Tuesday Tip: Inspection Periods & Contingency Removals

When you buy a home or sell a home, once the terms are agreed upon and the contract is signed, there is an inspection period where the buyer gets to inspect the home, usually with a professional home inspector, so they understand the house – the good and the bad – and what exactly the are buying. The inspection period typically is about 14 days allowing time for people’s busy schedules. We try our best to shorten that period so that a seller’s home is not off the market should the deal fall through. During this inspection period, the buyer can walk away from the deal with their deposit money returns in most situations.

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Tuesday Tip 7/11/17: 2nd Quarter 2017 Market Update

Here’s the latest data on the local real estate market and what I think we will see in July 2017.

June was very busy in real estate and that’s a good thing, considering May was a bit sluggish. Overall, the local real estate market[1] inventory is up 37% from last quarter with 518 homes currently for sale. This represents a little over 1.5 months of inventory as 322 homes went into escrow this second quarter. Homes sold year-to-date are down 6% from prior year, but things are selling about 1 week faster than they did in 2016, taking about 61 days on average to sell.

It’s really interesting when you look at it by city though:

  • Westlake Village has a 19% increase in inventory from 1st quarter and YTD sales are down 3% from 2016.
  • Agoura/Oak Park has a 41% increase in inventory from 1st quarter and YTD sales are down 15% from 2016.
  • Thousand Oaks East sits about the same as it did last year in terms of inventory, and YTD sold homes.
  • Thousand Oaks West’s inventory jumped 52% from 1st quarter and YTD sales are down 8% from last year.
  • Newbury Park put a lot of homes on the market this quarter – up 79% and YTD sales are up 36% from 2016.

When you look at the data by price point, we continue to see that homes under $1M are selling more quickly and that’s where almost 75% of our homes sales happened through June. Interestingly enough, year-to-date sold homes are down from 2016 across all price points, except over $1.5M, which is actually up 19% at 135 homes.

So, what to expect in July? It’s typically the last busy real estate month of the busy selling season as people try their best to move over the summer before school starts back up. Homes under $1M should continue to sell quickly. We see buyers being choosy above that price point. We are starting to see a shifting market that we are watching closely. Today’s buyers are very well prepared and selective when making their purchases.  Great homes (staged/remodeled) that do come onto market tend to sell quickly and get in a bidding war. With inventory increasing, we are seeing more price reductions on homes that need a remodel. Buyers who are willing to see the potential and remodel may get some great values for their efforts. Does this mean you should only sell if your home is in tip top shape? Absolutely not. Right now, it’s all about pricing the home well for what it is because we are seeing homes in need of some updating go into multiple offers. We expect a busy 3rd quarter and look forward to updating you when the results are in next quarter.

If you have any questions, please contact Lydia Gable, Lydia Gable Realty Group with Keller Williams Westlake Village at 818-383-4335. CalBRE#01704493.

[1] Represents Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks and Newbury Park.

 

Based on information from the Ventura County Regional Share (MLS) as of 7/6/17 and/or other sources.

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Tuesday Tip: June 27, 2017 – Team Realtors are best

Lately, people are asking me why they should pick a team (as in Lydia Gable Realty Group) over an individual agent. Both “types” have their advantages but I believe a team approach to real estate will always be the winning side:

  • Your lead agent will always be you single point of contact for questions, concerns, to vent, stress or rejoice
  • Your lead agent works extremely hard to find you a home or buyers and negotiate the contract
  • Once the terms of the contract are finalized, we have a specialist to actually handle the execution of the contract to ensure a seamless and effortless close for you. Our specialist deals with nothing but real estate contracts. That’s her point of focus each and every day for you. She’s seen it all and been through it all so she has the knowledge, skills and contacts to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.
  • We have a marketing expert on our team. She is constantly tweaking our marketing to ensure it is leading edge, connecting with target audiences to find you your buyer. So, while I am out showing you homes or pitching your home for sale with other agents and community leaders, she is working at the same time on marketing your home to get it sold and reach new eyes all the time.
  • We have multiple agents on our team. We meet weekly as a team and then also individually. We are all very versed and familiar with you and your wants/needs. We brainstorm and work off of each other’s strengths. So if your lead agent gets sick or takes a much needed vacation, your needs are still being met and we are constantly working for you. It’s a huge win for you.

Hope this is helpful information. Please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information. I am here for you and your home always!

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Tuesday Tip: June 13, 2017 May real estate numbers

So, it’s a quirky real estate market right now. We saw inventory climb about 20% from April to May in our local area, yet the number of homes in escrow was relatively flat (even down a smidge) with March. The good news is, in June, we’ve already seen more homes go into escrow than for all of May and it’s not even mid-June. So the market is picking up; as more homes are coming on the market, more homes are selling. Yay! Right now, June inventory is about the same as in May. Now, here’s the quirky part…the buyers. Maybe not so much quirky as they are being choosy about what they buy. When I talk with real estate colleagues, we are consistently seeing homes that are fully renovated sell quickly and many with multiple offers. Homes that are not updated are sitting. Sorry to report that. We tend to think it’s because most buyers want all the work done so they can just move in and enjoy life. Renovations and dealing with contractors isn’t always easy and so even if the price is lower to “compensate” for it not being renovated, buyers aren’t biting. And those homes are just sitting. We are seeing more buyers and relocations now that school is out and summer is underway. Hoping homes will sell as buyers want to be in and settled before the Fall. Keep your fingers crossed!

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Tuesday Tip: 4.25.17 How to Win the Home!

Lately, great homes for sale under $1,000,000, here in the Conejo Valley, are going into multiple offers. So how do you win the bid? Watch this quick video to learn some great tips on putting together the best offer package to win your dream home!

Want to know more about the mortgage letter you should submit? Click here.

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1st Quarter Real Estate Market Update 2017 for the Conejo Valley

Here’s your 1st quarter real estate market update for the Conejo Valley and it’s looking great out there! Home values are up from 4th quarter and things are selling more quickly too, about 1-2 weeks better on average. The Spring market is here!

Average price of sold homes

Westlake Village – up 15%

Thousand Oaks East – 12%

Thousand Oaks West – 10%

Agoura/Oak Park – 1%

Newbury Park – 1%

When we look at the data, the sweet spot for activity is definitely homes priced $500,000-$999,999, but overall 558 homes sold this quarter in all price points so our inventory is selling.

Days on Market tends to increase with price point (so the more expensive the home, the longer it takes to sell), but homes that are in great condition and staged properly are the most appealing to buyers and often have multiple offers within days of going on the market. Buyer are being picky and swoop up the good ones as they come onto the market.

It’s a great time to sell if you are thinking of doing so. Give me a call – I’d love to help: 818-383-4335.

 

 

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How To Win The Bid On You Dream Home

It’s that time of year when people start looking for a new home. It’s exciting. It’s fun. It’s also a competitive market out there right now with multiple offers on homes that are updated and move-in ready. So how do you make sure you put forth a successful offer on the home of your dreams? Here are a few tips:

Use a Realtor with a proven track record

Not all real estate agents are the same. If you should be in a multiple bid situation, a good Realtor will present your offer in the best possible light and really sell your offer to the Seller. Some transactions fall out of escrow – in fact, more than you realize – so make sure you have a Realtor that will drive the transaction to close and protect your interests all along the transaction. How do you know if they have a good track record in closing transactions? Ask them. You can check their references too. But also do your homework and check out their ratings on Zillow and other real estate sites.

Use a reputable Lender

There are so many mortgage lenders out there. You probably know a few personally. But just because they are your relative or friend, doesn’t mean they are the best place to get your mortgage. You can shop rates and points, but please use a lender who will meet the transaction deadlines so your home closing doesn’t have to be postponed due to delays in processing or underwriting. Ask your Realtor for their trusted business lending partners or family and friends for ones they like and have used successfully.

Get a Pre-Approval Letter

Home buyers are often so excited to start looking at houses that they tend to leave the more bureaucratic aspects of home buying until last. In this competitive market, a serious buyer should get a pre-approval letter from their lender in advance of beginning a home search. It’s written statement from a lender stating that you qualify for a particular loan amount under that lender’s guidelines based on their review of actual bank statements, W-2 forms and other asset documents. This way you are shopping for a home you know you can afford and it lets the seller know you are a serious buyer.

A pre-qualified letter is not the same as a pre-approval letter and doesn’t carry as much credibility because it’s only based on what you verbally tell the lender rather than the lender reviewing your actual documents. I realize some people don’t want to share their personal information but you will have to at some point to get a mortgage so just get it over with at the start so you can truly enjoy the home shopping process.

I’ve dealt with a few multiple offers already this year. My advice to my clients who are selling is to choose the strongest offer. Please understand that a strong offer is not only the dollar amount offered but also whether the Realtor and Lender are ones that can get the transaction closed on time and work together as issues arise. I have trusted lenders in this business for a reason. I can rely on them for great customer service to my clients and because they do whatever it takes to meet the closing deadlines so a dream home doesn’t slip away to another buyer waiting in line. I have seen deals fall through because a real estate agent or the lender let deadlines pass without obtaining the necessary information or paperwork. So protect yourself as you go out there to get that house you really want. Good luck and happy home buying (with your pre-approval letter in hand)!

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February 2017 Market Update for the Conejo Valley

The real estate market is heating up here in the Conejo Valley. Let’s take a look at activity for the first two months of 2017.

The days of market actually represents the homes that were for sale in the last quarter of 2016 so we should start to see an improvement in these numbers as we head into the busy real estate season.

 

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