend a school tour. See below for the calendar.

  • MATES

2000 La Granada Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

805-495-7037

  • Tour Dates:

Tuesday, Jan. 7, 9 AM

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 9 AM

Friday, Jan. 24, 9 AM

Thursday, Jan. 30, 3 PM

Monday, Feb. 3, 9 AM

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 9 AM

MatesCharter

Las Virgenes Inter District Permits

The 2014-2015 Inter-district Permits are now available online. This application is for students who live outside the Las Virgenes Unified School District and wish to transfer into LVUSD. Send questions to: permitinfo@lvusd.org.

Note: It looks like these fill up, so get your application in sooner or later.

  • Las Virgenes Unified School District

4111 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302

818-880-4000

LVUSDPERMITSITE

  • Application Link:

2014-2015 Interdistrict Permits

OAK PARK

District of Choice Open Enrollment is closed for fall 2014. There is a lottery on January 21st, please see the link below for more information. Any questions, email Linda Gam at our district office.

For more information on any topics in this blog or for an appointment to view home listings in the Conejo Valley, contact Lydia Gable for a consultation.

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From A Starter Home to the American Dream

The picture of the American dream usually includes a first home and eventually a better home, and the idea that if you dream big and work hard, you can have the best home. So how do you know when it’s the right time to trade up? Certainly there are the obvious factors that may affect your decision to invest in a more expensive property. Obvious examples include an impending marriage, a growing family, or a career promotion that requires a move. Although, sometimes it’s as simple an answer as: it’s just the right time.

What is Your Idea of Moving Up?

What determines a move ‘up’ for you? For some home owners, moving up could mean moving from suburban any-town USA to a penthouse condominium in the city. For others it could mean moving out of the city into an affluent suburb. Consider the example of my clients Jenny and Jake, from an episode of (HGTV) HouseHunters on which I was featured. Jenny and Jake were moving up from a smaller home to larger one in the $800,000 range. Jenny felt that she had compromised on their first home when she moved from Pasadena—a very walkable city—to live with her new husband Jake. Consequently, Jenny had some deal breakers notably aesthetics and location. She wanted a Mediterranean style home in a not too remote location in the suburbs. Additionally, it had to have good Feng Shui. Jake wanted a Southern Colonial cozy home, but with privacy. Two different ideas of what constitutes “moving up” but with my help and armed with good ideas of what they both wanted, they found a home. Take a look at their very different ideas of trading up.

Are You Ready to Move to a Better Home

Assuming a trade up is predicated on a recent increase in your income, then the question: Can you afford it, is most likely, yes. Assuming then that you can indeed afford a move up, according to HGTV Front Door’s article How to Know You’re Ready For a Bigger House, there are still some very real questions that you should ask yourself before a trade-up. Below are a few thoughts to consider as suggested by HGTV.

  • Finances

If the last time you bought a home was 10 years ago, things have changed a bit. It’s a little more difficult to qualify with the banks now post-economy crash. So if even of you can afford it, make sure your finances are in order.

  • Monthly Budget

HGTV quotes Brandon Green, a Washington D.C. real estate broker, who suggests there are some important cost factors to consider when moving into a bigger, better house. Green says:

If you’ve been living in a smaller house, you could easily double your property tax obligations. You need to factor that in the monthly budget.

  • Selling Your Home

Will your home sell and will it sell at the listed price? The idea is to make a profit and if you are like most, you will have a mortgage on the home for sale. Consequently, a new home buy will be contingent on that sale. So you might consider increasing your home sale value and working with a staging expert to increase the chances of a good profit. Refer to my previous article, How to Increase Your Home Sale Value.

Lydia Gable is an experienced and respected Realtor® in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities. For more information on any topics covered in this blog or to make an appointment to sell your home or view home listings, contact Lydia Gable today.

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How Do You Increase Your Home Sale Value?

Looking to increase the value of your property for a future home sale? There are very easy, tried and true ways that will make your home not only psychologically more appealing to the buyer—in that it will have a ‘good feeling’ appeal—but also that will add ‘actual’ value when listing. As an experienced realtor, I advise my clients all of the following very useful tips, but you can benefit now just by reading.

Read below for ideas that will add to the value of your home and allow you to increase its listing price. And there’s no better time as we go into home selling season then now!

1.) Space to Dream

Give the potential buyer space to dream about his/ her vision for thehome. How do you do that? Well, you actually create space. Knock out a wall or open a closed off room–anything that opens up the space will create a sense of fluidity which is typically very appealing to buyers. Especially this year, since home and design trends this season are minimalistic, modern and clean. Read my blog from January 7, 2014, Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014 to use as a reference for what is hot and selling right now!

2.) Light, Light, Light…

Add light if your home is on the dark side. Make sure that a potential buyer NEVER walks in and says, “Wow the home doesn’t get much light.” Open the curtains and window shades. Add warm light all over, beautiful light fixtures- it doesn’t have to cost a ton. Just make sure the feeling is LIGHT! HGTV says:

After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine – it will make it more sellable.

3.) Grow Your Garden

Make sure your garden is lovely, the landscape appealing, and you don’t have tangled branches, weeds or overgrown grass. Your house may indeed be beautiful, but remember curb appeal is everything. It’s about creating a feeling as soon as the potential buyer sees your home from the car! So prune, trim and beautify, before you list! Don’t cut corners but do cut your weeds.

4.) Doors to Floors

Are your floors scuffed, linoleum rotted underneath in spots or do the floors creak incessantly? Don’t make the assumption that the buyer will understand that renovations are a normal part of buying thus the floors will be a non-issue. Wax or stain wood floors, repair a weak spot and remember, the front door is the first impression to the home. Replace it if it’s old or it sticks. Add an awning or an overhang. This doesn’t have to be expensive and it will open the ‘door’ to a higher valued home.

5.) Fixtures and Appliances

Replace cabinet door handles or update the faucet fixtures. Old cabinets or outdated kitchens can really kill a sale. But it doesn’t have to cost you a month’s savings to make subtle updates. MSN Real Estate says:

While some homeowners might think the only way to jazz up a dated kitchen is a full-on remodeling job … a much less costly alternative: buying a new stove.

6.) Old Bathroom to New Age Spa

The bathroom is a good way to increase the value of a home. Replace a frosted shower door with a clear one. Replace old sink fixtures with newer ones. Replace a toilet seat even or better yet at an energy efficient toilet. If the tiles are pink or look outdated, update to a modern clean feel. Change the feeling from bathroom to spa and your buyers will reward you. Again, the aforementioned home design and trends article is a good source here as well.

7.) All the HOME’S a Stage!

First and foremost, reduce clutter. As a staging expert, I advise all of my clients how to stage the home for sale. If you have a two car garage, there should be only two cars parked – that doesn’t exclude twenty years of storage as well. Remember your entire home is now on display. You can read more advice on staging in my article Top Five Tips to Prepare a Home for Sale.

For more advice on home sales, home selling tips and home buyer advice, read this and all of my past and future blogs. To subscribe to my newsletter or for a consultation, contact realtor Lydia Gable.

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Top Home Design and Remodeling Trends for 2014

For most of us, the New Year brings with it the need to start fresh, which for many home owners, translates to a burning desire to change it up with a redesign or remodel. If you are feeling the urge to redecorate or remodel your home in 2014, here are some of the hottest trends you may want to incorporate. What are the experts forecasting? Well here are just some of the top home design and remodel trends for 2014.

Home Interior Trends: Blue is the Hue!

In 2014, we’ll see warm woods, serene blues and refined textures integrated into private spaces designed to restore body and soul.

~Michael Booth, interior designer,BAMO

Goblin Blue—illustrated beautifully by Capel Rugs’ Kasbah Diamond underscores the continued importance of all things sky and water in 2014.

Smart Home Owners Have ‘Smart’ Homes

Tech is a hot trend right now in the home redesign and remodeling sector, more specifically smart and eco-tech redesigns. This trend started a few years back and now, it’s not only standing the test of time, but hotter than ever. According to RealtyTimes, the U-Socket is the hottest smart tech trend for 2014.

  • Designers Northwest also refers to the U-Socket. They list it among their top trends for 2014…

Electronic devices reign in most households which creates the need to provide a way to integrate these new devices into our homes. When remodeling your kitchen, new under counter plug strips allow home owners to connect electronic devices such as your iPhones and iPads to built-in USB ports for charging.

  • Taking Smart Homes One Step Further

2014 ushers in eco-friendly and energy saving smart homes as the central focus. According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel titled Top 2014 home improvement trends: smart homes and home automation, 2014 just might be THE year of the smart home with an added focus on eco-friendly products and energy management systems. Automated energy management systems can help homeowners control their energy usage and reduce their collective environmental footprint while still automating all of their home technology.

Some experts are predicting 2014 will be the year of the smart home. Automation is becoming the new norm in three main areas of the home … these technologies make it easier than ever to monitor energy and water usage, helping to reduce a family’s environmental footprint as well as their energy bill.

Holistic Home Design

The emphasis on holistic design is also hot this year. While it is a newer trend, it’s likely to stick around as this, some would say, simplistic approach to home design is becoming more popular. More and more household items are being designed, produced and promoted with a more holistic approach. Companies like Nest and Moreless are designing household products with an emphasis on the elimination of certain plastics, the use of recyclables and the addition of wireless technology while still keeping design in mind. This modern approach to utilitarian items makes the smoke detector or thermostat for instance, less of an eye-sore must-have, and more of an integral part of the overall design of the space. Nest and Moreless are among the leaders, but many start-ups are hot on their heels.

The Housing Market on the Rebound

Real Estate is also once again hot this year. No more waiting because of fears of the economy, home prices are on the rise and people are jumping back in the game. If you are ready to buy or sell your home in Southern California, contact Lydia Gable for a consultation.

 

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Empty Nesters Doing Real Estate, Bigger and Better!

We’ve all heard about empty nesters downsizing their homes once the kids are gone or in anticipation of retirement. But the face of the empty nester looks markedly different today than as early as twenty years ago. For various reasons, including an aging population living longer with a better quality of life, as well as more active, healthy empty nesters who still work, the downsizing trend is changing in nature. The empty nester may or may not be buying bigger, but they are buying better! An article in Miami Real Estate paints the picture of the current empty nester demographic – those who are buying better and in some cases bigger, more luxurious homes. Says the article:

Today’s population is working past 65 and enjoying more active, more leisure filled time. Instead of the cliché of retiring to the front porch or the easy chair, they’re using the opportunity of becoming “empty nesters” to look into a variety of opportunities, including buying a different type of house, one that’s on a golf course, luxury condominiums, or even lofts with home gyms.

Moving Up, Not Moving Out

Many empty nesters finds that they bought a house for one reason when the kids were younger–maybe schools were most important or a back yard—and now they find that, still vibrant, still working, they are excited about the possibilities of a new style home. Younger empty nesters, not even close to retirement, are looking for outdoor recreation, good weather, a different life-style. Some, according to MSN are also taking in older parents so the possibility of downsizing isn’t as practical. For these empty nesters, they might move to a more affluent community or closer to the city, but keep the size of the home or in some cases even go bigger. For the majority of empty nesters who do downsize, the focus becomes ‘moving up’ rather than simply ‘moving out’. Says Scottsdale real estate expert Sandra Wilken in her article titled, Living Large as an Empty Nester:

We know it can be difficult to leave behind the home your kids grew up in, but moving up can have many benefits. Entertainment, a fresh start and convenience are at the top of the list.

Lake Sherwood Homes and Surrounding…

If you are a young empty nester you might be looking for a community closer to your grown children, maybe your grandkids, but that will also accommodate your luxury life style. Consider the Lake Sherwood area. A guarded golf club community, only 30 minutes from the Los Angeles area, it’s the perfect mix of luxury and active life style because let’s face it 50 is no longer your grandmother’s 50. Lake Sherwood has gorgeous lake view homes, close proximity to hiking trails, terrific restaurants and shops and last but certainly not least, perfect weather. Additionally, it’s ideal for the middle aged couple who wants to be close to their grown children who lives in Los Angeles or Orange County. An empty nest doesn’t have to resemble less of a home! It can actually offer you so much more!

If you are planning on selling or buying a home in the Lake Sherwood area, contact Lydia Gable for a consultation today.

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Spotlight on Old Agoura

Old Agoura

Only ten minutes from Malibu and 12 minutes to the Pacific Ocean, homes in Old Agoura are nestled in a country setting surrounded by acres of land which separates Agoura Hills from nearbyCalabasas.

Old Agoura is an eclectic mix of luxurious estates and ranch style homes. A maze of horse trails connects to Old Agoura Park which is centrally located and essentially the “city center” of the town. Old Agoura, while still in suburbia has a hidden away, rural feel to it, even though you are still only a short commute to Los Angeles. Those who love outdoor recreation are drawn to Old Agoura for the miles and miles of trails through the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

According to OldAgoura.org, this area holds the perfect balance for families and up and coming single outdoor lovers alike:

Residents have direct access to some of the best hiking and biking trails that the Los Angeles area has to offer, in addition to public equestrian facilities and horse trails that line many streets in the community. Old Agoura is a prime example that one can have a rural countryside home, while still enjoying the conveniences of suburbia.

Top Ranked Schools & Fun for the Fam

Home to the top ranked Las Virgenes School District, the area is attractive to many families not only for its great schools, but also for its various activities such as the United States Pony Club of America. According to U.S.News and World Report the schools rank nationally,

California’s Las Virgenes Unified School District contains two schools that received gold, silver or bronze medals in U.S. News’s Best High Schools rankings.

And, for families there are awesome shops, restaurants and Old Agoura Park which is famous for its rich history and amazing equestrian trails. For avid riders, the park offers an equestrian warm-up arena as well as trails that connect to Cheeseboro Canyon. The park even has a baseball field and a children’s play area so your whole family can enjoy outdoor recreation.

Safe at Home in Old Agoura

Not only is Old Agoura a beautiful place to live but Agoura Hills, CA was ranked 14 out of the 50 on the list of safest cities to live in the America. According to the Safewise Report, the explanation might be attributed to many factors:

From pee-wee yoga, fencing, Kindermusic, and senior socials, Agoura Hills makes every effort to offer its citizens a wide variety of affordable programs. That could be one reason why its crime rate is impressively low. Agoura Hills is surrounded by colleges and universities and also offers a unique program that honors its citizens who serve in the armed forces.

One of the most exclusive communities in Southern California, Zillow lists the average home listing in Agoura Hills at just shy of $800,000 – for all the aforementioned perks as well as its close proximity to Los Angeles. If this neighborhood sounds like the perfect place to call home and you would like to view home listings in Old Agoura, please contact Lydia Gable today.

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Home Buyer Turn-Offs

Don’t Repel Your Home Buyer…

Many home sellers don’t know the art of attracting the home buyer and in turn end up repelling potential candidates. As agents, we know you are eager beaver types want to move to close yesterday —we do too—but if you do these top “don’t” you may end up turning away buyers instead of closing the deal. Here is a list of home buyer turn-offs that you will want to avoid. If you have a good real estate agent to guide you in the process, you probably won’t make these mistakes. But just in case…

Top Five Home Seller No-No’s…

1.) Bad Home Listing Photos

Highlight your home in the best light so buyers do show up to the open house. Highlight the best features of the home. But also, accurately represent the home in the photo. Check with your agent as to how s/he lists pictures, look at some current listings. If you skip this step and you do use a poorly lit, blurry or just plain bad photo, here’s what may happen:

  • A Bad Photo Will Turn Away a Client
  • A Bad Photo May Misrepresent the Home – A Disaster
  • A Bad Photo May Not Accurately Align with the Price

2.) Hovering Home Seller

Don’t be a hovering over-eager home seller. Your enthusiasm may translate to desperation. Your best bet is not to attend the open house – let your Realtor® objectively show the home. Trust your broker here. If you insist on being at the open houses, buyers may feel pressured and not free to express what they like or don’t like. Let your Realtor® run the show. So the bottom line…

  • Stay Out of the Way of the Sale

3.) Dirty Dens Don’t Dazzle

Over-cluttered and dirty homes are the fastest home buyer turn-off. Do a walk through with your agent and get a real assessment on the cleanliness and spaciousness on the home. Again your Realtor® can be more objective than you can and hopefully s/he is an expert of home staging – See more on this in a recent article, The Art of Home Staging.

  • Hire a Professional Home Cleaner Before Showing
  • Hire a Realtor® Who is a Home Staging Expert

4.) Your Taste vs. My Taste … Stay Neutral

Home fixes and upgrades are a great idea right before listing a home. Sure it’s a great idea to do a countertop upgrade from Formica to Granite or maybe replace the faucet fixtures in the bathroom. However, one mistake home sellers make is making upgrades according to their own tastes as ifthey were buying the home. So if you are going to paint the living room, crimson may not be the best bet. Tiling the bathroom? Pepto-Bismol pink —while you may love it—may not appeal to most buyers’ tastes. So remember…

  • Stay Neutral!

5.) A Realtor Who Inspires Confidence

  • Finally and perhaps the best tip of them all to avoid turning off potential home buyers is:
  • Find a Real Estate Agent You Believe In

Actually this is the easiest step. But if you don’t where to start, ask friends for referrals. Do your research and follow these tips from this blog. Now you can’t go wrong – Happy home selling!

If you are a prospective home seller , it is paramount that you have confidence in your real estate agent. The agent you choose can often determine how successful your listing is. Communication, experience and honesty should be the first qualities you look for so that you can be assured that you will be realistically and honestly guided through the sale process. If you are ready to list your home in Westlake Village or surrounding communities or for more articles like this, visit the Web Site or contact Lydia Gable today for an appointment.

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