Tuesday Tips – June 21, 2016

 

We are so excited to roll out a new online tool called Homekeeper to our clients as an added value. It’s you online source for all of our recommended vendors for repairs, home improvements, inspections and more. Please contact me (lydia@lydiagable.com or 818-383-4335) if you would like to have access. Here for you and your home always!

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Ask Lydia: Your Home Value – Is Zillow Accurate?

Real estate inventory in the Conejo Valley is historically low which means its still a seller’s market. It’s the summer season and interest rates remain low. There’s been talk that the Feds will raise rates by the end of the year, but right now buyers are buying and multiple offers are happening on well-priced homes. If you have been thinking of downsizing (or even upsizing), selling your home now can be to your advantage. Of course, when you begin to consider selling, some questions come to mind and I hope my thoughts below are helpful. If you have more specific questions pertaining to your home, please contact me at 818-383-4335 or ask away at asklydia@lydiagable.com as I am here for you and your home always.

How accurate is the Zillow zestimate?

Use the online home valuation tools as a beginning guide. Zillow just upgraded its valuation feature claiming it will be more accurate than before but it readily admits 50% will be off by more than 6% (it’s median rate of error)[1] It’s important that when selling a home, the value is determined by a top Realtor in your local area, not an internet website. A good Realtor will prepare a comparative market analysis (“CMA”) specific to your home. A CMA is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes in the past 6-12 months and the valuation takes into account your home, it’s unique features, such as upgrades, backyards, views, and pools, the features of recently sold similar homes, the local area and neighborhood.

Should I price my home higher to leave room for negotiations?

In my mind, there are three strategies to price a home and I leave it up to the homeowner to decide what works. Price the home low with the hope of multiple offers. Price it right and it should sell quickly and close to its listing price. Price it high does leave room for negotiations, but you risk buyers hesitant to make an offer. In a tight market that we are in presently, my recommendation is to price it low or right. Remember, a good top Realtor will get you the most value for your home in the best time because he/she is an expert in your area. Happy selling and please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or need additional information: 818-383-4335.

[1] Todd Bishop, “Zillow Upgrade the Zestimate, promises lower error rate with newer algorithm,” http://www.geekwire.com/2016/zillow-launches-major-zestimate-update (June 8, 2016)

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Finding the Right Realtor

It’s the busiest time of the year in real estate. Spring. Selling your home can seem like a daunting task with getting the house ready to sell, finding a good realtor, having showings and then the actual paperwork and process of closing the transaction. Try not to get overwhelmed because selling your home doesn’t have to be an arduous process. In an effort to help you navigate through selling your home (or even buying one), one of the top realtors in Conejo Valley, Lydia Gable with Lydia Gable Realty Group at Keller Williams, will be here every month to answer your real estate questions. If you have a question you would like answered, please send it to asklydia@lydiagable.com and your question with its answer may be featured in the Acorn next month.

 

Question: How do I find a good realtor because there are so many out there? And do I even need one?

 

Answer: A home is so much more than four walls, a roof and memories. For most people, it represents one of your largest assets and any mistake in the transaction may be costly and/or time consuming. A licensed realtor by the National Association of Realtors has the most in depth and current knowledge of buying/selling homes and they are held to a strict code of ethics for honesty and non-discrimination. Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A good realtor is a knowledgeable expert who will help you negotiate the best price, understand/decipher the contract and avoid delays and/or costly mistakes.

 

There are six things I recommend to evaluate when trying to find the right realtor for you:

  • Track record – do your homework: talk to family and friends for their recommendations and look to Zillow or other online searches for reviews of real estate agents to find ones that continually have strong ratings.
  • Marketing skills – Internet is the name of the game these days so you want your home marketed effectively on the internet, as well as with mailers and other forms of advertising.
  • Negotiation skills – find someone who will negotiate the highest price in the best amount of time.
  • Customer service – A good realtor is responsive to all of your questions and returns phones calls/emails in a timely manner. Buying or selling a home is a complex transaction with endless paperwork and forms that can go very smoothly in the right hands.
  • Honesty – It’s important to know the facts, not just what you want to hear, about the market, what buyers are looking for in a home, and home values.
  • Pulse on the market – look for a realtor who is actively buying/selling homes in your market so they are knowledgeable with current trends and can provide you with guidance along the process.

 

Be sure to interview a few realtors to make sure their personality fits with yours and that they make you feel like the important client that you are! Good luck finding the right realtor for you and happy home buying/selling. If you have any questions, I am happy to help you so please call me at 818-383-4335.

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